Sunday, January 31, 2010

. . . suffered inspiration overload

Well, unfortunately, I don't. . . but I did crop and enhance this picture from my walk around my new work neighborhood a few days ago. It's the underside of a walkway between two buildings, I think. So there's always something to make me want to paint.

Friday, January 29, 2010

. . . just couldn't help

but create this, my version of "mail art." One of the more mundane tasks that I have to do each day, at least for a few more days, is open and sort the dozens, perhaps hundreds, of envelopes that come bearing tax information. It is an exercise that allows one's mind to wander. So this goofy little collage is made up of bits and pieces of those security envelopes, inside and outside, as well as the contents of my trash bin. Sometimes you just have to make art. If you can call this art.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

. . . experimented with stuff

I had laying around. This small painting on canvas is based on a paper shop towel that I had used to clean brushes or sop up extra paint on a bigger piece. After I rinsed the paper towel, I attached it to the canvas with extra-heavy gesso and medium. Then I just kept adding the odd bits of leftover paint to it. I wanted to find out if the paper towel would stay in place on the flexible substrate of canvas. Still don't know for sure, but this one doesn't look too promising.

This one incorporates parts of a paper towel, as well as parts of deli paper and even some pieces of plastic bags. No rhyme or reason to any of it, just experimenting to see what would happen. . .

Monday, January 25, 2010

. . . painted it twice

This is a small painting of another angle of the side of the dumpster. See the photograph here. It was my practice run. After painting this one, I painted a larger one, 36 x 36". I don't think I have ever painted the same thing twice. But I'm happy with both of them.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

. . . took a walk

during what is undoubtedly the shortest 30-minute period of the day, my lunch break.

These pictures were taken within a one-block area of where I work.

IF weather ever improves, I hope to wander a bit further given the time limitation.

Most of these photos are of concrete, all enhanced with photo-editing software.

I like the random marks, as well as the textures.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

. . . shared my view

outside my office building, in the alley, by the back door. Taken during my lunch hour, honest.

Monday, January 18, 2010

. . . ???

My mind is empty of clever and even not-so-clever titles. You all must know by now that I am not such a deep thinker. Maybe I just have nothing to say.

That Christmas Eve junkyard trip was the best gift. . . it continues to provide inspiration in both photos and paintings. This is one of the paintings, about 10 x 10" on canvas. The more I study it here in the photograph, the more I decide I like it. . . a lot. However, I will concede that there are probably potential purchasers who really don't want a painting of the side of a dumpster on their walls. Too bad.

Today I am going to paint. No distractions.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

. . . received a paycheck

The first one in more than eight years. It has "withholding" taken out, so it's an official paycheck. Most gratifying to me, an event I will remember. The only thing that supersedes it is when I sold my first piece of art. And it's all mine, just mine, to do with as I want. I don't have to pay someone else's bills with it, just mine. I'm proud of myself. To earn it, I had to drive in the dark and in the snow, which has always terrified me and which I have always avoided by any means possible. But I did it, and now I feel more confident that I can make it through this rough patch in my life on my own. There are still a few challenges ahead, but I have a plan now, and eventually everything will turn out all right. AND I have Monday off. Life is good.

I just love the colors in the picture above, another Christmas Eve junkyard photo. Have an art-filled weekend.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

. . . continued the series

Third in the series of junkyard-inspired paintings.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

. . . painted a dumpster

The second of three small paintings inspired by my photos from the Christmas Eve junkyard trip.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

. . . studied junkyard photos

Since my Christmas visit back home and my jaunt to the junkyard in the sleet with my brother and nephew, I have painted five small pieces. They are all inspired by the photos I took at the junkyard. This painting is small, no larger than 8"x 8", on canvas. I tore up some small strips of leftover canvas and embedded them in gesso. There was a wooden type Q sitting on my bookshelf, so I incorporated several impressions. These are all "studies" for bigger pieces. I really enjoy working in this small size. I feel more free, more creative, more likely to try something different or new. And if something works when it's small, I'll feel more comfortable trying to translate it into a larger piece.

I hope everyone is keeping warm. This cold weather we've had is ridiculous. Three degrees below zero this morning. I thought for a while yesterday my furnace had finally given up and gone to furnace heaven, but no, it was just a filter problem. I guess all my cleaning up in the studio had clogged a relatively new filter. Dodged a bullet on that one. Two women who had relieved me of part of my stash before Christmas came again yesterday and took home more supplies. They showed me a couple of crazy quilt heart ornaments they had made from fabric they bought in December. The hearts were wonderful, beaded and embroidered. Great job, ladies.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

. . . could not sleep

so what better time to create a blog post? So what if I have to get up and go to work in three hours? So what if there's a winter storm warning out for this area? So what if I have a car with bad brakes and nearly bald tires? So I freak about driving in snow.
I continue to befuddle the computers and the IT guys at my new job. The computer never does the same thing twice in a row. The IT guys think it's because I forget my passwords. It's not. I seem to be able to function on this computer and even have figured out programs a lot more confusing than those on my work computer.
I don't know what this thing is, but isn't it delicious? Enjoy.

Monday, January 4, 2010

. . .became somewhat desolate

No, not really. But this is a photo of a rural eastern Kansas landscape yesterday afternoon at about 3:30.

If you can't see the beauty in the various shades of gray, brown and black, you are in big trouble out here.

Friday, January 1, 2010

. . . remembered a decade

but anticipated the future. I remember exactly what I was doing on December 31, 1999 and January 1, 2000. I was so inspired by the whole world celebrating a new millenium. I remember my hopes and dreams, plans and preparations.

After living almost sixty years, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that nothing turned out like I had expected. It rarely does. For the past couple of weeks, I have been analyzing this last decade, as artificial a time delineator as any other, and I had come to the conclusion that it had been a really lousy decade.

But wait. This decade gave me a wonderful son-in-law and three amazing grandchildren. That alone should put this decade in the "best of a lifetime" category. During this decade, my creativity flourished; I would not have even considered that a possibility ten years ago. I had the luxury of leisure time. I learned a lot, about things that interested me. I lost one dear friend and my wonderful father-in-law to death, and another relationship to stupidity, but gained and reconnected with friends, in person and on the internet. I gained, and then lost, material wealth, and found out that I didn't even want any more "things." I lost a 38-year marriage, but I gained the knowledge that I was capable of surviving that loss and I learned that there were really very few limitations to what I could do for myself. I learned to forgive myself and to be kinder and calmer. And, best of all, I can now say, "I am an artist." And, as you all know, art will save the world. We just have to wait for the world to figure that out.

So, overall, I will rate the 00s as a net gain. And hope to hell I can say the same ten years from today. Happy new year, everyone.