Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Meditation - Purple Lavender Farms, Sketches, and Drawing Class

I wandered through the fields of purple lavender, an ecstasy of colors, sweet scent, and natural beauty everywhere... heaven.
Shades of Purple - Lavender Farms
A couple of days ago we took a ferry and headed over to Sequim, which I thought was the NW capitol of lavender, but turns out to be the North American lavender producing capitol. There are at least a dozen farms to visit, and over the years we have found most of them as we do this trip every year. Sequim has a festival, which we now skip, because it is less crowded and thus more quiet and relaxing without the festival. The farms are open a couple of months for visitors, and our very favorites are: Purple Haze (love the name), Cedarbrooke, and Jardin du Soleil. We also never miss The Cutting Garden flower farm, which has exquisite gardens and grounds surrounding a large beautiful home-like center which are also open to visitors.

Drawing and Mini-Booklet Class
I'm excited about offering some new classes! Below are a couple of examples of the type of pen line drawing I will be teaching at an upcoming class at Everett Artist's Supply. If you are local and interested, here is more info.

Zen Drawing 2 hours $25 Aug 11 10am-12
Come learn a fun simple method of pen line drawing that requires no artistic background or ability. This type of line drawing can become addictive, but in a good way. It’s very relaxing, and no mistakes! This method of drawing can be incorporated into your art projects or be framed as is. You will produce at least 2 small beautiful art pieces in this class to take with you and learn a portable drawing technique you can use anywhere as an instant path to relaxation.

Mini Booklet and Portfolio 2.5 hours $25 Aug 11 1pm-3:30
Now that you’ve seen how fun it is to make the “zen drawings”, join me in creating a small easy booklet with blank pages and a simple stitched binding. The portfolio is made to hold the mini booklet, pen and pencil, everything in one place. It’s perfect to take along with you, so when you want to take a few moments and relax, you can take it out and draw.

Aromatherapy for the Soul
I wish the computer had a scent button that you could press and have a sample of the wonderful aroma of lavender flowers. They are supposed to be therapeutic and the scent is said to slow your nervous system, destress and mellow you out. I certainly felt good after wandering around all day with all that purple scent, then brought some home and am still smiling... And I have some bundles to play with and make things with, culinary and sachet. I'm thinking, scent does play large in our lives, and just the hint of something in the air can bring back all kinds of memories... Wishing you a fragrant day, whether it's enjoying lavender, or roses, or fresh roasted coffee, baked pies or chickens, or whatever you relish. Lavish in the wonderful ability to catch those tiny microns of scent that take us to a quiet or pleasant place or memory.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Painting Faces and Art Show

Contemplative reverie and emotive blues... these paintings emerged from my hand...Painting Faces
I find myself drawn towards expressing faces with my art lately, whether sketching or painting. The two above are my latest acrylic paintings. My goal in most of my paintings is to express, capture gestures, feelings, a sense of place, and not photographic realism at all. First came the blue face, then two weeks later the more flesh and lavender toned face. I took them to my critique group on Wed morning and got lots of positive feedback on them. Someone pointed out they looked surrealistic in style, and another said the blue one reminded her of Chagall's flying figures...another that they looked like two sides of a woman and would fit in an upcoming breast cancer exhibit. I'm finding the critique group very helpful in the different viewpoints expressed while we take in each of the paintings created, all unique. And so wonderful and inspiring to see the variety of art from these ten talented women.

I was going to include these two faces in my art show, however, decided I couldn't part with them yet, they are too fresh, and I must keep them around for a while. So I'm wondering, readers, do any of you have difficulty letting go of some of your paintings or art?

ArtSplash Art Show!
So, here's a picture of my art space at Artsplash which is through this weekend. I did the hanging and set up on Wednesday. I still hung one very large heavy watercolor painting, but the rest are all the light weight acrylics I have worked on. Again, I have been painting seascapes and desert scenes, favorite subjects. And birds... Stop in for the reception tonight or anytime before 5pm Sunday when it closes.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday Meditation - Trip to the Rose City, Art Show, and Teaching

“In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe.” Michael Jackson
Trip to Rose City
We're back from an exhilerating trip to Portland. That biker in the picture above is my husband who did all 200 miles in one day as I drove down. The STP (Seattle to Portland) bike ride draws over 10,000 riders from all over the country and the vast majority do the ride in 2 days with a stop overnight along the way... So you see, he's in rare company, those that dream and actually accomplish difficult physical challenges... 14.5 hours sitting on a bike seat, oh my gosh! And he's done it at least 18 times over the years! He's my role model for getting in shape, but, definitely not to that level.

