Thursday, February 28, 2019

A Snow Day 8”x8” acrylic

Who doesn’t remember the thrill of a snow day, especially if it meant not having to go to school and getting to play all day until your clothes were dripping wet and your lips blue?  My grandkids in New Jersey had a snow day.  It. Is a bit different for them because they are home schooled by my very talented and educated daughter.  Never-the-less, it meant a change of pace and some great outdoor fun.  Of course everything they do is somehow tied to their education so they did a project based on the work of Ezra Jack Keats and his book, “The Snowy Day.”  If you are unfamiliar with him, he is worth checking out.  I talked with the kids that day and after explaining their projects, they  challenged me to do a painting inspired by the same book.  Keats cleverly uses collage in his work, which I did not do.  Instead I used the photo they sent me of them expressing their joy in the snow, chose a simple palette of blue, red and white, painted flat shapes on a black background and called it done.  It is different from what I usually do, and I loved the challenge and the outcome. Today is also a snowy day here in Vermont, with a brilliant sunshiny blue sky.  The snow is very sparkly and although it is cold, it feels like a great day to play in the snow, even for all-grown-up artists!  Go Figure.

Monday, February 25, 2019

A Bit of Cold 11x14 acrylic


The last time I posted was last August, when it was very warm and all you had to wear was a swim suit and cover-up.  Today I drove through the worst blizzard conditions of this winter.  It was a complete white out and it occurred to me that my mission did not justify the risks I was taking to get to my destination.  All turned out well and I came home with a desire to reintroduce myself to the opportunities available through technology.  So, I am posting on my blog, intend to post on my art facebook page and, even do Instagram.  The thing about technology is that there is always a learning curve to get back track after taking a break. At least that is true for me, which is why I have taken so long to talk myself into it.  I am stumbling around a bit, but with the effort I will get good at this again.  So, on this chilly winter day I am posting icebergs from Alaska.  Have I ever been to Alaska?  No. Have I ever seen an iceberg?  No.  Did I paint this from a photo I took?  No.  All those things disqualify me in some critics eyes, but as I always tell my students,  "whatever you are painting, it is just a combination of values, lines, shapes, colors and brushwork."  So I saw this photo and just wanted to paint all those blues.  I did it with a limited number of colors, blue, black, white, and yellow ochre.  It was fun.  It was different.  And I learned a few things.  Go Figure!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Leap of Faith - Figuratively Speaking

6"x6" oil 
Remember me?  I haven't posted in a while, in part because there are so many other things to do, and in part because I have changed my routines and this one fell to the wayside and has been patiently awaiting for me to rescue it. 
It is summertime and the livin' is easy.  I love not having to wear layers of clothing and being able to walk outside barefooted.  There are marble, granite and slate quarries near where I live.  This one is pretty spectacular with high jumps into clear water that reflects the colors of the green woodlands surrounding it.  It has been unusually hot this summer so swimming and boating are at a premium. 
I am lucky enough to have my immediate family within a day's drive so have been doing the grandma thing frequently.  I have also been painting, teaching and showing my work, so I have not been idle, but I have neglected posting.  But, between all the physical activities I have been doing and enjoying company who have been awesome enough to make the trip, I don't regret losing a few routines, especailly when I can breathe new life into them when they return.  This weekend is a big art fair in our area, Art In the Park, and I am manning a tent with my paintings for sale.  If you are in the Rutland, VT, area, please come by.  Right now the forecast is looking good...but I am not going to hold my breath on that promise....Go Figure!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Figuratively Speaking - A Bit of Sunshine

