Friday, September 30, 2011

Day 69, Painting a Day

Cela est une pipe, 5x7, colored pencil on paper

This is the second in my smoking paraphernalia series, The first one was of the smoking cigar. Now, I don't smoke, though I have tried it only to be completely unable to find the enjoyment in it. But, my husband does makes it look relaxing and like something you'd want to do. He inspired this series.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Day 68, Painting a Day

Pumpkins, 8x8, mixed media

So much for short cuts! Like I said on Facebook, life is full of lessons, isn't it?
One colored pencil artist advocated blending colored pencil with just a little odorless mineral spirits on a nylon brush. I followed her directions exactly, but was not at all happy with what it did to the paper. It ruined it in my opinion, and I had to work 3 times as hard to get a good effect, but even that was hampered. The paper lost it's tooth, and you need a paper with good tooth when you work with pencil or pastels.

Still, I am pleased with the finished product. Happy Fall!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Day 67, Painting a Day

Bottles and Plant...Practicing several techniques. 9x12, mixed media

On second inspection, this isn't bad. It's slightly abstracted, mixed media, mindful of Matisse... labor intensive. When I was through I was sort of discouraged and thought, "Meh."... But that is the wrong attitude to take while playing/learning.

You can't win them all, but I learned a lot today. And I am choosing to appreciate the results and realize there is room to grow! :-) Good night, y'all.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Day 66, Painting a Day

Quatre poires, my tribute to Matisse's style. 5x7, colored pencil on paper

I am reading a wonderful book on Henri Matisse, one of my favorite painters because he is so fun! Studying his work is giving me more permission to play and have a little more fun with the art. Between impressionism and expressionism there was a four year period called the fauvist movement. He was, arguably, the top leader of this movement.
Fauvism is characterized by a slightly abstracted subject and an emphasis on bright fields of color. He took his work to one of his painting heroes, Renoir, and asked for his opinion. Remember, these are the French about 100 years ago...
Renoir told him he did not like his work, that he was almost tempted to say he was a bad artist and a bad painter, but the perspective lines were all correct and so he couldn't say that... then he marveled at Henri's use of black.
Renoir had abolished black from his palette because he didn't want to create a void in his painting. He was impressed at Matisse's effective use of black lines.
Well, I'm torn between these two artists, as they are both in my top 5 favorites, but I think Matisse's work is the most fun and I love how unselfconscious it is.
These four pears were just plain fun, and it shows.

Day 65, Painting a Day

Bowl of Apples, 9x12, colored pencil on paper

Day 64, Painting a Day

Apples, 5x7, pencil on paper

Day 63, Painting a Day

More Pears, 9x12, colored pencil on paper

Day 62, Painting a Day

Pears after Matisse, 5x7, colored pencil on paper

Day 61

Pomegranates, 5x7, colored pencil on paper

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day 60, Painting a Day

1776, 5x7, colored pencil on paper

Okay. This would have been much better if I would have worked bigger. I'll chalk another one to experience learning. I will try a variation of this 8x8. It wanted to be bigger and was actually kind of hard to work so tiny. Still it was fun.

Goodbye, Historic Triangle, VA!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Day 59, Painting a Day

(Patriotic) Pomegranate, 5x7, colored pencil on paper

Today, My husband and I went to Colonial Williamsburg (highly recommend). I didn't bring my art things, so I was concerned that this would be another bad art day. Then I saw the beautiful pomegranate tree in one of the colonial fenced gardens. I shot a photo (too hard to do still life when traveling) and just knew what to do once I got home!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Day 58, Painting a Day

Coffee and Creamer, 5x7, colored pencil on paper

This is day 2 of producing work I'm not happy with. I even abandoned one project, because it was really a line drawing that called for a point much finer than my colored pencils could provide. It was becoming an exercise in futility! At least I recognized that and quit knocking my head up against a wall. For that, Yay to me!

Later today, I am going to complete my application to a low-residency MFA program in Boston. It's not an online degree. It's really a cool opportunity offered through Lesley University.

Will post today's (bleak) photo as soon as possible.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 57, Painting a Day

Acorns, 5x7, colored pencil on paper

I don't believe in apologizing for the quality of my work when it isn't tops, but I was needed elsewhere, and that's where my creative energy went tonight. Still, It's very important to me to keep this commitment/promise I made to myself, so this represents about an hour's work. If I can think of a way of improving it at a later date, I will.

Love you all.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day 56, Painting a Day

Fortune Cookie, 5x7, Colored pencil on paper

This girl is exhausted! Maybe it's road trip fatigue or dehydration, but going to bed feels so good tonight!

When I was in California, I got a fortune cookie that said "Friends long absent are coming back to you." Now, I put zero stock in fortune cookies, but this one proved true. I haven't seen my friend, Chris aka T.C., in 31 years. It is so good to see her and meet her family. Her daughter, Alice, suggested I do a fortune cookie, because she knew I needed something that wouldn't be terribly time consuming because I'm tired. Her idea, the fact that we ate yummy Chinese food tonight, and the 'fulfillment' of that California cookie's prediction made me say, "Yes! That is today's subject."

