Monday, June 27, 2016

Fireworks at Dawn

 This morning I received a lovely message from a woman who had just finished reading my memoir.

"...I think it is important to write about life, the reality of a woman's life. I really had a hard time putting it down. The thread of progressing into a deeper and deeper sense of spirituality based on living a fully vibrant life was like the gold thread. I think you ought to have a copy reader fix those few words and phrases. I didn't mark them, but I noticed small errors, such as a word I could tell you meant but it wasn't spelled exactly that way. I think it would be a best seller, meaning it would reach more people. I am 72 now and am about to sell my house, not knowing where I'll live yet. I also have discovered encaustic painting. Anyway, your story is lingering in my mind as only a really good book or movie does for me. Thanks for writing your memoir and I thank Spirit for leading me to your art and to the book."

Unfortunately there are typos and breaks in the narrative. I  know that and I can't correct them. I do not have the manuscript on my computer anymore.  I spent years writing it and going to writing groups. It was edited MANY times by me and finally by a professional editor and there are still errors. I take responsibly for some of them, but manly the mix up in formatting happened when I put it into Kindle form. That took me 18 days to get it formatted, working everyday ; I got the "how do" book and followed it word for word. I least I thought I did.

One of the errors that still makes me shutter is that I wrote "it is never to late..." That is one of my pet peeves. I KNOW it is "TOO". SO,  if you can accept my apology and just read it for the story and see some pictures, it can be purchased on Amazon. See the link above.

Monday, June 20, 2016

What is the Title of This Painting?

I think this painting is finished. The brush strokes are free and I feel I captured a mood of stillness and introspection.

The working title is Contemplation. What do you think of that? Any suggestions?

first day


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Truth Hurts

My daughter, Cynthia, came back from San Francisco last night and today I took her into my studio. She took a long pause and said, "Mom, don't sign that one. It is too pretty." She had other comments that I took as "never let this painting out of your studio and paint over it" ; also adding "you make beautiful paintings, not pretty ones."

The sad thing was that after an hour of mentally making excuses, I knew she was right. There is no saving this painting. I am posting it before it is destroyed. I will ask my assistant to sand it smooth and  gesso over it.

 I trust Cynthia to be completely honest with me. She is an artist, the most creative person I have ever met, and has had the experience of being one of the top art dealers in San Francisco for 16 years. She given me the inspiration for some my best series over the last 20 years. And she doesn't try to flatter me.

If you remember, I have been having a struggle with this paintings. I knew I overworked it. I faced it everyday with a bit of a knot in my stomach. I was determined to make it work. Trust that gut feeling! Just because there is a lot of time and paint on the surface, does not make it a good painting.

Particularly since I am in the last chapter in my life, I do not want to make weak, poorly painted art with no reason for being.

I have more ideas for the next paintings and I am glad that Cynthia is home to keep me on track.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Boring! 2 Weeks of Work on the Same Painting

Two weeks of  work on the same painting gets boring, so I am going back and forth on 3 paintings.

In my yogic practice, we are taught not to be attached to the outcome of our efforts, just do he best that we can. I am finding that that is not easy while trying to push my painting boundaries and not being satisfied with the results. I look back on photos of my older work, and at times I realize that I destroyed a good painting. Too late to do anything about that now.

I stared the painting "Reaching" 2 weeks ago and there is still more work to do on the arm. Not today. I am taking a brake before I paint the whole thing out.
Here is a new one that I started.

second day

Add caption

third day

I like the contrast on this painting

Tired of looking at them today. I will watch a movie and go back to work tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Sometimes It Is Really Difficult

Yesterday I began to think, "You can't paint anymore" I know that is negative self talk and serves no purpose. I had been working on a painting for many days and it seemed to be getting worse and worse. I painted over the first face. A day later I sanded down the face, each attempt at improving it was more depressing. Instead of following my own advice; "Put it out of sight and check it in a couple of days." I turned it facing the wall for a couple of hours and then couldn't leave it alone.

Today, I am feeling more positive and I believe I can finish it tomorrow.

What do you think?
Here is where I stopped today. The arm and background needs refining, but I am finally happy with the face.

First day. I liked the freedom of the brush strokes

Day 2. I thought I was refining

Looking back at this, it really wasn't that bad, but it had to be destroyed. I started to sand the surface.

This one was quite nice, but I was driven to get rid of it also.

I painted over the existing image and it really was terrible

Tried to improve it, but still it wasn't right                                                                         

Monday, June 6, 2016

Progress of an Oil Painting

I have started and reworked 3 paintings. I want to keep the brush strokes loose and avoid blending and smoothing of the paint. None of them are close to finished.