Monday, May 30, 2016

frustration, movement

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust

“The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.” G.K. Chesterton
“Travel far enough, you meet yourself.” David Mitchell
i've been home for 2 weeks since paris and have not made any art. how frustrating. all of that lovely "extra" time and nothing to show for it. i've read a few books, had the chance to spend time with friends (a good thing) but i haven't created. ugh.

regrouping, OK, but now i am back on the merry go round and wishing i'd taken advantage of the time. partly not sure which direction to go. made some backgrounds but didn't move past that. interested in playing on paper, but haven't moved in that direction. books on figure drawing, but haven't done the exercises. frozen.

movement can be inspiring but it can also be a great tool for avoidance. even when i journal while traveling i am not pushing myself- same small squares in the dictionary. hotel room lamps. photos from a window seat. nothing wrong with practice and honing skills, but it's feeling a bit uninspired right now.

luckily, i have a challenge coming. headed to yellowstone with a friend who is a very good photographer. she's knowledgeable, interested in learning and pushing herself and generous with her talent. i learn a lot from her and am inspired to move out of my comfort zone and get better. 

i played a bit with the camera this weekend in preparation. worked on shooting modes & playing with different depth of fields (dof).

i always love backlighting, and was pleased with the glow here-

i am drawn to odd little vignettes, like the indian paintbrush and plant skeleton below. enjoy finding little natural still lifes like this.

wide depth of field- love the way the leaves echo the movement in the foothills and the juxtaposition of the warm sunny wildflowers and the snow.

playing with shallow depth of field here and rather enjoying the effect. this is a much more interesting image than the ones i took with a higher dof.

saw these potentilla glowing in the sun against the dark background. this could be a more successful image- i need to work on my metering as the flower is pretty blown out and i'd like the top flower maybe a bit more in focus. or darkened out. it's distracting

hmmm even though i didn't paint or draw, it seems that i was, indeed, working on some art. and being in nature always feeds my creativity. i find wildflowers fascinating- finding their beauty in some of the most inhospitable places is always a joy. even if we don't have luck with animals in yellowstone there's been a lot of rain, so it should be green and lush and beautiful.

but first- lubbock. then home, and tony bennett and work and hopefully ready to head out friday afternoon. i'm looking forward to it, but a bit overwhelmed right now. because- art supplies! (at least this one is a road trip!)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

home for a while..... totem series in progress

i didn't travel last week and hardly knew what to do with myself- it's like so much time suddenly appeared. i felt like i could think about painting again, instead of journaling or photography.

i worked on some backgrounds

and on a draft of my next totem series piece (you can see the photo reference in the upper right corner of the image above. he'll go on the background above, after i work on it a bit more. i didn't get the head quite right- needs to be more triangular- but that's why we practice. one thing this really brought home to me is how much i like water soluble graphite. no clue what i'll do with that, but it's a fact.


it's nice to have portable art, as i worked on this in my studio annex in fairfield. spring is a beautiful time in idaho, especially so on the marsh in good water years (this is the first of those in a while).

camas lilies add another body of blue 

the marsh is alive with birdsong (a generous word for the noise this guy is making, but he's singing his heart out) and hosts a variety of avian visitors

when i was driving around the area yesterday i kept seeing short eared owls but was never in a spot to shoot them. i decided to make it work today (hoping, of course, that they'd be hanging out in the same places).

i was lucky enough to see 4 owls and to shoot 3 of them. the bottom 2 are the same owl- she let me work my way closer and i was grateful. i have a feeling that this is next up in the totem series-

it's so nice to feel inspired and to feel like painting and to have the time at home to do it! of course, i need to weed the garden and plant my pots and do a few other things too, but i have time at home!!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

finally made it to paris

and wow- it was worth the travel time- ( 3 plus to O'Hare, 8 plus over, 9 back)

 such a charming city- just take a walk and look around

i love the rooftops and clay chimneys- they say Paris to me even though this was my first visit- probably thanks to Hollywood

there's iconic Paris-

revolutionary Paris

 and this is what i see Paris:

can't wait to see what art comes from this. i journaled and brought home plenty of ephemera, we'll see where this goes.

there's a quote that says that everywhere you go becomes a part of you. i believe that wholeheartedly, and endeavor to be conscious of that fact- to bring the best of where i go into myself. i'm always looking for the best places in the towns i visit for work or vacation. paris was a very pleasant surprise. not that i didn't expect a good trip- i did. but i was so very charmed- everyone was nice, all of the food was amazing, everything went the way it was supposed to, we didn't have horrible lines anywhere, etc., etc. loved it. it was easy to see why so much great art has been created here. 


Sunday, May 1, 2016

what's the point?

so many days that art is not made. work is done for the job that makes all things possible, errands run, books read, life happens but art does not.....that's OK unless it goes on for too long....i start getting hard on myself.

here's the first art that touched me this week- literally- travis berg created this beautiful memorial with no guidance beyond sugar skull and dogs. i love this tattoo.

then there's this-

wildflowers always amaze me- the growth under such harsh conditions reminding me of the powers of resilience and patience

trying to decide what to take to paris, what to leave- knowing full well that i always take too much, and challenging myself to use everything i take

i did this w/c sketch on Saturday- Hell's Canyon vineyard- with help from Jaki & Lisa on perspective, dumping the insignificant stuff and using w/c......

so, what goes to FRA? 3 sketchbooks for sure- the one i made for this year's trips, the F/E dictionary and a random w/c book.....

trying to keep the implements to a dull roar (without much success)

here i am, excited about the trip, but having trepidation and not making art. trying out media and surfaces- makes sense to know where you're going.

not always possible. sometimes gotta let it happen,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, 

the point is- make someone think, flinch, smile, jump, run, fly- help someone fly-
the point is- there is no point, only art and what you believe it to be
the point is- do it for yourself- it's ok if it's a sketchbook rather than a canvas, it's ok if no one sees it but me-

i'll be in paris this time next week- :)