daily painting | poppies demo

It was my privilege yesterday to do a Zoom watercolor demo offered by Frank Bette Center for the Arts in Alameda. I was so nervous at the beginning! I couldn’t get my phone to function properly to video my work area but we figured it out. My brain stops working when I’m anxious, but then I started to relax; I am learning how to let go of nervousness when people watch me paint and draw. I worked on two paintings, so I could paint on one piece while waiting for the 2nd one to dry, and so on. I did the drawing first for this painting with sticks and black acrylic ink, working from a photo of poppies in Tilden Park, taken during a lovely hike last year. I started painting #2 with a fountain pen drawing from a photo of begonias, but that one was not successful and too busy. The sticks method keeps things looser, less rigid and I liked how this turned out, wanting the white, papery flowers to stay simple and less worried-over. Must do more sticks work! It’s fun, keeps me relaxed, and the final work is less fussy. It’s always good, from my viewpoint, to play with the media and not worry about end results. To create from a place deep inside myself. If I am aiming for a keeper, I produce crap. The pressure was on to create a work that the Center could auction, so this was kind of a happy accident. It was sold during the Zoom demo and I am honored to have had this experience. Watch this space as I start to create my own painting demos which will be posted on YouTube. I also will be offering classes on video for sale. Thanks for reading!

10″ x 10″ watercolor, sticks-and-ink, acrylic ink on paper

 

 

 

daily painting | jean gray

Kitty #2 for the Frank Bette Center for the Arts fundraiser (www.frankbettecenter.org). I was liking this painting until I needed to do the face — thank god for acrylic pens. My fixers. Worked on this over a couple of days, taking a break to cry today as I watched the memorial service on TV for all the Covid deaths. Heart-shattering. I’ll be up in the morning bright & early & squirrelly to celebrate Biden’s inauguration which can’t happen soon enough. I have struggled lately with dark moods, and today is a bit better. We can all say we’ve been through many difficulties in life — you can’t be on the planet for six decades, as I have, without pain and loss — and being this old gives one perspective; this has been an exceedingly challenging chapter both for myself and my country and we’ll get through it. Wild winds whipped through the bay area last night and today but so far no deck chairs have sailed through my neighbor’s windows. Weather as metaphor. I’ll make some comforting soup tonight and sway along with the rocking and rolling as my houseboat is buffeted by the fierce gusts (which are starting to calm down). She’ll be OK. I’ll be OK. Mooring lines are secure.

7″ x 10″ watercolor, pen, acrylic ink on paper

 

 

 

 

daily painting | zuri

The Frank Bette Center for the Arts in Alameda (“FBC”) is having a fundraiser; folks sent in photos of their pets and FBC assigned volunteer artists to create artwork of the kitties and dogs and other critters (I was kind of hoping for a turtle). Check out www.frankbettecenter.org. Zuri was my assignment — I’m working on an orange tabby as well, and the paint is drying as I write this. Kind of housebound today — a bit under the weather and this morning I freaked out as I ate some of last night’s dinner salad and it tasted, well, mediocre. Is it my taste buds? Am I sick with Covid? No other symptoms, but I’ll lie low and quarantine for now just in case. I think it was just a rather bland salad as my morning tea was delicious. I suspect it’s because my emotions are raw and my nerves are like unraveling mooring lines; had a fairly dark night last night, wondering if loneliness and isolation could be fatal. It sure feels desperate and horrid and I’m thoroughly sick of it. But then, my darling granddaughter in Sacramento FaceTimed me today and I got to say hello and laugh at her two adorable tots (who are 5 and 2) and hear the latest stories about their antics (like finding a whole jar of vaseline and covering their bodies with it — including hair, bedding, blankets, the dog); it takes serious dish detergent to remove the gooey mess, I learned. Ick. But they all seem happy and healthy and normal, and though my arms ache to hold them and my lips don’t remember what it’s like to kiss loved ones, it was fun to see the fam on my little screen. Sigh. One day at a time. Hope tonight’s dinner is a bit more satisfying. I’ll let you know.

7″ x 10″ watercolor, pen, acrylic ink on paper