It started gradually. A little piece here. A little piece there. Next thing you know I have quite a collection.
I’m referring to my “bits of nature” that I just can’t seem to leave outside. I pick up every feather I come across, every mossy bit of fallen bark, every cool and unusual stick. I actually went outside in a downpour recently to “rescue” a perfect clump of moss that I had seen earlier in the driveway and had meant (and then forgotten) to pick up after depositing the groceries in the house.
It’s ok. I’m an artist. We’re allowed these little eccentricities and I quite like them- both my eccentricities and my collection.
Here are just a few of the many paintings inspired by my outdoor finds:
#1 4″x4″ Oil on panel $75
Please contact me for purchase. If you like these, you might also like the mixed-media work found in this post.
I’m pretty independent…sometimes too independent. I figure that people have better things to do than help me when technically I CAN manage. Today, though, juggling a toddler and a heavy box I needed to exchange at an auto parts store I accepted a helping hand. A kind man in the parking lot offered to carry the box into the store and I turned him down. He happened to be leaving the same time as me as well and said, “Please, let me help you.” Maybe it was the tone of his “please,” maybe it was the gut feeling that he wasn’t creepy, or maybe it was the fact that I really wasn’t sure I could make to the car with the even heavier new item under my arm. Whatever the case, I gratefully handed it over. As we got to my car and I thanked him, he admitted, “I have ulterior motives.”
“Oh, great,” I thought, “My gut lied.”
He continued, “I’ve been sitting with my dying father for the last two weeks and I can’t tell you how good it feels just to talk to a living breathing person and feel like I’m being some actual use to someone.”
I left the interaction feeling a warmth and generosity toward all humanity and the sense that we’re all in this together. We could all use a little help sometimes, as well as the opportunity to offer help. May the good you receive equal the good you share.
…aaaand since I don’t have a picture to illustrate this life lesson, here’s another onion 🙂
It’s dark inside the house and out. A melody wakes me from a dream and I roll away from my sleeping husband. I hush the alarm and stand there a moment, considering the silence; considering returning to the still warm bed. I think about the day ahead… about what needs to be done and the few chances I will have to do what I wish with my time. Decision made, I go to the kitchen for some coffee and, as cool blue light begins to seep around the edges of the window panes, I begin my day with pen and paint.
They’re everywhere. They tumble out of pockets, they rolls with the broom out from under furniture, they’re in almost every allowable container in or outside the house.
Rocks. My little girl loves them. And I’m not talking exotic or particularly beautiful rocks. I’m talking gray driveway gravel, pea gravel, garden rocks. She collects them, she gives them as gifts, she plays with them, she even sometimes bathes them. She plays with other toys, too; I just can’t help but smile at her penchant for rocks… I admit it’s partly because it reminds me of my fondness for mossy bits of bark. I guess the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree.
I’m a little giddy… a little obsessed even, over something new. It’s slick, almost plasticky, and as you can see, somewhat transparent (which could lend itself to all kinds of cool tricks). Here are some of the mixed-media pieces I’ve … Continue reading →
You’ve all seen pictures of my revamped (and so pretty!!) gray and white studio, but have you noticed that it’s affected my work?
“Make a Wish” 4″x4″ $40
“Wild Strawberry” 4″x4″ $40
“Grey Feather” 4″x4″ $40
“One Lucky Family” 4″x4″ $40
“Purple Clover II” 4″x4″ $40
“Nestled” 4″x4″ $40
“Purple Clover” 4″x4″ $40
I don’t know what came first, the studio re-do or this series of paintings (they both started around the same time) but I seem, in all areas of my life, to be craving clean, white, open spaces and simplicity. Hmm… could have something to do with the zillions of brightly colored letters and other toys constantly scattered around my house.
I used to hang my paintings on the wall as they were completed. However as paintings sold, commissions were picked up, new paintings were finished, etc. paintings were removed or shifted around and the walls were left with a bunch of nail holes. I couldn’t bear the thought of poorly planned nail holes in my beautiful new gray walls! My friend Drew mentioned the idea of putting them on a shelf, which hadn’t occurred to me. My tons of wall shelves that I added, while helpful, still didn’t give me enough room to store paintings. However I had a boxy particle board bookcase. I didn’t think to take a before-picture, but you know the kind- brown, faux wood laminate, moveable shelf, etc. I decided that shelf would work, but it most definitely didn’t go with the light, airy studio image in my head. Also, I was afraid to leave my paintings within easy reach of my toddler. Which leads me to another deficiency that needed to be addressed- I didn’t have any place in my studio that was kid-friendly, where perhaps the small one could occupy herself for 5 minutes. (Let’s face it- 5 minutes is probably the most I could realistically ask for.)
The solution? Multi-stepped, but easy and working out well for us.
First I sanded down the bookcase (just enough to rough it up) and applied Kilz Latex Primer. Then, I spray painted it white. Figuring that taking books or paintings off the shelf would probably be tough on the paint (since I’m sure latex paint on top of laminate is not archival), I covered the shelves with some decorative contact paper. Now comes my real innovation. I put felt feet on bottom of the bookcase so that it could be moved easily without damaging the floor (but not so easily that the wee one would likely move it) and I turned it to face the wall so that the paintings were not accessible. Lastly, I painted the back panel with chalk-board paint, cut, painted, and nailed trim around the “chalkboard” Voila! A storage spot for small paintings, a chalkboard for the kiddo, and a pretty piece for the studio. I love it when a plan comes together!
(I’m still having computer problems, so once again, forgive poor photo editing and cropping.)
Since the death of the baby birds I have kept an eye out for the mother and father birds to no avail. They seemed to have disappeared. However, literally moments after I sat down to paint and draw this mixed-media picture of their abandoned nest, now blooming with marigolds, the mother came and perched on the top of basket. She leaned down almost as if admiring the flowers, then hopped down to the side of the basket. Looking through the glass storm door at me, she cocked her head. I barely breathed, not wanted to scare her. We stayed like this a few moment then she flew away. I haven’t seen her again since.
I know it’s far-fetched, but I like to believe she approved of me honoring her loss and came to let me know.