Monday, January 26, 2009

What! No Picture?

No picture, no painting, no particular reason to post except that I noticed something missing. My profile picture disappeared! My Newgrange rock mysteriously dematerialized. I don't know when it occurred. I just noticed it missing today. Anyways, I decided to post a new profile picture. Since I received several kind comments about my dandelions I will use that as my profile picture for now. We need a bit of brightness to get through to March!

What? You wanted a photo of me? Hah. I'm photo"phobic" not photogenic. Never have been. Never will be. I could not find a photo of me on the computer so you are all safe (for now).

I also want to show my appreciation to Poetikat. She gave me flowers and considers me a great blog friend. Thanks Poetikat. You are the bestest. If you haven't checked out Poetikat, please do so. She has two of the best blogs ever! Checkout Poetikat's Invisible Keepsakes for wonderful intriguing poetry @ Also if you are a member of Generation Jones,(like me) you might appreciate her"Blasts from the Past".

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Moving toward Abstraction

Since this blog is a place to post and discuss my developing art habit, I thought I would share with you my experiences in moving from purely representational painting into a more "abstract" style. While my paintings have been described as "painterly", my subject matters have been based on realism. These paintings are also based on "realism, but with a movement toward simplification. This first painting, "November Gold" was developed from a sketch. There is a twisted fencerow behind my house which is a constant source of inspiration for painting. I am continually drawn to the twisted, gnarled trees. I took my sketch to my studio on one particularly chilly evening and this tiny (12x12) painting evolved. I was more interested in capturing the feeling of the golden sunlight passing through the golden leaves. I simplified and flattened a lot of spaces.

This second painting "Dandelion Invasion" was painted on a beautiful spring afternoon. The pear and cherry trees were blossoming. The birds were singing. The bees were humming. I felt energized. I planned to paint a "plein air" landscape but could not do it. I was drawn to the silly dandelions that dotted my lawn. I flattened the space and painted from an aerial perspective. I focused on color and texture.
Dandelions, are such happy little invasive flowers! They are loved by all children and despised by gardeners and lawn nazis. They remind me of happy times. I gave a different dandelion painting to my father for Christmas. He was the proclaimed lawnmeister of Sara Ann Court.
As I venture further into the land of abstraction, I am focusing on design, texture and space. I am painting non-objectively, but perhaps adding recognizable objects. ( I have started a class) I will post some of these when I produce a start that is postworthy! I would appreciate your comments, positive or negative.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pretty Bento Boxes: "My Lunch Can Beat Up Your Lunch"

The daughters each received a Bento (Japanese Lunch) Box for Christmas this year. Daughter D decided to do her research and found several Bento recipes online. One was entitled "My lunch can beat up your lunch". (Ha!) D gave me a list of odd ingredients. Unfortunately our lone Asian grocery store was closed so I proceeded to the Giant to see what I could find.

I could not find Red Bean Paste. I did find Nori (toasted seaweed sheets), Rice vinegar, "sushi" quality rice, crab, avocado and fresh ginger. We made a pot of "sticky rice", paddled it and added rice vinegar and a bit of sugar. It was delicious. The kids made some rice cakes wrapped in Nori. We also made Nori rolls with crab and avocado. Please note these are Americanized versions of Sushi (forgive me Dive) but healthy, delicious and great for kids.

This is not a great photo of the Nori rolls, but you can see a bit of the bento box. The other goodies visible are shrimp on a bed of bean threads or cellophane noodles with some edamame for color. I had these ingredients already and thought they would look pretty in the Bento. Presentation is everything!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Iced Again

There is something amazing and magical about an ice storm. The ice magically encases every branch, leaf and wire, transferring the dull brownness of winter into a fantasy land.

These pictures were taken on Thursday (two days after Tuesday night's storm). D and I tried to catch the rays of the late afternoon sun illuminating the icy branches. The photos might give you some idea, but we couldn't quite capture the feeling of walking around and through the woods. (a future painting perhaps?) For those of you that are familiar with my paintings, you know that I am fascinated with the effects of light through branches, foliage and just about anything.

Unfortunately, the ice knocked down some power lines. These lines cross our property. Somewhere down yonder lines were down. We were without any power from 6:00 pm until after midnight on Tuesday. We made a fire, lit a bunch of candles and drank mint tea (thanks to our gas stove) and listened to classical music on a little battery operated radio. Dumb Neetzy had her laptop plugged into the wall without a surge protector. On Wednesday afternoon I tried to turn on my laptop...nothing. D finagled with it and it is now working. (That's why I keep him around. He is also tall and can reach things for me).

We did enjoy a two hour school delay on Wednesday. Wednesday night I started an abstract painting class at the Art Association. I will be working primarly with acrylics. I have been wanting to revisit acrylics for the last year or so. They are very versatile! Of course I will continue with oils, but I'm excited about my new adventure.
A snowstorm was predicted for today, but the path was diverted, leaving us a tiny dusting and more ice. I was to start a grad class today but it was cancelled due to the impending weather. The Alberta Clippers are always disappointing. I am ready for a good Nor'easter. I want to be snowed in for a few days.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year's Resolution: Take More Naps!

Okay, so I've not lived quite up to my expectations this year. So what?

I didn't send any holiday cards. So what?

I didn't send a year end letter like I promised. So what?

I didn't clean the pantry, or the basement, or the garage. Who cares?

Another year of clutter will not kill anyone.

In 2008, I did accomplish a few things:

I started a blog to post some of my art. (I didn't realize it would also be a fun recreational activity) I successfully entered and was accepted into three juried shows. I completed four graduate classes. I lost 10 pounds. I regained the 10 pounds with 2 additional friends. I am continuing to paint. My students finished a large mural at the Windy Hill Senior Center. I successfully survived another year of parenting two teenage daughters.

For 2009...I have set goals but no real "resolutions". I do not like the word "resolution". I feel that I am setting myself up for failure just by making a "resolution". I don't think "Eddie" makes resolutions.

Goal One - Finish my Masters Degree. (I hope to finish by August)

Goal Two - Get Healthier. Note that I am not resolving to lose those 10 lbs. again. I did join a gym. I am actively watching my weight. I have to do all of these things. I will be turning the big Five-O this year. OMG!WTF? I just want to be around long enough to finish "my masterpiece". (I haven't even visualized it yet).

Goal Three - Take time for myself. Do whatever. Take an actual vacation somewhere. Paint, relax, sleep with my belly exposed on the loveseat.

Goals beyond three - Start an actual webpage; keep a creativity journal; submit paintings to the "Art of the State"; begin a masterpiece; clean the pantry; clean the basement; clean out the kids' lair; clean out my own lair.

Final goal - Take more naps.