Saturday, January 11, 2014

What's on my easel

December 4, 2013

I began my first acrylic painting (mixed media actually) after getting my acrylics paints, easel and brushes back. Sometimes a good studio purge (provided you have a friend who understands that you might need to get some things back) is very good therapy. It reduces the over-stimulation long enough to let you see more clearly what it is that you can't do without. Acrylic painting on canvas, my whimsical images with layers and layers of brush strokes and collage, was something I did not want to do without. Art journaling and watercolor and sketching from life is great, but it's not enough for me. I was itching to stand in front of a large canvas and let it flow with no concept of what I was going to paint, no realistic drawing from life, just an idea in my head of what I wanted to say with this piece. Then just throwing caution to the wind and beginning. No drawing on the canvas first, just wild abandon. I mean after all with acrylic, if you don't like it you can cover it up later and just keep layering. It's scary at first and you work and work and think - what if I screw all this up and can't recover it and lose all this time and paint and effort...but you keep going. 

December 29, 2013

I knew the quote I wanted to use - "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman. I love this quote! ALIVE. I want to be alive and I want my paintings to be alive - alive with color and lines and shapes and words. 

I stopped with the above version for a while, but it wasn't alive at all. I was just afraid to move forward. So I was stuck for a while.  

But then I decided to pick up with brush again and keep working. I got out the oil sticks and just went wild again - fearless.  And then!  It came alive!!!

And then it made me come alive all over again! Just look at these juicy flowers and swirls of oil paint on top of the acrylic colors. POP!

And look at the fireworks popping out of the flower centers! Love it.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Friendship, Inspiration, and Realizations

Saturday, November 23, I had the extreme pleasure of attending Jennifer Edwards' art show and book signing at Southwinds Gallery in Kernersville, NC. I realized just how great this thing of blogging and internet groups, Facebook, etc., really is! I would never even know Jennifer if not for this form of communication and avenue of sharing our art and our lives. 

My life is so much fuller and busier than it used to be that blogging has moved down on my list of priorities, but when I think of stopping altogether, I realize what would be lost! And I think, "What if Jennifer had never blogged about Genevieve?" "What if she had never written and shared Letters to the Artist, which has encouraged me so much?"

These thoughts also bring me to the realization that what I have to share matters just as much. What you have to share matters just as much; because our sharing touches the life of at least one other person. Each of us has something to bring as an offering to God and to others. We are artists and our unique vision matters. Our voice matters. Money made from our work is not important - that is not the goal of our art, though it would be nice to enjoy that benefit, what really matters is what we give to the world by expressing what's inside of us.

It's possible no one will get it. Maybe we will never feel or experience the glory, the praise, the joy of others' approval, or financial success from our art. Maybe we're criticized. But how will we ever know if we don't offer what we have - dare to live an artful life. I don't want to spend the rest of my life seeing what others can do, watching others be brave, standing on the sidelines in fear of what might happen. Like Genevieve, I have a kite to fly. We all have a kite to fly. 

A Spot of Tea - Literally

With a recent dinner at Village Tavern I ordered this beautifully served cup of hot tea.  My strong urge of course was to paint the beautiful light and form of this tea arrangement. There is just something about white china or pottery.

In my purse I discovered I didn't have my watercolors or a paintbrush. But I did have a sketchbook and a water soluble graphite pencil -- just nothing to make washes with the graphite - no brush.  So I realized in a spark of creativity and resourcefulness that I could use the wet used teabag to paint this page! If you look closely you can see that it's still wet in the photo. I squeezed the teabag to make a nice wash and how authentic and appropriate that it is actually a wash of pure TEA! It also served to dissolve the graphite lines into a nice was to produce the values. I had a glue stick so I was able to glue the teabag tags and papers on the page. What a memory!

Friday, November 01, 2013

First Post of a New Season

I haven’t posted since April, and so much has happened in the past six months, I hardly know how to catch everyone up! When I go about making life changes, I don’t know when to stop. Let me start by giving a quick synopsis of all the personal life changes, and then we’ll get into the art, which is what my blog is about – my art.

I’ll be brief with the personal: in the past six months, I have gotten divorced, remarried, started a new job, purchased a new car, and moved to a new house. I even have a new cell phone. Nothing in my life is very familiar yet. Except thank God I have my daughter who has bravely weathered all these changes with me and is enjoying this new life we have. As a senior in high school she’s changing as well. So much is new that it’s overwhelming and sometimes frightening.

