Wednesday, December 1, 2021

What's inspiring to you?

So yesterday I was out in my yard battling an underground wasp nest. It's really a matter of pouring some powder into the hole and running the other direction. Then I realized that I forgot the second step which was placing something heavy over the hole in the ground. This morning I repeated the process and remembered the second step. While standing there enjoying my yard without dodging flying stingers, I spotted the first camellias of the season. I have to take pictures. I may not paint them for years but I can't let this year go by without at least taking a few shots. They're just so ruffly!! 


These are the early bloomers. Some other varieties will bloom later in the winter like the one I painted below. I don't remember the names of the different varieties but I enjoy the different shapes, petal structures and colors. For this painting I used gold leaf in the background and glazed a bit of green over the gold. This flower isn't quite as ruffly as the earlier ones but I love the way the stamen surround the center petals.

January
20x10


And then there's another kind of inspiration.... 
These girls inspire me all the time. My granddaughters were out in the yard (no, not anywhere near the wasp nest) doing a little role playing so they decided to come in and make masks for their characters. I loved the image so much I had to do something...
This was a lot of fun to paint! It's small, only 8x8, so it was fairly quick to do. I know I'll be painting at least one more of these and who knows, there may be more. We'll see. 👀


 

Sunday, November 21, 2021

I've gone dotty

I shared a few close up pics of a new painting on my FB/IG stories yesterday. I wanted to share again here too because when you look at the entire painting it can be hard to make out some details. I mentioned a couple of posts back that I'm playing with a paint shaper tool to add a bit of pointellism. I just dip it in the paint and .........


What I'm doing isn't the true definition of pointellism - "a technique of painting in which small, distinct dots of color are applied in patterns to form an image" (think Seurat) - but using dots to enhance and add texture to a painting.



Below is the finished painting. If you enlarge it on your screen you can see where I painted the dots. Like the gold leaf I sometimes use and the textured gesso I put on the canvas before painting, sometimes seeing a painting in person is best. A painting can be experiential and doesn't translate as well in a photo. 

still deciding on a title
18x24

20x20

The 2 paintings above are the newest so I don't know what to call them yet. If you have any ideas I'd love for you to share them in the comments! I got on a warm color kick too. Looking back on past work, I seem to have gone through a "blue" period. It seems like everything I paint is mostly blue or cool colors. I don't usually pay much attention to trends, even my own apparently but when I noticed, I decided to play with some hot color for a change. We'll see where things go from here. 


Shimmer
20x20
acrylic and colored pencil

Shimmer was finished before I started the other 2 pieces so it's been added to my website along with the one below that finally has a title. It reminded me and many others of fire so Rekindled became it's name. It makes sense too because I seem to have rekindled a love for hot color!

Rekindled
20x30

And this one below..... I just remembered that I added it to the site but forgot to title it. I've been so focused on painting that I forgot all about it. It's more abstract than the others. Hmmmmm, something will come to me this week while I'm doing other things. I've been super productive in the studio the last couple of weeks so maybe I'm just getting ready to take a few days off with Thanksgiving coming up. My youngest daughter and her family are flying in and I'll have my local grandbabies here with me since they're out of school. It's time to focus on getting some work done around the house and wait for new canvases and gesso to come in the mail.

14x11

I hope you have a wonderful week. Enjoy being with your loved ones, eat good food, relax, and laugh a lot! Happy Thanksgiving!!

















Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Well, I goofed.

Well, I goofed. I should've let you know about this show last week because the opening was Friday! But.... the show continues until the 26th of this month so, if you're in the area, you can check out the Small Works show at Macon Arts Alliance. Sadly I couldn't be at the opening so maybe that's why the date zipped past me. I am excited that the gallery used my painting on the show announcement. Cool!

Scroll down to see a few of the pics from their site. The first one lists the other artists in the show. All the pieces in the show are available for purchase online so if you can't make it to Macon, you can click the link above and still see what's there, maybe grab a small art piece for yourself or find a gift for someone you love. 💝







Wednesday, November 3, 2021

From black and white to The Secret Lives of Color

 

Giving Way
16x20

Above is the result of hopefully, saving, the painting from the previous post. It went through several ugly phases and now I can look at it without thinking "ugly"! I especially had fun adding the little dots with a paint shaper tool. It's hard to see in the photos but the dots are slightly raised, giving a little extra dimention to the painting.



Remember one of the tips from this September post? I mention printing reference photos in black and white in order to free yourself from slavishly copying color from a color photo. Well, it can also free you up to play with more than color. I think I went to town on this one. Is it even recognizable as the subject for the painting below? I had so much fun with it! If you have any title ideas, leave them in the comments. 😀 And to see the above painting along with lots more... head to my site.


I'm still deciding on a title
20x30

One more thing I wanted to share.... have you seen this book? The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair is entertaining, educational and if you love color, it's luscious to look at too. I bought this for my kindle instead of the actual book but forgot that my kindle is only black and white. If you buy this, be sure to look at it on a device that has color. I'm reading it with a Kindle app on my tablet. Scroll down to see a few sample pages. I saved a couple of screenshots to share. Each page goes into the history of the color name along with how the color was developed - very interesting. 




