Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Circle of Quiet

Over the last week I've been spending my spare time reading, looking for inspiration to jump start my creativity.  While I have a sneaking suspicion that I'll be in great shape once school gets out and I've had a good nap, I realize that's two months away.  I need a shot in the arm sooner than that.  There have been a couple of times in my life when fatigue drained my energy for all things art, so this isn't a new sensation.  I just don't like it.
If the title didn't catch my eye, the sweet little watercolor on the cover would surely grab my attention.

In this deep and insightful book, L'Engle writes of her creativity, her need for self-expression and the struggles she endured waiting for someone to accept her writing -her art- and publish it.  She discusses feeling like her need to write might not be valid if someone wasn't paying her for what she created.  This has been particularly thought-provoking to me lately.

"I don't know what I'm like.  I get glimpses of myself in other people's eyes.  I try to be careful whom I use as a mirror: my husband; my children; my mother; the friends of my right hand. If I do something which disappoints them I can easily read it in their response.  They mirror their pleasure or approval, too.  But we aren't always careful of our mirrors. I'm not. I wasn't making money and therefore in the eyes of many people around me I had no business to spend hours everyday at the typewriter.  I felt a failure not only because my books weren't being published but because I couldn't emulate our neighboring New England housewives.  I was looking in the wrong mirrors.  I still do and far too often. I've looked for an image in someone else's mirror, and so have avoided seeing myself."  Madeline L'Engle
I've realized I have a basic need to create most of my life and believe the old saying, "I paint because I must."  However, lately I have not been sure that is enough reason to spend so much of myself on it. As I've re-read "Quiet," L'eagle has helped me begin to see myself more clearly.  Again. Sometimes we people things get lost in our lives, especially me.  Not often, but it does happen and when it does, there, on my shelf, sit my books.  Old friends who come to my rescue, who can be relied on to help me get my perspective back.

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Busy Work

Weeks ago, our little one year old granddaughter came to visit.  This kid is one busy, happy soul.  After her first day here, I realized the loom would not be any better off for her visit, in fact, it was unclear if I would be able to put the amazing mess back to rights again.  However, when somebody as fabulous as she is blows kisses and waves till they're out of sight, it's just not possible to get irritated with them.

How someone who can't even reach the top of this thing could manage to totally derail the project is a mystery to me.  However, now it's all back together again and ready to be worked on.  Or ignored some more, take you pick.
Nothing was damaged that couldn't be set to rights with an hour or two of work, I just never took an hour or two to do anything about it till now. This school year hasn't been a time of great personal accomplishment in my life- in fact, I'm just surviving till May, when I can evaluate how I feel about the whole amazing experience.  But that's for another day- I digress.  This afternoon I took the time to get the loom put back together again.  It was meditative time and much appreciated after a full day.  As I hang tough through this dry spell, I can spend some evenings there contemplating life and finding the sense of quiet weaving creates.  And who knows? I might actually finish something on that loom.  Stranger things have happened.

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Monday, March 21, 2016

Seymour: An Introduction

The past few weeks I have spent a great deal of time wondering about my art and work.  At the ripe old age of 53 you'd think I'd already have things figured out, but the opposite seems to be the case instead.  I think a great deal more now than I ever have before, working to understand myself and life-puzzles in general.  I'm certainly not depressed but I do feel repressed at times; like there's more inside of me that I need to find a way to release- better creativity and freer expression to be tapped into.  Do other people have to fight so hard to let go of their artistic inhibitions?
From the film, "Seymour: An Introduction"

So, I've used a lot of evenings to watch documentaries and read articles, trying to work my way out of the funk I've fallen into. Tonight, however, I found one that has profoundly touched me.  Entitled simply, "Seymour: An Introduction," it is about Seymour Bernstein, classical pianist and teacher.  I couldn't help but fall under the spell of this gentle and soft-spoken man.  Embedded in the narrative were some gems of wisdom that brought me straight up, all ears and soul, listening to his insight and finding something I deeply needed to hear.  I wanted to share some of them with you, in case you need them, too.