That brings me to my art. All my life changes have naturally led me to pare down, purge, and simplify my massive collection of art supplies. I have written several times about my being completely overwhelmed when I sat down to create because I didn’t know where to begin or what media to use. I would dabble in all of it and end up creating a never-ending supply of unfinished projects. Then I would have to deal with the guilt of not finishing anything. Very frustrating. In the midst of moving in with my , which thankfully I was able to do slowly and thoughtfully as I moved in over a period of about two months, I ran across this blog post…

and this one…

I printed these off on 5/31/2013 and pondered and read them (meditated on them maybe) for some time. And in the midst of moving, I finally did it. I sold a whole carful of art supplies to Penney Klaproth for $500. It felt like she had done me the BIGGEST favor EVER! I felt so free and unencumbered. (You MUST visit her blog! I feel so incredibly blessed to have her living nearby and working right here in my town! This woman is wildly talented and she’s been published in several magazines – and I KNOW her!!! Just think she will be creating with some of “my” supplies.)

In addition to selling all those supplies, I gave my newly acquired sewing machine to my best friend. It was too much frustration for me. I want immediate results, like you get with a pencil or a brush. Threading and maintaining a sewing machine was WAY TOO TEDIOUS for this impatient artist. I am proud that I taught myself to sew and I needed to do that in order to know that it is just not my thing.

So gone are my sewing machine, thread and sewing supplies, all my fabric, acrylic paints, easel, acrylic brushes. I even gave up most of my magazine collection and several books. I felt like I had inspiration overload with so much!

I narrowed down my stash to the bare essentials. My narrowed focus now – watercolor; colored pencil; and journaling supplies, such as pens, markers, Inktense pencils, acrylic ink, etc.

Click on the following link for some sketches and journal pages that I’ve done over the past six months. With the new job and all the major changes, I haven't been quite as prolific, but it sure is a good life these days and I love my new sunroom studio.

May - October 2013 paintings and journal pages


Monday, April 29, 2013

An inspiring trip to...Wal-Mart!?

Who knew a routine trip to Wal-Mart could be just the ticket to inspire me to art journaling this evening?!! They have expanded their line of craft and art supplies and I am sooo excited! Who needs to eat??? My new weight loss plan: spend the grocery money on art supplies!

I went in to buy sidewalk chalk (which is luscious by the way) for a project I was commissioned to do and of all things, a blender to make smoothies for breakfast.  And when I left I was inspired and excited to go home and CREATE, make marks, play, splash color!

Paint markers (open stock) for $1.97 each!! Oh my!

 New journal page using white chisel point Painter

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Sunday sketching

Found a journal with graph paper at Big Lots for $3! Used Prismacolor woodless graphite 4B pencil.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Journal page backgrounds and doodles

Recent fun in the reorganized studio. I can't make it without a space of my own to create, ponder, and play.

A Still Life in Progress

Painting a bowl of fresh fruit in watercolor and charcoal pencil

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Return to 4" x 6" Doodles

Ahh color. Glorious color. A return to my simple, portable, 4" x 6" doodles. I love doing these.

I am still finding it hard to concentrate on simplifying and I'm constantly seeing something in a magazine that I want to try. Eventually I know I will drag out all my supplies and set up permanent shop again in my kitchen/studio. But it will be new and fresh and hopefully it will be less overwhelming. I have worked on cleaning house lately and restoring a sense of order and control to my life. Waiting out all the changes in my life and walking carefully through this time of transition. Doing a lot of writing in my journal. Doing some doodling. A lot of meandering, reading, contemplating, reassessing, and reordering. I feel like it's an incubation period. I have to go through this time in order to have a rebirth, a renewal. It's not easy. It's not fun. It's work and it's exhausting. But it will be worth it. I pray for God's grace to come through it knowing I relied on the power of the Holy Spirit to bear the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control in me. That's all I really want out of this. To know that even in the worst of times, my actions didn't grieve the Holy Spirit in me. I want to be free - not free to do whatever I want - that's not true freedom. I want to be free of my shame, my shackles, an oppressive and depressed spirit that has held me in it's grip for far too long. I want to be free to live and to laugh and to enjoy. To fly. Wherever God takes me on wings of Faith, Hope, Love. No more spiritual bondage, no more feeling "less than" or unworthy. I want to be able to walk through this knowing God is with me and with my head held high, not because I'm proud, but because I'm His, and He is protecting me.
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