Today, on my 47th birthday, I know this is true!
Click on the image to view it better.
…(whispering) i don’t know if you’ve seen or not, but there’s a new gallery over in the right-hand margin of my blog. It’s called Fine Art America. I’m giving this a try as a way to offer prints, cards, and even canvas prints of my artwork. I’d really love to know what you think!
…(whispering even more) and if you have a suggestion for me, feel free to let me know what drawing or painting you might like to see offered through Fine Art America. I’m still debating whether to offer originals on Etsy. Somehow I’m unable to let go of many of my drawings, sketches, and paintings in their original forms. But this might just be the perfect way to make them available in all kinds of options with all kinds of price ranges.
I’ll be featuring some of the cool options in upcoming posts! Take a look at the CARDS! Big, 5 x 7, with the option to add a note inside! Cool. What a fabulous group, this Fine Art America bunch is! Eventually I’ll have lots of drawings and paintings in the Gallery, but for now, there are four to start with. I’ll group them all into categories, such as Around Town, Fruits & Flowers, Whimsical, and Abstract. Keep an eye out for new ones to be added in the future.
And, of course, (shhhh…) whisper this to friend, if you like.
P.S. Did you know?? There’s a lot going in the margin!!! No, really, like in the right-hand margin of my blog. I’ve got all kinds of fun stuff over there for you to peruse, and I’m adding things all the time! When I check in with my Google Reader to see the latest postings of the blogs I follow, I don’t get to see the margin areas (and I looove the margins! Crazy, huh?) So every now and then, I check in at the actual blog to see what might be there. Anyhoo….
…there’s a life lesson for us here: Lots of good stuff can be found in the margins of our lives, if we’ll only take the time to look!!
P.P.S. Last, but NOT least: A big THANK YOU to Ann Nemcosky of BlueBird Hill for her time spent with me on the phone letting me pick her brain about Fine Art America. I’ve always loved how her work looked in all the options Fine Art America offers. You should check out her offerings there as well! Stunning!
Well, I’m not sure if this will work for you…BUT I have uploaded a PDF of the newspaper article that came out in my local paper, the Kernersville News, a couple of weeks ago! If you’d like to read it, click on the link below…
In my momma’s house, there are many birds. Not live ones, but all kinds of ceramic, papier mache, feathered, carved, and painted birds adorning table tops, the dining room table, and various other spots. I think mom has only purchased one or two of them, the rest have been given to her. I don’t know whether it’s just my sister and I who give her these birds. I imagine that others have also over the years. For my sister and I, it all started with a painting.
Years ago, after having valiantly fought metasticized melanoma, my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Through a series of sweet questions my dad posed to her, she became a painter. A wonderful, marvelous, color-filled painter whose works throttle the viewer with a language of color that harkens to mom’s own throttling of Joy even in the midst of dealing with the horrific loss of her parents, two different cancers, and all the surgeries and treatments they entailed. Below is just one example:
I wish I could show to you the painting she created very early on as she was teaching herself to paint in those early days of recuperating from a hysterectomy and chemotherapy. It was a self-portrait. There was a nest of baby birds, with their young beaks pointed skyward, awaiting sustenance from their parent birds. Right in the middle of this nest, was a profile portrait of my mom, hairless head raised to heaven, mouth open wide, ready to receive. It grabs my heart every time I think of it. It also grabs my heart that we no longer have this painting, as it was sold to a friend, who has since gotten rid of it.
That painting is why my sister and I give her birds. Mom is an embodiment of that verse…”consider the ravens…they do not sow or reap…” She has had to be completely dependent through not just two cancers, but now three. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was up in Boone helping out with her after-surgery needs for breast cancer. She is now a survivor of melanoma, ovarian, and breast cancer. This most recent cancer was, thankfully, caught very early, stage 1. But she will still undergo 30 treatments of radiation, starting in a few weeks.
Mom is still that bird, receiving help from on high, raising her sights to heaven, waiting for manna, and receiving it.
A few thoughts to go with this sketch from a very full day at Wingate University with my oldest daughter, Catherine, for freshman orientation:
*It was as much orientation for me (a parent) as it was for her.
*Information overload hit me about noon. Day wasn’t over until 6 pm. Whew!
*Overall impression: Amazed at this wonderful school and that Catherine has earned and been given the opportunity to go to Wingate.
*In case you’re wondering…they are the Bulldogs!
*Sketch made with trusty bic pen while shivering in the air-conditioning, sitting for hours on end in between walking outdoors in the rain to the next lecture. Note to self: bring sweater AND umbrella next time!
*Watercolor added in early this morning. I like working this way: draw on site, in the moment. Then relive the moment as I add watercolor touches. Nice way to savor life.
Brian Rutenberg, in his Studio Visit #18 , quotes a German artist, Walter Sickert, who said, “Drawing is about captivity. Painting is about freedom.” This one little quote has stuck with me and caused all kinds of back & forth in my brain as I consider what’s being said here. I don’t think Rutenberg is in any way pitting the one against the other to somehow say that one is better than another. He is merely putting forth a fundamental difference in the ACTION of or the RESULT of drawing & that of painting.
He says, “I’m really invested in that notion of capturing something and using that as a springboard into the process of abstraction.”
I love that. Brian calls himself a Painter. Every time I hear him say that, I find myself wanting to say…”And I am a Drawer.” Which doesn’t mean that I do not paint…I do and love to paint! But fundamentally I love to capture the Beauty of the world around me whether it be recognizable things, places, people, or events which are inherently lovely OR whether it is something I’ve had to hunt for in the midst of the mundane in life, or even in the painful places of life. I feel it is my job to look for and capture any hint of Beauty by drawing it in my sketchbook or on larger pieces of paper or canvases.
