Author: godivaart

Memorial day

I have been in my studio this weekend working on a ukulele case – yes, that is what I said.  Who plays ukuleles, you ask – well apparently a whole lot of talented folks, giving me a bit of commission work.  Anyway, I am pleased with the results, although not completely sure it is exactly what the client had in mind…  It is quite striking, but maybe a little less androgynous than what was expected from me.   I haven’t a good space for flat work and my neck is cursing me.  I will not paint the next one in my studio.  It would be done yesterday if I didn’t stop nearly every 20 minutes to straighten up and walk it off – and have a snack and coffee.  Once disturbed from my task, it seems as though coffee is the answer to all ailments.

It was 98 degrees in the shade at my house today.  Really.  I will not be going anywhere for the holiday.  Nothing will take me from the coolness of my home to face the sticky heat outside, sticky hot- seats in my car and the scorching sun baking me inside of my car like a calzone in a brick oven.  It’s popsicles and a movie at home with Baby.

New work

“Bob” is complete and I have posted an image.  The image is not of high quality, but nonetheless representational of the piece.  I will contact a photographer friend soon to take some decent photos for better website results and archival material.

I have picked up where I left off on my encaustic work, as well as an abstracted, scenic triptych.  Studio time has become more accessible this week, as my garden is growing and nourishing itself, taking up less of my time.  Research time has also doubled and project ideas are scattered about my workspace.  Coffee is brewing nearly around the clock and my coffeemaker threatens to quit amidst the chaos – although Starbuck’s is close to home and has those wonderful cinnamon scones….  mmmm.

Bob

“Bob” is finally finished and I’m very pleased with the final results.  I will post an image tomorrow of this latest piece.  It is complete a little later than I was hoping, as life seems to be determined to get in the way of my plans every chance it gets.  Even so… I am done and moving on to my next project.  I am working on my encaustic piece this next week with hopes to finish it and post images mid-month.  I am in the studio for the remainder of the evening, with windows open wide and the wind ushering in to me the sweetness of jasmine wrapped up in each balmy gust.

Spring Celebration

Beltane, May Day – whatever you want to call it…  motivated a planting last week of sunflowers, poppies, marigolds and lavender.  Unfortunately, “Bob” was delayed a couple of days for the spring planting.  I have excused myself, though, as Grandma would always prioritize these things as well.  The Maypole was tethered in colorful, spring-hued ribbons every year, while the Madonna was crowned in fresh-cut flowers with blooms strewn all about her.  It was spring.  It was always a celebration.

I have no Maypole or Madonna, and the celebration is seemingly uneventful – but not forgotten or celebrated with a planting of SOMEthing.  It is the spirit of Grandma that reminds me and keeps it special, even in the busiest of times.  The urge to sow springs to the surface and inspires a planting before all other projects, cleaning or dinner plans.  It will be done before May 1st to ensure blooms, sprouts and regeneration begins on time.

“Bob” is coming along and should be complete this evening.  I did not rush through to finish it by the months end, as planned.  The importance of the deadline was overshadowed by Beltane planting.   Without the rush, when “Bob” is complete I will be able to post a painting I am proud of.  As for my garden – Grandma would be proud.

Good Day

I planted my sunflowers today and I must say, gardening is hard work… Seems as though everywhere I dug, there was a giant root trying to prevent my beautification plans.  The rewards will be great and well worth the back strain, so I persisted and won the competition for the perfect spot for the huge summer blooms.  This summer I will really love sitting on my back porch watching them sway in the wind, their giant, brightness smiling at me.  I sowed in a spot that is also visible from the front so I will see them welcoming me home every day, making me even more glad to be back from wherever I go.

Working on “Bob” today with good results.  Happy.  Using my new Kolinsky sable brushes, so it is more enjoyable than it has been with my worn out ones.  I lost all my old good brushes during one of our moves a couple of years ago and have been making due with cheaper, less durable ones.  I must be rough on them because I lose a few heads in the mineral spirits on occasion… not good for keeping up with momentum.

I will post “Bob” soon to show you, seeing as the end of the month is growing near.  I will be done.  More rewards for me 🙂   It is raining outside and the wind is talking to me… no need for music in the studio today.  I will listen and just paint.

losing it…

I’m finally back in the studio working on “Bob”.  I’ve missed the smells here – the paint, specifically, and mineral spirits… I must remember to open the window, though –  I don’t think I can afford to lose any more brain cells.  I don’t think I can afford to lose any more brain cells.  I plan to complete my work on “Bob” by the months end, so I am working on him tonight even though I worked a long day today.  My back is tired and my energy level is dipping low, but I have coffee.

The last two weeks I spent getting MRIs and EMGs done.  Anyone ever had an EMG?  Strangely relaxing, even though you are being shocked and poked with tiny needles from head to toe…I figure they aren’t cutting me open, so have at it.  For some reason I have become a pincushion and am okay with that.  I am sure Doc will tell me to slow down on everything I love, but here is a pill to make it all better.  I think I just need an around-the-clock masseuse and some new cute shoes.  Must find a doctor to prescribe that…

Did I already talk about losing brain cells?  Well, I watched Seraphine with Nolen the other day…interesting and a bit sad.   “Great”, he joked at the end… “that’s what I can look forward to.”   I just told him that it wasn’t the artist in her that made her crazy – it was all that damn laundry!  I, too, was joking, but wouldn’t you know – when I got home from work the next day, my Sweetbaby had done the laundry…   Gotta love the little things in life.   🙂

The Southern Atelier

Today I took a drive down to Sarasota to visit the Southern Atelier studios.  It was an inspirational visit, as I was really blown away by the art the students were producing under the instruction of the teachers there.  Very impressive, traditional style portraiture covered the walls, making it easy to see the studios success inevitable.  The owner and main instructor is from New York and very talented.  It most definitely will be worth the drive to pursue a workshop or classes in the future.

As far as my work is going – it is coming along slower than I had anticipated, but I am crawling out of the muck that had muddled my brain, sucking the inspiration out of me lately.  I have but a few short weeks to go on my quest to complete “Bob” and with some extra hours put in this weekend I will prevail.  This visit to Sarasota has inspired me to work.  I must stop making the mistake of feeling fatigue and allowing it to conquer my work schedule, which has vanished over these past few weeks.

I have a painting up for auction in October, benefiting breast cancer research – I will give details as soon as I get them in.  Until then – happy painting 🙂

Sisyphus in the Studio…

Sometimes something completely unexpected and out of your control occurs that makes you realize how quickly life can get really out of control.  You then realize how very unimportant some things are which were so huge before, and just how big the little things really are.   I have been way-layed a bit, and feeling a bit like Sisyphus.  In other words, life has been kicking my ass.   Not to worry… I have re-focused; re-wound my biological clock.  No – I am not talking about having babies, here – just re-prioritizing a few things, manufacturing an importance of order and simplicity over perpetual investment.   Sounds way cooler, to me.

I am still working on “Bob” – my latest painting.  I have not put brush to canvas in weeks, now and I miss it.  I still have a pool of dried paint and medium on my palette, left from my last studio encounter.  Scraping it down will be rewarding – an act of metaphorical existence; a fresh start to this project started before my lapse in studio time; a new execution of an old commitment.   I will render this painting done by the month of May, if I am persistent in my work.  Wish me luck, friends.  I really look forward this piece – I feel I have captured something rare in this one and I will be excited to see the final phase in sight.

Espresso it is!

A friend gave me information on a studio in Sarasota that looks incredible – a bit of a drive for me here in Largo, but worth the travel.   The Southern Atelier has workshops, sessions, classes and open studios at a variety of times during the week.  They teach the classical style of portraiture, figure painting and landscape as well as plein air painting.  I plan to make the drive next week to check out the facility and see how I can put some open studio time there on my regular schedule.   http://thesouthernatelier.org/

My new painting, “Bob”  is coming into its own and I am excited with its progress.  I will need to put in some serious studio time this week to complete it and get it posted on my website and blog – hopefully within the next two weeks.  I have cluttered my workspace with dead dolls and I will be finding new homes for them tomorrow with any luck.  Anyone interested in Living Dead Dolls is welcome to inquire about what I have left that I can part with.

My husband and I took my parents out to dinner for their March birthdays tonight so we are all overstuffed and have a nice wine buzz happening… I will probably head off to slumber sooner than my body is used to.  An espresso may be in order to finish my tasks tonight… This is a choice of two best friends, here – coffee or Temperpedic… tough one, as they both give me such pleasure…  Espresso it is!

Creating the Not-So-Pretty

If I can stop one heart from breaking,

I shall not live in vain:

If I can ease one life the aching,

Or cool the pain,

Or help one fainting robin

Unto his nest again,

I shall not live in vain.

Not in VainEmily Dickinson

I know some say that art can not – will not change the world, but one can hope it can make some difference.  I, for one, do not paint for “pretty’s” sake.  I feel a cathartic rise when I am in the studio.  I don’t have unrealistic hopes, though, that I will change the world – I just want to make my viewers think for a minute or two.  Is that really too much to ask?  I wonder if it is, sometimes when I am putting my soul into a piece that means so much to me.  It is then that I whip out some pretty.  It really sells, doesn’t it – the pretty.  Unfortunately, it isn’t enough for me.  I somehow feel it necessary to force my opinion and what makes me feel good to say upon others.  Does this make me egotistical – to think I have something so important to say, or that I have the right to say it to begin with?  Maybe so.  I reserve the right as an artist to put it out there.  If one doesn’t like, one doesn’t have to look.  I do hope that when one doesn’t like, they think about what it is presented – that is the most important thing to me.  If they still don’t like, so be it.  They have experienced it – it has not been created for any other reason but the experience to take with them.  That alone means I do not create in vain.