Saturday, May 26, 2012

How it happens

Quite a while back my friend (and fellow Artist) John Roof Posted a photo of himself leaning into a huge blank canvas.
I was taken by the despondency of the image.
I have felt this way so often when facing a new canvas.
"Will it turn out okay?"
"Have I decided on the right colours?"
And then I pick up my brush and begin.
The end result, (for me at least) has very little resemblance to what I had originally planned.
I do not follow plans very well.  I am more of a "Let it happen" kind of artist.The end result of what I paint is always better than I had formerly imagined
(To me at least)

This is the photo that inspired me....

This is what I painted

(If you click on the image it will enlarge,)

It is Acrylics on canvas
12" X 18"
Using a Clear painted Matte gel overlay of the figure of John.
I used Brushes/Pallette Knives
Matt gel/Molding paste.
For the overlay of John I line painted his image on a 1/8" thick
strip of gel
and cut it out.
Once the actual painting was dry, I affixed the gel to it.
It is transparent because we bare our soul and whole self to the world with every work we produce.
Every work of art we produce shines through us.

I tried to convey the lonesomeness all Artists feel when they begin to paint.
What all Artists feel when they reach "the ugly stage"
"Why did I start this, Am I totally crazy?"
The fear when we stop of
"Is it done
is that enough?"
 And somehow the Joy and sense of accomplishment when it is finished.

~~Later all....

Thursday, May 24, 2012

To the Skies and beyond.

I have always been fascinated by the sky.
I have loved following the Stars/Constellations in the night sky since I was a very young girl.
My grandfather taught me who was what in the night sky and how to always find the mythical
Gods represented by the stars. 
I still await the arrival of my friend Orion every Fall, and know that Spring is here when he disappears.
So naturally, in this day and age of Space travel I am a serious watcher of the NASA home page.
And, in particular the Hubble images that are so beautifully captured during its' travels

Now, because of my age, I have seen many things that were never available when I was a child.
Flash Gorden had a rocket and his space travels were pure fantasy.
Wonder Woman and her Space craft....Well, we hoped.
Isaac Assimov introduced us to prototypes of the now IPad/Phone type
Hand held communicators.
The original Star Trek series followed through with all this
Supposed technology.
And boys and girls  read comics and Science Fiction pulps with Stars in their eyes....
Nothing beat dreaming of the possibility of being
"The one."
Nothing beat wanting to be on the "Enterprise" with Kirk and his fellow travelers.

Acrylics and mixed media on canvas
16" X 20"
As is obvious, Space travel is no longer a little boys/girls dream.
Given the opportunity we all would have been Flash or Wonder Woman.
But who knew?

The photographs from the Hubble have fascinated me since they began to
The pictures are of pure fantasy and riotous colours.
And, most of all,  they are beautiful.
They inspire me.

"A galaxy in flux"
Acrylics and mixed media on canvas16" X 20"

I can only imagine what my grandsons will marvel at when they are in their 70s.
Actually I cannot think of whatever new under the Sun will appear.
But it is there, I know it is there.
It is their turn now.
To marvel at this wonderful universe that is opening up.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Getting There.

It is a cold and dreary day in Southern Alberta, Canada this morning.
 If I was on the lakeshore of my childhood, I would be standing just above the sand watching the breaker waves roll in.
Wondering what makes them do that.
I have many images through out my life that are locked in my mind.
And, every day there are new ones.

I wonder how many memories  one can accumulate, and how one can translate them into an Artwork?
Then I wonder how I will do it? 
Then wonder if it will be pleasing?

Looking back at that child, I wonder how my life has evolved as an artist.
I had no idea then, that the Childhood thoughts would some day translate into Art.
I didn't even know what a paint brush was then.

The many barren years before I was able to express who I am in Art were cold and dreary for the most part.
I had a child, and the Sun shone again.
Having a reason is the answer.
Having and recognizing joy is what makes it all worth it.
Having like-minded friends helped me so much.

I suppose we are never alone, but just walking the path to Happiness/Friendship and Love.
And when we reach our destination it is a bit of a shock.

