the new girl . . .

the new girl

Yesterday I had a very productively creative day. In the morning I had my Monotype class at the Art League of Houston where I made three new prints & started working on another.

Then I drove home went straight to my studio & started painting. I haven’t done that in a while & before I knew it I was lost in the creativity & the love of my new palette of three colors (thanks Misty Mawn & mary beth). Quinacridone gold is currently the most magical color in the entire world – YES in the entire world, possibly the universe.

When I was all painted & done I realized I was sitting with a new girl. Where did she come from? It was a few serendipitous glances, connections with other’s art, stories of a monkey named cookie, softening, becoming less precious with my strokes, allowing, opening a little & there she was, “the new girl.” I’m not sure what her name is just yet. She looks a bit surprised to be here possibly just as much as I am surprised she showed up. I’m thinking she needs a crow or a fish or at least a few flowers to keep her company or perhaps another friend to sit next to her.

I also added some cool embellishments to my photo of three stuck leaves in Nosara, Costa Rica at the Nosara Retreat Center (that’s a nod to the fabulous Abbie who owns the property).

don't rescue the beautifully stuck

monoprint - waterfall

new monotypes

All in all, I would say it was a lusciously, creatively, productive day. But what is really cool is that I know I’m doing what I’m meant to do for now at least because I can so easily lose time when I’m painting or creating. It’s either that I lose time or I step into an alternative time sequence that measures time in a totally new way either way I love it.

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Sunday Creating . . .

The beginning

Today, finally, after weeks of not painting I finally went up to my studio & worked on a this painting that had been sitting on my easel forever. It felt so good to be painting & creating again, without any expectation of what I would end up with. I just flowed in & out of colors, designs, scribbles & so on! I am not done with it just yet, but the most of it is done.

The words say, “Girl you’re amazing, just the way you are!”

The first step is to cover a your canvas (in this case it is a piece of cut up tempered hard board from Home Depot) with paper & paint in any pattern really, just to create some dimension to the piece. This was done weeks ago so the glue was dry.

Next is to wash over the papers on the canvas to create a backdrop for the image that will be painted. This can be so hard for me to do, but I’m learning that it is important.

wash it all away

Next I pick out the main image I want to focus on & either transfer, paint or collage it on. For this painting, I had planned to transfer this image on but I used too heavy of paper & then it didn’t work properly (these sort of flubs happen frequently) so I rolled with the punches & collaged the failed transfer image onto the canvas & then painted over it. Then I just added embellishments, a bird, some words, & other designs as they flowed out. I wish I had a better plan, but I usually don’t plan much, so the color & layout just evolve as I progress with the painting.

Anyways, it’s fun & highly therapeutic. The teacher from last week’s workshop saw some of my photographs & was so impressed by them that she asked me why I bothered with painting. It sort of hurt or rather cut at me because here I was working on improving my painting skills but it was a compliment as well. It just felt like an insult to my desire to paint better – or more betterererer.  But I thought about it & realized that I paint because it’s therapeutic. It just feels good to be in a creative flow with paint splashing everywhere & layering & layering. I love the process, it really doesn’t matter to me if I ever go anywhere with it. I’m enjoying creating now & watching my deeper creative emerge ever so slowly the more I am able to quiet the outside voices. I think if you have the inner urge to create, then we are obligated to create, even if it just to find some inner peace.

almost finished

who does she think she is?

Caroline Graham teaching

This past weekend I took a workshop at Houston Art League with 11 other women. The workshop was called, “Painting People from Photographs.” As with all workshops I learned a lot from Caroline Graham, our instructor, but what was most profound was being in the presence of these women who were at all different stages of their painting skills but yet they chose to come & spend their weekend working on their craft, in the presence of other women. They left their families, children, husbands, chores, & homes to paint on canvases. Who do they think they are?  – following their passion.

etherial & Klimt like

Then this week I found the Netflix DVD, Who Does She Think She Is? in my mailbox & just loved it. I highly recommend it, it’s not only interesting but eye-candy for the artists soul.

The movie is a documentary filled with interviews of women artists & what it is like juggling family, home, & studio time. It shows how spouses often get jealous & feel as if they are less important than the art. I loved how Maye Torres from Taos said, that her ex-husband didn’t come second to her art, but that her art was who she is, without her expressing herself on paper & in sculpture she wouldn’t be fully herself. It’s not that her art was separate from her or just something she did. It is who she is. I really resonated with that idea.

Click here for a great video trailer of the movie & the website. http://www.whodoesshethinksheis.net/