Thanks for checking in.

Blissfully Away From it All

I am so very grateful to a very dear woman in my life who opened her home to us at a time where we have a lot of things we need to sort out. I am now away from it all and so we're hoping to think straighter than we could at home.
I haven't seen my friend in 30 years, and have God and Facebook to thank for this reunion. She may never know the vast impact she's had in my life, but she's someone I love and admire and whom I'm elated to introduce to Michael and vice-versa. I know I wouldn't be who I am today had it not been for the love, guidance and mentoring she provided thirty years ago. I learn just by watching her now. Michael sees how wonderful she is, too.
Those of you who may be reading. Please pray that we have wisdom while we make some huge decisions in this crossroads we find ourselves in. And Thanks.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Day 55, Painting a Day

Burning Cigar, 5x7, colored pencil on paper

Today's work was done in honor of Michael, my husband, who loves a good cigar. He gave input, corrected me on the nuances of my cigar's image and suggested employing the burned match. It's a fun composition, and hopefully, tonight I can catch up with posting my photos. Cheers, all.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Friday, September 09, 2011

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Day 50, Painting a Day

Bell Peppers of Peace, 8x8, colored pencil on paper

Yesterday's sea turtle was a lot of work simply because I chose the wrong paper. So today, I looked for a simple, pleasing subject and had fun with it. I enjoyed almost everything about this drawing. This one took about 3 hours compared to yesterday's six.

I felt relatively peaceful today as I worked on these peppers, thus, the title. Thanks for dropping in.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Day 49, Painting a Day

Sea Turtle, 9"x12", colored pencil on pastel paper

This one is a bit autobiographical. Just keep swimming... What's ahead? Slow and steady wins the race. This was difficult to photograph because of the size.

Next Day: This one took so long and it's only okay. Why? Wrong paper, the colored pencil just couldn't fill the tooth. Note to self: Pastel paper is for pastels,,,maybe charcoal, too.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Day 48, Painting a Day

Lita's Magnolia Tree, 8x8, colored pencil on paper.

I did this one by request. My parents recently bought a home, and my mother particularly loves the Magnolia tree in the front lawn. She asked me to use it as a subject. And here it is!

Leaves, individual leaves that is, drive me crazy. But in a portrait of a tree the most important characteristic is the tree's shape. It would have detracted from the painting to define individual leaves, as you couldn't discern them from the distance from the subject anyways.

I love trees. And am going to hunt down Joyce Kilmer's (1886-1977) poem, Trees and post it.


I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast.

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Day 47, Painting a Day

Coconuts, Fresh and Pure, 8x8, colored pencil on paper.

I am pleased with these results. I could infuse some orange to warm it up, but I am going to try to leave the colors relatively cool for now to see if I like them that way.

Day 47, and what am I learning? I'm learning that practice and perseverance pay off. My vision is getting honed, I can feel it. I can sketch the shapes and position of shapes faster than I used to. I'm learning that a daily discipline like this can be a friend when so many other things around me are unpredictable and in flux. And that is a comfort and a help.

God continues to amaze me more and more. Even when the most trustworthy routine or relationship fails and you become terribly world weary, he never changes. He is always faithful. Never duplistic, more present in our circumstances than even we are. Circumstances can become bewildering, but, if we know who holds our future, we can have peace.

In some ways hard circumstances are like coconuts:
On the outside, they look dry, hairy, woody, uninviting and inedible. But, once you crack one open, you find it is filled with delicious, highly hydrating milk. Nourishment. The simplicity of the brown and white color is soothing, the fruit in it's freshest form tastes great. It is not what it appeared. A deeper look into God's plan through our troubles may yield a similar result.

As an aside, I happen to not be a fan of processed coconut... It's nothing like the freshly split fruit. But if you've ever had the fresh variety... you know your body responds well to what it offers.

This is in no way my best piece of prose, in fact, it's kind of disjointed. But at the moment, so am I. So, I will let this stand. Thanks for checking in.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Friday, September 02, 2011

Day 45, Painting a Day

Possibilities, 8x8, colored pencil on paper

Thanks for checking in.
This is the best commencement speech I have ever heard. I think this way...but his results are ever so much more lucrative and public....That's okay. He didn't set out for fame and fortune: He set out to follow his heart, and he got them anyways.
I'm not looking for fame and fortune, either...but to love my life and live as the unique creation I am. I'm glad we live in a time when we get to here this too, not just those fortunate graduates that day.

Here it is:
I am retitling it, "How to Live"

Let me know what you think. Enjoy!!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Day 44, Painting a Day

Another go-go-go day over at cafeglover. Before we knew it, we had run errands and it was 3:00 p.m. already. I spent about 3 hours on this little drawing. It's not particuliarly inspired, but it is practice and perserverance... 3 drops in the bucket of my 10,000 drops to achieve mastery. My mind was unruly throughout the creation of this drawing, but I finally pulled it together in the last hour. I am glad I'm done for the day. Some days are like that.. like going to the gym and getting on the treadmill even though you'd rather not. Overcoming lethargy is a victory in and of itself. Today's drawing? check.