I am very frustrated with the weather. My body is protesting with aches and pains too. This is the third straight day of rain; very unusual for this time of year. I am sure hoping for another eight weeks of weather tolerable enough for outdoor painting. There will be enough dark and dreary days around here when winter settles in.
In the meantime I will be scrounging around for some ‘chochkes’ for still life set-ups. This is the first scrounge. I am neither a collector nor do I like having knick-knacks about the house. I have to dust them! I just don’t want to be bothered. I have been the maid around here for 43 years and the less housework I do the more painting I do. Housework sucks! And I am putting it delicately. So here is my odd menagerie of the silly fish from previous paintings plus a bear and a giraffe on my kitchen table as I look longingly over my rain soaked deck.
It has been raining here for the last two days and the fall teaching term has begun so I have done very little painting outside this week. It has been very dreary and will continue to be so through tomorrow. However, the tomatoes in my garden have begun to ripen and here are the first tomatoes of the season.
This model collects vintage clothing. She brought this beautiful silk dressing gown to the studio and wore it for our sessions. It was from the 40s I think. The yellow fabric is a sarong I contributed to the scene.
There is a magnificent sugar maple in my backyard. Here it is with two hibiscus plants in big red pots flanking the path into my yard. These hibiscus plants are out on their summer vacation. They have done very well with lots of new foliage. They are only just now putting out some blossoms after the summer is nearly gone. I can only quote W. C. Fields. He would tramp around his rose garden saying, “Bloom you bastards! Bloom!”
This watercolor illustrates some of the crazy unexpected stuff masa paper does. There are tiny little backwashes on this piece that are not the result of applying salt. I don’t know why it happens. I do know that it can’t be obliterated. If I paint over an area of these backwashes a new batch of backwashes develops in their place. Go figure!
This has the wonderful granulation that one can get with masa paper. I addition to the granulation the boundary between the green and red is soft without the wild spreading of the pigment. The texture of the paper prevents that. Click on the image to see the granulation more clearly.
I was on a residency and bought some locally grown apricots. Before they were all eaten I had to do a painting. I chose one of my t-shirts with this blue pattern to complement the color of the apricots.
This is a window in a once grand 18th century house in eastern Europe. It looks out over the street and to the hills beyond. All the windows of the house had a similar construction and proportion. This window with its view, plants, and sheer curtains is particularly charming.
I painted this self-portrait in answer to a professor I had when I went back to graduate school. I returned to school at a late age after raising my kids. I was 46. I admitted that I painted between loads of laundry in my laundry room. The response was, ” That’s the problem with women. They aren’t professional. You need to put these trivial things aside and just go to the studio!” The problem was that he had a wife to take care of “these trivial things” and I didn’t. I was furious. So this painting was an answer to his ridiculous attitude towards the “trivialities” in life.
I have the tools of my duel occupations: artist and home making engineer.