Friday, July 31, 2009

Settling In...Tulips

Toward the end of a painting (before I start the next one), I am the most unsettled in my life in art. For so long I suppressed the creative spark I felt since childhood. Life just happens and we become so focused on our daily responsibilities. I guess I still hold a little fear that a lag in creativity will stifle that energy. So I am usually about 2-3 (sometimes 5 or 8) paintings behind (at least in my mind). Though reason says I should really take a break after such a long stretch of painting, I am eager to begin and settle into the comfort of the next painting. A little fear of idleness pushes me on.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Making progress... This should be my last painting to complete before the show in August. I can see the light...

Monday, July 20, 2009

One for the shelf

One purpose for my life in blog-dom is to help keep me honest. Therefore, I must admit I have been delaying this post for almost 5 days. Despite my good intentions, preparation with small study sketching and color planning, I have not quite been able to make this painting work. There are parts that I really enjoy (some reds luscious and well placed, others flat lacking harmony with the other colors in the painting), and I am finding myself working and reworking the pedals on the forward flower. I almost never do this. Usually, if a painting isn't working, I just quit, shelf it and move on. A painting will pull together easily, or it won't. That's it, no fussing. A watercolor "fussed" over will almost always look overworked. Though I am facing a deadline, struggling to complete enough paintings to exhibit, and have committed so much time and energy into this large painting, I am taking a break from it (at least for now hoping to return with a little courage and clarity). This declaration feels liberating and now I am free to move on to a little more control and predictability....pastel (and hopefully one more painting for the show at Bistro Bethem in August).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Poppies, In Progress

Reds are in, centers started. Now, what to do with the background? I have painted a few ideas in a sketchbook. I want a background that will maintain the integrity of the painting and contribute to the "mood" of the subject. A little history about the poppy...
The poppy, by nature, is a wildflower. It’s seed will lie stagnant in the ground until it is disturbed. During times of war, soldiers would, inadvertently, churn ground as they marched though fields. The result was a beautiful and overabundant growth of poppy flowers found to flourish in conditions where most other flowers would die.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


First glazes of warm and cool reds. Using water and gravity to push the paint around, creates movement with the pigment as it dries on the clay surface. I use these controlled "blossoms" create the form and curves of the pedals.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

First the Yellow

I have begun the final painting for my show at the Bistro coming up in August. These poppies were growing in my neighbor's yard and at full bloom were stunning. I love their simplicity in shape and form: only 4 pedals to paint. These poppies will be larger-than-life and in full glory on 22X30 aquabord. First, I put in the yellow underpainting, which will be the foundation for a variety of warm and cool reds.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Thursday, July 2, 2009

"Pink and Red DO match"

I am dedicating this entry to my Kindergarten Art Teacher who crushed my creative spirit when she declared that my construction paper flower with alternating pink and red pedals "did not match". I have never forgotten the disappointment I felt as a 5 year-old who was so proud of the work she had created. Now, pink and red is one of my favorite color combinations. I only wish I could go back and tell her... "Oh yes, pink and red DO match!"