Sunday, November 30, 2008
Got in a bit more shopping yesterday and finally did a most unusual thing for me -- watched a movie! Sitting still doesn't come easy; somehow I've been born with an innate restlessness (probably from my dad) to keep 'doing.' Yesterday though, with greying skies and chores about completed, I sat for 2 hours and enjoyed a movie ...! Really nice!
It's raining this morning and promises to do so all day and into tomorrow as we return to work. It looks like a quiet day ... who knows -- maybe another movie?!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
We bit the bullet yesterday and bought our family a new camera for Christmas. It's a Canon A650 IS and I'm loving that swivel viewfinder. NOW I can find a way to stand ABOVE my paintings to take entire photos of them and won't have to rely so much on the scanner!
We're off to finish a bit more shopping today ... and we have our 'final must gets' for the holidays. Yahoo --- the end of the tunnel looms!
Friday, November 28, 2008
We had a great time with family yesterday, and as most folks, I suppose, we ate too much. But the weather was warm -- in the 50s -- so we took a nice walk with the grands as they ran off all the desserts they consumed!
We even got in a bit of 'sale shopping' late last night -- so today, we'll concentrate on resting!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I did a quick pen and wash of it late last night and share it with you as you and yours celebrate this day of gratitude.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Many of the foods we typically eat at our Thanksgiving celebration remain those that were growing in the Americas at the time of the Pilgrims’ settlement: corn, rice, peppers, squashes, and pumpkin. Nuts such as black walnuts, butternuts, hickory nuts and pecans; beans such as snap, lima, green and yellow; and berries such as blueberry, cranberry, raspberry, strawberry, cherries, and grapes were all native crops and were being consumed by indigenous populations. In addition, native peoples enjoyed passion fruit, pawpaw, persimmon, plums, pineapple, potatoes, sweet potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, tomatoes, and may have even flavored their foods with such spices as allspice, chili and cayenne peppers, cocoa, maple syrup, spicebush leaves, vanilla and sassafras.
(To read the complete article - click here: http://www.johnstoncc.edu/arboretum/blog/ ).
We've been experiencing computer issues at the Arboretum, so the painting above, which was supposed to accompany the article, won't show -- but the article is there with a few hints at some 'Leftover Gardens' you can create with Thanksgiving remainders.
There are so many holidays I thoroughy enjoy, but Thanksgiving, perhaps, is one that I really take to heart. The idea of a day spent with family and friends giving THANKS for the bounties given, where food and fun are shared, where people come together to remember the gifts of this blessed earth -- well, for me, that spirit of gratitude is what 'it's all about.'
With a full heart of appreciation, especially as we begin our preparations for tomorrow's day of Thanks, my heartfelt wish is a blessed Thanksgiving to you and yours -- and more, a resounding THANK YOU for your kindest remarks, support, and friendships through life's journey.
May we all continue share our bountious gifts and remember the blessings we have been given -- and do whatever we can pass them on ...
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Passing by the roadsides these days is a journey into a forgotten season. Seedpods, spent grasses, cones, nuts, dried leaves all abound in tones of burnt sienna to umber to chocolate to sepia. Against burnished fields, morning hoarfrost, rare snow, or even sand, these bits of fall's bounty absolutely delight me.
Lately, my eyes have become extremely red, burned and strained, and so last night's practice was playful -- an imagined scene of roadsides I've been viewing from my many roadtrips. I'm also learning to play with a pallet knife -- and that has been a lot of fun, too.
I must admit I prefer having a scene, photo or object in front of me to paint ... but I suppose this exercise will stretch my imagination and memory.....
Meanwhile, while you're out driving or walking, enjoy this 'forgotten' season ... close up examinations of those seedpods will find them almost as spectacular as when they were filled with colorful petals.
Monday, November 24, 2008
The painting above is based on a photo reference, and I painted it using last week's techniques so that I can keep reinforcing the lessons I'm learning. I kept the scene a bit more simple than those done earlier to focus more emphasis on the goldfinch.
I'm not seeing many of these at my feeders these days. I suppose having 6 rollicking cats around doesn't make the birds feel welcome -- or safe. Makes me a little sad as I've enjoyed their company too. Maybe, once the kittens get older, we can all reach some kind of truce.
Have a good week!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
This sketch was done from a photograph taken in the summer -- I changed the colors and a bit of the scenery to reflect more of falls warmth...
