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New From the Studio

September 24, 2014

Production in the studio has not stopped, even with distractions all around me. When one “retires” to do her art, aren’t things supposed to slow down just a bit? Though I would love to just be a studio hermit and do my art all day, I feel a need to engage with real people out in the world. For a long time after we moved from Florida to Alabama, I indulged my inertia and just stayed home and did art day after day, week after week, with breaks for gardening, and breadmaking, and playing with my dogs. And, well, there is the old one — 16 now — who requires a lot of attention, and has had me staying close around for her.

But being with people is necessary to keep a sense of life balance. I’ve begun to reach out to various groups, none of which are art-oriented. An artist’s group would be wonderful, but that will happen in time. There is an environmental group, a local voter registration effort, and a small women’s group that meets once a month for lunch and conversation. Balance is the word. It may be time to cut back on my social calendar just a little bit so I can do more art.

I have loved having new papers — my most favorite thing in the world. Here is one of my most recent happy collages. I hope you like it. It’s a combination of drawing and painting on magazine clippings and a gelli print. (Click on the image to see a full description and price.)

The Conversation - Collage, 6x6" on 8x10" backing

The Conversation – Collage, 6×6″ on 8×10″ backing

Thoughts on Creativity

September 4, 2014
Bon Voyage 4 - collage, 8x8" on 11x11" backing

Bon Voyage 4 – collage, 8×8″ on 11×11″ backing

This morning a friend posted this wonderful quote about creativity on his facebook page:

To Fit Together
Creativity belongs to the artist in each of us. To create means to relate. The root meaning of the word art
is to fit together and we all do this every day. Not all of us are painters but we are all artists. Each time we fit things together we are creating—whether it is to make a loaf of bread, a child, a day.

Corita Kent
Source: Learning by Heart

And then I realized this is from a book that I have never read. Are any of you familiar with it? It’s available in paperback only, but I think I have to have a copy.

This quote stayed with me today. I sometimes feel I’m fitting puzzle pieces together in every aspect of my life, but especially when I allow the pieces that are my “art” to fit in and around the rest of my life. It’s all creation, after all.

And speaking of fitting it all together . . .

I’ve been recovering from a hectic but fun week with the grandchildren here. We were going to do art, but never got around to it with all the other things we did. It would have been pretty difficult with River, a two-year-old who is all boy and a tornado of activity, along with Piper, the insatiably curious and intense five-year-old. It would have been like herding cats, as the saying goes. They forgot all about the art, but they had tons of fun anyway. Maybe “art” will happen next time.

They did pick a big watermelon out back and we ate that. Surprise — it was a yellow one inside!

First yellow watermelon

Then they picked great big butter beans . . .

Piper picking butter beans

River picking butter beans

. . . and spent an hour afterward helping shell them. And then they ate some! I called these beans “edamame” because I knew Piper likes that. I cooked them the same way that soy beans would have been prepared for edamame, drained them, let them cool, and the kids popped them into their mouths.

Piper and the beans

Another day, we baked bread. Piper did everything, except figuring out how much of everything to measure out. But measure she did — even perfecting how to level off a spoon and a cup. Then she put the dough hook on the mixer and was fascinated with the kneading of the bread. Then she shaped the loaves (like playing with play-dough) then snipped the little slashes on top with scissors, and painted them with the glaze and sprinkled on the seeds. Then she watched it rise, then bake.

Piper's bread

 Her brother River helped. He was up on a step stool right beside her watching us the whole time.

So as I have said many times before — it’s all creation!

Studio Update and Vacation News

August 23, 2014

First, the vacation part. Our youngest son and his family will be arriving tonight for a week. These are our littlest grandchildren, ages 5 and 2. I’m excited about spending time with them, and know it will be non-stop fun. I’m sure there will be some art activity when it’s too hot outside to do anything else, and we will share, I promise.

In future posts I will be showing each of the individual paintings that were recently completed and sent to the gallery in Tampa. They were shown previously in groupings, but I have good photographs of each one.

I like to keep good photo records of my work. Therefore, I make sure each one is photographed in high resolution with good lighting. For most artworks, the best lighting is outside. But because many of my paintings are high gloss, I often shoot them indoors, or outside in the shade, which entails some color adjustment. If possible, I will just try them on the scanner (if they are small enough, which these were.) I have a very good scanner which does the job well for most works. But if they have a lot of texture, the scanner sometimes isn’t able to pick up the dimension well. For those, I need outside lighting or good lamps for an indoor shot.

The bottom line is that each individual painting has its own lighting and imaging requirements.

Here is one of the pieces that presented me with the challenge of picking up the color and depth of texture. I wasn’t satisfied with the original scan, so I took it outside and tried it in the bright mid-morning light. I was surprised to find that the scan was the best choice. After adjusting the color just a little bit, I was finally happy with it.

Haiku 93 - Acrylic and Texture on Cradled Panel, 8x8x2"

Haiku 93 – Acrylic and Texture on Cradled Panel, 8x8x2″

This painting is available at Michael Murphy Gallery in Tampa, Florida.

Have a great weekend and I’ll check back in soon.

Finding Some Balance

August 14, 2014

The links in the sidebar of this blog have now been updated to reflect current links that work and to remove ones that don’t. In the process, I’ve enjoyed revisiting some of my favorite artists’ pages and am newly inspired by them all. I was sad to see some of them get left behind, but nowadays there are so many ways and places to have an online presence. Everyone has to find their own.

I’d like to say this blog is going to be updated more often. It always depends on how many other demands there are on my time. However, I’m seeking a renewed balance and cutting way back on  my social media time. It’s so tempting to always be “plugged in” but it can become a distraction. I want to make more art, and share it with you.

With that in mind, here are two of my most recent collages. I am just dying to get out to the studio to do more, but have to take care of some mundane and completely uninspiring things first. Maybe before the day is out I can do that. Have a creative day!

Apples to Apples, Collage, 6x8" mounted on 8x10 backing

Apples to Apples, Collage, 6×8″ mounted on 8×10 backing

The Handwriting on the Wall - Collage, 6x8" on 8x10" backing

The Handwriting on the Wall – Collage, 6×8″ on 8×10″ backing

Summer Fun In the Studio

August 11, 2014

As promised, here are the newest paintings that I’ve just completed for Michael Murphy Gallery in Tampa. Each of these panels is 8×8 inches by 2″ deep. They are boxed up and gone!

New Work 2 7_2014

It’s been wonderful focusing on paintings for a few weeks, and I’m looking forward to doing more. Next, my sights are set on a big assortment of tiny boxy canvases. I’ve laid them all out on the table in various stages of development. Thinking of possible future groupings.


Little Canvases

But finally, I’ll eventually need to shift gears.  Collage is always a good way to do that. These papers are some of the results of my recent painting sessions. As always, I keep some large sheets of fairly good paper around for depositing excess paint from brayers and to use as blotters. The interaction of colors always inspires me to use them in future collages.


Papers 07_14 4

Papers 07_14 3

Papers 07_14 2

Papers 07_14 1

Hope you’re having some summer fun in the studio!

You’re invited to visit both of my etsy shops:  brushwithimagination  for collage and colorpoetry for paintings. There you’ll see most of my work for sale. If you don’t see what you want, let me know. I probably haven’t posted it yet.


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