Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Art of Solace

Despondency doesn't make for a good week. Creativity takes a back seat when gloom and doom settle. Optimists have a hard time with despondency, so naturally I struggle with it. I had a couple of nightmares during which apparently I cry out with a sort of whinny and alarmed the cats no end. Lee tries to soothe me without waking me up. It's all rather boring, things happen.
But, there were high points these past few days - most important and joyful was the latest arrival in our small family. Harrison Nigel was born on Friday complete with all 10 toes. And our family welcomed him with great love and happiness. I'd kinda hoped for a girl since the last girl born in our family was 62 years ago. Guess the world didn't want to cope with another me!! It matters not, he is here, healthy and much loved. We're all delighted to have in in our wacky family - we might be wacky, but we love well.
I cooked South African food for new and interesting friends ... food from home is often a cure all. And some was good. But not all of it turned out well. My melktert was too runny and not spicy enough, but that's hardly a train smash. Wine flowed pretty freely during the lively conversation, so none of us would have even noticed a few whoopsies in the food.
The first outdoor movie of the summer had us carrying our chairs over to the amphitheatre by the riverwalk. And it was a quiet delight - also my introduction to the Muppets. Yep, who knew there was anyone in the world who hadn't seen an entire episode, or a movie, of the Muppets? I could claim that until Wednesday. Next week is music, it's a fun series and it's just nice to sit outside and be entertained.
Still my blue funk meant I didn't paint at all this week. Every time I went in to my studio a dull cloud descended on me and my heart sank. I would stare at the canvases in their various stages of completion and think, "Why bother?" or "What on earth am I do do with this now?" and nothing would happen. Luckily I sorta know how it will all end. Whenever I have a down time, which isn't often thank goodness, the next week I am like a creative whirlwind. So I am just riding this out waiting patiently for the light heart to return. It will.
At the farmers market this morning I saw squash blossoms and bought them right away. They will bring a smile to my face when baked, stuffed with ricotta and garlic. The simplicity of the dish always blows me away - like all the simple things in life, they are the best.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The art of talk

Well, such excitement - I am so honored! I was interviewed by Paul Weagraff, director of the Delaware Division of the Arts, on the radio! It is a 20-minute interview and it just went so quickly! He was so professional and made me relaxed in no time. I felt like I was just having a chat with a friend. Grab a coffee or a glass of wine, and have a listen :

I took a couple of paintings along - as a visual person, it was a good aid
and then - please,  tell me what you think. Feedback is a great way to learn - I don't know what folks think unless you tell me. To repay you listening to my interview, I won't write a whole lot today!
Thank you for listening and taking the time! My facebook page is often updated - check it out and "follow" my page. I'd appreciate it!
have a grand weekend!

Monday, June 04, 2012

The Art of Fresh Eyes & Soothing Water

Time flies whether you're having fun or not it seems. I cannot - cannot - believe it is June already. Six months of the year gone and I'm sitting here wondering 'what the hell happened?' I have a bunch of projects going, and I don't seem to be progressing with them at the clip I'd like. In other words, I am dithering around and not getting any where with anything. At least that's how it feels to me.
But when I rationalize it I do seem to be getting somewhere ... the goal is there, the distance to them is ever increasing since I appear to be taking a zigzag approach to everything. Maybe I am trying to do too much for others and not concentrating enough on me. I vowed this year it would all be about MOI. I was going to be a veritable Miss Piggy. Self-centred, self- absorbed and nothing else/no one else matters. Ain't gonna happen. I guess it's not in my genes. But helping others can be fulfilling in itself. SO ... I'll just be partially all about MOI. Perhaps.
On Friday I posted a photo of my studio on my facebook page just to prove I was actually working on 5 paintings at one time. Not much has changed since then, life got in the way. The 5 are still works in progress, and I'm not worried about it. But I must finish 2 this week. There's a deadline and deadlines always seem to fire me up and I meet them. Each painting has a different theme, or subject, and sometimes I just have to sit and look at them and wait for them to tell me what to do.
I've been doing this to one painting because another artist I admire a lot thought - after I'd asked for her help and opinion - I should do something additional. It was an honest critical comment worthy of consideration. But it didn't quite gel in my gut. It worried me that I didn't really agree with her when it came down to it because I really do admire and trust her judgement. And I was also kinda intrigued with the suggestion. Then today out of the blue 2 artists stopped in en route back home to NE Pennsylvania. I'd never met them before and we had a wonderful time talking art and methods and stuff. They looked at the painting, I mentioned what I was thinking of doing but was hesitant about it. They - and I love it when artists do this - stepped back, looked at it hard and critically. They thought on it and then they both said. "No, this is your style. This works. Leave it as it is." It was all I needed to hear to confirm my own decision. Fresh eyes can really be a wonderful help.
Don't forget to also check up on my website to see what's happening with me and my art.
Peace and quiet

Ever peaceful

We saw lots of herons and wildlife
On Sunday Lee and I hired a wee flat bottomed boat and poddled very slowly - grass grew quicker than the electric motor could drive the skiff - - along the Mispillion River. It was blissful - silent, bright, ever changing scenery and the joy of being back on the water was a tranquil balm to the soul. We went too far really and were out 6 hours so now we have sunburned knees and sore butts. But it was soul refreshing and fun. And made us think of living on the water again. It just takes a the sound of a slap of water on a hull to bring it all back. Wonderful.