Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Looking Forward and Reflecting

Here we are looking forward to 2009! It has been a year of ups and downs for many of us, but we have come through it with lots of love and cooperation. I am feeling very hopeful for all the wonderful things 2009 will bring. I hope you are also looking forward.

On the last day of the year many people find themselves in a reflective mood. I am feeling this way, too. I will spend some time with my journal and my sketchbook later today. I know many of the things which will come from that will probably be transitional for me...lists and doodles to remind me of 2008 and all of the year's challenges and joys and more of the same as I look ahead.

Earlier this week, Soulbrush gave me this award:

So to end the year, I would like to offer this same award to you, my faithful readers and commenters. I look forward to many insightful discussions, lots of wonderful art, great sharing and lots of love to spread around the earth in 2009!

In Love and Peace, I leave 2008 and in Love and Peace I go into 2009 with each of you!

Talk to you Next Year (okay, I might respond to comments before midnight tonight).



Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sometimes It Takes Me A Long Time...

I know many of you have seen these paintings before. I have been doing this Horizon Series for several years now. You can see others here.This is one I call "It's About Time". It has a lot of my clear glazes applied.
This one I call "Pondering The Light".
This one is only known as "Horizon 3". It was painted when we still lived in England and that is when this series began.

Now, until yesterday when I was organizing some photographs, I never really understood where this fascination with horizons came from. I have felt as though I truly began to contemplate what was beyond the horizon when we moved to England, but I was not sure I fully understood why. Then I ran across these:
This was taken early one cold morning on Omaha Beach when we were visiting Normandy, France. Isn't the horizon beautiful? I am completely drawn into the area where the sky and the sea meet. What does lie beyond? In this case it is England and I was becoming familiar with life there.
This photograph was taken just a few moments earlier. When I saw these photos I realized the catalyst for my obsession.

Does this kind of thing happen to you? Does it sometimes take you a long time to understand why you have to continue to explore a particular image? My obsession has changed, but I have continued to explore this idea of the horizon in my life. I hope this does not change, because I really like exploring this subject and hope to continue. I think now, I just want to make it bigger! I am so glad I found these photos...

I would love to hear your thoughts on this and how this works for you, too.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Boxing Day

I just can't resist showing you this photo of the first cottage where we lived in England. It is such a sweet photo and also might remind some of you of a summer day.
Thank you for all of the lovely holiday greetings. As you can see, I have not gotten to my comments or blog visiting as of yet, but I promise to get there. I have been enjoying every moment with my family while we are all together. Sooner, rather than later, we will all be back to being spread about. In other words, I have been focusing on the many beautiful gifts of my life over the last few days...and all my blogging friends are not an exception.

In the meantime, have a Wonderful Boxing Day and Bask in the Glow of the Season!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Holidays!

I had to share this little photo of dancing holiday lights in the window as it looks out onto our back garden.

Over the next few days I am going to be up to my eyeballs in holiday prep, so I wanted to take this time to say I wish each of you a VERY HAPPY AND SPECIAL HOLIDAY SEASON! I may have a post from time to time over the next two weeks or so, but probably it will not be anything regular. I will be visiting blogs throughout the season and look forward to hearing from each of you, and I will be responding comments on this blog. I also will be answering emails on most days.

I can tell you some exciting things are playing around in my head for 2009. I think it will be a great deal of fun.

I hope for you a season filled with peace and love. A time to spend just how you want to spend it. I also hope you have a bit of time to make a bit of art.

Have a Beautiful Holiday Season!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

You May Have Heard...

Mike from Devon, England has sent his two sheep, Esmiralda and Ermintrude on a tour. They first visited Andrea in Paris, then they decided San Francisco was calling them and visited Lynn. Recently they spent a few days with Cris in Oregon where they had a tea party with Annie. Today, they decided to make a stop here in the Washington, DC area before heading up to the North Country to visit Suki.

