Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015

553 Citrus in the Limelight

I will be curious to see if I like this still life better with my usual dramatic lighting.  I do like the way the bowl is the star in this painting.

The grocery shopper in the family wonders where his produce disappears to.  (smile)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

552 At Attention

I put off painting asparagus but it seemed to be the only vegetable we had around that I hadn't painted.    It was a little challenging, but I would like to try again.  This is a new blue bowl, the smallest of them all.  My husband named this painting.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

JoAnna Poehlmann, Now and Then

Today, I took a day off from painting, but not from art.  A friend and I visited the RedLine Gallery, a most creative place, to see local artist JoAnna Poehlmann's exhibit, Now and Then.  JoAnna has been painting and drawing Mother Nature's beautiful birds, feathers, eggs and many other subjects for over 50 years.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had a wonderful article about her in Sunday's newspaper.  The exhibit was all I expected and much more.  She is indeed an artist's artist.  Her work explores many different aspects--collage, exquisitely detailed and delicate drawings, and interesting bookmaking.  All of her works are titled with such a wonderful sense of humor.  Her collection of "roadkill" and other birds and wildlife is beautiful.  What I loved most was her correlation between artists/artworks of the past and her drawings--simply genius.

I took a class from JoAnna at the Milwaukee Art Museum many years ago where we drew feathers, eggs, and dead birds that had been collected and stored in her freezer.  My drawing of feathers and eggs is one of my favorite pieces, the drawing of the dead cardinal---eh. 

Once, a few years ago, we had a beautiful bird, can't remember what it was,  fly into our window and lay dead on our patio, at least I think he/she was dead.  I knew immediately we had to take the bird to JoAnna and we did so in a shoebox cushioned respectfully for the dearly departed specimen. 

I encourage you to look at JoAnna's work however you can find it.  I know you will not be disappointed.  She is indeed a modern day master.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

551 Outnumbered

Today I spent the better part of the day experimenting with a new set of water soluble oil paints.  I loved the juiciness of the paint, but I had no idea what to do with it.  I have read other artists write that they "wiped off" and began again and now know what they mean, having done that FOUR times.  I still have three very pathetic attempts waiting to dry so I can try to learn from them and move on.

I love acrylics because they dry quickly and I can accomplish many layers.  With the oil paints, the "many layers" turned into a dirty mess. 

I will try again, but perhaps I should keep my day job.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

550 Suspicious

I originally had a different title picked out for this painting, but changed my mind at the last minute.
These "on the vine" tomatoes are so perfect and uniform in size and shape that it certainly raises my suspicion.  In the middle of winter, tomatoes are almost always a disappointment.

Monday, February 16, 2015

549 Figaro

Figaro is a very sweet dog, a friend of my pooch's, Oliver.  Figaro's owner is a relatively new friend of mine---and such a delight.  This painting may need a little tweaking as Figaro is mostly black and the shine on his beautiful coat is difficult to determine from my photos.  I have spent a lot of time with him---he is a Personality Plus little guy,  and of course Oliver always knows when I have visited him.  I love this pose with the ears in different positions, one up and one down---a classic Figaro!

Friday, February 13, 2015

If I Only Had a Heart

I couldn't resist--- I just couldn't paint hearts and flowers and all that sappy stuff.  This is a quick little painting of a sculpture in Oz Park in Chicago, home of Lyman Frank Baum who wrote several Oz books.   The sculpture was created by artist John Kearney in 1995, and the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow and Dorothy and Toto statues followed.  It is a beautiful park in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago, and I discovered it quite by accident.  

For your enjoyment, I am including the words the Tin Man sang in the movie, The Wizard of Oz.
Happy Valentine's Day to all of you.

correction:  the painting is 5 x 7" not 6 x 8".

If I Only Had a Heart

When a man's an empty kettle
He should be on his mettle
And yet I'm torn apart
Just because I'm presumin'
That I could be kind of human
If I only had a heart

I'd be tender, I'd be gentle
And awful sentimental
Regarding love and art
I'd be friends with the sparrows
And the boy that shoots the arrows
If I only had a heart

Picture me a balcony
Above a voice sings low

(Snow White)
Wherefore art thou, Romeo?

(Tin Man)
I hear a beat, how sweet!

Just to register emotion, jealousy, devotion
And really feel the part
I could stay young and chipper
And I'd lock it with a zipper
If I only had a heart

Sunday, February 8, 2015

544 Simply Divine

It took me all day to think of the right title for this painting.  I had many perfect titles, but all had been previously used for other paintings.  I woke up from a little catnap and this one hit me!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

543 Backbend

Today I visited with a gallery owner I know and while I was there, a very disheveled looking man--- a presumably unlikely gallery visitor---with several plastic grocery shopping bags entered the gallery, removed his shoes, and approached the owner.  She greeted him by name and went to the back room where she retrieved a bag, and handed it to him.  There was a nice, yet short conversation, which included him telling a joke.  He thanked her, and then left.

The lesson that I already knew but was reinforced today is "Don't judge a book by its cover."  Turns out this man is an art junkie, and spends a LOT of money in her gallery each year.

What followed was a discussion of how people discriminate against one another because of appearances or other perceived differences.  It was a very nice visit with the gallery owner today, as usual. 

I am reminded of an experience I had at another art gallery several months ago.  I went expressly to see an exhibit of still lifes, and was barely acknowledged by the gallery attendant when I entered and when I asked a question about a painting.  At the end of my visit, she was rude and dismissed me when I asked a question about the process for acquiring new artists.  I felt so terrible when I left that gallery that I don't want to go back.

I just don't understand why people can't be nice. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

542 Polka Dance

Get it??? Polka dance??  (I had to explain it to a certain someone here. )

The new Penthouse is very comfortable and my buddy, Oliver likes it too.  The leaves of the radishes went kaput so I ate all the radishes.  No more radish still lifes this week.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

541 Underestimated

I am delighted to report that with this painting,  I have officially relocated my studio from the basement ("The Dungeon") where I painted without a window, to the attic " Penthouse."  Today is the first day I painted there.  A dear friend helped me haul and reorganize and it is a dream space, freshly painted, heated, carpets cleaned, and with a real window and a bathroom.  What more could I ask for? 

Monday, February 2, 2015

539 Stealing the Show

My garden club held it's annual Chinese Tea Tasting on Saturday with 80 people attending.  Our centerpieces for the tables included a moss ball with jade plant, rocks, and a single cymbidium orchid.  Each stem of the orchid has approximately 15-20 flowers, which are exquisite.  I am enjoying the few that didn't sell and couldn't resist placing one in my still life.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

538 Meyer Lemons in a Portugese Bowl

This is a new bowl and we are still getting acquainted.  I love the irregularities in the glazing and the polka dots.  It is a little more modern than my other blue and white bowls, but I am hoping to find the perfect items to put into the bowl.  I have some ideas.  Let me know what you think of it.