Sunday, December 30, 2007


I spent the last few weeks reading about the history of symphony conductors, making ornaments out of felt, beads and embroidery, and baking up a storm.

Entering the world of gallery representation and art shows shook up my internal emotional compass. It's exciting and nerve-wracking and exhilarating. And I discovered that it's deeply gratifying when a someone buys my work.

The best result of the turmoil was that it helped me clarify my motives and direction as a painter. I'm certain (today) that I want to honor exploration over branding, to acknowledge my paintings are an expression of gratitude, a kind of visual praise for the chance to be a witness in the world. They are a valentine to life, to being itself. I'm seeking the visible point where the spiritual and physical intersect in ways that are intimate and personal. That's all.

One more thing, my family gave me paint, gift wrapped every which a way! I played with new colors today. Today I got back to the easel, returning to the large cloud canvas. I have finally covered every bit of the canvas with paint. It's still far from where I want it to be, but I feel like I got to the starting post.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Virgin complete

The Virgin is complete, and varnished (retouch varnish at this stage). The edges are gesso'd black, though I am toying the the idea of trying gold leaf around the gallery wrap over the black.

She'll go to the Swan House gallery tomorrow. Today I drew the bracelet, then redrew it when the best composition didn't quite click.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Make it work

After looking at my works with a critical eye, I decided to hit it hard and finish the Virgin painting and the fish knocker on the green door.
The Virgin needed stars on her gown, a little work on the darkest values, and some subtle candle flame work. The fish needs several more layers, unless I want to suddenly switch to impressionism, but I plunged in all the same. I could be done by Monday, if I persist.
Learning that two parties are taking in place in the gallery over the next two days was very motivating. I used a medium that is supposed to accelerate drying. I'll see how effective it is and
take jpgs of the paintings in the morning. In a perfect world they will be dry, I'll be able to use spray varnish, and I'll drop them off before lunch.
More likely the Virgin - still wet- will go up anyway and I'll come back by with varnish next week, when I bring the finally dry and completed fish. Meanwhile they will have the two paintings I listed yesterday - Othello and the Lion.
It's a familiar pressure, meeting a deadline, and it really works for me.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

First Swan House Sale

Just got the email - the Heirloom Tomato painting sold, and they've asked me to send another small work over. The max size is supposed to be 8x8" but I have offered them what I have on hand - a pair of Venetian doorknockers, an Othello and a Lion of St Mark, that are 8x10." Nothing ventured, etc.
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Serenbe's Gallery Swan

I thought I'd mention that one of my small works was loaned to the Serenbe community's Gallery Swan for their holiday show. It's another of the little paintings I wrote a haiku title for. I set it up after auditioning several oyster's at the Fish Market, looking for the right one to paint. I wanted to paint ice and will likely explore that again - I loved looked for those subtleties. I think it's the juxtaposition of pearls and oysters that sparked my imagination.

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Take grit and patience,
turn it over and around.
Out of pain – beauty.
6x6 o/c

Monday, December 3, 2007

Sky paintings

Working on clouds at dawn. There's a pair - one vertical, gauzy and with lots of salmon pinks, the other a complicated mackerel sky, dotted with little clouds. A departure from my highly detailed, precise works of objects - pens, books, maps, and plates - close enough to touch. Like stretching after a run, though I think it will keep me limber. And one of the great pleasures of being a painter is painting what tugs at your heart and your eye.
Here's the first one - got a ways to go, but I'm confident I'll get there.
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The mackerel sky isn't far enough along to post.