Because Art Should be Play and Not Work

Monday, December 22, 2014

Blog Hop Around the World

I was invited to participate in this blog hop by artist and painter Arlene Holtz.
Arlene and I met several years ago when we were taking a class together and from that class a small private yahoo group was formed and we have all become fast friends even though we have never met. I have watched Arlene bloom and grow into the wonderful painter she is today. The most amazing thing she did this year was to challenge herself to paint 100 paintings in 100 days and she did it!! What an accomplishment! Here is an example of her work:

If you would like to see more of her paintings go to Arlenes website

And now to answer some questions about my own work:

1.  What am I working on? Currently I am finishing up Jeanne Oliver's class "Studying Under the Masters: Portraits and Self Portraits". I have really enjoyed these series of classes and have learned a lot in them. I never know from one day to the next what might strike my fancy to work on--I like to try a lot of different things. I am retired, so I don't take myself too seriously. I had a very successful run making art quilts for about 10 years-was an artist in several galleries and was featured in Cloth, Paper Scissors and Quilting Arts magazines. About 8 years ago, I woke up one day and was ready to try my hand at something else so now I putter and play and make art for myself and others-occasionally sell a few pieces but am no longer actively pursuing galleries and exhibits.

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre? I love ethnic arts and color and I often draw from these sources for inspiration.

3. Why do I create? It's what I do. I work in my studio everyday. If I go to more than a couple of days without making something I get restless and grumpy. It's who I am.

4. How does my creating process work? It really depends on what I am making--sometimes I usually have a general idea of what I want to make--sometimes I have a photo--but I usually just sit down and start splashing paint or start drawing--I don't fuss about it too much--I work pretty quickly--and I don't worry about it too much.

Here are some examples of recent work:

And now I would like to introduce to you an artist I admire: Roberta Schmidt. I started following Roberta's blog several years ago. She has always done studies of different artists. One of the first ones I remember is a study she was doing of Vincent Van Goghs sunflowers. She painted numerous paintings of sunflowers in his style-with her own style also and they were wonderful! She also paints portraits of women and has recently started making abstract landscapes. She thoroughly immerses herself in whatever subject she is interested in and her paintings reflect this. Here are some examples of her art.

You can see more of her wonderful paintings at Roberts's blog. Roberta's post will be December 29th.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Contemporary Still Lifes or is it Lives?

I recently took a class called Table Top Still Lifes taught by Diane Culhane on Carla Sonheim's site. It was so much fun. The one above is colored pencil on black cardstock. And another colored pencil
I loved doing these. Next up is learning about glazing and working on vellum paper. Not so happy with the vellum paper.
And finally my finished painting. I love how this turned out although if I had it to do over I would leave out the smaller pot.
I plan to do more still lifes. So much fun!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

George and Janet meet Max and Quappi at a party

 Max Beckmann was the next artist to be studied in the Studying Under the Masters: Portraits class. He was a German artist and many of his paintings have that dark haunted look to them. I wasn't sure if I was going to like his art or not.
But after checking out a book from the library about him, I found many paintings that I really liked that were not so dark.  I also had an opportunity to dig out some oil sticks from my stash of art supplies.
Oil sticks are different than oil pastels. They are basically oil paint in a stick form and they are quite large in diameter, so when working small it is difficult to get good details--but the color is wonderful and creamy and they keep forever. The oil sticks I used are about 10 years old!! Then it came time to do my Beckmann style self portrait. I used acrylic paints on the self portrait.
On the right is a copy of a portrait that Beckmann painted of himself and his wife Quappi. I changed it just a little bit by replacing the bouquet in Quappi's hand with a glass of wine. One the left is the portrait I did of George and myself ( a combination of several different photos). I thought it would be fun to do the backgrounds and floor the same so it would look like they were at the same party.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Frida-like; Women in the Marketplace and A Bouquet of flowers

I've made several paintings recently. This one was inspired by a fashion photo that I saw which I am sure had been inspired by a famous photo of Frida Kahlo. and then I changed it up some more.
This one was also inspired by a photo which I saw. I love these women. My story is that they are three generations of women coming to sell fruits at the marketplace.
I love how this bouquet turned out. I wish that I had painted it on a canvas rather than on a piece of black cardstock! I really like painting onto a dark background. The marketplace painting was also painted onto a dark background.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Studying under the Masters: Picasso

Portraits of Sylvette. Sylvette was a young woman with a pony tail that he painted many, many times and in many styles. I picked out eight images and tried to put them in some kind of order that made sense to me going from most conventional to most abstract. It was interesting to copy each drawing to try to understand how he "abstracted" images. Still not a fan of this style.

Detail of the painting "Boy with a Pipe" from Picasso's "rose" period. I liked this painting a lot. In fact Picasso painted many pieces which were more traditional and I did like them. And last--the piece de resistance (LOL) my own self portrait ala Picasso's blue period.
Hey it's not easy to paint yourself blue and looking so solemn. I learned a lot about Picasso and changed my opinion of his art.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fall bounties

I love gourds--don't you? So many patterns and textures. So pretty.
And bouquets of fallen leaves and berries.
A few more leaves and berries.
Those magic mushrooms that I showed photos of the other day.
A page of daylillies (not really fall but...)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Studying Under Van Gogh

The second session of Jeanne Oliver's course "Studying Under the Masters: Portraits" opened several weeks ago. First up Van Gogh.
We started out using only pen and ink and looking at the many lines and patterns he uses in his art.
I noticed how my grandfather Coy Seward used many of the same lines in this lithograph of his grandfather. Then we tried our hand at a monochromatic watercolor of "The Knitter". Enjoyed these--but I wanted COLOR!!
Isn't that what we love about Van Gogh? His sunny yellows and beautiful blues?
Even in some of his sadder paintings as in my copy of this one after he had cut off part of his earlobe--there is color.
And my painting of the postman Roulin -lovely color and patterned background.. And finally--this is a class on portraits and self portraits, so here I am ala Van Gogh.
Throughly enjoyed  really looking at his paintings!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Magical Mushrooms

Over the weekend we discovered these mushrooms growing in the grass near our condo. I have never seen mushrooms like this before.
The tops of the mushrooms look like they have been painted with gold metallic paint! My neighbor told me the name of the mushrooms is shaggy mane.
I thoroughly expected to find a little elf sitting underneath!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Imaginative Painting

A little more than a year ago I belonged to a group run by Jeanette House and several times a month we did a type of painting called 'paint what you see".

This process involved putting down lots of paint using stencils, different types of brushes and strokes and then "looking" at your finished page to see what images you could find. It was great fun and I started making a book out of the pages I made.

 I finally finished my book and following are the rest if the pages from the book. Their are lots of photos here. The story is that they first met at a dance, then they married and acquired a rather cute little dog. They are fast asleep in their bed while dreaming of (if not sugarplums--many interesting things) drift through their heads.

I had so much fun making this book!!