Monday, August 17, 2009

open up

is there anything more satisfying than going to bed having finished *three* art projects?! a journal page, a Barely There book for roxanne, and a flag to hang at the green shrine tree. yeah, i had to take a picture of them...

roxanne came to visit last friday and i must not be able to talk and take pictures at the same time, because i did a lot of talking and not much picture taking. here she is ahead of me on the way to the green shrine tree. before we left to go walking we shared our recent art discoveries with each other. she told me about her workshop with nick bantock...

she gave me some stamps and showed me how to make a (small) landscape with them. you have to stand way back to see the landscapes in mine, but i still like them! we virgos love this kind of thing, hee! she also gave me a cool *old* metal tool caddy that i just remembered i forgot to photograph. we had a good time!!

the next day i walked up past the green shrine tree and checked out a part of the creek i've never really explored before. i found this tree and took about 50 pictures of it... the grain spirals around the tree...

on the back side this looked like insect asemic writing to me. i left the pic big -- click on it for the full effect!

you've gotta click on this one too... look for the tiny white dots to the right of the tree. these are very small insects about 80' above the ground, flying around. hundreds of them... what do they do up there?!

a 'forest' of horsetails... oh i love horsetails...

this one was downright ethereal.

i finally sat down to paint here. the water cascading over a rock shelf - it was one happy spot...

this moss was happy!

as i was walking away i saw this shasta lily - usually there are 3 flowers on each plant, but this one had seven. and the pods are so healthy and gorgeous. this wasn't a good year for the shasta lilies -- they came on strong but many of the buds succumbed to disease. anyway, i walked up to the road after i saw this lily so i could figure out how to get back to them next spring. and then headed back home... i went to bed early that night - i swear i think i had to rest from all of the amazement and wonder.

i'm still working in my second Barely There book. still loving working on muslin...

most of the shading of this face (and the one below) was down with portfolio watersoluble oil pastels. it's such a different effect than watercolors and i'm pretty thoroughly fascinated with it.

i've been reading 'dear theo', vincent van gogh's letters to his brother theo. oh my... so much i could say, so many passages i could quote. i've read that he sold only one painting while he was alive... and of course he only drew and painted for seven years of his brief life. for the first two of those seven years he didn't paint at all. he wanted to perfect his drawing skills before he began using color. the following words were written not long after he started to paint...

You will see that I am not afraid of a bright green or a soft blue, and the thousands of different greys, for there is scarcely any colour that is not grey -- red grey, yellow-grey, green-grey. blue-grey.

As far as I understand it, we of course perfectly agree about black in nature. Absolute black does not really exist. But like white, it is present in almost every colour, and forms the greys -- different in tone and strength; so that in nature one really sees nothing else but those tones or shades. There are but three fundamental colours, red, yellow,and blue; 'composities' are orange, green, and purple. By adding black and some white one gets the endless varieties of greys; to say, for instance, how many green-greys there are is impossible.

But the whole chemistry of colours is not more complicated than those few simple rules. And to have a clear notion of this is worth more than seventy different colours of paint, as, with those three principle colours and black and white, one can make more than seventy tones and varieties. The colourist is he who, seeing a colour in nature, knows at once how to analyze it, and to say, for instance, that green-grey is yellow with black and hardly any blue. In other words, he who knows how to find the greys of nature on his palette.

from 'dear theo', by irving stone, 1937

one complaint about 'dear theo' is that the letters have been too heavily edited by irving stone. this site claims to have his complete letters, as well as those of his mother, sister, and theo.

in contrast to the above passage, in later years vincent speaks of buying many colors of paint. i think that most of us just can't resist...



  1. I love your pages. I haven't returned to mine yet, but it will happen soon. I should just jump in!

    Gorgeous, gorgeous.

  2. Ooooh Lynne! So much beautiful work to look at and so many wonderful photos.
    I love the Portfolio pastels also. I use them everywhere!
    Your work is so gorgeous! i always look forward to your postings.