As a boy, Seymour noticed, "When my practicing went well everything else in life seemed to be harmonized by that.  When my practicing didn't go well, I was out of sorts with people, my parents- so I concluded that the real essence of who we are resides in our talent, and whatever talent there is."     

He also mentions finding balance, although not in that term exactly.
"Motivated by a love of music and possessed of a clear understanding of the reasons for practicing, you can establish so deep an accord between your musical self and your personal self that eventually music and life will interact in a never-ending cycle of fulfillment."  
While Bernstein is referring to his art, what he has said applies to all creative endeavors, I think.  Getting there is the tricky part.  Here are a few other nuggets I am chewing on tonight:

  • Without craft, there isn't any real artistry. (Oh, how the professors of art at most universities would howl at this, but I completely believe in this concept)
  • The struggle is what makes the art form. 
  • If we didn't have dissonance, we wouldn't have resolution. (Although speaking of musical compositions, I believe this is one of those eternal truths; we can't feel joy without feeling pain)
  • I never dreamt that with my own 2 hands I could touch the sky.
  • If you feel inadequate as a musician, then you're going to feel inadequate as a person. (Ouch! That one will take some soul-searching to resolve) 

A new-found hero for me to learn from, Seymour Bernstein.
As I work to understand the period of "dissonance" I find myself in, what I get from this sweet film will help me along the way.  It was so worth my evening.  If you have a chance to watch this, look it up on Netflix.  And enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by- Alice

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Why I Love Watercolor

It's maddening at times, temperamental and tricky.  It runs when you don't want it to and stubbornly won't run when you do.  It makes 'cauliflowers" and dries paler than you laid it down.  Getting the darkest darks is a matter of luck and layering and, as my dad used to say, holding your tongue right.  
I never tire of watching the wet color move around till it's dry and has to stay put.  
I love painting with it, though.  My eyes scan the walls in a gallery for the watercolor paintings and go right to them, pulling me over to see what the artist has done.  I can't resist the medium. 

The color at the top of this has been seeping into the neighboring shapes, making a little stained-glass look along the needle bits.
Even though watercolors are difficult at times, they do wonderful things.  They let the white of the paper help them look luminous, at times as though they have been lighted from behind.  And the best part is when they do their own thing and make a beautiful, surprising passage in a picture. 

Getting the supporting cast in place so the stars can shine brighter

Lest you think me narrow, oils and pastels are also fun to me.  They layer like a dream and are thick and rich to use.  I always enjoy playing with both. However, after I've worked with them for awhile, coming back to the watercolors is like putting on a well-worn pair of jeans.  To me, they feel right.  Drive me crazy or fill me with joy, I am a watercolor girl.  

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Working Out The Ribs

Another partial day in the studio today, working out the rib shapes on this cactus.  Having chosen the colors I wanted to use, today was the day to see how they'd look layered in like I planned.  Not too bad, so far.  

The underpainting, violet for shadow, green and palest yellow for the light/local color
A full sheet of paper takes what I think of as the "hurry up and wait" system of painting.  Hurry and drop in the colors I want while it's wet, then wait till it's dry enough to add the next layer of color.  I could be laying in sections all over it, but I want to see how this bit turns out after it's dried all night so I know how bright to take the next part.  Watercolors lighten as they dry and you never know what you'll get by the time that happens. 

After it dries, I am glazing over it with a loud, bright green
To my way of working here, it's all a series of adjustments.  You paint one section, then the next- and go back to adjust between the sections to help them fit together harmoniously.  It's a give and take puzzle and I (usually) enjoy it.  
Using the same palette for the ribs as they grow closer to the viewer, I am just making them a brighter hue to emphasize their proximity.  I don't want them to be the star of the show, but a nice, solid supporting player.
Though I'm still chewing on the blossom colors, wavering back and forth between salmon and an in-your-face cool red, I'm already thinking about how to make them look waxy rather than translucent.  This is my idea of fun!  Not tied to a photo or a real-life model, I can make it up as I go.  So I am! 

