Thursday, July 28, 2016

Now that I've got my life back (hehe), I turned to this canvas that was patiently waiting on my easel.




I have no idea what the subject will be. It's hovering between abstract and some kind of still life, but at the moment I'm concentrating on putting down layers of paint, and marks (I call them scrawls) using a chacoal pencil, and then more paint on top. I'm considering drips, too, but not before I decide what it's going to be.

Waiting for inspiration.






Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Thank you for your feedback on my Windows10 dilemma.

Last night I decided to upgrade and have a look at it in the morning.

This morning, I looked at it. Went through everything and found there were some changes, some losses, but worse, everything slowed down. It took 5 minutes for a page to open in the Internet. I tried it again and again, but it was so slow I checked my connection, deleted cookies, etc. etc.. Everything was good.
 If I used Chrome, it seems browsing would be fast; but I choose, and prefer, Firefox and because of that, it slowed me down to hair-pulling levels. Not fair.

I went through everything, to be fair to windows10, and it was obvious that it wasn't working for me.

I reverted to Windows 7. There was a warning that I may lose some programs, so I went back on the Internet to back up my files. It took forever (this is where the hair-pulling comes in).
Finally, I gave up and just downgraded to Windows. This part only took 10+ minutes.
Everything came back, so far I can't find any missing programs.

My pulse is slowed down... and I'm relieved.

I guess it's an individual thing. To each his own.
Cheers!








Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

In the last few days I've spent a lot of time researching if I should take the free upgrade to Windows 10. The free upgrade expires on Friday, so the message on my laptop keeps telling me. There are so many pros and cons that my head is swimming and I'm tempted to stay with what I know and what has worked well for me so far, which in my case is Windows 7.


My computer needs are simple. I have a laptop; I write, upload photos, use the Internet for my shop, information, and staying in touch. I don't have a cellphone because I don't need one. My land line is enough. When we had a power outage once that lasted a couple of days, the only thing that worked was that land line, so I'm attached to it.

Still, I thought a lot about why I've been reluctant so far. There is much in the upgrade that I don't need and wouldn't use. There is talk of future usage payment. Privacy issues. Forced upgrades.

Oh, and also, it's not cool for W10 to take away Spider Solitaire - it helps me wind down - although I could purchase it and the other games it apparently takes away.

So my answer to all of this is to go and make some art. Or play some Spider Solitaire to clear my mind ;-)





Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Monday, July 18, 2016

I worked on this painting for about a week. "Work" includes putting it aside and looking at it now and then, knowing that I'm uncertain about it, and waiting for the answer. One thing I'm grateful for is that my ego is not wrapped up in my work. If I don't like something I've made, or, come to that, if anyone else doesn't like something I made, it doesn't really matter.  I work on it, or I let it go and start something new.

I drew these flowers on canvas.


I got this far, then I stopped. I wasn't sure where to go next in terms of colour. When I went back to it, something was bothering me but I didn't know what.



While working on the flower pot I realized that the yellow of the flowers was bothering me. Much as I liked the muted, chalky look, it wasn't working for me. So I added another, brighter, shade of yellow and some magenta mixed with white.









Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Sunday, July 10, 2016

When exasperation works.... I drew the outlines of the sunflowers, then I began painting them with gouache. The only yellow in my gouaches was an insipid lemon yellow. I wanted something deeper, so I mixed some paints.

When I applied it, I didn't like it. I removed as much as I could and tried again. Worse -- it got muddy.

I was about to throw it away when I picked up a square paintbrush and used up the brown/black mixture. It was a way to let off steam, I suppose. Brush, brush, pow, take that!

Instead of wrecking the painting, this happened. I added a touch of red and decided to keep it.


So here's the thing: I didn't care what happened, I switched off my thoughts, I let go.
There's a lesson in that.

 



Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Friday, July 08, 2016

Keeping a record of what you make is very helpful when you go looking for inspiration. I find the things I loved making and something will pop out and say: Make me again. It gets my creative juices flowing.

Some years ago, I embroidered this. I didn't use a pattern, just visualized the shape and "drew" with my needle.


I wanted to do a little stitching and while looking through my files, this called to me. So I pulled out my fabric and embroidery thread, and made another one.

Different sheep, different landscape, but the same feeling of satisfaction.





 
Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Monday, July 04, 2016

Today I cleared my work table. Now it's more conducive to .... work! Then I went through all my paints and threw out the old and dry and useless. Clutter has been part of the problem and I've finally got the energy to tackle it.

Mark making (I also call it scrawling because I scrawl a lot...). It can lead to something. Or not. It doesn't matter. It's an exercise in opening up and gathering energy. After seeing Cy Twombley's work -- much mark making there -- I was inspired. It was also a LOT of fun.

 This example is especially for my friend Mollie.




 
Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Sunday, July 03, 2016



I wanted to write about something that's been happening for months now, how I've gone from making art every day to making it sporadically. A short break once in a while is a good thing. But when the break turns into something much longer, I have to take a long look at my practice. It's the first time this has happened and it was beginning to worry me.

I won't go into the litany of excuses I gave myself, or how deep down I wondered if I was just tired and jaded because it's not for lack of ideas but the lack of the energy that usually drives me. The point it, the more I don't make, the less I make and the longer I don't make - if you get my drift.

Then today this video came into my mailbox from Nicholas Wilton. It made me realize that I wasn't alone, and the solution was simplicity itself: Do something, anything, for a half-hour every day. Force yourself, if need be.

