Monday, December 7, 2009

Another birthday, another painting

My son's birthday is December 20th. Since I can never get a read on what he'd really like - and that I can afford - I decided to paint him a dream. I know he has a boat and spends a great deal of time on a lake outside Atlanta. I've never seen either boat or lake. But, my dream is of this time of year, a storm brewing over the lake, white-caps showing, and the green of the southern pines for a backdrop. Now, I know his lake may look nothing like this. But my dream of his lake does.

Once again it's mixed media. Hidden within this piece is a ton of paper, tiny scraps of white, black, yellow, several shades of green, a lot of blues, some reds and purples and wines. And on top of all that paper is acrylic paint. Not as much as you might think. All that's left to do is varnish once I'm certain it's thoroughly dry. Then it's off to Atlanta. Maybe I need to put in a Starbucks card just in case he hates the painting!

Monday, November 16, 2009

It's Done!

After a rest period I went in and added a bunch of shadows, did a bit more refining, and decided to add an acrylic varnish over all to give it a wet look. Now, given that I've used some pastels in this piece, that was tricky. Rather than "mixed media", I could almost say "kitchen sink"! This has ended up with:
* heavy watercolor paper
* layers of tissue paper and rice paper
* acrylic on top of that
* some pastel
* just a touch of charcoal
* adding a bit more paper
* more acrylic
* varnish over all
I guess I could try to throw in some ink somewhere, but I think I've done enough!

I've been calling this piece Splish, but in reality I'm going to ask my daughter to name it. Her birthday falls on Thanksgiving this year, and I can say I'm truly thankful she is my daughter. Fortunately, she never thinks to look at my blog unless I remind her, so she hasn't seen this in process.

Today I pick up some packaging supplies and tomorrow it gets shipped! Wish I could be there to sing happy birthday when she opens it!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Day Two working on Splish

Quite a bit more acrylic and now some pastels have been added to the top of the mixed papers. I toned down the vivid yellow and the bright apple green, both the original paper colors. I also did a very small amount of refining of shapes. Part of what I like about this is how the paper pieces have determined the posture of the people - some are walking, some bend into the wind, etc. - and I didn't want to spoil that.

In looking at this piece from across the room I decided the "hole" in the middle was sucking the life out of it, so I went back and added another paper shape to fill that space, then went through the refining process with that guy.

Streaks of rain and shadowy puddles have been added with paint and/or pastel. I need to let this one sit a day or two and decide how much more it needs - or doesn't! One of my biggest problems artistically is knowing when I'm done. Often that last touch or flourish will ruin a piece for me. So, this one will sit and gel a bit now. Check back on Monday!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Working on a mixed media piece

Follow along as I work on this new mixed media piece. My daughter requested something like this for her birthday. She had a specific theme in mind for the image and she wanted the heavy texture similar to oil applied with a palette knife. I don't do oil, but I've been doing more and more acrylic and recently started experimenting with collage and with pastel. So, my challenge became how to give my "little girl" something in line with what she wants and still with my style and material choices:

I started with heavy, 300 lb., watercolor paper and layered on quite a bit of tissue paper. Big pieces, small pieces, several colors, many squished (a technical term) then spread back out to be deliberately wrinkly. A final layer of an aqua tissue paper went on top of the other layers except for the people and umbrellas. Both the black paper and some of the white have bits of glitter embedded, this chosen for the sense of rain drops.

I've started adding acrylic paint on top of the paper. It will get lots more acrylic and possibly some pastel before it's done. I'l post again in a day or two to see where we are by then.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Learning to "paint" with collage

Meet Marjorie! She's 97 years old, maybe 77 pounds dripping wet, and obviously THE person for whom the phrase "cute as a bug" was invented. She's also a regionally well-known and respected artist specializing in collage. She continues to create her own art and still gives the occasional workshop. Pretty amazing.

I was lucky to have the opportunity to participate in Marjorie's most recent workshop. She and a couple of volunteers drug a massive amount of supplies 45 minutes or so from Visalia to Three Rivers. Marjorie and her late husband lived here, and I think she has a very soft spot for this little community. So, a group of us gathered at a local gallery as part of the 1st Saturday event for November and began to learn to create a collage.

Marjorie speaks of "Reckless Abandon" and "Careful Planning" as the two approaches to this process. I'm not your basic careful planner, and I was in need of therapy anyway, so I began a meditative (though surprisingly fast) application of paper to board to create a painting.