  3. I love visiting you blog...always such wonderful art and photographs.
    Your Barely There journal pages are wonderful. I can see you are having a lot of fun with them. I havent heard of the Portfolio watercolor oil pastels, but I do have a few neocolor watersoluble oil pastels that I love. Quite a creamy consistency compared to the watercolor crayons.
    How lovely to spend time with Roxanne and to have time for art as well. Love the Nick Bantock inspired pieces (love stamps).
    That tree on your walk was truly awesome and I love the shasta lilles.
    Jacky xox

  4. Sounds like you had a wonderful visit!

    I was a teenager and read Lust for Life, and fell in love with Vincent Van Gogh! Letter's to Theo, sounds lie I should read it!

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Lynne fantastic as usual.

    You live in the most beautiful spot ever.

    Love Renee xoxo

  6. Ah Lynne, I would be feeling pretty happy if I had such a productive day! Thanks for taking us for another magical walk and for sharing more of the beautiful journal. Oh, and thanks for finding and following my more random blog!!!

  7. WOW, so much to look at and read and just take in. I'll be making a couple trips back to your blog entry today just to soak it all in.
    Where ever you were in the woods was magical. Those pictures enlarged just draw a person in.
    I love, love, love the fabric pages and the one with the fabric strip quotes is so right. sigh....
    Just a really wonderful post. Thank you. :)Bea

  8. I started out thinking I'd respond to the nature pics, but I almost forgot about them as I travelled through all your fabulous new pages!! what a wealth of wonder. That tree, it's spiraling, and the insect asemic calligraphy are all amazing artworks of nature. and Dear Theo... I loved that book. Another, filled with his letters, that I really enjoyed was Johanna, by Claire Cooperstein. I can lend it to you :)
    xox K

  9. wow, to complete 3 projects is but a dream for me... :) love all the work you're doing - I can see why you're enjoying the Barely There book project - it's fabulous. you are an inspiration!

  10. Amazing post,Lynne! Thanks for sharing!

  11. an amazing post! I feel the joy of having completed three projects - and that quite vicariously - just from reading your posting and enjoying the images. A full life here :)

  12. thank you, zom... i'll be checkin'... : )

    hey manon - thank you! yeah, i love those portfolio oil pastels too. such a bargain! i might have to buy a new set soon 'cause i'm using up my white seriously fast. xo

    hi jacky, well, a set of 24 portfolio oil pastels is so reasonable you could buy a set have a go! they're not as dense as sennelier oil pastels so they smear around easier. you feel like a kid when you're using them. this is a big bonus in my book. : )

    hey janine, yes, i think you'd like 'dear theo'. and i think i'd like 'lust for life'!

    you're welcome, and thanks for coming by!

    hello my dear renee... it is beautiful... and thank you. xo

    hee, lumi, yeah, i was patting myself on the back and grinning a satisfied grin! you're welcome for the walk -- i was in an obsessive picture taking mood. and i am very glad i 'found' you... : )

    bea, i think i got carried away with pictures this time. i've told myself before that a post just gets *too long*. but here i am doing it again...

    hey! i'm getting ready to go to town for our weekly grocery shopping trip - i'm going to do the smiling thing! xo

    hi karin, as i just said to bea, i think i really put too many pictures up for one post... but, oh well.

    yes, i'd like to borrow this book. it sounds like johanna (theo's wife, right?) was a champion of vincent's work until she died. xo

    hee, patti! well the projects weren't all *that big*, but i was patting myself on the back. : ) and i am enjoying the barely there book project - am planning my next one right now... thank you for your kind words!

    hi b & w! thank you, and thank you for writing!

    hi kimmie, yeah, i think my joy may just be overflowing onto the computer and out through the screen. : ) thank you...

  13. Sigh. Simply "sigh."
    (in the best of ways...lovely walk, lovely nature, lovely art, and lovely words all add up to "simply isgh.")

  14. So many beautiful things to take in here! I love the book, the flag, the page . . . and all of those wonderful photos! What an awesome tree! I don't think I've seen horsetails before, but they are very cool. And you got to spend the day with Roxanne!

    Pretty stuff! I'm going back for another look.

