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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What Was, What is, What Now?

Honey and Me, Charcoal on Strathmore stock, 14" x 16"


A Tree Fell, Acrylic on Gallery stretched canvas, 20" x 20"


With only 33.2 GB of memory left on my laptop after downloading holiday photos,  I decided to transfer 2013 photos to my external drive, a tedious chore, but necessary when photography is a main concern in my life. In the process of going through files, I was totally surprised. I' had made more art than I thought I did.

 I thought my artistic productivity had been low this last year. Instead I saw that I had done what I resolved to do  last New Years. I did concentrate on capturing good likenesses in portraiture.  I did  so by minimizing brushstrokes, going after the larger shapes and by changing to a smaller format.  I didn't "finish" a lot of the paintings, but the subjects were recognizable and I realized my style was loosening up and I was growing more comfortable with small size supports. It was particularly noticeable in Mexico with the watercolor sketches. I also noticed, while going through those photo files, I had neglected finishing any of the larger paintings I said I would...

Pleased I hadn't been a total slacker, but irritated I hadn't seen some things through, (maybe for good reason, maybe not), I put four unfinished paintings on the top of my 2014 New Year's Resolutions. Look for these works to be completed in the next weeks/months.

Summer Rain, Acrylic, 36" x 60"x 1 1/2", on Stretched canvas

 This painting doesn't need much, but a lot more summer via riveted sectioning with more color smear, the effect I can best get with oils AND perhaps Julie Ford Oliver's special tool?  I have mixed feelings about rain. It's enriches our good  earth, yet makes us sad. One line of poetry always comes to mind when it rains: "and the heavens wept upon our heads."

Wildfire, Acrylic on Gallery stretched canvas, 36" x 36" x 1/1/2"

This wildfire needs taming. At an earlier stage, it was tame enough to be considered finished, BUT:  I decided more light had to be added to the background. So I took a few steps backward. Now it's time to move forward. I do love these kinds of paintings that grow  with each layer added.  I can do nothing wrong. The canvas just keeps getting richer as the layers are added on and play peek-a-boo with each other. 

My Three Guys, Oils on gallery stretched canvas, 42"x 20" x 1/12"

An overly ambitious portrait I attempted way too soon in my study of portraiture, but it has potential--and a lot of sentimentality attached to it being they are my three guys.  The head on the right is too small and must be enlarged. The  correction will be difficult  given  I've only been working with oils this last year and have no experience in making corrections.  I'll do it though. The procedure is something to know.  All shadows on the faces need to be darkened.....highlights added. The middle portrait needs to be thinned down.........or I could let it go with a minimal amount of adjustment and let it stand as the beginner's portrait that it is?

I Gotta Crow, Oil on Gallery Stretched canvas

Also an ambitious portrait attempted too soon, but better than My Guys.  I was loosening up.  I am thinking of getting this painting to an acceptable degree of finish and calling it quits. The background needs roughing up, lightened up ....fogging out....the subject was back lighted.

EVALUATIONS AND MISSION STATEMENTS keep us going strongly focused.  The advent of a new year is a great time to take stock, look at where you've been, where you are and plot where you'd like to be tomorrow, next week, next month, next year this same time. So paintings to finish, paintings to paint, and areas of study to pursue--three--drawing with pencil, American history and ten more pages of Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata to learn if not conquer. The years do mesh together, a mix of old and new.

I haven't picked up a pencil in the few years I've been concentrating on painting alla prima. I miss the precision. My curiosity in video photography has been aroused the last few days when I discovered an iPad app called  Capture and learned to edit clips precisely and combine them.  --Then, I left Tom Jefferson riding off to Philadelphia to participate in the first Continental Congress while my new knee healed and I dallied the time drawing on the iPad. I also decided I'd like to add swimming to my fitness program. 

Balance is me. Diversity is me. Curiosity is me. And there is time in the day for all of it when you get off your bum and follow your intuitions. 



  1. Ik wens je een mooi ontwikkelingsjaar toe blijf maar groeien ik geniet ervan hugs Danielle

    1. Bedankt Danielle. Het gaat om een zeer welvarend Nieuwjaar voor ons allemaal. Ik kan het voelen. Hugs terug, Linda

  2. Dear Linda as is often(maybe?) different than the way a person sees herself as compared to how this person is seen by others!
    Volcanic and overactive even when you're in a bed of a clinic ....
    you never stop making music, study, think, draw, paint ... get back on your thoughts to change your mind ... and then go back to change viewing angle ... So I know you and appreciate you, dear friend so far away!

    I love your work and the way you get your results by your heart, your mind and your hands!
    I wish you and Ellis wonderful times in this new year, a life lived with a young heart where changes are always welcome and the things that have been done, however, are a source of right  pride!

    1. You are so sweet Rita. Thank you for your kind words. I sense the same characteristics in you. It is a pity we live so far a part. I'd love our friendship to grow beyond the confines of blogging our art. We have a lot in common. --and you could teach me a few things I definitely don't know about watercolor. :-)) My best to you and yours.