Thursday, June 11, 2015

Whimsy is the Spice...

Home from a bucket list cruise to Alaska, I sat down and finished the decoration on a quintet of ceramic fish. They'll be a gift to a friend, and I wanted them to be playful and fun.  
Interesting discovery: nail enamels have bright, tough colors and adhere well to glazed ceramics. I'm liking this for non-functional works. 

Each one has a title, and from the top:
"Damnit Harvey, you promised..."

"Does this color make my fins look fat?"

"Look, Dorothy has ruby flippers!"

"Look kid, it's like this..."

Lastly, "What did you call that drink?"
I enjoy humor in my work, puns, both visual and verbal, and can amuse myself for hours in art-play.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Post "Artum" Blues

The paintings are finished, packed in a box to be delivered today. Inventory list has been updated, photographs taken.  So, why am I feeling so strange?  Is this like the depression that occurs after giving birth?  The pressure is off, I should be able to relax, but I find myself restless and out of sorts. 

I'll take a few days to clean up the house and the art mess (well maybe more than a few - I've been just avoiding things for almost two months).  The opening is next week, and then... I'll have to find another mountain to climb. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The work continues...

It's been a wild trip; painting for this show. I'm almost at the "20" point, and can see that light at the end of the tunnel. Of course, these are in the "resting" stage, that is, the content and overall composition are set, but there are going to be some changes. Colors, lines, & shapes may change, especially when they are all up. The overall impact of the whole group may influence what happens.  I can't say what that will be yet.  

It's interesting, because each of these pieces has invoked the emotion they portray while I'm painting, or it triggers memories that I'd forgotten.  I can honestly say that there have been copious tears. And smiles. 

Each day brings me closer. Part of me can't believe that I'm managing to come up with the ideas, the images... and then translate them to paint. I am grateful for the opportunity, and for the incredible support I've had along this path.  The whole process is healing. I've gone whole days without tears, and I am looking forward more than looking back. Not always, but I can feel the tide is turning for me.  I believe that this is the gift that Jim has given me, the chance to bloom again. He is somewhere out there, with a big grin on his face, watching out for me. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Working on a Show!

Well, I've done it now... entered a piece into a juried show, and it was accepted.  the show consists of 20 artists (more or less) who will put together 20-25 pieces on a theme of their choice. I have to say, small pieces, they're 8"x8", so not as bad as one might think. However, they have to be delivered in just over a month. Whoopsie.  So, I'm painting like a mad woman.  this came about because I was talking to my therapist (a bereavement counselor) about not being able to paint. 

It's been a long time... from before Jim died. I've cleaned the studio, bought art supplies, but just couldn't bring myself to get working. The therapist reminded me that grief was really hard work, and that is can eat all those creative juices. She also told me that the most famous artists painted their grief, rage, and other emotions... and those paintings are now hanging in museums and galleries all over the world.  Listening to her, something clicked, and the next morning, I dragged my sketch pad to bed, moved the cats over, and mapped out my grief. 

So, I'm painting my grief. It's different from anything I've ever done before, and I'm living the emotions that I'm painting, but this might be the most powerful group of works I've ever done. At the least, it's therapy, and at best, something that will reach out and connect with others.  So, here are a few of them, with the caveat that they might go through some changes before the show.  Just sayin'.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Growing My Life - Moving Forward

Growing my life: Older, slightly wiser, I've come to realize that what I want in my life is not youthfulness but usefulness.  Now that I am alone again, without my beloved partner, I must rediscover my path.

I am an artist, a gardener and love to cook. Somehow, I would blend the three things into a place that allows me to create and nurture art to share, in a garden setting. I visualize art that can be touched, climbed on, used to make noises or music. Gardens should be accessible to everyone, to pick, touch, roll around in and whenever possible, to taste and eat as well. Can we grow vegetables and herbs in the middle of playgrounds and parks?  What about hills of low growing herbs to roll down and run over?  Pole bean forts and sunflowers amidst wind harps: that’s what I’d like to grow.  A project for artists: older and retired and youngsters with nimble hearts and hands. 
I could live in an urban area, if I had access to a community garden. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Stupid Stupid Things

Written as part of a journaling challenge, thought I'd share with my friends as well. 

Stupid Stupid Things

If I had not done those stupid, stupid things,
Would I be here now?
Would I be the same person, striving for my peace, for my center?
Would I love the same, or care as much?
Would I see differently, desire more, dislike less?
If I could go back and erase certain events,
avoid specific people, or make another choice,
would I have you to love?
Who would disappear from my life that I love now?
Who would still be here that are gone?
Would I change those stupid, stupid things?