It's been cold enough here to freeze the cats' water bowl, so during our many errands yesterday, we bought a heated bed for them ...yeah, I know ...still last night when they were curled up in it, all toasty warm, I could sleep much better too knowing they were as snuggly as me! LOL
Temps are supposed to rise a bit today -- thank heavens!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
A few things I'm working toward following all those workshops -- a bit more wet-in-wet work, an attempt to work the painting instead of slavish adherence to the photo, and trying to paint a bit more expressively, and still remain true to my own vision that focuses a bit more on line and realism. Right now, as I continue practicing, I find this 'dance' a bit of a ping-pong game in my head with constant questions instead of that incredible 'flow' one gets into while painting ... but I think that 'incorporation' I"m looking for will come over time.
Meanwhile, it's back to the daily practice, and, with the holidays approaching, a bit more time and energy getting ready for the holidays.
Friday, November 21, 2008
The techniques used here were the same as those used for the sunflower -- finding a path of light, free splashing of colors around the path of light, bits of unryu paper added to those washes to help darken areas, color sanding to connect the areas around the path of light. When dry, drawing my image INTO the path of light, then using negative painting, darkening those areas to make the lights 'pop'. More painting - light against dark, dark against light, the addition of pieces of stamped unryu paper. Fun, spontaneous, a bit of abstraction and a bit of realism. I am so excited to know that her new book (due out next year) will focus particularly on these types of techniques. Can't wait!!
Like any vacation, the end of the Art of the Carolinas this year was even more diffiult to leave --- some of the folks who, like me, took multiple classes from Karlyn, became friends and wished for more time to play and explore, paint and as an essential part of her classes, laugh and have a really good time. Since so many of her workshop participants came from all over the country, I'm imagining we'll see one another NEXT November when Karlyn returns to Raleigh for next year's event. I'll bet her classes sell out even more quickly next year -- just as they did this year.
We're supposed to have light snow flurries this morning -- fall turning into winter. I am still dazed that next week is Thanksgiving week and I'm just THINKING of a menu! Geez, it'll be Christmas before I even think of decorating!!
Better get crackin'!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Thank YOU once more for your suggestions, ideas and comments on my abstract piece yesterday. I've begun trying to put some of these ideas into my daily practice, and will post those once I finish posting all the workshop pieces. It is going to be a HUGE challenge to work through some of these new ideas to incorporate them into my own.
The Arboretum was given a huge gift yesterday - sad in some ways, incredible in others. One of our local farm supply companies, after being in business for over 50 years, is closing their doors. They will be missed by many, including us, as this piece of history and community involvement changes. They've donated their large remaining inventory of supplies, chemicals, pots, seeds and the like to the Arboretum -- a gift worth thousands of dollars -- and for us, especially in these days of exceeding shrinking economics especially for consumable goods -- a most incredible, overwhelmingly appreciated gift.
I'll be gone for the rest of the day inventorying, packing, unloading and repacking these items - not only for our own grounds, but also for the teaching opportunities they represent for our landscaping students. I spent a good amount of time last night in sheer disbelief, humble gratitude and tears. In the eight years I have been here, we have received no larger gift, and in no more urgent a time. As I'm typing, I"m struggling for words to express the magnitude of this gift and the humility I feel ....I can only offer my heartfelt thanks and vow to use these items wisely and to pass along to others the same or greater degree of generosity.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I have another one of these 'not quite successful' pieces .. and I"m waiting for it to 'speak' to me for the next step ... Thus far,all I'm getting is silence! LOL
It snowed a bit yesterday -- merely flurries and the 'teasing' of those dark, heavy clouds amid sunshine and bright pink rays ... absolutely beautiful skies! But mercy, I don't think my hands have thawed out yet!
Stay warm everyone!
The is a 'missed' technique that I tried to recreate following one of Karklyn's workshops .. the attempt here was a combination of stamping with watercolor with the back of leaves, placing additional leaves on top of those and color sanding (sanding watercolor pencils into wet paper) OVER those so that one 'paints' negatively around the stamped leaves -- and the look is layered. You can see a BIT of success here and there throughout the piece ... but hers were masterful ... I'm going to try this again ... but for now, I wound up with this .. and then moved on.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
So -- back to a few more workshop paintings.
Here, we worked on, once more, a path of light, popping out certain features of the pre-drawn image, working negatively to darken some areas to make them 'pop.' We worked on background textures and techniques -- such as the checkerboard pattern -- but most importantly, working light areas against dark areas, dark areas against light areas -- despite our reference!! The important thing here was the painting and what was needed in it to make it glow, or make it special, or make it sing, despite the reference from which we were working.
