Sunday, October 25, 2009

brave me

colored pencils, oil pastels, watercolor on muslin

it's been a week of reflections and revelations... i think the sale of my lampworking stuff was the primary catalyst, but also the exercises in 'the power of your other hand'. i ended up not selling most of my lampworking equipment... suffice it to say that by the end of the week it felt like my old thoughts about bead making had been snapped like a dry twig...

i realized something very fundamental about myself while doing the exercises in 'the power of your other hand'. the basic idea is that your non dominant hand represents your child self - your creative, playful, imaginative self, while the dominant hand represents the adult you. you can have conversations with your 'selves' by writing alternately with each hand - one asks the questions and the other answers. in the course of doing this i saw clearly that my brave self, my risk taking self, is the child me! omg! how could i have missed that all these years?! the adult me is many things, but brave is not one of them - controlling, yes, and cautious and quite often fearful. but not brave. how liberating it is to know that my creative self is the brave and fearless one...

oil pastels, colored pencils, watercolor and acrylic paint on muslin

and now i'll let the pictures do the talking about the rest of my week. (when i wasn't reflecting and revelating ; )

What moves men of genius, or rather what inspires their work, is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough.

Eugene Delacroix


Sunday, October 18, 2009


ya know i do...

we had one sunny day last week, so there was no question how i was gonna spend it. went off to see some trees i hadn't seen since last fall. this stick now lives in the tree in the top pic...

this tree flag has been out two years now. look at how bright those caran d'ache crayons still are. jeez, this impresses me!

this one has one year of service in...

so beautiful...

farther along, this is me in total sun/sky/tree bliss... eating grapes and listening to shawn colvin sing 'crazy'. there cannot possibly be a drug better than this. i'm not far from the packrat mansion in this post from last september. it appears that the mansion is still occupied...

walking back... looking south i can see two valleys and mt. lassen, which last erupted in 1915.

i haven't done any art this week! it's come to me like a bolt of lightning that it's time to sell my lampworking stuff, and believe me, it's a lot of stuff. so i've been taking pictures and putting things online to sell. i still have my torch, oxy concentrator, and kiln if you know anyone who wants to start lampworking. i will make them a very good deal...

anyway, this is the disintegration bundle that i buried last spring when everyone else in seth's collaboration was revealing theirs. i felt so grouchy this morning (not doing art, you know) i figured digging might help, so i dug it up. no way! not nearly disintegrated enough!

oh yes, the doll... she arrived at my mother's and i think she is well loved...

i read this in 'the power of your other hand' this week...

...all progress must come from deep within and cannot be pressed or hurried by anything. Everything is gestation and then bringing forth. To let each impression and each germ of a feeling come to completion, wholly in itself, in the dark, in the inexpressible, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one's own intelligence, and await with deep humility and patience the birth-hour of a new clarity: that alone is living the artist's life: in understanding as in creating. There is no measuring with time, no year matters, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means, not reckoning and counting, but ripening like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of spring without the fear that after them may come no summer. It does come. But it comes only to the patient, who are there as though eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly still and wide.

Rainer Maria Rilke, 'Letters to a Young Poet'


Wednesday, October 14, 2009


mostly oil pastels and colored pencil, some acrylic, and a very little watercolor. 5 1/2" x 6 1/2"

i painted a few faces last week but mostly i worked on The Doll... i'd wanted to send her off last tuesday but she just wasn't ready.

i put her on the easel to pose about halfway through... her face was mostly painted so i wrapped it with saran wrap to keep it from getting messed up. what? you think i've got issues with this doll?! hee! i'll wait until my mother's gotten her before i post a finished picture. i wasn't totally satisfied with the way she came out, but mostly...

this is an image transfer of my mother's senior picture from high school - it's on a card that i made for her. i looked in this book at barnes and noble last week and picked up a few pointers about paper and gel medium transfers. the first one was to sand the back of the paper once the gel medium is dry, and the second was to spray it with a mister before wiping the paper off (i had been getting a piece of muslin wet and wiping). the mister idea coupled with sanding works well. the other thing that i did differently is that i sanded it with a piece of 400 grit sandpaper after the image was dry (after taking the wet paper off). this left me with a smooth, clean image. so, i really feel that progress is being made on the image transfer front...

mostly watercolors with a red acrylic background. i used a black colored pencil to outline the face and eyes... approx. 4" x 6" (oh, and pieces of old wallpaper under the squares of muslin)

oil pastels and colored pencil with a very tiny amount of caran d'ache crayons and koh-i-noor pastel pencil. 5" x 7"

i've been having a good time with oil pastels. this face and the top one were done almost completely with oil pastels. on both faces i only used watercolors in the eyes and lips... i also drew this face with the china marker first so i'd have to stick with what i drew - i want to loosen up more and erase less. i just got 'the power of your other hand' (thank you vivian for the heads up!) which is about drawing with your nondominant hand. i am so interested in this as this is the way that i usually draw.

