Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday Afternoon Note

This is a quick note to let you know I am not going to be in a place to post for the next few days. Have a Great Weekend!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

An Opportunity

Today I am stumping a bit, but I promise it is not about US politics.

Do you ever dream of being published or of just sharing what you do with a broader audience? If this sounds true to you, then I have an opportunity for you to consider.

As many of you know I have two really great children (no proud mother here). My son is in undergraduate school in Vermont , and my daughter is in graduate school in California.

A few days ago, I was talking to my daughter, and she shared with me the literary magazine she is co-editor for is looking for submissions from people around the world. I thought maybe you would be interested in making a submission or two.

"The Truth About The Fact" is an international literary magazine focusing on individual truths. No, they are not accepting fiction, they want your memories or black and white photographs or photographs of art work.

You can see what it takes to submit to "The Truth About The Fact" here. And you can read some of the earlier volumes at their web site. In addition, the editors write a blog which is interesting to me and may be to you. And if you want to see what the editorial staff is all about, you can also see a photo of my daughter (I told you I was a proud mother. She is the one sitting at the computer.). And one other thing to consider is the deadline for submissions is December 31, 2008.

If you submit, will you let me know? It is an exciting opportunity if you are interested.

Thanks for indulging me today.

Here is to success!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Finding Beauty

A while back, we had a discussion on this blog about hanging art on colored or non-white walls. I said I have a great love of doing that and have found in some cases it really shows off paintings nicely.

I have been painting my foyer and one of the walls is a very dark gray...kind of a paynes gray, if you will. The other walls are very light. So I hung this painting which you have seen before against this dark wall for you to see the result. My feeling is a white wall would wash this particular piece out, but the dark wall seems to really make it pop. I will show you more of this foyer project once it is complete and maybe you can see the edge as it sits against this wall, too.

In the book, "Creative Authenticity: 16 Principles to Clarify and Deepen Your Artistic Vision" by Ian Roberts, the first chapter is about 'Searching for Beauty'. This chapter begins with these quotes:

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. - Emerson

By God, when you see your beauty you'll be the idol of yourself. - Rumi

I told beauty, take me in your arms of silence. - Aragon

Beneath our loquacious chatter, there is a silent language of our whole being which yearns for art and the beauty from which art comes. - Rollo May

So in your search for beauty, have you found it? Do you find yourself looking for it at every turn? Do you know how you define beauty? Is it important to you?

For me, simple things often define the beauty I find. It often involves something difficult for others to see as beautiful, such as hanging art on a dark or colored wall or the way fresh vegetables are displayed. I am always looking for beauty and always refining what it's meaning is for me. And that meaning is often based on something positive in some way. I can also say beauty is very important in my life.

I hope you are having a beautiful day!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Seeing Colors And Making Shapes

This is an old, old piece. It is pastels on black paper...about 10" x 14". It is just basically something I did fast one day to do something in a short time frame. One thing I have found interesting is the feather shape. I often want to make this shape for not any known reason. Do you have a particular shape which comes naturally to your hand?

Yesterday I talked about seeing colors when I dream and yes, today I found a quote from Audrey Flack about color perception. In her book "Art & Soul: Notes on Creating" which I pick up from time to time, found this:

Perceiving Colors

We see colors differently. I see blue hues with one eye, my right, and warm yellow tones with my left. I've found that many artist see this way. I believe this is a function of a highly developed color sense.

Now I am not so sure this is the way it works for me, but you can be sure I am going to be testing myself to see if Audrey's theory holds true for me. One thing I have noticed, though, is how two people with different eye colors see a hue differently. I attribute this to the reflection of the light as it is perceived by the eye. But I am not talking about colors in different locations, but people actually looking at the same color at the same time in the same place. And the other thing I have said to you before is how I am able to create and see various colors in different places where we live. I pointed to the example of the blues being so different for me when we were living in England. And the colors I worked with when we lived in the western part of the US were different from the ones I work with now here in the Eastern part of the US.

Have you ever noticed any of these subtle differences in how colors are perceived or how you work with them? Clearly both Audrey and I assume it is the eye which makes the difference, but maybe it is the brain which is translating them differently. What do you think?

I hope the day is sunny and delightful where you are today.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


When you have night dreams, what are they like? Do you have specific images which come to mind and sometimes tell a story?

That does not happen to me very often. It has happened from time to time, but I often dream in swirling colors or swirling colored lights. I get the story in some way I can't explain, but the images are just colors. As I said usually the colors swirl together and create soft edges, however one night several years ago the colors were more sharp against a dark background. They were like streaks falling obliquely from over head. The story wasn't that awful, something which didn't cause me alarm anyway. But the way the colors appeared actually work me.
The next day I painted this and did not realize what it was until I saw it again and realized it was the dream. What was interesting was how the colors kind of bounced when they hit something I could not see - and to see I remembered that (without really remembering) when I was painting was also interesting. What do you think? My family would say I was weird, but they would expect nothing less.

Do you dream in images or maybe only hear sounds? Do you dream in color? What ARE your dreams like? Have you ever painted them?

