Friday, June 23, 2017

Keeping A Steady Beat


My ladies Waiting At The Gate are taking shape--rounding out and putting on weight.  It's slow going, but delightful to be painting regularly.  I'm sketching daily too--and putting together a book of my sketches.  I firmly believe that drawing daily is essential for achieving excellence at our craft  and want to pass that on to other artists painting late in life.  

Sudoku Morning, graphite pencils 6" x 8"

Kelly, graphite pencils, 6" x 8"

Hillpoint Wood, oil pastels,  9" x 11", Plein Air 

Hand study for next project.

Eli,  charcoal, pastels, 9" x 11"

Another look at Eli,  graphite pencils, 6" x 8"

Jon, graphite pencils, 6" x 8"

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Vitality is Vital

"This is my year for getting back my vitality; it was damaged severely over the last four years of two knee reconstructions, a lobectomy and my husband's copy-cat lung surgery.  If I never sit in that lounge chair another minute it will be okay with me.  If I never watch another Monk, Diagnosis Murder or Ellen, it'll be alright with me.  This is my year to get moving!  Unfortunately, with all that time off moping , moving requires rebuilding strength and endurance.  Light weights, biking, elliptical trainer, core, taking over the gardening, walking are all helping. Painting is included too in my workouts, for I do not sit at an easel, I dance at it, as I back up and move side to side before laying down a brushstroke.
The driving force behind my regime is a five week old little girl named Merida Gwyneth Levitt-Roth, my fifth blood grandchild, (I have four bonus loves too).  I want to be around when she can tie her own shoes, wipe her own tush and sound out sentences in Goodnight Moon.  While babies are adorable, preschoolers and up are my cup of delight.
With my foot in Ellis' back, he's getting active too. His drop foot, a permanent affliction, slows him down, but doesn't hold him back.  All in all, we came through this rough patch pretty good.  Hope you  all are fine too?  Plenty of action, social and special interest involvement, curiosity, sense of humor, drive, determination are the essence of the fountain of youth--plus a trip to Florida when the snows pile up ".

Twice a year, my high school publishes a magazine filled with what went on at the school and what's going on with all its graduates;  this is my contribution, for the next publication. It says painting is an activity that's part of another passion: staying vital. 

At 76, I'm very interested in longevity.  I need the time  to improve my painting techniques.  Painting is one  of the activities that extends life and keeps you feeling vital--particularly if you're passionate about it and know that your very best painting will be the next one you do.  We all know it raises you to a level above  all that's going on around you. It lifts your spirits as well as whets your appetite for doing more.That's its gift.  If you happen to sell any, well, that's a bonus, but your spirit is rewarded every time you lift a brush. 

With all my brushes shampooed and reshaped I am back in the studio  where I left off:  Waiting At The Gate.  I'm a bit timid, but I blame that on the Venetian method; It's really up tight and not me, but I have something going that's okay, so I'll follow through.  The nice part, of the first full session was I corrected one gal's expression, got a good idea of what flesh tones and values I'll use and which edges would have to fade. This gal's head will change as I loosen up--but I still want to maintain a flat, traditional paint surface. Glazes are in my future.

Poking at possible flesh tones looking for that palette.  In the process, I corrected her eyes
and found one more correction that has to be done to get the complaining look just right.

Back to my 314 General pencil for another study. 


The possibility of a portrait here.

First flower on the deck: dahlias.  Gorgeous, but may be finicky when it comes to water? 

Merida Gwyneth Levitt-Roth, my third granddaughter. A long name for a very tiny tot.

Hauling Ice,  less than thirty minute sketch from a video reference.

Eva wanted the stuffed pig I brought Merida. I wish I had brought her one too.

Study of James Comey as he testified at the Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing. What
else would you sketch that Thursday morning?

If a member in good standing or not so good standing in the Golden Years, I highly recommend watching If Your Not In The Orbit, Eat Breakfast with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Dick Vandyke and Norman Lear on HBO to get you up on your feet.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

A New Friend

A New Friend, Portrait Study, Graphite Pencil

First get acquainted, free hand sketch of what could be a very lovely portrait.  There will be others, but before moving her to canvas: Telatively free hand warm ups with paint to getting back to serious painting,

 Wildfire is back on the easel being reconstructed-- and I'm about to attemp the 40 stroke alla prima challenge suggested by Anne Blair Brown, My format will be 9" x 12" canvas panels.  After all the pencil sketches, sketching in paint will be lovely.  

Vianna Szabo also suggests an interesting challenge worthy of a try:  Learn to Paint Color By Painting White on White.  
Vianna Szabo's Blog

Painting freely on a large surface is such a plasure after months of 6" x 8". Large surfaces allow the freedom to go full body wild.  

Wildfire is in the process of being reconstructed more tame. 

Detail of the  reconstruction of Wildfire upper left-hand corner of the 36" x 36" stretched canvas.
 Brushes and knives and fingers and palms celebrate color.

Returning to art in one's seventies is both wonderful and depressing.  Drawing, painting working in the studio is an uplifting joy.  Over the hill with regards to reaching others via marketing and/or teaching is inhibiting and depressing.  After coming down from the high that making art yields, I've thought what for? Why am I doing this?
The answer is longevity. At 103, this late life artist is still painting strong.