Thanks for stopping by- Alice  

Friday, March 18, 2016

Barrel Cactus Beginnings

Although drawing this has been a big job, I've enjoyed it.  This afternoon I finished the drawing and got the first layer of mask on the paper.  At this stage of a cacti painting, it doesn't look like much, but what you see represents about 4.5 hours of work.
The two tones of mask in the spine areas make it hard to see the network of lines moving across the paper, but they are there and ready to play their part in the drama. 

Once the mask is down for the spines, I start to get impatient to get painting.  The network of the lines makes a pattern that I can't resist.  Even though I'd like to start before the mask is even dry, I am restraining myself until I'm sure of the colors for that area and where the light source will be.  Barrel cactus blossoms around here range from a deep orange to a red/violet.  The fun thing is though, that I can make them whatever color I want!  And that, my friends, opens up a whole new range of possibilities.

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Lessons on Value

It's 8:07 p.m. and I just got home from work.  Nobody ever claimed teaching school was easy, but I have to confess, I never fully appreciated the work my kid's teachers put in.   Some days are a bugger, but now and then you get a reward sort of day.  Thank goodness, or nobody in their right mind would take this job on.  
A finished "value" apple, looking pretty good, no?
I've been trying to get my 5th and 6th graders to understand the concept of value.  They're 10-12 years old so, you know, probably not a concept that's uppermost in their minds.  (I'm such an art nerd, I just figured it's a big deal to everyone..)
My classroom is decorated with rows and rows of shaded apples
Earlier this week I had each kid make a value chart with values from 1 to 6, keeping it simple.  They liked how they looked, but still didn't get it.  Then, I remembered paint by number pictures and thought it was worth a try to give them a shade by number project.  I told them to use the value numbers on their scales to fill in the apple shapes.  They got after it and, as the apples began to look 3-D, caught fire!  They were so excited.
They keep looking at their work and commenting how real their apples look and discussing which value number they put where.  Artist talk, see, we're pretty cool in the 5th and 6th grades.  
I love watching them catch hold of an idea and see where it could be useful to them.  So, home late or not, it was one of those good teaching days.  Now to get my shoes off, my bathrobe on and start on my own project.  Or just climb in bed and go into a coma.  

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Alice Webb, Still Here

After school today I put on my elegant and attractive evening wear, (a ratty bathrobe and flip flops) and shuffled my tired old body out to the studio to put in my required hour of something or other.  Setting my current painting aside, I got out a full sheet of watercolor paper and sat down to draw out an idea.  3 1/2 hours later, my husband stuck his head in the door and asked if I wanted some supper.  Huh?  I had gotten completely lost in the process- Glory be, how long since that happened?
Faint, but there on the paper- a drawing that didn't feel like 3.5 hours of work at all.  I'm already dreaming up where to drop in wet, juicy blops of color. 

As you could probably tell lately, I've been burned clear out and just going through the motions of life, trying to ignite some enthusiasm for anything other than sleep and chocolate.  This, dear friends, is unlike me.  Alice Intense-Focus Webb is my real identity.  (Bless my husband's heart, poor man) However, today- without even trying to- I managed to get lost in the fascination of a project.  I'm still tired, but I'm also still in here.  Not burned clear out, just smoldering under the surface and ready to come to life again.  Thank goodness.  Now, where is that chocolate bar I stashed away...