I am continuing to work on this painting project here at home. Hopefully I will be able to share it with you before too long.

I wish for you a Very Beautiful Day!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Blanks

Today I do not have a great deal to share with you. While some of my blog friends were nursing sniffles, going to art shows and going along to high teas (you know who you are), I was painting the walls in my foyer and stairwell. And I can tell you they are looking much better. I still have a second coat to apply, then I move on to the upstairs hallway. The walls in this house were all painted in Caucasian and Asian flesh tones or wallpapered in similar hues and that does not suit me or my furnishings very well. So I have slowly been changing these walls.

When I paint walls, I spend a lot of time considering what I would do if I knew I would be in this house for the rest of my life, what I might talk about on this blog, or what other tasks I need to accomplish. Maybe that is why I paint canvases - with those I do not think of such things. But I paint walls in the same way I paint large canvases - sometimes painting large expanses while I dance around and then getting up close and getting tiny details. Do you find there are similarities in painting no matter what you paint? Do you have particular things you think about while you are doing non-creative, rote kinds of tasks?

I did a little canvas painting (you know the big red one), but I am not near ready to share that with you at this point. In the meantime, how about a little dumpr manipulation? This was a photo of some flowers (you can make them out, I am sure) sent to me by my best friend for my last birthday. They are in a handmade, pottery vase my daughter gave me for Christmas last year.

Are you having a good day today? It is my greatest wish you are doing just that!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Hiring An Agent...and A Friday Smile

photo provided by The Associated Press

This is Cholla, the painting horse from Nevada, USA. Now I know you have seen other animals who paint professionally, and many of their paintings are similar. I actually think it is rather cool these animals are getting in touch with their creative side. But the thing about Cholla is his painting "Big red Buck" has been selected to exhibit in Italy. In addition, he has also exhibited in New York and San Francisco.

Now I, for one, am very excited about Cholla's success.
Isn't it wonderful he can help promote instinctive art? Now here is what I think is the key to his success...his agent! Yes, I think that since it is a stretch to think Cholla actually does his own marketing one could probably attribute his wonderful success to the agent he hires. Here is my question to you think there is a chance we might band together to hire this agent, too?

In all seriousness, I hope you enjoy your weekend and do visit Cholla's web site. (And note, you might have to scroll the screen to the right to see the sight.)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Reverse Translations...

This is another circle image I did from a photo on Dumpr. You can tell it was originally a circular image. I thought the colors were kind of autumn like and it might be fun to share with you. And this is the photograph I used in the program.
There is not a lot to say about this except I was doodling around with my left hand and this what came out. When it was done...and as I am looking at it here I thought of one of those mums worn at school homecomings. Do they still wear those? So this is sharpee pen and colored pencils.

So there you have it for today. Nothing profound, not much of anything...just a little sharing.

I hope you are having a beautiful day where you are...and if you, like Andrea, are dealing with any change of season sniffles then Feel Better Soon!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Work in Progress

This is a 30" x 40" canvas I have been working on...doesn't look like much, does it? That is because it isn't. I just have not gotten any further with it than this. My husband thinks it looks like tanned leather...nope, just canvas and acrylic.

I wish I had more to show you today, but this is it. I do have another quote from the Audrey Flack book, "Art & Soul: Notes on Creating".

Being Commercial
If you can't make it good, make it big.
If you can't make it big, make it red.

Honestly, I did not read that before I painted this canvas! Isn't that funny, though? Does that mean I am commercial since this is big and red?

I hope you are having a lovely day!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Doodling in Paint?

As you may know, I have been working with my non-dominant hand on a regular basis - encouraged along by Andrea and Suki. I have found it to be freeing and am wondering if it will influence work I do with my dominant (right) hand. One of the doodles I have wanted to do in the last few days has been spirals. I normally am not interested in this particular shape. As a result, this painting came out of me. It is acrylic, the off-white is really pearl. This is a 10" x 10" staple-less canvas.

I don't know if I will keep this or not. I was telling Suki how I do not really know what I am painting when I do paint. I pretty much become a part of it. Then when I stop painting, I forget to stand back and take a look at what I have done. I truly separate from what I have been doing. Does this ever happen to you? I usually have to walk back into the studio and be surprised or repelled by what I have done. Or I have to gauge your responses.

This brings me to something else I wanted to share with you today. I have a small book by Audrey Flack called "Art & Soul: Notes on Creating" and it truly is a collection of notes. I pick it up from time to time to prod me along. A few days ago, I read this:

Studio Ghosts
When you're in the studio painting, there are a lot of people in there with you. Your teachers, friends, painters from history, critics...and one by one, if you're really painting, they walk out. And if you're really painting, you walk out.
-From a talk with Philip Guston

I so get this as it perfectly expresses what happens to me when I really get into painting...everyone walks out, including me! And it happens very quickly when I do that non-dominant hand doodling.

Does this resonate with you? How does it feel when you are really into your creative work?

Have a Beautiful, Creative Day!

Monday, October 13, 2008

My Apologies...