Niow to remember THAT point!! LOL
It's absolutely freezing here. Temps are in the 20sF and there's a chance of a few snow flurries .. SNOW!!! It was only 2 weeks ago that we had record highs in the 80s!!! No wonder there is so much sniffling and flu going around. Stay warm and stay well!!!!
Monday, November 17, 2008
I painted this arch from a reference photo from Wet Canvas .. and it typifies the scenes and blogging subjects I tend to choose - landscapes, flora, Italy ....
Here is a link to my blog and first sketches - scroll to the bottom:
I've learned a lot in three years, made some incredible friends, and even met with and painted with many of them. It's been an awesome few years - with, I pray, more to come!
So today, I'd like to thank YOU once more for your incredible support and encouragement that have kept me on the blogging/painting path for over 1,000 days ... and most of all, for your unwaivering friendships and generosity ...
Here's to another 1,000 days ...
BACI, my friends, mille grazie!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
We had a 2nd painting to do in this workshop that I haven't finished -- it uses a similiar method but with a bit more of traditional painting ...
The workshop I took last night was on abstracts -- Karlyn's are magnificent! And her texturing techniques - seran wrap, wax paper, gauze, collage papers, unryu papers and the like were a lot of fun. I have the underpaintings done on 2 of them -- but alas, 3 hours is simply NOT enough time to get them all finished! LOL
I've a full day workshop today, similar I think to the one involving the Sunflowers. It'll be wonderful to reinforce some of those ideas!
I come home to a real dinner, company and getting ready to head out tomorrow to another insane work week ... so I'll be behind again on responding to your very kind and most encouraging notes. I promise to respond as soon as I can! Forgive me .. it's been a lot of early, early mornings and late late nights and a ton of driving in between!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Thank you for your kindnest and most enthusiastic comments yesterday. Some of the techniques used for the sunflower painting can be found in Karlyn's book "Watercolor- The Spirit Of Spontaneity" and accompanying DVD (no, no promotional discounts for me! LOL) ...She's working on another book due out next year that will focus on finding 'paths of light' ... but it will be a while before it's available. I understand she'll have a DVD to go with it as well.
Another 2 workshops today -- so I"m off without a computer ... and the same thing tomorrow -- so I'll have to catch up with everyone's fabulous artwork next week.
It's been rainy and cold here -- I suppose a good excuse for staying indoors. I've met some incredible artists in these workshops and met some friends I haven't seen in ages!! I am ever grateful for the gift of this weekend ...and hope that some of the techniques I am learning can make it into my paintings. I know that will take a bit of time and more of that "P" word -- practice! LOL
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thank you all for your kind comments yesterday! This is quite a departure from my normal watercolors, and it was fun!
Last night at another Karlyn workshop, we worked with a 'path of light' again in a more traditional approach. I hope to finish that one today.
I return to Art in the Carolinas today for the trade show and another workshop. I've noticed that there are quite a few of us "Karlyn groupies" ... as I'm seeing more and more familiar faces at her classes!
My only wish is that I could have spread out the workshops over a longer period of time -- like a few months!!! LOL It's a lot to take in ...! LOL
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I spent the day yesterday with a group of extremely talented artists at a 2-day workshop with Karylyn Holman (www.karlynholman.com) -- and no, I don't get a promotion fee -- LOL -- I just love her enthusiasm and work!
We worked on a mixed media piece that began the night before with by creating a 'path' of light. Today we drew our images in the light areas of this 'path', contrasting darks against lights, lights against darks as we painted our subjects. We added bits of watercolor collage on unryu paper, enhanced some areas with color sanding and more. While simply stated, these methods take a bit more time to execute, especially when you consider drying time, chatting time, eating time, and all the laughter, demonstrations and sharing we did. What a great time! LOL All these techniques are from Karlyn's book "Watercolor--The Spirit of Spontaneity" and the DVD of the same name. It's FUN -- and while spontaneous in some regards, still takes concentration to achieve the success that makes Karlyn's work so appealing!
I'm off to another workshop with her tonight -- I hope to finish this mixed media piece today so I can post the entire piece tomorrow (it's too large to scan).... but there are chores to be done and a few family obligations that must be met before another art class immersion.
