Tag: inspiration

Summer Breeze…

With coffee in hand, I am sitting outside waiting for rain. Just a sprinkle to cool down the scorching heat of summer. Still in my night clothes at 3 p.m. And trying to get motivated, I tolerate the heat outside on my back porch, private and green, flourishing plant life from these summer showers. Herb garden is plush and fruitful. Vegetables, not-so much. The summer was too extreme and each new leaf withered without bearing anything yummy. The one puny, green tomato that endured was maliciously snitched from me by a hungry fruit rat. Under my watchful eyes, a mere 20 feet away, the slinky critter plucked it and ran into the night. I think I heard it laughing at me… My nurturing efforts were abolished in one clean sweep from this bandit. At least the caterpillars have abandoned the basil for now and caprese salad is abundant. We are now a gluten-free household and even though I miss my Saltiness, we are glad for the rain to nourish the herbs and flowers, making the temperature and the stagnant breeze a bit sweeter.

My studio has remained unoccupied for months and it looks as sad as I am for abandoning it. The unfinished work stares at me each day as I peek in to jog some inspiration and motivation. Thoughts are brewing and ideas are abound. Energy is at an all time low. The mundane household duties have over run my time, mixing in with somewhat mandatory social engagements and work that actually pays the bills.

This is the week, though, that breaks the cycle. Things are coming to fruition and time will be allotted to unleash the creative flow again. It seems I’ve painted everything except canvas these past few months, and even as I admire the newness of the media room, kitchen and front bathroom, it fails to fulfill any artistic need. The living room will come together soon, as scheduled, but will definitely come behind time in my lonely studio. A garage sale is in order here to alleviate the clutter bogging down our energy. I believe we have just too much furniture, for when we are in our creative mode we have the fewest guests to utilize it. My adoration of antique chairs must be squelched for my own good!

For tonight, work is scheduled for me and Nolen’s melodies will fill the house while I am gone. I will plan tomorrow’s clutter resolution for a productive weekend with my oils and brushes. Dinner is in the oven and I am 3 tall cups into a pot of coffee. Ready, set, go!

Summer Season of Change

Summer feels like it is here…hot, hot and more hot days.  Tomatoes are nestling in the Topsy Turvey, herbs are abundant, jasmine is in full bloom.  Last year’s sunflowers are poking up towards the sun and spatterings of clouds.  The sun is scorching and I am desperately trying not to get a farmers tan to go along with my outdoor nurturing of new blossoms.

My babies- the human ones are nearing preschool and it will be a sad but welcomed time, for my studio calls and I am perpetually drained of energy for all else but nursery rhymes and the beckons of sticky mouths.  Their cherub faces will belong to other teachers, caregivers and their real Mommy and Daddy.  I have found a way, though, to keep them close to heart and home for myself to cherish, as they are subjects for my newest series.  They will always be my babies – too.

On other pages of my tot-filled brain is the note that I neglected to post pictures of the last ukulele bag I completed last summer.  Uggh.  That chapter closed months ago with my blogging pages and intellectual thought.  I forgive myself in between silent recitation of “Goodnight Moon” verses and Barney tunes.   I will post today the wave bag I finished and relinquished last summer.  A timely post for the upcoming season of sun, beaches and abundant scorn from Mother Nature.

I have a day planned to the fullest with errands and sunblock before I can retire to my brushes and oils for some air conditioning and reconditioning of my Barney brain.

Big Wave

New Work

I am back in cyber-circulation, folks.  It has been many, many months and my thoughts have been a whirlwind of chaos over my head.  Last year went out and the new year came in quietly, shuffling in wearing fuzzy slippers.  Now, though, the overdue inspiration is flooding into my quiet space and creativity is abound!  My senses are alert and every waking hour I am dreaming of putting brush to canvas,  unnamed colors mixed on my palette, the smells of oils and turpentine.

I have little time actually in the studio, for life calls for my attention – loudly.  I have begun, though, to ignore the beckoning somewhat, to deal with the allure of my dreams.  My studio is lively again, smelling of those rich studio smells mixed with coffee – and fabric softener  (by day, it poses as a laundry room for my domestic alter ego).   I have started a new series of figurative work while working on some nature pieces I started a while back.   I have abandoned the encaustic projects I was working on last summer, as my studio lacks good enough ventilation and lighting over the work table.   I have traded ventilation for space – this may be the reason for the creative flood going on here…

I have been working more with glazes for this series and am having a lot of fun allowing myself more room for color experimentation.  The drying time in-between glazes allows me to go back and forth between paintings, creating continuity in movement, color and style.   I am looking for a softer finish and richer depth of color in this series as compared to the bolder  impasto style in my last few paintings.  The figures I am using will benefit more from a softer stroke and color palette, focusing on the expressions of the figures and what they are conveying to the viewer.  I will post images soon.

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.