Earlier today I received a call from Reagan National Airport, and the woman on the phone said two fluffs with purses were asking for me. I said I would be there soon. So I headed down to Alexandria to pick them up. Right away they wanted to go into the city. We hopped on the Washington Metro right at the airport and in 15 minutes we were on the National Mall.

Let me tell you these two are chatty. Here is the conversation I overheard on the Metro:

Ermi: Do you think she will take us to a proper pub? I would love a pint.

Esmi: I hear they do not have proper pubs here. These buildings are far too new.

Ermi: Really? Where where do you suppose they meet their mates?

Esmi: Do I have to tell you everything, Ermi? They use a Blackberry to meet their mates.

Ermi: I have never been to a country where you meet your mate on a fruit. These people appear far too large for that. A banana would make more sense.

Esmi: You are a fruit, Ermi! A Blackberry is a mobile. You know, Mike will not let us have a mobile.

Ermi: You have lost your mind, Esmi.
Then we are walking across the Mall near the Washington Monument when this brief conversation took place:

Ermi: Do you think we can see Baaa rack O' Baaa ma?

Esmi: I understand George Bush is making him stay in Chicago until next month. One more thing, Ermi, no matter what Cousin Sally told you, Baaa rack Obaaa ma is not Irish.

Ermi: Someone needs to throw a shoe at George Bush for doing that to Baaa rack.

Esmi: Ermi, you are so slow - that happened days ago.

We had some fun, seeing the capital and the White House (although they did not want to go in). They enjoyed The East Wing of the National Gallery, too. Later we wondered over to the train station, because they thought they should begin their trip north. It will take them a while on the train, then a bus and finally Suki will try to get to them by car. It will be Friday before they can get to her place in the North Country.

They collected their tickets and the last I saw them they were headed for the platform towards New York City - Starbucks in hoof!

What a lovely duo!

Thanks Mike for allowing them this whirl wind tour!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Euphoria of Creativity

San, who writes A Life With A View, handed out this award. I am going to hand it out to anyone posting a comment to this post. Enjoy and share the love.

Last night some thoughts kept nagging at me - again...I have got to get these things out of my head so I can get some sleep (thank goodness for my journal, right?) All of the lovely comments to my last post kind of got me going...mainly for myself last night, but this morning I am interested in what is true for you.

Do you feel as though all parts of your life are your art? Is each day an artistic expression? Do you create art when you are paying the bills and emptying the rubbish bin?

As I said in the previous post, I think I believe art is the perception of the person experiencing the work in question - the creator or the viewer. I feel as though it is the state of mind at the time of creation or experience. If this is true, then I could find the art in everything, though. I am not quite sure that happens for me. So maybe my idea of art is not quite right.

When I paint a canvas I feel a euphoria which cannot be explained, and I call it art. I can only hope anyone who sees my work may also consider it art, but I am not assured of that fact.

When I go to a gallery , I am told I will see art there. I have no reason to doubt that and enter with a sense of anticipation I hope will evoke that sense of euphoria. Sometimes it really happens and other times it leaves me wondering how some things get away with being called art. The thing is I am certain to another viewer it is without a doubt art.

There are times when I sew, cook or plant a flower when I feel as though I am creative or artistic. I have said before that being a mother is the most creative and rewarding experience I have ever had. I feel creative when I do these things as well as when I paint. Here is the rub, though, I can tell you without a shadow of doubt I DO NOT/HAVE NOT EVER felt creative when I write checks, clean the house or do laundry.

How about you? What tasks completely fill you with a sense of creativity and artistry? What tasks do not?

Have a Beautiful Day!

note, my posts and comments on your blogs may be a little less frequent over the next several weeks, but I will be getting to you.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Asking Questions/ Searching for Answers

Because so many of you responded to the previous post I was inspired to draw more of these faces and evaluate what different lines might mean on the face. These simple lines of the basic features bring to mind so many things and I am reaching into these lines to come up with some meanings behind the images. Any of you who regularly read this blog know what comes off the tip of my pen, brush, hand, etc. does not come from any pre-planning on my part. It just happens. I know many of you inspire me with the posts on your blogs (just consider how many of us were touched the last two days by Andrea's original post). These are not real faces I see, but lines I am feeling which evoke the idea of a face. I know there are more of these which need to come out of me, so watch out.

