Thursday, December 6, 2012

What can I say?

More from the wild side:

I don't know what to say. 

I love these.

What do I love about them?  I love the energy, the raw impact. 

Again, they were painted on illustration board, starting with squirt bottles filled with paint, another one filled with water, and a card dipped into paint.  Later I used a sponge to lift paint here and there. 

I'm not sure what to do with this, though. How do I translate what I like about these to a more thought out painting?

I'll let you know when I find out.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wild thing

I've been a wild thing in the studio lately.  I've been experimenting with techniques and different materials and it's been fantastic. 

Here's an example - basically almost no brushwork involved - just squirting paint on wet illustration board and watching as the paint and the water play.

After it dries I look at it right side up, upside down, sideways until I think I know what the painting wants to be, then I try to help it to be that. 

I used a hotel card key to scoop up paint and slather it on, a Mr. Clean sponge to lift paint, and did a little scraping with an x-acto blade.

Crazy fun - it appeals to my wild side. 

Yes, I do have one.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Living dangerously

I know that it is good to stretch yourself

to live on the edge

pushing yourself past your comfort zone.

I've been doing that in the studio lately,

but I have been playing it safe

compared to my visitors.

They came strolling by last week -

nonchalantly meandering,

not a care in the world.

I could only ask myself one question:

Don't they know which holiday is just around the corner?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Capturing the beauty of the trail

I decided to invest in the cost of turning six of my paintings from the Centennial Trail series into blank note cards.  When they arrived, I was thrilled.  They really turned out beautifully.

My two favorite paintings, Generations:

Watercolor  10x14

and Reinventing the Wheel:

Reinventing the Wheel
Watercolor 13 1/2 x 19 1/2

are not available as prints, so this is the only way to own them.  They even have stories attached to them (you can click on the link in the title of the paintings to read them).

These cards would make lovely gifts to friends who appreciate the beauty of Spokane, or for anyone who feels drawn by the allure of a trail.

Contact me, or visit my shop if you would like to purchase them.

I appreciate your ongoing encouragement and support. Thank you!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Home of the Great Cosmic Goldfish

My new studio is DONE and The Great Cosmic Goldfish is in charge!!  He actually supervised the old studio, but from more of an observer status.  Now he's fully in charge.

In case you're wondering if I've completely lost it, The Great Cosmic Goldfish (from now on referred to as the GCG whenever possible), is an incredibly beautiful print by David Wooten. Wooten is an amazing artist - oh to be a fly on the wall of his studio.  My dearest girlfriend bought a print for me.  The painting is actually called "Ideal Fishin", or something mundane like that.  While I fully respect the author's right to name his own paintings, my print named itself from the beginning.  He is not just the cosmic goldfish, he is the GREAT Cosmic Goldfish.  I don't know why, but he is.

That said, all color choices and furniture design of my new studio have had to defer to the GCG.  My new paper/mat board cabinet became gold, the old filing cabinet became green, and the huge bulletin boards that I created are lovely green/gold/blue brocade colors with gold braiding - all to be in harmony with the GCG.

The new studio marks a significant change in the way I view my art and my business. I love the larger space, the wonderful light, and the fact that I can walk out the studio door to spend time watching the forest.  I have taken great care with the flow of the entire space because for some reason that matters to me.  Now, when I walk into the studio, I am filled with joy and the sense of rightness.

I especially love my huge bulletin boards. It is important to me to have places to stick things so that they are still visible. They might be works in process, letters of encouragement, visual ideas, remembrances, anything that I want to keep in my visual awareness.  Since my new studio had a lot more wall space, I decided to take advantage of it.  Some of you may already know how to create these bulletin boards (I always seem to be a bit behind on the latest things), but for those of you who don't, I will share my process. 

First, find a soundproofing material called Homasote.  It comes in 4' x 8' sheets and my wonderful local supplier even cut it for me at no additional charge.  Cost:  $25. You can cut it into any sizes you want, but I chose 2 3'x2' sections and 2 5'x2' sections.  Then I went to my local fabric store and chose two fabrics that I thought would work together (and look beautiful with the GCG).  I found drapery fabric and gold braiding all on super sale, and the incredibly helpful saleslady even helped me figure out exactly how much yardage I needed.  Cost: $25. 

To assemble, I cut the fabric and stapled it to the Homasote. I stapled the braiding to the back, wrapped it around in front  and tacked it in different places with decorative drapery tacks. It was incredibly simple and the result is even better than I'd hoped. I have an additional small green bulletin board over my office area.

I'm looking forward to sharing the wonderful things that will be coming out of this new studio.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

No one likes having their skin ripped off!

Where have you been?!!!

Oh.  That's right.  I'm the one who has been conspicuously absent.  All I can really say by way of explanation is that life happens.  For the last 6-8 months I have been battling health issues.  Blessedly, I finally seem to have come out the other side and am on the way to feeling more like myself.

The funny thing is, the days, weeks, months where I literally couldn't do anything turned out to be one of the biggest gifts that I have ever received.  God certainly got my attention and together we got to know each other better.  Well, it's more like I got to know myself and Him better - He pretty much already knows EVERYTHING.  I am humbled that He would care so much for me that He would go to all that trouble to have my undivided attention.  Through the whole process I felt a bit like Eustace.