Finding out who we are is not always possible when we are younger.
Coping with life until we do is a bit harder, but can be done.
Accepting our happiness in later years is much harder.
But the end result, once accepted is 

"Home at last"
Acrylics/Mixed media on canvas
12" X 18
The hieroglyphics (Kanji) are from parts of the Dhamapada

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"Sunrise on Bamboo Garden"
Acrylics and Mixed media on canvas
22" X 30"

Today's entry here is about my personal art.
Here again, some may not see it as art, others will love it. 
 But, the thing to understand, it that we can all agree to disagree.
This was one of the first larger canvas' I worked on. 
I have a great love for Gold/Silver and any metals I can work into my personal Art.
Like a Magpie, I love Bling.
I have worked with various forms of metals available to artists.
This canvas includes both the Gold and Silver as well as Copper, and a product that is a variegated metal leaf.
I lean very strongly to linear art, so this work began with a "representational" Bamboo forest on the left side.
over to the center and right sides I wanted to achieve a profusion of light.
This work took a while, but personally I like it very much.
I used Tar gel, molding paste and some additives to the paint to get a pourable quality.
What do you think?
Input in the form of comments/critiques are welcome
Remember to click on the photo to enlarge it.
~~Later all.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Art comes in many different forms.

Lately, a lot of my friends have been posting to a site called Pinterest.  
Seemingly, it is a site where you can post photos/pictures/images that they find pleasing to them.  
You can start various segments such as decor,food,art etc,
For years (well at my age it is for years) we have all, in one way or another collected images that please us.
In scrapbooks, actual books, and often in our mind, In our cupboards, on our Porches and in our gardens. 

Few people realize that when they do this they are actually defining who they are in an art form.
Art takes so many forms that it is often hard to imagine and segment each and relate to the individual process of gathering.

I belong to a small group of people on Facebook that are diverse in styles, but all have one thing in common.  
We Love COLOUR, and in one form or another we are artists.!  
We love different styles and each of us at one time or another has Waxed eloquently about another members art style.
One of the people is a quilter...a passionate quilter, and her use of colour and form results in wonderful creations....Common phrase re her Quilts is "Oh! I wish I could do that!"
She is modest, and in turn questions others on their abilities with paint.....
Another is making beads, beautifully hand rolled  colourful beads.....
Some do Portraits, others landscapes, and one a historical (through) art form depicting turn of the century small city life.
Yet, Art abounds in our lives.
the other day I saw an image of a Designer that just blew me away.
his name is
Roberto Capucci
One of his creations is at the beginning of this article.

He designs Dresses/Gowns that are considered Art Forms.
They are not always easy to wear, but they present a striking array of colour,shape and form.
All with fabric.
Each is hand made requiring (estimated) thousands of hours of work.
One wonders when anyone attempts to do something like this....
What motivates the individual?
What is it in that persons mind that sees fabric as sculpture?
that sees colours in such a vivid way?
We can only guess, but what is important to us is that he has done it.
That we can enjoy it.

The same might be said about the design of a cooking pot.
What shape and form takes place in the designers mind before the first mold is cast?
or maybe the shape of Garden tools.
Are they just functional or are they encompassing an art form that relates to the user, 
beautiful thoughts while working the ground.
A wonderful site that deals with shape/form and colour in all designs is

They see basic art and beauty in many things at this site, and is well worth looking into.

We are surrounded by Art.  Some very good, some terrible, but each and every form leads us to the thought.
Who thought of this?
What motivated them?
How did this individual know this would please me?
Bears a lot of thinking in our daily lives.....
And a lot of gratification for sure.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Catch up time with my art. "Prairie Winds"

It is important to know, that by clicking on any photo in this blog you will go to Full screen of each picture.
While I have been getting back to blogging with observations and comments re the Art world as I see it, I have been very lax in presenting some of the works I have completed while I was away.  
So, I am going to interject some of my new art and present it to you for comments/critiques.
This is a real accomplishment for me.
I am just getting into a looser and abstract form now.
 detail of the painting
All the Wheat chaff and the seeds are ensconced in a Clear gel (Goldens)
so they are completely encased in medium here.
This took weeks of layering and drying to achieve.

 The completed painting
It was important to show the winds and sun and the impact they have on the fields as the grain grows and matures.
Methods and media used:
Copper/Silver/Gold Leaf
Goldens acrylic clear gel
Actual Wheat stalks/seeds and Chaff
Acrylic paints
please let me know how you like it!

Friday, May 18, 2012

It is all relevant isn't it?

While reading the other day,
 I came across an article that condemned a young mans apartment decor because he had framed photos  of semi nude women from a glossy magazine.
The photos showed a very tasteful display of five photos that were on a blank wall.
While the style of decor did not really appeal to me, I thought  
"what is wrong with that?"
He chose photos to frame, that while displaying partial nudity were not vulgar in any way!

