Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Artistic Escapes While Rebuilding the House

      Much has happened this month...restoring the burnt house, getting furniture pieces to replace the dumped, working around the clock and missing sleep. This is the creative part: seeing the paint choices thrill, workers diligent, scheduling to meet a deadline. It is happening, but art is stressful.

      I will miss our temporary housing, the MEWS. The apartments have many amenities, even a coloring contest. Residents were to color signs of spring. Since this is a dog friendly place, I painted the pups sniffing the flowers, which Harry did along the Charles River! My drawn dogs, Bea and Twig, remind me of the two long-haired dachshunds who live next door with their artist owner, Laura. The charcoals are on blue pastel paper which surely will find a spot in the blue open plan on Stults Road. (Click to enlarge photos)

       I also worked on a recent painting Altered Landscape to add a string of broken pearls which disappeared at the time of our fire. I thought the necklaces symbolized other losses. Happily I found two strings of barely pink gorgeous cultured knotted pearls for five dollars each at an antique store. I think I can now let go of that painting after adding the pearls, but they could be more varied in size...always something to want to change.

        Next, I needed a painting for a landscape show. Although the painting in the previous paragraph would work, I started painting a sunflower-like-plant reaching for the sky from the flat grassland in Amarillo outside the Palo Duro Canyon, a miniature Grand Canyon. I photographed that flower at a 50th reunion and keep as my screen saver. I should have painted the canvas first with a strong undercoat color, but I just wanted to get started. I will pay for that impetuosity by having to spend more time on the painting to make values stronger. And what is its name, that sunflower?

        This month, I lost lots and lots of sleep worrying about how the house could possibly be finished by moving date, August 1; so in the middle of those nights I read My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout whose other books were good, with a new one on the best seller list. But when I read two thrillers by Liane Moriarty, Big Little Lies and The Husband's Secret, I found some books keep you awake turning pages rather than send you off to dreamland. Those books were a new type for me. I have started The Woman in Cabin 10, but Liane's books made me reflect on the perhaps unconscious desire of artists to do more than affect the world by presenting what is important to them. Note the painter's repeating the sunflower's reaching upward.