Saturday, February 27, 2016

"Art in the Street" oil 12 x 16 oil

Every year I paint on the street of our local art festival which brings thousands of visitors to our little village over its two days on Memorial Day weekend. Spring is (almost) in the air, so I pulled out last year's street painting and finished it; always a nice exercise for the dark of winter. I love standing on the street for the day, painting the moving crowd and chatting with people.
We mark the passing winter weeks here by counting the days...  
 15 days until Daylight Savings time ends, 37 days until Red Sox home opener, and just 13 weeks until this year's North River Arts Festival!

Thanks for looking. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

"Weekend Escape" 16 X 12 oil on board

"Weekend Escape"  oil 16 x 12
A few years ago we spent a weekend with artist friends at Gabriel's  in Provincetown, MA.  There were about 15 of us.  We painted, hung out, and were given kitchen privileges so we cooked a big potluck dinner.  Great weekend, and a great collection of suites in a few adjacent buildings.  I've always loved this image from the weekend.  Provincetown is an interesting place where cars, pedestrians, bikes can all share the narrow streets cooperatively.  Lots of activity, and everywhere you look is a possible painting.

This is the finished painting that I posted (in process) as part of my painting group's Golden Ratio challenge last month.  You can see the earlier painting here along with several photos of my process and a discussion of the Golden Ratio and how it applies to design.  

Thanks for looking. 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

"Kitchen Ledge" oil 11 x 14 Evolution of a painting

"Kitchen Ledge"  11 x 14  oil 

Several years ago, I spent a week in a lovely old Victorian house in South Bristol, Maine with several of my artist friends.  I love the feel of the house, well worn, with a variety of comfy chairs, a wrap-around porch, plethora of cups, plates, and glasses, old linoleum and bathroom tiles from the 1960s.  I painted this still life on the window ledge, looking out into the yard.  The painting in the middle is my first go at it, and I was pleased with the backlit lemons, and the interior vignette against the outside.  When I brought it home from Maine, I made some alterations, adding another porch column and a railing.  I described the specifics of the changes in a blog post you can read about here.  

The house had a pencil sharpener on its door frame, which I liked, probably because we had one attached to the door frame in our kitchen growing up.  But, it never added anything to the painting, and was somewhat incongruous, and confusing. So, I excised the sharpener.  I like the painting much better now.  My painting group, Girls Just Wanna Paint, each interpreted the Golden Mean last month.  "Kitchen Ledge" is a good example of the Golden Mean, or Golden Section, in action.  

Thanks for looking.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Godzilla Card Le Deuxieme cut paper/colored pencil/mixed 5 x 7

Over a decade ago, I made two Godzilla cards for friends.  The first was my spontaneous response to a birthday party invitation requesting creative cards and no gifts.  Another friend at the party wanted a Godzilla card for herself, so next Christmas, she got this from me, Godzilla turning her home into his own Christmas tree. I hadn't taken pictures of either of the cards, so I'm so glad they surfaced again.  The cards remind me of a special time in our family life where Japanese Godzilla movies ruled the day!  We made Godzilla birthday cakes, watched the movies again and again, imitated them, and incorporated dialog from movies into our daily lives.  "Kaaaatsuuurrraaaa!!!"  (the ill-fated daughter of a secretive Japanese scientist)

So happy to reminisce about that time in our lives. 
For all you Japanese Godzilla movie fans, here's a short walk down memory lane, a link to a video featuring all the monsters from Godzilla movies and their unique roars.

Thanks for remembering with me.

Monday, February 08, 2016

"Outside Clifden" pen & ink 6 x 6

Way back in 1989, I surprised my Mom with a 60th birthday trip to Ireland.  We spent a fabulous ten days driving up and down the west coast, from Shannon to Lahinch out to Clifden, than back and south to Galway, Saltill, Kenmare, Kilarney, Dingle, Ballybunion among other places. We covered a lot of ground. I am so blessed that we had the time together. 
Both Mom and I agreed that many times on our trip we opened our mouths to say hello to someone we knew realizing at the last second that we didn't know them at all.  They were another in a series of Irish doppelgangers (talk about crossing the language streams) for American friends or relatives who are just a fistful of generations from Ireland.  

Here's a sketch of some tractors at rest on the road outside Clifden, and a photo of Mom on our trip.

Thanks for looking. 

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Arthur Rackham - Snow in Pines

 We had our second real snow of the season yesterday.  This one was heavy and wet, and resulted in loads of downed tree branches and power outages.  We lost ours for about 30 hours, and spent the afternoon hanging at the local coffee shop because I had grad school work to do.  We watched the sun go down, hoping we would arrive home to lights.
Stepping into the parking lot, the snow-covered trees caught my eye. I told my 
husband they were the Arthur Rackham trees from "The Night Before Christmas".  He saw it right away.  We read the book aloud every Christmas Eve. Here are a couple of pictures of the trees, and the illustration from our book.  The snowy angles are exactly the same, and maybe the trees in the coffee shop lot are talking to one another tonight under the starry sky.

And, we got home to the electric company trucks in front of our home.  Nice crew, men and women, working hard.  Our power came on within the hour!

Saturday, February 06, 2016

"Weekend Getaway" oil 16 x 12

A few years ago I spent a great weekend in Provincetown painting with friends.  It was a cool couple of days, definitely pre-season, but so nice to be out walking the lovely streets with all their activity.
The January theme for my Girls Just Wanna Paint group was "referencing the golden section". Here's a good article about the proportions and how the ratio is incorporated into design.  
I have a few changes to make to this painting, but it captures the feel of the day, and uses the golden ratio as a basis for the design. 

Below are a couple of in process photos, and a pen and ink drawing.

"Snow Day" pen & ink 8 x 9

Two and a half years ago we invited a couple of kittens, fostered through the Standish Humane Society, to come live with us.  We told our contact through Standish, that we wanted a brother and sister pair.  Maggie and Fred are a treat; funny, loving, a bit wild, and unpredictable.   Yesterday was our first snow day of the year, and I spent the morning hanging on the couch with NPR on the radio, good coffee in my cup, and Fred curled up by my side.  Absolute bliss.