We relaxed the next day after his bike ride, by visiting the Portland Rose Garden in the morning - great overlooks of the city and the most wonderful large rose garden I have seen. We enjoyed the afternoon at the Portland Art Museum. There was an interesting Escher exhibit who was a master at detailed drawings, also exhibit on tattoos, and, of course, I love their permanent collection of impressionist paintings, all worthy of a stop there.

Art Show
I have very busy making new art for an upcoming show, and happy to say, I'll succeed in my goal of putting together a show in a different media for me, acrylic. I have also created a selection of mini art as part of my display, here's a peek at 3 of them in the picture below. In addition, the show has a "miniature paintings" section too. "Artsplash" begins July 16 and runs through July 19 in Edmonds, for those reading who are local. Over 50 artists will be in this show, including me, so do stop in and take a look and chat with the artists. The best time to come is either Thursday evening (4-8pm) during the Edmonds Art Walk so you can visit other galleries as well.... or even better, come on Friday evening (6-8pm) when most of the artists will be there. I will also be there on Sunday afternoon from 2-5 doing an art demo. Teaching!
In the sidebar of my blog I have added a listing of workshops I will be teaching at Everett Artist's Supply and Framing: Zen Drawing, Mini-Booklet and Pamphlet, and Journaling the Journey. I'm excited about presenting these fun, easy art sessions. Teaching is something I have done a bit of here and there, and it is satisfying seeing people absorb information and the directions they take with their own art.

Tuesday Meditation
I found a beautiful quote from Michael Jackson today. I have to say, I was absorbed by some of the media frenzy and talking heads the last couple of weeks after his death (isn't there just tooo much celebrity "news" these days on CNN, is it still "news" if it's repeated over and over for weeks, or if it's really just endless speculation?)? And though I never thought of myself as an MJ fan, I realized there were quite a few songs along the way that I now remember I really enjoyed. And, definitely, I thought he was an extraordinary dancer - some moves look like Elvis, some like Fred Astaire, James Brown, Charlie Chaplin, and rap all rolled into one. Very gifted man who I learned also gave back more to charity than any other pop star. So here's a You Tube video of an early performance by a younger MJ of one of my fav's, copyright the artist. There are probably many lessons that his life presents for us, not the least of which, are, to look past the external into the soul and essence of a person and to "dare to hope, comfort, dream, and believe".

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sunday Meditation - Crayola Bombs to You! Seascapes and Birds

“Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon. A happiness weapon. A Beauty Bomb..." Robert Fulghum
"And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one. It would explode high in the air -- explode softly -- and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air. Floating down to earth - boxes of Crayolas. And we wouldn't go cheap, either - not little boxes of eight. Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in. With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest. And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination." Robert Fulghum

I love this quote and thought it appropriate for the U.S. 4th of July celebrations. I prefer visualizing crayola bombs, happiness bombs, rather than the typical song about the rockets red glare and the real bombs bursting in air. Now don't get me wrong, I do love my freedom and also think people should be entitled to liberty no matter where they are. Maybe this is an artist's way of viewing the world, perhaps those of us who share our work are sending out little parachutes of happiness. Little parachutes of happiness are so needed to counter some of the war machine that continues to ravage some countries or squash individual freedoms, counter those that start unjust wars, and abandon human compassion... I suppose my writing today reflects the holiday and reading about N.Korea launching test missiles...

Painting Seascapes and Birds
Meanwhile, here are a couple of the dozen or more paintings that I have been working on for my upcoming art show in two weeks. This will be my first show that is not watercolors - instead, I've challenged myself to do an all acrylic or mixed media show. Acrylic has been a challenge as it has such different properties than watercolor, I love the thicker texture I can achieve, but I miss the washy looseness of the watercolors. And I haven't obtained an extender product yet, so I am painting very fast indeed, so that I can still get some blending done before the paint dries. The top one is 16x20 and I may call it "The Heron Sentinel" and the one below is 8x10 and is "Seascape #1". I may share others that have even more intense colors.Crayola Artist
I selected this interesting You Tube video - "Homage to Dan Marco - Master Crayon Artist" from Glen Welker, all art copyright the artist. Wonderful paintings of Native Americans set to soothing flute music. So this is an homage to the first Americans whose ancestors and descendants would have yet a different perspective on our collective history and independence.