I'm pleased to share that my painting Off The Rails was accepted for the National Watercolor Society's 101st International Open Exhibition. Hooray! This exhibit will be held online from October 1 through December 11, 2021. Make a note in your calendar to see the exhibit on these dates at the NWS website.
In other news, by the end of April we were fully vaccinated at our house! So few are vaccinated in our area though that it continues to limit our activities and we still mask up. I'm pretty much used to that now and it really helps during the spring allergy/asthma nightmare. Back to my brushes.
"Perhaps the safest prediction we can make about the future is that it will surprise us." - George Leonard
I'm pleased to share that my painting The Tools of Color and Line has been selected to receive the Watercolor USA Honor Society Daniel Smith Merchandise Award in this year's Watercolor USA. My thanks to the judges Alicia Farris and John Fitzgibbon for this honor. Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions, there will not be an opening reception this year. If you are in the area you will be able to see the show in person following stated guidelines. (Thank you to the Springfield Art Museum for continuing to keep the staff and patrons safe!) The Museum is planning to do an online exhibit similar to last year. If you can't visit in person, be sure and check out the online exhibit instead. Back to my brushes.
"How can you know what you're capable of if you don't embrace the unknown?" - Esmeralda Santiago
I am pleased to share that my entry into the American Women Artists: Lifting the Sky National Online Juried Show was accepted. Hooray! You can access this show through the AWA website or google it. It is online now so check it out. Also, I am pleased to share that my entry in the American Women Artists: 2021 Spring Online Juried Show was accepted. This online exhibit will be available for viewing for one year, and should be online soon.
Also, I am pleased to share that my entry in the Watercolor USA 2021 exhibition was accepted. The exhibition opens to the public on June 5, 2021 and closes on August 29th, 2021. If you are in the area be sure and stop by the Springfield Art Museum to see the exhibit.
In other news...yes the pandemic continues, but hopefully vaccinations will become easier to obtain shortly. I don't know how I will be able to give up wearing sweatpants full time. I look forward to eating out and seeing my family again. Back to my brushes.
"Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold." - Leo Tolstoy
I'm pleased to share that jurist Ann Prentice Wagner has selected my entries for inclusion in the Arkansas committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts 2021-2022 Artist Registry. The works are in the process of being uploaded to their website and will go live soon.
In other news...nothing. I have been isolated for nearly a year now. I continue to paint and have had some successes, but must admit that my three latest paintings I discarded... or more accurately destroyed. That was difficult as it represents quite a large time frame. Such is life. Always moving forward.
On the upside, I want to encourage everyone to listen to Artcurious podcasts by Jennifer Dasal. What a treat! I started with the book and found it so entertaining I quickly moved on to the podcasts and haven't looked back. You can click here Artcurious podcasts where you can listen for free, or just google it. If you are anything like me you will love it. Also I have a couple of books to recommend! The Elgin Affair by Theodore Vrettos and The Raphael Affair by Iaian Pears. I may have already recommended the second, but it's a fun read, so why not. Back to my brushes.
"The advantage of working day and night is that you earn enough to pay the doctor when you break down." - Unknown
Self Isolation day 337
I have been working on a portrait for the last few weeks? I've lost track of time. The subject is almost totally in shadow so it is a little odd. And the tilt of the head is different. It is coming along, I don't know what else I can do to make it better so I am nearing the end of my patience with it. It is a small painting, just a half sheet. In hindsight, I think I would have preferred it even smaller. I don't usually think that, just the opposite, but this one I believe would translate more fully on a smaller scale. Perhaps I will try again, I'm not sure. I will begin something else soon. The weather has been gloomy, but this afternoon the sun came out which helped lift my mood. I haven't read anything worth mentioning unfortunately, but I plow through these books anyway. Back to my brushes.
"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan
Self Isolation: Day 306
So it's coming on New Years, they're throwing out trees... and I am ready to kick this year to the curb too. But it has not stopped me from living my best life. I suppose being an introvert has helped me, but even I am getting pretty tired of the same old walls for so long. No matter, I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year. Let's roll out these vaccines a little faster please.
I quietly enjoyed the Christmas holiday at home. I missed my family terribly. But I did enjoy tremendously the ornament sent from my tribe designed by another Choctaw artist Edmon Perkins. Celebrating the pottery firing, "a symbol of the warmth in the people's hearts". My tree is a celebration of our history and traditions. Also a shout-out of thanks to my niece who sent me this thoughtful gift of pen and paper for drawing! I haven't owned a fountain pen in...well, seems like forever. I look forward to using it. Perhaps a wood-cut print is in order, and I will use this pen and paper to draw it!
