Saturday, August 22, 2015

Getting Back in the Driver's Seat

I envy those who are prolific writers.  Words come so easily to them.   I am not one of them.  In fact I have a very hard time “tooting my own horn” when it comes to me.  I can’t lay out for the world to see my most inner thoughts.  Hence the very long lapse in my blog posting. 
Retirement 2 ½ years ago has put me in a very happy place. So what’s new?  Well (I’ve been told never to start a sentence with the word “well”), I have been taking painting workshops with various artists and many online workshops.  The online workshops don’t seem to get done , other than watching the videos and taking it all in.  Absorbing it all like a sponge so when I do paint it all comes out in various ways without me thinking about it.  When I paint I can’t think about what is the correct way to go about it, or think about color choices because when I do I freeze.  I have to be free and not think.  I love making backgrounds.  It is the most freeing. It doesn’t matter what substrate I use.  I have to admit I do have a stack of what I call “unfinished pieces” just waiting for me to have a vision for the next step.  Eventually it comes to me.  When it doesn’t work out gesso is my friend.
Until recently my largest painting was a 16x20 – for me this was BIG.  Then I took a workshop with Annie Lockhart ( at Donna Downey Studios.  We painted with our fingers, so liberating, on 30x30 canvas.  Oh boy that huge blank canvas was a bit intimidating at first.  Annie made the whole process to be free, just my style.  I got into it so much I ended up with six canvases.  We were given two for the class.  I was on a roll and couldn’t stop.  I finished 4 of the six and have two by my easel waiting for the finishing touches.  Then I took another workhop with Donna Downey ( at her studio, “Paint Like an Artist”.  The canvas here was , yikes 36x36.  Again paint with your fingers and create a background.  Then step back and look at it and see what is inside there.  One of mine vaguely showed a bird and a face.  Not what I wanted to see but I went with the bird.  I call it “Bill’s Bird”, Donna’s hubby liked it so I named it after him.

I am also covering boxes, wood and cigar (inside and outside).  This has been fun and rewarding.  All are different sizes and shapes.  Most are covered with paper and embellished.  A few have been mixed media.

Then I switched to building my inventory of handcrafted journals.  I truly love making journals.  This is my first passion, then painting, then jewelry.  I seem to dabble in way too many artsy things.  I guess that’s a good thing.  Keeps me busy and happy. 

Before I forget I took a break and took a “Celestial Fusion” class with Jean Van Brederode ( ) at her studio “Charmed I’m Sure”.  Loved it and her studio is to die for.

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