Saturday, December 28, 2013

Dogwood abstract series, # 7

This is about as loose as I can manage.  Still a lot of hard edges, and it was the crisp patterns added at the end that I enjoyed doing most.  But I'm trying another just as watery and loose, just to see what happens.

This series that I KNOW is not for framing or selling or entering in shows is being extremely freeing for me: I'm normally not much for "play", and this is helping a lot.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Instead of decorations . . . .

Maybe we'll get around to indoor holiday decorations soon. But maybe not  .. . we're going to everyone else's homes for holiday gatherings this year, so we only need put up what we want for ourselves. Michael has put up his Christmas Village, I got out my very silly electric Hallmark snowman.  Maybe we'll decide to do a tree. If not, I'll use the time to paint!

Dogwood Abstract # 6
So, here's the latest in the series.  For this one I decided I wanted to emphasize line, so I did a freehand light pencil sketch, then dipped my brush into a new orange, and started to paint, outlining all the shapes you see here.  A very different way to tackle the image, but I enjoyed it.  I'm glad I was able to simplify from the previous versions. The painting is not "finished" to my satisfaction: if I wanted to enter it in a competition or frame it I'd want to work on all those awkward edges. But I think I'll let that go and move on. I've already started the next one.

I'm not sure how others do this series thing, but I've not been back to my original source for a while. I'm working from the previous paintings only.  Is that what I'm supposed to do? Does it matter?!  Anyway,  the consistently hard edges in these past paintings have made me think about that element of line, and the next one is starting out (oh the challenge!) wet-in-wet and loosey-goosey!

The red-orange line here has crept into my consciousness from another artist:  Kathy Wirth was in the same Mike Bailey workshop at Kanuga. She started her series much sooner than I did last spring or summer.  She's such a talented artist. See her blog and her very interesting series by clicking on her name.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Wine and Watercolor Redux - Sisters of the Brush are back in Rochester

I do love that word, "redux".  I hope it means what I think it means. Anyway, my solo exhibit at Fieldstone Winery came down Monday morning. Wednesday we heard from Fieldstone's management that they'd like the Sisters of the Brush (my painting and critique group) to step up to the plate and fill in for December.  Pat, his son Ryan, and the rest of the Fieldstone crew are such a nice group of people, we were glad to help out in a crunch.

So we've all seven scrambled for a few days to pull together and deliver appropriate work to display at the winery - not that easy, given that EVERYONE is in the midst of holiday events.  Bu I think the works will get hung today or tomorrow, and our reception (yes AND wine tasting!) will be this Thursday, December 12th.  See Fieldstone's Facebook page more information about various events - click  HERE.

And, of COURSE, glad to have an opportunity to show our work together, and taste good wine. What's not to like?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

When is it a "series", when is it a rut?

Dogwood Abstract # 5
These are being SOOO much fun to paint, but also getting more and more cluttered.  Maybe because I'm only investing a half-sheet, and still wanting all the same forms and patterns crammed in.

Besides simplifying, though, I want to explore, not repeat.   So,  I stepped back to really think  about it.  First, I brainstormed, and wrote down a  list of  things I could change to move forward.  Then I pulled out my notes from my Mike Bailey workshop at Kanuga last spring. And I went back to the very useful article he had written even before that about his series work (you can find it here).

I was not amazed to find that Mike's advice was to look to the seven elements of design: Line, Size, Shape, Direction, Color, Value, and Texture. What did amaze me was that when I reviewed my ideas, underlining the key word in each one, I had covered six of the seven (missed Texture).

So, I guess I know where I need to do next. Back to the drawing board, as they say!

Friday, November 29, 2013

I forgot to "KISS "

Dogwood Abstract # 4
So, it turns out I'm working on a series.  Not fully intending to, I have found comfort and inspiration at the same time in these elements, which started from a fairly realistic macro of a dogwood blossom. This one was drawn and painted in no time at all, half sheet, as a way of 'breaking the ice' in the newly finished studio. It certainly accomplished that, although I didn't think about  it long enough. What I learned already from it is KISS - keep it simple, stupid!   I used (attempt) to apply that when designing computer applications but you can see that I lost track of it here.
The next one has been designed and a few of the shapes already painted (washes are drying right now).  I hope I simplified enough.
This is the first time I'd call what I was working on a series, and I'm wondering how long I'll want to keep it up.  I seem to be in love with the colors (cerulean and quin burnt orange on the light and bright shapes, indigo, washed with hookers green dark, for the "background"), and am not ready yet to abandon them. And the shapes themselves, and the patterns, are becoming comforting, like old friends. I expect I'll get myself into a rut pretty soon and will have to rock the boat somehow. Just not this month.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Best Studio I EVER EVER hoped for!