i've only been out walking one day in the last week - i think it was maybe the day of the moon bombing, and between that and feeling generally tired and quiet, i didn't walk far once i reached the dry stream bed i'd headed for. walking upstream was out because it was uphill, and downhill was good but then there was walking back... so i went a few feet and laid down and looked up at the trees.

i took a picture of my traveling colored pencil kit for you. pencils, a paper stump for blending, a 'blending pencil' (i use it on the cheeks if nowhere else), a pencil sharpener, and a piece of muslin. the muslin is great for wiping off the wood before you draw on it. it works like a very fine sandpaper.

i drew the face and then this heart on a log. while i was drawing the heart the tiniest jumping spider i've ever seen jumped on me. he was the size of the head of a pin - oh he was adorable and what a jumper! each jump was about 5" long (!!!) - i wanted to take picture of him but my camera was laying on the ground near the trees. in the course of trying to make sure i didn't squash him

i dumped the pencils on the ground and he got away!

on my way home i stopped to feast on the scent of lichen on juniper, and oh what a feast it was.

other pics of the week... the bright white is the moon and all of the other lights are from a sawmill. i was snapping pics right and left - this one was the result of hitting a big bump in the road, which i thought was particularly serendipitous...

the candle by my chair... i'm fascinated with taking pictures in low light settings...

i took a pic of my art room from another angle... i measured it so i can tell you exactly how big it is - it's 4' x 6'. that's smaller than i thought! the biggest painting on the back wall is jesse reno's 'we must reach for what we cannot see' (yeah, i'd probably buy it for the title alone). i left the pic big in case you want to click and have a look around...

my easel now... i've got an 8" x 10" piece of muslin on there and it seems as big as a billboard! but i'm feelng the need for more room... the purple squares on the left are pieces from an old yoga mat. i put them under the legs of the easel to keep it from scooting around... those oil pastels require a lot of smushing you know...

and finally, thank you for your thoughts and suggestions a couple of posts ago - i appreciate them!

If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.

Edward Hopper


Sunday, October 11, 2009

keep your eyes wide

watercolor and acrylic paint, colored pencils, magazine scrap, oil pastels on muslin; approx. 4" x 6"

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheels still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That its namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it's ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

The Times They Are A-Changin', Bob Dylan


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

holding vigil

for the moon

have you heard that NASA has sent a 'bomb laden missile' to the moon? yes, they have... you can read about it here, here, and here. and here at the NASA website... as you can see, the "projected impact at the lunar South Pole is currently: Oct 9, 2009 at 4:30 a.m. PDT."

if you want to join me i'll be sending out extra lunar love in the next few days...


Saturday, October 3, 2009

slowing down

it seems to have gone from summer to winter in one week flat here. besides a general slowing down after the whirlwind weeks of last month, the shorter days and cold temps have me switching to a slower gear... i spent the early part of the week getting a couple of packages together, and this face was part of one of the packages - i think i may be the slowest package put-er-together-er on the planet...

i'm thinking about blogging and whether to continue with once a week posting (the posts are so long), or switch to shorter, more frequent posts. maybe back to not so much talking by me... i'm wondering if it would be helpful/of interest to list the 'ingredients' below each piece. if you have an opinion on this i'd like to know...

these are the few pieces i've done this week...

i feel like i'm beginning to get the hang of image transfers using gel medium and paper.

i thought i'd try drawing this kind of nose. it's fascinating to me the different ways that people draw noses, eyes, and mouths...

all of these were done with colored pencils, oil pastels, caran d'ache crayons, and twinkling H2Os.

the back side of the face above - this was my first attempt at an image transfer using a transparency sheet. i let the gel medium dry before i took the transparency off, and it was practically cemented to the muslin. most of the image (a chagall painting) stuck to the transparency sheet, so i sewed it to the muslin.

i did these before winter hit... the two sticks on the right seem to be a couple - they look at each other from trees that are about 5' apart. she looks awfully intense but he's crazy about her...

i'm working on a doll for my mother's birthday and this is what she looks like now. she's upside down in a glass on the woodstove - i'm making sure her hair (yeah hair!) is dry before i paint her. in her brief life so far she's looked like trent lott, homer simpson, and abraham lincoln.

and this is what my art table looks like... i'm pondering whether this painted rick rack idea is the way to go... maybe i'll just put it aside and start something new, something that doesn't require thinking - it's been a full day what with meeting up with trent, homer, and abe...

Practise what you know, and it will help to make clear what you do not know.

~ Rembrandt