daily painting | horizon

Worked on abstracts on the weekend; my ISP has been doing maintenance so wasn’t able to post until today. It has been satisfying to work on these 12″ square boards in my studio; I was working on one large painting and 2 small ones simultaneously. I’m in a bubble of artistic self-doubt (is it possible to turn that into protective bubble wrap?) as I try to answer life questions about where to be, how to resolve financial challenges, wondering if my art sucks and whether I’m delusional or horridly arrogant. I don’t know the answers, so I’ll just keep getting my paints out as that’s the only thing I know for certain I need to do. My faith tells me the solutions will arrive at some point, right when I need them. Life is never static, ever. I will follow the advice in The Power of Now and resist nothing.

12″ x 12″ acrylic on claybord = $185

 

 

 

daily painting | marina iris

I think this is an iris? (Googling around flower pics, it’s a good guess.) My passion for painting flowers never seems to cool, and that love affair has been going on for about 40 years (seriously, I am that old). This one was popping up in a sea of nasturtiums along the walkway of my marina in Alameda and I quickly took its pic while schlepping loads of laundry to the washers & dryers. This work was a more traditional watercolor with a minimum of pen and other media, and the painting session in my kitchen was a welcome break from my usual news junkie habit (you should see the paintings I try while watching news programs! Disasters!). The vibrant Daniel Smith paints are lovely to mix and puddle onto my sketchbook pages. Though in this damp weather it takes forever for them to dry (rats, I see the rains have returned; might skip that quick jog but maybe a patch of blue sky will arrive).

7″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper = $90

 

 

 

daily painting | christina

I had a ball—again—visiting the figure drawing group in Oakland. Ridiculous amount of talent in that group (I get to fill in when a regular member can’t be there). Until I’m there I forget how much fun it is and how I miss those guys. Generally the beautiful artwork produced there is more traditional so I’m the party crasher with the loose watercolors. I was determined to do a number of quick sketches, and play with the paint, keeping things less defined and staying unconcerned about the results. There are also folks there who constantly crack wise and keep me laughing, which is refreshing and lovely. It’s such a treat to spend time in a group of artists. My tribe. Been attending that group for 10+ years, off and on. The East Bay has such a glorious abundance of artistic offerings.

7″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper

 

 

 

daily painting | binos

I was fresh out of nice bouquets or farmer’s market goodies for daily painting subject matter and I definitely wanted to pull my watercolors out on a rainy day last week; roaming around Alameda looking for interesting scenes to paint during the storm wasn’t an option. Et voila! Binoculars on my table, sitting on top of the case, ready to take on my adventure the next day looking for golden eagles in the East Bay hills (there are quite a few nests in the area between the Carquinez Strait and the Sunol open spaces; next time you hike in those hills, keep an eyeball on the sky). Of course the binos are a dull black, so it was fun to play with color and ignore reality (I have a particular talent for overlooking the obvious, at times). Anyways, I’m not posting every day as I’m happily spending more time in my studio working on larger paintings, now that I have my wall back since the melted metal piece is finished. If you buy this painting, I will add a small eagle in the lens, as I did spot a pair of adults.

7″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper = $90

 

 

 

daily painting | front yard

While in San Diego visiting family, I was without wheels one day so I decided to walk to the grocery store for supplies for the family shindig. This delightful aloe (I think?) was in the neighbor’s front yard, against a pinkish stucco wall. It was so compact and solid and had the best leaf shapes and gray-green-blues. I took a photo and worked from that today now that I’m home. The mystery of the soothing effect of painting was especially welcome today as I am pinging around with emotion after seeing my dear sister who has cancer, and visiting my granddaughter in Sacramento over the weekend and her adorable little ones. I am all over the place emotionally, but I’m buckled in. So many reminders these past weeks of how much I love and appreciate my family tree with its varied branches. They are indeed sturdy.