I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE Brian Rutenberg’s drawings of trees (you can see a few of them in the documentaries). They are exquisite. I have done a fair amount of drawing/painting trees and they are some of my favorite works. As I look at his “drawings” of trees, they seem very painterly to me. This distinction between what is considered “drawing” and what is considered “painting” is not a black and white issue to me. I believe one can paint with a pen, a pencil, and with charcoal…mediums that are typically associated with drawing. And I believe one can draw with watercolor, acrylics, and oils…definitely paint substances. Is it merely the presence of line which marks a drawing? Is it the evidence of brushstrokes which denotes a painting? Or is it a massed-in approach (blocking in the large shapes before the smaller ones) which deems a work a painting? Or…what? I’ve settled on it being a fuzzy area and which really doesn’t need to be defined.
But if I go with Sickert’s definition here, I have to say that I am definitely a DRAWER. My eyes are constantly on the lookout for things/people/events/places that I want to capture in my sketchbook or larger papers or canvases. Yet even Sickert’s definition may be fluid. As I capture these moments by drawing them, I experience a sense of freedom. As if, the simple act of drawing (or painting:) sets me free to say “yes” to the moment, to accept where I am, and to fully inhabit the gamut of life’s beauties.
So…was I drawing or painting the first image? How ’bout the tree…did I draw it or paint it? It really doesn’t matter. I was definitely capturing something, whether it was an idea about the tangle of creative thoughts or an assertion of the wisdom and experience of an old tree. In capturing these, I was also freeing them to exist somewhere other than in that space and time AND freeing me to embrace all the wonder that life has to offer. I do enjoy thinking about these things. It seems that Mr. Rutenberg does also.
Thank you, once again, Brian.
And here’s a quote by Edgar Degas I came across recently…good stuff to think about:
When the basket passes by, I often wish I could give something other than money. Not that I always have that to give. We’ve been taught that, MORE than our money, God wants our Hearts. So I often imagine my own little self inside that basket, being whisked away for use in His Kingdom.
I don’t often talk about my faith straight on, here on this blog. This is purposeful, since I really want folks from all walks of life to find something here that encourages them, either in life, or in drawing, or both maybe. But I think it is universal to artists of all kinds to want to give in some way through their art, no matter what their faith background.
About fifteen years ago, I ravenously read through, studied, highlighted, underlined, absorbed, mulled over, ingested, and rejoiced in Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way. The above affirmation was enlightening to me, for I had never really thought that my creativity could be a gift back to God, in gratitude for all that He has given me. You can find her 10 Basic Principles, of which the above is number 5, on page 3 of her book.
In a very real sense, this blog is the basket in which I place my drawings/paintings/writings and other various creative ventures. It is a very small way of putting my heart ALL IN with gratitude.
It is, quite literally, what I have to give, along with all the rest of who I am.
Walking down my favorite lane this morning, my thoughts flitted over the empty wheat field, and landed in the garden area near the end of Silver Dapple Lane. Mr. Whicker has given this end of his field to his tenants who live in homes on his land. They have a thriving garden full of corn, tomatoes, squash, beans, and tons of other veggie goodies.
The gardeners were out working in the morning cool. As I walked by I told them how wonderful their garden looked. The man gardener responded, “We’re just trying to keep up with it!”
Understanding his meaning, I turned to walk back down the lane and reflected on how his phrase was exactly what I’ve been thinking lately, and how very much like a garden, this life we live IS.
There was a time, in the cool of spring and youth, that I prepared the soil (college) in which many seeds would be planted for a future life. Those young twenties years seemed full of energy to plant and weed and tend the small garden.
But something crazy happens mid-to-late summer…the garden goes POOF and takes off in every direction. You can’t weed enough, harvest fast enough, prune enough, fight pestilence and drought hard enough. You lean on your hoe and wonder, “Why did I plant so much? I can’t keep up with it.”
I’m trying to remember, in my mid-to-late summer life these days, in my POOFED garden, that I am actually only an under-gardener. (Is that a real word?) There’s a Master Gardener tending the garden of my life, my husband’s life, and our children’s lives. It ISN’T all up to me.
I just need to keep weeding here and there, watering daily, harvesting what I can, and tending as I’m able.
P.S. The above drawing was made entirely with Neocolor Watercolor Crayons. Well, except for the little bit of the girl and my name in a waterproof fine-liner. But did you know, that you can splatter with these crayons?? Here’s how:
Take your wet watercolor brush (fairly wet, but not too sopping) and brush it several times on the tip of the crayon to get the pigment on it. Then splatter away! Too cool.
I’m not really starting the EDM list as so many are doing along with Danny. I just got some new walking shoes a couple of days ago. I could not believe how worn down the pair I was wearing was…huge holes, nearly clear through to my toes! These new ones feel like springs, almost.
I tried to calculate an approximate of how many miles my walking shoes see. I try to walk at least 4 times a week, at least 3 miles each time. Sometimes I walk more and for longer, but just to get an average number, I’ll figure it based on that. So…that means in a month, I’m logging approx. 48 miles. My last pair of shoes lasted about 8 months (probably should’ve been shorter than that!), so they had pounded out 384 miles!
The really crazy thing is that every mile also represents miles of thoughts, ideas, poems, etc. The stuff that gets processed, churned up, turned out, produced, molded, etc. in those miles is staggering. I’m often running in the house to grab my journal and jot down the thoughts and/or sketches that showed up with me on the walk.
Does anybody else have this