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Friday, March 30, 2007

Spring neighbors

These sheep are from the McEnroes, whose farm connects on to the back side of ours. Their place is hopping with spring babies. The church is drawn and painted from the road through Canaan. I think this is a time of spiritual affirmation, as we wake up and shake off our dark winter's rest. I used some gold leaf to highlight the prescious nature of new life and new beginings. 7.5 x 9 inches, mixed media on paper.

the train station map: in the studio

fabulous, funky, scary, exciting, thrilling,and wondrous
first day of painting in the studio

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Walk in the woods

12 x 9 inches watercolor and pencil
Went for a walk with my long lost friend Eleanore
The woods were magnificent. water running everywhere. I want to go back and paint on site...

the train station map: at the welders

two shots this a.m.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Growing in her shoes- haas welding

This 5 x 7 acrylic painting is on torn handmade paper. The shoes are growing plants instead of roots. By working on the county map and networking in the community, I am traveling, yet staying home and growing stronger, in a way.
I have a dealine now for the train station map- May 2nd. John came and took the panel pieces today to his shop to weld an aluminum frame around them. He will be having knee surgery on Friday- so he is just squeezing this job

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Dreamy cow again

Dreamy Cow and Dreamy boys
I think, for the next few days, I may be searching for the muse outside of my daily painting. For instance, the last two days I have painted daily and yet my heart and time have not been in it. And believe me, it shows. My heart and time is with my boys. The last two days Max and I had to do errands and we had a nice couple of lunches. One lunch at KJ's. I loved lingering over a sandwich and hearing about Max's vacation. He shopped for special gifts. Today we ran to the mall. In our efficiency we hit 8 stores and got art supplies, school supplies, clothes, shoes, bath supples, new pillows and a meal at the food court. Max had me laughing and listening. On the way home we saw the school church steeple marking the spot in the landscape where kent is. Across the sweeping vista and we sent blessings to Kent in the wind. The muse is with me and Max as we move through the day.

Monday, March 26, 2007

dreamy cow in process

HERE IS MY LARGE DREAMONG COW- in process. sewn paper painting

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Lessons from a cow

acrylic and color pencil on paper. The painted area is 4 x 6 inches
On my way to the airport to pick up our sons, my husband drove and I painted. The frost heaves and curves leant the picture a blotchyness and all I could do was laugh through it. My youngest sister, a vet, gave me these 12 lessons for life from a cow: 1. Wake up in a happy mooo-d. 2. Don't cry over spilled milk. 3. When chewingyour cud remember there is no fat, no calories, no cholesterol and no taste. 4. The grass is greener on the other side of the fence. 5. Turn the udder cheek and mooove on. 6. Seize every opportunity and milk it for all it's worth. 7. Honor thy fodder and thy mother and all your udder relatives. 8. Never take any bull from anybody. 9. Always let them know who's the bossy. 10. Stepping on cowpies brings good luck. 11. Black and white is always a fashion statement. 12. Don't forget to cow-nt your blessings.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Brown cow with or without tea cup

This piece is still in process. I've been working on it over the last two weeks. It's sewn and painted, and then sewn again. You tell me. Which works better? With the tea cup or without?
I never did my small daily painting today. I did a lot, though. Every inch of the studio is propped with work. Got so involved in my map panel and oil studies and larger works that I couldn't stop to focus on a small quickie. Sigh.
I've been playing for daYS/ WEEKS/in my studio and I am not seeing clearly anymore. Living on potato chips will do that.
My boys come home tomorrow. I need to run the dishwasher, buy some food...I am ready to be a mom again!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Hungry cows

4.25 x 7.5 inches acrylic on paper
Wow, these cows are hungry. Watching them eat, I painted while listening to the crunching cud, the crushing hay, the raspy licks, the snorts and sighs. I felt overwelming nostalgia for my boys. They come home in two days. I can't wait to feed them.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

studio and barn work

6 x 4 in. acrylic on paper
This is a creepy ladder going up into the grain room. I wanted to paint it- but only Andrew Wyeth could do justice to the peeling white wash and the dust weighted cobwebs. I can't ignore the shocking mouse hole right at the top of the ladder! I can see the sky through it. Yikes! Also I have put a second coat of prime on my "map". Hopefull to start work on it soon.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Shadows through the woods

I traveled to Pawling today and had lunch with Amy and Bibiana. we talked of those cycles inherent in a creative life where you flounder and ask," what is important? Why am I doing this? Does any of this matter?" They are hard questions, painful and often strike at the darkest hour. They are reflective questions artists bring to the larger society. Is it our role?
Funny, I haven't had those questions since starting my daily painting last fall. I wonder if the small steps, the motion of each exercise, keeps me feeling purposeful. I know some of the daily paintings are quiet silly, and weak, yet it feels so good to get them done and OUT.
Even though I haven't finished priming the map panels, I am getting a good visualization of the painting. I met with a group of artists and business people who want to promote art along the eastern corrider of the county. It struck me how rich in talent and ideas this area seems to be. By Friday I must visit Rhinebeck...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Shadows across the upper field

