Too Humid - May 30th, 2014
It is so humid today that my dry paper is damp. The sky clears and the sun comes out, then a cloud moves in and pours buckets of rain. Can't catch a break. So, I gave up painting today and ran errands instead. By the way, I bet Mr. Ballmer loses money on that basketball team. Back to my brushes.
"The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work." - Richard Bach
This piece is coming along. Super happy with the ground. I will be able to use this on many subjects. But, the humidity here has been stifling. It has taken four days to finish this part of the painting. I've had to resort to a heat gun AND a hairdryer to be able to keep progressing. I really hate using these implements, but I'm left little choice. But, I'm thrilled to have a successful outcome on this section. Is it finished? No. I will have to come back and finish it later but I feel that I need to get other parts in place. Here is a second story photo for your enjoyment today. Having trouble with an entry and so spent much time cursing the computer today. And after all that time I'm still not sure that it all worked. Frustrated again. Back to my brushes.
"Too many have dispensed with generosity in order to practice charity." - Albert Camus
Painting or Movie? - May 28, 2014
Today the choices were either paint or see a movie. I went to the afternoon showing of The Grand Budapest Hotel. What a gem. Back to my brushes.
"Love is the substance of all life. Everything is connected in love, absolutely everything. " - John Burroughs
I think I'm finished with this current abstract piece. I have it laying in another room getting completely flat again. I've signed it, which is a good sign it is at least near completion. Anything I do to it now is just clean-up. Actually, it is a realist piece of work; it just appears abstract in reality. I'm ready to move on. I have two unfinished pieces that I need to finish. But I am hankering to start something new. It is a beautiful morning here and would be a perfect day to either take photos or set up a still life. I have a new documentary to watch which I am looking forward to adding to my review page. For your perusal today I have chosen another building from downtown. I have a lot of these. I only took photos of the second floor. I wondered how many locals could actually tell me where these buildings are located with just a view of the second floor. Like in the movie ALIEN…we never look up. Of course this one is rather easy. Keep score and see how well you do. Just a different angle on our hometown. If you are not from here, I think you will still enjoy my photos of our charming little slice of Americana. Back to my brushes.
"The two most engaging powers of an author are, to make new things familiar and familiar things new." - Samuel Johnson
Fail. Nope, I didn't finish as I had planned. I just kept seeing things that I wanted to change. I gave up after eleven hours of painting yesterday. I hope to finish this work tomorrow, but no promises as I have other plans for the holiday weekend. This current painting is an abstract and has a somewhat impressionistic feel to it. I would describe the style as linear impressionism. A nice combination: color-wise it is somewhere between a Monet and a Signac; but it incorporates very organic shapes similar to a Matisse. Except, of course, it is a watercolor, not an oil or cutout. Not my normal subject matter or style of painting, but I have really enjoyed the change of pace. Trying a different style of painting is like cleansing your palette between food courses; it provides a fresh start.
For your visual enjoyment today I have included a photo of some paper flowers that I made and used for a still life. I have formulated another idea that I would like to try with these flowers and hopefully can incorporate them into a painting in the future. I have added another art documentary review, so be sure and check that out. Back to my brushes.
"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." - Yogi Berra
A Better Blog (?) - May 23, 2014
If you're wondering, I did finish listening to the webinar about making better blog posts. I waited till I had finished painting for the day and ate a late dinner, about 10 p.m. But I found that it made no difference what time I watched the video. The very act of watching two people talk to each other, one face at a time, is too wearing on my nerves. But I found a solution. I turned my back to the screen and pretended it was a radio broadcast. Sweet bliss, it were as though I was eavesdropping on a interesting conversation. So if you run into this problem as well, give my solution a try. What did I learn? In a nutshell: name your post, make them a little longer (apparently there is a magic number for words...which I never meet), show your personality, write about your work, write about yourself, add photos, don't worry too much about mistakes. Since I use my "blog" as more of a journal, I'm not sure if much of this will work for me. I must get back to work as I intend to finish this piece today - no fail. For your enjoyment I have posted a photo of my late grandmother's peach iris which has bloomed in my garden. Back to my brushes.
"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." - Mahatma Gandhi
One of the reasons that I paint is to capture a moment in time. While I’m painting, time is hurtling along outside my studio and awareness. So when I finally experience some outdoor time I can be delighted or saddened by the changes I run across. It was with sadness that I found closed the storefront that I painted last year. This is one of the reasons I like to add to my portfolio under the heading Local Flavor – because things change. Asked to define this painting for an exhibit last year, I gave the following explanation:
“In this painting about time, vestiges of the past harmonize with the present day in the reflection on the window of the storefront. The juxtaposition of past and present is further portrayed by the subject sitting on an old hand-hewn bench while using her smartphone on break. From opposite sides of the street, the reflection of the car and vine represent the future converging with today. Just as our present seems clear but the future is unknown, so appears the view through the window. “
I’ll probably never know the circumstances which caused the business to close. What I will remember is that on that particular day I met a very interesting character and for a moment got to share her dream. Back to my brushes.
“It is sheer good fortune to miss somebody long before they leave you.” - Toni Morrison
May 19, 2014
I watched a video recently (this morning) about making blog posts. Well, I watched the first sixteen minutes and then my head began to loll about on my neck. Not that there weren't good points to be gleaned in that time frame, but with any visual I have to be captivated by scenery first. Watching "Dinner with Andre" without a storyline is just tough; for me at least. So I had to weigh the use of my time vis-a-vis painting or watching the video. Getting my paintbrush in my hand won out. Perhaps the clear beautiful daylight streaming in the window was too much of a distraction. I'll give the video another shot when it is dark outside and my eyes are tired from concentrating all day. I'm sure anyone reading my blog/journal will appreciate the extra effort. Right? Following my own advice I have added a photo I took from downtown for your visual enjoyment of my blog/journal today. If you know the building…you're probably from here. Back to my brushes.
"When people have no other tyrant, their own public opinion becomes one." - Edward Bulwer-Lytton
May 17, 2014
So I thought I would finish the figural painting…but I didn't. I decided there are some things I could do to make it better. In the meantime, I am working on another piece and I have to admit I am really surprised at how well it is turning out. Way, way out of my comfort zone. I was told I couldn't do it. Naturally, I had to try. I'm really enjoying it. Reminds me of a song by the Dixie Chicks which says …"you gotta loosen up those chains and dance." I'm dancing. Back to my brushes.
"A purpose, an intention, a design, strikes everywhere even the careless, the most stupid thinker." - David Hume
May 15, 2014
I have been working on this piece about ten hours a day. It really isn't my genre, but I like to incorporate other subject matter into my portfolio. It gives me an opportunity to try new techniques and hone my skills. So this piece is figural. It is smaller than a half-sheet and has taken what seems like forever. But, I will most assuredly finish it today. What do I find fun about working with figures? I think it is the concentration level that is needed. The planes of the face are complex and thus interesting. There are over 32 layers of paint in the focal point. I gave up counting after 32. I'm very happy with the gritty nature of the painting. It is not a clean look. It is not a bright or happy painting. It declares its mood. Back to my brushes.
"Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system." - Bruce Lee