The newest thing in my life... I hurt my back and have been laying in bed as a result. On the bright side, that gave me a perfect opportunity to watch InArte Fabriano 2020 on YouTube which has been terrific! I enjoyed watching the online conference specifically. Not only did I enjoy seeing their faces, I liked the discussion. I look forward to watching more of the demos today. Look for the silver lining (there is a song in there somewhere). I am almost finished with a new full-size painting that I have taken-on specifically for my youngest, but will have to put off finishing it until my back recovers. It has turned out surprisingly well considering the subject matter. But there is always that point where I am ready to move on to the next painting but the current one isn't quite finished. I guess that happens to everyone? If I did more than one painting at a time I would never finish a painting. Is it boredom or anticipation? I'm guessing a bit of both. This current piece is pretty much a two-color painting again. I am not a fan. I like the result, (more importantly they like the result) but the drudgery of it just wears me down. I'll think about that tomorrow.
I think the highlight most recently has been that we got more yeast for making bread!!! That was a moment. Apparently in other parts of the state it is not an issue, but here - good luck. It has continued to rain as well, and that is wearisome. But focusing on good things I can recommend some books I have finished: Fool by Christopher Moore. I have never been disappointed by Moore; Euphoria by Lily King. Spoiler alert - the ending is sad; Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. I think this is the perfect time for this book; Still Lives by Maria Hummel. Art and mystery is my favorite combo; The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. I enjoyed the weaving of culture and story, very enjoyable. And some quick little mysteries The Curse of Braeburn Castle, The Black Cat Murders, and Murder at Melrose Court all by Karen Baugh Menuhin. Enjoyable, fast, and most importantly for me - some levity. Back to my brushes (hopefully tomorrow).
"He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying." - Nietzsche
I'm pleased to share that my painting The Nature of Tools has received an "Award of Excellence" at Watercolor USA 2020! My thanks to the judge Misa Jeffereis, Assistant Curator at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, and the Watercolor USA Honor Society board members Sandra Schaffer and Carole Hennessy for this honor. The exhibit plans to be open for the exhibit beginning June 6th, but I understand they are planning a virtual experience as well. A closing reception is planned for August 14th at 5:30 p.m. Visit the Springfield Art Museum for more information regarding public health concerns. Congratulations to all the award winners and exhibitioners! Back to my brushes.
"Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each others eyes for an instant?" - Henry David Thoreau
Well let's start on a high note. I'm pleased to share that my painting "Tooling Around" has been accepted in SPLASH 22 - The Creative Spark. All of the paintings will be published in a 116-page special edition magazine, The Best of Watercolor: Winners From the 22nd Annual Splash Competition, which has a tentative publication date of June 2021. Always a surprise and honor to be a finalist for this publication. My thanks to the editor and staff of Golden Peak Media Fine Art Group! In the meantime, be sure to look for this year’s special issue, showcasing winners from Splash 21, coming to newsstands (and to artistsnetwork.com/store) on June 16, 2020.
I continue to keep busy painting as much as possible. I got terribly behind last year and am using this time as an opportunity to catch up. So, I'm about to finish this half-sheet painting (a companion piece). I figure three more days will do it. That's really fast for me. Consider I started the last one in January and finished in April. I put that one a board to flatten and haven't looked at it since. It is a series of sorts...distilling the seminal influence of my favorite artists of the past and making that idea the relevant compositional aspect of my painting. It's been fun and challenging. The last was Kandinsky, and so find it most enjoyable from a distance. The pattern is key, but I believe the message is clear. I'll enter it in something and see what happens.
Other than art, food continues to be a focus of my time. I'm getting better at cooking. I appreciate a crunchy salad more than ever. It is a new month, but the days run together, broken up only by horrendous weather. Today the sun is shining for a change. One of my Nanny's iris has bloomed (see slide show). The hail took some of the other blossoms, but this one survived. Stay home. Stay safe. Nothing has changed. Back to my brushes.
"It sounds plausible enough tonight but wait until tomorrow. Wait for the common sense of the morning." - H. G. Wells
I finished my painting! What a struggle it has been. The tape has been attached for so long I had to use tweezers to get it off the paper. It is sitting in my living room so I can look at it occasionally with a critical eye. But honestly, I don't think there is any reason on earth that would compel me to pick it up again. I'm done with it. The good news is that I have started the other painting I mentioned and I am happy to report that sticking my paintbrush in a beautiful rich green has lifted my spirits. It helped that the sun was out for two days, but it is back to the disgustingly depressing gray rain again today, so...ugh. Anyway, the painting makes me happy and will be fast. Two great things. And food. Always food.