Won't take a lot of time to write, because it's time to get painting again. ESPECIALLY as I now need to justify this wonderful room that has been made over. Mostly it's the floor making the difference, but it's been reorganized and redesigned too: As I had to find places elsewhere in a small house to temporarily store stuff, I found it a great time to review what's really wanted and needed.  And as everything got moved back in, it was a great time to think about where things should be, instead of just sticking another shelf on an available wall.

I love it.  No longer disappointed that I must "settle" for a basement studio.  I want to spend all my time there now (and isn't that the whole point?). Bye now: back to that half sheet you can see that I've just started on.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Half a Studio is better than None

I decided to  be creative for the floor, choosing a diagonal checkerboard of the standard (in-stock) colors I found at Home Depot. I was afraid the white was too bright and the beige too dark!

I found an excellent demo from Armstrong floors on Youtube which I watched several times. It reminded me that one had to start in the middle of the floor and work to the edges.  There were wonderful geometry-like steps to make a perfect diagonal starting from the middle, and they worked perfectly.   I just wish I'd paid more attention to which half of the floor to start on.  I spread the glue on the back half of the room and waited. And waited. And waited for it to be tacky-dry enough to start. Then laid the tiles you see. Don't they look wonderful?

So, the next step is to spread glue on the rest of the floor. Wait for it to dry enough. And again, go back to the middle to lay my next tiles. 

Are you asking yourself  how the @#$^$# am I going to get BACK to the middle, across that very strong glue?  I sure am. Stay tuned. I think this project is stretching out a bit longer than I had hoped. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thank you so much!

To all the lovely and special friends who were able to come last night to the reception and wine tasting, and to see my artwork, a hearty thank-you! I was terrified - something like stage fright? -  but you all made it into a happy and memorable evening: I only hope you enjoyed it half as much as I did!

 A special thank you to my Big Sister Sally for the generous and delicious provisions she brought  - and served  and maintained etc - all the way from Ann Arbor's famous Zingermanns - oh my, Sally: you've outdone yourself.

Thanks of course to Pat of Fieldstone Winery whose wines made all my paintings look so much better. And to Christine who made it possible.

I do apologize to every one of you: the turnout was so nice that I wasn't able to spend as much time with each of  you as I would have liked.  There were countless times when I rudely interrupted a well-begun conversation with you, to greet the next newcomer - so many unfinished conversations: we will need to manage to continue some of them, and soon.

My artwork is still on display at Fieldstone Winery in Rochester, and will be through the end of  November.  I hope that if you were unable to join us last night, you will still manage to stop by during the month  and take a look at what I've been painting in the past year.  While you are there, try a glass of Pat's Tempranillo: it's a lovely red with the peppery character that I always enjoy in a wine.  I'm trying to resist opening the bottle I brought home tonight: need to save it for a special occasion. Although maybe having the reception behind me could be considered that . . . .

And finally,  a glimpse of the end of the evening: that's my dear husband Michael and sister Sally, recuperating a bit after cleaning up.  And a better view of the wall where the paintings were hanging.

Monday, November 4, 2013

What 's Happened to My Beautiful Studio???

Lew inspects the progress.
Well, I DO know what happened.

What with the show at the winery, this seemed like a good time to endure a makeover.  Our small ranch house has half a basement unfinished - painted concrete floors that my husband would like to tile.  The other half of the basement is "finished". Over the  years we've been here we've already torn down the paneling which held the damp against the cinder block. We also tore down the (too low) drywall ceiling, leaving studs and rafters.    What was left was the floor, still covered in very old industrial carpet and very VERY old linoleum tiles.  So that's going too, finally, and Good Riddance Indeed.  Others may not define this as a finished basement anymore, but it feels so much cleaner already.  Never quite knew what lurked above the ceilings, behind the walls, and under the carpet. 

We'll do a bit of patching with hydraulic cement, repaint the cinder block with Drylok, and finally install fresh NEW linoleum squares, the kind you are meant to have in a not perfectly dry basement.

