Lately I've been spending time in the downstairs studio painting the next five foot canvas. In winter it is so nice and warm in there with the big south facing windows. My painting corner is on the north side and I never need any artificial lights. The painting itself has progressed even since I snapped this photo of it. Painting big is something I really am enjoying and learning to do it in my way. To keep a sense of intimacy, like within my sketchbook, I weave small brush strokes, dabs, and details together and work a quadrant at a time. Maybe it's like making a quilt, a piece at a time? Anyway, the eye has to meander, has to journey across the piece. As I have been working on this painting I realize that I walk away without a clear image of it in my mind, rather, with more of an impression. The composition just isn't so simple that it sticks in your mind like a bullseye. I like (looking at and creating) work that makes you curious and come back to meet it again, to discover what you didn't see the first or second time.
These are the last of the photos from our South Carolina visit in December. I've been intending to share these for some time, and even had them all ready in a draft, but for no particular reason I just hadn't published it. So here they are. This was such an interesting place, Dolphin Head, to which I hadn't been. It was a drizzly day but we didn't let that keep us inside. I so like walking about and seeing new things, especially with my camera. Lately I've been sensing it's time to either look at the world around me with a freshness, or take a little jaunt. And since I don't see a little trip happening, I better figure out how to make things that I've seen so many times, look interesting again. There is a skill or mindset to that, I believe.
I thought I'd share a few pages from my sketchbook, entries from these first days of January. At the end of December I ordered a new sketchbook for the year and a bunch of pens and brush pens. The order didn't arrive in time so luckily there were a few pages left in last year's sketchbook that I could work on. I anticipate by the end of this next week I'll be starting the new one. I like that this sketchbook will be completely full of entries. It's been fun working with new materials, ones that I can keep in a small box to use in the house. I've been spending a little time of a morning after breakfast or evening before dinner working at the dining table in my sketchbook, bookending the day with that time of quiet.
Inspiration list: documentaries, a book, and an online project:
- For some reason, I've been on a documentary kick lately. Here's three favorites:
"Focused around accessible, everyday materials like shipping boxes, shoeboxes, junk mail envelopes, newspapers, maps, found books, and other paper ephemera, The Paper Playhouse has 22 projects aimed at inspiring modern families to create unique paper crafts. It includes artwork by over 20 leading contemporary artists in the curated gallery section; offers original quotes from celebrated authors, directors, and artists throughout; and is packed with gorgeous, original photography by award-winning photographer, Leslie Sophia Lindell."
I'm also pleased to have a few of my paper pieces in the gallery section along with so many great artists. Stay tuned for soon I will be hosting a giveaway of her book!
- My new favorite online project is To S and From S, letters between friends by Shari and Sheri. If you haven't visited it, you must.
I hope your new year is off to an inspiring beginning.
For Christmas last week we visited my family in the South Carolina lowcountry. We had a nice time despite a couple members of the family being a bit ill. Cooking, walking, a jigsaw puzzle, watching classic Christmas movies together, playing with all the kitties, Dad's homemade cinnamon rolls, and more are a few of the things we enjoy doing during our visits. These photos are of my parents, sister, and husband. I have more photos to share from this trip, images from our daily walks.
Now we're back home and it's very sunny here too this morning at a rather crisp three degrees. Burr! I hope you had a memorable time with your loved ones over the holidays and are looking forward to the new year. I know that I am certainly ready to begin afresh. Happy New Year to you from me.