Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The June Garden

I shot a few photos out in the garden for you.
Some things are coming on but it's still pretty quiet.

It's almost time to harvest blueberries.
The plants are finally big; taller than I am and loaded this year.

Broccoli is being eaten at nearly every meal.

It's ginger and garlic stir fry tonight with rice.

Knee high corn.

Dahlias. John's been planting big pots of flowers. 
I'll save those for another post.

Taters and little daisies along the path.

Favas. Mmm.
With onion and olive oil.

And kale.

The lettuces are going to seed; the weather finally turned summery.

Loosestrife. (oops, it's Veronica!) I love this flower.

And of course calendulas. You only need to plant them once.

An overview showing the supports and a sliver of sunset.

And the awesome gardener with his prizes.

Lemon 25x28 on canvas

I've been spending long hours in the studio.

Wine 19.5x25 on paper

Yellow Bicycle 24x24 on wood panel

Summer Rain 24x24 on wood panel

I can see great progress since starting to paint abstracts four years ago.

Mary Kay Cadillac 24x24 on wood panel

The best part is that I have more successes than failures now.

Black Eyed Peas 24x24x1.5 on stretched canvas

Strawberry Moon 24x24x 1.5 on stretched canvas
That's all the news for now, folks. Hope your summer (or winter for those down under) is going well.
Back to the studio now for me! 

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Summer, Arizona, Amsterdam

June. My favorite month. 

We've just finished 2 days of record heat and the garden loves that.
Tonight I shell and peel more fava beans.
I'll show you the veggies in a later post.
But cabbage! Broccoli! Yeah!

My daughter Shellie and I took a trip down to Arizona to see this guy and his people there.
Yo Nathan!

That was in May. I've been away from the blog for too long.

We also had a big tree keel over on a calm day. ha ha. Big event.

Fast forward several weeks. A trip to Amsterdam with a group of artists. We visited Rembrandt's house, the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum as well as going on a canal cruise and eating amazing food together. 

Teaching with Katie Kendrick.
To this fabulous studio in the heart of the city.

Michelle had scouted out our excellent lodging and art studio convenient to the museums and all the best attractions. It was like finding ourselves in a fairytale.

This was my first visit to Amsterdam and I was thrilled and educated to be in a place so different than the U.S. We are fairly progressive in Portland but could learn so much from this remarkable city. My eyes were opened.

This is Katie and I in front of a Marlene Dumas painting at the Stedelijk Museum. She lives in Amsterdam. I wrote about her work last year when I saw her show in London.

Relaxing in the studio, drinking tea and being together.

Michelle's painty hands. Can we all relate?

Katie taught for 2 days and I did as well. She taught intuitive painting and I taught life drawing.

We were lucky enough to have a live model.

Our model was Claire and she was completely comfortable in her body; said that she believed she was beautiful on the inside as well as the outside. Seventy-eight years old and fully at ease with herself. 

Diligent study. Sacred moments.

Our group went on a 4 hour bike ride through the city and into the country.

Everybody rides bicycles in Amsterdam, from the orchestra conductor in his top hat and tails to the stiletto heeled young women to the elderly people working at their various occupations. It's always rush hour and there are hoards of bicycles sometimes four abreast on every street. Really, astonishing. They somehow manage to cooperate for the well being of each person sharing the roadways.

A great shot of Katie; canal, bike, this shouts Amsterdam.

One more group shot. We are wet but very happy.

Thank you to every person who has ever come with us on our trips to paint and share community. It is the thing I dream about at night - that I'm with my tribe, sleeping, eating, painting and sharing the things we love together. It's the best ... the best.

Friday, April 08, 2016

The Seedbed of the Journal and Spain in September

This is an old journal page. I've been thinking about how one gets from zero to finding one's personal language in paint. It can be a long and arduous journey but I think I've found some shortcuts and some ways to stay motivated. Right from my first nervous steps into non-representational painting, I experimented in my journal like the page above.

Another one from the archives. These are the pages that survived my enthusiastic culling. Some of the experiments ended in disappointment. These pages became backgrounds for writing or underpaintings for other work. So the ones I liked better became records of my search.

The ones I didn't like were gone as though they never existed. Nothing lost. No record of failure. In fact, no failure at all since I learned from every single effort.

I treasure each one of these early efforts and I can plainly see, only in hindsight, what they were leading to. Not that the work doesn't continue to evolve because it does. But I can see how these small (8x10") paintings led to the more confident work I'm doing today.

This is a detail from my most recent painting on canvas. I see everything in it that I saw in the earlier work. But I couldn't have reached this point without building the platform first in a safe place. You really will need to paint many paintings to develop work that looks like your own and not someone else's. It takes self knowledge. It takes time. It takes the courage to accept something that doesn't look like work you've seen somewhere else.

So here is where I tell you about Barcelona and Bordils, Spain. Because what I've been thinking about is the upcoming retreat in September that will take place in those locations.

We'll be spending 4 days in Barcelona at the Hotel Cram.

Four days in Barcelona! Yeah. I know. Picasso, Miro, Gaudi ... some of the best art museums and architecture in the world. With time left over to make our own art, collect souvenirs, be with a group of friends who love to share ideas and experiences.

Transportation will be provided to Bordils where we will do more sightseeing, more fabulous food eating and more journaling discovery in our 2nd Catalonian location.

Oh, and if you have a big travel budget, you could also join us in Can Serrat for the first leg of this exquisite journey where we will be painting BIG paintings on canvas. A glorious stretch and a place that could be the beginning of a new life for you as it was for me after I stayed there 3 years ago.

You can dream. We only go around once. More information on Painting Big in Can Serrat HERE. (oops. This one says it's full but there might be a waiting list)

And on the Journaling part of our trip to Spain HERE. You will have me and Katie Kendrick teaching at both locations and Kathie Vezzani guiding us to some of the best food in Europe.