Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Stretch



"What we think determines what happens to us, so if we want to change our lives, 
we need to stretch our minds," Wayne Dyer



My Serenade, 16 x 12



Something About It, 12 x 16


Oh Winter -- Go Away!  Now, here in Atlanta, spring should be all around; instead, it's windy and quite cold, at a usual time of warmth and sweet shiny sun.  
The sun, however, IS shining in my studio, no matter the weather, as I am painting more --
I have three times my old space; three easels are set up.  
Stretching my limbs literally in the morning can lead to a stretch of my painting self ... well, why not?  
The above oil sketches were done with an eggbert brush (new tool for me); the top one was done from a model photo and the bottom from a life set up of David Austin roses.  This long-handled and lean eggbert brush helps me to doodle with paint in a fine and random fashion; now that is some FUN!
Of course, my most-loved, go-to brush is a Rosemary Ivory flat, but adding the delightfully loose eggbert to the mix is a stretch...just what the doctor ordered!



"I'm going to Australia, but first I've got to put my swimsuit on and stretch," Jarod Kintz



Thursday, February 27, 2014

Interpretation - Let's Dance!





Sing to Me, 40 x 30




Photo of Set Up


We may be painting from LIFE, whether in the studio, with a model, or in the field, but it is the translation that makes magic.  I want to use what is before me: what is real and true and actually there!  BUT ...  more importantly, what can I leave out -- it's the "leaving out" that creates freshness, lets the viewer participate, and that keeps it painterly!  Oh, it's a fine dance, non?

I've been busy this month: I taught a workshop at Quinlan Art Center in Gainesville, GA and then 2 days last week in St. Simons Island, GA; both were truly a great cure for the winter blahs.  
These painters were just what the doctor ordered -- they lifted me UP with their willingness to try new things and their inspired paintings.
After hibernating during January and much of February (with unusually cold and snowy times in Atlanta), I found these gatherings to be wonderful! 



 Wonder, 12 x 12


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Intuition - Painting with Joy


Afternoon Impressions, 12 x 16


“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” 
― Rumi



I have been liking two recent Oil Painters of America blogs on "Dancing with the Angels," or being in the zone (http://blog.oilpaintersofamerica.com).  Feeling distinctly out of that intuitive place lately, I have been giving thought to finding the way - if not to the "zone," at least to ease and joy :-)

SO,

Back to the Drawing Board (literally) --  I've been doing gesture drawings or studies, of everything -- photos of kids, Michael's hand, drooping roses, the bushes in my snowy Atlanta yard.

Making Lists of All Things Positive -- I've been lying in bed each morning appreciating everything.

Getting Up Earlier and Doing New Workouts -- which makes me feel strong and on top of it.

Remembering This:  the most important goal is to be joyful in LIFE, then all else will flow.



Little Bits 


Sketch, 12 x 9

Pink Purse, demo, 12 x 9


Blue Bowl, 8 x 6



 Lenten Roses,  demo, 12 x 12




 Sarah, demo, 12 x 9



 Sarah and Eli, gesture sketch, 12 x 9

Living mindfully, I shall reach for joy by meditating, drawing, playing, interacting, walking, thinking, looking at fine work, trying new things, and just by letting myself stumble so I can get up and fly higher.
 
And most importantly, I shall keep looking out the windshield, not the rear-view mirror!


















Sunday, December 29, 2013

Transformations






"I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else," 
Pablo Picasso



 Soft Morning (detail), 12 x 12,
which is a re-do of


this one





  Another switcheroo...

Party of Three, 16 x 12, 
which is a crop and re-touch of 


this one





Yet more changes ....


During December, I have moved my home studio from the main level to the lower level - and wow, I should have done this years ago!  Light is streaming in - so much that I need to "manage" it, and I can easily do several paintings at once.  There's even room for small "intensives," i.e. little workshops -- chez moi.  


 Shiny New Space



Empty former studio, which was about 11 x 10; I truly
do not know how all of my stuff was in there, but it was --
for about 12 years!




Woohoo




The painting over fireplace is yet another re-do: it used to be 48 x 48; 
now it's cropped, re-stretched, with background adjusted.