So this morning, I picked up a pencil and started drawing. It's always a good way to "move your hands", as my friend Lynn Whipple likes to say.


Now the trick is to continue. Some days I will have to force myself, knowing that soon I'll be back in the swing of things.





Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Work in progress
Step 5










Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Work in progress.
Step 4







Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Friday, June 24, 2016

 Work in progress. Acrylic and oil bars on 16 x 20-inch canvas.

I started painting the background the day before yesterday. I spent yesterday looking at it and wondering what to do next.


Today I decided it would be flowers. I took a deep breath, softened the background and started putting in the flowers from the top. I'll be working my way down the canvas.



 
Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Friday, June 17, 2016

 A tribute to a beloved pet, sweet Old English Sheepdog, Cleo, whose earthly life ended yesterday.
She was my sister's baby, adopted when she born. By the time I met her, she was 9 weeks old.


 She was full of life and brought a lot of joy to her family, and to me when I visited, for 11 years. I'll never forget the time I was sitting on the couch, upset about something, when she came over to me, hopped onto the couch and lay her head in my lap. She had felt my emotions and was consoling me (it worked).



She grew into a big, beautiful, loving girl.


  We will always remember her with love and gratitude.




Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

I tried these out today. I'd been eyeing them when one of my friends told me I could try hers out.


So I made lots of marks, then went over them with my brushes and paint only to find that they dissolve in water. I should have known that because it says "easy to wipe off" on the package....








Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Monday, June 06, 2016

 When I'm working on a project with a deadline, I go full speed for a while and then take a break.
I might sit down with a cup of coffee and gaze out the window, but often I'll do something else, like paint.
This past week, I was writing an article and creating an art project, and my breaks consisted of smooshing colour over a canvas. 

This painting was done over an old painting that I didn't care for anymore. One of the projects was colouring someone else's drawings and this helped me loosen up with my colour applications.














Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

So this made me very happy.

I love dogs and have some favourites. One of them lives in Australia and is a rescue dog, now living the good life thanks to my friend. I've seen many photos of him and decided to try my hand at drawing his sweet face.

I drew and painted it in watercolours, in my own style, and think I caught his essence if not his complete resemblance.

I sent it off as a surprise and today it arrived, and here's the proof.



 


Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

 The owlet is completed and ready to fly to a new home.

I have a lot of fun with my birds. I take huge liberties but I do it affectionately, so they don't mind at all.

 


Hoot!  Thank you for stopping by.




Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Monday, May 30, 2016

The heatwave had me feeling like this.


 But work must be done. In the middle of writing an article, I take little breaks from the computer and do this.












Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday is drawing day.

It's important to practise and my goal is to draw something every day. Even if it's just a scrawl.

This is an outline done in pencil. I intend to paint this owl, probably with watercolours. More details will be added with brush and paint, and maybe water-soluble pencils.




 

Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Thursday, May 26, 2016

 I've begun the daunting task of sorting out my watercolour and drawings from the last 20 years. Some I'm listing in my shop. These two were just listed.

Provence landscape

Sunflowers

This piece of pie will be next. It's one of many pieces of food art that I used to create for food columns and articles. I may just thrown in some chocolate cake, too....
Bon appétit!





Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

All my floral paintings are now in my Etsy shop.

This one is the newest listing, photographed on my balcony with my beloved gardenia. It's a little on the bright side, but you can see more photos in my shop.


 


Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Monday, May 23, 2016

More flowers.
Imaginary. Intuitive.
[I like to think I'm channelling my mother.]

 




Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Friday, May 20, 2016

I've been off-blog this week tending to other matters, and my imaginary garden. 
This is the 5th in a series, and just in time to wish you a very pleasant weekend.

Acrylic on canvas, 12x12 in.

 




Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Sunday, May 15, 2016

More flowers and tangled gardens...


 It's become a theme...


 It makes me happy, so it's a good enough reason to keep painting them.




Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

In my previous post, showing the stages of this painting


 Linda B. asked me a very good question: 'Would you mind sharing the purpose of the "overpainting"? i have seen this in other paintings and it seems to cover beautiful work - i always hold my breath to see the next step!'

 I've asked myself the same question when I see artists covering up something wonderful. The only answer I've been given is that painting over something, sometimes many times, adds depth.

I think over-painting does adds depth, but these are my reasons for over-painting: I over-paint to cover a shape that doesn't fit in, to change a colour that clashes with the rest, to smooth out rough areas, to soften dark or harsh marks, and sometimes to cover bits that I don’t like. But I do preserve what I like.

 Thank you, Linda. I hope this answers your question.


Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I've been painting a lot lately. It's how I started many years ago, although my subject was mostly landscapes. Last month I got bitten by the flower bug; I wanted to paint flowers and tangled gardens, letting whatever came into my head translate onto the canvas.

This is the latest one.



Stage 1, applying colours and a few shapes.


 Stage 2, over-painting


Stage 3, adding more shapes, details and colours.



 

Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Sunday, May 08, 2016

 Happy Mother's Day





Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Today was a lovely early summer day, and when I checked out back amid the many trees and bushes in bud, I saw that the magnolia tree has begun to bloom. 
What a welcome sight.


 



Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

The best commissions are the ones that want your style, give you their quotations, and let you get on with it.  Win-win.


Having designed and made a set of quilties for a commission....


...I continued making more. This one has just been listed in my Etsy shop, along with a bonus companion.




 

Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown