Paintings all over my house, in various stages from "oh dear can this be saved?" to "just needs a frame." Today I brought two of them closer to completion. They need varnishing, and I am contemplating messing with the red chicken's eyes. Yes, they looked like that, but do I want them to look like that in the painting?
All the kids had something to say about the graduate. I couldn't figure out how to make sense of their somewhat random remarks, but then I remembered Christopher Smart's poem, written in a madhouse.
Isabelle's is a great hangout. I've been doing NaNoWriMo there, and keeping my weight up with raspberry lattes. The baristas, all of them, are inspirational.
I was sitting in my outdoor studio, feeling somewhat melancholic for the passing of an idyllic summer, with my son-in-law still here, and my dying dog still alert and all the hopes of a new household being fitted up for charm, sustainability, and warmth. At the same time, I'm in the moment, relishing what is here and now. Ambiguities like that are often best expressed through the painting process for me. I can't say that this painting shows my mental state, but it is just right for who I was yesterday and the day before, in that leafy, mosquito-ridden atelier.
These songbirds occasionally come by, looking like tropical gumdrops. They eat the glittering red dragonflies that enjoy our garden sprinkler.
I wondered about making this drum. The rawhide has been folded up for years and the crease shows. However, after making it and allowing it to dry, the sound was great. So, fine. I'll paint it and if people don't like the crease, they don't have to buy it.
I am trying to stick to my resolution of going to bed before midnight, but sometimes finishing a project that's going well takes precedence. 12:25 isn't that bad, right?
These tropical looking beauties sit in the tops of fir trees and sing like crazy.
We have suet feeders hanging around our property, including from my house eaves. The local butcher gives me fat trimmings, I render them down to a liquid in the solar oven, and then pour the result over birdseed. Downy woodpeckers especially adore these feeders, slamming against them as they land and making my house sound as though dinosaurs are attacking. In the right season, they also drum against the metal chimney. Ah, the peace and quiet of a rural life!
I photographed this little jewel in Cuba, but this spring there were dozens at my feeders in the Pacific Northwest. I am so glad they're not the size of eagles.
And they come with music. I wrote some canons to go with the text, roughly. Here are the Barnfish Canon and the Tent Caterpillar Canon.
Mom mailed me a red climbing rose for Valentine's day about 20 years ago. I planted it, and then after a few years it died under my draconian care. The rootstock under the graft took hold and it's actually a much better metaphor for Mom in its scrappier form. I've ever since remembered her with immediacy during the long months of their zaftig bloom.
Rose colors on the palette. I'm using acrylics because I'm getting ready for a show at Naked City Brewing in Seattle in September. Oils don't dry that fast, unless I invest in a medium that hastens drying, which isn't going to happen.
I have heard of artists who arrange their paints exactly so they always know, when the brush darts in that direction, they're going to get that specific color. Me, I am not interested in exact color. I want the colors to slap you around, and after that, whatever works. I squeeze stuff out on the palette and think, "hey! I could use that! ... I think. Let's see. ... Yeah, I can!" Back before we got a big enough bank of solar panels on our house, I used a studio light that was about half a watt, and I'd be painting away, and then in the morning light could see that what I had thought was green was purple, and the blue was red. It was usually just fine.