"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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Shadow thinking...

       I painted this many years ago from life in about two hours. I had a good friend who willingly sat for me many times for no pay! (I gave her a painting eventually from one of our sessions). The changes that light and shadow make, especially on a face, always intrigue me. I am seeing in my mind's eye another such image and hope to find the right model soon. The cast shadows enliven the highlights and heighten the appreciation of form. Shadows are a wonderful invention!

       I've been reading What Good Are the Arts by John Carey and finding it a bit disheartening. He makes valid statements based on solid scholarship and the conclusions are mainly that one can love and appreciate the arts and still be a vile person. Yet, I find that so many people I meet through my work are truly wonderful and even amazing, often dealing with things in their lives I can't begin to comprehend, (one of my collector's has a schizophrenic daughter). They tell me that my paintings make them happy. They are uplifted and enhanced in their lives by art, and not just mine. One of our blogging family,
Suzanne Berry, has just suddenly lost her life partner, Tim. He was still young...it was so unexpected...and it seems so cruel and pointless. But Suzanne is maintaining strength, dignity, and hope somehow, and still thinking about her painting, and how to let that be an aide in her healing. Her grief is real and intense and it probably will be a bumpy time for her but I feel that she is going to be all right. This is what good the arts are...


Monday, February 27, 2012

Of Florals and Sprouts and Shiny Stuff

       Finished and just in time to enter the FCA Blossoms show! It is like pulling teeth some days but once I get going I'm all right. 

       We lost power again over the weekend for a day and a half and it snowed pretty much non-stop. All the little buds that have appeared in the last week or so are now shivering under icy mantles and thinking maybe they should have waited a bit longer. In the house we are growing sprouts, at least Bob is. He is as excited about this as any kid with a new toy...made a fairly disgusting sprout bread from sprouts left to grow grassy for too long. It actually doesn't taste too bad but looks so hairy I can't deal with it! But we did have a delicious chow mein with our homegrown mung bean sprouts last night so maybe this new project will turn out to be ok. What Bob has to learn is portion control...only grow enough sprouts to be used by us, two people, for a few days instead of enough to feed the whole Sayward valley area.

     Mike the model is doing well again and modeling for a group down in Cumberland so I guess we will be looking, once again, at setting up a new date for our model-in-a-box thing.  I am almost afraid to dare since every other date has been jinxed and I'm not normally superstitious. If I'm going to make use of the little bit of momentum I've worked up from painting these florals then it is important for me to set up some kind of schedule for working. I have some still life ideas that might be worth trying...would like to go for a few shiny things but nothing too complex. My mind just doesn't seem to be accepting  over-stimulation these days. And I have new glasses waiting to be picked up which should help tremendously with my resolve to work more steadily. This old prescription has been causing headaches and misjudgments and all sorts of havoc when I try to look at stuff to draw or paint. Turns out I have the teeniest start of cataracts also but won't have to be concerned about that for some time. Bob has been looking into dietary helps for this. I am taking Milk Thistle every day for this liver thing - and I still haven't heard from the hospital for a date to get the biopsy done, which is ok with me as the procedure is not high on my list of fun things to do (had it once before). Otherwise I am FINE! I feel FINE. I am actually FINE! I have enough energy for most things and not feeling sick at all and my appetite is good. I have dogs and a husband to keep me warm...and my son is now officially engaged to a wonderful young woman!! Hurray! I think this one is going to take!

       Now, to find some shiny stuff to set up and paint...too bad I don't have a suit of armor lying around in one of my closets. I once did an illustration of a jet engine (back in my illustrator days) and that was way shiny but I don't have any of those handy either. I'll think of something.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Accepting what is

       I suppose it all happens as it is supposed to with total disregard for our own wishes and/or needs. There is a saying that God laughs as you make plans. I am learning slowly (and you'd think 66 years would be enough time for the lesson) to just quietly accept what is. Learning to find joy in spite of all the problems on this planet is a bigger lesson. I can feel compassion without having to deny my own happiness. I think I am beginning to get it. 

       Michael, my male model did not arrive here yesterday. He became very ill mid week and had to go to emergency. He has pulmonary embolism, a very serious, potentially deadly condition. Is the universe in the way? No. Life just is like this sometimes. Dear Michael, I send a big hug and hope for your return to health very quickly, not for my sake but for your own.

       But perhaps I am being shown that another direction is required for my work. That is ok too if I can figure out what it is. I will continue with these two small florals and move on. Winter is coming to a close and we are having a few brighter days now at last. Feeling brighter in my heart too.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Not there yet but I can see the finish line.

       Here I am actually painting every day now! I think I have made it through a mini-crisis and now have some of my motivation back.  Even working on these wood panels, which I am finding I don't care for that much, is helping to get me out here every day for a few hours. A friend said I should stop working on these if I don't like the surface but I am too far along and it is kind of a challenge. The paint wants to smear more than I like and there is no give under the brush. It just makes placing each stroke fussier and more annoying than I like:-) It is hard to explain, especially to anyone who doesn't paint in oils, but the surface makes a big difference. Of course it does for all mediums, doesn't it...  I am supposing this is a good lesson for me, though, working on something new and that forces me to think past the usual way I do things. At least I think I'll have these finished in time to enter the show in Vancouver, that is if I can bring them around to my high standards! Ha. Sometimes I wonder what that even means. Yet, I know when I look at what I've done if it is working or not. I usually know why too. That ability took a long time to develop. For too many years I worked on things not understanding enough about why they were ok or not ok, which meant making the same mistakes over and over. Anyway, these little guys do seem to be working (!) in spite of my misgivings over the surface the paint is going on and maybe I can now move on to some larger, more significant work again. Michael will be here in six days and he is such a good model I would have to be really out of it not to do something pretty nice with him. 

        I reinforced the cardboard box I had made for him two months ago, but it has actually been holding up well. Thinking about making a vegan lasagna for dinner the day he comes...I can make it ahead of time, along with an apple pie, and just put them in the oven when we're nearly ready to eat. I hope he likes vegetables and can live without cheese all over everything...(that has been a hard one for me, actually, but I am accustomed to doing without now and it's ok).

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Being with the group...

       Yesterday I traveled down to Black Creek (Courtenay area) to join with the art group again.  It has been many weeks. Only a few of us were present but it was so nice to meet and commiserate after so long! Elaine didn't get to be in the shot because she was busy taking it. She also provided wonderful goodies for us to consume and a chance to see her temporary new digs right down at the waterfront on a tree lined, beautiful area near Miracle Beach. Too bad it was all fogged in but it didn't keep us from laughing and chattering and catching up on everything. I really do need this group every so often to help keep me grounded. 

       As you can see I have continued, slowly, to work on this Peony piece. If I can get this and the Iris finished by the 23rd I can enter them in the upcoming Blossom exhibit at the FCA. If I don't that is ok too. Michael Ward, the model, is now scheduled to come up here on the 17th so I am hoping that nothing gets in the way this time! Our weather was beautiful, except for heavy fog in Campbell River, for a couple of days but now it is back to overcast and rainy but not quite so cold as it was a week ago. 

       My ex Mother-in-law died this week. She was a wonderful woman and I cared very much about her. We had kept in touch even though I was no  longer officially a member of her family and she is going to be missed by a lot of people. At 92 she was still living in her own home, very independent and her death came suddenly - no lingering suffering. 

       Still having to pull motivation out of myself. Feeling dreary and old. The morning walks are helping but I really have to DO something to get my motor tuned up. Having Michael come to model for me next week may do the trick.