And THEN I get to have my studio back.  I can't wait! 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Last Minute Preparations - Fieldstone Winery and Art

It has been a good month for art and painting, and then a really busy week. Maybe not that special to very successful and confident artists.   But for me,a  none-too-common experience.

For the month of  November I will have my artwork featured exclusively at Fieldstone Winery, in Rochester, Michigan.   On Friday November 1st  - just a week away! - we'll be installing the artwork, posting labels, setting up a card rack. The following Friday (November 8th) will be the big day, a reception (and wine tasting!) at the winery, for friends to see my newest artwork and taste Fieldstone's wonderful wines.

This feels like my closest experience yet to a real ("REAL") gallery opening.  I'm nearly sixty years old now (should  I maybe not admit to that?), and this may be as close as I will get.  So, right now, this feels pretty darn cool.   To make it even better, I am currently feeling very happy about my artwork.   Don't know that anyone will want it on their walls, don't know that it will garner attention or awards or sales.   Bur it is as strong and confident and satisfying to ME as anything I have worked on for a number of years.     PLEASE let THAT part continue!
The illustrations here are little details from some of the paintings that will probably comprise the show.

If you live in southeastern Michigan, please consider coming to the opening.  I would love to see you at the reception - come taste some very good wine and visit.   Information about Fieldstone Winery can be found HERE.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Happy Artist

Daylily Eruption
The painting at left had already been accepted, along with one other,  to the 2013 Our Town Art Show and Sale. The actual show was this past week, ending on Saturday. I'm happy to say that this painting was sold: Another good friend finds a good home!

And, the painting shown in my Sept. 1st post was accepted into the BSWP 69th Annual Exhibition, "Melange", opening this Friday at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center (BBAC).  However, to confuse things, I never WAS able to get that image to post correctly: the image here in the blog is turned 90 degrees. So I'm not going to try again!

Anyway, a good week for an artist, and I've actually found time to do some new work. I am also keeping busy getting artwork framed for my own show in November at the Fieldstone Winery (hope if you are local to Southeastern Michigan that you will consider coming to the opening!).

Monday, September 23, 2013

Momentum and Creativity

Having weathered too many interruptions to my painting in recent months, I have been contemplating writing a long-ish commentary on how important momentum is to creativity. All those lost ideas and lost enthusiasm.

However - recently I have somehow achieved momentum AND therefore creativity, and have chosen not to interrupt that momentum by taking time to write about it in my blog.

Recommendation instead: please "google" the words creativity and momentum, and peruse the articles you find - there were some very good ideas for keeping your head in the game, in spite of interruptions and other priorities.  . I  plan to go back and read them all again when this nice phase of momentum ends.

Wishing you ALL great momentum! Starting right now!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Paint what you love? maybe . . .

For some reason this oft-repeated advice has been bouncing around inside my head for a couple of days, and I don't even know why.

I do know that it's exactly what I did for years. After all, why not? If you love to paint, and don't know WHAT to paint, it's a happy solution. And, honestly, as long as you (to quote Mike Bailey), "paint paint paint paint paint paint PAINT paint paint paint paint"  (continue "paint" for about 10 years), you will certainly be learning your materials and techniques.  Absolutely nothing wrong with being very confident in your skills while creating artwork with images that give you joy.

However, I know also that many artists feel that the best creativity comes when you DON'T love your subject. After all, when painting a portrait of someone close to you,  you are not likely to  indulge in a green face or blue hair  (I do know one exception, but the "someone close" to that artist was NOT dear to them - anymore - and was represented in all the ugliness that their personality suggested - exceptionally creative, that portrait. yet accurate).

I've been happily painting cats and flowers for some years now.  I've often zoomed in to exaggerate

But very unexpectedly, I began to feel ready to move on. I feel like I've spent a couple of years now figuring just how and where to go from where I've been.  And just recently I feel like I'm beginning to find my way to a new and exciting place.  I'm painting what I love, but I've  more creatively defined what it is that I love.  Not just flowers and cats.  But high contrast. Dramatic shapes. Negative shapes. Patterns.  These are the things I love, regardless of the subject matter.

I posted recently about a breakthrough. I've included here the next painting along these lines, and I have a feeling I'll be sticking with this idea for a while longer.  

