When life gives you lemons, draw them, 11 x 14 inches dry pastels, graphite on paper

"When life gives you lemons, draw them". (Nikki)

"...the painting has a life of its own. My mission is to bring forth this life". (Jackson Pollock)

"Trust your intuition, it's just like goin' fishin'; you cast your line 'til you get a bite." (Paul Simon)

Texas

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At the Alamo 02

Monday, November 5th, 2012

At the Alamo, San Antonio, TX

Stone walkway on the grounds of the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas

15 x 22 inches watercolors on 80 lb premium acid free paper

Five seconds of beauty

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Dallas, TX early Feb., ice dripping on Dogwood branches forms alien-like figures

There are days when a falling leaf is just a falling leaf, but today one caught my eye as it floated down then caught an updraft, then flipping sideways and rolling over a few times, it seemed to be avoiding its final destination as long as it could. It was five seconds of beauty I will never forget!

I’m sure my friend and mentor, Jo Williams will not mind me passing along her note of a quote by Judith Hanson Lasater: “As many times a day as you can, find something to be grateful for because that will connect you with yourself, with others, and with the wider world. And we need to do this MOST when things are their most difficult in our lives. ”

Dogwood buds and branches - ice formed by melting roof snowMaybe the leaves have fallen like that all season, but I was too busy grumbling about raking half of them from our neighbour’s yard. I’ve been too busy detailing the house inside and out, trying to get it listed as soon as possible. There have been issues this winter of solid ice in the evestroughing, and having to chip away and melt trails with boiling water so the roof run-off would flow properly. I was too annoyed to notice the incredible phenomena on the other side of the house that were created by the very same problem. Left and above: alien-like forms were created when slow-melting ice dripped from the eavestroughs onto shaded Dogwood branches.

Icy PansyBefore the snow and frigid temperatures last week, the pansies were finally filling in and gorgeous alongside the back yard fence. When winter came with a vengeance and would not let go, so did my view that, “Aww! The pansies are frozen!”, but yesterday,it changed to: ”Awe! The pansies are frozen!”

Thanks for sharing, Jo!

Translation

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

 Translation: It's snowing in Dallas today!

Translation: It’s snowing in Dallas today!

It snowed all day, huge Texas-sized flakes. Here, the snow melts on the warmth of the brick-work in the garden.

Good things come in threes

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

 Cycad Fossil refurbished vintage chair, 29 x 29 x 29 inches mixed mediaSalish NW Pacific culture wooden Whorl replica refurbished vintage chair, 29 x 29 x 29 inches mixed mediaMayan bowl replica refurbished vintage chair, 29 x 29 x 29 inches mixed media

Cycad Fossil Chair, Salish NW Pacific culture wooden whorl replica Chair, and Ancient Mayan bowl replica refurbished vintage chair, 29 x 29 x 29 inches mixed media. Read the feature article.

On exhibit and available for purchase February 11th – 27th at Visual Image Fine Art Puiblishing and Gallery Juried Show, 14320 Midway Road, Suite 300, Dallas, Texas.  Come and meet all the Artists at the Opening Reception this coming Saturday, Feb. 13th, 3 – 9 p.m.

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Good Artist Pals also come in threes

Some friendships will last forever, and how fortunate that three of mine also happen to be artists! Listed in no particular order of favoritism, each are miles apart geographically speaking and personality-wise, but they all have one thing in common: they’ll tell it like it is if you ever need a good critique, and on the flip side of the coin: a smile, a boost of energy; encouragement. I’ve posted my favorite works created by each, and highly recommend browsing each of their websites..

 Chris Bolmeier: Happy Pigs, oil on canvas Karen Xarchos: restaurant mural, Ottawa, ON Canada Virginia Wieringa: Prayer, mixed media collage

a) Chris Bolmeier: Happy Pigs, Oil on canvas  I met Chris on the internet three years ago through Robert Genn’s Painter’s Keys newsletters. Formerly an actress and professional singer, she’s not through yet with entertaining you through humour, song and paint. She often posts mini-videos of herself singing, and her artwork is pure, straight from the gut, and some of the funniest, most original material ever. I chose this piece to share as an absolute favorite, portraying fanatically goofy pigs because it makes me laugh…not just smile, but laugh Christerically every time I look at it. In my opinion her best work is of childhood memories, and some of the baffling stuff that originates from who knows where in the infinite canvas of her mind!

b) Karen Xarchos: Restaurant mural in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada  Karen and I were neighbors many years ago. We designed and painted murals together in the Ottawa area for a couple of years. Thank goodness for the internet, we’re able to keep in touch when either of us needs a good eye and some honest advice. Karen’s style and mine are vastly different; our pace, the style, the manner and we continue to learn so much from each other. She reminds me to slow down and smell the paint; her blending techniques are amazing.

