Saturday, March 23, 2019

The Day Starters or Rise and Shine

Was it only my generation, or did you get a morning call to "Rise and Shine"? I usually would be overcome with a desire to pull the covers over my head and snuggle deeper into my own world.

Years later, when I was in the struggle of my addiction to alcohol and drugs, there was no attraction to the morning. The bright light of sunshine made me wish for blackout curtains and the cover of darkness. The attitude of rise and shine belonged to another girl. Not me. I felt the same hopeless feelings as I had the day before...and the day before that.

My newly published memoir Into the Light talks so much of coming out of the darkness, facing the truth about myself, and doing the work so that I could truly participate in my life. No longer a victim, quick to blame people and situations for how my life has turned out, I can now offer hope to those who might still be stuck in the same kind of lies that swirled around my own head.

Lies that told me I was less than, had done things that were unforgiveable, and didn't deserve an abundant life. How very wrong I was. 

This oil painting, 20x20, titled The Day Starters reminds me of the simplicity of life. Morning rituals like a gratitude list and a few minutes of meditation help me to let go of the past, be truly in the present moment, get up, and embrace a new day. 

Rise and Shine!


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Process & Surprises

What do I love about process shots? It's a little like a makeover- starting with a blank canvas- the possibilities are exciting. Do I want drama or security? Neutral daytime or jaw drop night? 
The same thing can happen when I start a painting. 
And... I might change midstream. That's more about what the painting process is for me, to trust and let the painting take me where it wants to go- letting go of preconceived ideas of what it will be all about. 
The result may be a surprise!

Simplified the foreground and lightened the shadow. I did a lot of looking, walking away then coming back into it, scraping and applying more paint. These photos show 5 layers, there were more that I didn't photograph. I hope this breakdown helps you to understand the many stages a painting may go through to reach the point where I can put down my brush and call it finished!

Adding more color, deciding to add the ocean behind, exploring with different shapes and grays.

Tried some tans and grays but didn't get too far.

 I wanted to get the values down- now with oil paint- and I fell a little in love with the pink. Kept the painting like this while I worked on other paintings and became ready to let go, and continue with the process.

I toned the canvas, 11x14 gallery wrapped, with burnt sienna acrylic, then got my composition down with thin oil paint- my typical mix of ultramarine blue and cadmium red light.

Friday, March 8, 2019

What's to love about droopy?

I love spring and one thing that calls me to do as an artist- bring some flowers in to paint! I did some drawing first, hating then loving the droopiness of these pink tulips. Why aren't they standing up better- more like how I imagine and want them to be?

I looked more closely and found another connection.

Not unlike my own body, the perky, springy part is harder to access these days. Yet it is there- often rediscovered through loving kindness to myself and gratitude for all that this body has done for me. Today, free from disease, only hindered by minor aches and pains and my own attachment to them, I delight as another spring comes near. 

In a couple of days the clocks move forward and I'll be right there- celebrating the light and the new season.