"Everybody knows a work of art takes at least an hour!" Lucy to Linus, (Peanuts)

FineArtViews Painting Competition - Twice in the Fav 15%

http://canvoo.com/boldbrush/badge/13203 three times selected for FAV15%, Fine Art Views Bold Brush Painting Competition

Monday, November 15, 2010

Return to Samanda

Yesterday I arranged all my wares beside me and pulled up the images I have on my computer of Samanda. I was not in the mood to paint but I began anyway. Have to get back into a painting I stopped working on over a month ago and not feeling too pleased about it. Within ten minutes I was fully back and lost track of the time. I felt all thumbs and left handed. I played with some colours I don't normally work with (Prussian Blue, Napthol Red). I heightened the contrast and colour in her hair and lightened the upper left hand corner, reworked the drape of the cloth and fussed with her lips. It occurred to me that I am once again at a point where a change is going to happen in the way I work. These are usually subtle and not too apparent to the outside observer but to me they are major. I was just getting comfortable. Drat. This always happens. I am bored unless I am working outside that comfort zone just a bit. Now what, I ask myself. Finish this thing and move on, that's what. It is NOT going to be the painting I envisioned (they never are) and I am going to accept that and do the best I can with it. I wish her pose were different, slightly turned more with emphasis of weight on one hip, maybe a different expression on her face...maybe not looking out me with such expectancy and challenge. And once again, that small itch that sits in the back of my mind, I wonder if doing this is a worthy occupation in such "interesting times" as we live in. Should I be in Darfur attempting to save refugees from the terrible civil war? Would it help if I could raise enough money to rebuild Haiti or build new lives for those who have lost everything in Pakistan or Indonesia? Would I ever know where to start such undertakings? I mention them on my FaceBook page and sign the petitions and rail against all the injustices I hear about. Yet there is that self centered me who just would like to be able to be here painting, reading my stack of books from the library, and listening to amazing musicians on my stereo, making some Apple Crisp from the harvest I shared with the bear, being in touch with friends now and then...and without guilt because I have it so good and so many have it so bad. The years spent struggling to make a living, to find my way, make some imprint on the world, raise my child, trying to defeat the severe clinical depression in my DNA, all are beginning to feel far behind me now and I just want peace. I wish the world the same. I want everyone to find their true way, their true heart and joy. It is naive to think that will happen any time soon. A dear friend tells me that birthing art into the world and seeing the happiness that brings to others is gift enough. It would be so nice to think that was true.


  1. Beautiful portrait Karen! I especially like the cloth...


  2. Dear Friend Karen!... Every word that "You" speak of in this post could likely come from the mouthes of all of the serious artists/humanists that "I" have had the honour and privilege of working alongside during the course of my journey.

    Most have diverse skills and gifts aside from their artistic expression that they willing and anxious share from time to time... and they are usually generous with their time and share their art to support worthy humanitarian projects in their communities... and the world at large.

    At our stage in life... we see our Selves well past the "sunny, "Summer" side of life... with autumn closing in too quickly.

    In our self-driven desire to commit... to "say" something... to leave something worthwhile to say that we were here... we question our purpose and our contributions.

    As artists we enjoin hands... just the way we are doing. Our ideas and energies are passed swiftly... and unseen across the world to become catalysts and agents of change that we ourselves will never realize or measure.

    From one unsolicited source... I would assure "You"... that the work and energy that you share regularly motivate "Me"... and others to create to the best of our abilities... to share... to value the Kingdom "We" are blessed to have stewardship for!To be grateful!

    Keep painting! Stay the course!

    (Your) Art Matters!

    "Never give up the ship!"

    Good painting!
    Warmest regards,

    PS An added thought via Robert Genn's wonderful bi-weekly newsletters from Farnk Kafka:

    "God gave us the nuts. But He won't crack them."

    "Get crackin...." HAHA!!!

  3. Samanda is one of the most incredible paintings I have seen. Your work is just phenomenal. You are too hard on yourself but then again, I think self criticism helps us grow as artists. On to new things..very important for keeping away the cobwebs that lurk, ready to take over.

    I can't imagine Samanda being anything other than the way you have painted her.

  4. Simply stunning Karen. I don't know how you do it. SHe's beautifully painted. And I loved to read your post. I loved how you said you didn't feel like painting but you did it anyway. I need to do that right now! ANd I agree with your friend. Birthing art into the world is a big deal, nothing to be taken lightly. It brings so much joy to others. Like me, looking at your post right now. :)

  5. You have made a beautiful picture! I wonder what she thinks.

    I agree with your friend.
    Imagine, how would the world be without beauty!
    Thanks for sharing,

  6. Wow, your painting looks like a photograph ~ especially with the glint of light in her eyes! Beautiful. Thank you for sharing your talent with the world.

  7. Thank you for the positive feedback. For Suzanne, I don't know if Samanda has seen the painting on my blog so far. I'll have to call her.

  8. karen, this is an incredible painting and a deeply heart-felt post. first i can relate so well to the painting and your feelings surrounding it. i have a studio full of half finished pieces that i thought were the beginnings of something that would change everything or at least a change in perspective. they all ended up being neither. it's hard to sit and create and feel angst about it while thinking of all the pain in the world. the world and fixing it begins with each of us being gentle with ourselves first and knowing that whatever it is we're doing, it's exactly what we should be doing, simply because we're doing it. whether that's working in a soup kitchen, helping in darfur or sitting in front of an easel, if we are fulfilled doing it and it brings us peace then that peace will be extended in ways we have no knowledge of. your posts and your paintings continue to bring me joy and make me think. thank you for sharing your thoughts and your gift.

  9. Karen,...I'm speechless looking at Samanda's face...you did such an incredible job..one of your absolute best....as far as your latest post on her arm...you're right we all have such different colors, shades..a complete palette of colors to work with!