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Let's Play

A few months ago, I put up this post about doing fun work.  I was sincere at the time.  In fact, I'll quote part of it-

"I think it might be a real learning experience to play and experiment for awhile.  I decided this afternoon that I am going to dedicate any studio time I get for awhile to 'dinking' around and just see what comes of it.  Can I even make imaginative art?  Can I just be whimsical?  Probably not at first, but who knows?  I might just find I have something to say in a whole new voice.  Whatever comes of it, I'm excited to begin." 
I really did mean it.  This is something I still desire.  When I finished the painting, "Party at the Grand Canyon" recently, I realized I had just had a great time.  And then remembered what I had written in October. Here we are in March and I have intentionally played very little in that time.  Possibly not at all.  What's the deal here, and why is this so hard to do?
Though this one was fun to create, it was an accident.  I didn't approach it with the idea of trying something new, it just happened.

Last night I came back out to the studio and looked at the painting I am currently slogging my way through, then began to look through my photo files of paintings I've done in the past 3 years or so. What I was looking for were pieces that I had painted freely and felt joy while doing.  The great feeling I had doing them shows when I look at them.  It shows in the colors and it shows in the compositions.  I still get the same feeling when I look at them.  What- am I really that slow?  Does someone have to konk me over the head with this??  Apparently so.  More than once.
Of these two images today, it's pretty clear which one was fun to make.  I am not going to touch this one until I can approach it with excitement. 

So, I'm not painting tonight.  I'm going to go climb in my font of inspiration and take some time to think this thing through.  And I have chocolate cake.

Thanks for stopping by! Alice


Monday, March 14, 2016

Foreground Beginnings

Coming home from work today, I was determined to paint.  It was a very full day; I needed some still-my-mind time.  Thanks to Pandora and some peace and quiet, I feel like I'm going to live.  Not sure whether this painting will or not, but I'm walking away right now before I go too far.   What I've laid down tonight could be the foundation for a fun foreground or it could be the beginnings of a disaster, we'll see.  

This color scheme isn't one I can say I love at this point.  Gotta admit, I'm struggling with it!  
The time changed this past weekend for some of us.  The Spring switcheroo always throws me for a loop.  Moving forward an hour seems to have put a kink into a whole school full of children, too, poor things.  But, as Scarlett O'Hara said, "Tomorrow is anothuh day."  Thank goodness!  I'm finished with this one.  

Thanks for stopping by- Alice

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Take a Look!

Our youngest son is home for the weekend.  Although I had planned a studio-Saturday, having time to hang out with Parker trumps painting.  It's been a sweet time.  There will be time for the studio after work on Monday.  I hope.  Balance- it's all about balance, right?
The "Cacti" designs

In the meantime, if you haven't checked out the listing for the art note cards I wrote about Friday, you can check them out here: Whatercolorit on Etsy for the "Places" cards.  For the Cacti series, click Cacti cards HERE.  And have a wonderful day.
The "Places" designs
Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Friday, March 11, 2016

Moo Review

Four days ago I posted about ordering greeting cards with some of my paintings printed on them from  I also said I'd put a review of the company and product up when they came in.  Amazingly enough, the finished cards arrived today.  Four days.  Four. Days. Later.  And they are beautiful.
Unboxing the cards- there's another style of them under the green flap

Do you love boxes?  I still have every box from every Apple product we've purchased.  I love their boxes.  Moo's box is just as nifty.  What fun, cards to sell and a great box to put something in.  It's a two-fer.
The "places I've been" set; very professional looking.  I feel so legit! 

The paper the cards are printed on is thick and substantial.  The colors are exactly right and perfectly aligned.  What's not to love?  This is starting to sound like a stinking commercial, but I'm impressed.  When I'm ready for new business cards or more greeting cards or anything else they make, I'll be purchasing the service from Moo.  The end. (PS, I'll be posting these for sale on my Etsy page this weekend)

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Using a Split Complimentary

Violet and yellow are not color combinations I usually use, but decided to try them out on this piece just for the fun of it.  The scheme of split complementaries is one I enjoy, I just haven't played around with this particular one much before.  I'm liking it.

