Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Cryptic Quotes

Paint the way a bird sings.   Claude Monet
"Hummingbird Angel" Watercolor on wrinkled paper, 23" x 30"

What does that mean?  Paint the way a bird sings… in the open air?  But birds also sing in captivity.  Paint the way a bird sings… happy and carefree?  Maybe.  But I find most artists create from a place of real suffering and drive… that seems very little like “happy and carefree”, don’t you think?  Paint the way a bird sings, just because he feels like it?  I don’t know about that either.  Much of the time, I don’t really feel in the mood but once I begin painting and creating, it begins to take over and flow out of me.   So for me, the mood doesn’t make the painting, the painting makes the mood.  Paint the way a bird sings, out of sight, out of reach, but still noticeable?  Maybe.  I love the seclusion of art.  I love creating behind closed doors and away from prying eyes, constant critics, and the mundane of the horrific national news.  I love that it can carry me away to heights and places no one else can go.  Maybe that’s what Monet meant.  But who knows.  Sometimes I think artists are cryptic on purpose just to keep people off balance.


What do you think?

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Monochromatic Painting



Ever try a monochromatic painting.  That is painting with only one hue plus black and white?  There are lots of cases where it can be very successful.  Still it can be confusing.  I did a painting once using mostly blues plus white and black.  My friends trying to be helpful, said I needed to add some warm color to the highlights, so I added a little yellow.  Still my elderly and very experienced friend said it need more warmth in the highlights.  I added still more yellows.  In the end, I wish I had left it alone entirely because now it was just a yellow and blue painting that looked strange no matter how you view it.

What do you think?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Art Show Judging

Okay so I didn’t win anything on the Sleeping Beauty collage but I won a 3rd place on the Red Girl collage instead.  It is always hard to know what the judges are thinking.  I know that one of the judges finds my collages to be too abstract to be properly considered representational.  However I love the effect and the challenge of the hard edges as well as the search for just the right color combination.  Still, I’m happy with a 3rd place as opposed to none at all.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Sleeping Beauty Collage

I originally created this concept for my children’s book but left the background blank.  To enter it in the art show I made a few changes and added the background papers to make it complete looking.  I love this one.  I think she is adorable.  Hoping that this will win an award this weekend.  We shall see.


Wish me luck.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Blues Hit

What do you do when it seems like you wake up in a blue mood?  It could be hormonal.  It could be circumstances or a series of unfortunate events.  It could be the calendar.  I always seem to be blue right before a holiday.  I am sure the stinkin’ holiday won’t live up to the hype or commercial overtones.  My kids won’t call or I won’t be affording a single present I desired.  Even my little dog seems like a pest and not a comfort when I get like this.

Whatever the reason, the blues come to us all from time to time.  It’s a part of life.  Plus as an artist, we tend to be more emotional than most and feel things more deeply than most.  So what do you do when you just can’t seem to put on a happy face?  Sit down and pout?  Slam doors?  Stay in bed?  Eat a gallon of ice cream?  All of the above?  I find that none of these options gets me anywhere.  No one pets my pity party the way I want them to so why bother.  There are a few things I have found that help.

1.     I like to pull out a new project that I’ve wanted to do or thought of doing for a while.  For instance, I had been working non-stop on a children’s book recently but in the back of my mind, I thought when I had the time I would sew some new tops for myself.  Totally unrelated to the children’s book, but creative nonetheless.  The whole process of using a completely different discipline helped me see the world in a different, less blue, light.
2.     Sometimes it helps to get out and do something physical.  I wonder if the blues aren’t part of the physique telling you that you have need of light and fresh air.  Taking a walk in a park or garden helps.  Go to the beach if you can.  Take a drive with the windows open.  Sit quietly beside the community pool and listen to the birds.  When is the last time you just sat quietly and listened to birds?  Go to the library with no particular research project in mind and walk among the shelves just waiting for something to catch your eye.  This one is one of my favorites because I’m such and avid reader and researcher.  Sometimes it is refreshing to go with no agenda.
3.     Try changing your diet.  A complete change for a day with often flush the system of toxins.  Try no meat for a day or a week.  Try fresh vegetables or even juice some fresh fruits and vegetables together for a change of pace.  I know I will get in a rut eating the same breads and pastas all winter and I’m ready for a dietary shake-up.
4.     Pull out a favorite movie and just relax doing nothing for a couple hours.  Remember to stay away from the tear-jerkers at a time like this.  Even romance can bring you down if the focus of your blues is your spouse.  For a real pick-me-up, try comedy.  The best are the OLD comedies.  Grab a Charlie Chaplin movie or Laurel and Hardy to put a smile on your face.  There is nothing better.


If you have another remedy that works for you, I’d love to hear about it.  On this day before Mother’s Day, I wish all you mothers out there the very best, whether or not your children call you or even send a card.  You know the work you did even if they don’t.