8"x8" acrylic
I painted this on a gloomy February day.  Our weather has been above normal for the last couple of weeks, meaning rain instead of snow and slippery ice.  This is my least favorite weather of all.  Give me cold temperatures and loads of snow and I am happy even on a cloudy day.  I am not sure if it was the weather, or recuperation from my grandchildren visiting, or general malaize, but I didn't get out of bed until noon yesterday and never got dressed. I binge watched comedies on Netflix.  When I finally got up and did some chores I realized I felt a lot better moving than moping around.  That really isn't like me, I usually am .  I was totally unmotivated and indulgent.  Today the sun came out and even though I still feel tired, I had a productive day.  In general I think the best medicine is exercise and painting.  The thing is, you have to be willing to push through the doldrums and get moving to understand the benefits.  So to help me out, I painted a cheerful sunflower.  Sometimes, faking it until you make it is the best solution.  Go Figure!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Figuratively Speaking - Stop and Smell the Roses

6"x6" oil
I was participating in a 30 day painting challenge this month before my daughter's family came to stay with us on their way moving to New Jersey.  While the parents went to set up their house, the littles stayed with me.  I have to say,  once again I was reminded how much energy is expended by three children, how much energy it takes to be present with them, and how much admiration I have for parents who are attentive and take their parenting responsibilities seriously.  I do miss the giggles and the fun and how they reminded me to "stop and smell the roses."  Needless to say, I did not keep up with the 30 day challenge, and rather than try and catch up, I have decided to just start painting and hope I come up with a good one before the month is out.  I find it interesting what things cause my heart strings to pang.  I found myself having twinges of regret as I wiped off fingerprints on the glass doors and refrigerator.  Today I found a miniature pair of boy's briefs in my load of laundry and felt sentimental towards them!  Go Figure!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Figuratively Speaking - Pink Ponies

8"x10" acrylic
Normally you would associate pink elephants with drunkenness, especially if you were from the Dumbo generation.  However, if you are a three year old, pink is the perfect color for horses.  I found two horse paintings in a pile of photos and momentos my mother gave me years ago.  One was a paint by number I did when I was young and the other one was a paint by number my daughter did when she was young.  Since my daughter's children were visiting me, I decided to give each of the boys one of the horse paintings and gave their sister the opportunity to pick the color for a third painting I would do.  They were in transition, moving from the west coast to the east coast, with most of their possessions in boxes while the family resides in a rental while looking for a house to purchase.  I thought this would give them each a painting to hang up in their rooms in the meantime.  I have encouraged each of my five grandchildren to appreciate art, make it and to start to collect it.  Of course it helps that my mother was an artist, I am, and my children are all creative as well.  My daughter has done an amazing job teaching her children about artists and how to handle art materials.  The three year old made a pirates' ship and carefully painted it with well thought out details and colors, keeping all the colors seperated, making no "mud."  It was quite impressive.  What an advantage to start at such an early age, with such a vivid imagination.  I wonder if a three year old consulted on the Dumbo movie.  Go Figure!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Figuratively Speaking - Meditation in Neutrals Day 7

My daughter's family, the Blundell family, is moving from the west coast to the east coast....stop me if I've previously mentioned this.  Don't you get tired of the the same old stories getting rehashed?  Well, I can't help it, because I am so excited to see them all and to see each individual one...mom, dad, each of the 3 little ones.  So we had a big snow storm to day.  I think they called it Liam.  I was happy as a clam because I was out in it snowshoeing.  Much of the country experienced it in some form or another.  Another one is hitting Chicago on Friday.  The thing about that is that the Blundells were scheduled to fly to Vermont via a Chicago layover.  Long story short, they were bumped backwards, and are coming tomorrow!!!!  When you are moving your family across country there are a million things to do the last day you are at your old location.  Well, they are scrambling to pull it all together.  Today was my son-in-laws last day at his job, so he wasn't even around to help my daughter out.  It will be a late night for them tonight.  It is all good, but even with the best laid plans, there is always an opportunity for grace in the line of fire.  At this end,  I am scrambling a bit too because I was counting on that extra day to get everything perfect for their arrival.  I have canceled the little party I was having for my art friends, and I am doing the sheets right now.  A dash to the grocery store tomorrow will probably wrap it all up.  Those skinny little kids eat an amazing amount of food! I have no idea if I will be able to paint while they are here.  I mean, I will paint, but it will be with the kids....maybe I will post their work.  Go Figure!
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