So, check out the book and enjoy the colors. If you're up north, you get to see these colors on the trees, in person. I can only dream and remember the golden yellows and oranges of autumn in New Jersey. Here in Florida, we only get a little color teaser in the fall so I'll be enjoying them in this fun book.


Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Can this painting be saved?

An update post..... since I was here last I've shipped 10 paintings to the Signature Art Gallery in Tallahassee and I have 8 more boxed up and ready to ship to Macon Arts Alliance in GA. You have no idea what a relief it is to move some paintings around! Since leaving Gallery B brought many pieces back home, I needed to make room for new stuff. Thankfully, Macon Arts is having a special small works show in November so it's perfect timing. And the wonderful people at Signature wanted some new work for the holiday season. Yay all the way around and doing a happy dance. 💃

Shedding Light
16x20

The painting above is one of the new ones. I love playing with paint like this. It brings my two favorite things together - landscapes and abstracts. After painting that one I decided to try doing something a little different by toning the canvas yellow instead of red orange like the previous one.


so far so good.....


ugh!


now I really hate it....


maybe it's salvageable.

This is as far as I've gotten today so you'll have to stay tuned to see what happens to it. So far the only stage I like is the very first one. In the latest stage it's just starting to come together but boy, it's hard to get past the ugly stage sometimes. When you hit that point you have 3 choices - 1. trash it (gesso over it and try again)  2. grit your teeth and push on through. or 3. take a break, work on something else for a while and come back to it later.

I think I'll take door #3.

See you next time. Hopefully by then this will be resolved and I can share. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Keep the channel open.

Childhood
48x36

What's on my mind.... the mind, for many reasons including some very personal ones. I shared some of that personal stuff in an interview with my friend Thea on The Charmed Studio blog. Her blog post was about creating from your shadow side. Click the link to read the article and see the "5 light filled reasons" to create. And if you haven't visited her blog before, take a look around. You'll love it!

Anyway, these things have been on my mind lately. Trauma and depression can be a dark subject but it's one that needs to be talked about more often. I think that's happening lately and I'm glad. The pandemic has something to do with that I'm sure as more and more people are seeking help. 

(And a side note - why is it that the mind, along with eyes, ears and teeth, are not included in standard coverage for health care?? They're all part of the body so why do they have to have their own insurance? $$$$ perhaps?)

Back to the point. Mental health and the effects of trauma on us and our bodies is a real thing. Having struggles with addiction, depression and/or anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrased about but for some reason a lot of us can't talk about it. Listening to other people's stories and learning about mental health can make us feel less alone. The other thing I wanted to share with you is the new movie The Wisdom of Trauma with Gabor Mate'. He is a physician specializing in childhood development and trauma and it's effects on the body both physically and mentally. You can also find lots of videos and TED talks with him on YouTube. Excellent information! If you have the interest, poke around, search for some of these videos and learn more about the mind/body connection. 

If you're not able to or not ready to talk to someone, paint it. I've talked about my therapy canvas before. If things are hard, emotions are coming up and I need to do something in the moment, I get out the canvas and start flinging paint. Sometimes it's just about the physicality of doing the flinging that brings relief. Sometimes it's about a particular subject and that painting actually becomes something with a recognizable theme. 

I found this quote in the introduction to George Carlin's book Brain Droppings...

"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it is, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open...

"No artist is pleased...[There is no] satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others."

 - Martha Graham to Agnes de Mille, Martha: The Life and Work of Martha Graham

Keep the channel open. Paint. Open yourself to flinging. Don't block what needs to be released. Let art help you. No one has to see it. It can be just for yourself. Keep a sketchbook just for ranting. Have a canvas handy just for your own healing and expression. Pile on the layers of paint while you peel back the layers of emotion. It could forever be for your eyes only or some day you may be comfortable sharing. Either way you're helping at least one person. If you can share it with other people, you're bringing something valuable to the world. You're adding a very unique piece to the conversation that maybe someone can learn from or just not feel so alone themselves. 




Saturday, September 25, 2021

The travels of River Cruise

River Cruise

I had something interesting happen this week. Actually 2 somethings. The first one was about the above painting - River Cruise. I sold this painting last spring through my gallery rep in Tallahassee, Signature Art Gallery. When you sell a piece through a gallery you don't always know where that art ends up. You just assume it's hanging in a collector's home somewhere. 

Then you get an email from a previous collector who said they won it in an auction in Miami. Miami is a bit of a trip from Tallahassee. But, there it was, pictured in the email. This collector is local so River Cruise has done it's own traveling from here in the middle of the state, to the top of the state, then to the bottom of the state, and now back home in the middle again. That's cruising!

This collector wanted to know if I had some more work she could look at so of course I emailed images and she did buy more work. So this week I got to see how far my painting traveled, and I also got to send some more paintings out into the world and a new place to call home.


It was a good week. I hope yours was excellent too!