Friday, September 30, 2011

holding my breath for monotype

I'm taking a monotype class here!

Jane Pagliarulo, master printer and teacher

Joseph Mann, artist and teacher

I have started a new monotype class! I fell in love with monotype in my 2010 class with Jef Gunn. You can read about it here. And here. And here.

Pulling a print is amazing. I always hold my breath as I fold back the blankets and peel back the print. Good things ahead for me! Hooray!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

the bully goose

pond at Crystal Springs, Sumi on paper

I took a break from my sketching to walk around the rest of Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. Mom was happily reading her book, so she stayed with our gear and I set off. I always admire the many birds at this park, and I took my time looking at Wood Ducks, Wigeons, Mallards, and various other ducks and geese.

As I came back to my starting point, I saw a flock of Canada Geese on the path between me and my mom. When I stumbled upon them, they all rushed into the nearby water and floated away with grumbles and honks. All of them, except for one goose. The non-Canada goose. He stood his ground.

I just wanted to get past him to my mom, and I thought it was silly that he didn't go into the water with the others. I stepped toward him, and swept my arms forward and said, "SHOO!"

He didn't shoo.

He put down his head, took a step toward me, and hissed.


Not what I expected. The Canadians seemed interested, too, and gathered near the edge of the pond to watch the action.

My bare legs were exposed in my shorts and the idea of a goose nip was not very appealing, but I still tried again. I stamped my foot, took a step forward, waved my arms, and shouted, "SHOO!"

The goose snaked his long neck toward me and hissed again. He owned this path and I could not get past him without a fight.

I am almost positive that I shrieked like a girl (hey, I am a girl!) before I turned about face and walked an alternate way on a different path to my mom and my gear. The detour wasn't far and it kept me from an unpleasant goose bite.

In this case, I "handled" the bully by avoiding him. 

In the seconds it took to make the decision, I determined that getting past the goose on the path with the risk of getting bitten was less desirable than the few seconds it took me to walk around. I still got to my desired destination and the goose got to own the path for a while. 

When we left, Mom and I walked the detour around the goose (who was still guarding the path). But, we stopped to observe a group of people who faced the same bully. They handled the situation differently than I did. They tried to shoo him away. Didn't work. Then, one by one, they walked past him. He did not nip at any of them, despite his hissing and aggressive threats. The entire group got past the bully goose on the path. It took 20 minutes.

How do you handle bullies? Do you avoid them, like I avoided the bully goose? Or, do you take the time to get past them without deviating from your own course?

Monday, September 26, 2011

new but iconic

The more I paint and think and feel about this subject, the more I feel like I am painting old ideas. Timeless ideas. Iconic. Archetypal. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

notan: reducing an idea to black and white design

Still working with the same ideas, but tipping them on their side to see what happens. 

Here I reduced it all to black and white to see if I translated my concept of the parents forming a protective and solid geometry for the less stable baby. I had the parent shapes fill out the base of the painting to help indicate stability and strength of form. I stylized the background into a suggested triangular form, triangles are very solid citizens in the geometric shapes community.

Did it work? 

Here's a link to a great instructional video with loads of ideas about how to use Notan in your art practice.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

hush little baby

nothing will ever be the same again

this new little life, 
a SON 
around whose brilliance 
his parents 
realign their orbits

Hush, little baby, don't you cry. Bobby McFerrin and Yo-Yo Ma. It doesn't get much better than this.

Friday, September 16, 2011

fresh guacamole

A very ripe avocado, fresh lemon juice, minced onion, a bit of garlic, salt, pepper ... fresh guacamole! Oh, yeah. Feels like summer to me.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

new life abstraction

20 x 22, gouache and pastel on Arches

I enjoy the idea of responding to a thought or music with color and shape. This piece came from thinking about the wonders of new life. I've been told that I hum and sing when I paint, and this time I wouldn't be surprised if they were all lullabies.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

now 3

22 x 30, gouache and pastel on BFK

Monday, September 12, 2011

call me Granny!

It's normal, in the course of feeling like time flies, for the days to pass into years. Maybe it was even normal, when I had children, for the years to pass much faster. Before I knew it, my sons were out of college and married to wonderful young women. I went from young bride to new mom to mother-in-law in a blink. 

And now, I have such happy news to share: my oldest son and his wife just had a baby boy!

I am now a grandmother. And that is an exquisite new role I love and cherish.
I didn't expect to be completely captivated and head over heels in love with this perfect magical boy, my grandson. Aiden. I am putty in his little starfish shaped hands.

You can call me Granny now. No kidding!

Monday, September 5, 2011

destruction and beauty

Wildfire burns pristine forest land in the Olympic National Forest and this destruction gives birth to an amazing sunset. It gives me hope to think on things like this.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

secrets of the moon

Tonight the moon has written the secrets of forever upon the gently moving water.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

path of welcome warmth

18 x 13, pastel on Uart

Sunlight reflections pull and stretch toward me. A path of welcome warmth and light.