8″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper = $100

 

 

 

daily painting | walk to school

Ahh… so good to get the paints out again; the painting pause lasted over a week while I traveled to San Diego to spend time with family. One morning, as I walked to grandson Heath’s school to join his class for a field trip to a play, I spotted an unusual-looking yellow flower hiding in the ferns and palms along the street. Took a photo, then had a blast with oodles of enthusiastic and adorable 1st and 2nd graders as we went to a play in Balboa Park. Was lovely to extend my trip so I could be Heath’s “Mimi” amongst the mom chaperones. Was a jam-packed and wonderful week, with family festivities with my sister and her family from Seattle (I think at the end the their trip the sun actually came out), beautiful and emotional moments with my daughter, and watching various kids (of all ages including adults) romp on the trampoline. A time of much love and connection and abundance and we will all long remember little 2-year old Zoe, my sister’s firecracker red-headed granddaughter, being offered a cup of water. As she knocked over the small outdoor table she said, “I don’t want water! I want WINE!”. A moment added to family lore.

5″ x 8″ watercolor, pen on paper = $50

 

 

 

daily painting | opportunities

This larger piece on paper evolved over a few days. The underlying painting was watercolor and pastel and was done about 8 years ago, and I find it interesting to take older works and bring them into my current painting practices. The bright hues of acrylics plus the rich blacks of India ink were fun to incorporate into the original design—which was not a bad painting, but something from my past. There’s an ache, in the depth of this piece, that I could see as it evolved. Even while working through sadness and losses, I am drawn to the bright colors. I think they comfort me and make me feel hopeful.

30″ x 22″ watercolor, acrylic, pencil, ink on paper = $795

 

 

 

daily painting | shackles

These rigging implements, called shackles, were pulled off the lines securing my floating home to the large metal rings on the docks of my marina. Clanking and banging in high winds, they were the reason for a fair amount of lost sleep during this fierce winter. Thanks to Vern who re-rigged me with quieter solutions, I am happily snoozing during dark and stormy nights. They are so sturdy and solid and I wanted to convey that in the painting, which resulted in so many layers of paint I thought the final work would weigh about 5 lbs (it doesn’t). They are a mix of rust and steel and bits of my housepaint and would likely survive a hurricane even if my boat didn’t; a mosaic of shapes and flaked paint and worn bits. I couldn’t wait to paint them once they were removed, so I also removed them from Vern’s possession. He was OK with that. He can have them now (I know they belong to me, but I’m glad if Vern can recycle them).

9″ x 12″ watercolor, pen on paper = $140

 

 

 

daily painting | tulip tree

It’s very nice when the sun streams through my kitchen window and dries my painting. Slow-going, waiting for puddles of pigment to dry, in the wet and stormy weather we’ve had lately (not complaining—as a native Californian I know it’s sacrilegious, but I grow weary of the monotonous sunny days and forgive me, those of you swirling around frigidly in the polar vortex, for sounding terribly ungrateful!). Last week I parked near this tulip tree in Oakland, and its pinky-red magenta blossoms were so striking, with little spring green buds surrounding them. It’s like the flowers are confidently standing up and saying, Here I am! Standing tall! And I’m beautiful! It’s inspiring to me. It’s wretchedly easy to succumb to tsunamis of self-doubt; and it comes with the territory of being an artist. And while it’s a challenge to believe in oneself as a painter, it also has lovely rewards and I am very glad to have taken this road. Though lately I’ve seriously doubted my feet under me, I am continuing on and my panicky moments are limited. I love the phrase I heard years ago from a counselor giving out advice for keeping one’s head: “Dial 911, step over the body, and do the dishes.” [I know haven’t posted much this week; been painting away with mediocre results. I’ll keep at it as I want to paint from photos from last weekend’s Chinese NY parade.]

8″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper = $100

 

 

 

daily painting | dark corners

Not sure how to describe this one. It’s been a week of raw emotion, retirement-planning confusion, wanting to know what’s around the corner, wishing I could see into my future (how much future do I have left?), wondering if I’ve missed important signposts along the way. Is there such a thing as a post-mid-life crisis? Am I lost? Or is it just the middle of the night in dense fog and the headlights only illuminate 10 feet in front of me? I want a good high-def crystal ball, dammit. Experiencing life and all its glories (eagles in the east bay hills!) and pains (cancer? F–k cancer; why shouldn’t my sister live forever?). So here I am, bumping around in the dark, wondering how all the puzzle pieces fit (and yes I’m trying to come up with as many metaphors as possible to stuff into one post). I have no answers, and it would seem my spiritual path is accepting not knowing. And having faith in life, in myself, in love, in the divine. Splashing around in wet paint lubricates the sharp edges and for that I am grateful every day. Thanks for reading this, art fans. And for your kindness.

12″ x 12″ acrylic, pencil on claybord = $185