  15. whew! I have to go back to see everything again! How lovely to have time with Roxanne! looks like you had a great visit!
    How prolific you are to finish 3 pieces in one day! and your work as always is fabulous! and your nature pix are stunning!
    I too enjoyed Dear Theo and agree it was a gut job. the thing that always stuck in my mind was that his older brother was named Vincent and when he died they renamed the new baby Vincent so every day he walked to school and saw his name on the head stone....yikes!
    ok. I will shut up now! awesome post!

  16. What a juicy post! So much eye candy. I love all your photos. That tree is magical with all the textures. And that close up of the horse tail Awesome! I also have the Portfolio pastels and they are so creamy and fun to blend with your fingers. YOur artwork is so inspiring thank you for sharing it all with us.

  17. those horsetails - I thought the one photo was one of Grrl's knitups! wonderful post Lynne - so much to take in :)

  18. So much to discover in this post. Your time with Roxanne, those wonderful projects you finsihed, your Bantock landscape, the amazing shots of nature, and your pages. Those pages!!! Full and wonderfull!

  19. Oh, what a wonderful post, I am so glad I got to see your beautiful forest and Rush creek myself... I just finished my post about our day... lots of pictures... you so inspired me. I, too love the spiraling tree and also the new spot to paint by the creek. Your faces are wonderful, each with a different feeling. And I am loving working on the Barely There book you gave me... it takes to paint and everything really well. Thank you again for such a refreshing day... Roxanne

  20. That tree with the squiggly branches way up there, is out of this world. This post is so full of wonder that I don't know what to comment about first. Your nearly there books are charming and I love the photos of the water rushing, the moss, the horsetail closeups. Thanks Lynne. Glad you and Roxanne had a good chinwag.

  21. awwww, thanks, cynjon... i know you'll be glad to get back to your woods to tromp around... xo

    hey leslie... you know, i don't know if i've ever seen horsetails back east now that i think about it. they're in a lot of herbal remedies for bones and teeth -- they're high in silica. i should be making tea with them... yeah, i got to spend the day with roxanne. : )

    wow, katerina, i don't remember reading that. what a trip. the book is a gut job - a gut wrencher. sometimes i have to put it down, i can't read any more because i'm feeling sad from it. vincent just did not fit into society. i love that he stayed true to himself no matter what, though... thank you for you nice words. i think i got carried away with pics here!

    thank you, patti, that is *exactly* the way i feel about your art. it totally inspires me. and yeah, that tree... mindblowing...

    heya jeane! yeah, the horsetails... and they do look like a knit up!

    hey seth! thank you! i'm smilin. : )

    hi roxanne, and you inspired me.... hee, the next time you come we can go to the spiraling tree -- it's not far past the green shrine tree. i will go to your blog and see what goodness you've posted! xo

    hee, robyn, that tree IS out of this world! i'm so glad you saw those squiggly brances - they were just awesome in person. i wanted to make sure i got them in there... : )

  22. I forgot to tell you that your torn stamp landscapes were wonderful! Roxanne

  23. Hi Lynne
    I have just stumbled across your blog, looking forward to browsing through, I love your calico pages.

  24. ces photos de forêt sont magnifiques et originales de par les détails qu'elles nous montrent. Toujours très esthéqique votre blog!

  25. LH, I just wanted to tell you that among my tea, dyed, rusted, coffee and paint stained muslin pieces (i don't have walnut ink crystals). I used a piece to rub off some Clorox Bleach Gel Pen that I used to bleach some colored pencil work back to white. The effect on my muslin was wonderful!

  26. Lynn,
    Thank you so much for sharing about painting on muslin! I've been doing painting on it a couple weeks and I LOVE it!
    Also, I really enjoy your blog!
    Julie Fillo

  27. among all of it, i forgot to say how i loved your writing collage. the words, i almost wrote something just just like it the other week... and that tree, man o man! Time strong... and that luminous sock looking candy pole... horsetail? hmm

    exoblessings and breath... the wind is kicking up; kickin out the heat! :)

  28. Lynne,
    You are so inspiring to me, you and Sharon and so generous and patient with sharing with the blog world. I am really bad about documenting my process, I want to be generous too, but I have so little time to paint right now I am stingy with my time. :)
    Thank you!