PS - Does anyone know why I can't get my tall narrow pictures to load into blogger in their proper vertical format? I keep resizing, but they keep on being set to landscape format.  Oh well. This one is not signed yet, but I WAS thinking it was to be portrait format. Maybe I"ll change my mind.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Save the Detroit Institute of Arts

At this time there's a lot of denial floating around, but there seems to be a true risk of bankrupt Detroit having to sell off  parts of the beautiful collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA).

This would be a shame for art lovers everywhere, and would not solve Detroit's problems.  Recently I learned of a petition we can sign online to at least express our viewpoint of this terrible idea.

I've signed it, and I've forwarded the link to my artist friends.  Please consider visiting this site and signing as well  As an artist or art lover,  whether from this area or from another city or state, you owe it to the next generations to prevent this collection from being ravaged.

The Petition states:

There is talk of selling art owned by the City of Detroit, contained within the Detroit Institute of Arts, to pay off the city's debt. This to me would like New York City selling the Statue of Liberty, or Washington D.C. selling the Washington Monument. If we designate the Detroit Institute of Arts, including all of the treasures within, as a national monument, this would protect and preserve them for future generations.

Please follow this link to sign the petition. SIGN HERE   
Or leave me a comment if  you have a good reason NOT to sign, I'm interested.   
Thanks so much.

Friday, August 9, 2013

A Breakthrough?

I just finished the second of these two paintings, the abstracted one, below, and am excited to share them both right away.  The more literal image, at left, was "finished" a month or so ago, but modified again just recently.  These paintings feel very right to me:  They feel like Mine, and mine alone,  but with steps forward.

I want to continue this progress, but have to think about what it took me to get here (first credit goes to workshops with with Judy Morris,  Mike Bailey, and  Marilynn Derwenskus, all in the past year and a half - I recognize all their influences).

What I did, what I want to do again: I  zoomed in on the dogwood petals to satisfy  my need to feature the architectural and bold shapes, and to push composition.  I'll need to think "macro" again. By starting with a fully representational image, I learned it well enough to step away on the second version, and to use the bold shapes abstractly: not my normal path at all. But I think I can do that again as well.  And I got to use my patterns, which I love dearly (I just need to keep them subtle enough).

The last painting I posted (laundry on a line) came back to haunt me after a while: I kept seeing it on the screen and have decided I don't like it at all. I sure hope I haven't jinxed myself by posting THESE two, which, right now, I am very very happy with.

(A quick special shout out of thanks to Mike Bailey for the bonus lesson at Kanuga, showing how he stretches W/C paper: these stayed SO smooth and crisp and flat even with the soggiest of washes and floated colors, and came off the board ready to frame - without the ironing I've resorted to in the past!)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Acceptance is wonderful !

Social Climbers
"Social Climbers" is one of two paintings of mine accepted this year for the Our Town Exhibition held annually at the Birmingham Community House.  It's a short exhibit, meant to generate sales to raise funds for the Community House's many programs.  It begins with a splash of a party, an additional fundraiser.   This is one reason I am always happy to fork out the application fee: artists in the show are invited to the reception gratis.   Also, last year  both of my two paintings that were accepted were sold: so I have that to live up to.

In any case, this is wonderful news to hear, just before vacation. Like a birthday present. The vacation itself is a birthday present, of course, with the frosting being that, each year the Perseid meteor is "held" in honor of my birthday.  We always try to get to our cabin on the lake for that week, so we have the premium night sky to help us enjoy (wish us luck either staying awake or getting up in the wee hours).

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Kanuga Chatter!

So much news the past couple of weeks about "chatter" -
 and not very nice news.

In my corner of the world, the chatter has already shifted to a wonderful new topic, and I think it would be great to spread the chatter.

On August 1st we could all finally download our applications for the 2014 Kanuga Watermedia Workshops.  A few days later, the glossy brochure finally arrived.  During the the last weeks of July,  my email was alive with conversations wondering why we hadn't yet gotten the brochure, discussion about the various workshop teachers, and comparing the initial course descriptions (handed out at the April 2013 sessions) to the ones that were now found online.  Talk about chatter!

 My friend Pat and I have now attended Kanuga three years in a row (I know, we are just newbies, but I think we've agreed to keep going every year as long as we can!) and were waiting with bated breath to register.  We dithered a bit about our choices of teacher, mainly about the second choices.  Not sure why we spend so much energy worrying about the second choice, since when we mail our applications (together) generally on August 1st, we've gotten our first choices consistently.  Knock on wood!  But lots of chatter going back and forth on that topic.