If any of you are interested in reading a wonderful book about the subject of spreading love, I recommend The Power of Kindness by Piero Ferrucci. A year ago I said it was the best book I had read in 2007. Today, I have to add in 2007 and 2008. I highly recommend it.

There is something else on my mind today. I read this article yesterday and it made me think about what makes something art. The article is about a show at SFMOMA (San Francisco MOMA) of early science photographs. So is this an art exhibit of science photographs? Is it actually art? Is there a fine line here? Or is the difference between art and science actually a point of view?

It seems to me these are images about the documentation of what may be considered science, but it is really nature's paintbrush being documented. Originally, it was documented as a means of studying the subject, however they are seen as art by others. I see science as a way of organizing thoughts and explaining what is often natural, and art is the expression of visions or experiences in a way it may not have been expressed before. Sometimes, nature gives us an opportunity to see life as it has not been seen that, at that point, art? Is this what we are seeing here?

In his book, Art Heals, Shaun Mcniff says:

...Artists are the best sources for understanding the psychic effects of creative expressions. They typically stay close to the physical qualities of arts rather than using them to advance a theoretical position. (127)

If you think about it, scientists want to advance that theoretical position moving it forward until it is proven. It seems to me, many artists do not care if it is proven or not. If it feels right to the artist, then it is right for them and that is what matters. Artist just apply what feels right and what is true for them is what feels true.

So this brings me back to the exhibit. Do you think the point of view is what makes this an either/or issue? For the scientific mind, it is documentation of the facts, but to the artist is was a new way of seeing.

Okay, I have gone off on a ramble here, I know. I kind of share with you what pops off the end of my fingers. Lately these ramblings relate to something I have read...another one of my passions. Now I am interested in what you have to say, of what you have to share.

I wish for each of you a wonderful weekend of love and of spreading love.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sending Out Love

This is another bit of canvas I have worked on. What you see is bits of metal foil attached to the painted canvas with clear glaze.

In Andrea's post today she talks about how sketching her Metroheads becomes an act of love for her. As she sketches and really looks at each subject, she feels the love of and for these people, even when at first she might feel a bit reluctant in the subject. As usual, this blog post made me think about how important our work of art can be for all of those around us.

One of the things Andrea said, in this post, how she likes to imagine this love begins to spread to those around her and they will then leave the Metro feeling better than they did when they entered. Now how cool is that? I believe this is exactly what happens. I am not the only one believing this, either. Take a look at this article I recently read. If happiness is spread by being happy, I feel quite sure, love is spread by feeling love.

So Andrea, by doing what she does each day on the Metro is making a difference in the lives of those around her, and they probably do not even know. For those of us who share with each other each day, the reality of happiness of our friends here make a difference. Many of us are probably also greatly aware of the impact of the people we love on our own emotions and even the people we just come in contact with from time to time. Now we can probably be assured our happiness and love in general spreads out to people who are completely unaware of what is happening.

When I go out, even to the supermarket, I make it a special point to be kind and patient with those I come in contact with. I often receive hugs from regular employees of places I frequent. When those people smile back at me, it makes me feel so much better, too. Now, how to make my art bring joy and spread love as this seems to be so very important right now. Do you feel a responsibility to spread love?

Thank you Andrea for this wonderful post. I have so much to learn from each of you! You are true blessings in my life and spread joy to me each day.

Spread some love today and spread it thick! :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More Faces

Today I share with you a few more faces I am trying to get out of my mind. As I was playing with these I thought about how a second line at the mouth can completely change the expression of a face. I had not even thought of that before.

There is another reason for showing you this particular doodle. I use a pump-action fixative rather than that from the pressurized can. When I use it on charcoal, however it causes it to smudge. Do you think it is my application of the fixative (too aggressive in application) or do you think it is the product itself? If you enlarge this image you can see what I mean. Have you had issues like this with fixative? I am using Fixatif Latour by Sennelier. I will not change the fixative, because it settles fast and I do not have as great a chance of inhaling the product.

