Sunday, March 20, 2016

struggles

there are times that it's just a struggle. getting up, going to work- let alone making art. whatever the reason- the gray gray weather, the death of a beloved companion, a cold that lingers on and on. we've all been there.

no post last week, not much art being made. molly's death, lots of travel, feeling under the weather all catching up with me. you can only run for so long. eventually there's a stopping point. it's often what happens there that determines how things look going forward.

i'm grateful to have my journals to help with that. i am working in all of these currently. each has a personality and they call to me at very specific times for different things.

                                  

after vacation i went immediately (as in less than 24 hrs) into intense training at work. which was great but unsettling. followed by a spawning salmon week (swimming upriver only to spawn & die- everyone's had them).

so i went into the studio one night, pulled out a journal and drew an image of myself with a barbed wire burka. i had to laugh- i had no idea that the piece was going this way but it is a perfect representation of how i was feeling. but the meadowlark always sounds like spring to me, so there's hope.

 

i feel scattered, fragmented. working on this and that- which is better than not working, but it's in fits and starts, not flowing. not feeling like the muse is present- but sometimes you just have to do the work. 

one thing that always helps- the great wide open. cranes flying overhead to land and sing and dance in a field close enough to observe.


beautiful snowy mountains and watery fields holding the promise of a fertile spring


 quiet wild places




funny- i didn't realize until i started writing that this is very much about spring and rebirth. about saying goodbye and moving forward. about spending the time needed to be still and then making noise.

i am working on a portrait of molly. she was much on my mind as halle, jack and i hiked this weekend. the first spring without her in many years. this is my way to say goodbye, to honor her spirit and thank her for what she brought us.


it occurs to me sometimes the struggle is necessary in order to slow down and reflect and make peace. that i should be gentle with myself, and understanding- as i would be with anyone else. that it's all part of the process and it makes sense to learn what i can in this moment, from this seemingly unproductive time (because i know it's really not) so that i can be gentle with myself when it happens again.




Monday, March 7, 2016

time flies

on february 23 we took the redeye to florida. went to the keys to visit a friend and to beautify her trolley's air conditioner. i have never done this sort of thing and had no idea what to expect. we stopped at home depot & got supplies ( way too much paint & primer, but better that than not enough).

started out thursday by prepping- the interior of this vehicle is beautiful (see it here) and we were very conscious of being careful.


once the prep was done, it was 2 coats of primer & 2 coats of latex base- with 1-4 hours dry time between. i hadn't planned for it to take that long to lay the base down (duh) and was feeling a bit short on time when we got to this point. it already looks better , though.


the first time we visited jeanne, we saw spoonbills flying overhead. got a lesson in how you don't see flamingos in the keys. so i knew i wanted a spoonbill. always good to practice first. 


back on the bus and ready to start the mural. i had visions of a nicely graduated water area, which were immediately shot down by how fast the paint was drying in the heat and the fact that even with glaze it just wasn't behaving. panic.


when in doubt, texture. i started "sponging" colors off and on, creating layers. first using paper towels, but the paint was drying so fast they stuck, so i went to plastic bags. once i was satisfied with that, i started on the critters. roseate spoonbill first.


i only got this far on one side- would have liked to have a fuller sea, but it's a start. and jeanne could tell i have a tarpon & a yellowtail, so that made me happy. guess i'll just have to go back & finish the job.


last thing i painted was a raven-


 i have started working in the french english dictionary that i bought for this year's vacations. the first 2 images are our portland trip, the next 5 the keys. happy with the conch shell- this is one exercise i rebelled at when i was taking classes years ago. drawing it gave me satisfaction- that i wasn't too scared to try, and that i turned out OK. 


the pelican is awful- but this is about practice, so that's OK. i drew the kayak & paddle board on the deck of a sailboat. we had a chance to do a little exploring in biscayne n.p.


home and off again in less than 24 hours, for a training class that had us working 12 hour days- starting with 5 hours on monday evening. here are the journal entries for that trip-


and home for girl's art weekend. i had no time to prep, shop, etc. luckily the rest of the crew had everything well in hand. i ended up bringing journals to play in- couldn't really come up with anything else- 




i am now actually home for an entire week and looking forward to getting in the studio to do some bigger work. stay tuned-