Thursday, September 29, 2016

825 Angelic

This is the seventh portrait as part of my series called "The Innocents Project."  This picture is of a one-year old girl named Tala in either Lebanon or Palestine, who wasn't getting enough nutrition. With assistance from ANERA, she received a vitamin fortified powdered milk and very soon grew taller and gained weight.   ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid) is an organization headquartered in Washington D.C.,  founded in 1968 with the intention of helping those in refugee camps in Lebanon and Palestine. They never imagined they would be needed all these years later, but the need is still dire to help repair and build water systems, schools, provide food, medicine, clothing and hygiene products to the thousands and thousands who live in horrible conditions in refugee camps.

This image of beautiful little Tala was taken in 2012 when she was just one year old.  Sadly, I doubt that four years later her life is any better.  She has probably never known a "normal" life outside of a refugee camp. ANERA tries to make children's and their families' lives a little more "normal."

If by chance you are so moved, please make a donation to and mention "The Innocents Project."

"825 Angelic"
acrylic - 12x12 in

Saturday, September 24, 2016

824. Say "AHHHH"

I have a keen appreciation for old things.  I found the carved limestone image taken from an old hospital in Chicago at a salvage house, and thought it would be interesting to paint.  I am very happy with the result.  It is reported to be an image of a physician, and I think the title is appropriate.

acrylic - 16x20 in

Here is the picture of "823 Buddy" that I was unable to post.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

823. Buddy

Photo posted 9/24/16.

Buddy was a "best friend," unlike technology has been for me this past week. I'm unable to post a photo of this painting, but hopefully you will go to my Facebook page or here to see it.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

822 Inner Conflict

As you may recall, I have been working on a large quilt for a friend/client/collector.  She is a person who appreciates handmade quilts, and in this age when you can buy a cheap quilt at Marshalls/TJ Maxx for your guest room, she is willing to have something beautiful and hand made.  I could not appreciate her any more!  My Left Brain (analytical) has taken over in this process, temporarily displacing Left Brain (creative), despite my efforts to keep both parties engaged.  I keep dreaming of quilts and plans to use the piles and piles of highly organized fabric (according to color).  It doesn't help that my Garden Club is organizing our first garden tour, "Quilts in the Garden," for July of 2017.
SO, quilts are on my mind, which means Left Brain is highly active.

My client requested NOT to see any images of the quilt before completion, so I will not post until it is back from the quilter and then bound.  I finished the piecing the quilt and took it to Patched Works to be quilted on Friday.  I am hoping my Right Brain will take over and allow me to paint freely.

I have always felt an internal conflict in who I want to be as an artist.  Part of me LOVES realism and painting what I see, and the other part of me wants to bust out and go crazy, but I find that much more difficult to do.  So this week, I slapped some oil paint on some canvases without paying attention to anything (Right Brain). Then I went in with my compass and pencil and divided into shapes (with my Left Brain).  Hence the title of the painting, "Inner Conflict."  I have a new rubber tipped tool that I used to remove the paint in the triangles and circles, leaving the neutral grey visible.  I am curious to see what this looks like with white or black in the triangles/circles.    Although this painting is only 6" x 6", I think it could be any size.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Red and White Hollyhocks

This summer has been one of experimentation with new media and techniques.  This painting is an oil painting, and it took so many tries and several months to get it to where I am happy and proud to post.  I have been considering that it may be time to give up the struggle with oil paints, but then I went to an art fair today.  I visited with a man whose portraits I admire, in fact I approached him several months ago to inquire if he gives classes (he does not).  So I introduced myself to him and we conversed.   He gave me some good tips.  He was mortified that I normally paint with acrylics.  He also hated the idea of me painting with water soluble oils.  After several minutes of conversation, he had a sale.  We agreed to be (Facebook) friends.   I guess I'll keep thinking on this.

"Red and White Hollyhocks"
oil - 24x12 in

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Any Which Way

This painting is of a mid-century hand carved panel that I've been pretty crazy about for months.  I painted it once in bright colors-- "Atypical," which I'm pleased was rented to a cable television show's (Patriot) production and has since sold.

The reference for this painting is actually three panels, one large, a second medium and a third smaller.  I loved them all, and if you knew what I went through to get photos of them, you would think I'm crazy.  I prefer to use the word "determined."  I had to incorporate elements of each panel to make this work.  It took several tries.

I can't decide which orientation I like best, but I think it's nice that there are options.  Which do you like best?

"Any Which Way"
acrylic - 16x40 in

Saturday, September 3, 2016

821 Kronos

This is a commissioned gift for a special person, so if you know anyone who had a horse named Kronos, please don't mention this.  It is always a challenge to obtain a good photo for a surprise painting.  This one was a cell phone screen shot.  The horse is a Cammaroon pony.  With a very serious face, my husband  calls it a "Calamari" pony.  The painting conveniently qualifies for the Daily Paintworks Equine Challenge!

Despite the fact that I have not posted a lot of paintings lately,  I have been painting nearly every day and  have several rotating on my easel. Some are a little larger and/or are more challenging.  I have been working in acrylics, watercolor, and oil.  YIKES.  I will post them when I am satisfied they are "finished."  This summer  has been my time to experiment with new media and techniques.  Not everything is "post-able."

I have recently become reacquainted with an old friend, my Bernina sewing machine.  I gladly accepted a commission for another custom quilt,  and it has become increasingly clear that the Right Brain and Left Brain have very different functions and deserve respect for their individuality!   I have always known about this fact, but to experience it so vividly at this time has been eye-opening.  Quilting is a right brain function because of all the precision required in cutting of the fabric and sewing precise seams.  I experienced this the hard way yesterday when Right brain slipped in and I cut a pile of fabric the wrong size (too small).  With painting, my mind can wander, but with piecing quilts, there is no room for that.  Focus, focus, focus.  The Right brain can slip in for fabric choices and final arrangement of the squares, but Left better be on guard throughout.  With modern rotary cutting tools for fabric cutting, you can cut yards and yards of fabric in a very short period of time, so it better be right. 

I was a less serious painter before I was a quilter.   Quilting is a very obsessive craft/art.  There is something special about the tactile nature of it.  I loved it, still do, but when I started painting,  I realized the hard way that I could NOT do both in the same day.  I am going to really try to defy that this month while I work on this quilt.

I will post the photo of the finished quilt when it is....finished.

Enjoy this long weekend.