One thing about all this new information, material -- and yes, fun .... it sure makes me tired! But I am sleeping so well!! LOL
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
A long, long day yesterday -- but the state-wide conference went well, and though the attendance was smaller than we had hoped (economic times !!), we still had a good representation from across the state. The panelists, information, networking, food were all terrific ....!
After the confrence, I dashed to Cary to participate in the last wee bit of the day-long class taught by Karlyn Holman. She and her hostess were incredibly gracious, and I was able to spend a bit of time 'catching up' so I could work on the painting during today's class.
After that, I drove the 50 miles back home to unpack from the week at work, paint a bit, catch up on email, and fall in to bed.
I head back to Cary early this morning for a full day of class -- so I'll be out of pocket until late tonight.
Have a great day! I'm so glad to be in classes and NOT be the teacher for a change!!!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Our conference is today and I'll be out of pocket for the next few days .. I hope everyone has a grand week ...
Monday, November 10, 2008
I LOVE arches of all kinds -- there's an entire book of symbolism connected with this structure. Passing through an arch is the symbolic act of rebirth, of leaving the old behind and entering the new. They often mark access into holy places. Arches have also been seen as a link to heaven, sanctuary and a secret place. To me, there is something of 'connectivity' within an arch, the bridging of one thing to another. Whatever they mean, though, I really love them! And this scene!
It'll be a busy day today as we prepare for our state-wide conference tomorrow. There won't be much painting time, but I hope to get in a sketch or two.
I hope you all have a wonderful day!
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Charles brought his mandolin and his friend Harvey and his wife joined us for a most DELECTABLE lunch. Dave, his cousin and his brother (the cooks yesterday) made the most mouth-melting goat-cheese and sweet onion quiche, a Louisiana shrimp over rice dish, fabulous mixed green salad, and the most out-of-this-world bread pudding with caramel and raisin sauce! So you think it was a bit 'difficult' to get up from the table and paint!!! LOLOL
Encouraged anew by the brilliant weather and bubbling friendships and laughter, we spread out again on the grounds to complete paintings or attempt a 2nd. Charles' melodious voice joined by Harvey's dobro and artist/musician Amy's guitar kept the afternoon lively, despite our full tummies. What a fabulous day!
This sketch was done from the side of the porch overlooking the fields toward the pond ... the goat/pony I added kept coming into my view, then disappearing ... but more than producing a masterpiece, I decided early on to simply enjoy the weather, the blessings of friends and incredible food, and the last of autumn's glory.
Many of the artists added artwork to Dave's walls and we're planning a holiday lunch and exhibit in December. It was such a heart-warming lift to see some of my own paintings hanging in the front hall! What a thrill!
Words of gratitude for such an incredible day fill me as I write -- and I wanted to add my thanks to YOU for your most generous words of encouragement and hope for my son's employment situation. He spent yesterday on my computer working on schoolwork exams -- and we're all hoping this will help him in his search for a new career.
May YOUR Sunday be blessed!
Charles and Friends Entertaining us at Elodie Farms
Originally uploaded by linfrye
Saturday, November 08, 2008
When C got home from work, we walked our road again and came upon the log lying across a small, darky watered creek surrounded by autumn keaves. It was growing dark and the area was shaded by larger trees, so the painting is not as bright to reflect the shade of the scene. Every time my grandson Nick walks past this spot, he looks down to see if there is 'icky water' in the creek area we can see from the road. Yesterday, it certainly contained 'icky' water! LOL
We're off today to Elodie Farm again for another paint out. Dave, the owner, has invited artists to display their work on the walls of his dining area, and I have five paintings there already. He's fixing a 'special' plate for our lunch -- and once the clouds and showers leave this morning, the temperatures again promise to be close to 70F.
Hope your Saturday is filled with joy!
Friday, November 07, 2008
I offer a heartfelt prayer for those facing the reality of these challenging times, and pray that you are met with a smile, a helping hand and a comforting word through the frustration of it all.
A warm bowl of soup, a sharing of bread, an encouraging word -- may we share those today and continue to do so for those in need.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
The service folks have replaced our a/c and heating units -- and though the temperatures are too mild (in the 60s) to test the strength of either -- the QUIETNESS of the new units is a wonderful thing to behold! No more rattles and bangs when the unit kicks in and no more shutters when the units kick off ... peace .. sweet peace!
Errands to run with my son today -- hope everyone has a good one!
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
It is with just that optimism that I too begin to 'stretch' with my own artwork - moving into subjects like faces (even if those faces are CATS! LOL) and architecture ... It's the movement I think, the willingness to move out of comfort zones that keeps life exciting (well, most of the time! LOL), but hopefully,keeps art and life fresh ....