Karen accepts commissions for canvas pieces like wall borders painted at home, then cleverly installs them with wallpaper paste so home owners can remove the work and take it with them when they relocate. My favorite work of Karen’s are the murals depicting work of the Masters, which are enjoyed by customers dining in many of the Greek and Italian restaurants in the Ottawa area.

c) Virginia Wieringa: Prayer, mixed media collage  Virginia and I met about four years ago on an Artists’ interactive website, wetcanvas.com, and I think she still participates there under the avatar name ”Veedubya”. I’m positive she’d love to meet you there too. Virginia has well-developed drawing and painting abilities and currently experiments intuitively with mixed media collage. Her work, no matter what the media, reflects her open-mindedness and strong sense of spirituality. Formerly an Art teacher, she’s fun to write to because she puts up with my inner-most silly self and doesn’t hold back her own. My favorite work of Virginia’s are the subtly symbolic collages, and some of the more vivid, energetic paintings that are about two phases pre-Realism.

Bird Party

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Bird Party, sculpted 140 lb watercolor paper, watercolors -  in progress 

Bird Party, preliminary sketchBird Party, watercolor in progressBird Party, sculpted 140 lb watercolor paper, watercolors -  in progress

Bird Party, Watercolors on molded 140 lb watercolor paper – in progress.

I’m not exactly sure where this is headed, but shapes were cut out of the painting, the paper drenched , folded , stretched and sculpted. Every evening just before sunset in the Dallas-Fort Worth area Grackles, blackbirds, Starlings and pigeons gather on lawns, parking lots, overhead wires and cables, rooves and trees. The event is unique to this area as far as I know, and exciting beyond words to be amongst the thousands and thousands of birds. Here is a previous piece on the subject.  

 Grackles, WalMart parking lot, Main Street, Lewisville, TexasGrackles, Round Grove Road, Lewisville, TexasGrackles, Race Track gas station, Round Grove Road, Lewisville, Texas

 Grackles, Rockbrook Drive, Christina's restaurant parking lot, Lewisville, TexasGrackles, Rockbrook Drive, one female and seven males, Lewisville, TexasGrackles, October full moon, Main Street, Lewisville, Texas

Color Study

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

 Trumpet Flowers, San Antonio, TX - Upper left detail of 14 x 22" Watercolors in progressUpper right detail of Trumpet Flowers, 14 x 22" Watercolors in progressLower right detail of Trumpet Flowers, 14 x 22" Watercolors in progress

Angels Trumpet (Brugmansias) San Antonio Riverwalk, Texas - 14 x 22 inches Watercolors in progress Nov.7, 8, 9th: 1) Upper left detail  2) Upper right detail  3) Lower right detail 4) below, today’s work

I definitely pushed the work too far and am not pleased with today’s results, but on this blog I think it’s really important to show that failures are part of the learning process.  Sometimes things turn out to be purely study. I didn’t trust my intuition this time and leave the painting when it was bright and fresh with lots of white paper showing through. While attempting to be bolder than usual with color – recognizing that as a positive step forward here - reworking the surface just made it muddier. I’m more familiar with acrylics properties and having a longer window of time to fix things. Now onto another version of this painting, or another subject, but still in watercolors because it’s time for a success after learning so much with this one. 

Angel's Trumpet, San Antonio, TX - color study finished

Preliminary value study

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

 Trumpet Flowers, San Antonio Riverwalk, TX - value study

Trumpet Flowers, San Antonio Riverwalk, Texas -12 x 16 inches value study in progress, Tombo pen wash on 140 lb. WC paper.

The Tombo pen is a two-in-one water-soluble marker available in colors as well as black. One tip is medium-fine and the other looks and behaves like a Chinese paintbrush, where thickness of lines can be controlled. What’s more difficult to control is that black once it’s on the page! The edge of the ledges on the bridge here were much brighter, but I couldn’t lighten them without making a mess of the surrounding areas, so they are OK. It’s something to pay attention to when painting the colored version.

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San Antonio, Texas

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

 Buildings, San Antonio, Texas 22 x 15 inches watercolors

Buildings, San Antonio, Texas – 22H x 15W inches Watercolors on 140 lb. acid free, cold pressed premium paper

Simple Beauty

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

Stem on the sidewalk, uptown Dallas

Simple beauty, McKinney Ave. sidewalk, Uptown Dallas, Texas

Grackles

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

 Grackles, 11 x 10 inches dry pastel and graphite on paper

Grackles 11 x 10 inches dry pastel and graphite on paper, tidied up with some digital work

The Dallas area is notorious for its Grackles. In some areas they gather in flocks by the thousands – I’m not exaggerating – especially notable during evening just before sunset; bird parties I call them, lined along telephone poles and wires, sitting perfect wingspans apart from each other, and packed full in the trees. Photos can’t capture it all, because the experience also includes their loud calls. They are fantastic to see and hear.. I love it, but they’re a nusance in public places like near restaurants and malls. Park your black car under a tree if you don’t mind driving away with a fairly white one when you leave.

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