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Off On An Adventure

June 20, 2017

Just a quick post to say goodbye for a week. I’m headed for Alaska early tomorrow morning for my grandson’s wedding. I’ve never been there, but he and his fiance met in Juneau six years ago while working on a project together, and they’ve never left (except for some pretty exciting trips here and there.) So if I had an actual bucket list, this trip would be on it. I’m excited, needless to say.

I’ve stolen one of their pictures just so you can see what it looks like in their everyday surroundings. This one is at Mendenhall Glacier.

I promise to take some pictures to share as well.

My wedding present to them was this painting, which I shipped a couple of months ago. Title: Not Just White Noise, Acrylic on Canvas, 24 x 48 inches.

See you in a week!

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The Gift of Time

June 17, 2017

For years on end I commuted to work five days a week, and had to find time to fit my art somewhere into the rest of an exhausting schedule. Even so, I was determined, because art was my saving grace. I kept everything out and ready to go at a moment’s notice, after dinner and for longer stretches on the weekends. I recognized art making as my go-to anti-depressant. It still is.

My studio was my air-conditioned garage, just off the kitchen and the heart of the house. I was never far away if someone needed me. I learned to work with interruptions. Multiple small-scale textural paintings were perfect for that way of working, because they each required their own time to dry, sometimes a couple of days.

After retiring from my day job, and having successfully launched the last of the grown kids out into the world, I developed a strong aversion to any kind of time commitments that might take me away from the studio. At the same time, I worked hard on making art my life’s work and my business. On most days, showing up for work no longer had a dress code, or certain hours. Occasional appointments, short-term teaching gigs, show openings, and sporadic meetings (preferably with artists) were OK, but having to be somewhere the same days every week? Been there, done that.

In recent years I’ve managed to have a little vegetable garden, just because it was a long-cherished dream and a strong family tradition. It brought us great joy and some fine meals.

But since my husband died almost a year ago, I have decided that I want to concentrate on my art now. I’ve ripped out my raised beds, and raked the soil into the grass. I thought it was going to be a difficult decision, but it really wasn’t. It’s a relief, and feels like a gift of time.

I’ve achieved the isolation I always dreamed about, but without any kind of structure to nudge me into action. It’s an adjustment. But the flexibility to start a project and keep at it until exciting things start to happen is an opportunity to stretch and grow as an artist. I hope I am up to the challenge.

Never Forget – Collage, 4×4 inches

 

Simple Surprises

June 7, 2017

It’s been a beautiful few days in and around the studio. The summer temps haven’t closed us in yet, and the house is open to the outside air, gently stirred by a silent ceiling fan. I’ve surrounded myself with music most days, with minimal intrusion of world events. This is my therapy, a lifeline, a time to be open to new ways of seeing.

Simple surprises are everywhere, like the little patch of wildflowers that I planted early last spring. They were mowed down with the grass late in the season, and I had forgotten all about them. But this spring they started re-seeding, and I’m now being gifted with new flowers that didn’t bloom the first time. There are many, many Black-eyed Susans, Lance Leaf Coreopsis, and a bunch of other tickseed varieties as well. And in the little bed closer to the house are my daylilies.

Fun and magical things are happening inside the studio too. I thought it would be a good time to play with the gelli plate for a little while, and then to find some surprises for collage in my paper stash.

This is a collection of circles and squares, punched out of magazine pages. I love spreading them out, in the same way we all used to do with our grandmothers’ jars of buttons . . .

 

. . . and here are some of the gelli prints:

Don’t you love surprises?

 

 

A Time to Work and a Time to Play

May 26, 2017

Yesterday was the most glorious spring day imaginable. Breezy, sunny, and cool. I wanted so much to be in the studio, but instead I forced myself to get outside and do some much-neglected yard work. I knew that if I promised myself the “reward” of being able to do art after my chores were done, that they would get done and I’d feel all the more self-righteous about it. So here we are, a second beautiful spring day in a row, the work is done mostly done, and I can’t wait to do some art.

Here are three collages that I finished last week. A “dance” theme for titles this time. I think I titled the “Cha-Cha” one first. I think I like it best because it feels dance-y to me. OK – music will be playing in a little bit. Have a wonderful, creative day.

Bunny Hop – Collage, 4×4 inches

Tap Dance – Collage, 5 x 5 inches

Cha-Cha – Collage, 5 x 5 inches

Sweet Interruptions

May 5, 2017

It’s such a joy to spend time in the studio with no interruptions — except, of course, from the dog and cat. I think those interruptions are a given. Just as I get settled with my music and my papers out on the table, the kitty sits down and stares up at me, asking me if I forgot something. No, I didn’t forget. It wasn’t time for her to eat, but tell that to her. So I feed the cat and sit back down to my work table. Five minutes later, here comes the dog asking to go outside. But no, I don’t dare sit back down, because in five more minutes she’s going to want back in again.

In the middle of all that, I did manage to get three new collages done. By the time I finished these three, I was on a roll and wanted to keep going. But now it’s supper time. Theses are already listed in my Etsy shop.

And here are the fur children who make my life more complicated than it could be, and more joyful than it would be without them!