If you followed the comments to yesterday's post you are aware I am eagerly expecting my daughter's arrival this weekend. Both of my children are in their last week of the semester, and we will be four again next week. I am really excited, but it also means I am not in the studio as much. You just might be seeing some of these quick sketches from me and I might get them out of my head, too. I suppose one never really knows, right? Are you beginning to get into the holiday swing, now?

Have a Great Day!

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Little White...A Little Blue...

On Saturday night we had our first snow fall of the season. I was not at home, but my son grabbed a few photos for us. The snow was only a dusting where I was, but it was pretty anyway. I have been waiting for a little snow to fall... and this was a little.Of course the sky was beautiful and blue when the snow clouds had passed the next morning. That clear sky also meant it was a little nippy and with the wind blowing, it was pretty cold for here. But it was nice to see a little winter arrive and enjoy a fire.
Now, this blue reminded me to share with you something I have been working on little by little. Do you remember the canvas bit I had painted and wondered what in the world I might do with it? Babs recommended possibly matting it with a large mat to provide emphasis, and Andrea thought maybe I could work it into another work on canvas. I decided to combine both with this idea.
There is more work to do on this as I want to create some kind of vertical element to it, even if subtly. I thought, however, you might like to see the progress this little bit of loose canvas has made. At least now you can still see it was created as a separate piece. I have not decided if that will stay or not. I just have to see how it all evolves. Do you have any thoughts for me on this progress? Any direction which seems to jump out at you?

I hope everyone is off to a good beginning this Monday morning. I will be making my rounds to your blogs later today. Are you making plans for the holidays?

Have a Lovely Day!

Friday, December 5, 2008


My apologies for the post below appearing as it does. I have tried 5 times to upload it. I can read everything clearly in the other parts of "edit posts" or "create post". For now, I am going to go with this. Who knows, maybe it will show up later! :)

Have a Beautiful Weekend!

Weekend Fun!

Today Jess gave me a fun little gift to share with you. Here are 100 "things you may have done" in your life. When you are finished here, visit Jess' blog for some incredible color!

The answers in bold are the ones that I have done:

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo (only round the house though, like Jess)

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train (quite a few nights, I might add)

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community.

36. Taught yourself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo's David

41. Sung karoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris (I've been to the bottom, also like Jess)

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business (a couple of them)

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout cookies

62. Gone whale watching

63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job (but I have been caught up in a lay-off)

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Read the entire Bible

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one

94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a lawsuit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee

100. Read an entire book in one day

So there you have it. Please feel free to join in the weekend fun here. Jess asked if people participating would leave a comment saying you are in for the fun. I will ask the same thing...but feel free to leave a comment anyway.

Have a Beautiful Weekend.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Painting in Nature and Natural Painting...A True Ramble

On Tuesday morning, my son came in and said, "Bring your camera and do not dawdle." He took me outside on our deck where some water had frozen on top of a glass table. In the ice, some oak leaves had fallen and frozen. When he pulled up the leaves, this is the kind of imprint which remained in the ice.I was reminded of this beautiful image nature made when I read Dianne's post today. Earlier I had asked Dianne about painting in 'Plein Air' and any concern for debris which might blow onto the wet canvas. In the post, she talks about how she rather goes with the flow allowing to happen what will. As Dianne talked I thought I should like some leaves to fall where they will on a wet canvas. Would I also appreciate the debris kicked up from the neighbor's landscaper's blowing machines? (Truth be told, I can't stand those machines and all their noise.) I am not sure I would, but that isn't a natural act, either. Isn't this just like allowing the muse to take you where it will and creating with what you are given? Isn't that what nature does? So is this called natural painting or natural creating?