OK, it'd no masterpiece, but I had great fun, and I feel more prepared to do this again. And, the Brandon-Mitchell Gallery in Visalia wants to have a show of the works created at Marjorie's workshop and/or as a result thereof.

Given that the local Student Art Show (featuring the work created during the 4 weeks of October that I "taught" at the grammar school) was also a part of 1st Saturday I was more than a little busy. Friday found me very involved in hanging the student show as well as doing some of the set up for the workshop. After the workshop my uncomplaining husband showed up with our old truck to load and deliver the tables, chairs, etc., back to folks who loaned them for the event. The last of that got done today. Oh, and along the way I managed to grab a few photos so I can put together another article for our weekly paper. That's WAY too much for me at one time, but the way this particular cookie almost "crumbled".

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Art-ful Life

My practice of art is like anything else in life, waxing and waning, productive and not, adventurous and cautious - well, I'm not often cautious. Lately I've been caught up in my own busy-ness. I have no one to blame, really not even myself; it's just one of those times. The one bit of let's be sure what we're doing here revolves around ego - mine. Back when I still worked a real job, it was very possible for me to confuse being busy with being important, necessary, productive or whatever. So, when I find myself looking at the calendar and seeing that my next free day is ten days away, I need to be certain of why I'm scheduling myself so heavily.

And, I've done that. I've looked at every single thing I've put on the calendar between now and November 14 (and just try to schedule anything for me then) and asked myself if I truly choose to be doing it. Once I own that the answer is "yes" for each and every workshop, parent-sitting, and all the other stuff, I am certain I'm not playing either Ms. Important or Ms. Victim - no one is making me do these things. While there are differing reasons behind say a school art show to be hung and the sitting with a neighbor's father so she can have time off, the reasons aren't what's important. That would be the choice. The mere fact that each thing on my presently ridiculous calendar is my choice.

So, as I sit looking at my worktable where the painting I finished a couple of weeks ago still sits on the easel, it's OK. I understand that this is simply me being a participant in life. And, I often find that after a break from my art I return with renewed vigor. Again, like capital L - Life. Exercise, then rest. Eat, then digest. Wake, then sleep. I wouldn't want my practice of art to become production line in nature; so these times of withdrawal from the worktable are not just acceptable but likely necessary.

The whole thing is another of Life's little balancing acts: Not enough discipline and I'll never get any painting done; too much discipline and I'll become stale. So, today I go off to fulfill the choice I placed on this square on the calendar, and I'm content to be doing it.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Portrait of a little girl

When I participated in the 1st Saturday event in October, I set up my stuff and painted at the local garden center. This little girl arrived with her mama, not for the art, but to look at plants. I was simply captivated by her chubby cheeks under the big sun-bonnet and asked mama if I could take a couple of pics with my phone. I always wonder if I'll be suspected of being some kind of weirdo when I do that, but the mom was quite cheerful about my request.

None too surprisingly, my little model was shy. The actual photo has her looking down and more serious in expression & holding onto mom's pants. I did get to see a very sweet smile appear when I wasn't trying to get a photo. So, I decided to paint her looking up and holding some lavender. The painting started out bigger with a lavender field going on to the right, but after it was done, I wanted the emphasis to be simply on the child so I cut the painting down to this view.

This is done in watercolor on watercolor paper. I've been doing a bit of mixed media lately, but I wanted to keep the softness and watery look of pure watercolor for this one.

Wonder why I like so much to paint little kids when they are so hard to capture? Not enough shading gives a flat painting; too much and the child suddenly looks like a little old man/woman. I always did like a challenge.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Art with kids

These are some of the students at our local grade school.

I've been working once a week on an art project with the kids. They've been doing a watercolor underpainting, and this week and next they'll be adding "stuff" on top for a mixed media work.

Then, we'll have a kids art show at a local gallery in conjunction with a day that Senior Bazaar goes on and there is lots of traffic in the area.

Working with the kiddos has been great fun. I've always felt that for me to try to be a teacher would likely result with me in jail for murder, or at least mayhem. Maybe my tolerance level has increased a bit with age. Anyway, it's been super fun.

My own art has been somewhat set aside for the time though, and I'm longing to get back to it. I actually have a day "off" today (I'm not sure "off" from what since I'm retired but my schedule is full) so maybe I'll paint.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Cliff Walk

I just finished this small (9 x 11) pastel. It's on sanded paper, unframed, and priced at $65.

My brain keeps shouting at me "I don't want to be a landscape artist!" But, every time I pick up pastels that's where we seem to go.

I've learned that some media lend themselves to certain types of paintings. Can't imagine having done Lines and Circles and Squares in all pastel. I liked doing it as mixed media. By the same token, too much mixed media in this would lose something. . . . maybe the feel of the water.

So, switches from watercolor to acrylic to pastel gives me more space within my head or heart or soul to try different approaches. Hmmm. Now there's a thought. Maybe I'll settle on a single image or idea and do it separately in those three media. Could be fun.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lines and Circles and Squares, Oh My!

Fun, really fun! I've been just playing with abstraction and with mixed media at the same time. This kinda took on a life of its own and became almost the everything but the kitchen sink painting.

It's on an 18 x 24 " sheet of watercolor paper and started with watercolor paints and a very limited pallette. I kept adding layers over layers and kinda looking at the painting and asking "ok, where do you want to go now?" When it seemed that had gone on long enough I switched to acrylics and hid some things beneath tape to keep the watercolor. Then I added in some silver gouache and some shiny gel medium. (By the way, those areas are not as shiny as the appear in the photo - that flash thing you know.)

Thought I was done. Then the painting seemed to yell at me - "you may be done, woman, but I'm not!" So, back to work with some pastels. Now we're done, both of us. Or, maybe I'm just worn out.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Mixed Media Madness

Check out the featured painting above. Flow is a combination of watercolor, acrylic and pastel on watercolor paper.
I love it when a painting takes on a mind of its own and goes somewhere I hadn't planned! This one was going to be much more realistic as a river scene. I even planned a raft of people shooting the rapids. But, when it got going, the painting Gods took over and the whole thing went a different direction.
I really like playing with layering different media together. This painting started out very "soft" with a first layer or two of watercolor. It was. . . OK. . . but not special; and I'd had mixed media in mind anyway. So, on to the acrylics, then the pastel, some fixative for safety and some more acrylic, then a final bit of pastel. None of it "planned". Yep, it's fun.

Monday, August 24, 2009

More playing with pastels

So, effort # 1 at a landscape. This is when I learned that I need loads and loads of colors. I simply don't have enough shades of orange to make the California poppies look right. I tried and tried using oranges, reds and yellows, but mixing didn't work. Darn. This one will either get re-worked when I get more pastels, or it will get tossed.

Then I moved on to # 2 in what I guess I could call the meadows series. Still wishing I had more pastels, and I'll be ordering some soon; but the purples, etc., weren't as bad as the oranges. Indian Paintbrush is one of my very favorite wildflowers. Throw in the lupine, and it's very colorful!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Working in Pastel

I'm trying to work with pastels, a totally new medium for me. I had to cancel a trip to Creede, CO the first weekend in September for a 3 day workshop with my good friend, Jan Thompson. She is an amazing pastel artist. So, I subbed in a little 3 hour session close to home. Didn't really learn a lot other than what kind of pastels and what kind of paper. OK. So, it's back to being "self taught" for the moment.

My first effort was with a subject that I've worked to death in other media - old barns. I love their character and history. I'm not wild about the result - maybe a B- on this effort - but I learned a lot. I'm debating whether to offer it for sale really inexpensively - maybe $35 - and see what happens.

My next effort was a total flop. Then I decided to play with putting other media on top in the "nothing to lose" vein. I added acrylics first. Now, that is a challenge! Adding a wet medium on top of pastel is a trick requiring lots and lots of brush rinsing as the brush picks up the pastel beneath. Charcoal went on top of that in places. Funny thing is, I rather like the effect! The paint brought a sheen to the painting, and the charcoal added some dark definition.

I have two more to put up here, maybe this afternoon. Both are meadow scenes with wildflowers. I'm not a landscape painter and don't want to be one, but it is an easy practice in learning pastels - lots of colors, lots of depth to work within.

I've never understood calling pastels "painting" - it seems like drawing to me - but it has opened a new dimension for me. I don't see myself becoming a pastel artist; however, using it as part of mixed media very much appeals to me. I told Scottie a day or so ago that we need to get the windshield on the Scion replaced - there is a big crack - and that I want the old glass. He replied something like, "of course you do," and gave me a very strange look. The thing is, there is a mixed media piece stuck in my brain that cries out for sparkly safety glass.

On that topic, am I the only one that gets stuff like that stuck in their brain? It's like having a bit of an old song that won't go away swirling around in your head. I'm guessing it happens to all creative types. It will drive me nuts until I DO IT. Keep watching this space.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Failure - Of the good kind.

Failure. My latest painting that is. And, ya know what, that's OK with me. I've been in a frame of mind to experiment with taking my art in different direction(s). That leads to some wonderful successes, and some spectacular failures; and without the failures I'd be certain I wasn't really taking any chances or achieving any growth. So, I'm pleased with my latest failure. And, I know where I want to go with it now, at least for it's next "trial".

Another piece of breaking news: I just bought a painting! Aranga Firstman's Sector 33.3_19.7. I absolutely love it and can't wait to frame it and hang it. I know exactly where it's going. You can see it at: which is Aranga's blog. Aranga does the type of work that just draws me in. This piece is deceptively simple; way more complex the longer I look at it. So, thanks my friend!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Summer Lightning

New Painting
Summer Lightning

This one was great FUN to do! It has 2 Fibonacci Series hidden beneath the top. There are two series of circles, one very light, one medium light, running diagonally; then very dark underpainting in the areas not covered by the circles. All of this was done before any of the top painting - Oh, I did mask the lightning itself. Over the top went all the rest of the layers upon layers of watercolor. (I love using watercolor in a manner that looks not so much like watercolor.) And, I allowed the paint to determine where "trees" would be, where "rock" would be, etc. Well, I had a general idea of where stuff should end up and put the colors there, but the paint decided how to flow, where to pool, etc. At times the whole thing was so wet the paper was buckling and looking pretty iffy. But, it would dry flat, and suddenly there would be trees or rock or fire.

And, I like the "feel" of this one. I love lightning and storms, especially how they feel so powerful. Quite cool, huh? It's 12 x 16, watercolor on paper, unframed. $250

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Weather Series - Painting HEAT

Unlike a storm scene as portrayed in the featured painting, Foothill Storm, HEAT never feels expansive to me. Perhaps like the various desert dwellers of the world, I feel the need to seek shelter from the sun and the heat it carries. (Did you know that in most countries where desert heat and lack of water typifies their landscape darkness and shadow are not metaphors for evil, etc., but rather for shelter?)

I digress. I've struggled with how to convey a sense of heat in a painting. My brain was stuck on "scene", and I just couldn't come up with one that worked for me. Finally, I put it out of my mind; and as usual, that gave the Muse of the Universe room to work. We've had at least two weeks of terrible, horrible, awful heat, giving me the feel of what I've been searching to find. Then, my ongoing health issues were caused to flare by the unremitting heat, causing me to stay in and find time to paint. Then, while sorting through old photos of New Mexico to show a friend, I stumbled upon some I'd taken of cattle including a massive bull resting alone. I already had a photo from here with the long shadows cast by an off-stage old oak. All of this caused me to pull my vision in for a more close up view, giving me the image I wanted:

I've also been playing a bit with underpainting that is unrelated to the scene itself. I elected to do a Fibonacci series of bands of shades of browns running top to bottom and left to right. The bands don't show in the final painting, yet they somehow give some extra dimension and depth to the watercolor. I stuck with a very limited palette to maintain the washed-out feel that summer brings to our part of the world.

So, he's called Resting in Shadow. At 12 X 16 inches, not a large painting. Watercolor on paper. Priced at $200.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hard at work!

I've been very, very busy getting shops up and running on Etsy, 1000markets, Imagekind, and Cafepress. Each has a focus, and I have work left to do on all.
Etsy has many handmade items. I'm not sure how well original art sells there.
1000markets is a great place for original art. Let's hope buyers find me!
Imagekind is a great place to buy prints, framed or not.
And, Cafepress is really good for "stuff" - t-shirts, cards, etc. - and only has the beginnings of a Fiona shop so far.

Check out "other places you'll find me" to the right for each!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The other side of me

Aside from Art with a capital A I like to do fun things. Sometimes it's garden art; sometimes it's something recycled; and sometimes it's Fiona.

I've done a series of Fiona's Fairy Filosofy full of little sayings from the uplifting to the silly; and, if I can ever master Cafepress, she will soon appear in all her glory in a "store".

Fiona appeared about a year and a half ago from nowhere. I think I was going through a bit of depression and she popped up from my unconscious or the universe or a god of one form or another to remind me that life can be easy if I let it. Once she made her appearance, I couldn't turn her off! She continues to send me little blurbs to be turned into cartoons - an art form I've never, ever had an interest in!

