Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Art Barks in the Moon Light

As exhaustion set in last Thursday night, creativity took flight. Images formed while the light waned. My energy was high while my hands shook from sheer exhaustion as aforementioned and caffeine. Finishing a piece of art like this one is thrilling.

After hours of painting which were way beyond my bed time, I completed Labradoodle's Dream. 1 am quickly approached as the last thin lines of black paint were brushed onto my dog. No, not my real dog. Explanation of the piece will follow at a later date. A week later the dog is on my kitchen table ready for the parade.

From the moment I brought this dog into my home a little more than two weeks ago, it has taunted me. First it sat in the kitchen and soon after the dining room. When family visited for the toddler's birthday it was hastily removed to my basement studio. Each place it sat begging me to work on it. To stroke it if you will. As I would round a corner in our home or come through a doorway it would stare back at me. My heart and voice constantly leapt up in my throat to scold the dog for standing on the table. My own dog has been known to levitate and has achieved the heights of our kitchen table and beyond.

So the two weeks of working like a dog on the dog have come to an end. Happily now like a sweet dream I only reminisce about the euphoric feelings of accomplishing a satisfying piece of art.
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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Rain, Rain, Grow Away...

I am sick of rain. Granted we are having a lovely spring, but I want sun. I love the sun. Days that are gray leave me lying like a lump on the couch. I can't get motivated. I dragged myself out into public today only to shop for items partially needed and go to the library. The toddler complied for the most part.  The toddler only threw one car while we were in the check out line, took off one shoe while in the store, and managed to stand in the front of the cart while strapped in.  So much for safety.  I ended up putting the toddler in the basket part of the cart minus one shoe.  Who has time to put the same shoe back on more than three times?  Honestly it was becoming a game.  Even a trip that ends in a tantrum lying on the floor in front of library check out is worth it on a rainy day.  We really did have fun until we had to hand the train book to the librarian for check-out.
Once the sun comes out I want to be in my garden again. Rainy days make me sun-sick. I know, I know... the rain is good for my garden.  Lucky for me, I took some photos of my garden.  Now I can sit and glare at them on my computer screen.  This is my inspiration. My garden...
As I look at my photos, I realize how small it all looks.  These gardens are already 4 Summers worth of splitting, transplanting, and tender care.  I guess it looks bigger in person.

Below is a photo of the first Iris in bloom.  These are the flowers that I planted the day my grandmother passed away.  It really is amazing to wait almost an entire year to see the first bloom.  It was well worth the wait. 
Now I just need a sunny day that will motivate my paint brush arm to start moving again.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The End is in Sight

As the end of the school year draws nearer...

I am grateful for a productive and inspiring year with my students.  I felt like I improved as a teacher this year, which made me feel good about teaching my students. 

I am looking ahead to a summer filled with productive nap times.  I am ever thankful for the long naps that my toddler continues to take.  Without these naps I would sadly be unable to produce art on my own time.  I would however be able to continue doodling on random objects like my ever growing rock art collection.  This has become almost an obsession. 

I have been working in my garden, which is one of my all time favorite passions... probably right next to painting and just below being a mom.  No joke being a mom was always on the top of my list.  Back to the garden... I am anxiously awaiting the 100 some bulbs I planted this spring to bloom.  Just this last week, two Irises bloomed.  These iris are very special to me since I planted them last summer on the day that my grandmother passed.  I am planning a painting that includes these iris as a tribute to my grandmother.  Funny how just now I am recalling a painting that hung in my grandparent's home for years.  It was a little watercolor of an iris by a local artist named Anne... something. Perhaps I will remember later.  The painting will be a bit of therapy for me... I still really miss my Grams. 

One activity I am looking forward to doing on a more regular basis with my toddler is art time.  The toddler in my life loves to paint.  Smearing it all over the paper and grabbing gobs of paint, moving it to different locations, and mixing different combinations of colors.  The toddler will also paint with just about any liquid including milk, juice, and my personal favorite yogurt.  Our kitchen table is a constant work of art as our toddler continues to learn manners.  It's a joy of my heart to know that our toddler enjoys creating art even if it's ON the kitchen table.

Projects that I am working on for patrons and special events are winding down, which leaves me time to finish the painting that I started in early April.  It will be extremely satisfying to finally finish my Cherubs painting.  That will leave me with a summer filled with blank canvases. I will hopefully be fill those canvases with the fragrant blooms of summer grown in my garden and those of my family and friends. 

Here's to a productive and free summer.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Back in the Studio

After the last two art shows that I participated in, I have been giving my artwork a lot of thought.  My father looked at my paintings and stated it very simply, "Who are you painting for?"  I was embarassed by my work before he even asked.  Once he asked, I was down right humiliated by my lack of confidence.  Why am I allowing myself to hide behind work I am not even proud of?  Is it really necessary for me to try to paint for anyone but myself?  This thought may seem selfish, but what is the point of painting, if not to express myself? When I am painting what I think others seem to want, I lose all sense of self.  Where's the heART in that? 

After two weeks of serious thinking and positve painting experiences, I am back to doing what I love.  Flowers are my favorite thing to paint in this entire world.  I cannot stop myself from loving them anymore than I can keep my little one from learning new words each day.  I think of painting landscapes and florals as I sleep at night.  There is nothing more relaxing or self expressive than nature. 

As I return to painting my true passions in the studio, I offer an apology to the fans of my artwork.  I am sorry for deserting you, while I searched for meaning in my artwork.  The true meaning was there all along.  I was searching for something I had already found, but lost sight of.  As a writer tries to find their voice, an artist tries to find their sight.    You see, I already knew what I love to paint.  I thought it wasn't good enough anymore.

A quote my cousin shared with the world on facebook recently helped me regain my sight,
"Ink on paper is as beautiful to me as flowers on the mountains; God composes why shouldn't we?"(-Audra Foveo-Alba) 
So here are my latest efforts to regain my sight and allow my heart to bleed onto the canvas.

Pink Coneflowers
Orange Cosmos

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Little Show with Little Preparation

So I am absolutely thrilled back in December to discover that the first juried show I finally get it together for accepts me!  I then received the details for the show and in the bustle hustle of the hurried harried holiday season upon me I threw them in a heap on a table and forgot about them.  Mildly and somewhat more discomforting sicknesses plagued our household throughout December and early January.  So much so, that I never painted during the winter vacation from school.  In my mind, I decided that I had paintings that fit the requirements for the show. 

LITTLE did I know that I did not know the definition of miniature.  One week prior to the shows drop off date, I gaze at the requirements for information.  I quickly gleaned that out of the five paintings I planned to use for the show, one met the size requirement.  ACK!  My heart began pounding in my chest.  The prices, medium, and title were due immediately.  I quickly fired off an email asking for the latest possible time I could submit the information that day.

To my great relief the person in charge gave me a two day extension to submit my painting information.  Still in a state of panic, I raced to the my basement studio ever greatful and mindful of the peacefully sleeping toddler upstairs. Painting was no longer something I wanted to do, but something I NEEDED to do.  My name was listed in the show's flyers... if I failed to drop off artwork...

I began rummaging through my supplies in panic mode.   

These were the thoughts racing through my mind:  No canvases the size of a small child's head existed in my studio. Where was I going to get canvases the size of  a grapefruit immediately when the toddler is napping???  No one to watch him while I run to the store.  If he's sleeping I need to paint.  What am I going to paint?  Whoever decided 25 square inches was a good idea is on my list.

Grabbing a ruler, I began ripping canvas to the miniature specifications.    As the canvases took shape, a plan formulated in my mind.  Peace settled in.  Paint what I know.  Paint what exists.  Paint what is available. 

Little Show Paintings

Fruit Still Life (Definition):

When the artist misreads and neglects to read the rules for a show one artist paints fruit... I had two days to create four of the paintings for this show due to negligence and procrastination. Fruit is available. Fruit is always in my refrigerator. Fruit is a beautiful form to paint. I love to set up a small still life that allows light and shadow to play across the surface. These miniatures are a reflection of joy found in the need to paint quickly and the necessity to produce in rapid succession. Enjoy.

Saturday, November 14, 2009