Last week we had a knock down drag out fight with a big wind! Pasadena is known for its devotion to trees and as a consequence we have many of them. The great wind cost us dearly and beloved oaks and magnolias were brought down all over our city. This makes me think of roots and how we all crave nourishment to feed our souls.
The loss of the trees saddens me because they have witnessed so much history in our city. Some of the oaks were easily near 100 years old. When I do a piece of art that uses a memento of my family history it serves as a witness to the past. Each day when I pass that piece I can reconnect with the person who is part of my history. Art is a great nourisher and taking a dose of time to be creative does me a great deal of good. It seems to to re-energize me and let's me plow through whatever is next on the agenda. I hope you take some time to nourish your soul this week.
It's coming up on the end of August and in SoCal that means we brace for the worst of summer yet to come! It's hot and dry and it looks like it's here to stay for awhile! I shouldn't complain as the weather has been awesome most of the summer. But the garden is really feeling it and so am I!
I pulled up an old painting to share today as it reminds me of this time of year. Hot and ripe and ready for transition. This piece is mostly about color and form. It now hangs in a happy home in New York. Seeing it again makes me smile! Hope the last days of summer are ripe with fun and that all your upcoming transitions are smooth and effortless! Happy PPF
Each summer in August the garden takes a huge sigh as if to say, "give me a break!" We don't get rain in the summer in SoCal so every plant begins to feel a bit overwhelmed and dried out. The roses are struggling and won't get back their vigor until middle of October. I kind of feel a bit like that too. With all the changes and the kids here and now gone, I feel like sighing. So instead I reinvented a painting...I took one I didn't like and just painted over it, added textures, carved into the wet surface and waited to see what bloomed! I found this garden, just when my own was taking a break. Enjoy! Happy PPF!
What a difference a week makes! Last Friday I missed posting (sorry all my PPF Friends) because I was traveling home from Arizona where I had been teaching at Art Unraveled! I had a great time by the way! The weekend brought the grandchildren over for a great time in the backyard exploring, then my daughter brought the dogs and the cat over as they are moving lock stock and barrel to Seattle (on the road now as I write this) for a great new job and lots of adventures along the way. The dogs enjoyed their time in the yard for a couple of days while the packers were working and the cat found a cozy spot under a bed to hide out! With all that excitement around here, the birds pretty much cleared out for a few days, but this morning I awoke to hear their lovely songs once again. The cat remains behind for a few more weeks, the dogs are gone, one daughter is nearly to Seattle, the grandchildren will return to Cleveland on Monday and life will resume "normal" mode...albeit with changes. As I got in the car this morning I found a small bright green parrot feather on the ground. I picked it up and will keep it as a sign that if the parrots that escaped their cages many years ago could make it in a "hostile" environment surely I can survive the transitions ahead of me.
I'm sharing a piece that evolved during a class I taught at AU last week...there is a bird that emerged! Enjoy the remaining weeks of summer!
Life is all about transitions. We move from one place to the next, one stage onto another. There should be an easing into new situations, allowing us time to adjust. Abrupt changes are more difficult to handle. They are like jumping into the pool on a hot summer day. A shock! We eventually adapt, but we can still remember it. Art has its own transitions...between color, between spaces and between lines. We need to be conscious of them so that we gently guide our viewers from one place to the next, so if feels natural and accessible to the eye. Some times we do want that surprise of something unexpected like pops of color or an unexpected form. These serve to wake us up and keep us on our toes.
If there is one thing that can steal me away from the studio it is when my grandchildren come for a visit.
This week my daughter and her family arrived for a visit and I could not wait to see the faces of those two boys! They are now 2 years and 9 mos. and 5 mos. old and just delightful. The oldest knows us through SKYPE and recognized us right away. We hadn't see the baby since he was born in February, so we have the delicious task of finally getting to know him.
Remember to take time to indulge in a few innocent pleasures this summer. Have a glass of your favorite summer beverage and enjoy each moment! Happy PPF.
I love summer because the long hours make for more time in the studio! I've been planning new classes this week and playing with new ideas. I combined paints and collage, doodles, and drawings in this fun piece. I did the drawing of the 'choke before I added the map and had to solve the problem of how to add the map in that specific space. I used some tissue to trace the area and then used the tissue as a pattern to cut out the map! Perfect and easy solution. This piece makes me think of traveling, of gardens and the happiness of flowers blooming in the yard! Wonderful summer thoughts! Happy PPF
to all my new friends!
Just had to share these incredible colors my hydrangea has showered me with this year. These all came from ONE bush! I pass them several times a day to and from the studio and each time they
take my breath away! It makes me want to paint in these soft and yummy pastels...how about you?
I'm in mode this next week or so for teaching preparation as I pack up supplies for Art Unraveled. Last week when I posted I discovered that some people had not heard of this event. AU is a retreat event where people gather from across the US (and further) to make art, learn new techniques, and share enthusiasm for art. I'll be there the first week and have SIX classes on my schedule.
I wanted to post the partsof a process that I enjoy teaching with you. I love the freedom of taking a blank canvas, picking colors I like and randomly applying them on the surface, mixing them where they meet. It is such a joyful uninhibited process. I created a low horizon line with some of the color and stopped here for phase 1.
After looking at things carefully I bring in some dark areas, add some structure, scribe into the wet surface and manipulate things as I coax out of the canvas what is waiting to be revealed! I never actually know what is going to happen, so I'm always excited to see how it will come out.
As you can see, lots has happened to the surface since the second photo! I calmed a lot of the color down in the center, found what was hiding (a bird!) and developed this into a composition I was happy with. I think learning to edit and make changes to my work has been a really important lesson for me and I am less apprehensive to just jump in since I started working this way. I hope you will consider thinking about your work this way.
If you need some help on this process, join Julie Prichard and I in The Land of Lost Luggage Network for a class called "Chaos & Calm"...it will get you started learning this process and so much more! Happy Friday! And to all my new friends at PPF, Enjoy!
Sometimes I just want to sit and paint, but I don't want to change my clothes or it is too hot to go into the studio. That's when I reach for my HP tablet and my ARTRAGE program! I wanted a laptop that would let me draw and take written notes and provide a level of artistic versatility that I hadn't had before. So with my HP Touchsmart 2 I can take my stylus and paint! ArtRage Studio Pro is really affordable and lets you paint, draw, stencil, stamp, mark make and more. You can choose your to show your art tool of choice as your cursor (brushes, pens, chalk, spray can, etc.), set the width, pressure, and more. What fun. It's so easy to use that after 5 minutes I had Julie Prichard's 5 year old daughter drawing and changing colors with ease! I am constantly amazed at the level of precision I can get with my pencil drawings, writing, painting and composition. It even allows me to upload a photo and fade it out so I can use it as a trace element. It lets me work on various levels so I can change and arrange elements as well.
If you have a drawing tablet you may want to consider this as a tool for developing composition and exploring new ideas for your personal growth! I'm loving it! If you want hands on experience learning about art, be sure to check out the lineup of great online classes I teach with Julie in The Land of Lost Luggage.