I haven't posted to this blog in awhile, but plan to get back into doing it more regularly. I have been taking watercolor classes from David Daniels through Smithsonian Associates. You can learn more about him at www.mrwatercolor.com. His teaching style is just right for me. We begin with a critique of the work we've been doing since the last class,then David does a demonstration of techniques and ideas. The rest of the time (2 1/2 hours) is spent painting. David makes time to visit with everyone and is sensitive to who needs more advice and who should just go with it. The class is fairly large, but he makes time for everyone.
David's inspired me to take some risks with my work, and here's an example. In this one, I did a non-representational wash and glazed another non-representation wash over it. I then thought about what it could be and decided a path would work and sketched it out. I used frisket in some places and then did the painting. It has lots of layers. I like the "spirit" of it and will do this again, though I am not very happy with my use of frisket. It was fun, and my plan is to make more art posts on this blog. I have been doing it on Facebook, but the blog format gives me a history of only the art....not the other stuff.
I have new neighbors and invited them over for wine and cheese a couple of weeks ago. Rob and Laura are easy to get along with, and we had a nice chat on my patio. When they arrived, they presented me with sunflowers and a bottle of wine. It was almost as if they already knew me!
I told them I would like to make a painting of the flowers, but I got busy with other things. I still wanted to make a painting, so I did this little one, pretty much as a memory painting. I did it on a notecard which I will take to them....no need to get the post office involved.
The flowers were pretty for a (busy) week, the wine was great, and the company even better. I hope we will have other relaxing times together. I think they will be great neighbors.
My birthday was over two months ago and I still am writing thank you notes. My grandmothers would be appalled. Of course, they don't know that we can send emails and even email cards. However, I also believe they would also be charmed by my practice of making a little painting for each gift.
Thanking my daughter Louisa and her family (aka The Smiths) has been especially challenging this year because of their amazing range of treats for me....lasting well over a week.
So, what were these special treats? It began on Saturday June 11 when Louisa and Chantel (her long-time friend and my friend too) took me out to a great Italian restaurant near the waterfront. Our "girl's night out" at Osteria Morini was fun for us. I also thank Peter who made it possible.
My actual birthday was Monday June 13. The plan was to take me out to dinner at Rose's Luxury, which is a celebrated restaurant just a block from my house. Going to dinner there is sometimes risky because they do not take reservations. I heard recent interview with owner and head chef Aaron Silverman in which he claimed this would make it a good neighborhood restaurant. But Bon Appetit named it as the best new restaurant in the United States a couple of years ago and so the tourists flock. To eat there, you need to stand in line and then hope for a good time of seating. Griffin suggested that he would stand in line and then Louisa, Griffin's friend Sebastian, and Sophia joined in. I think they had a good time, but I was home taking a bath and doing my nails and getting ready for my big celebration. It was a great meal and Rose's really does make everyone (not just the guest of honor) feel special. Plus, I loved the dessert when we got spoons that honored Presidents and their accomplishments. We each had a different President and it was fun to share about our spoons. I want those!!!!! They are so DC The little painting above is Rose's front door without the lines of people waiting. I actually did the painting last year, but it seems to fit now.
On Tuesday, we also enjoyed the wonderful Italian sub sandwiches from Mangialardo. I think that name means eat and get fat!!!! They are something truly special in our neighborhood. HUGE submarines and made to order....mmmmmmm!
The treats weren't over. Sophia made me a bowl of paper circles that I tried to make a sketch of but couldn't pull it off. It is so pretty, though, and now livens up my china cabinet.
It's not over!!!! I had been talking about an iPad holder for my kitchen so that I can display on-line recipes while I cook. The Smiths did not disappoint and installed that gadget for me. It looks very "hip" even when the iPad isn't in it, and does indeed make the access of on-line recipes much easier.
Hey, this might be my longest-ever blogpost.....but there is a lot to give thanks for. Thank you, Smith family. I had a great birthday.
Earlier this Summer, I had two boys for company at what they call Camp Cammy. It isn't actually a camp--it is more going around town to places we think are interesting. The boys with me were my grandson Griffin and his friend Sebastian. As a "thank you," Sebastian and his family gave me a gift card to the local gelato shop, Pitango. Now, I thought a bowl of gelato, while tasty, is not a particularly artful subject. However, Pitango has a cow that I find "cute" and so she is the subject of my painting.
I'll send the card to Sebastian and hope he enjoys it as much as I enjoy the gelato at Pitango.
I am still working on thank you cards from my birthday almost a month ago. (School's out and I've been busy) Jan sent me a beautiful raku paperweight. It is heart-shaped and has a dragonfly---very meaningful to me and my friendship with Jan. Jan also sent a card to color with a dragonfly. My granddaughter Sophia spied and and thought it would be fun, so I let her do it. She did a great job!
It was a special treat to get sunflowers in a ceramic jug on my birthday from Jenifer. So pretty....and so unexpected. I can keep the jug and will use it!
But wait, there's more! I also got a very pretty beach glass-type necklace. It is very delicate.....kind of the opposite of the strength of the sunflowers. Jen got to me in the note with it...."beautiful and natural. It was gift-wrapped from Amazon. Lots of fun.
This is a recently completely painting. The medium is watercolor and pastel. It is on canvas treated with absorbent ground. The format vertical (8" x 24") because I painted it especially for a show called "Vertical" at Capitol Hill Arts League.
It was quite a challenge, and the painting didn't even get into the show!
I like it anyway, so I am posting it here. I will put it on my website, too.
Instead of being under glass, it is varnished. Another unusual thing for me is that I painted the sides of the painting and presented it without a frame.
Taking on something that I wasn't sure I could "pull off" helped me get into a creative zone, but I will probably stick with more traditional watercolor. This was a lot of fun for me, even though it evideently didn't appeal to the juror.