Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Headless Angels

Art Journal collage, 8 x 8 inches
Another recent collage from my art journal.

Jane Davies' online class starts today.  I've printed out Lesson 1 and will watch the video later this morning.

I decided to do this class differently than how I did her other two online classes.  I decided not to participate in the class blog in any way, other than to get the lessons.  In other words, to work in isolation.

My reasons for this are several...

I know myself.  I know that if I look at everybody else's work, then I'll compare mine to theirs.  I'll ooh and ahh over some of the others' work, and I'll diss my own.  I'll wish I were doing their work instead of my own work.   I know that this will put me under a lot of unnecessary stress.

I also no longer want feedback from the instructor.  Not because I don't want to be good, or better, at painting.  But because it's all so subjective, isn't it?  Who's to say when a piece is finished or whether it's "good"?  Isn't that up to the artist, ultimately?  It isn't important to me anymore whether my work could be "stronger," or make "more of a statement."  What's important is to enjoy the process, and to make my own decision about the outcome.

Additionally, I simply can't do the "group mind" thing anymore.  Everybody chiming in on everybody else's work, everybody looking for approval or acknowledgement.  And I certainly don't want to be internally tooting my own horn when I think I've done a lesson better than the next person.  Nor do I feel the need to puff myself up by way of introduction.  None of this matters to me now.  I just want to do the lessons, or not, and enjoy my life without added stress of any kind.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

You'll Never Forget

Art journal page, 8 x 8 inches
Not much to say, but I do have a bunch of collages made during the holidays that I thought I'd start posting.  This and the next several, to be uploaded at later dates, were done in the journal below, that I made in June 2014.  I work in it periodically.

Have a good week.  Blessings.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Practice of a Lifetime

Acrylics and paper on canvas, 6 x 6 inches
These are the rest of the pieces I painted between mid-December and earlier this month.  The sizes vary between 6 x 6 and 11 x 14, so see the caption of each piece for specs.

I've posted most of these to my Flickr account recently, but most of you probably don't hang out there and/or don't follow me there.

Acrylics and paper on cradled board, 11 x 14 inches
I'm in a bit of a painting lull at the moment, regrouping for what's next.  The pieces you see here round out three small series I began late last year.  Now it's time to move on.  And the Jane Davies workshop I'm taking begins in two weeks...

I'm rereading Stephen Nachmanovitch's Free Play, a book about improvisation in art (and in life) that I can't speak highly enough about.  Just reading the book again is inspiration in itself.

I spend a lot of time pondering the koan of everyday life, continually engaging myself in questions like ~~ What is the raw material of my life?...How do I do what I do in life?...What's the wake I leave behind myself with my words and actions?...How aware am I of what's really going on around me, right here and now?...How can I be of use to others, to the world?... ~~questions without answers really, questions that have to be lived into.
Acrylics and paper on canvas, 12 x 12 inches
Acrylics and paper on cradled board, 11 x 14 inches
Acrylics and paper on canvas, 12 x 12 inches
Acrylics and paper on canvas, 10 x 10 inches

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Year of Living Differently

Acrylics and paper on stretched canvas, 6 x 6 inches
My year has started off with a bang.  I've been on a creative roll since before the holidays and it feels excellent.  Still taking my time, but finished work does add up little by little.

This is a small piece, 6 x 6 inches, that I love.  From mid-December.

I'm doing things differently this year.  Small things, but they too add up.  Mostly it's about things becoming too costly to do the way I used to do them, financially, physically and emotionally, so I'm looking for new ways and new options.  No need for specificity here.  Except to say, I can work with whatever life throws at me.

I haven't set goals or a word-for-the-year in many years.   Life seems to be better when I don't.  I do have intentions, however, for what I want to do with my life this year, how I want to live.  In short, what qualities I am focusing on bringing into or developing further in my life.

Have a blessed January.  Peace.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Between Storms

Collage on painted matte board, 7 x 10 inches
Here are another couple collages I did in the last few weeks, both on previously painted matte board.  I do have a couple new paintings in process.

It must be in the air, because I was just led to another good article about healing the mother (or father) wound.  Here it is.

That "cold" I thought I've been suffering with for nearly four weeks is sinusitis.  I'm not sure yet whether it's acute or chronic, since it just came on recently...but four weeks seems to be the outer limit for acute cases.  Apparently sinusitis is a common result of allergies.  I never had allergies before I moved to Rose Cottage, but this place is so incredibly dusty that I'm not surprised that after living here for nearly seven years, I've now got chronic sinus problems.

The only thing bothering me is a sometimes-stuffy head and a sometimes-runny nose, both largely on the right side of my head.  No sore throat, no cough, no lung/bronchial congestion, little sneezing, no fever, no aches, and no sinus pain or headache.  I'm sure I don't have a sinus infection.  There's no cure for this, only symptom abatement.  This might be my new normal.