So totally off the subject, but something I have found to be interesting is the live feed from the dedicated interstate exit for WalMart (the data center) which is now available for viewing. I started watching it a couple of days ago...(I think it was two days ago; I don't keep track anymore). Anyway, it is interesting to see the volume of traffic on the interstate now. It appears our infrastructure finally meets demand. Just saying. Here is the name of the app: IDrive AR. When it loads, just pick the area you want to watch. Kinda fun actually. So stay safe, and stay home. Back to my brushes.
"The mountain is voiceless and imperturbable; and its very loftiness and serenity sometimes make us the more lonely." - Henry Van Dyke
"The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month." - Henry Van Dyke
I have been in my house for 21 days now. It has rained most of the time, four inches more than normal for the year. I have been working on the same painting for some time and must admit to unbelievable boredom where it is concerned (which makes total sense actually). I have only used two colors for the most part and, well, what can I say...I think it works, but it is tedious. It truly takes perseverance on my part to put the thing on the table every day. I can hardly wait to begin something new. But, I figure I am about a week out from finishing it. That is what I am telling myself anyway. So, what else have I done. Read the news. Washed my hands till they are raw. Washed down groceries. Facetimed with family. Finished a few books - four actually. And painted. Oh yes, and cooked. I don't cook. This has been touch and go: spaghetti sauce - good; pot roast - good; chicken - inedible. I guess two out of three isn't too bad. We had some frozen dinners thank goodness. We will continue to experiment. I do make decent bread though, so that has not been a problem. I did get good news when I received notification that my entry had been accepted in the Watercolor USA 2020 exhibit. That was a highlight indeed. The highlight today was that the sun was out, the boxwoods are trimmed and I can watch the birds at the birdbath from my window. So a beautiful day and a horrible day. I suppose that sums up pandemic life. Back to my brushes.
"Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush." - Doug Larson
I met Bill Lewis in 2011. The MSW show was the first watercolor juried exhibition I had ever entered and Bill was the Gold Medal winner that year. I have a photo of him on my desktop from a paint-out we both attended. We had much in common besides our love of watercolor, as we were both dealing with cancer at the time. It is indeed an honor and a warm pleasure to win an award honoring his memory. My sincere thanks to Jo Ann Talbert for sponsoring this memorial award and to the judge Lynn Ferris for deeming my work worthy of it. At this special time in the organization’s history I also take this moment to celebrate our wonderful art community as well. So, I raise my glass - Here’s to Bill, a true inspiration. Back to my brushes.
"Your self...is other people, all the people you're tied to, and it's only a thread." - Thomas Wolfe
Today Tom Schaller is my hero. Back to my brushes.
"Put your heart, mind and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success." - Swami Sivananda
I ran across a couple of juried exhibits that I was considering entering and so perused the prospectus to become familiar with the requirements. In it, the requirement of when the work had to have been completed was listed as "the last two years". No big deal, right? (Personally, I look in my log to see when I completed a painting and go from there.) But upon further reading, that time frame was explained as "must have been completed in 2019 or 2020". I was a bit nonplussed at that point, after all it is only February of 2020, which hardly constitutes a two year time frame in my opinion - but there it was in black and white. So it made me consider that perhaps I had misinterpreted what I thought I understood as "completed in that last (whatever) years" in the past. The next time I entered an exhibit, I asked if I was understanding the prospectus rules correctly. Apparently, I had been doing the correct thing all these years (for that venue at least), but must admit feeling a right fool by the response. But hey, if asking a question makes you a fool; a fool I shall be. Back to my brushes.
"It's a strange world of language in which skating on thin ice can get you into hot water." - Franklin A. Jones
Agreed. It's been too long, but I've been busy with "life" things. It is with renewed hope that I will soon be back to a normal schedule. As you can see, I have updated my webpage. Hooray! I have set it up like a color coded file cabinet, so hopefully I will be better organized. We shall see. I only have the gallery page left to do...but my brushes have been neglected far too long and they are calling me. Another item I have added to my list is The Sketchbook Project, which my niece and I are tackling together so that we can encourage each other to finish our books. I already have the narrative ready to go, just have to put it in the sketchbook I received yesterday. If you don't know about this project, just push on the link and it will give you all the information. It looked like fun - why not? Who doesn't need more fun in their life? Back to my brushes.
"For real company and friendship, there is nothing outside of the animal kingdom that is comparable to a river." - Henry Van Dyke