Added shadows and highlights. And polka dots!
“So, have you painted anything weird lately?” my Grandma asks during one of our recent phone conversations. It put a massive smile on my face that I’m sure she could hear and I told her that I haven’t painted anything weird, but I’ve certainly drawn some odd things. She laughed and carried on with the conversation.
My grandmother loves Norman Rockwell and, while I was growing up and my artistic sensibilities revealed themselves (much to everyone’s horror), she would often let me know how nice his work was and how I should be doing that instead of “that weird stuff”. I appreciated her enjoyment of his work and other people’s work that was similar, but I have to say I always felt a tinge of rejection when comparisons were made and what I “should” do wasn’t in line with what I felt.
Fast forward a couple decades and here we are, her asking me what weird things I’m up to. Progress.
Story time: Many, many years ago, my very talented Uncle Ray painted Norman Rockwell’s “Puppy Love” on the wall of a local diner. After his untimely death, the owners of the diner cut the painting out of the wall, framed it, and gave it to my Grandma. The painting sat at the very top of a hutch that held her bell collection, overlooking her living room. A couple years ago, Christmas Eve, her house caught fire. It was early morning, around 2 a.m., she lost nearly everything including that painting. Because she has a habit of being everyone’s favorite person (she’s quite lovely), the town and family pulled together, raised money for her, donated their time, skills, money, rebuilt the inside of her house, gave her furniture, and about a year later she was able to move back in. My Aunt has done an incredible job with the interior design, giving her a new look — still, there are things Grandma misses.
Since I found out the painting was destroyed, I’ve been thinking about trying to paint as closely as a I can another one for her, but put it off for well over a year because, frankly, I have zero confidence. I finally decided to just suck it up and at least try. It hasn’t been pretty. I won’t be able to make it as good as my Uncle’s was. Certainly won’t come close to Rockwell. But I’m trying and I’m not doing anything weird to it! That’s the most important thing, I suppose. And I’m perfectly fine with that.
So, wish me luck! I need it!
Happy New Year!
I’ve been active with social media, but have failed miserably with updating here! I post update photos on Instagram and connect that to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc…but not WordPress. My lack of updating is due to it being inconvenient. Another way to say it: I’m lazy, yo!
So, an update: I’ve been working on a 50 gallon rain barrel for a nonprofit called Wags4Tags here in Raleigh. They provide artists with rain barrels, the rain barrels are painted, then given back, and auctioned off at a fundraiser. Their mission is to rescue dogs from kill shelters (sadly North Carolina is chock full of them — we have the highest number in the States), train them to become service animals which are given to Veterans with emotional injuries, such as PTSD. For more info, go here: http://www.wags4tags.org/#!about-us/cjg9
For my barrel, I’m painting my typical landscape deal, nighttime on one side, daytime on the other. I’m hoping to make it fancy enough to be useful as inside decor, but I’m cool if it lives outside, too. As long as it raises the cash-money for charity!
Every year (or multiple times per year) I decide it’s a great idea to revamp my life. By that I mean my work and all that’s related. Perhaps it’s not the wisest decision, but refreshers are good, especially for a mind becoming stagnant.
Four pieces were completed at the beginning of January for a play. As soon as they were done and shipped out, I paused to look around my studio and realized that it had become horribly chaotic. Paint tubes scattered, tiny shreds of paper, dirty brushes, not one surface was bare, including the floor. I did what I could, which was to walk away from it for a bit over a week. It was not a relaxing time because all I could think about was getting that area in order so I could get back to work. I had been so focused on those four pieces that when they were done, I felt lost.
I finally forced myself to clean (pics to come). I’ve found that even with this clear space, my brain isn’t working the way it needs to. The empty space is in my head, not in my studio. I’m uninspired!
While I continue to draw and paint, I figured I would update this blog and post a pic of one of the paintings. If you have thoughts, inspiration, motivation, anything, tell me. Share your brains.
…but the year is almost over, so it’s okay. Maybe I’m getting a jump on 2015?!
For the past few months I’ve tied myself up with artwork (creating, not literally). I’m not at my computer (thus, this might be short and stuffed with typos) so I only have one photo to post that is semi-clear. I promise, I’ll show you more next year. I’ll also write more about what I’ve been doing. And will practice *technology* so I can write proper posts on my tablet or phone!
So, here is the clearest pic of any of the pieces I’ve worked on. It was done for a play called “Scenes from the Cliff” written by Nina Childs, first run will be in January 2015.
Thanks for reading!