I know one thing: if washing one's hands was 100% insurance against getting the swine flu (H1N1, whatever, swine is much more descriptive), artists would probably stay pretty healthy. I wash my hands about 180,000 times a day, just to get paint or glue or other gooey stuff off them. And I don't mean just run them under the faucet with lukewarm water. Oh, no, it's hot water, lots of soap, and a scrub brush. I used to have a big tub of some kind of soap along the lines of Lava, really abrasive, but worked pretty well. Of course, after a while the skin on my hands would slough off like snake skin, but they were clean.
The other factor that may save me (and perhaps other artists) from the dreaded swine flu is that I don't come into contact with a lot people down in my basement studio. In fact, no one. In fact, I could probably go for a long time without seeing anyone if I really tried. I sometimes worry about having some kind of crippling accident at home and not being found for days. But there is no one sneezing on me, or coughing on me, and whatever germs are in the studio have been there for a while.
My little ones, however, are human petri dishes. There is usually some sort of bodily fluid escaping from them somewhere. They are pretty cute when they sneeze or cough into their shoulders or upper arms. But I haven't decided whether to get the vaccination or not. How about you?
Yeah, I saw that my last blog entry was the 500th. Wow. Seems like I should do something to celebrate, like give something away or quit while I'm ahead . . . I need some time to think about what to do . . . any suggestions?
Remember the "wonky" pictures I took before my paintings left the house? Here's another one. It's all crooked and crumbled up in the corners, but at least I have a record of it.
I'm working on some small "masterpieces" that I plan to try to sell on my etsy site. They will be cheap. . . ridiculously cheap. . . Some of them are studies for larger paintings, but I'm also recycling and reinventing some of the stuff I have had in the studio for a long time. That's as good a way of clearing out the space as any. Working with wood and power tools again is extremely gratifying. I will be able to try some collage and maybe even some encaustic on these pieces. The last time I tried etsy, I was so distracted by personal issues that I didn't do a very good job at all. This time, I'll be ready and organized. I promise.
but without much to show for the activity. Last week I had Joey at the house for a couple of days. He had a double ear infection, which seemed to clear up as soon as he got to my house. Although the days he spent with me were pretty rainy and dreary, they were warm and he played with his Barbie Jeep, we read stories, watched the Berenstain Bears on TV and generally just had a good time together.
Walter the Art Guy came on Friday and picked up all of my recent paintings. I hope he can peddle them, and soon. I hadn't taken photos of all the paintings, so I did that rather quickly before he left. So the next few photos on this blog will be sort of wonky.
Hope everyone has a fun, fruitful and art-filled week.
In opposition to the painting I showed in my last post, that came together so easily that it was guilt-inducing, this painting was a frustration from the very beginning. They were pretty much painted at the same time. I worked on this one, adding stuff, sanding stuff off, you all know the drill. Nothing was working. So, in a juvenile fit of pique, I placed a plastic sheet with leftover wet gesso on top of it and this is the result. The painting will probably not make the traveling team, but it certainly was informative. I do see some possibilities in this technique. And it is better now than it was before the gesso fit.
Have you ever had a painting come together so quickly that you almost felt guilty about it? That is what happened to me with this one. I guess it's because of my strict Catholic upbringing, because I can manage to feel guilty about almost anything. But this painting involved no suffering; it just happened and I quit while I was ahead.
about posting my art on my blog. . . yeah, even after all this time. My inner critic is not just whispering, it's screaming at me. And since most of my blog readers are accomplished and talented artists, I am squeamish about showing my work.
(this one is upside down)
Nevertheless, here are a couple of long but narrow pieces, loosely using the colors of the previous painting. My readers are getting everything I've painted, the good, the bad, the ugly, the ones I know just won't work. The ones that will eventually be painted over, and in the meantime will just take up space. You know that old saying, "even a stopped clock is right twice a day" . . . or "even a blind pig . . ." Well, maybe somewhere in here are one or two pieces that are actually okay.
from the photos I took a few weeks ago. . . the power lines. . . in this painting. This is really a lousy photo of this painting. The colors are off, and I can't seem to get them corrected. It's crooked, too, so the section of green/gray is cut off the top and the black area on the botom is askew. But you get the general idea. . .
Yesterday was a "Betsy Day". . . Steph took a day off to spend with just Betsy, no other kids, and they invited me to see a movie with them. We went to see "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs." I loved the cityscapes in the backgrounds of the movie. And we went to a theater that featured lunch with the movie. . . what an inspired idea. And there were the only three people in the theater. Excellent.
I can't even remember the last time I went to a movie in a theater. I'm sure it was with the kids. Maybe "Toy Story." I do remember that as soon as the lights went down, I fell asleep. Every time. So the experience was really wasted on me. Oh, I do remember being so tired all the time when the kids were young.
piece to my previous painting. A really dark and highly textured companion. Same size, same experiment, slightly different results.
The weather has turned chilly, and that has brought a visitor. . . a huge mouse (well, it looked huge to me, but was probably just a normal mouse) ran from somewhere in the kitchen through the eating space while I sat at the kitchen island reading the paper and having my coffee. On two different days. The exact same route. It creeps me out to know I'm sharing my space with that thing, so I purchased some new-fangled nonpoisonous traps to catch it without having to actually look at or touch a dead mouse. I have set the traps in the most obvious places but so far no trapped mouse. The little plastic container is supposed to indicate a catch with a red arrow, at which point you toss the entire trap in the trash. I probably should just borrow Georgia, the neighbors' cat, for a couple of days, and let her handle the problem.
Faced with what I thought was a daunting deadline of creating five or more paintings in a couple of weeks, I set up another area in the basement so I could work on more than one painting at a time. I'm not adept at multi-tasking. But while I waited for one painting to dry, or for inspiration on how to continue with it, I was working on the others. This area became my experimental zone, and this is the first thing I created there. It also turned out to be a pretty good place to photograph the paintings. This is about 30 x 30". I almost gave up on it several times, but I became determined to finish it, or at least learn something in the process. And I did. The HVAC guy who came to fix my furnace really really like this painting. I wish I could have bartered it for a new motor for the furnace fan, but alas, I don't think the accounting procedures at the corporate entity that employed him allowed for that type of transaction.
for the first time on Saturday. It was cold in here. . . I couldn't stand it one more minute, I thought. Of course, the furnace was not working. Of course it wasn't. Why would it be working? So I lit the fireplace, took a long hot shower, and dressed in my heavy winter sweat pants and shirt and waited until Monday for the repairman. Thankfully there wasn't too much wrong with the furnace, and now it's not too cold any more either.
This painting is the second one in what was supposed to be soothing colors. I tried, I really did, but some red still sneaked in there. It's really more rust than bright red. It's as big a canvas that I have room to work on, so the finished size will be about 44 x 44".
as though I were inspired. I have been asked to produce five large paintings by the middle of October, and up to fifteen more by the first of next year. The initial request was for quieter colors, pastel colors even, still with lots of texture. I did not commit to creating anything pastel. This is the first painting I completed. You can see that I am edging toward quieter colors. Stay tuned to check on my progress.