I just finished the painting above, which called itself "Spring will Come". I seem to know a few people who are willing winter to be on its way. It's only 24 x 36" but is a very happy little piece. I love this time of year as I can paint as much as I like in my cozy studio and there are no weeds to pull.
My granddaughters were over last weekend and were skating on the creek beside the house and on the lake with their Dad. It was a first for them, they have only skated on official "ice rinks" before. Last time they were out on that lake it was in a kayak! What a joy watching them all, I am the luckiest Granny around! We all had fun. Oh, did I mention that they are great little artists as well? It's always fun for them to paint in my studio and make as much mess as they like, and it doesn't matter. That's what it's for!
I've been writing in Storyworth about my trip to Dubai in 2005, and reliving lovely memories of nineteen other like-minded souls. We were all brought together by Emaar International for their Art Symposium for two wonderful weeks of painting, sharing, new experiences in the East, and networking! All the work we did there remains there in what was then their tallest building. At times I'd sketch some of the artists and the Emaar people looking after us, and these are a few of the sketches.
I had a printmaking class in my studio yesterday, and we ran overtime we were all having so much fun.
We just printed from drawings we did on styrofoam, using water based inks and brayers, (rollers0 , to apply the ink onto the "plate". We did about three prints from one inking, and then printed different colours on top, sometimes moving our registration a little to show the under colour better. Sometimes we separated the plate into several parts and printed each leaving spaces between them - or not, using whatever colour seemed right at the time.
Loads of prospective cards were produced! They will be cut out and stuck on the front of a blank card, then perhaps a line forming a frame of reference may be drawn round it, leaving 1/8th of an inch on three sides and 2/8ths on the bottom to finish it off. Lots of playtime!
I'm just back from a week in Tampa where one of my sons lives with his family. My eldest son from B.C. came down too, and we all had the most wonderful week with three little boys playing on the beach, in and on the water and making art.
I hung a show in the hospital in Alliston just before I left which will be up until after Christmas. Alliston's new hospice still has lots of my work too.
A printmaking theme is up for the Sunday at the beginning of December and I expect many of my artists will be wanting to create greeting cards for the holidays. That is always lots of fun.
Summer is a more active time for me, and as winter approaches I read more. I found the above somewhere and intend to read it soon. It's about Glasgow Art School where I went in my teens and twenties. A building inspired by Rennie Mackintosh's architecture, a historical Glasgow classic, now destroyed by fire, again. Hopefully they will rebuild from the ashes, but my heart aches for the history that is lost. Those squeaky old wide floorboards that so many artists trod on have gone. My dreams of being a "real artist" while drawing and painting in those huge drafty studios came true, but my dreaming remains a vivid memory of a place that is a hole in the ground now. I lost myself in painting there, and strangely at the same time I found and formed myself standing there by an easel.
My little owl sketch appeared last week. It felt appropriate for how I was feeling and for Fall, and he needed, like me, to be near mountains at that time.
What is summer for if not to float around in our kayaks on the lake, to chat to neighbours and friends, share, reminiscence, make suggestions, do silly stuff, sketch a little, paint a little, listen to the water, the birds, the breeze in the trees.
All of a sudden, Winter disappeared, after all that ice Summer actually came! Wow. It left a lot of confused plants, flowers, birds and nesting habits, and unfortunately left me temporarily with a concussion, which I am finally recovering from.
I was able to go to a fabulous drawing class led by Lena at South Simcoe Arts Council before that though, and this little robin appeared there. I had seen several in my garden just before going. I hadn't used charcoal or conte sticks for ages, and found it lovely and loose and fun to doodle with. Now I'm drawing again and may show you the latest in my next blog.
What are flowers for? For drawing of course. I also love the sentiment behind getting the flowers, whether I pick them myself or am given them by someone special.
I draw most days, so they were my focus for today. Several blind lines on top of each other later, (turning the book as I went), I did a bit of shading with my coloured penoils that I'd had out for my grandchildren, and this is what I got... and on to the next one.
As usual, I had to draw when away visiting some of my family over Christmas this year. My daughter (in law) in Tampa has a beautiful china cock that caught my eye. I believe he was her grandmother's. Her's has a green stripe on his tail plumage which I chose to leave out, but he is certainly a handsome fellow. He reappears each Christmas to sit in her kitchen and watch the turkey getting cooked!
With three boisterous young fellas aged 5, 7, and 9 bouncing around the holiday was fantastic, and I am so glad I was able to go and enjoy everything. Of course we made some art while I was there, and they each have their own masterpieces on canvas hanging on their bedroom walls now!
I did a painting for a friend recently who had an encounter with a great white shark when she was diving on vacation. They had just stared at each other peacefully. She told me how she had simply stopped in the water, floating there, awestruck by the shark's sheer presence, it's enormous size and gentle curious attitude towards her. She was thrilled by the experience and wanted to remember it through one of my watercolour paintings as well the image and feelings that will never leave her memory bank.