Please accept my apologies for not posting today. With my son's help, I have just solved a day long internet issue. If all continues well...and there is not any reason it should not...I will be posting tomorrow. The day is beautiful and so is the news from the domestic and international markets!

I will be here tomorrow!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Non-Dominant Hand Art

Yesterday Andrea and Suki both shared some non-dominant hand art. For Andrea, that meant she had to use her left hand to draw a sketch while she was on a crowded Paris Metro. For Suki, it meant she had to use her right hand as she had some damage to one of the fingers on her dominant left hand. As I read through their posts, I thought it would be fun to explore work with my non-dominant hand...which happens to be my left hand.

I decided to use large paper to give myself enough room to work with an erratic hand. Suki had talked about feeling the drawing and the shapes by doing it with your eyes closed, so I decided to try that.
This was the first one I did. I found it interesting to note the line at the top was nicely retraced, although my eyes were closed. Also, the notes I made with my dominant right hand.
The second one I did, I thought to try angular shapes. That, however, was soon down the drain as it was not something which felt right to me. This was also with my eyes closed.
This was done with both hands at the same time. I wanted to see if one hand would mimic the other. It was also with my eyes closed and as with the others done in charcoal. The idea of one hand being a mimic of the other didn't really happen.

After doing these, I decided to try one of my doodles. So using a typical pen and colored pencils, I did this:

Even my little note here was done with my left hand. :) I had trouble at first getting the smoothness, this is very child-like and the control of pressure was a challenge. But I have to say...I absolutely loved working this way. Not only was it freeing, but it also was a different kind of focus which I honestly can't explain. I think the closing down of the left side of my brain was fantastic...very much a different kind of meditative process. My imagination is that this would frustrate many people, but I found a great deal of calmness in this task. I will definitely do this regularly.

So, I encourage you to try this as Suki and Andrea encouraged me. Go to their blogs to see the work they have been doing, too. It is fabulous!

Do you have special plans for the weekend? Do you think you might give non-dominant art a try? Are you ambidextrous (can switch use of hands easily)? I am eager to hear from you.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I thought I would share a few of my loose journal entries with you, since I brought up that subject.This is watercolors and ink from a technical pen. I did this so many years ago...and did not date it.
...again, watercolor and technical pen.

This one was done in a notebook, but it shows some of my doodling lines.
Do you ever do things like this? I sometimes just write in journals, however that is slowly dwindling. Even the loose pages are more prominent for me now. But what kind of pen/ink do you recommend to not become clogged with the residue of the inktense pencils or other mediums? Any thoughts there?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Doodles and Thoughts...

Here is a little more doodling with the Inktense pencils. Sometimes, I just like to lay down colors to see where they might take me, and this is not any exception. What usually happens is I end up journaling on these bits. If I use a disposable technical pen (like the Micron), I will doodle a few lines and add a few word thoughts. I suppose some people would call this visual journaling, however these are not in book format...does that matter?

My apologies for not posting a lot these days, but it seems as if I am continuing my role as "glue" here. Are you ever the glue at your house? Do you find yourself doodling/journaling over other art from time to time?

I promise to work on more thoughtful posts very soon. Have a Beautiful Day!

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Bit of Pouring

As I have mentioned things here are rather busy at the moment and time in the studio is limited. But I was able to get this pieces started. This canvas is 4" x 12" and the base is painted with Paynes Grey. The pink acrylic was blended into the glazing medium I often use clear and a bit of pearl added. The white is only pearl mixed with the glazing medium. Both of these were allowed to sit for 24 hours after mixing. Then I poured some of this onto the canvas. While the poured paint was wet, I shook the canvas hard and also hit the edge against the heel of my hand to make the paint spread in this way.

Now I am thinking this needs a bit of detail added, but so far I have achieved this much. It seems when I get into a crunch for time here, I end up doing some poured work since I can pour for a bit, then stop and come back to much later.

I hope to be able to get a bit more done this weekend, too. How about you? Do you have some beautiful plans?

Have a Great Weekend!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Mindless Doodling

I know this is not a good photograph, but bear with me here.As many of your know I really like to do these doodles. And as Andrea has encouraged me, I am working on playing in my sketchbook each day since getting into my studio is not happening all that often. I also do these things because I am a process person. I love the process more than the end result. Are you and end result artist or a process artist?

Now, this is a funny thing I wanted to ask you and show you. You might be able to note some of these shapes are outlined in black and some are not. When I first did this, I use a gold pen to create the lines on watercolor paper, then I used the Inktense pencils as the color for the shapes made by the gold pen. And because I love the process so much, I decided maybe outlining each shape in black would be interesting. I even considered layering the black as texture in some shapes, but changed my mind on that. And since my time is limited these days, I haven't completed the black lines, but I thought it would be interesting for you to see the difference. Basically, I will use the exploration of these doodles for ideas for future art. Do you think the black lines attract or detract?

I hope you are getting more time in your studio these days than I am. I am snatching some bits of time, so I hope to be able to show you something before very long.

Have a Beautiful Day!