Thursday, February 25, 2010

Current Work in Progress

Liked that charcoal drawing I did last week so much that I decided to keep it and started a second version of the same face (I often work in series like that - just have so many ideas on different directions to take that its easier to choose one if I know I can explore another one later. That frees me up.) After completing the second drawing I really thought about what colors I wanted to use. I often use a warm palette, yet I love blues and purples so decided to head that way with this one. It still needs some work but I'm pleased with the progress. Of course I may decide to glaze over it with warm colors tomorrow (or start a third one and do that... Yikes!). Ya never know.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


I finally finished the commission I've been working on and delivered it on Friday. I asked my friends/clients if I could post the image on my blog and they graciously agreed. So here it is. Its hard to tell on the small computer screen, but if you look closely you can see that the portrait is painted over music and that smaller images of the child and glimpses of handwriting by her parents, describing her wonderful qualities, are visible under the paint. I was happy with this and was so relieved that they were too.

She loves it!

Yay! I presented the painting to Kellylee Evans last night and she really did seem to love it. She is such a wonderful person - full of life and bubbling with good energy. She reminds me of my dear friend and model Ray. I hope that Kellylee and I can stay in touch. Her husband was wonderful too, although he took a funky photo of me!

Her incredible voice is even better live. So strong, clear and moving. So glad to have found out about her. I thought of something I wish I'd thought of sooner (isn't it always like that!) - when I look at the painting and the transition from cool blues to the warm golden colors: "Kellylee, you sure do know how to warm up those blues."

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Kellylee Evans

I'm going to hear a concert by Kellylee Evans tonight ( see ). I love the songs on the release that is coming out soon "Good Girl."

I've been working on this small (12 x 12") painting to give to her as a gift tonight. I hope she will see it as the offering of thanks for her gift that its intended to be... think I'll ask a couple friends' opinions on whether its good enough first!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A good day

Its been a productive day. After a long head-clearing run this am, I came home and finished up a commission and then got started on this. Its from a photo I had thrown in a folder a long time ago - cropped it and then drew it in charcoal on a 30 x 30 canvas, and then started drawing facets on the face in charcoal. Not sure where I'll take it from here - I'm thinking maybe many layers of transparent acrylic colors... we'll see.

Feels good to be working again. Needed to.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Good news!

Pleasantly surprised that the painting above, Raven on Orange, received one of the coveted Excellence in Art awards at the Arts Council of Carteret County's annual Art from the Heart opening last week-end. The award was one of 15 given from a showing of over 400 works. Was a nice boost. Now I'm hoping that will keep the momentum going in the studio.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Looking at vs. Seeing

Have you ever spent the day looking at an oyster shell?

That's pretty much how I've spent my day. We had oysters Thursday night and some of them were remarkably beautiful inside - the color and composition of the markings were lovely. I decided to spend some time with one I found particularly beautiful and make some drawings and paintings of it. The one above is from a contour drawing with added watercolor.

I re-read Zen Seeing, Zen Drawing by Frederick Franck last night. I recommend it. He describes how really observing something while you draw can open your eyes to a whole new way of seeing. I've felt this. It is like a form of meditation. As you draw you keep your eyes on the subject, while your pencil "caresses" the image onto the paper...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I think this is done...

Worked some more on this "On the Mend" piece and now I think its done. Feels cathartic to have done this. Don't think I mentioned before that the little face peeking out on the bottom right is from a photo of me when I was five. I think that inner child has helped me through this as well.

I plan to enter it in the Art from the Heart show which is coming up next week in Morehead City.

Now I'm ready to finish the latest commission and move on to something new. Ready to play with some rich color again.

Monday, February 1, 2010


I've made progress on the "On the Mend" collage and the commission today. Here's the WIP of the collage. Not sure if you can see from this photo that some of the edges of the pages are burned. Fire has helped (gazing into the camp fire for example)... I got the idea when I went for a run at Patsy Pond yesterday. I was looking at one of the tree trunks that had been burned and it gave me the idea. Of course, my runs at Patsy Pond have helped me too, so I've incorporated sand and found objects from there.

I've been incorporating symbols of people and things who are helping me to mend. For example, the stone in the bottom right is from my visit to Sequim, WA to see Robin, the little baby's ear shell is the favorite of me and my mom, the raffia tie on some of the papers reminds me of my sister-in-law Jane, the copper wire reminds me of Laura who works in metals and the shards of glass of her sister Anne who works in glass. Many other friends and family have helped me too. The face is an amalgamation of the many faces who have shared this grief and helped me. Many of the torn pieces of thick paper are being mended together with wire, fishing line, thread, etc. There is even sand from Patsy Pond where my nearly daily runs have burned off grief - and also reminds me of my dear sweet cousin Carolyn, who works in similar forests of long leaf pine.

Also incorporated is salt water from the ocean which is also a source of strength. And I've included a poem in the section on the upper right, written by Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno in her book Slamming Open the Door. I'll copy it in below because I'm sure you can't make out the words from the photo.

"Tea Time"
Losing your daughter,
losing your daughter to murder,
requires adjustment.

Like, say,
you are sipping tea
and someone
reaches over and
fantastically yanks
your heart from your chest

and it drops, pumping,
onto the table
and there it is,
there is the matter,
your whole heart,
that brilliant engine,

that tuber,
vulgar, purple,

and you simply don't die,
you see;
you blanch
and your brain beats on
and then, and then,

you reach down
to straighten a spoon.