Thursday, December 13, 2007

My happy daughter...

Here is Nathalie in her "office" with the portrait of Eric. She is very happy with the portrait, and will enjoy it until spring, when she will give it to his mom and dad.

It is finished!

Here it is - the finished portrait of Eric. This photo is pretty accurate I think. I am sorry about the little white flecks - that is the light reflecting off the oil paint. I am not sure how to get rid of that. I will wait until it dries a bit more and try again - but for now this photo is fine. I am very, very happy with this. In fact it may be my best work ever. Did I mention I am happy with it? It is hard to give it up, but I did. I went ahead and gave it to Nathalie last night - the longer I keep it around me the harder it will be to part with it. Painting this portrait, which is intended as a gift to Eric's parents eventually, was really quite emotional for me. It is my very small contribution of gratitude, and my way of paying a little tribute and honor to our armed forces. I have so much respect for the parents who raise their children to be patriotic, to want to serve others by risking their lives. I can't imagine how they must feel as they say goodbye and send their "baby" off to war. In this case Eric is their only child. I am just so thankful that there are a few people left in the current generations that understand that freedom is not free. I have always said that there are 3 things worth giving your life for: love, truth and freedom. Thank you Eric and everybody else who serves our Nation.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Even MORE portrait progress...

Always more to fix and do on this little thing. This photo looks a little bit compressed, like squeezed in from the sides. Hmmmm...maybe the angle I took the photo from - oh well, it isn't the final photo anyway and it is close. Nathalie saw it last night and loved it. I think I made it better...I went in to just finish up the helmet and straps an ended up working on the face again. It just amazes me how viewing a photo of my painting really let's me view it afresh, and see what is or is not working. I have always used a mirror and viewed it backwards, but while taking a photo and up loading it is more labor intensive I think it is better. OK - back to work. I still have to finish the ornaments, and of course - the straps on the helmet.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Portrait progress...

Well, here is the painting and the photo again. I think that is about as good as I am going to get as far as likeness goes. It still is not where I'd like it to be - I still see problems, but I am getting tired of it. I think I'd rather start ove and do a new one instead of trying to fix much more on this one. I have been working my fanny off on the "nearly annual" Christmas ornaments. I say that becasue I didn't get them done last year...and now I remeber why. These things are unbelieveably labor intensive. The original plan simply did not work at all so I had to reinvent them usint the components I had. Originally I had planned to do two ornaments for everyone this year to make up for last year - but these are taking SO much time that I don't see that happening now. There are 50 of these in various stages of finish.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

I am 47% Tortured Artist

OK - cool I am 47% Tortured Artist, and I found out I am ONLY 21% Idiot and 29% White Trash. And of course 59% Internet Junkie...hmmm I thought that would be higher. Wait - that's 156% right? I better stop taking tests and I sure don't need to take a test to know I am 100% Pro at wasting time. Ha!
I am 47% Tortured Artist.
I know Art, I just don't live it.
I have some artistic ability, but it is probably a hobby and doesn't drive my life into a dark abysmal hole were I am alone and against the world.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I found it - portrait of Eric - takes a minute to load

Here it is , the portrait of Eric (oil on canvas 8" x 10") I am working on and the photo I am working from. It is not quite finished, and not as finished as I thought it was now that I see them posted side by side here. There is something about posting my paintings that removes my subjectivity and gives me a fresh look at them - and makes it easier to see what needs to be corrected or changed. Again - not too bad a start, but a ways to go I see.

