Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Be Ready for Change

Acrylics on canvas board, 12x12 inches
This is the last piece I did for Layer Love 2.0 Lesson 6.  It's 12 x 12 inches on canvas panel.

I looked at an apartment yesterday in the low-income senior complex I've been on the waiting list for ~ but I passed up this opportunity.  At the present moment I am just not mentally/emotionally ready to move house.  But now that I've seen the place (the units are all the same or perhaps a reversed layout, 600 square feet, one bedroom), I've begun the process of loosening my psychic hold on Rose Cottage.  The next time I move, the next place I move into, will most likely be the last.  The concept of some kind of permanence (obviously, nothing is truly permanent), some place to be for the duration, feels like an enormous relief.  It's just that right now, today, I'm not ready to get my head around moving to the ostensibly last place I will ever live.

I'm still at the top of the wait list at the new place, and the next time they call, whenever that is (I've been on the list for three years), I'll be ready.  Just the fact of there being a viable and doable alternative to where I'm currently living has opened up a space of possibility for me, internally.

Last night I started mentally making a list of yet more stuff I still have but don't need.  And will begin divesting myself of it right away.  Just because my new place, whenever I move, will be twice the size I have now, doesn't mean I want to fill it with stuff that's no longer usable to me.  As it is, I'll need to buy again a few pieces of furniture that I sold or gave away five years ago, when I downsized to fit into Rose Cottage.  So be it.  My life has never been such that I could keep schlepping things forward with me, from one change to the next.  At some point I had to get rid of most of it to create room ~ a vacuum, if you will ~ for the next phase to show up in.  I'm not attached, at this point.

Have a great week.  Happy Spring!  xo

Saturday, March 28, 2015


Acrylics on canvas panel, 12x12 inches
This is my next piece for Lesson 6.  Exercising my chops carving into wet paint.  You can use just about anything to incise lines in paint, although my favorite tools are knitting needles.  I'm using double-pointed needles, in a variety of sizes, that I'll never use to knit with again.  Even if I do though, these needles come in sets of five, so there are more than enough to repurpose one from each set to my painting tools.

Have a great weekend.  I'll be back here on Monday.  xo

Friday, March 27, 2015

Working my way back home

Acrylics on canvas panel, 11x14 inches
This is the first piece (of three) I did for LL2.0 Lesson 6, 11 x 14 inches on canvas panel.  I really liked the techniques in this lesson a lot...in fact, I'm really loving the class.  I'll be taking more classes from Julie and/or Chris in the future.

Yesterday I was in a funk, an overload of empathy for people and animals in horrendous situations, as well as the "heinous things going on in the world" du jour.  It all just gets to me sometimes, and renders me momentarily immobile.  In the afternoon I painted myself out of the darkness, although not with this painting.  In a couple days I'll post Thursday's painting.

I don't have to be anywhere or do anything away from Rose Cottage for the foreseeable future.  Which blisses me out no end.  I just want to paint, and read, and sleep.

A few weeks ago I took a painting break to make a journal for a friend's birthday in early April.  Gave it to him yesterday, early, so I'll show it to you.

I covered boards with pieces of a batiked and hand painted scarf I bought in Puerto Vallerta in 1989.  I never really wore it, because the metallic paint made it stiff, and the hemmed cotton edges meant the scarf never fell right.  Recently I ripped off the fringe and edges so I could use the fabric for other things.  I still have a lot left.

My friend likes lots of room to write, so other than the collage signature covers, there are few embellished pages.  Because he loves my art journals, I printed digital images of some of the best journal pages and adhered them to 12 of the heavy drawing paper pages.  And there are six pockets.

He loves the journal, of course.

Hope you have a good weekend.  xo

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

New Work

This is the other piece for Layer Love 2.0 Lesson 5 ~ 12 x 12 inches on canvas board.

I have a growing collection of images now to post here, recent collages and paintings.  So I'll be posting on a more regular basis for a while.  Even though I don't have a lot to say.  Like now.

Have a great week!  xo 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Go Your Own Way

This is a 10 x 10 inch painting on stretched canvas that I painted earlier in the week.  For one of the lessons in Layer Love 2.0.  I like it the way it is, for now anyway, and I'm moving on.  I have another piece for this lesson that might be finished, as well ~ although I might add more paint to that one today.

Being in another class, my first in a year, has brought up a few things for me to ponder internally. Largely having to do with trusting myself to not over-analyze, and to stop or move on when it feels right to me ~ as opposed to continuing to work over and over again on something as suggested by the instructor.  I am not making the instructor's work; I am making my own work.