A split complimentary color scheme; it's surprising how many subtle tones can be mixed from these few colors.
No Pthalo Blue this time, either, which is a departure from my usual M.O.  The three colors I'm using are Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Yellow Deep and Permanent Alizarin Crimson.  The grey they have mixed is warm and quite brown, a good tone for this part of the world.  It's closer to our dirt color than other grey/browns I've mixed before, so one I'll return to in the future.

No idea for a title yet, but this is only 12" x 16" so should go pretty fast
The low hills with vegetation on them are the backdrop of our lives in Southern New Mexico, while old ranch houses like this one tend to be more functional than decorative.  As you know, I am an old house junkie and this one is particularly appealing to me.  Of course, being local, there will be mesquites in it somewhere.  I'm enjoying letting this unfold and planning the different bits as I go- a relief from a full day!

Thanks for stopping by- Alice

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Thought Provoking Questions

My dear friend and cousin, Juliana, sent me some questions this morning that made me stop and really think.  She is preparing to teach a class on sparking creativity to a group of women from all backgrounds and sent a little questionnaire out to gather ideas.  With only 3 simple things to answer you'd think it'd go fast.  However, I pondered on it all throughout my class schedule today.  I thought I'd share the questions and my answers here.
Being creative with color; violet and yellow felt like a great base to start with.  Now, we'll see what comes up next!

  1. How would you define creativity? What does it mean to create? 

Creating is not just an event, it is a way of living.  It is not exclusive to the fine arts but can include mathematics, science, homemaking, parenting- anything where one thinks or acts in a way that is different than one's normally accepted or practiced way of thinking or acting.   

What is means to me is living with curiosity and joy. It involves 'making.' Creativity can happen in any part of life, be it creating a peaceful atmosphere, a loving relationship or a piece of artistic expression.  

2. What steps have you taken to discover and develop your creativity/talents?

My list-
Formally and informally pursued instruction to develop my talents and natural tendencies
Worked hard to increase my skills
Regularly read everything that will add to my knowledge base that I find
Teach what I have learned and am learning to others
Tried not to be content with what I have gained, but continue to develop and grow new ideas
I pray for guidance in using what I am becoming to the best of my abilities
3. Have you found any successful ways to help others discover their own creativity (and would you be willing to share those)? (For purposes of the session, I'm thinking specifically of an exercise that would fit within the time-frame, but I'll take more long-range suggestions, as well.)

Answer the following questions:
  • Are you curious?  Do you ask "what if" questions?
  • Do you make lists?  Lists are fantastic tools to increase creativity because we list the obvious things first, then we begin to get creative.  
  • What kinds of things do you read?  Do they give you new ideas or give you a sense of escape?  If they merely give you an escape, change your reading habits.
  • Do you window shop?  Looking at the things others have created will increase your own ability to generate ideas.
  • How many hours of television do you watch?  Turn the cursed thing off and let your mind begin to entertain you instead.  It will!  And you will be more creative as a result.  Choose what you view very carefully.  
  • Do you have time alone to think?  If not, can you carve some out?  
  • Do you go to museums?  Galleries?  Observatories? Libraries? Book stores?  Classes at Home Depot?  Step outside your normal routine. 
I'm not sure if I have added any wisdom to her already full store, but the exercise did me a lot of good.  Sometimes I need to evaluate my course and make sure I'm headed down a path I want to be on, not just the one of least resistance.  And I think I am.  For now... Life is a series of adjustments, I think.  

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Gentle On My Mind

One of my favorite Glen Campbell songs is Gentle on my Mind.  The first part is: 
It's knowin' that your door is always open
And your path is free to walk
That makes me tend to leave my sleepin' bag rolled up
And stashed behind your couch
And it's knowin' I'm not shackled by forgotten words and bonds
And the ink stains that have dried upon some lines
That keeps you in the back roads
By the rivers of my memory and keeps you ever gentle on my mind
Even though it's a love song, it makes me think of how I feel about painting.  Although not every painting is actually gentle on my mind, in fact some make me clear crazy, the process of painting is gentle on my mind.   

