Sometimes I’m reminded of how all things are connected, of how things that are right for you are drawn to you, what you need at any given time…it comes.
Lately, I’ve been working feverishly in my yard – creating new beds, planting new shrubs and flowers, spreading mulch, creating walkways with step stones. And while I’ve been working I’ve been feeling like I’m not accomplishing anything since I’m not in the studio painting. Ridiculous, I know.
Then I realized that this is my cycle. Every Spring when it starts to get warmer out, I get the urge to get outside and plant stuff, and ready my yard for hanging out in the summer. And it’s been gorgeous out! I’ve been able to be outside while the azaleas and dogwoods bloom and everything gets lush and greener.
And in doing all this compulsive digging, I feel as if I’m really getting to know this little patch of earth that I call my own. So far, I’ve unearthed an old metal toy car and two marbles; I’m sure there’s more goodies hidden just under the grass.
And then I come across this article in Brain Pickins about Derek Jarman and his gardening and how this creative gardening process helped him accept his fate, deal with his grief and it was beautiful and I completely identified with his efforts, his process in his garden… Here’s a link to the article: https://www.brainpickings.org/2021/04/04/derek-jarman-modern-nature-gardening/
And all things are connected. I might be working something out, even if I’m not conscious of exactly what it is. Or maybe I’m simply enjoying the hard work, the joy of getting my hands dirty, the time I have now to go wild and do each project that comes into my mind while I’m waiting for my next job, next opportunity. And soon I’ll feel the urge to get back in the studio. (Especially now that the garden I’ve planted looks perfect from my studio window!)
Two of my sock monkey paintings are now available in 11×14 matted prints. Just $29 plus shipping will get you one of these for your very own!
They’re available through my etsy but if you contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org I can give you this discounted price.
Add a sock monkey adventure to your life!
In mine? Furniture!
I’ve been teaching my drawing classes, in-person and online, and my demo drawings have become a catalyst for my own work.
Here’s a study in preparation of the next Sock Money Adventure painting…
Stay tuned for further progress.
So, here’s how it works, after you come up with an idea, create your prototype, and obtain approval from Art-o-mat headquarters, of course…
Produce your 50 pieces of original artwork according to the Art-o-Mat guidelines. I make tiny pen and ink drawings and this time I’ve added acrylic paint wash. I decided to do sort-of a mid century/vintage vibe with campers, pink princess phones, mushrooms, etc. (The first batch I did were tiny, full-color, detailed still life paintings of random little objects and I called it “Lily’s World.”
When I’m finished obsessing over my designs, I cut them to size and glue them to the wooden art-o-mat blocks. Then I glue my business cards to the back, so art-o-mat collectors can contact me for commissions, etc. Then I wrap each of them with the cellophane (hence the name Artists in Cellophane.)
Then I pack my art-o-mat blocks back into the box they came in and ship them back to Art-o-mat headquarters.
After a few weeks the checks start coming. And it’s awesome to get money for your work. But it’s also awesome to see where your blocks end up. Imagine your work going to Las Vegas, New York, LA, Hawaii, or as far away as Vienna! There are art-o-mat machines all across the world…
The whole process is sooo much fun! Thanks, Art-o-mat for allowing me to participate!
Check out their website for more info: https://www.artomat.org/
Faded and soft, like a memory.
A commissioned portrait from a faded black and white snapshot. A sunny day at the beach sometime in the early 1950’s.
I translated a black and white photo into a color portrait – bringing the soft colors of the bathing suit and towel back to life and adding the blush to her skin, flushed from the warmth of the summer sun.
As I painted, I wondered if she ever realized how beautiful she was. We rarely see ourselves as we are, as beautiful as we appear to the ones who love us.
The person who snapped this photo must have loved her very much.
Someone once said, “Do what you love and it’ll all fall into place.” So, after being laid off from my 9-5, (and being relieved of all the stress from an employer that seemed to gain tremendous enjoyment in dicking me around,) I’m in the studio full time, for the time being.
Putting all my energy into my work... my work…my paintings. It feels good and if I keep painting, maybe I can distract myself from the existential dread, the rising Covid-19 numbers, and the fear of uncertainty regarding how I’m going to pay the mortgage on my awesome little house that I love so much.
But it’s all going to be ok. It’ll all fall into place. I’ll figure things out. And in the meantime, I’ll paint. ….and do the dishes sometimes.
And, by the way, don’t ya just love how tomatoes look on a windowsill?
“…because only an artist can tell, and only artists have told since we have heard of man, what it is like for anyone who gets to this planet to survive it. What it is like to die, or to have somebody die; what it is like to be glad. Hymns don’t do this, churches really cannot do it. The trouble is that although the artist can do it, the price that he has to pay himself and that you, the audience, must also pay, is a willingness to give up everything, to realize that although you spent twenty-seven years acquiring this house, this furniture, this position, although you spent forty years raising this child, these children, nothing, none of it belongs to you. You can only have it by letting it go. You can only take if you are prepared to give, and giving is not an investment. It is not a day at the bargain counter. It is a total risk of everything, of you and who you think you are, who you think you’d like to be, where you think you’d like to go — everything, and this forever, forever.” –James Baldwin
Pulled this quote of of brainpickins – an excellent read delivered to me in my email this morning… as I sit in front of the computer I’ve worked at for five years, biding my time till the last day of my employment here, as my “positing has been eliminated” and thus, me.
I absolutely love making portraits of people’s beloved teddy bears and other toys! Getting to know them, hearing their story, posing them, and lighting them to accentuate their best features…
Go up to the attic or under your bed or in the back of your closet and find your favorite childhood toy again. Give him a hug and then commission me to paint a portrait for you!
“Realism, n. The art of depicting nature as it is seen by toads. The charm suffusing in a landscape painted by a mole, or a story written by a measuring-worm.” –Ambrose Bierce The Devil’s Dictionary (1911)
I was painting small things, toys left out, or caught out exploring. From the eye level of something or someone small…