Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Artfest Bound

I completed 2 more layouts in the "Mermaid Diaries" book exchange that I am doing with Bee. She has been wonderfully patient with me; I'm afraid I've let my end languish until now. But we will meet up again at Artfest (she lives on the east coast and I on the west) so I got myself motivated and produced these in time to take with me.

I love drawing with a fat brush and black paint or sumi ink. Sumi is a warm black color with a slight sheen that is just beautiful on the paper; close to bone black which is made from burnt bones. Mars black is made from chemistry and is a cold black that I think is not so beautiful. I gravitate toward a warm palette.

John has seedlings coming up under lights in the garage. These are representative of the peppers he grows out for himself and a few friends. Aren't they lovely - so alive and dependent at this stage. John caters to their every need.

The tomatoes were planted at the same time but they propagate more lustily and so they are well on their way.

This is my 8x8 that I'm taking to Artfest. Each of us has been invited to bring a piece in this size. Mine is mixed media on wood; paint, paper, collage, encaustic.

If you are lucky enough to be attending, I look forward to seeing you there. For the rest of you, I will take a lot of photos to share on my return over the weekend.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Saturday Musings

Here are a couple more journal pages for those of you who find them interesting. I am always delighted to see what other artists do for their private amusement; I have always said that I could find happiness as long as I had my paper and pencil and this is how I would do it. Doodle doodle, fiddle and ponder. Write it out and stare at it. For some reason this loosens my inner knots and helps me go on in a bewildering world. It makes me feel organized.

I try not to make my journal a bitch book but the last month has been rocky and I have searched for answers by writing. My problems are not with the outside world but rather in my own interpretation of what is going on I believe. Maybe a period of humility and doubt is good for the soul. Maybe it is just human.

Our forsythia is ginormous. I can't take my eyes off it. I adore yellow. Adore it. It is my color.

John pruned the long line of grapes this week. I love the way the vines look when they are newly pruned. It is hard to believe how much they produce on such small armatures.

This is last summer's bird nest that I found high up on the trellis in my Cecile Brunner rose bush. (the one we refer to as the house-eater) The close-up is so you can see the cherry seeds woven in. Finding a bird's nest is like being gifted with the most exquisite piece of art imaginable. A house. Built by a brave and clever being with feathers and wings. What mysteries these creatures are.

The little nest lives in a nicho outside my studio door. The painting of the madonna is the very first reverse painting I ever did. It fell off the wall and shattered one day and after I threw it in the trash I later retrieved it and glued it back together. We should always save the first thing of any new art medium we try. So that we can later revel in our improvement.

I have a little hollow rock that the birds bathe in. All winter it was covered in foliage that I finally pruned away this spring. So it has grown a find beard of bright green moss.

It sits beneath a water faucet so I can keep it clean and inviting for my feathered guests.

Lastly, a painting of a lady, younger and prettier than myself, escaping her responsibilities to go away and play with her friends at Artfest. I live in my imagination. I am a girl who makes up things.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Spring Fever

It's nearly impossible to stay in the studio with all the drama going on outside my windows. The fragrance from the Daphne, Plum Blossoms and Peach Blossoms is overpowering; my eyes glaze over and I drift outdoors in a trance. Even the cat has taken to lying on the porch in a sunbeam instead of pestering me to play. Oh, the dedication it takes to attend to my tasks. The first photo is of the Peach tree that didn't produce a single peach last year after a late frost caused all the blossoms to drop. This year again it is covered in promises. We're trying not to think that we could have a late frost this year.

This is the painting I finished today. It is 20x24" on bumpy linen. I've had a series of visitations from the dark messengers in the painting this winter; they bring me the gifts that fuel my work but they are cruel too and so I regard them with mixed emotions. I'm telling too much here.

The lovely Wallflower is covered in sweet, pristine flowers. I love the dusty sage colored foliage. It sits between several varieties of Lavendar in my flower bed.

This common azalea is just outside my studio door. When we built the studio onto the house we removed many azaleas but kept this one to remind us of the others.

That's all for this post, folks. I'm seriously getting ready for Artfest now, only a week away. My plan is to glide in on Wednesday and take it easy for the next 3 days. Last year I overdid it so bad that I had to take to my couch with the vapors; I won't spend my time like that again. I'm looking forward to seeing many cherished friends and meeting new ones as well. I'll have a table there on vendor's night so if you're lucky enough to be attending be sure to stop by and introduce yourself. I'm thinking about submitting a teaching proposal for next year; give me some feedback about what you'd like me to present.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Spring Commences

eI'm such a homebody. Today was the perfect day; just knocking around the place with John and Hermanito. John got real productive and planted a persimmon tree in our front yard. The variety is Hachiya, the one that is shaped like an acorn and is astringent. Tonight in yoga class another person told us that if you freeze or dry the persimmons in their immature stage, they will lose their astringency and be perfect to eat. But I think my favorite way is to pick them while they are still hard and then watch them daily until they become glassy and soft and perfect. I love persimmons and this is our favorite variety.

A year ago December we visited our friends in northern California and their neighbor had a persimmon tree that was bare save for a few lingering fruits. Those jewels attracted crows that were quite dramatic against the brilliance of the persimmons; I later did a painting of that. Fall and crows and ripe persimmons seem quite far away from us now however. All around us is spring and fragrance and new lambs (and goats!) and balmy weather. To wit:

Pale yellow daffodils. The owners before us planted them in clumps in all the beds. A wonderful gift from them that cheers us every spring.

And this variety. Is there anything more uplifting than a clump of nodding yellow blossoms?

I finished this painting last night. It is a painted on top of a puzzle with collaged papers, tarleton, encaustic and finally all mounted on a stretched canvas that has been equally abused. Layers and layers of fun.