Drawing a composition out is just the beginning of that process.  After it's blocked in, there are things to decide, like what colors will portray the mood I want and what to put into the foreground.  I need to understand what attracted my eye to the subject in the first place and which parts I will emphasize or ignore. I drew this one out this afternoon, but now will put it away and go read for awhile.  In fact, I'll walk out of the studio and turn off the light and let it rest in my mind till tomorrow.  Or the next day.   

This is part of the pull towards painting for me.  I have learned if I just let it sit, it will work itself out without any pushing from me.  When my mind is ready to start, I will know.  The struggle comes after, when I have to make what my mind has invented happen.  That, however, is for tomorrow.  Tonight I've done enough. 

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Monday, March 7, 2016

Whatercolorit Products

To me, this is an exciting day.  I have been trying to decide how to grow a small business with my art for months. As I've researched making prints and other products, though, the expense has been intimidating.  For example, a printing business close(ish) would have charged several hundred dollars to create cards with my artwork on them. Many of the websites I checked out required a minimum amount for a first order, which would have been about the same cost.  My big fear has been investing $500.00 or more in a product that nobody wants to buy.  I had to find a better option.
One of the images I chose for the test order

Finally, I took some time to check out and found I could place a small order that was within my budget with them and the reviews were very good.  So, I did and will test them out on Etsy.  They are supposed to arrive next week.  As soon as they get here, I'll post a review and show them off, good or bad.  If you are considering the same idea, use THIS LINK to get 10% off of your order.

And another
As exciting as this is, I hope I can sleep! Waiting is not my strong suit.  I guess one grows patience by exercising it, right?  Ugh.

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Party at the Grand Canyon

Aside from increasing the depth of the value on the lower left corner, this one is probably finished.
Party at the Grand Canyon
Mixed media on paper
12" x 16"

Having nothing to lose on this, I had a great time doing it. Maybe one of these days I'll be able to paint this freely all of the time- I hope so, it was a terrific feeling!  Fun, fun. 

Thanks for stopping by- Alice

Saturday, March 5, 2016

What if Van Gogh Saw the Grand Canyon?

On my way home from work yesterday it occurred to me that I could now play with my Grand Canyon painting with no worries of ruining it.  It was already ruined, so what did I have to lose?  What if it were covered with marker strokes in pretty colors??  I was too pooped to even start, but this morning my eyes popped open at 5:00 and the studio was calling my name.  Funny how hard it is to wake up on school days that early..
At this point, I decided this one might be worth finishing after all

Using Faber Castell's Pitt Artist pens, I waded in.  Within about 2 minutes I was feeling the energy flow and loving the color.  Maybe I've hit on a new technique I can use in other places, as well.  Having some dark and light tones laid in with watercolor underneath the pen marks is a fun look. I'm hooked.

Adding more shadow areas to the fore and back ground areas will help tie it all together as the marks are laid down.
However, like most Saturdays for working girls, there were more things pulling on me than just hiding out in the studio.  It's all good.  This will be drawing me back with its siren song.  And I'll be ready.

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Friday, March 4, 2016

Water in Watercolor, by Joe Francis Dowden

Let me just say that 7th grade is probably the low point of human development. That pretty much sums up the course of this day. I got home too late and too beat tonight to do anything but collapse with some dark chocolate and a book I've been saving for a rainy day.
"Water in Watercolor," by Joe Francis Dowden is a little book with no extra fillers, just great information about painting water. After I painted Along the Bosque and struggled with it so hard, it occurred to me that a gal who grew up in the middle of the upper Sonoran desert- surrounded by dirt and cactus- can't be expected to have much understanding of water. That was a relief, I'm not a complete dunce!
Dowden teaches how to handle different types of water, from puddles to deep water. This isn't just watercolor information, I think every painter would learn from it. He illustrates with closeup photos of how he's structured everything surrounding the water and reflected off of it. So much of his information had never occurred to me, water novice that I am, and will take some practice to understand, but it's very straightforward. No snobbery, no fancy art-speak, just pure teaching. If you need to better understand this subject like me, I'd recommend this book.