Daily Painting....and, oh yeah - Happy Thanksgiving

Well - Ok - Not so daily. But I am NOT giving up on it. I am still trying. Why is it so hard for me to set a schedule and STICK to it? I seem to have no self-discipline at all. I used to have at least a little. I will not quit. I will not quit. I will not quit...So enough of that. I DID manage to paint during Thanksgiving in spite of the fact that we had family from Toledo and Rica came home from LA and it was a very busy time, and I am not feeling so great. I did this while the rest of the girls in the family were "bonding" on a shopping trip. I hate shopping - but I probably should have gone with them just to be with them, which would have been nice - but I didn't think of that until it was too late. I am a dummy sometimes, well - actually often. But I am feeling great about getting some painting done. I did a portrait of Eric - Nathalie's guy who is in Iraq - I can't find where I saved it on my computer, so I will have to post it later. I did finish this somewhat whimsical painting of a view of Cuernavaca, MX (Acrylic on canvas, 24" x 30" )for Rica's house. That was a fun painting and it went well. Cuernavaca is Rica's favorite place on Earth I think - she went to school there and loves it, and talks about it a lot. I thought it would make her happy - and it did I think. It will look great in her place and she seems happy. My assessment of this painting is that it is too middle of the road. The colors are good - especially for Rica and her house, they are perfect for that. However it started out a bit more whimsical, but I found myself "straightening" lines and "fixing" things until it sort of lost it's whimsy. It is neither "whimsical" nor "realistic" - it needs to be more one or the other. Other than that I am very happy with it and not complaining. It serves it's purpose well. Now I have to get to work on the BIG one (4' X 6')for Ricks office. I started it but I really am sort of stumped on it. Guess I'll just start fooling around with it and see what happens. I am also starting on the annual Christmas ornaments - which is fun. I often think I enjoy making things more than painting - I am a thing-maker more than a painter. Now to find that portrait of Eric...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Few More Journal Pages

Here are some more pages from the journal that I mailed out today. I think they are very boring and dull and mundane. Redundant you say? Yes. The only one I really like here is the self portrait with the mouths and eyes. That was really fun and a surprise for me too. I wish all of my work would develop like that one did. I may write more about this tomorrow.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Sampling of Journal Pages

I signed up for a Journal Collaboration and a Journal I have been working on journal pages. I've done most of them in front of the TV in near darkness at night. This is a bit of a new adventure for me. I have been toying with the journal thing on and off for the past year and Tuesday night I dove in. I may even get involved with mail art and ATC's, they just seem like a fun thing - more on those later. So here is how it works: The SWAP is more like a round-robin or circle journal. There is a group of about 15 artist/journalists. Each one buys a journal, works in it for 2 weeks then sends it to the next person. Eventually, everyone should get their original journal back filled with other artist's thoughts and work. Fun huh? The COLLABORATION is similar, except the owner sends out her journals to people to work in, then they go back to her. This will be her 50th one I believe, and she is hoping to put a book together of them I think. The thing I like about this is that it is random, doesn't take a lot of time or energy, it can be anything, no pressure to be good, just to have fun and share. So here are a couple of scans from what I've been playing with. I blurred out some personal information on a couple of them - that's the mess in the corners, but this is just to give you an idea anyway - not great works of art, that's for sure. Just fun!

Oh yeah, the two doodle layouts with the messy corners and my name and info on them are the insides on the front and back of the cover. I purposely made it so my book has no real front or back or right side up, - I wanted complete freedom for the artist/journalists to work in it any which way - that is why I put my name in so many corners - if I had just put it in one corner or on one page it would have acted as an indicator of how the book "should" go. Didn't want that.

For Fun -- What Stone Are You?

Try this little quiz just for the fun of it. Turns out I am Lapis Lazuli, otherwise know as a big mouth :)

What Stone Are You?

Lapis Lazuli
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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Sophia Resting 12" x 16" Oil on canvas

I did this portrait of Sophia a couple of weeks ago. I feel like I am making some good progress in handling the oils. At some point I want to merge the fun, stream of consciousness, experimental acrylic and collage with the more classical and disciplined oil painting. I don't know what that looks like just yet but it's coming. I love working both ways. I will just keep painting and creating and see what evolves I guess. Working in two such diverse ways makes me appear and feel a little bit like I have a multi-personality disorder, but I assure you I don't. It does make me unappealing to galleries right now - at least until I get a consistency developed. If ever...

Star 8" x10" Acrylic/Collage

This is not a part of the card series, but more a part of the mask series I did earlier this year. I shot this image of a friend wearing a mask, for some reason I like it and have used it a couple of times.

Hearts of Three 8" x 10" Acrylic/Collage

Not much to say about this that hasn't already been said. I love these blue and red colors. See? I have been busy!

3 Hearts 6" x 8" Acrylic/Collage

Here is another in the cards series. Mostly about color and texture, but the 3 hearts reference relationships.

