Thursday, December 31, 2020

Good Bye 2020!


Optimisim is the faith that leads to achievement.

Nothing can be done without hope and confidence."
-Helen Keller

And I am optimistic about 2021.  It has to be better than 2020 right?  Well maybe not but I am hopeful so I am wishing a not so fond farewell to 2020 and looking forward to 2021.

Don't get me wrong -- there were some good things about 2020 and the lockdowns.  I got to spend more time in my studio and learned that there were some things I could say good bye to in there.   That left me more space to create new work and I did.

And this is one of the pieces I had time for --

I haven't done a drawing like this in a very long time.  It's something I did often when I was working in watercolor only.  Not quite this finished but close.  I was working out values so I could mask and pour paint, building up layers.  It was a long tedious process and by the time I was done I had no idea what was under all of the masking.  Sometimes it was good, sometimes not so much.  

Doing something like this to frame and show -- no, that required something a little more careful and more time consuming.  But I had that this year and the Gallery Uptown exhibit for January is New Year's Evolution V.  The challenge is to explore something new -- a new medium, a new technique, a new color palette -- whatever strikes our fancy. 

This is what struck my fancy -- new because it isn't something I don't do to exhibit, I do a lot of graphite in my grunge sketchbooks but that's only for me.  If you're in the Grand Haven area, stop in and see the exhibit.  You'll find details if you use the Gallery Uptown link above.

So this ends my posts for 2020.  I hope to be more faithful about posting in 2021.  I have learned that there are a lot of things in my life that I can do without permanently which will give me more time to focus on my own work and my faith as it relates to my work.  And Focus is my word for 2021.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Playing with Doodles and Scribbles


This is part of a Doodle and Scribble piece I worked on while watching a Hallmark Christmas Movie.  It is that time of year after all.  This practice started with a piece of Bristol paper that had accidently gotten a small slit in it.  It also had some scribbles on it so I decided to play a little and see if I could make something of parts of it.  This was the start.
Then I added some color.  Now you see the entire piece, including the slit.
That prompted me to try putting some ink down on a piece of 8x8" watercolor paper and, on another piece, try a color combination I don't normally use.  By movie time they were dry so with the papers, pens and pencils in hand I sat down to watch another Hallmark Christmas Movie. Here are the two 8x8" pieces that then got cut up into 4 4x4" squares.
You saw one of the smaller squares at the top of this page. Here's one from the black, grey & white piece. I see a little dog in the upper left corner of this one.  I may have to cut this even further and give it to my grandson.  He is a dog lover.

Since the original piece of Bristol paper was an odd size I haven't cut any of it up yet.  I think a piece of cut mat board will help me decide if there is anything worth saving on that piece.  


Thursday, December 10, 2020

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

My cards are almost done.  That is a record for me, I'm usually mailing just a few days before Christmas -- and sometimes way after the big day.  A plus from the pandemic -- more time.  Here's the card.  Well one of the cards.  Each one is an original... all similar but no two exactly alike.  

The Gingerbread House is done...

Some of the Santa's are in place.  One made from Dad's red sweater ....

Another made from one of Ed's worn out Pendleton...
Of course we had to have Sinterklass... 
My angel choir....
And finally, the tree is decorated....

There's still more to come up but for today, I'm done with decorating, back to wrapping. The only gifts under the tree now are from our grandson.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Clutter, I realized I need it

 My studio is off limits to visitors – usually.  Recently one of my very pushy artist friends came in and brought a few other artists with her.  I was horrified.  However after they left I had an aha moment.

I need that clutter and this woman may be the reason why ---

Grandma Foster, my mother’s mother, was a widow who lived in the back of her knit shop.  Well, it was more like a general store.  Needlework was her primary business but in addition she sold school supplies, Hallmark cards, gift wrap and Berkshire nylon stockings.  There was also a lending library in one corner of the shop.

There was a sign above the counter in the front of the store.  I remember two lines, the first -- “Maybe Helen has it.” And the last -- “you wonder how she found it.”  In the back of the shop there were three rooms and a bathroom.  One room was her living room, bedroom and office.  Her couch was her bed and when I visited I slept on a cot.  When my bed was set up there was just a path to get through to the kitchen. Off the kitchen was a small bathroom and a storage room.  Extra merchandise was stored there but the overflow was everywhere else in her living quarters.  Clutter – everywhere.

I stayed with her often.  Looking back on it now I realize why – I was comfortable there -- and loved.  She accepted that I was a tomboy, smarter than some thought and an artist. She encouraged my art while others tried to steer me away from it.

Guess I’ll stop trying for a neat as a pin in my studio – it’s just not going to happen and I probably wouldn’t be able to work in there anyway.  As long as the rest of the house is neat I can still shut the door. And maybe I should get a lock.   

I did that sketch of her several years ago.  Since I've recently been doing family drawings in my grunge sketchbooks I think it's time to do Grandma.