Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I was throwing out bits and pieces of bad art and stuff.... and this almost (she wouldn't let me) went into the bin, when I thought I'd play around with it just because.





A few more touches and it will be done. I'm glad I saved it. I really like it now.






Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Monday, August 22, 2016

I found my long-lost soft pastels. Of course I had to play with them.  In my opinion, they are so much more forgiving than oil pastels. The only drawback is their chalkiness, and I'm loath to use a fixative because it can muddy the colors, or at least, alter them.

Do you have any thoughts on fixatives?






  
Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Sunday, August 21, 2016

I saw a picture of this in a book. It reminded me of the sailboats painted by Edward Hopper, an artist I've always loved. So I painted it.




 


Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Saturday, August 20, 2016

More small paintings.

These were done in acrylics, on paper.

Flowers in a vase. An abstract done quickly, using expressive strokes and hatching.



 This one was painted more slowly. I used only black and white paint, and painted it at night. I didn't know it was actually full moon.




Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Coming on Sept. 1 ....

I have an article in Somerset Studio. Oil pastels, and my struggle with them, are my subject.




And some colouring in The Coloring Studio. I created one of the projects using another artist's drawings.






Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


Would you like a 15% discount on any item in my Etsy shop

Use Coupon Code: THANKYOU2 at checkout.

I have a variety of artwork and a range of prices.

EMBROIDERY

PAINTINGS

SUPPLIES
 
 And, as the saying goes, much, much more!





Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Monday, August 15, 2016

Another exercise. This one is about the discipline of painting from a model, rather than giving free reign to my imagination. I used a limited palette - mixing black and white to create the greys.

Acrylic on canvas paper, 6 x 6 inches.



 


Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Friday, August 12, 2016

Today I did a little exercise in Impressionism with acrylic paints on canvas paper. The idea was to get over the fear of the inbetween steps between the underpainting and the finished painting that look like a horrendous mess, and to keep pushing until the image appears. 

STEP 1. THE UNDERPAINTING



At about step 3, I thought with a sinking feeling of disappointment, "It's awful, I can't do this."

But I kept going. I might as well continue...I can always throw it away. 

STEP 6. GETTING THERE


And slowly, it began to look like the landscape it was supposed to look like.



You can. Yes, you can. If you want to.






Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Monday, August 08, 2016

I've been working on this watercolour over the last few days. I took my time because it was a commissioned piece and I wanted to follow the brief as closely as possible.

I started with a very light pencil sketch, then added colour.


 When it was completely dry, I painted some more.

Then I worked on the leaves.

The final stage was the placement of the names.


 Mission accomplished.

 
Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Thursday, August 04, 2016

As I was finishing this painting, I felt that it might be the last one in the series of what I think of as my mother's garden on the other side. They have all happened on the canvas without models or references, except for the iris in the last two paintings which I happened to see in a neighbouring garden.


 I am now looking at sunflowers for a commissioned painting, a watercolour featuring two sunflowers with some symbolism attached to it. It will take some planning, but the end result, I hope, will be recognizably mine. There's a poem about sunflowers that I've loved ever since I studied the Italian poet Montale in college. These lines will be in my mind as I paint. The original Italian is beautiful, but here's the gist of it in English.

Bring me a sunflower
that I may plant it in my salt-burned earth
...
Bring me a sunflower
maddened with light




Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Continuing with the painting I started in my previous post.

Once I was happy with the background, I could only see more flowers, more of that tangled garden growing in my mind. So I started adding to it over the next 2-3 days.

Here's the progression.


 I added more colours to soften it up.


Then began deciding on the placement of flowers.


Next, I began adding details.


At this stage, I kept going. 
I didn't think of photographing any more steps because I my mind was elsewhere...


 FINISHED





Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Now that I've got my life back (hehe), I turned to this canvas that was patiently waiting on my easel.




I have no idea what the subject will be. It's hovering between abstract and some kind of still life, but at the moment I'm concentrating on putting down layers of paint, and marks (I call them scrawls) using a chacoal pencil, and then more paint on top. I'm considering drips, too, but not before I decide what it's going to be.

Waiting for inspiration.






Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Thank you for your feedback on my Windows10 dilemma.

Last night I decided to upgrade and have a look at it in the morning.

This morning, I looked at it. Went through everything and found there were some changes, some losses, but worse, everything slowed down. It took 5 minutes for a page to open in the Internet. I tried it again and again, but it was so slow I checked my connection, deleted cookies, etc. etc.. Everything was good.
 If I used Chrome, it seems browsing would be fast; but I choose, and prefer, Firefox and because of that, it slowed me down to hair-pulling levels. Not fair.

I went through everything, to be fair to windows10, and it was obvious that it wasn't working for me.

I reverted to Windows 7. There was a warning that I may lose some programs, so I went back on the Internet to back up my files. It took forever (this is where the hair-pulling comes in).
Finally, I gave up and just downgraded to Windows. This part only took 10+ minutes.
Everything came back, so far I can't find any missing programs.

My pulse is slowed down... and I'm relieved.

I guess it's an individual thing. To each his own.
Cheers!








Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

In the last few days I've spent a lot of time researching if I should take the free upgrade to Windows 10. The free upgrade expires on Friday, so the message on my laptop keeps telling me. There are so many pros and cons that my head is swimming and I'm tempted to stay with what I know and what has worked well for me so far, which in my case is Windows 7.


My computer needs are simple. I have a laptop; I write, upload photos, use the Internet for my shop, information, and staying in touch. I don't have a cellphone because I don't need one. My land line is enough. When we had a power outage once that lasted a couple of days, the only thing that worked was that land line, so I'm attached to it.

Still, I thought a lot about why I've been reluctant so far. There is much in the upgrade that I don't need and wouldn't use. There is talk of future usage payment. Privacy issues. Forced upgrades.

Oh, and also, it's not cool for W10 to take away Spider Solitaire - it helps me wind down - although I could purchase it and the other games it apparently takes away.

So my answer to all of this is to go and make some art. Or play some Spider Solitaire to clear my mind ;-)





Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Monday, July 18, 2016

I worked on this painting for about a week. "Work" includes putting it aside and looking at it now and then, knowing that I'm uncertain about it, and waiting for the answer. One thing I'm grateful for is that my ego is not wrapped up in my work. If I don't like something I've made, or, come to that, if anyone else doesn't like something I made, it doesn't really matter.  I work on it, or I let it go and start something new.

I drew these flowers on canvas.


I got this far, then I stopped. I wasn't sure where to go next in terms of colour. When I went back to it, something was bothering me but I didn't know what.



While working on the flower pot I realized that the yellow of the flowers was bothering me. Much as I liked the muted, chalky look, it wasn't working for me. So I added another, brighter, shade of yellow and some magenta mixed with white.









Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Sunday, July 10, 2016

When exasperation works.... I drew the outlines of the sunflowers, then I began painting them with gouache. The only yellow in my gouaches was an insipid lemon yellow. I wanted something deeper, so I mixed some paints.

When I applied it, I didn't like it. I removed as much as I could and tried again. Worse -- it got muddy.

I was about to throw it away when I picked up a square paintbrush and used up the brown/black mixture. It was a way to let off steam, I suppose. Brush, brush, pow, take that!

Instead of wrecking the painting, this happened. I added a touch of red and decided to keep it.


So here's the thing: I didn't care what happened, I switched off my thoughts, I let go.
There's a lesson in that.

 



Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Friday, July 08, 2016

Keeping a record of what you make is very helpful when you go looking for inspiration. I find the things I loved making and something will pop out and say: Make me again. It gets my creative juices flowing.

Some years ago, I embroidered this. I didn't use a pattern, just visualized the shape and "drew" with my needle.


I wanted to do a little stitching and while looking through my files, this called to me. So I pulled out my fabric and embroidery thread, and made another one.

Different sheep, different landscape, but the same feeling of satisfaction.





 
Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Monday, July 04, 2016

Today I cleared my work table. Now it's more conducive to .... work! Then I went through all my paints and threw out the old and dry and useless. Clutter has been part of the problem and I've finally got the energy to tackle it.

Mark making (I also call it scrawling because I scrawl a lot...). It can lead to something. Or not. It doesn't matter. It's an exercise in opening up and gathering energy. After seeing Cy Twombley's work -- much mark making there -- I was inspired. It was also a LOT of fun.

 This example is especially for my friend Mollie.




 
Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Sunday, July 03, 2016



I wanted to write about something that's been happening for months now, how I've gone from making art every day to making it sporadically. A short break once in a while is a good thing. But when the break turns into something much longer, I have to take a long look at my practice. It's the first time this has happened and it was beginning to worry me.

I won't go into the litany of excuses I gave myself, or how deep down I wondered if I was just tired and jaded because it's not for lack of ideas but the lack of the energy that usually drives me. The point it, the more I don't make, the less I make and the longer I don't make - if you get my drift.

Then today this video came into my mailbox from Nicholas Wilton. It made me realize that I wasn't alone, and the solution was simplicity itself: Do something, anything, for a half-hour every day. Force yourself, if need be.

So this morning, I picked up a pencil and started drawing. It's always a good way to "move your hands", as my friend Lynn Whipple likes to say.


Now the trick is to continue. Some days I will have to force myself, knowing that soon I'll be back in the swing of things.





Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Work in progress
Step 5










Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Work in progress.
Step 4







Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Friday, June 24, 2016

 Work in progress. Acrylic and oil bars on 16 x 20-inch canvas.

I started painting the background the day before yesterday. I spent yesterday looking at it and wondering what to do next.


Today I decided it would be flowers. I took a deep breath, softened the background and started putting in the flowers from the top. I'll be working my way down the canvas.



 
Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Friday, June 17, 2016

 A tribute to a beloved pet, sweet Old English Sheepdog, Cleo, whose earthly life ended yesterday.
She was my sister's baby, adopted when she born. By the time I met her, she was 9 weeks old.


 She was full of life and brought a lot of joy to her family, and to me when I visited, for 11 years. I'll never forget the time I was sitting on the couch, upset about something, when she came over to me, hopped onto the couch and lay her head in my lap. She had felt my emotions and was consoling me (it worked).



She grew into a big, beautiful, loving girl.


  We will always remember her with love and gratitude.




Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown