Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Breathing In.....

I have had such a frustrating time lately with the paintings.   I am very happy with every painting I have produced this last month but they have come so slowly and taken every bit of juice I have.   A couple months ago it was all pouring out so easily and I thought well now I have got it.   It will never be hard again.  Ooops - not quite.  

Although I am not anywhere near planning this long of a hiatus - I do remember seeing in a documentary on John Lennon - when asked why he hung up his guitar for a couple years, he said, "sometimes you have to breathe in"
Of course then he wrote an album in a week after that- I can only hope.

I think I need to breathe in.   I have worked so hard on making a go of making a living as an artist that I have breathed out too much.  So I am taking a little - teeny - tiny break.   Just a few days.   I put this painting up tonight for 7 days so I will still have something floating out there this Sunday.   I will be back refreshed Monday Morning.  

Hope you all enjoy Lady Madonna- I think she is just great and came from deep within.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Don't forget your garden!

I love pinks and greens.  In Eastern religions and philosophies they are the colors of the heart.  

 I remember when I was about 15 my mother said we could repaint my room and I could pick the colors.  I remember looking at all those little chip cards.  I always loved those!   We didn't have a car and even if we did - the local hardware store was where people went.  I don't think there were all those Lowes and Home Depots at that time.   We showed the merchant the colors - a  pale soft green  for the ceiling and a  pale soft pink for the walls and a satiny white trim paint.   He shook his head - that isn't something you are going to be happy with.  He seemed exasperated - "You can't paint the ceiling a color."

My heart just dropped and then my mother looked up from our paint chips and said - "Are you a 15 year old girl that wants her room to look like a garden?"  He had to admit he wasn't.  Alright then she said - this is what it will be - let's mix the paint.   I painted the room myself and then I free hand painted ivy all along the top of the walls.   I took the pattern from a wedgewood plate my mother had.   I have to say that man was wrong about that room.  My mother was right - it was my garden.  

I hope you all remember your gardens!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Prints and tutorials and Gritty Jane.....Please do tell!

Hi all.   Do you ever have those days where your mind is spinning with ideas but your body is too tired to keep up.   So frustrating but I have learned ever so slowly to let myself rest and let it all sink in.  I really have wanted to do prints for so long but was so unsure about all the options.   Do you get the artwork profressionally scanned?  (extremely expensive)   Do you take your own images?   How?  Is my camera good enough?  What kind of camera is the best?  Camera Settings?  Should I sign the prints?  Number them?  

I took grittyjane's tutorial on mounting prints to wood - mainly for the print part of the lesson - hoping she would share some of that and she did.   I am pretty familiar with mounting and painting mediums all from lots of trial and even more error but I still did pick up loads of tricks. 

I am so unfamiliar with doing prints which is the main reason I took the tutorial and she really is such a sharer.   Thanks Jane. 

Anyway I really hope to get my ducks in a row and have prints available.  Maybe mounted?  Maybe embellished so they are more original.   I would love to hear comments about what you as artists have experienced with prints and what you as artists and buyers would like to have available to buy.   I think prints are great because they let everyone share and I still want them to be a special experience.   Well there is my musing for the day. 

Oh and you all should check out Jane's tutorial (I linked to her tutorial here for your convenience)   It's $10 which made it easy for me to investigate.   Even if you are not a painter you can learn how to mount photos and prints that you like.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thank you to the ladies who carved our paths....

I like to buy art books off the bargain shelf at Barnes & Noble.   This week I found a book on Impressionism for under $5.   Excellent!   I came across the painting shown below.  The artist's name is Berthe Morisot.  She and Cassatt were the only two female painters that managed to show their work and earn  recognition during the Impressionist movement.  
The Cradle
Berthe Morisot

I couldn't believe I didn't know about her!  So I started looking at all her different works and it turns out I did know about her.  I recognized many of her paintings and have often used them for color inspiration.   I became fascinated with her and was curious what she looked like. 
I found the following painting of her done by her good friend Manet.
Portrait of Berthe Morisot
Her ability to connect with other artists was limited by the conventions of the time.   As a woman she was not as free to frequent the cafes where there was inspiration and discussion.  However, she still managed to exhibit and influenced Manet's style and pallette. 
Well Done Berthe and Thank You so much for your Courage and Perseverance!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Art and Soul -Churches Old and New

Above are a series of 5 churches that I just completed as a commission for one of my wonderful collectors.  

I am going to talk a teensy bit about religion here.   I get a little nervous doing this because it is such a personal and passionate subject for so many.   Please don't be put off.   It is hard for me to seperate my art - I paint all kinds of faiths and walks of the soul and I truly respect them all sooooo.........

This lovely lady had written and asked what I thought about doing five small churches measuring 8 x10.
She so beautifully said-
"I know that people connect so much with churches, it provides peace, tranquility, comfort, spirituality & so much more. I also love the history of churches. Each church was built for a specific need."

Although I have always been deeply spiritual and faithful in my own way, I have never been all that religious.   However, painting all these churches along with a lot of other stuff going on, I felt a deep need to go to church this last week.   My husband and I found a couple in the area that appealed to us so I picked one.  I picked it because it seemed community oriented and their mission statement was about loving one another.   After all it was the week of brotherly love here.  
We went on Friday and it was okay... but I really like old churches, I like to just sit inside of them.  This church was new new new.   It had kind of prefab art work and push button candles.  They didn't have that part of the service where you wish the people around you Peace.   I read on their website that they took it out of the service because of The Swine Flu.   Then when we got to the car we got accused of dinging the car next to us - which we didn't.   I tried to stay with my brotherly love.

For Easter Sunday we tried the other church and it was so wonderful.   The choir was amazing!   The candles were real.   It was a small and very old Cathedral and the artwork and the beauty was so enriching.   And everyone was so warm and friendly.   They had the wishing each other Peace part- we even shook hands!
Just sitting in there with the sunlight coming in through these old stained glass windows was an experience. 
Afterwards we walked around the city taking pictures of other old churches in the area and then went had brunch.  What a great day!

Now about these paintings.   Above in this order:  St. Peter's Basilica Vatican City, Rome (detail); The Cathedral of Holy Mary of the Assumption in Siena, Italy (detail); The Cathedral of Holy Mary of the Assumption Siena, Italy (full view); St. Michael's Chicago; The Cathedral of the Incarnation Garden City, NY

At first I was so overwhelmed with the prospect of putting these big cathedrals and churches on these tiny little canvases but I got the hang of it.   I gridded the pictures and just highlighted with a marker a limited number of angles and details to include and that gave me the confidence and focus I needed.  

It has been a while since I have painted structures but it came back to me and was a lot of fun. 

Monday, April 5, 2010

Namaste - I bow reverentially to you.

Well week 1 was full of surprises and lessons.  It was a beautiful week and such a reminder that when you sincerely put out a call God, Love, Life answers.

For my week of brotherly love I tried to think of imagery that represents that concept.   I thought it would be nice to have two women bowing to each other.   I tried to sketch it out but it was harder than I anticipated to get the proportions and angles correct so I took a picture of myself and mirrored it in my photoshop program. 

I just love the symmetry, harmony, colors and textures for this painting.   I think keeping a feeling in mind while painting really helped the painting flow.

Today will start a new week and I haven't put my hand in the box yet.....hmmm what's next?

I was also working on a series of churches for a commission this week and simultaneously my husband and I found a church to go to - I am going to blog about that tomorrow with some pix.