Once I have Fiona's store up and running, I plan to work on her counterpart. He doesn't have a name yet, and I'm open to suggestion on that; but he will have sarcastic little sayings like "it's always darkest right before it turns pitch black." That, by the way, is courtesy of my husband who tends to supply me with all the sarcasm one could want! And, what to do with all that - paint it of course!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Pondering, pondering. . . .

This photo, taken out my kitchen window (and, yes, I know it needs to be washed) shows maybe a third of the quail who visited our yard yesterday evening. They like to come in for a drink out of the little fountain before disappearing for the night.

So, do I paint this despite having "finished" the quail series? Do I paint it as a single, or as the start of another series? But, what about the weather series that I'm in the middle of? Too many things that call out to be painted & not enough time (or talent) to paint them all!

And this is my new wreath. After a gift of a big bunch of lavender from a friend I went out to my own garden today for cuttings of rosemary, oregano, majorum, dill & probably a couple of things I've forgotten. A few years ago my patient husband took up the challenge of making a form for me to use in making the type of wreaths that are not built on a pre-made base. It works.

So, did I hang it in the kitchen? No, silly, it's in the master bath where it's nice to have a sense of perfume in the air. And, it looks marvy against the very pale sage walls that appear white in the photo. Enough lavender blooms, just the tiny, tiny tips, fell off in the process to fill a good sized clam shell & sit by my bed. Mmmmmmm.

So, still pondering, when will I get to the living room and dining room rugs that I just bought a carpet shampooer for? Not today.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Dormant grasses the color of ripe wheat; deep shadows cast by ancient oaks; moss on rocks turned brown; buckeye trees shedding their leaves - it's summer in the foothills of the Sierra.

Next in the weather series will be HEAT. I think I'll take a drive up to Mineral King (by the way, did you see the mention in Sunset magazine of this local wonder?) and take a few more photos.

Capturing the feel of Foothill Storm was an interesting challenge; capturing HEAT will be at least as tough. Perhaps having grown up on a farm and lived the effects of weather - hail destroying a wheat crop, too much rain flooding out a field, too little rain leaving no crop - is why I've always had the fascination with weather.

And, isn't inspiration a funny thing? We take it where we find it. For some it's in beautiful flowers; for others in music or dance. Mine often is pulled from good ol' Mom Nature. Yep, Mom, not Mother. We're close enough to be pretty casual with each other.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Painting Weather

Ya know, painting weather is rather like trying to paint a mood. It ain't easy!

There are times that the clouds and the peaks are hard to differentiate! Clouds and mist and rain seem to float over the peaks, making it impossible to tell where one begins and the other ends. Rain moves over the mountains and foothills, and one can see it fall in sheets when seen from a distance. The whole feeling is moody and yet powerful and almost sensual.

And, working with acrylic on watercolor paper is a fun challenge. I limited myself to primary colors plus a tad of white and a smaller tad of black, lots of water, some matte medium and some gesso - along with the occasional song and a prayer. One of the really nice things about working with acrylic in a watercolor style is that it is so much easier to layer. The first layers don't rub off or get too wet when new color is added on top.

I'm not sure if I'm next going to do a snow scene or a scene of the hot, arid summers. Gotta think about it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Working on the painting of stormy weather is proving very, very frustrating. I have in my head a clear vision of what I want on the paper, but what's coming off the brush and onto the paper is nothing like that! It seems that my vision outstrips my ability. So, practice, practice, practice. And, like a spoiled brat, my "inner child" (who I often threaten to put up for adoption) wants to simply grab finger paints and start slinging!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Thoughts for a new painting

Clouds over the Sierra

We've had the strangest weather for June in the Sierra Nevada foothills! We had 3/4 inch of rain at our house between midnight and about 10 AM, and all day there have been heavy looking big gray clouds over the peaks.

It's got me thinking about painting weather. Mountain weather, foothill weather, strange weather, just weather.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Art and Nature and a bit of Joy

Do you see art here? One of the funnel web spiders, and I don't know enough to say which, has created a lovely web leading to his/her in-ground tunnel. These amazingly intricate webs manage to be both delicate and strong at the same time. Saw this while out walking dogs.

And, our little friend Hunter the Weimaraner (yep, I had to look up the spelling) racing to greet us. Hunter is pure joy and energy. He's a part of our morning routine too. Don't you wish you knew a human happy enough at seeing you to become airborne racing to meet you?

I have to water again today; and that 2 or 3 hour task done out in the heat usually zaps me to the point that I can't paint. I'm hoping to finish early.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Off to the Printer!