Last year Pat and I talked some new artist friends into trying Kanuga. In spite of a LONG lunch telling them all about what fun art camp was, and lots about what to expect, I think they were still a bit overwhelmed on registration day. Face it, there is a LOT to do on that day, and I bet all of us were overwhelmed the first time. After a few years, though, the familiarity of the routine and the anticipation of the week outweigh any stress.  These "new" friends do seem to have Kanuga fever, though, and so we are having a reunion lunch tomorrow to reminisce about the old days (just this past April, wasn't it . . .) and perhaps share some art work done since then, inspired by our various workshops. Are they planning on attending again? We hope we'll find out tomorrow!

And I'm sure we'll all talk about what we hope to experience this next year, with our various choices.

Do you have Kanuga fever? If so, tell us about it. If not, why not? Are you a Springmaid addict instead? Let's get the chatter going!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Improvement over time - LOTS of time.

A much better try at the backyard laundry line. I don't have it yet: in an attempted to merge the dark shapes and dramatize the sunshine, I turned the wooden clothespins into rock, with mud on the sides.  In an odd way, they  are putting me in mind of the Easter Island faces.   But the patterns I invented in the sheets are making me VERY happy.  I  need to try again, and have already started the next version.  Same composition, better choices of color and handling of the background and the pins, I hope.

"On the way to the dumpster" (who posted that just recently?) I discovered my original laundry line image - already chopped, and the middle section is missing (woe is me). Apparently I'd been utilizing the back for something else.  Anyway, this is what's left - even worse than I remembered, but I'll share it because it IS almost 20 years ago, after all.  And then I'll get these really awful little disasters into the recycle bin.  Isn't it nice to know we can all get better EVENTUALLY?

CIRCA 1995 -NOT new !!!!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Donna Zagotta on Georgia O'Keefe

This blog post by Donna Zagotta is so dead on for me, I hope you will all take time to read it.
    Here is the .LINK.

The phrase that resonated: "this thing that is your own".
The action with which  I could identify : analyzing my work to recognize the (many) influences that are NOT necessarily my own.

What could be more important than finding the thing that is your own

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Simplify, focus on what I like

I probably already said that landscapes are not my strength. I quickly determined that a page full of the backyard's contents would not even hold  MY interest, let alone anyone else's.  It would certainly just turn out to be a "depiction" of a place.
So I focused on what attracted me in the first place, the laundry line.  In this first little watercolor sketch, I caught the feeling of the wind blowing through my sheets. But I've lost the warmth of the sunshine.

My next try may be to drill down even further, to the clothespin holding the sheet to the line.  I tried for a source photo this morning,  but of course as soon as I had the idea the weather changed: no sun (I want those shadows), and WAY too much heat.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Trite, trite, trite

Oh, my next painting is going to be SOOOOO trite.   But, in keeping with my resolution to go back to having FUN while I paint, I'm going with an impulse.  I do love our little suburban back yard, and can't get enough of it when there is a line of laundry hanging there. . I've been known to stand at the kitchen sink window and just smile at the yard when the sun and breeze are tossing my sheets and making them smell wonderful.

Here's my sweet little back yard
So, this week I sketched for a while (until the mosquitoes drove me back inside), then took a bunch of pictures and am now drawing the various elements of the yard that truly make me happy. Trying to reorganize the elements into a good composition, as I think most landscape painters may do (yes?).  Many years ago, as a new painter,  I succumbed to this same temptation and ended up with such an embarrassing mess, it's been painted over with gesso and re-purposed long ago.  No images remain, except in my head.   The memory of that one has kept me from trying again - until now. 

And here are some first sketches.

By the way, we live in an OLD suburb, thank goodness:  
none of those snooty neighborhood association rules  - I hope YOU, dear reader, are not a laundry snob.  And while we are on pet peeves, does anyone else have issues with neighbors with lawn services that use (loud) blowers to "clean" off lawns after mowing, throwing all the dirt into the air, onto clean laundry, and through open windows?

