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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Connections through time

Communication.........I think that’s why I enjoy reading so much…and why I like to paint the figure reading.   I think of it almost as a sacred meditation connecting to the long linkage of the essence of individual souls.   There’s the capacity for raw honesty in writing and the possibility of true intimacy.  We can be that other person or at the least know what that person is feeling and thinking.  It's a door into another’s soul present and past,  alive and dead.   Not only are we  allowed to say things in books and writing that  we could never express privately or publicly but we are also available to hear secret things that one cannot say.  There was a movie about CS Lewis...I forget the title.  Sir Anthony Hopkins I think was CS Lewis.  And he said something to the effect of "I read so I'm not alone."
If I painted a solitary figure not absorbed in an event one could say she looked lonely but I dare say that all my figures though they are solitary do not look lonely.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The inner judge

This is  my most recent finished product ...dare I say done?  I have come to realize that I am not often done when I think I am.  The paint dries, I catch a glimpse from the corner of my eye from a different angle and there's a feeling of unsettledness that strikes at my gut.  I try to listen to my FIRST response with a fresh eye...What part of the painting is bothering me? Is it balanced? what would FEEL better? When I can walk past it with a smile on my face I think I am done.  If it nags me or puts me in a grumpy mood I know I have to revisit something and usually the FIRST thought that comes to my mind is the area of investigation.
This one is almost there. I am going to position it in the hall so I have to look at it as I come around the corner and listen to my inner judge.  Something is bugging me

Thursday, May 6, 2010


I am ecstatic. I just discovered how easy it is to link to the books I read and put them here on my blog.  I adore reading and always consider my daily art and my daily reading to go hand in hand.  I personally would love to be reading someone's blog about a book and or subject and have the link right there without having to hunt it down and remember all the information.  I am dedicated to the reading of biographies of the great artists (visual as well as all the others) and will be referencing them a great deal in the next postings.  I remember when I was 7 my mom used to drop me off at the local downtown BUCKHEAD library (I'd give anything to see it again and I pray to god they didn't tear it down) while she grocery shopped at the local A & P.  I headed straight for the Blue bindings of the biography sections and lost myself reading about all the amazing people published there in that juvenile 3 rd grade section.  I think my first was Sacajawea and then I went on to read them all.........Now I still do name a new biography of an artist and I'm on fact at the end of the hall I have my biography bookcase and I cherish it.  I hope when I 'm gone.....(gulp) my kids will either cherish it or donate it to an organization that will.
WAIT I must link to a book!  I will talk more about this one later but it changed my life.  I remember when I was considered trying to "go for it" and be only a self supporting artist, I found my mind wrapped around the idea of "well, let's see how it goes the first year."  Naturally there were ups and downs, enough ups to keep me tantalized, enough downs to  go deeper into cc debt.  After I read this book, I said to myself, "now I get it."  You either do it (as Pisarro did) or you don't. There are no wait and see's.  If the times get tough, the tough keep going and you can be sure it leads some where.   Then of course there's the great Tony Robbins who taught me to reframe my thinking......when the times are down it's an opportunity to be reaffirmed of my committment....ooh ooh here's his book too!  I can see this is going to be a blast.....Eating lunch now in 75 degree California weather and smiling.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Decisions decisions.  I'm noticing that today I am chasing my tail whirl pooling but still sinking in the abyss of indecision..  I encountered the first decision in the morning and put off eating breakfast, then it was how to finish off my mohair shawl.  I ran out of yarn and needed to make some important color and design decisions. I went one way and then the other and even followed the fools errand and went out looking for more yarn and came home empty.   Now I'm sorting books on the NY times book review, Amazon, and looking for the perfect listening material for working in my if this is a life changing decision............I have a headache from weighing out these heady decisions and still haven't decided.
Painting would be a welcome respite where one decision seems to guide the hand to the next decision and there is an orderly sequence of motions to reach the end.  I have painted long enough to know that decisions come while we're laying the foundation....Begin and their WILL be a painting.  I start the ritual. I prime the canvas, I lay out a challenging, intriguing palette.  I made a decision about my palette a few weeks ago and sticking to it for a month or two........ lemon yellow, cad yellow medium, prussian blue, indian yellow, alizarin, napthol crimson, and veridian and titantium white......maybe a little ivory black.  .(makes it easier and I like the control.)    I  pick up the mess on the floor from yesterday and then the beginning starts to hatch.  The  size, the colors, something I glimpsed on my way to the studio, a flash of a scene from a photo on the wall, even the putting on of the little apron I wear, start to propel me toward the first stroke and the laying in of a proportionally pleasing arrangement...............I KNOW in a painting it doesn't have to be a significant  life changing decision. As I begin, I know that I will go somewhere.  Part of it I know and part of it I don't know.   There is a weighing of my sensibilities more from a feeling level than from a thinking level that serves as the compass once I start.  Part of the intrigue for me is the dance that you do with your own intentions and the accidental or imagined  directions that the medium creates.  I think I'm inspired now...going to the studio for awhile to just START.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Visiting another time

I've recently taken to driving over to my outstanding STARBUCKS with my little adorable bulldog and sitting outside in the sun ( and getting him used to scary noises) sipping my latte, indulging in something sweet and reading through the pages of Eugene Delacroix's journal that he maintained throughout his life.  Fortunately it has been edited so I am reading his thoughts mainly about painting and living life  in his day.  His best pals were Chopin and MMe. Sands.  I am heartened by his thoughts and feelings  and his analysis of society and the meaning of life.  He references feeling like an outsider most of the time but  feeling alive when he visits his medium of the composition and the color and the treatment of problems in rendering form and light.   He was just another guy in his time doing what interested him, worried like all of us about sales and frugally making it to the end of the month, budgeting, selling, and thinking about what to paint next.   He painted, enjoyed the analysis of other's work, good conversation and FOOD with some of the most creative people of the time and always set aside time during the day for self reflection.  

After a while the sun gets too hot, I've finished my last sip, and Howard is panting so I know it's time to go home now that I'm sufficiently inspired to lay out my palette and resume my work with a slightly new perspective on the significance of representational art.

Hence, "Pensive Moment," a quick 10 x 10.