Winter Watering

Yes, when the winter hibernation is in full swing, production inside the studio soars. But, at least in my case, this is primarily due to the fact that my garden is sleeping. When the sun shines…I would rather be digging in the dirt.

This morning the sun is brilliant. Air cleared out by last nights storm. Creek roaring at full throttle. And my watering buckets are full …

  

So I lifted the flap on my little greenhouse and gave the tenders a drink.

It does an artist’s heart good to see these beautiful greens in the month of January and, with the seed catalogues piling up, the big greenhouse will soon be ready for action… 

 

OK, enough of that garden talk. Time to get back to the easel. But…there will be a tiny salad on my lunch table.


Midwinter Details

 In the early days of January, in the deep midwinter studio, when I sit down with the piles of sketchbooks and sort throught the long lists of painting ideas… I feel unfettered. Before the filters of deadlines and salability and subjectable subject choices begin to weigh me down… I take chances. I choose challenges. I tease the muses who whisper, “keep it simple” and  “No not THAT nightgown”.

I have spent the last few weeks wading in that most wonderful of seas…the sea of details. Frolicking with the tiniest brushes. Taking extra days to glaze down and bring back up entire areas of light only to glaze them back down again and slowly, slowly refine. I’ve taunted and tweaked compositions and twisted ribbons and fringes in the wind.

Here is a sneak peak of the first of these, The Mender…

It will appear in Denver in March at the Gallery 1261 Contemporary Realism Show. It’s companion, The Tinker, was finished last night and you will have to wait a bit for that pic but it shares a few elements with it’s Mender…a rug, a teacup, a pair of spectacles…and the number three.

Now, all the wheels of creativity turn to…the island. The trove of images which I’ve stored up from Martha’s Vineyard is indeed full of treasure. And before those afore mentioned weighty filters and deadlines begin to creep in…I will let only the carefree muses in from the cold. The ones who say, “Go for it” and “If not now, when”, and let them sit alongside while I turn the pages of this sketchbook…

and decide what to paint next.


Top of the Morning

It’s a bright sunny day here in the studio and I’m getting an early start but before I head to the easel here is a delightful video which I watched on my friend Peter’s Blog while sitting at the kitchen table pondering breakfast. Definitely worth the few minutes it takes to get lost among the cottages and the cupboards… ‘Tis a grand way to greet the day


Below Stairs

As I was watching Downton Abbey this week I was reminded of this painting and the research required to get the bells correct. The only elements which I had before me were the set up with the ironing table in the foreground, and my trusty model Pat who posed with the white shirt and vest. The floor and background were all imagined but I relied on photos from the internet to accurately portray the essential summoning bells.

I don’t remember which episode of DA it was when… from our perches on the sofa, Pat and I turned to each other as we watched the butler ironing the newspaper…and smiled. Ah yes, we would certainly have been more comfortable… “Below Stairs”.

Below Stairs – Oil on Panel  24″ x 36″  Available at the Granary Gallery


A new year, a new knee, a new wave of creative energy…

and a good time to catch you up on the progress here in the studio…
It’s now been two months since my first knee replacement surgery and by all accounts things are moving along swimmingly. The first month was all about learning to walk again…

and the second month has been about taking a defibrilator to my mojo. Even though I was able to walk over to the studio by week three…the creative muses had decided to take a longer vacation and it was many more weeks before I had the energy to lift even the tiniest of brushes. But…thanks to my long suffering nurse and team of PT helpers… I’m back !

Before this saga began I had decided to get a painting started so that I would have all the setup work done and, post surgery, could just sit and paint. I had posted a facebook photo taken early one morning as I came to work in the studio…

and the muses must have been working on that website because the responses made it clear that I HAD to paint this. So with a few tweeks I  I painted right up until the day before surgery and had a pretty good start…

And after sitting patiently on the easel for weeks, it was more than ready for my impatient attentions. The first few days were short controlled bursts of playing with puddles of paint but finally the spark returned and I put the finishing touches on this work in the very last hours of 2012 and it felt great.

And day one of the new year found me in the studio beginning again to fill requests from galleries for new work. My goal is to sharpen the focus of who I am as an artist and to lay back and enjoy the gift of being able to do what I love right up until the fat lady sings…or at least until she has finished her mending.

May all of you find your sparkles alive and well in this new year.