Club of Two 8" x 10" Acrylic/Collage

As a group the Experimental Water Media Class decided to do some projects based on playing cards, and then mounting a group show in a few months at a gallery in Fallbrook. We each chose 4 random cards from two over sized decks. One of the cards I pulled was the 2 of clubs. As I began to play around with the cards, figures and relationships began to form in my mind. This one is about being "left out" or a being a "third wheel." One of the things I really enjoy about working this way is that it is a stream of consciousness thing. When I was finished it was just so obvious..."two's a club and three's a crowd." Duh. Again on my monitor this looks a little washed out - it tends to be a darker image.
OK -I am laughing out loud as is Rick. He just informed me it is "Two's a couple, three's a crowd" NOT "two's a club." Double DUH : )

No Gain Without Pain 8" x 10" Mixed Media

I named this "No Gain Without Pains" because the Benjamin Franklin quote ended up being collaged into the piece. This piece went through a ton of stages and changes. So many I can't remember how it started out - but I know it wasn't anything like this at all. Again this ended up being a darker piece, with lots of collage and texture, including matches. It is very difficult to get the color right on my monitor, it looks a bit washed out to me right now. Here are three details from it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Watcher 6" x 8" Acrylic/Collage

It's time to play catch up. I have a number of almost finished pieces. Some have been done in conjunction with my Experimental Water Media class. I am trying to get these done and up on the blog and eventually over to eBay. I really like this little piece. It is one of those rare times that it just came together as if it knew what it was supposed to be and required very little effort on my part. In fact - this is one of my favorites. It is pretty dark piece. Maybe I will not sell this piece - I really like it and so does Rick. We will see...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood..

..a beautiful day in the beauty-wood, would you be mine? could you be mine? Won't you be my neighbor?" Mr. Rogers
Compare this beautiful morning to the previous days. That's some smoke off in the distance to the north of us - but it's a clear sunrise and blue sky for us. beautiful.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Yesterday morning Nathalie went down to the beach and shot these pictures of the smoke spreading over the ocean. By now you probably have seen all of the satellite photos of the smoke too.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fires 10:30 AM

Well - there goes the last of the blue sky. The wind was shifting around like crazy. The hazy sun was taken from the front porch, then I walked out to the street and shot the last of the blue sky disappearing over our house. They had evacuated San Elijo Hill which I think we were thought to be a part of - except we aren't part of San Elijo Hills. Not that the fire is going to pay attention to a technicality like that - but we just didn't really feel very threatened. We were ready to go at any minute - but it just seemed like the wind had shifted and was blowing it all a bit south of us. As it turned out - we were, and are, just fine. Very smokey and stinky, but as of now no visible orange glow any where near us. I wonder if we will sleep tonight.

Fires 8:24 AM

This was 8:24 Am today. This is taken standing on our front porch. I did not sleep at all last night because of the smoke and the wind. The wind was unbelieveable. The at about 4:30 AM we were startled by the doorbell ringing. It was the neighbor informing us that we needed to turn the news on and evacuate. One neighbor said the fire was about 1 mile away, Rick said 2 or 3. either way it seemed close enough! So we hurried around and packed the car with the dog stuff and art supplies, and waited.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Got My Mail Art

I recieved my mail art! It is just fun to do this. I won't say who it is from just yet...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Mail Art Project

To the left is the front and back of the card, and below is the front and back of the envelope. I was aiming for cheerful, fun and sort of light hearted.

I attend a very fun class on Thursdays called Experimental Water Media. Each session we do a little mail art project, we each draw a name and make a piece of mail art, send to the recipient - without signing it. At one of the last classes, every one brings in the mail art they got and we all try to guess who made it. It is a fun thing to do - I enjoy mail art anyway but never take the time to do any - this sort of forces me to. Isn't that goofy? You shouldn't have to be forced to do what you enjoy doing anyway! So this is my little project. I did it on a postcard and envelope from JAL airlines, but I also did it in the garage in the almost-dark and at night. So not being able to really see what I was doing I inadvertently collaged over the Japanese writing and the interesting stuff that I wanted to save - and the colors on the front and back don't quite match! Hahahah - I still like it and it was fun. The woman I sent it to doesn't know me at all, so she won't know who it is from - but the rest of the class will guess it's from me right away!