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  30. Lynne,
    Yes, I gave you and Sharon a shout out on that post...
    I'm glad you think the muslin looks good with my work. Have you ever mounted it on something? I was wondering if that would work to glue it to wood, so it would not have to be framed. I've had people ask if it can be framed behind glass, I don't know why not.
    I love your little books, they remind me of the beloved books a child has from years ago, those dog eared cloth books, but yours with so much spirit and grace in them

  31. thank you, roxanne... and thank *you* for the stamps. xo

    thank you, about me... and thank you for stopping by!

    Je vous remercie, Véronique, pour vos aimables paroles! Ils me font sourire!

    janine - i will try that! thank you!!

    hi julie! you're welcome and thank you! i feel the same about your blog and art!

    lol, m... luminous sock looking candy pole. you word artist you...

    the words on the journal page are not by me. they're from the book 'you are god get over it' by story waters. GOOD book.

    yeah exoblessings and breath, my friend... to us all...

    julie, your paintings will put a smile on many people's faces, so i think that is *the* most important thing...

    your paintings just sing on the muslin! as for gluing it to wood or some other rigid surface, i don't know why not. i started by gluing it to my journal pages (140# watercolor paper) and that works fine, so it could be glued to anything rigid, i think. gel medium works well... i think it'd be cool glued to old book covers. we'd get to do the recycling thing too that way...

  32. Hi Lynne: I think it is soo neat to read all your followers'/groupie(me) comments - they are all wonderful and of course you are soo gracious to comment 'back' : ) my comment, once again, is thank you for your graciousnessss and beautiful uplifting art. i get soooo inspired when i look at your little whimsical faces with all their color and bright eyes, even your little tree(s) : ) they make me happpy - soooo thank you for the "happy" you share : ) I popped over to Roxanne's blog and enjoyed her perspective on your day and of course her photos of you, how wonderful to share those moments with like-minded creatives, you are both blessed !!! I've enjoyed your post all week and now it is friday - happppy weekend trails to you : )
    Blessings, Sandra in AZ

  33. I would have taken a picture of the three finished projects, too. :)

    what a glorious walk you shared with us ... I love the shot up the tree with the brilliant blue sky ... think those bugs are trying to find heaven & find that horsetail pretty surreal - brilliant colors. I do hope you pass the seven headed lily when it blooms & are able to capture it with your camera.

    hours and hours wouldn't be enough time to soak up all the goodness of your book pages ... I love the words on the first page and feel almost sucked into the one with the chair by the window.

    it really is a pleasure to be here.

  34. Thanks for the nice comment on my blog. I love your Barely There pages. My favorite is the face on the gold background, which reminds me of a face in a tree. Very nice blog!

  35. hi sandra! i agree, i love to read the comments too... and so does my sister - she likes the comments as much as the posts! very interesting and creative people come here, i think... you are sooo welcome for the 'happy'. i say to you, "thank you for the happy"!!!

    now it's sunday... happy weekday trails to you sweet woman...

    michelle, it's my pleasure all the way... yeah, that tree... i'm not kidding when i say that my SD card got filled up there and i had to delete some pics so i could keep snapping on the rest of the walk. next summer i'll try to post a picture of the lily. : )

    you're welcome, robin, and thank you for stopping by!

  36. been following your blog for over a year now and haven't commented (I rarely do on anyone's) but you recently shared that great tutorial about your process with muslin journal pages so I just wanted to stop and say thank you for that and that I love your pages and your photos.

  37. Lynne,
    You always amaze me with more inspiration you could shake a stick at. Just look at those beautiful images and such creativity in action! Thank you!!!! xox

  38. Hi Lynne...
    Great you and Roxanne could get together, sounded like you both had a fantastic time...nature walks and art...bliss.
    Thanks for making that pic 'clickable" wow...I would have loved to take a rubbing of that!!!
    I have a wonderful Thames & Hudson book titled "Letters Of The Great Artists" sypathetically edited by Richard's a goodie. Jo xx

  39. sj, thank you for your kind words... a year! wow! i am honored...

    hey sweet caroline! blowing you kisses!!

    hi jo, yep, you're right - nature + art = pure bliss... i'll check out that book - thank you!

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