Wednesday, July 28, 2010

She Carried It in Pretty Little Boxes

I finally caved and started using Facebook a few weeks ago. While I love reconnecting with old friends, the entire experience has tapped a reservoir of guilt and regret that has been nicely packaged away all these years. We moved a lot when I was a kid, every time leaving solid friendships and circles of dearly loved people. Over time, I learned to package up all the feelings and forget about them.
Once I came face to face with names and faces of people I cared about, I felt a mix of joy and terrible guilt and regret. I suppose some of that is normal for a woman with 40 years under her belt. Still painful.
My painting is called "She Carried It in Pretty Little Boxes." The painting expresses the discovery of all these emotions so neatly packed away in my life. My hope is that by unpacking the boxes of emotions, I can snip the lines that tether them to my present life. I am ready to let the guilt and regret go. Life is about moving forward.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Random Interruptions

Here's a new one. I am experimenting with color. I am naturally drawn to bright and very colorful, so this was an attempt to tone it down and use some different and experimental techniques. I am calling this one "Random Interruptions" as it represents all of the unrelated images and thoughts that constantly run through a person's head.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

1962 Typing Manual Treasure

I have been at it again with the old typing manual. I love the random sentences used for typing practice. I made a series of collage pendants to add to my etsy shop. They are quirky and weird and were so much fun to make. I layered acrylics, charcoal, fabric pieces, and random text from the typing manual, then coated with a layer of gloss medium.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Quilt in My Head

I just entered a mini book in Cloth Paper Scissors magazine's "mini book challenge." It was fun to make and forced me to learn a few new techniques that I will incorporate into other pieces. I don't know if anything will come of it, but I am learning that my focus is on the process anyway. I can imagine and doodle all day long, but I need to do something with those ideas and doodles. Even if the result is ugly, it is all important to the process.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Buzz of Junebugs Filled the Air

We just got back from a trip to my parents' farm in Southwest Missouri. It is a beautiful place and a welcome change from life in the suburbs of Atlanta.

The sights: cows, chickens, gardens, flowers, hay, old farm equipment baking in the sun.

The smells: hay and bacon.

The sounds: junebugs buzzing in the morning, putt putt of a 1956 John Deer tractor pulling us on a hay ride, voices of family, laughter.

I asked my children what they enjoyed the most about being there. Their answer: just being there. Perfect.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Person Needs Watercolor Paints

There's something about a watercolor paint set. Even the cheapest strip from the 99 cent bin is capable of creating beauty and making you feel right with the world. I love a new set of paints. Each color surface is smooth and juicy, waiting for you to begin. Equally, I love an old paint set. The tray is smudged with drips and dried color experiments. The pots of color are worn down and small cakes of pigment are barely clinging to the sides, waiting for you to get just one more dab of paint.

If you've never painted before, this is where to start. Fill the color pot with a little water and get any kind of paper - even old newspaper - and just start painting. Lay down patches of color. Notice how the colors work together. No need to have a plan or a drawing. Just blobs and lines are fine. When you have had a good twenty minutes of making nothing but colorful paper, you will probably notice that you feel a sense of genuine happy. Don't know why...just the magic of these little paints.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Up to Something

These folks look suspicious to me. They must be up to something.

These 4 x 4 paintings are done with acrylic and gouache, pencil, a variety of tissue papers, and found text from an old (1964) typing book.

Perhaps the little sentences were things their teachers said about the boys before they became spies, thugs, and thieves.
Interesting I searched the old typing book for quotes about my characters, I easily found positive practice sentences about males (Pierce is "at the top" and T.J. has "quick wit and much charm.") However, when I looked for quotes about the woman, I could only find practice sentences about how Sue would type all of the letters or find the file for Mr. Smith. So of course I had to find the perfect quote for the woman, "I shall do this work just as well as Hal does his."

I think her expression tells us that in the end, the woman is the mastermind of whatever they've got planned.

I don't know how these characters found their way out of my brain, but they were so fun to make.