Accomplishments for 2020: I have completed 15 paintings and finished reading 43 books. I have not made anyone sick because of my actions. I'll call that a win.
So as 2021 approaches I think of the George Harrison song Here Comes the Sun whose lyrics (I paraphrase): "Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter; Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here; Here comes the sun; Here comes the sun, and I say; It's all right." Yup, that about wraps it up. Back to my brushes.
"The human quality Degas most admired was endurance." - John Berger
Self isolation - Day 259
Yeah, it's hard to stay isolated this long. I miss my family. Holiday celebrations together are cancelled. I continue to paint and have had some rewarding results with some of the things I have tried. I tested some new paper and some new paintbrushes, which is always grand fun. Hope you got a chance to see my painting in the 100th National Watercolor International Open Exhibition that was held virtually. If not you can see it on the NWS Facebook feed, or mine. Beyond that, the Marchvember landscape at my home is much the same. Wishing you all a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.
"Endurance is the crowning quality, and patience all the passion of great hearts." - James Russell Lowell
Self isolation/day 195.
If you would like to purchase the Visions Adjoin historic commemorative book you can purchase a copy through this link, or from the info listed above.
What have I been up to? I finished four small works and I have two new paintings that I will start to paint on today. Took awhile for me to draw them as they are both subject matters I don't normally tackle; but hey, after being isolated for 195 days I decided to turn my hand to some new ideas. Why not? Plus, I'm confident it will be fun. Who doesn't need more fun these days?
Also, for your reading enjoyment I'd like to recommend a book or two. Metropolitan Stories by Christine Coulson is just magical. Published in 2019 it is a quick read; but don't rush through them - savor them. If you have ever spent time at the Met, you will love the perspective. I enjoyed every story in this novel and it further verified some things from another book I read recently titled Stealing the Show by John Barelli and Zachary Schisgal (which I recommend as well). Back to my brushes.
"Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits." - Samuel Butler
Self isolation day 181.
I have two new series in production now. My usual inspiration route is to make a word sketch and then decide what to include in my still life paintings that will get the idea or message across to the viewer. I have a new series I call "The Signs" which uses this routine. But I also have another series started wherein I used a different inspiration which is highly unusual for me. I was inspired by a tube of paint color. I'm not usually inspired by any particular color - I love to paint with them all equally. But if inspired by a color it is usually a challenge like...do a red painting, or this works well for this subject matter. This was different. I first saw the color on a FaceBook post (you've seen them - the "guess what color" posts). But it stopped me in my tracks. This was it! It was the answer. If you paint you will know what I mean; you have something socked away but can't decide on the best way to produce it. "Hmmm, this would be better poured", or "That's not good enough. I'll hold onto it and use it later." So I ordered some of this paint, and I am happy to say I was not wrong. I have revisited some ideas I had only produced in miniature and thought they weren't good enough for a full-on painting. Now I am on my fourth painting and it has not failed to meet my expectations yet. So remember to keep your mind receptive. Don't just look; learn to see the possibilities. Back to my brushes.
"In creating, the only hard thing is to begin: a grass blade's no easier to make than an oak." - James Russell Lowell
Self-isolation day 147. I have finished another painting! I cannot put into words the measure of joy I feel at finishing this particular painting. I have wanted to paint this subject since 2012. I have tried on three separate occasions to do it, but although they were "okay" I was not satisfied with the results. I tried in 2013. I tried in 2016. I tried in 2018. I considered them each to be failures and set flame to them. I figured now was a good time to try again. To be honest, I had no reason to believe that it would be successful this time but decided to try again anyway. I chose to make it a little larger than a standard half-sheet this time, use a different paper, use different techniques, and switch up my palette. I considered that a failure wouldn't feel quite so devastating if I didn't waste so much on the cost of supplies. It was a straight-up gamble. I played it with the failures at the front and center of my thoughts. Let's be clear, that is a hard way to start anything; but it is a good way to move forward since I knew what I wasn't going to do. I focused on this painting solely for over a month. There were times I wanted to rush a segment but successfully tethered my anxieties and persevered. Let me be candid that it wasn't till near the end did I feel any confidence about this painting. When I thought it was complete I set it aside and did something else. I found myself picking it up and working on it about five times a day for the next three days. Finally I decided enough is enough - it is done. I signed it and took it off the board. What did I learn? Sometimes you just have to give yourself the time to mature and grow as an artist. I accept that my ideas will not always succeed. When you analyze your own failures the point is to rethink the equation and try again. The pivotal unknown is how much time that will take. So I am happy this particular painting was only eight years in the making. Cheers! Back to my brushes.
"Experience does not err. Only your judgements err by expecting from her what is not in her power." - Leonardo Da Vinci