Here's The Covey. I'd "finished" it last week, then decided to do one last thing - and ruined it! So, a re-do, ta-da!

That's been often the story of not just my painting, but even my life. That one last thing makes me late, is the one thing I shouldn't have said, is the final bite that makes me feel sick, etc., etc., etc.

Wonder if I'll ever learn that lesson? Hasn't happened so far and I'm - - let's just say mature in years!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Quail painting series

OK, I've decided to quail series is to have very simple names for each painting.

The first is The Guardian

Second is The Pair

Third, that would be this one, is The Flight

And, I'm sketching out # 4 which will be The Covey.

As soon as it is done, I need to get them off to the printer to have note cards made, then put the originals on my web site - - and offer the originals for sale.

It's funny; whenever I get rolling on a series, the paintings come quickly. And, when I'm stuck, well, I'm just stuck.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Quail painting # 2 - I'm not sure yet what I'm calling it. Nesting would be easy but boring. Hmmm. . . . I think of the male as really strutting his stuff, but I haven't come up with a good title in that vein.

And, I need to get more watercolor paper when we're in town tomorrow. So, maybe I'll keep going on quail until it's out of my system.

Two more are generally in my brain, but not yet on paper. They'll get there.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Quazy for Quail

OK, I know I shouldn't put up a picture of an unfinished painting, but I can't resist. I love quail! Love them, you hear! So, I'm doing a series of quail paintings, probably 4, and will have note cards made.

This one is called The Watcher. I've got the next number sketched out. It's going to be a close up of two quail, male and female, with the male in his breeding plumage and looking like he's strutting his stuff.

Sometimes one can't fight where their head is, and right now, I just can't get mine out of the way enough to work in abstract. So a quail series it is.

And, in another area of creative endeavor, I just made a vegetarian paella for dinner. My husband found the recipe in a bicycle magazine of all places! It's got a bunch of ingredients, takes many steps, uses several pans, took a full hour, and is totally worth the effort!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Out of my mind

I so much want to work in an abstract way, and I want to paint feelings rather than things. But, I've only managed that semi-successfully a couple of times. Usually when I start out to do that, my mind gets in the way and I end up forcing what that busy body wants me to see.

I'm giving thought to painting when I'm exhausted, painting in the dark, painting with my eyes closed, etc., etc., etc., as a way of breaking out of the control of my mind. Of course, it's my mind that has come up with those ideas. Hmmmmm.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Does it have to be Art with a capital A?

When people talk about ART it often takes on the feel of awe - think Michelangelo, think stuffy museums - and the eyes of many glaze over as they quickly lose interest. It doesn't have to be like that! If one can let go of the idea of making a mess, or worse yet making a "mistake", art can have a small A and enter all aspects of living.

For example, these candle holders are made from old water valves found for a quarter each at a garage sale. My husband cleaned them up, attached them to a board and affixed a nail to the handle portion of each. Viola! Love, love, love the idea of fire and water combined.

And this plant rooter, marble holder gizmo - a technical term if ever there was one - was created from parts of a broken chandelier. One of my oldest and dearest friends sent the chandelier for use in our home as we were building. It broke in transit, and we had to get another. But a few rescued pieces combined into this creation, and yes, it is waterproof!

This piece could be called Rock Around the Clock or possibly Doing Hard Time. In the area where we lived in New Mexico this type of red rock naturally breaks into thin slices. The splotches are lichen. After getting my husband to drill them for me, I created several clocks that were used as Christmas gifts that year.

And this little piece is a wreath made of succulents - easy to do, hard to kill, and just plain fun. It's now blooming. The two old wooden wheels were purchased at a junk store.

The thing is that giving my imagination free reign now and then takes me to interesting places and comes up with pieces of small-A art that can grace my life in unexpected ways. This in turn can jump-start the creative process to get me back painting! It's all connected.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Living the Artistic Life

I have a painting stuck in my brain that is about ready to start pouring forth, but first I have to put my studio back together. A family visit with more people here that would fit in the guest room turned the studio into a kids' room for the duration.

I seem to be stuck, mired even, in a place of too many ideas rushing through my head. There are several outdoor or garden art projects in there, and of course the gardening itself to be done. There is the book that needs work before sending off to one or more agents. And, there is a new painting idea.

That other life, the one with laundry and bathing dogs and cooking and cleaning, keeps intruding.

If you are so inclined, check out my web site at Click here.