Friday, April 29, 2022

NYC art trip blends into Ukrainian egg play solutions

      In New York City it was good to see the Holbein paintings and drawings and return to the condo to make my own portraits .It was good to visit the New York Historical Society to see all their outreach to more diverse groups but also enjoy the paintings of the city and recent purchases to their collection. Our 3rd stop, the New Museum, was also extraordinary and where I got great inspiration: I thought I knew Faith Ringgold's work but there was more. She has been painting her world on fabric all her life. Painting what is going on in my world now is my charge, 
but I am not quite ready to show my new political drawings. The final day was a visit to the Whitney, just before the Bicentennial, The Whitney like the MFA, Gardner, ICA and other museums are making efforts to include those who have not been so present in the art world in the past. Our experience is richer for that.

      All of a sudden it was bunny time and what to bring new to the event. The awful war in Ukraine was on full force. I remembered that I once painted Ukrainian Pysanki Easter eggs. I probably didn't know where Ukraine was. I would use permanent markers to draw the symbols and patterns on eggs that had been blown or sucked out of shells  I thought it a good time to think of and talk about Ukraine and the amazing leader, Zelensky.

       First I attended a Senior Center event to paint or batik the eggs as traditionally done. I had so much fun that Joe made me some tools that I might use to let the wax paint designs and the egg be dipped into color after color like batik and the wax finally melted off for a special glowing finish. You can Google how to paint Pysanki patterns, find story books and watch the process on YouTube.  I needed tools. Joe took some paint brushes, removed the brush, drilled holes and glued cake decorating tips in the holes. If the super glue does not hold in the flames, we will need another solution like tiny wires to hold the nozzles in place. Wood pencils were inserted in handles for a cool hold.

       Two other finds were the squishy eggs to paint on. I gave the grandchildren Ukrainian pattern books but they have their own ideas. And the wildest find was the shrink wrap for Pysanki egg decoration. I ordered the shrink wrap designs online from Diximus through Amazon. You merely slip the designs on any eggs. I had wooden eggs. You boil water, turn off the fire and in slotted spoon dip the 
egg into the hot water. In two to four seconds you have gorgeous eggs.Nothing wrong with easy.




Friday, April 1, 2022

March Madness close to home

In March, I continued painting daily. Joe framed the paintings as fast as I produced. I continued to learn from free courses online.I took an humble seascape and repainted it using the composition rule of thirds, one of many seascape composition ideas you can Google to find at Pinterest.  It made all the difference in a repaint.

A trip to NYC for museum shows further inspired. Three floors of Faith Ringgold's work at the New Museum in the Bowery impressed me how she integrated all in her life, constantly, in creating her art work.   We visited Holbein at the Morgan Library and Museum and hit both the New York Historical Society (paintings of NYC and Black Dolls) and the Whitney  for more.

I enjoyed sketching the amazing Judge Brown, hopefully the next member of the Supreme Court. She made a terrific model on the screen at son's house in NYC.  Joe and I also created a bouquet for church, a new adventure. We awaited more excitement in what schools the children would choose; and we returned home with several painting ideas!

Monday, February 28, 2022

Return to the classroom

     Do you know how many free art and writing lessons are out there on the Internet. Often the free courses create a group on Facebook where you can show your work progress and make artist friends. Last month it was a stitching class. This month I checked into some painting courses. I believe in always learning and it is quite fun in a course. Nietzsche said, "The doer alone learneth!" If you go for one free course, you will hear about others, on Facebook. 'Tis good to be shadowed by algorithms for productive reasons.


     The class that excited me most was one that taught me to think about painting in smaller blocks of time on smaller canvases. Too often, in the past, I would paint from 9 am until 9 pm. I painted lots of huge paintings. Recently I have worked small. After dinner, I may decide to go in to paint for half an hour. Of course I get caught up and can't quit. Mary Bentz Gilkerson taught many things, but what I got out of her pedagogy was not to concern yourself with critiques and try to make a painting in 20 minutes. I gathered that 90 days of an activity can turn into habit. Sure enough, I paint every day now. I finally have something to report in my blog: recent paintings above and two I am still working on below. There are several other courses I tried and loved, including abstract art. I recommend your checking them out and maybe bite off a bigger involvement in learning. "It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop!" (Confuscius)

      I got started on the two paintings below, a few nights ago. I am like a beginner, learning all over.  Thomas Jefferson said, "I'm a great believer in luck, ... I find the harder I work the more I have of it." I am finding the more mistakes I paint, the more I learn. It is such fun. These below are not finished.

      Making my beginning efforts easy, I am using fast drying Holbein's Acryla Gouche. It is water based, and I used small nylon brushes. If I had it to do over, I would use a few basic colors to mix to make my colors, rather than try to buy a color for every nuance. Also, I have to move my painting posture to standing up and return to oils or acrylics, bigger brushes and more movement. Sitting so long is not wise. I anticipate painting the grandchildren on oval canvases before Easter since they are almost an egg shape.

Monday, January 31, 2022

The Internet Connects to Inspire

Facebook remembers and connects us to old memories. A self-portrait lost to the fire reappeared this week and made me look fondly at two paintings that were saved and presently flank our bed. 

The Arts Council of Princeton is back to offering more free virtual Art-Making classes based on the Princeton Universtity Art Museum collection, starting with Durer's rhinoceros. I'll be there. 

Deborah wrote that had a free five-day Stitch Camp. What fun. Day by day they gave us another step in this adventure with needle and thread, fabric and paint. The first day we made paint marks on two fabrics, then cut them up, sewed them together, embroidered, painted and appliqu├ęd. Working with Gwen Hedley while seeing the class results, it was a happy no-pressure learning experience Gwen Hedley: Stitching distress and repair - Slow stitching is meditative. Most people stitched abstractions of many emotions, but we all LOVED our process.You might visit and get to know these wonderful artists. Joe rolled his eyes, but I won't forget this adventure. It is time for me to iron and line this double pup piece for a bookmark.

Paint fabrics in two colors, all sorts of marks and more

Cut into pieces, look for connections, join and embellish

When finished, line the back and present it

No longer lost. Found hanging in plain sight!.