May 29, 2010

On the easel, stuff in the studio, and a new message section...

We are in one our rainy stretches here in the NW, nothing new there. But after a week or two I start longing for some sun. The upside is my garden is practically bursting, the flowers are blooming and everything looks incredibly healthy.

Here's some food for thought;

The older I get the more excited I am by discovering new skills and insights in art and life. As with the rain there is a bit of a downer that comes with that. I see things much more clearly than I ever have, including my own short comings. This is good because the goal is to make this the best life possible, so if facing my own misconceptions and flaws is part of that so be it.
With that in mind, I have discovered I am a hermit at heart and a horrible correspondant. I think about the people I love all the time, the ones whom I see in my daily life know this. Unfortunately the ones that are far away don't. So I decided to add a new component to this blog. Brief messages to loved ones at the bottom of the post.

Mom and Dad; hope you are feeling better Mom and that the cough is going away.  Did you find any cool info about metal clay Dad? 
Leon and Joan, Soak up some sun for us. How is the garden growing at this time
of year? 
Brian and Teresa, is it horse riding season up there yet?  Do you still have snow?
Nana, I thought of you on my trip, wondering if you had seen some of the things I was seeing.  How brave of you to be such a world travelor.  No easy thing!
Omie, hope you are well.   Thinking of you.
Aunt Jean, hope you are well.  Thanks so much for coming up for my show.
Aunt Cherie, how goes the house remodeling?  Does the rain slow you down, or are you mostly inside?
Aunts, Uncles and  Cousins in CA, thinking of you all.  I get frequent grins thinking about the Christmas parties we had back in the day.
Aunts, Uncles and Cousins in OR, is it raining there too?  Do you know one thing I realized on my trip was how lucky we are to live in such beautiful places (Oregon, Washington, California).
And because this post will grow to big for anyone to read, let me just say these people in are in thoughts daily, Vanessa, Jen, Don, Tracey, Phil and Karen, Big Sam and Peter, Rich, DJ and Ryan.

May 27, 2010

On the easel

Painting is going well!  Thanks to a really wet spring, I'm spending a good amount of time in the studio.  In fact the balancing act is not doing so well.  My house needs a serious spring cleaning and my yard has gone wild.  YIKES!!!

May 20, 2010


In full swing now...
It's nasty weather out so it's great incentive to keep at it!

May 18, 2010

Completed Projects

It's been a little slow going to get back into the groove of painting.  There are too many new images in my head.  Feeling a little stuck, I headed for the garden, a tried and true inspiration. Starting with something from the garden allows me to jump right in without too much thought.   The toy painting is titled "No Way, You Do It!" 

May 16, 2010

On the easel

My garden is going crazy at this time of year so I paint the blooms! The challenge to this painting is the upper left corner.  The flower effectively creates a line that's hard to ignore so... I'm working on dropping it back into shadow and see if that solves the problem.

  I find it hard to sit and do nothing so in the morning I often sketch.  The goal lately is to refine the pencil strokes so that are not haphazard and describe the way the form turns.

Here's something to think about...

My boy is 19 this month and struggles with finding his way.  He started at University in the fall and was so homesick we brought him home.  The plan is for him to start at community college in the fall then transition later to university.  In the meantime he has been job hunting and has had some rough days.  Just  last week he found a job and his whole demeanor changed.  There is a smile on his face and his step is lighter.  But the best part of all happened yesterday when he came to me with a very satisfied grin and said he was having a creative burst and had written much of the plot for a story.  He wants to be a writer someday...
As an artist I understand how much your daily life affects creativity so the news that he felt inspired was  WONDERFUL to hear! 

May 12, 2010

Works in progress

I've begun to choose photos from the trip to use as inspiration for paintings.  The first is an interior view of Da Vinci's last home.  It has the feeling of a Vermeer, the lighting and intimate interior view.  The perspective drawing helps me understand the space when I start painting.  Its much easier to paint light and shadow if you have a good understanding the all of the plane changes.

The second photo is taken outside the Louvre.  The light and shadow are not as dramatic so this painting will be more about color and design.

Pinocchio in progress, composition has been tweaked and the design less complicated than the Cinderella piece.

May 10, 2010

Romance vs Reality, and what's on the easel

Ideas are starting to come to me after thinking about my show coming up in February.  One of the major themes that kept popping up on my trip was how to reconcile the romance of beauty and darker side of reality.  We see it everyday, the world doesn't exist without opposites, and there is a danger in seeing only one or the other.  This is the theme that keeps presenting itself, so this will be the focus of my show (if I can pull it off).

May 8, 2010

Thoughts for the day

Here's the question;  how do I take what I learned on my trip and apply it to daily life here at home.  Partial answer;

Keep your eyes open and see how beautiful the world is, and consequently accept the ugly aspects and try to understand their origin and function. In a nut shell take the good with the bad.

 We choose how we will respond to our situation and that will dictate how we experience this life we have.

On a more practical note; walk walk walk. It helps clear your mind and relaxes the body.

This will sound trite and preachy but this is an image that sticks in my mind;
Be the little engine that could! I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. Feel the exhiliration as you climb the mountain and celebrate your arrival. Oh and be prepared there is never just one mountain.

Figure drawing friday.  Nice to get back to it!

May 7, 2010

Seriously Outstanding Art

If you want to see contemporary realist art that has a touch of old master magic visit annd check out the 2009/2010 salon winners and finalists.  I submitted the painting below.  I am proud of this painting but after viewing the competition I understand to be accepted into this show I'm going to have to step up my game!

After being home a week now, the images and adventures are starting to purcolate in my mind.  I can't articulate the outcome at this point but I feel it sizzling in the back of my brain!

May 6, 2010

On the easel

This is a painting I've been working on for quite a while.  It's based loosely on the cinderella story.  It's about 90% finished still some tweaking here and there.  I'm considering painting out the squirrel/pine come sculpture to the left of the teapot.  The second image is a photoshop rough version of what it would look like with the change.  I actually like the second version better.  What do you think?

The last image is a more light hearted subject the title is "No Way, You Do It!"  Kind of fun huh.

May 3, 2010

First day back

Today was my first day back teaching.  It was wonderful to see the kids after such a long time away.  There is something so completely satisfying about watching the kids create, interact with one another, and smile when they are pleased with their work. We designed our own greek style images today, pretty cool to see what they come up with.

This morning I sat at my easel and worked on finishing touches for a pretty complicated still life.  I love this stage because it means I get to start setting up the next one. 

I have nine months to complete enough paintings for my show in February.  The ideas are coming pretty easily so that's a relief. 

May 2, 2010

What's next?

When I arrived home on Friday my brain was so fuzzy I was in a daze.  But this morning I feel fully awake and ready to start new.

My hubby and I were taking our walk yesterday and the subject of how the experiences of traveling will change my art.  My answer was, "I don't know yet"  and that's the truth.  The answer is there I can feel it but can't quite grasp it yet.  One thing is quite clear to me though, work that was done with love, passion, skill, and patience is amazing to see.  I see it in the great masters work but I also see it in everyday labors, bread making, house building, clothes design, you name it it's out there.  If there is anything I learned on this trip is the importance in carrying on with the creation of beautiful work, in art but in life also.

The  photos are from Leornardo's Garden in Amboise.

May 1, 2010

Home again home again jiggety jig!

I'm HOME!  Hooray!  It was an amazing trip that will take weeks if not months to digest.  More later...