If you have ever read C.S. Lewis' "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader", you will remember the adventure of Eustace and the dragon.  Eustace is pretty much a self-centered twit.  Apparently we have that in common. Eustace discovers a dragon horde, puts on a shiny bracelet, and falls asleep, waking up as a dragon.  At first he revels in his draconic abilities, but soon realizes that his transformation has come with a price.  His fellow adventurers no longer recognize and even fear him.  He is alone and he realizes that it was not they who needed to change but him.  He wishes he could join them again.  Soon Aslan, the powerful lion comes and tells him to tear off his outer dragon skin.  Eustace painfully rips it off, thinking he is done.  Nope, says Aslan.  Sure enough, the dragon skin is still there.  Eustace tries again, peeling off an even thicker layer, the pain even greater than before. Still not enough, Aslan says.  Finally, Aslan himself rips off an unbelievably thick layer.  Eustace is in agony, but then is light and free - himself again, but better.  He rejoins his companions and is a different person.

I feel that I too am a different person - the same, yet better for having endured this process of ripping off the false skin.  And, like Eustace, I couldn't do it by myself - I needed that higher power.

I'm not sure what this will mean to my art.  It can't help but have an effect and this may take some time, but I have learned to be patient.  I have missed communicating with you, however.  So in the meantime, I thought I might share some of your and my favorite blogs from the past, while we are waiting for new ones.  If I have not included a blog that you loved, please let me know.  I'd love to hear from you.  Also, if you would like to comment on a past blog, please do so on this most recent blog.  Google does not let me know when someone has commented on a past blog and since I don't go back to them all and check, I would never see it if you posted it there.  That would be a shame!  I love to read what you have to say.

I look forward to hearing from you and sharing new work.

Favorite posts:

Call Me Beowulf
K.B. Carpenter and Other Mean Flowers
Defining My Values
Reflecting on Water
Having Faith
The Implications of Dormancy
Fast and Loose
Dressing for Success
Raindrops on Roses
Step by Step
Coming Home
Running Hot and Cold
My Kingdom for a Crumpet
On Being a Prime Number
Dueling Dragons - News From the Front
Band of Brothers
Channeling Norman Bates
Add Killer Bunnies to the List
Dragon Evolution
Stop and Smell the Ros...SNAKES!!
The Case of the Missing Dragon
How About a Story?
You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello
Time Is On My Side
Reinventing the Wheel
Fold Or All In?

Friday, January 27, 2012

War in the skies

When I was a little girl, on cloudy days I would imagine that there was a war going on in the skies.

Sun vs. Clouds

When the sun would come out from behind the clouds I would cheer and imagine the armies of the sun pushing back the armies of the clouds. When the clouds prevailed, I cheered for the sun's warriors to push back against the enemy.

Today, Sprecka and I sat on the front porch and basked in the winter sun. Every once in a while the sun would go behind a cloud and we would boo the cloud and cheer for the sun. Some things have not changed.
Fading from winter and spying the full sun, I grabbed a coat, gloves, and a couple of blankets. One for me and one for Sprecka. We sat there, drinking in the sun, eyes closed (at least mine were - Sprecka remained on guard duty, as always). I could feel the warmth on my face, and hear the wind in the pine trees, sounding like an ocean. The melting snow from the roof trickled down the drainpipe sounding like a fountain. The wind chimes added to the incredible symphony.

It was a crystalline moment.

Years ago, my husband, children, and I took a wonderful trip to Yellowstone. My favorite memory was at the end of a long hike. It was a hot day and we had come to a small waterfall and stream. We splashed cool water on our hot, sweaty faces. I remember experiencing that delicious sensation combined with the voices of my children and husband and I named that moment in time a crystalline moment - sharp, clear, almost achingly perfect. And like a crystal snowflake stands out for a moment in perfection, then melts away, so too do these standout, perfect moments in our lives.
What a blessing they are.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Meditation through speed drawing

Sounds pretty contradictory, doesn't it? Yet it's true. I find that I am transported to a lovely state of meditation when I do these little warm up exercises.

Want to try it? Here goes:

4 Minute Charcoal Contour Sketches

Vine Charcoal - snap off a small piece
Any kind of sketch paper - could even be computer paper if that's all you have

1. Find a couple of stuffed animals (this MUST be fun, and what is more fun than stuffed animals?)

2. Put one of your animals into a pose that you like. Look at it - I mean REALLY look at it. Take a deep breath.

3. Using your piece of charcoal begin recording the contours of your animal, spending most of the time looking at the animal, only looking at your paper to check way points. Use your finger to smudge shaded areas.

You only have 4 minutes and you're drawing with charcoal so the pressure is off to produce anything magnificent. Just get lost in the edges of the animal. The more you practice this, the more you will loose yourself in the process.

Give it a try.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Finding the fun in the un-fun

I've been battling health issues which remain frustratingly present. Rather than spend day after day thinking about how uncomfortable I am and how I wish I would feel better, I decided to play around a little today. I figure I feel bad no matter what I do, so I may as well do something that takes my mind off my misery, at least for a little while.

I decided to take an online class called Imaginary Creatures. The goals of this class are to loosen up, have a little fun with drawing and painting, and sneak in some sound art principles.

These fun fellows showed up on my art table today as my first assignment.
They make me smile.

Which I could use right now.

I hope that your week goes well and that you can find the fun in wherever you might find yourself.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What a difference a year makes

I don't know if this is evidence of global warming or just a normal seasonal blip, but look at the difference in scenes from the Centennial Trail:

December 31, 2010:

December 31, 2011:

I can't help but say that I'm really enjoying it!!

This week I've enjoyed my first week teaching two 10 week art classes and spending time back in my art studio - a great start to 2012.

Enjoy the rest of your week.