Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Q is for Quarantine (What Else?)


Every year I find myself in a quandary about what to write for the letter Q.  This year, not so much. With Covid once again on the roar, we have little choice but to stay home and quarantine. Now that the days are short and the nights are long, it feels more challenging than ever to fill my days with meaningful activity. (Binge watching does not count.)

I feel so fortunate to have work that involves my brains and my creativity and, fills my life (and the lives of others) with color and something to do.

My students have been creating truly beautiful work during the week between classes, and offering something wonderful to share and talk about in our classes. I am looking forward to tomorrow (R day) to see what will appear.

This image is a digital painting - playing with primary colors and stirring up a storm. 

Monday, November 16, 2020

P is for Pandemic and Art for Pleasure


I teach a series of painting classes called Art for Pleasure. What used to take place in a classroom; what used to be an opportunity to explore a variety of styles and materials is now all online. Its taken me some time to figure out how to teach in this new way, but, as it turns out, for my students, and especially for me, having our class to prepare for and a chance to spend time, even at a distance, with other artists, is pure pleasure.

Lately, our class has been preparing to paint by creating a series of thumbnail sketches. These loose sketches, focused on shapes, light and composition are a great way to understand what we are seeing. 

This little painting started as a thumbnail of a still life. I decided to explore it further by doing a quick painting with my waterbrush pens. Adding color allowed me to play with the strong lights and darks I am trying to capture. Next step is to transfer this (with adjustments in the composition) to canvas - larger, and to work in acrylics. We will see ...

Sunday, November 15, 2020

N is for November


There are lots of wonderful things that have happened to me in November. At the top of the list is my wedding anniversary, followed closely by the birth of my grandson, the marriage of my daughter, and, my arrival, after a cross-country journey, in Oregon. All of these things are in the past. This year, November is feeling heavier and harder to get through.

As the rain is pouring down, and the pandemic restrictions keep us locked at home, one of the ways I hold back the dark is by playing with digital editing tools to see what I can create from my work. This sunny piece is based on the Matisse paper art I created and showed here earlier. The warm yellow make me think of (and hope for) better days.

Friday, November 13, 2020

M is for Magenta


Everybody loves purple flowers.

I painted thirty-six "pandemic" postcards this spring and summer. Most were florals, and I shared the pics on social media. Without a doubt the ones that got the most attention are the ones that used my magenta waterbrush pen. Multiple comments - I love purple flowers. But my favorite color to paint is blue. 

Magenta makes these colors harmonize. Magenta is  strong on its own, plays beautifully with yellow, blends with violet and red. Waters down to a very pretty pink. And shimmers next to that blue.

In this picture  (5x7 on watercolor paper) I played with fine sharpie lines in many colors and layered waterbrush pens over the patterning. Working like this, small and detailed feel like embroidery. Very relaxing. 

Thursday, November 12, 2020

L is for Life as I know it


Today is our 44th anniversary. A lot has happened in these years. Life. Long and good so far. 

Times are strange and difficult it seems everywhere in the world today, but we were able to enjoy a walk with the dogs through the golden carpet of leaves that line the river path. Dinner will, of course, be great. Our home is warm and full of light and color. We are both here and healthy. A good life. And I am able to spend the afternoon painting.

This piece is created on a repainted canvas 18x24 in acrylics. Pomegranates.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

K is for Kandinsky


"Russian-born Wassily Kandinsky pioneered abstract art in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His unique perspective on the form and function of art emphasized the synthesis of the visual and the auditory. He heard sounds as color, and this unusual perception was a guiding force in the development of his artistic style."

I love to look at work by Kandinsky - early, late, graphic, painterly, his work dazzles my eyes and intrigues me. In a class a while ago, we painted in his style while listening to music and capturing the sounds on the canvas. Very fun. Today, because I felt like it, I added filters to the original to see what would appear. I like this - the colors and the contrast. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

J is for July


 Its a bleak November day. Cold and rainy on top of all the other things that make up this day in history. 

When the pandemic began last spring, I found myself outdoors as often as possible - camera in hand. This spring was an especially beautiful one; nature offering solace in the bad times. So I began to photograph all of the gorgeous and ever changing array of flowers that were growing in the park, the streets and the gardens that surround our neighborhood. This was also the time when conversation about the troubled Post Office was dominating the news.

On the suggestion of a friend, I began doing a daily postcard size painting and mailing it to a friend (to do my bit to save USPS.)

 These paintings were almost always florals - abstract, loose, very colorful and fun to do. However, as I got deeper into the process, and as the spring turned to summer, my work began to change and my flowers began to reflect the actual flowers I was photographing - until they were almost botanical in style. In July, when the poppies bloom, the available models for my postcards were a riot of color and inspiration. My neighbor is a master gardener who grows a huge variety of flowers - none more spectacular than her poppies of many types and sizes.

In hope of another summer, and in honor of Veteran's Day, Poppies from the Garden. 

Arteza Brush Pens on Watercolor paper.