Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Spring is here!

          Snow Baby

It's spring!  Yes it is! Yes it is!  You have to believe!  I believe, I believe.  

Well, it doesn't take much to believe in the inevitable.  Spring will always come.  I take great comfort in the seasons and thier ever changing rhythms.  Always changing yet constant.  Constant change.  Yup, that's life.  Don't get comfortable, you won't be there long! 

 If you've read this blog at all you will see the themes in nature inspire much of my work and life.  I see so many metaphors between life, art and nature.  Life has seasons too.  So as in nature, I find myself in a "spring" of sorts.  I see my life changing from a rather bleak winter season to a slightly less harsh spring season--which can only lead to a summer season! I'm seeing small hints of color in the drab landscape.  Most of all, I see promise.  

February began with the painting a day challenge.  I didn't even try one last year.  It would have just been too much.  But I felt "springy-er" this year!  I chose February instead of January because my son was married in January and it was too busy.  But what a lovely way to start the new year!  And I had a mini spring for a week, since the wedding was in Phoenix!  Nothing but sunshine, warmth and celebration!  I was not looking forward to going home to Ohio in February.  So I figured February would be a good time to do the challenge and its two days shorter. Plus, I'm just not a fan of February.  By February im sick of winter and spring is a ways off.  It's usually pretty snowy and cold and gloomy. Im just over it. So let's give February a new look with a painting every day. 

A painting a day is just not easy.  And I got some nasty upper respiratory thing that really laid me low and I missed a few days painting.  But here's the thing--I got back to it not because I'd lose face or to prove something (although there's that!) but because I missed it!  I looked forward to painting every day!  And that hasn't happened in a long while. I found joy in sketching and watching the paint move with the water. I looked with new eyes for inspiration without desperation.  That's new too.  There's pressure to preform and to do it well when others are watching.  I let that go.  Well, as much as anyone can.  I really just enjoyed the process. 

Side note:  my version after February was over: "gosh that was fun!"  Tom, my husbands version is quite different. His version is of my running around saying "I can't find time to paint today" or " I'm just not inspired". To be fair, that was true at first.  Until I got sick and couldn't hold my head up!  Being sick always reminds me what a gift being well and able is!  Refocuses my view!  Whew! 

Doing anything for 28 days develops a habit.  I've had worse habits!  A friend sent me a TED talk about doing something for 30 days and I've added the links here:
It's so true.  And how do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time!  

Now that I'm back to painting, I figure I'll get back to blogging.  Neither will be regular or have the drive they did before, but like I said, spring has just begun!  These days I'm taking it as it comes.  

Let me also say that the response from everyone was awesome. I appreciated all the kind comments and support.  I hope it inspires you to feed your creative side.  If you want to jump start it--take small bites for 30 days!  

Paint on! 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Day 22-28

Hello and welcome to the last week of the 28 day challenge.  This was a challenge for sure.  Each painting took at least 45 minutes.  I'm not sure why, except people would be seeing it and I was more careful than I would be if it was just for me.  My sketchbooks are for experimenting, working out problems with future painting and just for fun.  They are not as detailed or finished.  I rarely take that kind of time with my sketches, saving the careful painting for paintings I may show. Maybe next time I can let go a little more and show you the goofy, wonky sketches. 

That said, I enjoyed the challenge of doing more detailed sketches.  This time around I found I was better able to focus on finding inspiration.  I chose subjects based on what moved me that day and tried not to worry about whether it would be interesting to you or easy to paint and vowed to post it even if it bombed.  The only time I didnt was when I painted my son in law and he looked like someone beat him up!  That was a pride issue on my part and I didn't want to embarrass him! 

So lets talk about the last weeks sketches -- Day 22--

I bought some inspiration at the grocery store this week.  As I said before, I like to work from life.  These sunflowers screamed at me from across the produce section and I knew i had to paint them.  (I must have gotten them very fresh because these puppies are still perfect a week later!) I felt like this was really tight and I've worked hard to paint with a loser look, so it was interesting that all these paintings are all so tight.  Oh well.  Going forward I kept a focus on working a little looser. 

Day 23--

My dad fell asleep on the couch and the cat crawled up on him and fell asleep in the sun.  There was a lot of detail that I didn't have time for, like the cat and hands.  But I was pleased with how the face came out with the play of colors and the sun on his forehead. I also felt that this was a lose painting and I like that. I call it "Cat Nap".

Day 24--

Again from the grocery store the other day, I bought some beets.  I love to paint the colors in beets.  There are rusts, and purples and deep burgundy reds. And lets face it, who can resist the shape of leaves?  Its hard not to get carried away with all the details in the leaves, but I thought I kept them lose while keeping the detail on the beets.   I especially love the tap roots. 

Day 25--

This little sketch I did straight with a pen from a photo. I usually have to restate the lines I screw up and it ends up looking very messy, especially with architecture. This came out pretty well and I didn't restate much.  Its really small in comparison to the others, I think its maybe 4x5. 

Day 26 --

I had something else in mind for the day, but these were singing in the sun on my kitchen table where I've been painting for these weeks.  They are in a box, and I hated the box I painted, so I took it over to the sink and just washed it off!  Then I liked it just that way so I framed it with line and called it a day!  

Day 27--

Well, I don't a have day 28.  I KNEW I missed one!  Ok, I owe ya one!  But here is the last one, day 27. I have some pussy willows in a jar and like all the other things that are from nature I paint, I was thinking about why Im drawn to it.  I like the hard bark contrasted with the soft puffs and wondered if I could convey that feeling.  I loved the curves of the branches.  This painting was very meditative.  Something about the colors and the line.  The contrast of dark color and hard edges with light color and soft fussy edges.  I kept it to three branches because I wanted it simple.  I think this was one of my favorites from the 27 days.  

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the sketches.  Try it yourself.  Its addicting!