Thanks for stopping by!  Alice

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Lost in the Grand Canyon

And I mean LOST.  I hate working strictly from photos and this painting is a great example of why that is.  Photos flatten out what is usually a great view, making distances hard to read.  Trying to get a realistic idea of the atmospheric perspective is difficult with a photo of a normal landscape, but with the G.C. really, really confusing.  At least for me.  Maybe you have successful G.C. paintings lining your walls.  I clearly will not have even one, at least not from sitting in my studio trying to half decode a photo and half make it up.

After I realized I wasn't getting anywhere I wanted to be, I got out my trusty Sharpie pen and worked out where the lines I'd drawn had gotten off to.  It is a good drawing.  It's just not a good painting.  There's a difference.  
So, it's back to the old drawing board for me. I know- that is a terrible pun, but it's better than crying, right?   Two bad paintings in a row.  This is just plain dumb and stupid.  But, tomorrow is another day.  Now, I am going to go eat ice cream.  Lots of it.

Thanks for stopping by- Alice

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Do You Hide?

Well, I do.  Regularly.  It's not that I don't like people because I do.  I love them- lots of them, in fact. However, when the chips are down and I have to decide whether to go to a social event or stay home in my studio, I'd rather stay home.  Trying to explain this, or even understand it is beyond me.

I had to laugh recently when I came across the following:

“The poet, the artist, the sleuth - whoever sharpens our perception tends to be antisocial; rarely "well-adjusted", he cannot go along with currents and trends. A strange bond often exists between antisocial types in their power to see environments as they really are. This need to interface, to confront environments with a certain antisocial power is manifest in the famous story "The Emperor's New Clothes".” ― Marshall McLuhanThe Medium is the Massage

The Emperor's New Clothes has been the drum I've beaten regularly for years as I look at the world of art critics and prestigious galleries- or anywhere else a herd mentality reigns.  Although the quote is thought provoking and interesting to me, I'm not convinced yet that it's totally right.  It implies a certain self-superiority of perception that the creative mind has and most artistic people I love are more humble than supercilious.  I think...   See, I am not 100% sure on this one yet.  

I want a bit of an abstracted look to this. Not sure if I can leave the details alone or not.  
How do I know if I'm just someone who would rather not bother with socializing because being home is more fun, instead of a social snob who holds herself aloof from the "those people?"  These thoughts are what I've been mulling over as I sit in the studio trying to figure out how to paint the stinking Grand Canyon.  Maybe that's the trouble here; I'm thinking too much and not just letting this one happen.  Whatever it is, I am going to leave off and go hide some more.  Perfect way to spend an evening!  

Thanks for stopping by- Alice  


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Meet Karyn Neil

While working on my degree, I had the privilege of having a private student, Karyn Neil.  While she had some experience as a painter, she wanted to learn about using watercolor paints.  We had a hoot working together in our studio at the school and giggling like teenagers.  Plus, watching her catch on to the medium was exciting to me. Who can resist sharing what they love? Certainly not me.

Add caption
This semester, Karyn has completed three fabulous watercolor paintings and entered them into a juried show.  When I opened the attachments in the email she sent, I was thrilled with what I saw and knew I had to show them to you.  All she needed was to be pointed in the right direction to take off and find colors and a style all her own.

Karyn works as the secretary of the art department at Western New Mexico University while taking classes toward her degree.  I suspect it's difficult at times because department business can take over class and studio work.  However, she still gets paintings done each semester and is improving steadily.  I admire her gumption.

If you'd like to keep an eye on her work, visit her blog, Gone Painting.  She's a new blogger, but I expect to see more beautiful stuff there as this artist grows and progresses.  Be sure to check it out.

Thanks for stopping by! Alice