Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday is sketch day

Celeste and I were the only ones sketching today at my house.  We had a nice visit.  She is such a good friend.

This lily is very pretty and short, but so colorful.  The surface I worked on is a gessoed piece of cardboard.  The paint is gouache--it's the first time I tried gouache over a gesso ground.  It ended up with a lot of texture, and I like that.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Thank you Sheryl

This is a little late, but is a very sincere thank you to my friend Sheryl.  While I was in California for my recent 50-year high school reunion, I visited Sheryl and we went to an extraordinary concert.  Sheryl and I were THERE in the sixties and have stayed friends since.  There have been many changes in our lives, but our friendship endures.  Sheryl  prepared a great dinner and then took me to the concert.  I knew it would be good because I trust her.  Marianne Aya Omac was the headliner, but (get this) the "also featuring" artist  was Joan Baez.  Anyone who knows me knows that was a "hook" for me.  The concert was wonderful, and Joan's support of Marianne is well justified.  I am sure you will hear more about her--she is very talented and forceful.  What I found remarkable was that ALL of the music was obviously chosen by Marianne.  Joan tried to play "second fiddle," but (of course) she always shines.  I hope I captured her spirit in this little painting.  She still ROCKS and has the voice.

PS:  readers of my travelblog know about this, but hadn't seen the little painting.  Hope I didn't overdo it, but it was so memorable, that I am indulging a little.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Little Fun Today

Our art group (Portland Plein Air and Studio Painters) had an opportunity today that turned out to be even better than expected.  We were invited to paint on the Portland Maritime Museum, which is a steamship sternwheeler docked at the waterfront in Portland.  The staff was very gracious and gave me a tour of every nook and cranny of the ship, even though I didn't know what most of it meant.  There were so many good opportunities for paintings and sketches--it was difficult to choose.  However, Carrie and I chose to sit in the wheelhouse and make some sketches there.  This is one of an old stool, which you can imagine the captain using while he steered the ship.  We will go back, and do more.  It is hoped there will be a show of paintings done over the next few months.  I can  hardly wait to go back on one of those stormy Portland winter days and paint from the inside looking out.  Hope it isn't too "rocky!"  I want to give it a try.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Labyrinth VII

Here's my seventh labyrinth.  It is based on instructions to draw "the simplest possible labyrinth" in a book called The Unending Mystery--A Journey Through Labyrinths and Mazes.  Of course, I modified the pattern to show that the path is uneven and has some predictable and unpredictable elements along the way.  I also included some symbols from my Camp Fire Girls days.  I loved Camp Fire Girls.  We got to dress in long brown "Indian maiden" dresses and decorate them with honor beads.  We had Indian names and designed symbols around our names.  This labyrinth is in memory of my mother, who set me on that path...Camp Fire Girl, young woman, mother, grandmother, and now the somewhat wiser (but still learning) person I am today.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Labyrinth VI

This is a variation of the "Mother and Child" Labyrinth.  I converted the design to a circle, still with two labyrinths.  The outer one (Mother) encloses the inner one (Child).  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesdays are sketching days


Today, my friend Celeste brought a new art surface to our Tuesday morning get-together at O'Connor's restaurant in Multnomah Village, a Portland neighborhood gathering point.  It is gesso on what is essentially a throw-away cardboard surface.  At the meeting she made it available to all the artists who were there.  Celeste is a very giving person.  After the meeting, Celeste and I went to my house for our regular Tuesday sketching session (Carrie couldn't make it) and we further explored that surface.  This is my painting of some small sunflowers in a vase.  I used an Elegant Writer pen and then did some blending with water.   We did a lot of other work, but I think this was the best of my work today.  Other work can be seen at the link above.  Thanks, Celeste, always fun to sketch with you!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Labyrinth V

Here is another Native American design--this time from the Hopi tribe.  At their Oraibi pueblo, which may have been settled as early as 1100 or 1200, there are five small square labyrinths carved into stone.  There is also a sixth one that is more rounded.  They are only five to seven inches in diameter.  The native name for this labyrinth is tapu'at, or "mother and child."  It is actually two labyrinths, with the child in the womb surrounded by the mother. No one knows for sure, but it is possible a newborn baby would immediately be placed on this symbol.  Some southwestern tribes used to make a sandpainting while a woman was in labor and placed the new baby on it.   This may have been a more permanent version.  To emphasize the design, I simplified the steps along the "paths", using round positive shapes for the child and square negative shapes for the mother.   I got the information about this labyrinth from a book called The Unending Mystery by David Willis McCollough.  With the Plum Gallery, sometimes you get a little history as well as an interesting image.

The Plum Gallery is planning a labyrinth show!  More details later.