Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spring, Flowers, Product of Canada!

It's hard to believe that I could be away so long from blogging. I've been visiting and thinking about painting, but have been consumed by errands and a quest for getting a cooler set up for the homestead. But... Whoo-hoo! It's spring and a trip to Trader Joe's inspired me to buy some beautiful yellow flowers...daffodils, the label said, on the hottest day so far in Tucson this year. In 1989, the temperature here was 104 degrees (40 degrees celsius). Why do I mention this? My boy was only a month old that year and it got over 115 degrees during that summer! You can imagine how challenging having a newborn with that kind of heat can be! I like to tease him that it was his fault. So, today's 97 degrees was pretty balmy. This happens nearly every year--a few really hot days, followed by normal, warm days, ramping up to June's furnace-like temperatures that build up to the monsoon. Painting the daffodils (Jonquilles du Canada 8" x 8," oil on canvas) that came with the lovely tag, "Product of Canada", made things nice and cool. Of course, turning on the air conditioning in the studio was much better than having only a fan on in the house! I thought of all of you today and must ask, how are you all doing? Are you ready for summer? This painting: $200 (Sold)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

"Recurrent Bits of Form"

In Art & Fear (David Bayles & Ted Orland), the authors talk about the ritual of artmaking and how we all discover ways to keep ourselves headed toward the studio and toward the making of more art. 

If you are isolated in the studio, as most of us are, I'll guess that you've found that super-imposing small, but, significant tricks or rituals assist you in overcoming the many distractions of daily life. The whole focus is to get into the studio without feeling guilty, creating freely and happily! 

Bayles and Orland wrote, "We use predictable work habits to get us into the studio and into our materials; we use recurrent bits of form as the starting points for making specific pieces." That rings true for me. When I've been blocked in the past, I'll super-impose a dictum that I can work only on Tuesday and Thursday. Of course, on Monday I want to paint and on Tuesday, I do not. However, if I stick to this, eventually Tuesdays and Thursdays are exciting days I look forward to. 

What is so intriguing about the authors' reference to recurrent bits of form, is that the familiar methods we use in our approach to the canvas are also solid, structural discipline. This series of landscape paintings is my way of re-using elements that I've recently discovered. Repeating them, these bits of form, become like Tuesday and Thursday in paint and brushstroke. Once the structure is built, embellishment and variation, I hope, will follow. This piece is a 9" x 12," oil on canvas, of the Sonoita, Arizona area looking east. What kinds of tricks do you play?