Here's a cyan magenta and lemon yellow still life.
8x10 on canvas panel.
The egg really was green. I have been safekeeping it since last April (insides blown out) to paint a still life, and in the middle of this painting my cat sat on the egg and broke it. I had to use a replacement egg.
We are having a wonderful snowstorm tonight. The plant parade project is snowdrops over at WetCanvas, so I thought I should contribute this month in honor of the snow. The text is a Hildegard von Bingen verse honoring the Virgin Mary. I chose it because according to my medieval flower book, snowdrops are associated with her.
The design inspiration was the Prayer Book of Michele de Bezzoso, but the motif is my own creation..
Goodbye drawing table that I have been using since high school! I have dragged every last bit of usefulness out of you. Since I can't draw on you anymore because you long ago stopped staying stable at an angle, I have been using you as a taboret to keep my brushes and paints next to the easel. Now, your definite easing into a downward slope is making me excessively nervous. My daily prayer has been one of thanks that my paints and brushes amd solvent jar did not suddenly slide off you in the middle of the night. Or the middle of the day for that matter.
So, it is with fond farewell that I bid you goodbye.
Number of cats that interfered with the moving of the table: 3
...to set New Years intentions. I hope 2014 will be better than 2013 which just wasn't all that great.
This year I met all my intentions: I drank a whole lot of tea, meditated quite a lot, and met my unofficial goal of 1 studio painting per month. I have to date finished 16 studio paintings this year, not counting plein air. Not all those paintings have been posted because they are part of a series.
So here are my 2014 intentions:
1. Drink a lot of tea
2. Finish 1 studio painting per month (total 12 complete)
-including 1 master copy (Memling)
3. Finish Through the Tarot in 78 days
4. Fast 2 days a week
5. Art reading: Color by Betty Edwards
Here is a painting from Central Park. Not my best, but I brought my daughter out painting with me and was teaching her. She did her first ever oil painting/first ever plein air painting. Hers came out better than mine.
Since I don't feel like re-writing this story again I'm just going to repost what I wrote over on WetCanvas:
Today I went on my annual painting pilgrimage to the rose garden at
Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. Because I really needed some nice
painting-in-nature-solitude today, I decided not to paint in the rose
garden- there were too many people.
After searching around for a bit, I found a lovely perfect shady tree to
stand under, with a lovely composition to paint. And no people or
school groups around. I'm sorry if that sounds really grumpy and
antisocial but outdoor solitude is so hard to come by, sometimes I don't
mind people around but I wanted to be alone today.
Here is a picture of the view:
Isn't it nice? Aren't those flower bushes pretty?
I started setting up my gear. FIVE MINUTES after I began setting up, a
lady with a suitcase and folding chair came over and settled down. I
was annoyed. Then I thought "Well, maybe she is another painter too." I
grudgingly admitted it was a lovely painting spot so I could understand
why she would want to paint there. And I decided that even though it
was annoying, another painter around was ok.
Oh, but she was NOT another painter after all.....
She sat herself down under my tree with her back to me and proceeded to open her suitcase which was full of....corn. She was shucking corn. She came to sit under my tree to shuck corn. In the middle of Brooklyn.
This stuff only happens to me.
Well, I moved. I can't paint under such irritating circumstances. And
I'm sorry to be such a grump but WHO DOES THAT? WHY did she have to
come over to my spot?
Anyhow, I painted this tree. 6x8 oil on panel, about an hour and a half.
Today I went to the baked potato truck for lunch. The guy who runs makes a pretty good baked potato but...he's weird and inappropriate. My friend ordered her potato, but when I ordered mine he gave me the option for a sweet potato. Which sounded pretty good until he said sweet potatoes are like female Viagra. That's just so skeevy I have to share it with everyone.
Actually the sweet potato with spinach and cottage cheeze still does sound good, I have to weigh that against dealing with the skeevy Russian dude...hmmm.
This painting is a wedding present for my friend/co-worker who is getting married. She is obsessed with her dog. I have been working on it for about a month, it took a lot of planning. The background is a pattern from Victorian wallpaper. I hope my friend likes it!
I really like Winsor Newton Renaissance Gold paint. It has a lovely sheen.
This painting is difficult to photograph well, unfortunately it's overcast today. I may have to try again with sunlight.
Turtle Pond 6x8 oil on panel, about an hour and a half
I was standing on the dock behind Belvedere Castle. I really wanted to
paint the castle, as a week ago I got all set up then the rain started-
way earlier than the hourly forecast said it would-
of course I didn't have my umbrella. I would have stayed except the
paint wouldn't adhere to my panel, I was so mad. So last Friday I went
back to the same spot but the angle of the sun made the castle
impossible...so I painted Turtle Pond instead.
