Friday, July 31, 2009

. . . moved my couch

Comment by realtor after showing: "The downstairs seemed too small for client's entertaining needs" and something about moving out some of my furniture to make the space appear larger. After some thought, I rearranged the greatroom/family room, reduced the seating at the table, took out an arm chair and a small end table. True, the place does appear to be more spacious.

My friend helped me move some furniture around. When we moved the couch, I was so embarrassed. . . dust bunnies (what would be even bigger than bunnies? dust kangaroos?), chex mix remains, potato chips, gum wrappers, just general dirt, etc. . . it was awful. My friend started sneezing. She is almost pathologically compulsive about her clean house. I looked like a real slacker. I guess it would be safe to say that the carpet cleaners didn't move the couch last month. And apparently I haven't either for a long long time.

My horoscope tells me to work at home today, so that's what I will do. . . downstairs to paint. Just the encouragement I needed. The painting above is a 12 x 12" prestretched canvas that already had lots of layers on it. After covering it with gesso, I started over. It was my "second painting," the one that sits by the side of the real painting I'm working on, and receives the extra paint from it. Again, just playing around, having fun.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

. . . visited a gallery

Since there was a showing and a realtor open house yesterday at 11:00, I took advantage of having to be out of the house to go to the Park Place Gallery that will feature my art in August. It's a new, large and wonderful gallery in the Park Place shopping area. I introduced myself to the folks that manage the place and had a long and interesting talk with them. I look forward to being with them again in August.

After that, I wandered around some of the other stores in the shopping center. Annabelle's is a high-end bedding and home accessories store. I really thought that with all my cleaning and clearing to get ready to sell the house, I had passed the acquisition stage of my life. But oh, my, the beautiful things in that store made me lust for more. . . plush towels, sheets and bedding, throws, scented candles and creams, sensuous lounging clothing, baby clothes in the softest imaginable textures. I had to get out of there. . . no way would I be tempted by a $52 candle.

In a bit of shameless self-promotion, I had put a stack of my business cards on the counter at my house and wrote a note saying that all art on the walls was for sale. (Actually, as far as I'm concerned, everything in the whole house is for sale, except for the pictures of my grandchildren. . . see "acquisition stage" above) One of the realtors was still at the house when I got home. She, too, is an artist, and she had just started experimenting with abstracts and acrylics. What fun it was to talk with her. Then, to cap off the day, Stephanie brought Joey and baby Nora over to visit while Betsy went with her Aunt Amy to the movies. Holding a baby is the most comforting and affirming and soothing activity ever. And Joe, well, he is just incomparable. That is one joyous kid. I am so lucky.

Monday, July 27, 2009

. . . just kept painting

Ah, a sigh of relief. The house is officially on the market, on the computer, the sign is out front, everything is spit-shined, more or less. Even the basement has a path cleared to the major household equipment. The handyman will return this morning to complete a few tasks, the deck will be finished today, and the electrician came Friday. I have lived on the golf course for eight years now, and until last week, had never had any damage from flying golf balls. Of course, last week one came whizzing through and broke a window so that will be fixed tomorrow.
The next thing I will concentrate on now will be getting a real job. . . resume is completed but I need to fine-tune it. Apparently you should have different resumes for different jobs. Thank God for computers. And you can't apply in person or by snail mail any more; you must apply on line. I am just an old dinosaur when it comes to this . . .
At least while I was clearing out the basement, I had some time to make a few small paintings, just kind of playing around, having fun with leftover canvas. The one above is 14 x 16" on stretched canvas. I will have plenty of art on the walls should anyone decide to look at the house.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

. . . painted like this

It seems to me this picture has it all: wonderful interrelationship of colors; texture in the rusty bits; miscellaneous lines and marks of the natural grasses. I would like to capture the spirit of this random bit of art . . .

Monday, July 20, 2009

. . . shot some shapes

Inspiration for future paintings. . .

Random piles of junk. . .

Rusty goodness. . .

Geometry problems. . .

Circles everywhere you look. . .

Friday, July 17, 2009

. . .toned it down

Walter, my "art guy," asked if I could produce some art in black and white. He had a client who was decorating an apartment with those colors, and he thought we might interest the client in some of my paintings. He also asked if I would paint some smaller paintings. Attempting to accomplish both those objectives, I created this triptych, each piece 12 x 12 inches. Pretty much my first effort, but I kind of like how they turned out. I used some prestretched canvases that were already layered with paint, ones that I had used to unload extra paint from my brushes from other projects. These came together quickly, and I have three more ready to paint as we speak. These are hanging on a skinny wall in my family room for the moment, and I couldn't get a good shot of them today because of the lighting. There is no pale blue, as shows in the picture above.
Have a great weekend, everyone.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

. . .browsed real estate

Although the economy and my current personal situation make it necessary for me to move, I don't think I'm quite at the point that I will chose any of these structures to rehab for my new home. Although, never say "never," I guess. . .

These are some shots of buildings in the recycling center I visited earlier this month. For someone who is as seemingly obsessed with circles as I am, how lucky was I to find this little round hut?

In this shot, I played with the editing features of Picasa, just for fun. . . made everything but the vine black/white/gray, although the building itself, without any editing, was amazingly colorful. The shingles that remained on the upper portion of the structure were red.

And who wouldn't put stained glass windows in a barn containing all kinds of trashy goodness?

And here's a shot that I did not edit to black and white. . . this is the grain elevator across the street from the junkyard.

Have an artful day, everyone.

