Monday, January 28, 2008


I’m a big admirer of artists who start with an idea and paint it without reference photos or standing before the actual scene as they paint. However, that process doesn’t work for me. Which brings me to today’s journal entry about my lack of inspiration to paint.

This time of year, where I live, much of the vegetation is the same neutral winter color. Last month, December, there were wonderful colors of bark and grasses all slick with rain water. Now it is dry and cold and dormant. Maybe it’s time to take my camera and leave town for more colorful places.

Having complained about this month, I may as well go ahead and complain about spring too. Everything is GREEN. Wonderfully varied fresh newborn greens but still green. I’ve learned to move beyond all-green scenes. Maybe I’ll eventually be able to paint January color too.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Upside Down

With most of my tax preparation done, it's time to get back to painting!

When I began working in pastel five years ago, I was in love with the look and feel of applying it to a surface. As I look back at some of that work now, I wonder what I was thinking in terms of composition (apparently, I wasn't thinking anything).

Before the holidays, I unframed one of those old paintings to reuse the frame. I hung the piece upside down on my studio wall as a place to store it until I decided what to do with it - rip it up or crop it. Yesterday it caught my attention. It looked like a landscape instead of an upside down unsuccessful painting.

Hmmmm. I taped it to my easel and rubbed the image away with my fingers.

Taking clues from what remained of the previous painting, I discovered a different scene. This painting will probably never be framed and sold but it was an interesting experiment and it felt great to be painting again!