This summer the weather has been either beautiful. To find inspiration in a beautiful day you have to expect the unexpected. You have to be willing to take whatever comes and to be spontaneous. Most times you don’t even have to look for it.
And so it started
I’d like to tell you about a beautiful day that had endless solid blue skies and big clouds with definitions. That day was filled with activities I enjoy most. It started with early morning coffee on the deck. I’m not talking 7 a.m. but 5:00 a.m., a half an hour after the morning sky starts to turn from black to tired gray. A bird was calling in the wood that I’d never heard before. The call was so clear the cliche “cut through the air” came to mind. I sat there for a long time before going inside.
The garden is looking great this summer. We have had a fair amount of rain in the evenings. My Lenten roses have had two blooming cycles! The variety of lilies are extra tall and the hydrangea is loaded with blooms. Whilst finding the hidden weeds to pull I was delighted to see my first blue dasher dragonfly of the season. He was beautiful and enjoying a sit down in the early morning sun on a phlox stalk.
Sitting in the Adirondack chair with my big floppy hat reading a great book. I try to read once a day when events will let me. Reading, like gardening feeds my soul. Up until that time the sun was relentlessly beaming down making the woods smell heavenly. A shadow cast down and for a moment my eyes on the page sighed a sigh of relief. Looking up I saw clouds, big burly clouds of white with gradients of gray. They were handsome so I decided to try and take a picture. Below is the result.
Dinner table conversations with my family sometimes gives me inspiration for my work. I have two nearly adult children home for the summer. Though I see how much they have matured, I realized my job as a parent is to keep encouraging them to follow their passions. Reaching goals or having dreams doesn’t stop at a certain age. In fact, if you think about it, aspirations and goals never stops in a human life.
We all need a little reaffirming of our dreams so I decided to do something with the picture of clouds I had taken earlier. The results are the canvas print and tote bag shown below.
You know I am not happy unless I am learning something new. I wish I could be one of those creative people who sticks to one kind of art medium. However, my brain is wired to try everything like a greedy child.
My interest in digital art using a software program came from enjoying those wonderfully unique digital artworks found online. So once again I took a community college course and am learning how Adobe Photoshop works. The ingenious software program has tools that creates real time magic. There are many fun tools (I fear I’ll never learn them all) that makes playing an endless amusement.
I had no idea how much fun this new adventure would be. Now that the course is wrapping up, I am sure I’ll continue to learn using the gazillion tutorials found online. For now, here is my first attempt at creating a digitally surreal picture entitled Orange Kiwi.
I am sure most people would say Orange Kiwi is pretty basic. Though this girl is a beginner at this medium, I hope to become better at it as I take on more projects. I love to watch Jason Kim’s speed paints on YouTube. Very inspirational and quite a high bar to meet for sure. In the meantime keep creating and working your right side of your brain my friends.
A big splash of color today with the introduction of Tribal Snake Dreaming. I’ve always been intrigued by the artwork of dreamtime from the Australian aboriginal community. Their use of nature as storytellers really fits in my own beliefs. My Tribal Snake Dreaming is inspired by those sacred aboriginal mosaic like paintings. Using bold colored magic markers I wanted to eye to follow the snake downward into the bright surroundings. This is why the background is created with yellow and orange and the snake is blue and green. The optical illusion is only created by using the darker colors which trick the eye receding the subject away from you.
I had fun though the fumes from the markers nearly knocked me out. Perhaps the next one will be digital.
I can’t believe summer has come and gone. Because of our lack of rain September slipped by masking itself in the unusual warm weather. As I sit and look out the window I see a few maple trees already have put on their red leaves. Some trees have lost many leaves while others are still a summer green.
Last weekend I started to clean the garden. Collecting seeds for spring, trimming dead branches and even planting a few new plants. I started by digging a hole for my newly purchased Japanese Anemone. This variety of Anemone caught my eye not only because of the delicate pink flowers but that this plant also blooms in September. With our recent warm weather this Autumn the flowers are still blooming.
Creating holes and moving dirt give me a sense of accomplishment. I believe it is the same feeling when painting or any other creative process. The work is more physical than what I do in the art room but has that same lasting vibe of a job well done.
Digging on this property sometimes yields treasure. I’ve dug up colored bottles, kids toys and less exciting objects too. Occasionally I find bits of clam shells or beads. This day I found a rare treat. Three preserved seashells fully intact filled with dirt and buried almost 12 inches deep. Upon washing them I found their brittle shells had worn quite thin. I tried to clean their insides but found the dirt is keeping their shape together.
These three seashells stayed on this deck post for several days. One morning I found a squirrel was investigating them. He picked up the two on each end and threw them on the ground. The shell in the middle he took, with difficulty, and hopped away into the woods. I guess he had found his treasure from the sea.
Today’s painting is a tribute entitled A Life Remembered. This past weekend our family lost our longest living member. At this point I am at a loss for words. A blog post is not what I want to be doing at the moment. However, this painting is directly related to that loss. A Life Remembered is an abstract cross section of a white calla lily. The lush green and blue background is a color I felt safe inside. The bright white petal of the flower is the brilliance of the family members spirit and soft glowing pale yellow is his soul. The flame, or stamen, found inside is the spire of fire, the life shown from inside out. Thin orange, red and blue shows the intensity of his life form.
His was not a fleeting life but one of lengthy service to others. He will be missed dearly.
The painting 7 Poppy Seed Pods was first inspired by color choice. While visiting a friends garden I found she had a mass of spent poppies. I’ve always been intrigued with poppy pods shape and color. Their color is a silky blueish green and they wear little crowns of brown tipped with yellow giving the illusion of little heads. Cut those poppy seed pods in half horizontally and you have a wonderfully symmetrical flower shape inside. Call me a nerd but I find it facinating how mathematics shapes our world in this way.
The background choice is terracotta. This brownish red works so well with the beauty of the 7 poppy seed pods I’ve painted in this piece. Like my Vinca Vine painting natural colors just pop when paired a terracotta brown.
I had another art dream and this time it brought me to the latest blue and white dots project. As regular readers who will know, I receive many art projects via dreams. These art dreams chase me down nightly until I actually put them in action.
The original dream was quite psychedelic. It was like being in and Austin Powers movie party scene. The blue and white concentrical rings sunk into the middle of a circle over and over till I became dizzy. By the third night I said, “Enough!”. Thus the blue and white dots project was born.
I have plans for this blue and white dots project. I think I’ll drive myself further crazy by making a pattern of them.
I remember when I didn’t sit in the house on the 4th of July and listen to the explosions in near by towns. Packing the car with children, bug spray, blankets and chairs to navigate through towns for the best views of the fireworks. I watched others, faces turned upwards with light from the pyrotechnics display lighting their faces making them look like human fireflies. The symphony of collective “ohhhs” and “ahhhs” as the sky would pop and sizzle with light would end with wild applause after the night’s canvas was filled with smoke and burning retina sparks of color. I think tonight I will venture out to see what magic the night holds.