"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

Saturday, January 28, 2012

From cozy knitter to concerned consumer

       Keeping cozy and busy indoors for the most part. A trip to town last tuesday in wind, rain, and ice was enough to make me want to hibernate a while longer. If we hadn't needed to stock up on a few things, including candles, and lamp oil (we have been having power outages, including one on sunday for over 24 hours) we would not have taken the chance on the treacherous roads. I just took it very slowly and Bob had country/western music playing in the CD player and the dogs came along, so it was actually a pleasant trip. 

         Yes, that is the afghan as it currently looks. I need to make it longer and add wide borders to the sides, top and bottom. I knit in a few rows every evening while we watch DVD's from the library. Pushing myself to paint is a bit harder. 

          I made a decision, also, to NOT purchase an iPad. I had planned to give myself this "toy" with some of the money from the selling of the Daffodil paintings but I found out that the factories in China where these things are made are sweatshops of horror. I also understand that for many of the workers the conditions back home in poor villages are even worse, but that doesn't make the slavery they endure at Foxconn and other factories right. Apple is making some efforts to improve things but it is not enough yet. People have actually been dying. Do I want to play with a gadget that somebody died to make? A gadget that no one in China actually gets to have for themselves? I realize that almost everything we purchase comes from the labour of some poor person in a third world country but taking a stand somewhere is better than not taking one at all. Please carefully consider every purchase. Do you really need that new thing? Even if it is bringing some economic improvement to a poor country, is it worth the pain they suffer? Eventually this will improve...a lot of workers quit when things get too much and it is harder now, I understand, to find worker replacements. This leads to factory owner implementing changes so they can attract workers and keep them. Apple is agreeing to oversee more improvements. Consumers are more aware now and voicing their protests. Until this happens I am steering clear. Maybe someday I can actually buy myself a wonderful iPad or other miraculous gadget and not have to feel bad about where it came from. That would be nice. Gee. I really, REALLY wanted one...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What's on the Board...Or Am I Just Bored?

       While I wait to see if Michael, my model, can make it up here in two days I started this small, 12"x12" painting. If the weather is ok he will be coming but right now it isn't looking good - lots of snow and ice already here and freezing rain predicted for friday. It almost seems like something is conspiring to keep me from doing this model-in-a-box project. I have worked and planned to make this as easy as possible, keeping the stress level low, but now things may have to be postponed once again. Meanwhile I have this enormous box sitting in my studio taking up valuable space and there is no place to move it and even if I could I think it would start to fall apart.

       This peony is a photo from our garden. I've wanted to do some closeup works of just the blossoms for some time and now that my Daffodil paintings have moved on to a new home I have blank spaces in my bedroom that need filling. I drew the image first and am now transferring it to a wood panel. A friend gave me several wood panel supports and this is my first try on one. It is supported in the back of the panel with wood strips along each edge...I put three coats of gesso on. I won't know until I start applying paint if I'm going to like this surface. I once did a painting on Clayboard and didn't like it at all but it was so expensive and I had already transferred a fairly complex image to it so I saw it through to the end. Also it was a gift for my parents' 50th Anniversary. I was able to use it successfully as a sample in my illustration portfolio back in the day when I did illustration and even had a rep. The result was actually pretty good but I have never used Clayboard again. Surface is too slick for my taste. I need more tooth.

     If this peony painting works out ok then I'll do a companion piece on another wood panel, probably of a yellow Iris. I think I'm needing projects that aren't too much of a strain on my brain. Is it typical winter doldrums? Maybe. At least the afghan I'm knitting is coming along nicely:-)  I'll show it to you when it's finished and maybe take orders...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

An Auspicious Start to the New Year

Afternoon Sentinel I  & Afternoon Sentinel II,  oils,  each is 14"x18"

       SOLD! Both of these paintings have just become the property of a couple back in Ontario who have been faithful, ongoing collectors of my work for well over a dozen years. These were once called "portraits of daffodils" by an acquaintance when he first saw them in a gallery exhibition.  I liked that. I did not intend for these to be the usual "pretty" sort of floral fluff and tried to paint them showing the strength I felt from the flowers at the height of their spring beauty. The second image, unfortunately, is a bit over exposed (I really need to rephotograph it before I ship them off). The colours are strong and I called each of these, "Afternoon Sentinel", I and II as they appeared like guards at their post to me. In any case this bodes well for the first week of the new year and gives me that little kick in the butt I sometimes need - ok - that I almost always need. What is wrong with me I sometimes ask, that I don't spring out of bed every morning and dash to the studio and whip out a grand canvas? Each piece seems to require an intense part of my being and so I hover around the edges, thinking up the next works, and wondering what will happen and if they will ever actually be made. I am not and never will be a dash-it-off painter. I am a planner and a plodder. I've said it before. I did try to dash off that last still life with the apples and the bowl on some fabric. It is ok but when I look at it I do not feel its presence. 

       The afghan is progressing and now I've begun to work out some colour comps for a new quilt that I might make...or not. I seem to be happy to peruse all my knit, fabric, sewing and fibre art books and absorbing the colours and textures. The day will come, and maybe soon, when that will suddenly lose it's lustre for me and I'll be loading up the palate again gessoing some canvas. I'm still biding my time, even though I am fully aware that I don't have all that much left to bide.  No, I'm not dying (well, I am, but we all are), however, I am at an age where too much future planning and thinking that there is all the time in the world is just not practical. And I want what is left to be joyous, fun, and to leave behind concerns about where my "career" is going. Having this couple contact me to purchase this work is full justification for just being and doing since I know the work is going to a good and appreciative home. I think about all the work I have done that has been bought and now hanging in various places and realize that it is not too shabby for a legacy. To these kind (and certainly far-sighted, ever so cultured, and highly discriminating regarding art) people I will always be famous. The art might even be passed down to future generations and perhaps they too will find joy and delight in seeing the work on their walls. It's about as good as it gets.