Collage on painted matte board, 8 x 8 inches
It's that time of year when the darkest days are upon us, always a clue for me to turn inward even more than normal.  Toward that end this will be my last blog post for 2015.  I have three minor have-tos over the next few weeks; otherwise I'll be in, hunkering down with BeeGee, painting, reading, taking care of myself, and not even unlocking the front door on days when I can get away with that.

I don't know yet what next year will hold for me.  I'll definitely continuing blogging, but may cut back on posts again.  We'll see what develops.

I wish you all a very happy, warm, cozy, peaceful holiday season and new year.

May you dwell in the open heart.
May you be free from suffering.
May you be awake in this moment, just as it is.
May the awakened heart be extended to all beings.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Rainy Season

Well, it's looking like the rainy season is upon us now.  I don't know how the rest of the state is faring, but on the North Coast, it's wet and predicted to be for the next week at least.  (If you're in CA and/or merely interested in our weather outlook, check out CA Weather Blog.)

The winner of last week's giveaway has been notified.  Thanks to all of you who entered this past week as well as all the previous weeks' contests.  I'll be taking a break from giveaways until early in the spring.

These two images are ATCs that I made (read: cut up) from early acrylic paintings on watercolor paper.  I like them so much better as tiny pieces of art.

And now I've got a bunch of goodies to send to my mail art peeps.  I haven't mentioned mail art in eons...I'm still doing it and enjoying it.  And I have a couple new exchange pals.

As a follow up to my last post, another two good sport-related films I saw recently are 42, about Jackie Robinson, and The Damned United, about soccer (football) coach Brian Clough.  Both great movies.  The young actor who played Jackie Robinson in the former, also played James Brown in the biopic Get On Up, which I saw a couple years ago and really enjoyed.

I was in Eureka yesterday for my monthly trip.  It was surprisingly dead in town.  I'm just really glad I don't have to face Eureka again until after the holidays are over...because that's one crazy place.  I'm also mightily grateful that I don't live there any more.

I'm planning (hoping) to do another painting before my next post.  When it's rainy, though, about all I want to do is read.

Hope you have a good week.  Blessings to you all.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Stuff and Nonsense

Acrylics and paper on cradled panel, 11 x 14 inches
My latest collage painting is 11 x 14 inches on cradled panel.  The completely flat surface was a real challenge.  I purchased several of these panels a few months back, when I was doing a different style of painting, at a time when I wanted a really flat surface as well as a deeper finished painting than I could get on a 1/8-inch thick canvas panel.

However, the challenge was good for me.  I'll do the next painting in this series on another cradled panel.

That cold I mentioned 2 weeks ago:  I still have it.  It keeps coming and going.  On the days that I feel well, I have absolutely no symptoms.  On the days I feel not so well, my head is stuffed up horribly.  Meanwhile, I haven't had any sore throat, no fever or aches so I know this isn't a flu -- just a really stuffy head on some days but not on others.  Weird.
Acrylics and paper on hardboard, 6 x 6 inches

In case you didn't see it last Wednesday, this week's giveaway is a small painting on hardboard, 6 x 6 inches.

To enter the drawing, either leave me an email here, or include your email address in the body of your comment to this post.  I'll do a drawing on Wednesday December 9 and I'll email the winner directly.  Don't hesitate to enter; your chances of winning are excellent (only two entrants so far since Wednesday).

I've seen a number of good films since my last movie report.  These were all from Netflix.

Muscle Shoals -- another excellent documentary about the mid-20th-century music business.
Annie Liebovitz: Life Through a Lens
Everlasting Moments -- Swedish film
Million Dollar Arm -- great sports-related film
The Hundred-Foot Journey
McFarland, USA -- another excellent sport-related film

I've never considered myself much of a sports fan -- but I find that I really love sports movies...because they're always good human interest stories that are about way more than just sports.  One of my fave movies sports or not is Bend It Like Beckham, which I've seen maybe half a dozen times.

I have had my sports-loving moments, though.  Like watching this year's Superbowl online (thank you NFL) so I could see The New England Patriots and Tom Brady win another Superbowl.   Although I don't regularly follow any team in any league and probably never will again.

Have a good week.  Thanks for reading! 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Blog Post Mind

Collage on matte board, 5 x 7 inches
Here are two small collages I completed during the past week.  The backgrounds were painted months and months ago.  I have a stack of UFO paintings and collages that I'm working my way through, addition to making new work.

Often, between blog posts, and usually while I'm trying to meditate, I'll have thoughts or ideas that I want to share here.  And then when I do post, I can't think of much to say.  So, no stories today.

The winner of last week's pen giveaway has been notified.  Thanks to those who entered.

Collage on matte board, 5 x 7 inches

This week's giveaway is a small painting on hardboard, 6 x 6 inches.  The giveaway painting is the last image below.

To enter the drawing, either leave me an email here, or include your email address in the body of your comment to this post.  I'll do a drawing on Wednesday December 9 and I'll email the winner directly.  Don't hesitate to enter; your chances of winning are excellent.

Acrylics and tissue paper on hardboard, 6 x 6 inches