Sunday, August 28, 2011

So Excited about my Current Painting and a Bucket of Fudge

A lot of artists do portraits of famous personalities that they have never met. I assume they have never met them so they rely on photographs and either stick rather closely to the photograph, modify it somewhat, or completely change it to accommodate their individual expression. It has never occurred to me to paint a portrait of someone I don't know. Recently I decided there was one personality I greatly admire that I haven't seen a lot of paintings of and I thought I would give it a try. I am enjoying the experience and am using a number of photographs to get the likeness but the painting is all mine-my expression, color, and brushwork. I hope it turns out as well as I want. Painting is always a crap shoot between skill and what happens in the process. So far, so good!

Whenever I see a report in the newspaper that politics are working out the way I want them to I become very excited. I see hope for what is important to me and I like to discuss these things with my husband. The other day I mentioned an improvement and he said the results are based on a poll and you can never tell about them. He said one party probably calls up twelve members of their party and tells them to answer yes on five questions and they will get a bucket of fudge in the mail. So much for polls and good news. I think I will just believe the poll results. That makes me happy.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Just Sold Another Print and Peanut Butter on his Hands

I just sold another print of one of my most popular paintings. Natural Rhythm is a feast of color and texture and the canvas print will go to a patron in Perth Australia. I have originals and prints in private collections in sixteen states, Canada, Germany, and now Australia. I hope I can cover the planet! I literally work my butt off as I am still suffering with Piriformis this week. Those of you that have it know it is a muscle spasm in the rear end that presses on the sciatic nerve causing a lot of pain. I'm glad I paint standing up. Sitting and lying down are hard on this problem. Hope it is better soon.

My husband is getting so sick of rice bread that he is thinking of spreading peanut butter on his hand and then licking it off. The diet for people that are fructose intolerant is very restrictive. I posted this on Facebook and got a zillion replies on how to improve his diet. Most of the suggestions included things he can't eat. Who would have thought that there are people that can't eat apples, string beans, bread, broccoli, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, etc. We have found a lot of substitutes but the rice bread is getting him down. We are looking into other types he can eat.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Back to Oil Paint before I Flip and Little Known Nonsense

I am so glad to be back to oil paint. I know I say this too often but I truly do live to paint. Pushing colors and textures around on a canvas or board is such a wonderful experience and it keeps me together. In a world where adults and children kill others when they are unhappy, where spouses beat up on spouses and children, where animals are mis-treated, I need my paint to be happy. Yes there are many wonderful people and things in the world but there is too much of what is wrong that weighs us down. I emphasize what is good in life in my work. It is a great form of communication and I am thrilled when people understand it.

I have been having some trouble with periformis for some time now and hoping it will get better soon. Those of you that have experienced this problem know that it is literally a pain in the butt. One muscle spasms and then affects the sciatic nerve and ouch!!! I was complaining to my husband about my aches and he said it is because I married a dip stick. According to him, marriage with a dip stick causes physical pain and mental stress. Little known nonsense that is not true in my case. I did not marry a dip stick. Put Clyde Kessler in Google and you will see what I mean.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Where would we be without Art and Once you are Over the Hill...

What would people do without Art? I know many people live for sports and cars but how many people have nothing to do with Art? More and more people are getting tattoos and I only know a few people that don't watch TV. I love all the arts and can't imagine a world without them. If I had a bunch of lives I would pursue them all. I live to paint but I also spend some time playing the piano, line dancing, and watching great DVDs. One of my patrons that works in the library orders the sort of things I like and calls me up when they arrive. My artwork is in sixteen states, Canada, and Germany. I may never become as successful as I would like to be but the time to work is all I really care about.

Since we bought a home many years ago my husband has kept the computer room covered up with all his activities. I greatly admire his environmental efforts and his poetry that he has had published many times but I can't clean a room that has the bed piled up with boxes and notebooks and the floor mostly covered up with the same. Of course, if I try to organize everything he won't be able to find anything. I finally came up with a solution. I am slowly cleaning the room and organizing his things with him so he will know where I am putting things. I am not quite done but it is so much better that he thanked me. It is true what Charles Schultz put in one of his cartoons.

Once you are over the hill you pick up speed!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I knew I would add Charcoal and There is no Place like...

Still working on an old drawing that I thought needed some accents. The drawing is a pencil nude and has great space - just didn't carry very well. I was determined to stick with graphite and make it work but I got out the charcoal. Now the drawing has strength and is a strong visual experience. Like many young artists I started with pencil and then moved on to charcoal, conte, and pastels for drawing. There is nothing wrong with graphite but it was only for me when I was young. I will add the drawing here when the weather cools down so I can get a good outdoor shot.

My husband, son, and I live in a small, active solar house that we bought as a starter house on a nice street with three houses and wooded areas. It seemed like an ideal place for an artist and a naturalist. It was a great place for two years then every lot was sold and the sloppiest people on the face of the earth moved next door - no exaggeration. At one time they had seven cars that did not work on their lawn with old TVs, furniture, and assorted trash. We have been fighting with them since they moved here. I even made a video and took it to the city and nothing happened.

Finally, after many years, social service made them clean up and now we may be able to sell our house if we find what we want but we have had a lot of fun here and had a lot of great neighbors and friends for my son. It really is true that there is no place like home. Whenever we travel we always say when we get home, "There's no place like this dump, there's no place like this dump!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thankfully Back in the Studio and We Know we are Home when we hear that Sound

I love to visit my family but I am always uneasy when I am away from my studio. I get quite nervous and distracted. Painting keeps me together so I never stop unless I have to. My mother celebrated her 89 birthday and I saw my siblings, and some nieces, nephews, and other in-laws. I am thankful that I don't call them out-laws. We all get along pretty well but I was so glad to see the Radford sign yesterday. I am working in graphite for the first time since the 80's. It is true that artists do go back to old works and modify them. The trick is not to destroy the work in the process. I have gotten good at that over the years.

As soon as we got in the door, the little dogs next door started yapping away. They still bark like mad and bare their teeth at our dog as she just looks at them by the fence. She isn't going to stop patrolling the back yard but she also doesn't bother with barking back. These dogs are as small as Chihuahuas but they don't look at all like them. They are very unattractive to me- sorry dog lovers. My husband just calls them Chiuglies.