Far off is a gift box on the set-up table - at least I can't see too many details :-) 
Also I could move my easel.




Meanwhile, a new year approaches, life changes, and I'm hoping to be flexible and to welcome things not yet known.  Painting offers a unique opportunity to rip it up and fly -- after all, it's just paint!



A tentative drawing...




can become a more confident painting




Fresh roses, bathed in light




 often become lovely when dry and drooping a bit ...



"Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish," Michelangelo








Monday, November 25, 2013

Same Song, Different Verse

 Charlie, 12 x 9




Just One More, 12 x 9




La Petite, 12 x 9




From My Heart, 12 x 12




Les Roses Parisiennes, 40 x 40



I guess it's time to admit that I have a fondness for certain subjects... duh!   Though I really want to paint interiors, landscapes, all kinds of things -- when I'm in my favorite studio spot, many times I honor my desire to explore subjects often visited.  Lately as well, a fondness for the pale pale pale aesthetic is infusing my work, and I am running with it!  

"A thimbleful of red is redder than a bucketful," Henri Matisse

"The greatest painting has always been made from a real love of the subject," John Minton


Sunday, October 27, 2013

What It's All About



Little girl spotted near the carousel in Avignon




30 minute workshop demo (10/19/13) of la petite fille, 12 x 12


It's a bit new to be painting again... after traveling lots during the month of September, October has flown past with another trip, a great workshop, and getting (re) acclimated to my studio.  Wish I could just buzz in there and create good paintings, but I'm not sure right now that I know what that might be! My eye/taste/expectations are always shifting, which is good, but keeping up with painting commitments can be a challenge when I'm trying to keep up with myself.

As many know, all is put into perspective after reading Robert Genn's recent post on his illness (http://clicks.robertgenn.com/the-bomb.php); I have been thinking often of his wonderful articulation of the painter's life, his consistency with the twice-weekly letters, and of the humble truth that he speaks.
I am re-committed to painting from my heart, rather than to deadlines...only those inspired pieces ever speak to me or to the viewer anyway!

I celebrate and so appreciate this journey.







Friday, October 4, 2013

L'Air du Provence




Corner of Les Murets, 6 x 6, Color study, late afternoon



Simple Color Notes, Les Murets, late afternoon


Color Study, Mt Ste Victoire, 6 x 6


Quick Gesture and Color Demo. Late Afternoon, Les Murets, 9 x 12






Something about Provence, a certain je ne sais quoi -- perhaps the dry air contains fairy dust -- produces an incredible synergy that lifted all spirits last week during our trip to Les Murets, Ann Huff's hilltop mas near Gordes that serves as our home base.

My words can not adequately describe the feelings that we (8 wise and amazing women, all painters, plus me) experienced as each day built upon the last.  I'm still pinching myself and holding the memories tight.

We enjoyed charming restaurant lunches, rose wine, outdoor dinners at home, walks, talks, market visits, a meeting with French artiste Andree Thobaty -- and we did actually paint along the way!

Our painting mission was to do color studies, and to focus on the large shapes; we were not concerned with  creating "completed" works.  Instead, the goal was to capture l'essence of this special place.

As so aptly put by designer Norma Kamali in a recent newspaper article: "If there were a description of what heaven looks like, I would say this [Provence] is it."  


Below are just a few shining examples of the fine studies done by my fellow travelers last week:    

Caseneuve Morning, 8 x 10, Mary Muir


Mt Sainte Victoire, 12 x 16, Suzy Dmetruk


Caseneuve Doorway,  12 x 9, Debbie Bruce


Caseneuve Vista, Ann Currey, 8 x 8
Color notes taken first are on the left!


Captured View,  Eygalieres, 10 x 8,  Dawn Douglas


Vineyard near Aix, 8 x 10,  Dianne Williams


Morning Light, Mt Sainte Victoire, 10 x 12,  Sandy Cox


Mt. Sainte Victoire, Color Notes on right, 8 x 10,  Martha Elder


I am flying high right now, despite a bit of jet lag -- such beautiful times with like-minded friends, seeing through the eyes of all of the artists who have traveled the path before us; for me, that's the magic of this art life...  Sante, mes amies!