This is a 9"x12" oil painting on panel which I did today while 'working' at River Art Gallery. I may work on it a bit more tomorrow when I can look at it again fresh.
The photos of me were taken by a visitor to the gallery named Rosemary. She emailed them to me this evening. Thanks, Rosemary!
I came home to find a postcard from the San Antonio Art League saying my painting, "Caldo" not only was accepted into the show, but has won an award of some kind. Way cool! Wah HOOOO!
Back to the painting of the pot and stones- I managed to get my paints, palette, brushes, table easel and panels down to RAG, but forgot to bring a photo of something to paint. So I scoured the gallery for something to paint and came up with this glazed pot, three river stones from the jewelry case, and a blue towel I'd used to wrap my paintings in for transport. I set up on the porch in the most perfect weather. Tourists from Vermont were walking around in thongs and short shorts grinning ear to ear and looking like cats who'd eaten canaries. I love the other artists I work with on my one-day-a-month down there. All hail to Donna, Kathleen and Tina! We missed you today, Mary!
Raced home for the Valley Forge Residents Association meeting and then home to watch American Idol and Amazing Race. Ain't life grand?
Leave me a message if you will, please!
Becky came down from New Braunfels with her three entries to the San Antonio Art League exhibition, picked me and my solitary entry up and drove us down to King William Street to deliver the paintings. Ahhhh....... So glad to have that done.
Now that Caldo's done I can start on the first of the Lincolns and the portrait of the two beautiful children. Their mom came in yesterday with her newest child, Kyler, also just a stunningly beautiful baby at 8 weeks old.
I must've picked up some stomach bug. Haven't eaten today. The idea of food makes me nauseous. Thank goodness THAT doesn't happen very often. I've got the achey muscles and marked fatigue that goes along with flu but I don't want to concede the point.
Back to bed.....
Been working on Caldo today. Really. In between patients. This is the photo Louis Mar took at Coppini on Sunday of Morning Flight (and me). At least the only glare is on my glasses, not the painting.
Bonnie Raitt gets to see me tonight. I'll bet she's excited! I know I am.
(Ron Rencher demonstrating a still life oil painting at the Coppini Academy this afternoon)
I spent Saturday with my artist friend Becky at the Greenhouse Gallery soaking up the new paintings and watching several oil painters do demonstrations of portraits and landscapes. I got to see several other artists I've met in one league or society or another, too. I'd like to see a painting or two (or ten) of mine on those walls someday. A small David Leffel still life had a red dot (sold) on its tag. A mere $40,000., my dear. Many red dots from that day alone, I'm sure.
Today I took my newly framed "Morning Flight" to the Coppini to let it compete with 5 other paintings at the monthly meeting for "Artist of the Month." It won! The honor comes with a blue ribbon and a nice check. Very swell. Ron Rencher did a still life demo for the meeting. It was great to hear him think aloud about his process and what he keeps in mind as he paints.
I also met with the friend who's commissioning the Abraham Lincoln paintings. We got colors figured out and the canvases have arrived. Each of the four will be 18"x18." So as soon as I get the Caldo painting completed I can start. I also had a new commission come in- an oil of two children picking dandelions in a field with a West Texas landscape behind them. I'm really going to enjoy that.
After a three or four weeks of an uncomfortable absence of direction, I feel excited again. I made a few people wonder if I'd fallen out of this dimension while I was turning circles at home. I got my house in order during that time... literally... and now have clear surfaces, alphabetized CDs, an organized underwear drawer AND artistic direction! You just can't beat that with a stick.
My prescription for anyone wanting a soul thrill while waiting for Spring to arrive:
Get your nose within 24" of the paintings in two good galleries or one good museum, sit knee to knee with a happy friend and tell life stories over good coffee and organize your underwear. Toss out the old! Fill with the new! Fold neatly and smile.
I just couldn't leave it alone. I spent a little time yesterday removing the unnecessary highlight from the jar, refining the page edges in the center front, darkening the shadow side of the painting frame, touching up edges in general. I like it better. Spent part of yesterday building a frame out of two separate frames for the Morning Flight painting. Got the nonglare glass for it this morning, so I'll assemble it in a while and see if I can post a picture of it framed. My sister helped me talk through an issue I was having with the Caldo painting, so I'm eager to get busy on that one again, too. Becky suggested starring the Mont Blanc fountain pen in another painting. Love that idea! This time showing it's cute little star on the cap's end, maybe. First things first. Frame Morning Flight, finish Caldo and frame, THEN fountain pen. A friend is commissioning four paintings of Abraham Lincoln, semi-Warhol-style, to be displayed in a two-over-two format in their living room. Her partner is a Lincoln expert/appreciator and they're going for a more contemporary style. I'm slightly trepidacious with the process of translation of what the commissioner sees in her head into words which convey the image, which I then translate the verbal picture into paint in order to match the mental image. Hmmm. Wish me luck.
This is how I spent my Sunday afternoon. I set this up yesterday and then started in on it this afternoon. My friend Sherrie is coming over after her dinner to paint with me. Guess we'll set up something new. I had intended loose. It got tighter and tighter as I went along. Ah, well. I like it, anyway. I got out my Mont Blanc fountain pen a couple of days ago and spent over an hour getting the old dried ink out and new ink in. Wrote a couple of letters just to feel the luxury of it again. It's a lot of trouble- getting the right flow, dealing with the skips, etc., but there's nothing like the line a fountain pen makes.
I'm having a real issue with putting objects right smack in the middle of a painting. I mean to not do that.... really, I think about it. But here's a painting with the ginger jar smack in Kansas. By Golly, the next painting will have no centered objects! So there.
Mary and Donna came and painted with me today in the studio. I loved it! It took a while to set up a still life arrangement in a cardboard box with black fabric inside behind the objects, and of course we had to take some time for lunch and talking, but all together I imagine we painted 3 1/2 -4 hours. So good to have company while painting. This will need more work, but for now I'm going to let it sit and will look at it again later.
We already have a paint day planned for next month. Next MONTH???? Now that the studio is clean and organized, I'll have to call up artist friends to come play with me while the weather is so perfect. In the meantime I can put on the TV for company, I guess.
Now a nap......
Wow... It was two Thursdays ago that I wrote the last post. I've done very little art since then. I did get a start on the Caldo painting and last Thursday I spent the afternoon teaching 11-14 year olds how to draw in Wimberley, TX at an afterschool arts program. I've been spending my time cleaning. Organizing. Mulling, swirling in place, ruminating. I'm reading Caroline Myss' "Sacred Contracts" and doing the work involved to tune in more clearly on what I'm here to do.
The woman who lived next door to us when I was a small child, Charlotte, and who adopted my sister and me as her surrogate daughters (as she had a houseful of boys), died last Friday. She was 83 or 84 and had been living with a neurological disorder which appeared in her late 60's and which incapacited her left hand (she was left handed) and finally kept her from walking or calling people. She'd asked to die at the end, I'm told. Three years ago she'd told me the story of having gone to visit her mother's grave when her children were small. She experienced a visitation from her mother while there in the form of the feeling of a hand pressing down on the top of her head so strongly it resulted in her feet leaving indentations in the ground, as a way to answer a question Charlotte was asking in her mind at the time about how her mother had felt dying and leaving her children behind. We talked, too, about her other experiences with the spirits of people she'd lost. The Friday she died both my sister and I were thinking of her. Patty was in Africa at the time. I heard days later Charlotte had died that day. I feel pretty certain she wafted through to say goodbye on her way home to her mother.
The last two days I've been digging out the studio getting ready for two artist friends who are coming in the morning to paint much of the day. We work together at the River Art Gallery and are looking forward to playing in the oils. Both of them do watercolors primarily. Donna worked in oils for years but hasn't in a long time. Mary's newer to oils but is taking to the medium easily, in my humble opinion. I love being with these women and am looking forward to playtime together. Tonight I bought fruit and veggies and flowers to see what sort of still life arrangements we can make.
I checked my blog fairly often these last two weeks for comments, but with the exception of Darling Becky, you all who dropped in were stealthy. Please leave a comment when you come by! I promise to reply.