Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Seascape and a Heart, Widgets and What-Not

I intended to do one thing and instead do something else.....
Another seascape watercolor from the many I have painted:
Recent fiddlings with fiber for a friend, a pre-Valentines swap between us....

I posted these instead of a wonderful You-Tube video I wanted to share. I am still in the learning stages of blogging and need to figure out how to get the video into the post and will do so later. But, I am following my intentions of posting twice a week, so far. It is challenging and fun to figure out the widgets and what-not of bloglandia. Soon I will tackle the header picture too. And maybe add some good resources... And...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Letting Go of Control

Sometimes it felt like the medium took over and painted itself, leaving me wondering where did this come from?
Looking through scans of many paintings I have done, I thought I would post this one. At the time I was painting mostly seascapes, waves and skys. Loving the blues, the loose shapes, the organic feel of it, learning to work with loose washy water and watercolors on the paper to capture the moody effect I wanted. Many were calm seas, blissful. But I had a separate series, called my "Passion" seascape series and this is one of my favorites. The seascapes evolved by my letting go of the over control of the water and the paint, forgoing a minute plan of brushstroke, and instead going with the sense of what felt right for me. Flowing with the water...
Isn't that the way of happier results in life, flowing instead of resisting and controlling? I must remember this approach sometimes.
Meanwhile I am working to organize and catalog all of my paintings and artwork, a daunting task but one that reminds me of previous moments in time, what I was doing and contemplating as I created various artworks.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Vision of Hope

"Change happens because the American people demand it - because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time."

"Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work. That's the promise of America - the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper."

"...there's not a liberal America and a conservative America, there 's the United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America. The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America."
Barack Obama
Yesterday was a defining and historic moment, and I was there. Ok, in my living room, but fully "in the moment" (I took the picture with my camera aimed at the tv, not bad). Obama taking up the reins of power was also about Martin the dreamer many years ago, the acknowledgement and acceptance, reaching freedom and unity, the people choosing a vision inspired by hope rather than fear, and the possibility of what may be.... for all of us. May we all be renewed.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mosaic of Paintings

Playing around with Photoshop again , today I taught myself how to do a mosaic using some of my 4x4 mixed media paintings. Three of these ("Happy Houses) are still available at the Kaewyn gallery, as they decided to keep them a while after the recent miniatures show since they had gotten lots of positive comments on them. Photoshop is full of wonderful possibilities, but can appear overwhelming if you have never tried it. I self taught myself - one tool at a time, experimenting to see what it would do, and I am still learning. Delighted with my mosaic, I know I will do more, perhaps with photos.

This is another tassel I started today, but I wound more yarn on than I would like, I wanted a thinner tassel. So I will do what my friend did and cut it in half, and finish off in a different way, so I will have 2 tassels, perfect for using when I restring some brass bells that I have.
Sometimes you start something thinking you know where you are going, but end up somewhere else.
And I finished up another small fiber experiment, namely a miniature book with doodles, images and favorite quotes. All this while I was inspired watching Obama on this historic day.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Musings from the Sea

There is an exquisite beauty of nature whether seeing a panoramic view or looking at a single thing. The sight, the smells, the sounds, and the feel of the sea was calming and I found myself noticing the infinitely small details like a single shell or rock, sand patterns, and the crisp cool touch of the wind on my face.
We spent a few days by the sea last week, a completely peaceful time appreciating the ocean interspersed with moments of stitching or sketching. I always come home refreshed and am reminded to ask myself, in the daily mix of days, what am I noticing, what am I focusing on?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Experiments with Fiber

Satisfaction of one's curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life. Linus Pauling

As with any art medium playing with fiber and threads and yarn can be so satisfying as raw materials, scraps or forgotten stash transform into something anew. It takes that sense of exploring to push towards trying something unknown. For some the bigger risk is "messing up" that piece of material or yarn, but is it really ever "messed up", or just on the way to becoming something better, kind of like us.

There are several circles of women artists that I play in. Recently in the Needlearts Guild, we decided to learn how to make tassels, so found whatever yarns we had on hand. Quite amazing what can be done with scrap yarns, maybe even some thought to be "ugly" yarns and with inspiring companions. Our circle brought to life a lovely array of colorful tassels.
There is a beauty in the ugly one, if only ones eyes are open to seeing it, reclaiming it.
And a couple of weeks ago, inspired by Jude who has a wide circle of women artists, via her web blog, I experimented on scrap heavy cotton and muslin, doodling with permanent and non-permanent markers, then adding different stitches to my 9 patches on the square, and dampening with a used wet teabag. Interesting effects that bear more exploring.... Here are two of my patches as I prepared to stitch them with French knots and running stitches. See Jude's examples here and be inspired to experiment too:
What shall I do with these squares? I am not sure yet, but I have ideas..... Stitching and fabric lend themselves to such wonderful texture, something I miss when doing traditional watercolors.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Art Show

There is still time for you to see 6 of my paintings at the Kaewyn Gallery, 10101 Main St. in Bothell, WA in the "Miniature Masterpieces and More!" art show which is from Dec 5 - Jan 17, 2009. Though their website is not up to date, it does list their hours:

Here are a couple of the paintings in the show... 2 totally different styles I have. Traditional watercolor and acrylic mixed media. But as you can see, I always love color.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Art Page A Day

"To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival." Wendell Berry

I bought a 100% recycled paper acid free 8 1/2" and 11" 110# artist sketchbook this past November and decided I would do a year of an art page a day (who said resolutions had to be in January??) -- any kind of art -- collage, pen & ink, paint, colored pencils, whatever I feel like doing. This is in addition to my regular journal, plus any other artmaking that I typically do. I will fill several of these sketchbooks since they only have 50 pages. It reminds me of The Artists Way (Julie Cameron) and how interesting things emerge when you take the time to face a blank page. I'm seeing a lot of birds and houses in these art pages.

I'm finding that much of the time I am challenging myself to recycle that odious junk mail that comes in the door. It's very pleasing to make the junk into something visually stimulating like a collage. A small contribution to "repurposing".

"Flying overhead the bird looks down upon a sea of plastic and a landscape of waste and invisible toxins, all the castoffs of the humans who dominate. When will they learn respect for all the living?"

I was experimenting last summer in my painting with a playful style exploring the idea of "Happy Houses", places where we can find joy, smile a bit and have the sun shine down... No matter, shape, how big or small, the concept of home as a haven no matter what other circumstances surround us. Here are a couple of houses from recent art pages. Aren't the junk mail papers colorful and fun?

Friday, January 2, 2009

White Stillness of Winter

"In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you." Deepak Chopra
Puget Sound has been released from a frozen white world created by four recent snowstorms one after the other. We cocooned into our home December 15 and did not emerge until December 28 despite the slushy ice and mounds of snow still on our hill. It was a reminder to appreciate stillness, going within, relaxing around the fire and just being here.