So, what is acceptable?  Is a modern depiction vulgar while the Old Masters renditions selling for Gazillions of dollars are acceptable just because they are old and painted by a "Master?"
Was the young mans choice in art so bad?
He framed what he liked and what he could afford.
Many years ago, it was the Master of the house that displayed "His" preferences in art on his Manors walls.

So, what is art?
What constitutes a collection?
Who decides that it is good or bad?
Do we have to adhere to what is dictated as art, as opposed to what we like?

(The Blond Nude....Manet)

It is about time we opened our minds to the old adage
"Beauty is in they eye of the beholder"
It is about time we look at a young mans walls and appreciate that his five glossy photos lifted from a magazine were framed/matted and hung with care.
It is about time for us to realize that by not just taping them to his walls he was showing a lot of class and good taste.

It is time for us to come out of our glass houses and appreciate any young person that takes care while presenting any art form.
We may not like it, but we  (hopefully) will appreciate that this person cared enough to show he had good taste in his choice of display.

("Just the two of us" author or production company unknown)
~~Tomorrow all.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sometimes it works, other times not, But today.......

Personal art in works:
I am working on a new idea right now.  It involves the far North, and the Northern Lights with a traditional Aleut dancer.
Now any that have seen the magical display that is presented by the Northern Lights knows that they are in a constant changing flux.
To try and represent them in a painting, one has to think in an abstract way so as to get the movement and clarity of them, all the while creating transparency showing them engulfing the land and sky.
I have been working on overlays of the lights, and think that I have finally achieved the look I want.
But.....again the proof of the pudding will when I bring all the elements of this painting alive on the Cradled Birch Panel I am using for this project.  Wish me luck today as I will be attempting to bring the whole lot together.

On another topic, over the last four years, I have been documenting  the Seasons of Grain farming, by taking photos from our deck (which is about 25 feet above ground in the back) of our local farmer and his workers preparing fields for planting, actual seeding, spraying, and eventually harvesting the land.
I have always been fascinated with the huge machinery, and the grace with which these gentle giants operate.
Because of the height at which I stand, and the fact that the grain fields completely surround our home, I have a vantage point that is excellent for depicting the manner in which the fields are maintained.

Always in a very straight line, with a specific purpose in mind, over hills, atop rises and down gulleys.  Watching these machines is a fascinating thing, and hopefully I can impart the beauty of this tremendous operation.
To coin a very famous phrase
....."Nothing Runs like a Deere!"
(or the farmer that operates one)

Some time this year I will assemble the photos into a book.  A book that shows the great time, effort and Money that goes into a large grain farm.
A book that shows a farmer that has no problem stopping his Combine and picking up Little Boys so they can go for a spin with him. 
A book that shows him saying hello to our dog that knows and watches every vehicle he uses and laughing when the Dog gets very upset with a strange truck that should not be there.
Hopefully, I will be able to show the sensitivity of this man and his operation.  I so enjoy it!
Later everyone .

Monday, May 14, 2012

When is art a deception?

For a long while I have admired a certain photographers work.
I marveled at her detail and clarity, her ability to see beyond everything she photographs and her ability to capture colours.
As an artist (of the painting type) I can, and often do wonder at the many forms of art presented in different venues and styles.
Today I was looking at her latest posted photograph and asked her how she was able to photograph a scene and have it "Look" like a painting.
Her answer was "I take pictures as I see them."
Not an answer, but the best I was about to get from her.  
I was then informed (by someone else) that her photography was retouched in a photo type program that "Puts" different slants on the original picture.
Now, to my mind, if you want a painting, you paint it! and if you want a photograph you take a picture....but No!
What you do is take a picture and then manipulate it into a painting.
You pass it off as your own creation with no reference to the computer program that really made the image as it appears. 
To my mind this is lying, cheating, pulling the wool over the viewers eyes.
Yes, I know that a lot of photographers retouch portraits, and I can agree with this.
I can even agree with some colour manipulation, but we are not talking retouching here.
We are talking about changing the integrity of a photograph, turning it into something else and then sitting back and reveling in the accolades because your work is so unique and original.

If you are a photographer so be it!
And if you are a Painter, again, so be it.
But for a photographer passing off a manipulated photo as a painting is just wrong.
Worse yet, passing of a manipulated photo as an original work by yourself is just wrong and deceitful.
Especially since you do not even acknowledge the use of a computer program that actually does your work for you.
Is it a form of plagiarism?
Maybe a form of deception?
To my mind it is wrong. But then again maybe I am out of the loop.  I must say I was very hurt when I
                                           finally realized what she had been passing off as her work for so long.