Unpredictable Sonnet painting

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I love this looney sonnet so much, I want to marry it. Here’s a painting, that, like all my paintings, changes enormously before it finally reaches a place that I start liking. Sonnets work that way for me, starting dry, intellectual and then warming up into a blaze of emotion and insight.

Sonnet

Billy Collins

All we need is fourteen lines, well, thirteen now,
and after this one just a dozen
to launch a little ship on love’s storm-tossed seas,
then only ten more left like rows of beans.
How easily it goes unless you get Elizabethan
and insist the iambic bongos must be played
and rhymes positioned at the ends of lines,
one for every station of the cross.
But hang on here while we make the turn
into the final six where all will be resolved,
where longing and heartache will find an end,
where Laura will tell Petrarch to put down his pen,
take off those crazy medieval tights,

blowout the lights, and come at last to bed.

*

I loved acting and all things Shakespeare in college. I memorized and performed 3 sonnets to a thoroughly surprised 400 level Shakespeare English class in 1987.  It won me English Student of the Quarter, even though I was just mimicking Ian McKellen. That summer, I played Ophelia in summer stock’s wild west version of Hamlet. Apparently, you can drown in those cowboy boots, “too much of water hast thou Ophelia drunk.”

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Mother & Son

    I’m pouring myself into this online workshop “Art Entwined” with the exquisite Misty Mawn. This piece is a work in progress. I like it’s rough sawn, unpainted quality. It’s an Egon Shiele study, sans heavy lines. I get an eery delight from painting the bony hand joints with fleshy pinks.

The child’s face makes me ache and look away. I yearn to have a young son to hold close again.❤️ My teen son is out gallivanting around, climbing rocks, enjoying his excellent young life. As it should be.🌿

Sigur ros, john cage, arvo part, and Philip glass are my musical inspirations these days.

Finished. 

   

 

She Went Thru Many Changes

I’m loving quinichridone azo gold. I wish I could dye my own hair with it! I’m also using it in skin tones mixed with lots of GAC for a transluscent effect I adore. Here is a piece that took several goes before I could integrate her Egon Shiele-inspired hand to integrate with her mood. And her hair. ^.^                 

Portraits and Pain

  

Can art and painting help us process our feelings? Feelings that rock us so hard we think we’ll never be the same person again.

   
    Or is artwork a distraction, a place to focus attention away from hurt and sadness? Does the creative process mull our awareness and feelings into the artwork without us knowing?

  
This is a piece that I suddenly realized I was painting for one of my dearest, oldest friends. She lived through cancer last year.🔺

 ❤️ 

#mixedmedia #redheads

Portraits consume my every painting hour~ alas, I cannot paint enough of them to satiate. Bringing their moods to life is divine. LOL.

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Anyway, I am really having fun with them. Here, I used an older, holly hobby-like piece I did, and then remixed. Lots of layers and texture in the background.

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Garland of Roses

  From my workshop #Entwined, #misty mawn. Portraits. Portraits. Portraits. How endlessly fun and challenging it is to draw and paint their moods. I love building up layers of skin tones, rubbing lines out with gauche, re-highlighting parts, etc. Its like a strange puzzle that I am drawn to doing over and over.

  
  
  
 
  

  

   

Experiments with portraits

“The object isn’t to make art, it’s to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable.” ~Robert Henri

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I’ve been steadily working my way along in Misty Mawn’s online class. My favorite part is portraits. Portraits. Portraits. How endlessly fun and challenging it is to draw and paint their moods. I love building up layers of skin tones, rubbing lines out with gauche, re-highlighting parts, etc. Its like a strange puzzle that I am drawn to doing over and over.

As always, I like showing the process, just as I love seeing almost anything in a Before and After format. Here are the phases of a couple of older portraits. I started in one direction then veered away in another:

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This little piece belongs to a children’s story my mom wrote, that I’m working on illustrating. The story is about a little family of birds that forms, lives, dies, and learns to fly.

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Here’s a wonderful quote from Mary Oliver that feels reassuring to me these days.

“Creative work needs solitude. It needs
concentration, without
interruptions. It needs the whole sky to fly in,
and no eye watching until
it comes to that certainty which is aspires to,
but does not necessarily
have at once. Privacy, then. A place part- to
pace, to chew pencils, to
scribble and erase and scribble again.”

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An Egon Sheile study

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Here’s my painting of Egon Shiele’s self portrait…from an online tutorial with Misty Mawn. Egon Shiele was a prolific protégé of Klimt, and was highly influenced by another his work, but evolved into his own style. I’m moved by Shiele’s ability to take a few lines and create a moving work of art. He spent a lot of time focusing on self portraits and the human figure. His work was often erotic and sometimes disturbing. Egon Schiele was born in Austria, dying of spanish flu at the age of 28 ~tragically, a couple weeks after his pregnant wife died of the same plague.

Characteristics of Shiele’s work:
Strong, sometimes jagged defining Lines, especially of knobby hands, emotional and often provocative sexual forms, bold colors.

Here’s my study of his self portrait, which I chose because of the articulated joints of the fingers:

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I used a photo of my son, with his shocking hair, to capture a similar Sheile-like quality. Then added some fun photo filters from pxlr, while listening over and over to a steel drum rendition of David Bowie’s The Man who sold the world:

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Here’s a favorite poem, by a favorite artist, Lawrence Ferlinghetti:

Don’t let that horse
eat that violin
cried Chagall’s mother
but he
kept right on
painting

And became famous

And kept on painting
The Horse with the Violin In Mouth
And when he finally finished it
he jumped up upon the horse
and rode away
waving the violin
And then with a low bow gave it
to the first naked nude he ran across

And there were no strings
attached

~Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 1958

Everyone an artist

Listening… a little to Bon Iver, Holocene & The Wolves so gorgeous…then made a little shift to Sigur Ros…& how easy it is to draw & paint listening to this music

it’s another overcast/rainy day here, perfect for lingering over a pot of coconut earl grey tea from Wonderland Tea & finishing my early portraits from Misty Mawn‘s workshop. I loved this project, I think I will do it again soon…started from magazine images, painted black background, on a Cigar Box lid.

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I’ve been thinking about who is living an artist’s life? Everyone of us. Since everyone is living a life, and the creative force of the universe is inside each of our nervous systems, our spirits, then no matter what life we’re leading, we are all artists. The cement layer with their trowel, the lawnmower with their rows, the long haul driver with wild mind full of paradise thoughts, the painter at their easel or house going for color, smoothness, lines, the doctor cross referencing a thousand remedies and wounds to apply the right salve. We’re all artists.

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“…so this this the sound of you
here and now whether or not
anyone hears it this is
where we have come with our age
our knowledge such as it is
and our hopes such as they are
invisible before us
untouched and still possible.”

~from To The New Year, WS. Merwin