Sunday, October 30, 2011

Photo: Dia de los Muertos

This is the first time I have posted something to do with traditions in Mexico. This is my favorite holiday. We celebrate the lives of those who have died by inviting them back for one night. Altars are made using objects like the ones you see in the picture. It is a happy celebration....Mexican people make fun of death, they go to the cemetery and play beloved music, eat the favorite foods of those they are visiting  and clean and decorate the graves passing the entire night with those they LOVE. What a wonderful way to celebrate life!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Part III Orchid Triptych: Oncidium

This one is moving along without many problems.  I think because I work on it when I am at my best, freshest, just waking up with my cup of coffee.  My mind at this stage is still calm and at peace.  It is dark outside, the roosters are crowing, little geckos (lizards) are still making their loud smacking sounds and life hasn't quite begun.  I tend to be very patient, my strokes even and unhurried.  I don't have to remind myself to slow down and concentrate more, like I do when I am tired.  There is definitely something to be said for working when you are the freshest.  Keeping this freshness all day would be lovely.  An elixir?  A daily trip to the Fountain of Youth?   Magic?   NO, I had better stick to working the hour or two after I awake.  To much of a good thing may not be a good thing!

Sunday, October 23, 2011


                                                                 15 x 20 cm Acrylic
This was a done for a drawing event.  Time is limited to two hours.  I went over by 45 minutes.  Exercises like this make you think about getting the image down as quickly as possible. There really isn't much time to dawdle over details and over work the painting.  I never tire of these exercises.  Yes, I could always do more.  But, would that really make a better painting?  Maybe yes....Maybe no.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Part II Orchid Triptych: Cymbidium Finished

This is a tentative finish as the central picture is not done.  Once it is done, I can readjust all three paintings to work together.  The cymbidium has petals that are thick and waxy, with a light edge.  The light edge made it more difficult to integrate the flower into it's blue, green background.  The idea is to work the background colors into the flower.  I used sky blue light and a touch of indigo to do this, blurring the edge in places between flower and background. This of course helps to decrease the pasted on look. persist in a task despite obstacles.  This was a lesson in perseverance.  I really didn't like the initial drawing and that feeling persisted throughout the painting.  Do I like It ?   I think that question will be answered in a year or two when I can separate myself from the work.  Was I glad I completed it?  Definitely YES.  If I hadn't finished... it would have been an empty experience, but it was instead filled with challenges, risen to and solved. This speaks of the journey, not always easy, but always interesting.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

About Balance Freedom and Control: The Rooster

Painting time:  two hours and ten minutes    15 X 20 cm Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

I have not painted with my acrylic since the heat began.  I have missed it.  Colored pencil is a medium that gives you complete control of the details.  I love this. What happens though, is that after a time I long to feel the brush stroke, to put down large areas of color rapidly and to get back to the spontaneity that is innate to the brush.  This process is freeing.  I love it...I loose myself in it.  But, I know that soon I will be called back to the magic of the pencil.  Ah the control!  Two extremes....both amazing.  I find that I need them both to keep my  balance.  One helps me with the other.  Just like in life, it would be easy to loose your balance.