Monday, May 23, 2011
A few months ago someone who had visited one of my exhibits emailed me to ask if I ever painted Hydrangeas Not usually, I replied, but it was a great suggestion so I thought I woud give it a try. The Hydrangeas in my garden are just beginning to show their leaves but it won't be long until they are in full bloom. I love Hydrangeas - they are stunning.
I chose to do this in a very monochromatic style to emphasize the Nico Blue of the flower. I liked the soft effect it gave. It is a little departure from my in-your-face- bold hues. Change is always fun.
I decided to name this 16x20 oil "Mother'sDay" because the pitcher that is in the painting is actually the present my children woke me up with on Mother's day. It came with a matching creamer and sugar bowl. The actual pitcher had painted leaves and flowers in a brilliant cobalt blue - which I love, but thought I should tone it down for this painting. All three items are delicate and feminine and just the perfect mom- gift.
I feel blessed, not just because of the lovely gift, but because of the lovely kids who gave them. The pitcher, creamer, and sugar bowl have sat on the buffet in my dining room for over a week now, reminding me what a privilege it is to be their mom. Reminding me that although at times, my parenting failures loom in my sight all too clearly, my kids are more than willing to overlook them. Every time I look at that little pitcher I am encouraged to strive to be more worthy of a whole day that would honor my position as a mother. I have found myself lately asking God to help me be a better mom - to express His love to my kids, to take the time to enjoy them and not take myself so seriously, and most of all to follow in Jesus' example "Whoever wants to be great among you let him (or her) be the servant...the Son of man came not to be served, but to be the servant of all." (Matthew 20:26-28)
Saturday, May 14, 2011
My free time has expanded a bit this last week or so as two out of three kids finished school for the year (we are a homeschool family, for those of you who don't know). I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I get when those school books start to close for good and months of summer are stretching out before me - I think I might be just as excited as the kids. With the extra time I thought it would be a good idea to finish up this commission piece that had extended long beyond what I intended because of a lot of starting and stopping.
It was really close to being done. I intensified the background with a a few more glazes (which unfortunately, just doesnt show up well in the photos. What I love about the glazing process is that it really gives a perception of depth to the picture. I also had to rework one of the birds beaks that just had never looked right to me. So glad I did, it made a huge difference. Finally, I got to do the fun stuff - all of the final highlights and delicate feathers that really make the painting zing.
I have never been a bird painter per say, but after doing this one, I think I may revisit the subject again - all though maybe not on this large of scale. Hoping to deliver the painting to it's owner after a month or so of drying and then in January it will be going down to Florida to hang in their vacation home. I have to admit, it will certainly feel empty on my living room wall when it is gone.....guess I had better start making plans for another large one to take it's place.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
A few months ago I came across a site that had all kinds of graffiti art on it. I mean true art - it was some amazing stuff. Among the photos was one of the side of a building with a young girl's face spray painted on it. She was looking down and was surrounded with the mass of wind blown hair spray painted on with every imaginable color. I know it was graffiti, but it was simply beautiful. I tucked that vision away in my mind and thought later on that it would be fun to do a similar pose with of my oldest daughter, Shelby. I really liked the idea of lots of unexpected colors, especially with Shelby as the subject: one, because it lent itself to the Fauvist style that I dabbled with last fall in an online art challenge, which was really a blast to do. Secondly, color just fits Shelby's personality - she is fun to be around, has a great sense of humor. She is the kind of girl that you want to have around if you need some cheering up.
One day I asked her if I could shoot a few photos of her for a painting. I sat her next to the window with a fan sitting behind her to blow her hair every which way and shot quite a few photos. I decided to use a pose where her eyes were very downcast - she has very hooded eyes, so they almost appeared closed. It was something unexpected for a portrait. But I felt like it gave it a really intimate feel - like we came upon her while she was really in a reflective, quiet moment, and she hadn't noticed us yet.
I titled it "Sunshine" because I have always told her since she was a little girl that she is like sunshine coming into a room.