The Fabric Went Away

Janet, Looking Sad
Oil on Linen Panel, 20×16
I don’t know why Janet looks so sad here. She didn’t seem to be in a blue mood while she was posing. Maybe it was the patterned fabric removed from the scene that did it. I guess everyone else got tired of it a decided to replace it with a large plexiglass mirror. It’s all fogged from improper cleaning so the reflections are not pronounced and it is tilted to reflect mostly the ceiling. So I am deprived of the pattern, color, and reflections that I love.
My palette is also much cooler. The only red is Janet’s red hair and the pinks in her pale skin. The overall blue tones only exaggerate her sad expression in spite of the high key brightness of the thing. I can’t figure it out. Maybe you, the viewer, can.

T F m
July 30, 2011

A Brilliant Recovery

First Pose
Oil on Panel, 16×12″
This is the first of this year’s flower pot deck paintings. I will be working in both oil and watercolors this year. This is the first oil painting of my flower pot Giverny. It going to be quite a learning experience.
My plants got off to a rough start this year. We had a very cool, wet spring with frost well after the mid-May frost free date for Chicago. In addition, my deck rail pots had a fastening failure while I was away and the plants fell onto the deck. They laid on the deck for a whole weekend and became dessicated. When I re-potted them, they looked like sticks with few or no leaves at all. I didn’t think they would make it. 
But now look at them! They have made a brilliant recovery. There is nothing like a little TLC to make them come roaring back to life. Regular watering, feeding and gentle verbal encouragement and the results are quite beautiful even if I say so myself. More to come!

T F m
July 18, 2011

Another Back Yard Painting

Into the Yard
Watercolor on Masa Paper, 15×10.5″
This is the view along the length of the fence seen in the painting of the previous post. Our yard slopes downward in the back of the house. This is looking down the slope while painting on the concrete deck. I was in almost the same position as the blue pot from the last watercolor. It’s kind of an extreme position but an interesting one.
I think I have lots of paintings presented to me by my own back yard. It has been a theme the last two summers. It will continue with my mini-gardens growing in pots on my back deck. They are just coming into their own and ready to pose for a few paintings. Stay tuned…

T F m
July 12, 2011

A Hidden Surprise

Back Yard Gate
Watercolor on Masa Paper, 10.5×7.5″

This gate is adjacent to my side door. There is an above-ground pool behind this lattice topped, wooden panel. There is a concrete deck with a stamped brick pattern to the right of the panel. It steps down to a wooden deck which partially surrounds the pool. The planter to the right is not actually blue but terra cotta. I made it blue because the painting needed blue. That terra cotta color is everywhere so the blue is a logical relief from it.

The last owner built the concrete deck with no railings for the 30″ drop to the wooden deck below and no railings for the three steps down to the wooden deck either. In addition, he made the steps with pre-cast concrete blocks for making a garden wall. Each course has to be set slightly back from the one below. So there is a slight ledge as one is going down the steps that can easily catch a heel. I don’t know how he got away with this stuff. Obviously he had no permit and therefore no inspection. These are safety hazards we will have to correct. I would be the klutz who takes the fall! So they are high on the list of changes when we live there permanently.

T F m
July 9, 2011

My New Back Yard

Side Door
Watercolor on Rag Paper, 10×7″

This is the side door to my house in Wisconsin. I have been moving things from my Illinois house for a whole year now. My hubby and I are preparing our Illinois house for sale. It’s very difficult for him because he is a pack rat. He has stuff from the year one. He just can’t let things go. Or, he moves it and then decides he can live without it. It’s totally bass-ackwards.

I, on the other hand, like to have all my ducks lined up in a row well before I need them. I go through my production for the year in December and throw out all the watercolors I think are not up to par.  I also go through my supplies and determine what is still good to use and what is not. Then I throw the unusable things out. I also do not keep magazines more than three months. Old catalogs, phone books and outdated teaching materials also get the old heave-ho. As soon as I get that I’m-being- buried-by-stuff feeling I go on a toss out campaign.

With my husband’s proclivities towards saving everything and my proclivities toward getting rid of what I haven’t missed in the last year, we’ve teetered on the edge of divorce several time usually when we have had to move. However after 45 years of marriage I have learned how to choose my fights. I get rid of stuff when he isn’t around. He never knows its gone.

T F m
July 8, 2011

Painting Outside

Bay Shore County Park
Watercolor on Rag Paper, 10×7.5″
This watercolor was done in the same location as the last painting. It actually came just before the last painting. I consider it to be a warm up for the last piece.

T F m
July 6, 2011

Went Out Painting Yesterday

Susan, Painting
Watercolor on Rag Paper, 9.25×4.25″
I have had guests all weekend—some of whom are artists. Imagine that! We prepared for and had our holiday feast yesterday since almost everyone had to go home and be back at  work Tuesday right after Independence Day and couldn’t celebrate on the actual holiday. After getting the crucial items ready, my friends and I went out to a local park to paint. It was a lovely day for it.
My friend Susan has been my close friend for more than 45 years. I have known only my husband for a longer than she. We met as undergrads in college in the art department. (Where else?)  Our art making has made the twists and turns mandated by life but, here she is painting and my model at the same time. We both had children and now they are all on their own. Now we can paint. You know, life begins when the dog dies and the kids move out on their own!

Would I change anything? No. My children are people who are a privilege to know for me and for anyone who meets them. They give me lots of nachus. (That’s joy to those who don’t have a smattering of Yiddish.)

Susan and I sacrificed our art to our families but neither of us would have sacrificed the opportunity to have had a family in order to make a career in art. It’s a hard choice that women who have wanted to be artists have had to make for centuries. I am still the chief cook, laundry technician, and bottle washer around here so I am still not absolved of my domestic duties. Crap! I need a wife!

T F m
July 5, 2011