I am just so so happy to have some weather above freezing where I can be comfortable going outside to work!!! Went to Bridger, chasing a group of Plein Air Painters from Billings, Mt. Couldn’t find them, so settled into a lovely afternoon of painting by myself. I love these little “Granny” houses; their old proportions and shapes. And in Bridger they are more isolated. Wonderful fun. Here’s a house I’d love to own (on about twenty acres, away from this noisy neighborhood.) I set up across the street and began. Here is the painting about half way through.
And my set up. Looks like an add for Best Brella. I would DO one if asked.
And finally, the little painting, photographed at home. I love it. Oddly, it is so much easier to correctly see colors outdoors. SO happy to be there again. Everything looks grayer, on this painting. But somehow, so much more real.
I love my life.
Finally! A little study I truly like. Been struggling for months to figure out how to paint these wispy trees without leaves. The exceptional frost that glazed them like icing possibly helped me finally to see them as shapes;
This tiny little study is only 4 1/2 by 8 inches. I like it so well I have started a big studio painting
This is 12 x 16″ and the photo shows the state after one session. I already like the patterns. What do you think?
From time to time I am asked to create something by sewing. This is a welcome break from painting, and very familiar, as I used to work full time in fabric. I was commissioned to create a crib skirt, window valence, six pillows and a quilt. I have never met the mother in person, but through bulldogs I feel I know her. I could have knocked this out on the machine. While there is a great deal of machine sewing to keep the seams strong, there is not one visible machine stitch on the entire project. All apparent sewing is done by HAND. I’m nuts. I go above and beyond. Enjoy: First the quilt.
Above you can see just a portion. The quilt really is pretty large!
When I was “done” photographing I saw the quilt where I had placed it on a chair. Now, below, you will see the crib skirt, or tailored dust “ruffle.” It is fully lined, meaning, again, not one machine stitch visible. Also means it is totally reversible for a differt look; two in one!
The reverse side; hanging off my dining room table;
And now to show you some of the six pillows. Each one has a zipper, set in by HAND. I’m nuts.
As I hope you can see the little squares set out independently are hand appliqued with tiny, invisible stitches. Then the pieced blocks are hand-quilted with colored pearl cotton.
All Blessings on this lovely Mother to be, and her baby, Harrison.
Ok, here are examples of what I am TRYING to achieve. Above by Karen Jurick.
Another brilliant painting by my teacher, Karen Jurick.
And finally, a brilliant simple painting by Tim Horn.
Now my pathetic efforts;Ok, not too shameful yet. But I finished it, and really became depressed;
This is HORRIBLE. It is overworked. The colors are not pretty. What a mess. I did a notan sketch and started over, once more.
Ok, finally not shameful, but still bad, and a very pale example next to paintings of artists I admire. Why oh why am I even showing this? Not sure it’s a good idea, really. As much as anything it’s for myself. What is wrong? What is different? As I look at my effort this morning I see that my composition is cramped. The colors are crummy, not attractive. Now, I did leave it yesterday, intending to add more refinement, some touches of color this morning. I left it because it’s an architectural subject, painted very small (5 x 7″). And it’s difficult to place tiny touches onto lines that need to remain straight. One “Brilliant” conclusion I have come to is that my architectural subjects will never have the charm I see in the animals. Yet I see that in the other artists. I would LOVE to own any of the three paintings above by others. I guess it’s a good thing to make an honest evaluation and search of where I am falling short. But it sure is depressing. I can FIND the subjects just as attractive as my heros can. I see that. Somehow I cannot get them down well. Feeling horrible about it.
I think it’s because I have been pushing myself, doing work this week that is difficult for me. This is all in preparation for the Scott Christensen workshop. I have long planned to be OUTSIDE this week, working en plein air!!!! But it feels like 40 below, with a biting awful cold wind. The snow line is lower, on the 17th of April, than I have ever seen it in January. Mid-winter, awful weather here. So I work on landscapes in the studio. I’m not satisfied. Part of it is I think I dislike this busy, busy subject. Too much going on and so very difficult to simplify into large simple shapes. Tons of rocks are a bugger. And there are, in effect, several “Horizon” lines with the bank, then the rocks, then the trees. But I kept at it in case we are set in front of such a subject.
Yeah, ok, nothing shameful, nothing super exciting. Then I did;
Bit better, because it doesn’t lack the darker accents. Still not happy. Tried again, forcing myself to pretty much do a color Notan;
So far the best of a bad lot. I went on to refine it, add more detail which I’m not sure helped;
I get so down on myself. Again, not shameful work, but not what I want to achieve. Back into the studio.
What can I say. I just find this the funniest thing ever. We got a box today from Jakey Foo and his Mom. This looks so totally real. The whole package is orange and this custom printing is so carefully put onto it, I just thought at first that Jakey was sending Meaty some treats. Then I saw the bulldog. Hey! That looks like Meaty! Wait a minute! That IS Meaty! Again, the package is so well done, I thought, “Someone is RIPPING OFF MY ART!” Using my photos on some dog treat package! Again! I’ve even had a bait shop in Wales use a dog of mine, my art, for a newspaper add. Don’t get me started. Anyway, just look at the special instructions, in Bully Language, no less. Honestly, I laughed till I cried. This is the best things ever. ps. There is NO WAY Meaty is getting treats for being house trained. He will get these treats, as gifts. I am a tough cookie. Jakey Foo, we Lub Yews!