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 🙂

Saturday studio

It is Friday night and I’m worn out from the week.  I have not been to the open drawing studio at the Morean Art Center in a couple weeks, unfortunately… but, I am definitely going tomorrow.  I miss the unbroken block of work time offered, even though I struggle with going to the classroom-like atmosphere.  I need this time tomorrow.  I need to focus.  I have been slacking in my own studio a bit, for my week is full of truly exhausting tasks and my Temperpedic bed is just so snuggley during this arcane  Florida winter.   And I’m still looking for a Quiller wheel to play with….

You’d think that my warm, snuggley, Temperpedic bed would allow me to focus and read some of the library books I brought home over a month ago.   It really is an evil entity, beckoning my sore bag of bones to sink down into it, eating  popcorn and watching dvds of Charmed and old, black and white movies.   I renewed my stock of books last Saturday (instead of going to the art center) and still haven’t cracked open but half of them.  I LOVE reading, but focus is hard to come by these days.  Must work on that.  Maybe its my house-wear – cozy, fuzzy slippers and flannel jammies –  that keeps me from seeing the light of day?  hmmmmm.

Jacques Ousson

There is a French artist I met several years ago when I worked at 531 Central Fine Art in downtown St. Petersburg.  This artist inspired me – his paintings made an incredible impact on  the way I looked at landscape painting, influencing my conclusion that not all landscapes are so green or landscape-y.  Not only did his work blow me away, but his demeanor.  He seemed to not notice the crowds surrounding him and was very comfortable and obliging to all the questions asked of him – all through a translator.  I have a show catalog, still of his that he not only signed for me special with a nice inscription in French – but drew a sketch of my favorite painting of his in the inside flap.  Jacques Ousson is still one of my favorite artists today.  From time-to-time I look through that catalog and at the personal sketch to me.  His paintings still make me sigh.  Check out his site – he is truly amazing 🙂    http://www.ousson.com

Crybaby Dork

I have an excuse for not doing pretty much anything that deals directly with performing in front of, near, around the general vicinity, or with other people.  When I say “performing,” I mean drawing, painting, reciting – not singing, dancing or acting, as I would completely fall out if expected to seriously do any of those.  Outside of a few karaoke ditties croaked out under the influence of many martinis, real performing doesn’t even pertain to me.  But… to perform my craft in a classroom setting or plein air does, and it mortifies me.

I have made a decision, though, that it is necessary to “get over it.”   I am a grown women, for Pete’s sake – I am not stuck in that nightmare where you go to school naked and are wandering the halls because you can’t find your locker.  But, nonetheless, it takes a tremendous amount of anxious energy to drag myself to the arts center for open drawing studio time.  I look forward to it until the day comes and I break into a nasty panic.  I am proud of my work – I just can’t find my words when I have to talk about it and can’t seem to concentrate on my work or what my hands are doing if there are people anywhere close to me.   As I get older, it seems I want to be around fewer and fewer people for a  lesser and lesser amount of time.  I love the isolation of my own studio – my own little cave.  Wondering what could possibly make me such a wreck when I am doing what I love, makes me crazy and I wonder if I am just a great big crybaby dork, or if this is solvable without succumbing to Prozac.  Hope to hear that I’m not alone on this – and any possible solutions… any other crybaby dorks out there?

Social neglect

I’ve been hibernating in my studio more in the past couple of weeks than I’ve been able to for months, now, and am cherishing every moment.  Whether I am at the easel, drawing or just reading and blogging about it, I am here in my cave, breathing in the glorious odor of paint, mineral spirits and the coffee that is perpetually brewing.   I’ve hung better lighting, which makes it all so much easier in the night hours to get the color right the first go around.  Unfortunately for the other activities in my life, I have been neglecting what little social life I’ve had, but have been more productive and happy.  I occasionally get those pangs of guilt, but then I can’t afford to jeopardize what I’ve been longing for – time to get out all that is twittering around in my head.  It is not that I don’t enjoy the relationships I’ve made over the years, but I have learned to become selfish for my own good.  My expressive creativity bears too many rewards to ignore when it calls.  The sociability of artists is a paradoxical and precarious thing, and ceases the instant they begin their actual artistic work. – (R. G. Collingwood)

Stuff in the works

Thought I would blog quickly before I really dug too deeply in my studio.  I have put aside several unfinished projects over the summer, as I was moving my studio location and trying to make it all fit together efficiently.  Its comfortable at this point, although I am in desperate need of bookshelves and a good slab of glass to mix on – mine has transformed back into the patio tabletop  🙁

I will be digging my hands back into a small grouping of drawings/paintings on small, scrap woodblocks cut from the ends of lumber, as well as a 3 dimensional project using used materials that I started saving when I couldn’t bear to waste all these beautiful, although now “useless” metal castaways.  My good friend and very talented artist, Susan Mulder works with a lot of used and discarded materials, creating the most beautiful and innovative work that reflects the beauty and organic core of women.  Looking at her new innovations inspires me to really dig back into these old projects that have been shucked into all the corners and hiding places of my studio.  Check her out @ susanmulder.com – you won’t be disappointed.

Tonight, I am on my way to finishing this painting – I am also still working on a large diptych from my For Your Entertainment series.  My hands are full, but it’s a good full.