Along with the above, there's also that I always, until now anyway, felt compelled to post photos on the class blog of my works in process, to get feedback, suggestions and/or accolades.  I'm only going to do that from now on if I really feel stumped.  Which is the best use of the instructor feedback option, anyway.  It's just that I've still been competing internally in some way, albeit unconsciously, and/or seeking approval from others for my own creative decisions.

Taking classes is about learning new tools and techniques, and getting a glimpse of how other artists do what they do.  There is no absolute right way to do anything.  What's taught is what works for that artist.  It may or may not work for me.  I just have to keep reminding myself of these things.  It will still and always be up to me to determine how I use what I learn in my own art.

I recently read a terrific 2-part blog post on finding one's artistic voice, from Bernina's sewing blog.  Here's Part 1.  Here's Part 2.  Applies to any medium.  Highly recommended.  One of the high points of the article is about learning to let go of things you don't want to do in your art.  It's a process of picking and choosing, of incorporating what intuitively feels right for you and letting the other possibilities go.  I've known all this stuff intellectually for a long time.  Getting it viscerally is what I'm working on now.  And it all boils down to this: Trust your instincts.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Gradient Tool

One of the first lessons in Layer Love 2.0 was to paint gradients.  Starting with different colors at each end of a board or canvas, we pulled the colors together with the addition of OPEN medium and paint.

I liked these so much that I wanted to post them.  The first three are on matte board, which is a fantastic surface for this exercise.  The last one is on a canvas panel.  I won't be working on matte board for the actual paintings I'll do in the class, but I am using matte boards to paint collage backgrounds with leftover paint on my palette.

Today I'll start in with the meat of the course, actually making a painting.  Looking forward to that.

Re: painting, in general ~ I'm no longer procrastinating or feeling afraid to just get in there and paint.  Which feels like huge progress for me.  Again, I'll say that that several-month break I took between my last online painting class a year ago, and actually starting to paint a month ago or so, was a good thing.  It was a good lesson in: when you're feeling stuck and can't move forward, stop doing whatever it is and don't feel guilty about it.  Just let things marinate for a while without conscious attention.  Then come back to it when you really feel moved to do so.  It works.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Two by Two

Two recent collages on painted backgrounds ~ the top one is 8 x 8 inches, the one below, 5 x 7 inches.  Both on matte board.  When I have paint left on my palette after a project, I like to paint backgrounds to do something else with later.

I bought the necessary Golden OPEN paint when I was in Eureka on Tuesday, and started the first lesson in Layer Love 2.0 yesterday.  I'm liking that OPEN paint, it moves quite differently than Fluid Acrylics. 

I watched Jersey Boys last night and really enjoyed it.  Also saw Whiplash recently (loved it), and a great biopic of Cesar Chavez.  All via Netflix.

Have a great weekend!  xo

Friday, March 6, 2015

News from the Left Coast

Art Journal Collage, March 2014
I enrolled in Layer Love 2.0 earlier this week.  While I'm awaiting some supplies that I need to get for the class, I'll be working in my neutrals collage journal.  Really looking forward to starting the class, but I do want to have the right supplies to get the full value out of the experience.  What I need is Golden OPEN Acrylics in two colors, plus a brush or two that I don't have.  I can wait, the class is paid for and will be there indefinitely.

That ZipBook I ordered from the library mid-last week arrived from Amazon on Tuesday.  Amazing turnaround.  Here's a link for more info on the ZipBook program.  From what I can tell, it's a demonstration project of the California State Library System for rural libraries, and has been running for several years.  I don't know whether other states have gotten on board yet or have any intention to, as the only info I could find by googling related to libraries within California.  So you'll have to check it out for yourselves.

Have a great weekend!  xo

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Good Enough

I completed this 16 x 20 inch painting (on canvas) yesterday.  I'd been working on it for several days.  I decided it's good enough and I can move on.  This is my second intuitive-style painting.  There are areas of this painting that really speak to me, that I want to explore further and build upon in a later piece.

The parts I like best about this one were painted with my index finger.  I'm going to have to do more of that, although I do like working with various brushes and other marking tools in this painting lab I've undertaken for myself.

I'm taking a brief respite from painting today to work on a journal for a friend's birthday in early April.

And other than that, it's effectively spring here on the north coast.  Looks like our unbelievably severe drought in California will see no relief this year...and with global warming, we could be in for a return to desert-like conditions throughout the state.  I say "return," because California, for all intents and purposes, was desert before the advent of dams and the rerouting of most of the state's water resources to the L.A. Basin and the Bay Area.  It'll be interesting to see how this scenario unfolds in years to come.

P.S.  If you have any interest in learning about California's water history, definitely read Cadillac Desert by Mark Reisner.  Outstanding expose'.