Dawn of a New Day

Psalm 65:8 They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs;
You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy.

P1140733.JPG

 

p1140395
My reference photo

I decided to not go as dark as the reference photo this time around, I might try it out again later but for now I wanted to focus on the light.

As I have taken time off to contemplate where and what and why of my painting, I have learned quite a few things about myself and of my approach to my particular style of painting. I don’t plan on making my posts as long as I have in the past, but rather a thought or two or something that really stands out within me. Who knows I might talk your ear off!

This particular painting has been a work in progress for several weeks and I struggled with getting it right. I have found that “getting it right” sometimes is merely allowing myself to be pulled along in the creative process. It is not making it like any other artists’ work or the work that I admire. It is ultimately about me, my style and what I want to say.

I truly believe that painting is not to be rushed, especially studio work. Even with the plein air work, I am hoping to slow down to capture what I see. I had a few scrapes trying to get this painting to say what I wanted and the more I pushed it, the more frustrated I got. Then today it was a matter of trusting the process and being carried along creatively. The scripture in Psalm 65 speaking of dawn and sunset came to mind. All things have its’ cycles and place in time and I think that includes being creative.

 

Advertisements

Beginning of the Beginning

 

P1110179
Shenanigan Flat plein air from August

I thought that I would post a few of my favorite watercolor paintings from the past 5 months. I started this amazing journey delving seriously into learning this wonderful medium and to discover my particular style. I wanted to include the painting above because I feel that it depicts where I want to be in watercolor. Of course this painting only shows a smidge of the style that I envision.

P1110684
semi-abstract

A semi-abstract of several madrone trees in my backyard has been an adventure of sorts. Finding my way around abstraction, loosing up and learning not to be so critical of myself in having a “perfect” painting.

1929123_1114157456248_7043839_n.jpg
plein air from 2014 on Wallis paper
      My past has been solidly planted in soft pastel for approximately 17 years. The above painting is one that I wasn’t too sure about at completion because of the looseness but now I see it as being perfect because it is loose.
     As you can see, I have come a long ways and have even further to go, I believe that the artist life is very complex and a never-ending journey. If you have been following my blogging here on WordPress, you learned from my last post that I am stepping away during the month of November to give myself a breather. In actuality I found that I was delving deep into an area that I have visited many times before which I feel goes against my creative striving.
     I am aware of this being normal for a creative, but in my case there is a portion that is solidly based upon my childhood and wounds that have occurred. My hope and plan is to focus on how to bounce back quicker with less stress. I also am wanting to put to rest the need for validation and hopefully to leave behind a large portion of my harsh self criticism.
     When I had originally thought of taking a month off, I was questioning if it was something that I should do, when I ran across a post by a fellow blogger that tied right into what I have contemplating about, I knew it was a confirmation.
      I am a very positive person who has great hope for my art and what I can learn from pursuing being creative. I could touch upon a lot in this post but it would be too lengthy and you all be yawning and ready for this post to end. I do believe that when I do come back in December, I plan on blogging more about the creative life (and struggles) in addition to my art adventures.
     While I am on my leave of absence, I will be working more on a painting that is meditative Intuitive Painting-Psalm 65 If you want to snoop into the conversation regarding this planned absence, I suggest that you read the comments in this post  Fall on the North Yuba. Goodness, it is about time I end this and post it. I will be come back and keep an eye on the feed, until then….happy creating!

 

Time out for Relaxation and Play

P1100884.JPG
reflection of leaf in the North Yuba

I’ll be picking up my grandson, Rollin, tomorrow to spend some time with my husband and I until Saturday. I did go out to plein air paint this morning but didn’t care for the results of my paintings. I had a feeling I should had given myself a rest day but I ignored it and chased the light. My paintings aren’t really all that bad but I am tired, so I decided since I am going to have my grandson over till Saturday, I would take a week off from art and rejuvenate my artistic self. I have been failing to take my mornings out on the patio to read my Bible and to meditate.

How did I ever allow myself to get on this “go get ’em” routine? I plan on paying better attention to my spiritual and physical self in the future.

P1100854.JPG
Ah, gold in that river!

Intuitive Painting-Psalm 65

I am back to painting and  will be starting on a watercolor soon. I was hoping to go plein air painting but it is very cloudy out there and is threatening to rain, which we need so badly here in Northern California.

While talking about art with a fellow blogger, I had mentioned my intuitive painting, he suggested that I post about it and my progress. So, here we are!

