"God's art [Creation] speaks of Himself, reflecting who He is and what He is like."
Francis Chan

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Summer's End

"Nothing Gold Can Stay"
24x36 oil

   Well, it seems that our endless summer isn't quite so endless.  Our family went on vacation in Florida the final week of August into September and came home to Iowa to find that Autumn had arrived.  I'm not going to lie - this always makes me feel a bit sad.  I am starting my twenty fourth year of homeschooling my five children (down to the last one!) and even though I love teaching them, love learning with them, and encouraging them to love learning, the end of summer and beginning of Fall and the start of a whole new school year, always feels a little bittersweet to me.
     I did see it coming though, and have been trying to get every last delicious taste of warm sun, and free time to paint, as I can.  I stayed up late many of these last few summer nights, working on the fourth painting in my "Wild Things" series.  I finished up "Nothing Gold Can Stay" just in time to kiss summer days good-bye.
     This fourth painting took a little different turn than the first three .  The colors became more vivid, the background called for more tones than the simplistic ones of the previous three.  It all started with one of the last "art in a vase" bouquets that I had been working on this past summer (these can be seen on my Instagram page).  I found myself cutting Black-eyed-Susans, Trumpet Vine, and Honeysuckle with the first few berries on the branch.  Everyone of them, a sign of the end of one season and the beginning of a new one; a signal that soon the intense greens we had seen all summer would be replaced with shades of brown.  But each of these, right now,  were so brilliant in their own colors -like Summer's last hurrah.
      I can't help but think of Robert Frost's poem:
Nature’s first green is gold, 
Her hardest hue to hold. 
Her early leaf’s a flower; 
But only so an hour. 
Then leaf subsides to leaf. 
So Eden sank to grief, 
So dawn goes down to day. 
Nothing gold can stay. 
    (Can't you just hear Ponyboy, now!)
   Now before you think I am all down in the dumps about saying good-bye to Summer - know that I adore Autumn!  I have big plans for new projects for this upcoming season- some upcoming art sales that I am participating in at local venues, and a holiday open studio sale.  Every season has it's glory!  

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Wild Things

"Where the Wind Blows"
16x20, oil

           This is one of those fresh-start-moments.  I have been needing a fresh start for a while, because I had set aside writing anything on "Art Speaking" for way too long.  Life got busy, posting became dry and tedious, yada, yada, yada.  Added to that was the big concern that I never want to be someone who inundates followers with too much. (You know, the "junk mail" of the Internet type).  So I had thrown in the towel on my blog.  
              But I have been thinking lately about how art is, in and of itself is a form of communication.  And that one of the best ways to appreciate artwork is to have a better understanding of the artist's process, including their reasons for creating the piece.  Art becomes more meaningful often times, when you can understand the meaningfulness it has for the artist .  I so appreciate all of you who either follow this blog directly or tune into it as one of my Facebook followers and I am honored that you would care enough to want to hear the stories behind the paintings. 
              So here I am at the fresh start moment, hoping to get back into the swing of writing and sharing again - with the goal in mind for this to become more of a monthly newsletter (thus avoiding becoming "junk mail" !) 
"Unexpected Symphony"

           To start us off, I am excited to share a new series that I had begun a few months ago.  I am calling the series "Wild Things" and am focusing on the concept of how flowers grow in nature - wildly, chaotically, twisted and entwined together in a beautiful mess!  
           I began to think of the concept last spring when I took a floral design workshop (a birthday gift from my husband!) at a floral shop in the art district of Cedar Rapids.  The owner of the shop is truly an artist, designing these one of a kind displays that are like nothing I have ever seen.  She exudes a love of nature and it is contagious.  Her main thrust in teaching us was to encourage us to not think about your ho-hum flower arrangements, but to put into a vase or pot a snippet of the way things truly grow in nature - all mixed together in a seemingly unplanned way.  And to not just see the beauty in the flowers, but to add other interesting things found in nature - branches, unique leaves, vines.   The way she put it into words and the whole vibe of her shop was so incredibly inspiring to me!  For days afterwords, I felt the creative juices flowing and forming into new ideas.  
            Sketches, upon sketches full of twists and turns and entanglements and oh-so-wonderful sinuous lines of nature, gave birth to the first few paintings for this series.  It has felt like a breath of fresh air.  I have three paintings done in the series, one has sold but two are available for sale (click on the link below the painting for purchasing information), and I look forward to adding to the series.
              I love to hear from you all - leave me a comment to let me know what you think of the new series and perhaps ideas you might have for some fun flowers that you would like to see me add to this series!  And if you dont already, please follow me on Facebook and Instagram (where I have been spending the summer putting into practice what I learned in the floral design workshop - using the items in my garden to form an "art in a vase" bouquet that I post each week!)
"Beautiful Chaos"
20x24 Oil
For purchasing information



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