We are continuing our preparations for the conference next week -- and I'm so excited that immediately after the conference, Jerry's "Art in the Carolinas" takes place!! I've waited an entire YEAR to sign up for more classes -- and this year, I've a full slate of lessons with Karlyn Holman (http://www.karlynholman.com)! I'm taking leave from work to immerse myself in some new ideas and opportunities to focus on art ... and with all the colds and flu that seem to be going around, I'm doubling up on Vitamin C, Airborne and Zinc. My fingers are crossed!
Lastly, I've posted an article on acorns on the Arboretum website if you'd like to take a look - some interesting things I think about this incredible nut:
(Scroll down a bit on the splash page.)
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
I'm not really pleased with this sketch -- I wasn't able to capture the absolutely brilliance color and crispnessI saw and felt -- and wish I had been able to work on it plein air ... well, maybe next time.
It promises to be another busy week. We're in the throes of organizing our state-wide conference next week so there is much to get ready.
Rain has soaked the grounds last night and this morning and the gray sky is somber ....I'm really glad we did our out-of-office running around and meetings yesterday while the sun was still shining.
Monday, November 03, 2008
I must also thank Bonny for her permission to use this incredible photo of bougainvillia she captured in her travels to Italy. Bonny keeps an incredible blog - particularly filled with her gorgeous travel photos (see http://bonnyracca.typepad.com). Her latest images of Italy have me so 'home-sick' to return there -- that I simply felt compelled to paint a picture of something from Italy that could transport me back to that magical country.
I have to admit that this painting took a couple of days this weekend, and the drawing was a STRETCH for me -- all those angles (some still not exact), the zigs, zags, steps and all -- really took a long time ... but I fell in love with that incredible flowering plant against the yellow of the building. THANK YOU so much, Bonny!
After working through this piece, I'll be doing more pespectives, simply because I find them so challenging. But I do need my weekends at home so I can sit quietly at my art table and no one can overhear those 'bad' words I'm muttering! LOL
It's off to work again -- seems Mondays come around so much faster these days! Have a terrific week!
Sunday, November 02, 2008
We have a 2 story home so the attic steps add yet another climb -- to say I made the trip from the attic, down the 2nd story stairs, out the door and down those stairs, across the yard to load the truck for distribution to Good Will and the trash at least 60 times is no exaggeration. At least I got in my exercise for the day! LOL
There are still boxes I'd love to repack and remove, but at least there's a clear path across the entire length of the house with room to spare! What a job! They say you need to move every 10 years so you can clean out the accumulated 'stuff!" Well, we didn't move, thank heavens, but we're certainly moving a ton of things we should have recycled years ago. I did uncover a few 'missing' items, and saying a final farewell to my beloved college books was a bit difficult, but boy, I feel pounds lighter! LOL
The exhibit hanging and major clean up didn't leave much time to sketch. This is from a visit to Feariington to have lunch and paint with my friend, Florence.
The artful garden pieces Fearington adds to their landscaping are truly wonderful and inspirational not only for art, but for additions in the new garden I, too, hope to put in. That is, if the kittens will find another place to play. The temperature yesterday was well into the 70s -- bright blue sky -- a perfect day to be outdoors -- so I'm glad the kittens enjoyed it while we sweated in the attic! LOL But they're romping a lot in my garden areas. I suppose the ground is far easier for them to paw. But if I'm ever going to have annuals blooming again, I'm going to have to find a way to encourage their playful antics somewhere else!
Today Charles' friends come for a jam session. I"m hoping the aspirins help my sore limbs and I can paint a bit.
Hope you remembered to turn back your clocks last night! It sure is mighty dark at wake-up time!
Saturday, November 01, 2008
We're off to hang my paintings at the Clayton Library this morning. The exhibit will be open for a month -- and the library is merely 2 blocks from the Gallery!
I got to see the grands for Halloween yesterday - they're just too cute, especially as they kept trying to catch any one of the kittens for a bit of cuddling! LOL Other than Emily and Nick, it was a quiet halloween ... though I did keep an eye on 'Blackie' to make sure s/he didn't stray too far....!
The temps are going into the mid-70s today -- a bit of a warm-up. But the frosts we've had this week have really browned and dropped a lot of the leaves .... I can't believe it's tonight that we turn back the clocks. Before long, we'll be celebrating Christmas!! LOL