Friday, January 22, 2010

Pushing Outside the Comfort Zone

I recently enjoyed an evening of oil painting with a teacher friend of mine - Mary-Leigh Doyle.  She is a wonderful painter and in particular I love her oils and her style of approaching them.  So this evening was for me an adventure in something fairly new and a relaxing evening of wine and paint - my favorite combination.  I have long wished that I could loosen up in my style as even when I start a painting out that way, I invariably end up with my nose less than a foot from the canvas working on tiny details.  So this evening the exercise was to copy a painting which gave me the "guide" to approach it in a loose and very painterly fashion.  I hated it.  Don't get me wrong, I love trees and feel compelled to paint them these days, but in this case the colors were not my favorites, and as I sat in my familiar 12 inches away from the tiny canvas it looked a mess.  I couldn't discern tree trunks from leaves, from background.  Only when someone insisted that I get the heck away from the thing - to step back and review - did I see what was going on in the painting. it's not so bad.  What I do know is that to paint like this is completely foreign to me and it explains why I have such a difficult time getting there.

What you see here is unfinished - it's as far as I could go that evening without smudging it all into a muddy mess.  Once it dries I will add a few last minute touches...and try desperately not to add too much (any) detail.  Perhaps if there were an electric trigger rigged to the canvas that gave my ol' nose a little jolt when I get too close to it...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Dedication

A friend asked me to add to her new mandala journal - to share a wish or some thoughts on her fledgling creative journey. So, it was a dedication of sorts. I was a little surprised at the request, and very honored to be asked to share. After a short meditation, this is the drawing that showed up...before I entered the words I shared with her. I hope she found it inspiring and supportive.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I really do love working on projects with other artists. I had a wonderful opportunity to work with my dad again on a comission for a friend of mine. Her partner loves to fish and she wanted to give him a damascus fileting knife for Christmas. So, my dad created a beautiful blade with a handle of blue dyed maple. He sent that to me and I followed the color and design of the knife to fashion a sheath and black suede bag complete with glass fish button. It's a real blessing to be able to share these projects with people whose work you admire, let alone that being family. I feel pretty lucky that way.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Ain't it the Truth...

Love is all we need.....

Indeed! Love to you all...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Uncertainty Hump

I'm not exactly prolific when it comes to art projects....or at least it seems that way to me. I consistently feel that I rarely ever get anything accomplished or finished. I currently have at least 9 paintings alone that are started, but not done. I recently (just before the holidays) finished this one and I wondered to myself why it took me so long to get to finishing it.

The task of finishing really only took me an hour at best, yet I left it for ages. So, why?... I think for this one in particular it was about fear. I was worried that I would wreck the face. That's all that was left - just to finish the face. I'm not terribly good with faces, and so my uncertainty kept me frozen. Silly in hindsight.
I know I let this kind of thing stall me all the time. Seems too big, or I'm not sure how to do something and I run away and hide from it. And the un-doneness of it nags at me. I really dislike things to be unfinished, but not enough to get me to do something about it all the time.
One day, I'd like to figure that little hang-up out. At least for now, this fairy is done and off to sail on her bubble.
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