July 29, 2015

Flights of Fancy

 I know my paint box is way too clean. The rest of it I call organized chaos.
  The flowers in the front were painted last July. I'm working on the Lady Slippers. It's a flower that I can't seem to let go of.

New addition.  It needs to be re-potted.
Life size.

I decided that I would try and draw everyday in July. I've almost kept that commitment. A few more days and I will have nailed it. Hopefully, I can do the same for August.
I had a few comments and emails regarding my last post. I think we all agree-- sometimes tentatively-- that yes most people can draw, so please don't give up. And don't worry about mistakes because mistakes are a big part of learning anything worthwhile! And if someone should laugh so what. Well, I know it's not always comfortable to be laughed at, but the following story warms the heart and points out what's possible.

Many years ago, I met a lady who was the older mother of a friend of mine.  And wow, could she paint!  She painted landscapes, ocean scenes, flowers-- the most divine silken roses, portraits--you name it. She told me that she didn't pick up a brush until she was in her fifties.  She had a wonderful studio that faced the ocean. Sand for miles, sunlight dancing over the waves, a few twirling seabirds and the salt sea breeze that begged to be inhaled as it, with a hint of mist, swirled in through the open windows. I could have stayed there indefinitely. 

After tea, she took me up to the attic where she stored her earlier works. As I stood looking at her paintings, she smiled and said, "it's laughable, now, isn't it?" Sometimes the spotlight is not the place to be. I mumbled something and shifted uneasily. Then she ask me as she pointed to a large canvas  (her first) if I knew what it was. I studied it for awhile but I couldn't come up with an answer. "It," she said, with amusement that tickled the corners of her mouth and played up the light in her eyes, "is a lady of the evening." (Abstract would not begin to cover it.) She also said she was very proud of that particular painting.  She went on to say that one evening, at a gathering, just after she had painted it she showed it to a few of  her neighbours and everyone laughed. 
I skipped down the stairs. It was time to go.  But before I left I took one last look out of her studio window at the beach and the sea in the distance and then before I left the room I looked back at her beautiful paintings and felt certain that she clearly had the last laugh, although I'm sure she didn't want it because she was so kind.

Enjoy the weekend!

July 19, 2015

Sketching Flowers Part II

A little jazz for my new sketchbook.
Top of the week to all of you!  I don't think I've every posted this early in the week.

Because it was so drab, I decided to dress up my new sketchbook; that, no doubt, is probably the point of buying one of these books. (I bought it because the paper.) I am not sure how long these watercolour flowers will stay on the Kraft paper, but I enjoyed painting them.

Over the years, I've heard many people say that they can't draw.  I don't think that's entirely true. Why? Because I was one of those people. It was only when I changed my mind that I managed to get something down on paper other, that is, than a stick man.  For me, drawing is a dream/wish come true! (Hmm, I wonder what else I can change my mind about ~ not sky diving!)

To expand upon that thought below is a video that someone sent me. It's amazing ~  you can't believe your eyes.  As you watch, you'll notice the deep concentration going on behind that paintbrush. However, with that said, I do feel very ambivalent about this video. In many ways it's heart breaking because, of  course, I'd like all wild animals to be free, but that's not always the case, especially these days. (This elephant is also someone's bread winner.)

We all know elephants are very intelligent, but should an elephant be taught to paint? We used to think that only humans used tools, this video goes well beyond that idea. On the other hand, perhaps this type of training will help the world recognize and cherish animals more, including saving their habitat.

What are your thoughts?

July 15, 2015

Sketching Flowers

Lilies ~ in all their glory!  I tipped these back for the camera.
Sweet Peas
Brown-eyed Suzies

I haven't been out and about as much as I would like, but did manage to capture a few flower pics. I've started a flower sketch book and since July 6th I added in one or two sketches a day. (I'm stocking up for the winter.) 
As you can see from the painting peeking out on the far left, I've also been drawing/painting fuchsias, but, unfortunately, I dropped a wet brush on the painting, so it's not much to look at.   Although I did manage to remove most of  the dark purple paint with a magic eraser, I'll have to begin again. Obviously, practice is a good thing...

Welcome to my new email followers.  Thank you so much!

Have a lovely week!

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