Okay, end rant.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Too many workshops, too little time

Workshops are so rewarding. Sometimes.  Especially after the last two, I have come home full of new ideas, new plans, new attitudes towards my artwork and painting.  Ready to spend hours in the studio pursuing these ideas.
 However, with summer upon us, I generally have little time to paint until fall, and, this year with elder care responsibilities taking first priority, the time to paint has shrunk and, more importantly, splintered into little shards of time. 
I find that the bits of time do nothing for my ability to reclaim and revisit the lessons I thought would guide my painting for the coming months. I’ve  ruined so much paper in recent weeks, attempting to do that.  And not had time (or energy) to analyze the failures to learn from them.
So I’m surrendering (for now). I need to recapture the enjoyment of  painting time, regardless of any progress I may not experience.  I’m going back to flowers and cats, painted from my own source photos.  I made the decision a couple of days ago.  And am a much happier woman, even if not a better artist!

What do YOU do when you have the ideas and the energy but not the time? Is there a way to keep a new spark alive other than shutting yourself away in the studio for hours?  Ideas and suggestions are welcome!

 These three images represent my recent stuggles, in sequence:  getting worse and more confused with each one.Don't even ASK about that third mess, on the right.  Ideas from every place stuck into it!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Finding a new direction?

You  should know that anyone who has seen my work in recent years will not, I think, recognize this as mine. I’ve been painting blossoms, and occasionally cats.  This is neither of those!   For me, though, it is very MUCH mine.  And very much the product of a chain of thoughts I have been entertaining since the workshop at Kanuga with Mike Bailey.
The painting in my last post was my first post-Bailey project.  As it neared completion I found myself satisfied with it,  for how I managed to keep a mood,  used  design principles, and even included content and narrative.  But at the same time I knew it was not feeling like MY work.  I spent a lot of time thinking about that as I painted, and as I slept (or didn’t sleep), trying to understand what it was missing, why it didn’t “make my heart sing”.   My good artist friend Pat has used that term more than once during our group critiques, and I know that when I’ve made her heart sing, it’s one of my GOOD paintings, and when I haven’t, it’s not a keeper.
I realized, looking at recent (pre-Bailey) paintings around my studio that DID break into song, that this one was missing components that are important to me.  High contrast.  Dramatic colors.  Interesting shapes that fill the page. Patterns.  The more I thought about this, the more I decided that these things were a constant in ALL of my own paintings that I like the most.  In fact, I decided, it was time that I realized that they were not my style, they were my subject matter – or should be. Not flowers or botanicals. Not anything else.  Dramatic Color, Contrast, Shape and Pattern.
So, I stretched some paper and started out to paint my new (old) subject matter.  And this was the result. What it will lead to is still to be determined. A second attempt is already in progress, and a third idea already sketched. And, when I look from this new painting to my recent floral paintings, it is indeed from the hand of the same artist.  Compare it to these - to me they absolutely relate to the one above:

I’m very excited. Feels like I’m changing my whole relationship to my art.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Thousand Dreams

This is the first painting  I’ve started and completed after my workshop with M.E. (Mike) Bailey at Kanuga this month.  It has stirred up a lot for me.
I’m not sure it’s the start of a series in the way Mike hoped we would work for a while.  But I learned a whole lot just doing it and thinking about it as I did it, and thinking about how I felt about it when it was done.

I had decided that if I DID do a series, I’d cheat and work with the morning glory images I’ve already used twice recently, before the workshop. Both paintings abstracted the leaves into shape and patterns, so I thought I’d be able to let go of the ‘pretty picture’ and work on the design.   Having recently heard the song Something Wonderful, from The King and I,    I chose regretful as a mood or emotion to portray, and settled down to use the seven elements of design (see earlier posts – I won’t shout them at you now) to support that mood. 

As I worked through a plan, including maybe a dozen value sketches, the theme of regret (and those heartbreaking lyrics: “ he has a thousand dreams that won’t come true”)  kept nudging me, until I realized that, all unintended, I had a meaning, and content too (I wasn’t PLANNING on tackling that until June when I take a Marilynn Derwenskus workshop).  What brought it together was hearing the song.   Aren’t unrealized dreams one of the hardest things to accept?   This painting is for my mother, Margaret, who died fourteen years ago, with a bucketful of dreams that never did come true. I like to think that a few of them did – those are the blossoms that are still full of color. The others have withered and sunk back into forgetfulness.    

But already,  this is just the Last Painting, and I am already embarked on the Next Painting.  And very excited about it.  It’s a whole ‘nother animal altogether.  No peeks just yet, give me a couple of days to succeed or fail, and to think some more about what this newer idea means to me and my art.  I think it’s a very good thing, though. . . . more later.