Don't you think the same is true the way Andrea creates the Metroheads on her daily commute in Paris? It is not 'Plein Air', but it is what is natural for her each day. Suki does similar creations, too, with her wax collages and the well series she is working on. I suppose Dianne has a greater opportunity to paint outdoors with the milder weather in South Africa and I am glad she does - her paintings are amazing. I think the rainy months in Paris might make watercolors difficult for Andrea and the very cold of the North Country would prohibit Suki and the mediums she uses, but in their own way it is natural painting. When you follow your muse can you also say it is natural painting? While I do see the difference in natural and 'Plein Air' paintings, I think that 'Plein Air' is also natural. Okay, I am circle talking now. I will leave it at this, but would love to hear your thoughts. Do visit Dianne's blog as she has so much to share. If you haven't already read the post just before this one, will get a real chuckle!

I also wanted to say my heart goes out to Suki who has recently lost her mother. I send you lots of love, my dear friend.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Drawing Lines

As many of your know I am a book junkie (I suppose it could be worse). This particular book, Finding Your Visual Voice, is a very basic workbook type reference. One reason I like it is for the interviews of various artists. Sometimes, when my muse decides I need to explore something I am not aware of exploring, I will turn to this book to see if there is something I might be missing as I proceed.One of the things which caught my eye when I opened it last night was this quote:

Everyone knows that a single line may convey an emotion.
-Piet Mondrian

Other than really loving Mondrian's work, I wondered why I found this quote so appealing to me last night. Could it be because I really do a lot of line work in my paintings such as with the Horizons or some of the poured work? Could it be those line faces which are nagging me to put them in my sketchbook? Or is it because I really only paint where my emotions lead me and I need to focus even more on line work? Do you have any insights on this subject? Do you like line work?

Now I did show you these faces drawn larger - one per page. I also have drawn a few pages of just small little faces. What I find funny is how all of these feel like adult faces to me. Is that because they are so severe with just the lines? The other thing I might add about these faces is they all come from my imagination...I have never seen one of these faces and tried to get it down. They all just seem to be in my head and need to come out. Maybe they are ghosts. What do you think? :)

I look forward to your thoughts today. Speaking of today, have a good one!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bits and Pieces, Again!

Sometimes I do odd things...well, maybe more than sometimes...and purchasing this sampler pad of a variety of canvases was one of those times.I know the intended use is to test out the different types of canvas, but I am not going to follow that convention...who do they think I am anyway? :) So this sat around my studio until it caught my eye yesterday. You see, I had some paint left over and still wanted to paint. So I pulled off one of these canvases and laid down a coat of indigo acrylic. No, actually, I laid down indigo on 3 sheets of this. I let it dry then did some playing like this...
I know this is a typical Kim painting, but I do have a thing for these horizons. What you are seeing here is copper and pearl acrylic. Now, what do you think I should do with these little bits of painted, un-stretched canvas? Mmmm... Well, it was fun to do and it is an interesting way to play around while you are waiting for the large canvas to dry.

I want to send out a very special HUG to Suki today as she deals with a trying time.

I wish for you a beautiful day!

Monday, December 1, 2008


I have said I often get things in my head and I must do things to get them out. One night last week I woke up and had these line faces in my brain. I knew if I did not draw them, I would not get back to sleep . Does your art keep you awake or wake you from sleep?I ended up drawing about 10 of them before I could put the sketchbook down. As you can see, they are nothing but very quick line drawings which were quite simplified.
They are just ink on sketchbook paper. I know I will make more of these, and I have no idea what will come from them. The thing is this is kind of different for me in a way. I was thinking about abstractions and abstract paintings. Some paintings come purely from emotions. As you know I love doing those a great deal and they mean a lot to me. Other abstractions are simplifications of recognizable images. Clearly, we can find examples of a combination of these abstract techniques, but I am wondering if you are attracted to one form of abstraction or another? Do you find you gain more, personally, from one form of abstraction over another?

I still have these faces in my head and you will probably see more of them. Andrea keeps encouraging me to keep my sketchbook going on a daily basis. Often I will mire myself into greater detail when I sketch, so this might be something I am exploring to keep this sketching going on a more regular basis. Do you sketch each day? I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Happy Monday to Everyone!