Monday, July 13, 2009

. . . posted miscellaneous art

Oh, I know, everyone expects pictures of the new baby Nora. But this is Betsy, intrigued with the "High School Musical" performance in the park Saturday night. She was a very fun date, although she told me that grandmas and kids can't really have dates. Pictures of Nora will be coming when everything calms down a bit at home. Joey continues to be determined to dismantle Nora's swing, or in the alternative, claim it for his own. Betsy is not impressed with Nora's feedings.

This is another small 16 x 16" piece I finished last week. It was hard to capture the true colors of this painting. The red really glows. I painted it with this orientation, but I actually like it better turned 90 degrees to the left, so that the black and white stripe is at the bottom.

Back to other creative endeavors this week. Keep cool, everyone.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

. . . welcomed new granddaughter

My daughter Stephanie and her husband Andy welcomed Nora Jane to the world on Thursday, July 9, 2009, at 12:48 p.m. She weighed 8 lbs, 11 ozs, 20 inches long, and has long legs and strawberry blonde hair. I haven't been able to determine any specific family resemblence, but she's a little cutie. Betsy is looking forward to having Nora and Mom home from the hospital today; Joey seems to have forgotten all about it. In fact, when asked, Joey tells me Nora's name is "Sloan Mayfield." They met Nora at the hospital Thursday night. Things have sure changed since I had Stef. My little sister (14 at the time) sneaked into my hospital room to see the new baby, got caught by a grouchy nurse and was lectured harshly about how she brought germs into the environment that could have been the cause of the demise of the entire nursery. Traumatic for Ann, no doubt. Betsy and Joe spent most of yesterday at Nana's house, being spoiled (watching TV, drinking Dr. Pepper, having all the gum they could possibly want, playing with the water hose. "Don't tell Mommy and Daddy.") Tonight, Betsy and I are going to see "High School Musical" at the Theater in the Park. Just a girl's night out.

The painting above is 16 x 16" and is one that I have complete in the last week. One of the benefits of stretching my canvases is that I can hang them up in the house until my art guy picks them up. And speaking of art guy, he has arranged a show at a new gallery in the area, supposedly the biggest one in town, for the middle of August. Good deal, but now we need to sell something. In fact, a lot of somethings.

Pictures of the new baby will soon appear on this blog, no doubt. Everyone, have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

. . . featured luscious rust

Rust everywhere. . . barrels, wheels, machinery.

Rust in patterns, again with the paisley. . .

Beauty in decay, destruction . . .

Inspiration for artistic endeavors . . .

So I wonder what will become of all this stuff ?

Monday, July 6, 2009

. . . featured yellow junk

With almost 300 new pictures, I have plenty of fodder for this blog for a while. The junkyard I visited last week had tons (literally, tons) of yellow goodness, ranging from the side of some kind of large tank to wheels of all sizes. The "eyeball" in the picture above is kind of creepy, but I love it.

Another wheel. . .those circles are in my head.

A stack of yellow somethings. . .

The aforementioned tank. . .

Love the juxtaposition here. . . could have cropped it more, but decided I liked the darkness surrounding the vivid light.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

. . . shot firecracker red

More pictures from the previously used machine reclamation center, or junkyard, whichever you prefer. Today's pictures feature my favorite color, red. The one above is from a fairly well-preserved train car.

I really had to hunt for signs of decay, but I found some. Isn't the pattern created by the rust amazing. It looks like paisley.

For some reason, this is my favorite. Well, it must be the circular aspect, since I use so many circles as symbols in my painting. Still from the train car.

The pictures above and below are from the junkyard. Who even knows what the original items were?

I have a lot more reds. . . but that's all for today. Happy Independence Day.

Friday, July 3, 2009

. . . searched for inspiration

A few weeks ago, I went with the kids to see Thomas the Tank Engine (or whatever he's called), and took a real train ride with them on a restored section of train track in Baldwin City, Kansas. There was no time to explore at that time, but I went back yesterday, and here are some of the results. I really love the picture above. . . don't know why, it's certainly not abstract. I think it is all about the colors, the mood. . .

I like the way the corrugated metal around this door looks like black and white stripes.

I took almost 300 pictures. After shooting the train and the adjacent grain elevator, I explored around a place. . . I don't even know what you would call it. Not exactly a junk yard, not a recycling center. . . just full of cool rusting metal stuff and falling down buildings.

I have not had time to even look at all the pictures, let alone edit them. But I certainly found what I was looking for. . . texture, color, shapes.

Amazing stuff. I will use some of this in my future paintings.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

. . . were looking forward

to meeting my new granddaughter, who should be born any time now. If I had been a betting person, I would have lost: I thought she would have appeared by now. The car is gassed up and ready to go; the cell phone is charged up and ready to receive the call. I am serving in a back-up capacity. I will take care of Betsy and Joe when the time comes, while the parents are busy taking part in a miracle.

In the meantime, I returned to the studio to create this 18 x 18" painting, rather messy, fragmented; but reflective of my state of mind. I scrambled on downstairs and completed this one after taking a stab at creating a resume for a real job. . . not that there is even a hint of such a job anywhere, but it seemed like the thing to do at the time. How do you condense 30+years of related work experience to one page? How do you describe your objective when your entire life depends on your ability to convince a harried HR person that you are absolutely the best candidate for a job that you don't even know exists? How can you say you want a high-paying, low-stress flexible position so that you can still create art, take care of grandchildren when required, and pay the bills?

Decluttering the basement has commenced. I filled four boxes of books, and that was just the books on the floor and chairs; haven't even started on the bookshelves, let alone the junk and mess in the back part of the basement. One step at a time. . .