I traveled to Beacon today meeting my friend Louise for coffee and gathering ideas for the train map. This afternoon the cows got hay- Rick climbed up the grain ladder, and George got the tractor out. I was struck by the blue shadows across the snow and inspired to quickly paint them...acrylic on paper 4 1/3 x 4 1/2 inches

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Station Art's Map- SKETCH suitcases on map

Working on inspiration for re-attacking the map project. It has been on hold since the weather has been so terrible. I cannot get the temperature in the barn up enough to facilitate proper bonding or priming. Today I had lots of meetings- three in a row- and my favorite one of all is tonight- 6 of my best women artist friends will be coming over to discuss the state of their art!
My daily picture is actually a quick sketch...suitcases on a map, in pen and pencil.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Little sunshine- Hay there Cow!

Celebrating the solstice this week- the moment of balance between light and dark. My painting- Hay there cow! is a more "lite",optimistic, view than my inner psych might reveal. Imagine the snow up to this cow's neck. Imagine a smaller portion of hay. The snow is up to my knees and hard to walk on- crunch through the surface and sink, drag your leg up high and crunch through the surface and sink, crunch through the surface and sink, drag your leg up high and crunch through the surface and sink...on and on across the chore line. The barn door, with lots of kicks and some shoveling, opens just wide enough for me to pass. The hay, from last week, is completely gone, and I am not sure I can get into the loft. The cows bang their heads into my grain buckets when I try to pour into the troughs. Rick has promised to help me after his work tomorrow.
My egg is painted as an acknowledge of the potential of our future- a feather, for growth and lighter moments.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Coffee break -dig out from under the snow

We are recovering from another blizzard. After shoveling out the porch steps and the cars, my husband, with his fourwheel drive capabilities, took me to town. It seemed every house along the way had someone shoveling, blowing, moving the snow. I was touched by the vision of so many elderly men working with jackets unzipped and hats tossed off. (I'm glad my dad is away right now). We stopped at the diner for a cup of coffee and some french toast. If you are interested in either of these paintings, email me!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Bird on tea cup- Baltimore Oriole

I am getting such a thrill from painting the birds.
A winter blast is on it's way and I hope there is shelter for all living things.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Painting heaven

I have spent the last two days painting, cutting, arranging, sewing, painting. I start at 7am and break to eat breakfast when my husband comes home, about 2pm. Last night I had a bowl of popcorn for dinner around 10pm. I know, in the big scheme of things, that what I am doing is not of world importance, but it feels so good- so enthralling, so serious, so interesting- to be making beautiful pictures. I imagine them floating out of the studio to foreign walls, spreading cheer along the way. Two of the works are large (22 x 28 inches) quilted patchworks of cows in fields, four are (12 x 12 inch) sewn airline tickets with maps and images of coctails painted on them. My daily painting is of the birdfeed filled teacup on my porch railing. My aunt gave it to me as a gift and I LOVE it. The Muse is with me. I can feel the flow. THE PAINTED AREA OF THIS PICTURE IS 4 X 7 INCHES ON MEXICAN HANDMADE PAPER. UNFRAMED SOLD

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The cows are outstanding in their field

Today I sat on my porch and painted the landscape cross the road with some giant cows. I finally figured out what my problem was...I wasn't switching brushes! I wasn't changing the water. Sometimes when I get depressed, or ill, or just distracted, I latch on to my trusty brush come what may. I rely on the fact that there are days when this Brush seems to flow magically swift and cleverly exact. In fact, I panic if I can't find this brush. It seems to hold the key. But a new fact is that the brush cannot always be trusted. Maybe it has gotten damaged, old, certainly clumpy. There are 25 other brushes in my roll up kit. So I chose a couple relativley new brushes and did a couple cows. I had to remind myself to have fun... and then...AHA I was in the flow...I might share tomorrow some of my other paintings- I painted today from 9am to 6pm.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The thaw

These are 5.5 x 5 inches, or 5 x 5.5 inches
acrylic on paper with a little pencil I'M SELLING THEM BOTH FOR THE PRICE OF ONE
It seems to be actually warming up! The cows graze on ochre patches of soggy vegitation that appear at random intervals across the ice covered fields. The geese are overhead and on the fields as well. Besides their honking, the other sound is of dripping, dropping, gurgling, flowing water.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Still winter here

