Humming right along. I don’t always like what I’m ending up with but it’s okay because I’m learning! I’m excited to try again every day. Onward and upward. That’s the ticket.
No. 5 is a quickie because I have to go down to Grand Rapids to meet up with my brother and his wife. We’re going to plant flowers in the family cemetery plots today. It’s always a great time to catch up. Joe says he wants to stop at a flea market that’s on the way, not to buy anything, but just to look at stuff and think about them. I can get behind that!
I was thinking about these little paintings of the dunes at the Ludington State Park and how I’d started painting them without a payoff, you know? Like the dunes were the obstacles in my life and I couldn’t see the horizon anywhere and then I thought, I need to put the water in there. I need to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I need a carrot so that I keep on climbing. So I put Lake Michigan in the middle of everything because that’s where I want to be.
This painting is on ebay as of 9pm tonight. Bidding starts at 99¢.
This study is from a picture I took while driving around downtown Ludington, not sure of the exact year but I know it was probably November. November is when you get the fiery sunsets reflected against heavy clouds rolling in over Lake Michigan. It’s awesome and dramatic, probably why I took the picture in the first place, although back then I wasn’t doing any painting at all. Just taking pictures for some nebulous future time when I’d have leisure to do something with them. Now I know that future time is the same as now time and if you’re going to do something, it’s best to do it now.
This is a painting taken from a photo of clouds looming from beyond the trees on our way home from the beach one day. I wanted to leave some evidence of the original drawing in this study. I like my initial sketches and sometimes feel it’s a shame to cover them up!
Saturday, June 4, 2016 I took a mini workshop called “Paint the Sky” featuring one of my favorite pastel artists, Karen Margulis. (This was offered through First Coast Pastel Society, which is an awesome pastel group, if you’re in the area and looking to paint with a crowd of nice people. Everyone is very supportive and there’s a lot going on. I highly recommend you join them. I’m really going to miss these folks after I move.)
It was very intense because it was very short, but well presented and with a lot of good information. Karen challenged the workshop participants to paint 21 skies in the next 21 days, as a way of starting a new, daily painting habit. I already paint every day (well, almost!) and so I’m not too worried about the habit-forming part of the challenge, but oh, the skies! I can totally do that!
So here’s Sunday’s sky painting. This is a scene based on a photo my son Nick took while we were driving to karate class. I was blown away by the fiery clouds in the sky, handed Nick my camera and yelled, “Shoot! Shoot!” So he did and I found it again while looking through my photos on my computer in search of appropriate subject matter for the workshop.
Even though these luscious sunsets are the result of more pollution in the air, which I hate, I still love the colors! I guess that’s a love-hate relationship. I can live with that.
With this pastel, I am thinking about my move back to Michigan and four season living again. In Florida, there’s warm and hot, as opposed to cool, hot, crisp and cold up north. I miss the seasons, and yes, I even miss the snow. But fall is my favorite season. The trees are brilliant, the fields are golden and the sky is a warm blue with far off wisps of clouds. Autumn is awesome.
Last Sunday was a good day to be at the Attic. There were a lot of people coming in with their kids to look at the Fletcher Middle School artwork—jellyfish, portraits and sculptures hanging from the ceilings, on the walls, and along the perimeter of the room. Some of the kids weren’t crazy about having their pictures taken in front of their creations, but were persuaded that it was for their mom, so that made it all right.
Towards the middle of the day, a pair of sisters came in wearing pretty hats and with flushed cheeks and snappy repartee (“We had wine with our lunch today!”) and bought three skelly greeting cards. That, and a bracelet of Bonnie Beaver’s (beautiful earth tone glass beads with a tiny gold heart clasp) were the sum total in sales for the day.
I don’t mind when it’s not busy. I like to talk to the people who come in to browse, or who ask about how they might become one of the artists there. And it gives me a chance to work on a pastel in between posting to Facebook and sweeping, dusting and wiping off the table and chairs out front.
One of the things that Karen Margulis talks about with her landscape paintings is adding “spice” at the end. In this case, I think I over did the spices. But it’s still a pleasing little study. Next time, either pink or turquoise, but not both! It’s likely to lead to indigestion!
Today’s small landscape started with a warm underpainting in red, orange and yellow. It really makes for a lively finish! So different in feeling from yesterday’s painting.