I think I dropped something in the pond by accident but I'm not sure
what...I thought it was one of my solvent jar lids- the ones that Ben
Haggett packs with his boxes...turns out it wasn't, thankfully- whatever
it was sank so fast I couldn't tell what it was....nothing seems to be
missing so hopefully it was just an old crusty oil paint-laden paper
What can I possibly say about what happened in Newtown today? It is just beyond inhuman and unimaginable.
Newtown CT is my hometown, I haven't been there for years but even so it is definitely one of my most favorite places on the planet. It is a wonderful beautiful peaceful pre-Revolutionary war New England town. Nothing ever happens there, and I am in such shock and grief about what happened today. Every time I hear about one of these tragic shootings I am sad but today I am really grieving, it's hit a very personal nerve. Especially since I have a daughter in second grade. It's too close to home because, well, it is home. Newtown doesn't deserve to go down in history for something so infamous and offensive to humanity.
I just can't stop thinking about all those families who lost children.
Carey says my blog is too sad and maybe she is right. But I am very sad so it is fitting.
I went out painting today in central park, up at the pool around 103rd street, away from all the tourists. Here is a little 6x8 I did in just over an hour.
The more I paint the more I realize that painting is really a test of how good one's focus is. I am glad I painted small because I only had about an hour of good focus in me today.
I forgot my rigger and my trees at still a little too fat (WHEN will I get over that) but for an hour's work I'm ok with the painting.
The Pool 6x8 oil on panel
I am still ridiculously sad about my cat. I still look down and expect to see a kitty, I have to remind myself I can't go and lug the cat to sit or sleep with me. I have to stop myself from calling out hello to the cat when I get home. It's too empty here.
So last weekend I started filling out applications to the cat rescues to get pre-approved so I can have a new hope cat pulled from the NYC Urgent Cats kill list. I sent my application to Anjellicle Cat rescue, and filled out the NYC Urgent Cats Pre-screener which is sent out to many rescues. A rescue, K9Kastle, contacted me immediately. I applied with them and was approved. I told them I was looking for a long-haired tortie, young, preferably between 1 and 3 years old who would be ok as a single cat. And...they have one!
I wasn't expecting to find a cat so soon. I go to see her on Sunday, and I'm 99% sure I will take her home.
It's bittersweet- I am so sad about Sigynn and I miss her so badly, but I am really excited to have found another kitty. I hope that having a cat around will lessen the sense of loss- I will miss Sigynn for a long time but it really will be wonderful to have a kitty around again.
I said goodbye to Umber today. But at least he's still alive. Since Ali died, Umber has been really lonely. My friend Branwen's rat, Mr. Cocoa, died a couple of weeks ago and his snuggle-buddy, Sunshine is all alone and very lonely. Rats are like people in that they require companionship of their own kind. So Umber moved in with his girlfriend in New Jersey.
Umber was the second-coolest rat I ever had. He was by far the friendliest, most social rat I ever knew. He was also immune to stress, including the time he fell into my daughter's bath. He liked to go out and participated in two medieval faires, trick or treating, trips to the playground, Ali's vet visits, and visits to my friend's home. He is a great traveling rat and loves everyone pretty much instantly, especially if they scratch his head.
Here is Umber winning a cheese-stick war with Branwen.
I have no pets now. It's really weird and my apartment feels oddly empty. I can't believe I lost all of my pets in a single year.
Umber will be missed terribly but I know it ws the right decision and the best thing for him.
...My life and safety or your photo with the naked cowboy?
Last night I was crossing 7th ave and 46th street. there is a little narrow island in the middle of 7th ave which is a very busy street. I got stuck there with a huge gaggle of tourists and the Naked Cowboy. The tourists wanted to take a picture with the Naked Cowboy, so they were trying to get me to move....INTO ONCOMING TRAFFIC. Think speeding buses and trucks.
If you are a tourist in NYC (or anywhere) please do not ask anyone to endanger their safety so you can get a photo with a half naked man who will still be there when the light changes.
My rat Alizarin passed on tonight. She
was really old. I had a feeling earlier today that she was dying...she
was acting slow (although still eating!) and she felt colder than
usual. Ali couldn't have had a better passing...she went peacefully,
painlessly, at home in her hammock with her friend there to soothe her,
after a really long and happy life. I will miss her; she was my special
Siamese Beauty Queen. I had always wanted a Siamese rat, and I adopted
her a couple of years ago at Ratfest.
Ali was extremely hyper,
addicted to her wheel and chocolate, she was the only rat that bit me
more than once, deliberately, although that stopped when she settled in and got comfy in her forever home.
I hope she is there at the Rainbow Bridge with Quinacridone who passed on in March.
Now Umber is all alone, poor guy. :(
Here is a picture of Ali being lazy in her hammock.