I sat at the airport and watched my boys take off to my mother's this morning. They are the most amazing gifts in my life. they keep me full. I am sorry to see them go, yet anxious to have more time in the studio. My boys are thrilled with the prospect of seeing their cousins, being warm, playing outside, wrestling in the pool. On the way home I had to pull over and paint the neighbors cows. It still looks like winter here- though temperatures have risen to 40.
I feel exhausted, mentally and emotionally. These are not my best, really- just two clumpy sketches in paint...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Dreams of old age

6 x 4.5 inches acrylic and color pencil on paper
It's days like today my mind starts to slip. The temperature has risen to 40 degrees and the birds are chirping everywhere. Yet it is windy and cool enough to make me want to get back into bed.
I have a fantasy about getting old with my sisters (and their spouses) on some Caribbean fronted porch. We've talked about it for years and call it "the compound". Basically it is communal living with our own individual private areas. I need porches to set up my easel and potted plants. Tin roof would be nice to dream under. I don't need a kitchen. I do hope there is a good international airport nearby. This picture is an imaginative escape to my dream porch and our rockers lined in a row.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Sometimes nothing works

Sometimes... I just can't get my brush to work...and... I cling to it unimaginatively- ignoring any other of the fifty brush options. I stare at the scene in front of me in complete loss. The sparking interest my subject initially held fades with sustained study- perhaps there is too much information- or too little- or too much depth--or not enough. The muse has gone out and my life seems just as messy as my paintings. Mucky. Yucky. Messy.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

birds ornamenting tree

4 x 6 inches acrylic on paper
I am still having fun with Willy and the mural. Here is a picture of him with his computer (Auto Cad) and with my son Max along the Hudson River.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

looking back

6 x 9 inches acrylic and pencil on canvas
Got up to 14 degrees(F) today- a veritable heat wave!

A Train wreck, by committee

It's so hard to keep poise and positive when dealing with unreal and unrealistic beaurocracy. They are so indecisive. First it was a wall mural, then it had to be self standing, and NOW it is "a safety hazard" because it is self standing. Then, for fear it might be a tripping hazard, they want dimensions, and after they get them, they want ME to tell them the clearances- and I have to guess what the clearances have to be for code. And then, in the midst of it, our contact for the committee says he's going on vacation and won't be back until mid-April. So everything grinds to a halt. I had to cancel the welder. I am wiped out. I already bought and cut some of the wood for the main painting. But first, the barn is hard to heat- last night we worked in 40 degreeF and couldn't attempt to glue the map panels. Today- armed with kerosene, electric and wood burning heaters we got the area up to 70 degreesF and were able to glue one panel. Six hours later the glue was still gummy. Grinding halt...What a pain-in-the-neck.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

CURLY HEAD the cow

4 x 5 3/4 inches, acrylic on paper
It is 3degreesF today- The cows are just leaning against the sunny side of the barn, trying to stay out of the wind. Willy threw down more hay for them last night. I am feeling much better today- was it just something I ate?
Anyway- Curley head's expression seems to ask- "is it going to be cold much longer?".

Monday, March 5, 2007

Bird on tea cup

4 x 6 inches acrylic on Mexican walnut dyed paper
I am not feeling well, there is a pain in my stomach...a virus is making it's way through the family, from Texas to NY, and it struck me last night at about 2am. I am living on toast and tea. My brother is left to fend for far as progressing on the mural- he heated up our work space in the barn a bit and got more wood and worked on the sketches....yesterday we spent a couple hours at the train station taking photos, film, and admiring the beauty of the architecture. Lots of ideas flowing back and forth. I am inspired. If I could only get up and walk!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Birdhouse in woods

My brother arrived last night in the sleeting rain and we went out to eat sushi in celebration. This morning, when I awoke, I saw he brought some Texas sunshine with him. The woods were sparkling brilliant. This is the view from my bed!
6 1/2 x 4 inches acrylic on Mexican handmade paper dyed with walnuts. The paper is actually very beautiful and thin with some lace like holes which don't actually show up unless you hold the paper up to the light. I have left torn edges around the boarder of the piece. My brother-in-law Jon brought me the paper from one of his trips to Mexico. I owe him a painting...

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Cow- Samantha- going for midday snack

6 x 9 inches acrylic and pencil on paper

It looks as though Samantha is the outcast- always the last in line, always a loner. Did her youth as a primped and pampered calf in my son Kent's 4H scar her socially?

Friday, March 2, 2007

Cow nap in shade of haybale

The cows seem content. This one naps.
Bad weather is on it's way but the level of hay still in the feeder still looks promising.
Acrylic and pencil on paper , 4.5 x 6 inches

Thursday, March 1, 2007

woodpile for dad

4 x 6 acrylic and pencil on paper

The Station Art's Map

I got the supplies ordered and Rob at Herringtons couldn't have been more patient and helpful! Thank goodness we have someone like him in our town!