October 9, 2014

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Serendipity .. Cool Word, Incredible Concept

Serendipity: the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. I believe in it.  It's my idea of my fairy godmother at work, moving things along when I am headed in the right direction. Or we could call it "going with the flow... but however the concept, I love being a recipient.    Namaste.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Ahhhh Bowl Will Have a New Home

The days are getting shorter, the temperatures are starting to feel reasonable, and fall is on our doorstep.  The bowl shown in the last post had a number (?) of bids during the silent auction at Blue Line Gallery, and will have a new owner at the end of the show. It's nice when your children behave.

Things have been busy. That's not really descriptive enough, so let's say somewhere between frantic and simply packed. There are positive signs with Jim's health, at least the oncologist seemed pleased, but it's even difficult to take the good news, when you don't really know what "good" portends.  

I seem to be accomplishing less and less each day, and my energy is flagging. My pollyanna-esque cheerfulness and positive attitude is harder and harder to summon, and I want to burrow under the sheets and disappear.  Running away is starting to feature in my daydreams and fantasies. Even worse, I'm starting to compose bad poetry in my mind.  

      Hope, that most seductive poison, pours
      with every cup of tea.

     It brightens up loving faces  
     when told that things are going well,
     but when the room is empty
     and I'm alone, the taste is bitter 
     and there's nothing left. 

I met someone yesterday who told me that this journey is a roller coaster, and I couldn't have described it better, since roller coasters make me want to hurl and climb out at the first possible stop.  Screaming.  How apt. I'm afraid of losing Jim, I'm afraid that I won't be able to be strong through this for him. I'm afraid of what comes after. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sometimes Fireflies Add Light to the Night

Life seems to hand us little sparkles even when things seem dark. I received notice that one of my ceramic bowls is accepted in a show at the Blueline Gallery in Roseville. 

This is for the Breast Cancer Awareness show, called Art Bra 5.  The title of this bowl is "Ahhhhhh".
I also have four paintings at the Frank Bette Center Gallery. Art goes on, even when life is rocky. The paintings were done in Alameda, CA, during their Plein Air Paint Out event. My good friends put up with me for those days, and I had the joy of painting in Alameda, where the weather was in the 70's instead of the 100's as Sacramento was. Another friend stayed with Jim, and they had several days of much needed "guy stuff" to do.  I declared this a win all around.   The Frank Bette show continues through the 27th of September if you happen to be in Alameda.  

Jim and I are taking things one day at a time, and are doing things that make us happy.  We've gone to movies, eaten the foods we really like (yeah, ice cream!) We seem to be even closer than we were before the diagnosis, if that is possible. What can I say? I believe in miracles, but I also believe in packing an umbrella...

Friday, July 25, 2014

Painting in Walnut Grove

Spent two days painting with a friend in a tiny town called Walnut Grove on the American River. It was a much needed escape from the realities of everyday life. I am grateful for the break, and the chance to focus on art.

My beloved husband has been diagnosed with a serious, perhaps fatal illness, and we have been at medical offices and facilities almost every day for two months now, with no visible end in sight. To help you understand why I love him so much: when I asked him what I could do to make him feel better, he said "Paint", and told me that if I don't do what I love, he can't be happy.  Jim wouldn't let me cancel the Plein Air event in Alameda, so I am still preparing to go. We have a close friend who will stay with him so I can rest easy.  (Ha!, I will worry excessively, call him frequently and harass our friend for updates but I am grateful for his generosity.)

So, I will be staying with some wonderful friends, and for a few hours here and there, will be absorbed in work. I hope to return with my batteries recharged, and be able to get back into winning this battle.  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Painting and Prepping for A Paint-Out

So, I jumped in feet first this time: signed up to participate in the Alameda Plein-Air Paintout in August.  It's been a long long time since I was part of a large public exhibition (I'm not counting the thingy at the fair).  Now I have to clean up my act, think ahead and work like crazy to be ready.  I've been painting, and practicing so I can sit down and produce when the time comes. 
 Here are some of the pieces I've done lately.  All of these are oils, done with a pallet knife, and they are small...6" x 8", 8" x 10"  to 6" x 12".

Morro Bay


Paso Robles Vineyard

Overlook, Paso Robles


Hilda's Patio      

I  have to come up with a "cut sheet" that gives the blah blah about me, business cards, easy (and professional) framing solutions, prepped canvas or boards... and all the supplies.  Stuff to hold me for a week (since I won't be at home) and....   hard to be an adult when it's so much more fun to just be an artist.  