P1070947 (1).JPG
Tentatively named “Psalm 65” (the blues are not as rich as it is here in the photo)

I have been wanting to start this painting for a long time and I fought it because I didn’t know how to paint Psalm 65, do I go realistic or abstractly? Well, as you can see I chose the latter.

With this  painting, I literally empty my mind from any distractions, thoughts, ideas of what this painting should depict even though I was basing it upon Psalm 65. I am going for the spiritual and not literal.

This  is how I usually proceed.

  • Put on some music, lately it has been Gregorian chanting
  • Relax, pray, wait, empty myself, wait
  • Paint only what I feel I should paint…color, shapes or nothing
  • Don’t paint from the need to put a mark or color down
  • Entirely intuitive painting, nothing comes, paint nothing
  • Once I put the painting away till the next painting, I do not ever look at it or evaluate it (I broke my rule of not looking at it to marry it up to my photo for this post)
  • Don’t judge it while painting, or ever!
  • Be in the moment, no visualizing it as being done or half done or partially done
  • Treat it as an eternal puzzle piece, a stroke at a time

The why of this painting….well, it is a long story and at this point I will leave that out until a later date. I think if anything this is a personally designed experiment for me because I am a goal orientated person as most of us are. I come from parents who were workaholics and who focused on the finished product. I struggle with this so much, probably more than others because I have a tendency to castigate myself for not having a perfect or near perfect end product. I push myself to produce the end product, yes but also to have perfection in what I do, both in life and in art. I truly want to break this because it is not coming from the artistic self, it is coming from the “false self” the self that strives from a primitive part of the psyche. Striving for a whole bevy of reasons and I am very aware of this. I often spend time battering against this and arm myself with knowledge, both head knowledge and spiritual and yet, it remains a struggle.

Working on this painting is an attempt to work this out within myself. Thank you for taking the time to read this post being that it is a side step from my ongoing watercolor challenge. I would very much appreciate to hear what you feel or perceive but not what you think of the painting. I only ask you this because I am not going there myself, this is an open session painting with no analysis at all from myself or from others. Thank you so kindly!

 

 

Glorius Tulips at Crystal Hermitage

13043559_10209152143342799_1259297145503130942_n

I wanted to do a special post that highlights a recent visit to one of my favorite places in our part of the world. Crystal Hermitage at Ananda Village is a spiritual community and retreat located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada approximately 18 miles outside of Nevada City. I have a long history with Ananda having lived within 10 minutes of the village when I was a young adult. I remember hiking up to the Master’s store to buy a soda or commune in the beautiful surroundings. Every time I make a trip to Ananda I always think back to many memories of having once lived close by. Even though I don’t share the same faith as the people at Ananda, I appreciate their spiritual search and I feel very comfortable and attuned to their spirituality. http://www.crystalhermitage.org/

13015678_10209152129662457_340053079451181438_n

The Crystal Hermitage is where you’ll find one of the most beautiful gardens of its kind in the foothills. It is located on the edge of a canyon over-looking a vast area that has a spectacular view and if you crane your neck you’ll be able to spot the South Yuba river.

13083227_10209152170383475_8195271895757339030_n

My brother, Doug joined me on this visit and while we were there we ran into my cousin who was raised in the area. She related many wonderful stories which included our great grandparents who had a saw mill just down the road from Ananda. Marcena is a vivacious woman and she is the most cheerful, outgoing person I know. She continued the tour with us and had us laughing more than once!

P1070661

P1070805.JPG

Beauty and serenity everywhere! I feel that it is important to get away from the hustle and bustle of life. Dig your toes into grass or sand, walk the quiet of the woods or through gardens, see and experience nature. It is something that I feel that is easily forgotten while living in our modern society.

13071969_10209152153183045_4784010050629534157_o13063185_10209152163423301_7629030790687269622_o13062232_10209158650585476_241725181924541503_n13077014_10209152136982640_5274289618977975652_n

Apparently the gardens are open throughout the year and can be accessed except for special private events which then the gardens might be closed.

13062122_10209152162903288_4156084487565586607_n

13076682_10209152134622581_4187346378047605244_n

 

Walking throughout the gardens you will find beauty everywhere you look. I am thinking of going back and plein air painting but that will have to wait for another two weeks because of the weather. The tulips will be gone but there is much to choose from to paint.

13086924_10209152164343324_4234659640111770590_o

Get out there to paint or enjoy nature where you can find it. Thank you for coming along with me to this beautiful part of the country in Northern California!

13002332_10209152182143769_6485493808066069241_o