Friday, March 14, 2014

Spring is Upon Us

So now I am in the midst of planting, teaching, learning and just enjoying some of the most beautiful weather I can imagine. Sacramento has had a "non-winter", and there will be consequences, but the up side is some beautiful days. Yesterday was 78° and the day before as well in the high 70's.  I'm putting in vegetables, and building little net fences to slow down my girls from eating the seedlings before they get big enough to  hold their own. I love the chickens, but they can be a destruction derby in a vegetable bed.
So far, I've added celery & beets to one bed, and have onions, garlic and chives going in another.  The strawberries wintered over, and have blooms on them. Boy, do the chickens love those!

The girls have finished molting, and all three of them are laying. It's such a thrill to find three eggs in the boxes.  I did collect the feathers to use on a basket, to show the basket making students what you can do with embellishments. The basket class turned out to have a huge number of students... so I'm very busy...the time flies by before I catch my breath. 

And then there is the ceramics class. I'm having so much fun there, and need to figure out how to continue working this summer when class is finished.  The park across the way has a kiln, and there is a ceramics instructor taking my basket class... so possibilities are there if I pursue them. OK, time to organize materials for class, and get into teacher mode.  ♥

Friday, February 21, 2014

Good Times for ART

Been really busy these days, but it's all good. I've taken several little "art trips" and done some plein air painting. I'm taking a class in ceramics and teaching basket making... and loving it all. Here are some of the efforts in the painting area: (all are fairly small, easier to transport, as they are all oils...).
This is "Green Pitcher" and was done in the little town of Locke,CA, at Martha Esch's studio.  We met there on a Saturday afternoon to paint a still life, as it was too cold to work outside. Locke is a tiny little place on Hwy. 160.
This is from a trip to the San Luis Obispo area, on the road from Paso Robles to the ocean. I stopped at an overlook, parked the car at the side of the road and set up to paint.  I have always loved the hills of the coastal range, and this was fun to paint.

This one is on that same road, closer to Paso Robles itself.

There are numerous wineries along the road, winding through the hills. I stopped, turned up a small road and set up to paint.  I think the winery was named Summerwood, and when I stopped and went in to the winery itself, it was lovely.  I'm hoping to return to the area this spring, to paint some more.  I have some wonderful in-laws/cousins that welcomed me into their home and let me stay and paint.  

I think this year I will try to make more small trips to go out and paint.  Two or three day jaunts are about right to go... and I love to visit friends as well. 

And not to ignore the ceramics, I'll have some photos of the bowls I've done soon.   One of the promises I have made to myself is to buy a good camera. I've been taking photos with my phone, and it's just not enough.... As soon as I can gather my nickles together...

Saturday, October 12, 2013

It's Been a Busy Year

Oh boy...It's hard to believe so much time has gone by since the last post. I've been painting, building a chicken coop, traveling and having a wonderful time.  I'll post three photos of artwork that was accepted into a student show at American River College. Not necessarily a high-ranking venue, but then, I've not bothered to enter competitions for decades. 

Hot Winds - 9"x12" oil

Ride a Cock-Horse to Banbury Cross -
11"x14" Mixed  Media Collage

Wasabi - 6"x5"x3" Ceramic

So, art, chickens, travel. Spent a week down in the Palm Springs area twice this year. It's what I think of  as a "girl week". Leave the husband at home, go down to paint and reset my batteries.  I come back recharged and inspired. Additional bonus: artwork!

I'm also teaching a basket class for a woman's group. It's about time I did some more basket work. 
I'm teaching them to make a basket similar to this one, with a round wooden base. Confession time: I'm having a ball.  Maybe I need to think more about this teaching stuff. Hmmm.  
So, the weather is fine, I have six (6!) house guests arriving next weekend and will have to do a cleaning blitz. The garden needs a ton of work, and so, off to do so. Coffee first though...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Music Rattlin' 'Round my Brain

A memory wandered around my brain... music that I couldn't find in my CD pile, and then I remembered it was old old old... and on cassettes. I no longer have a player, but I still have a whole box of cassettes. Go figure...   I dug through these dusty little plastic boxes, and uncovered the one I wanted: The Travelling Wilburys.  

For those of  you who don't know about these guys, they are actually Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne. Just jamming and having so much fun, they  made a couple of albums. (Vol 1 & Vol 3.... no # 2).  I'm going on line to buy them... but am enjoying the sounds linked here.  When I get back from San Diego, I'm going to be dancing to it in my studio.  It will be delivered and ready for me. It's happy music.