Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ho, Hum, and New Artwork

It's not really news that we got yet another snowstorm during the night.  There have been several since I last wrote, keeping me sequestered in the house.  Since I rarely go out, it hasn't changed my life much. This morning I did ad a new wrinkle to the consequences of so much snow.  After trying to get the dogs out for a walk, which they refused, I tried to put them back in the house.   I couldn't open the door, which I had slammed shut with difficulty moments before.  After several mighty kicks to no avail, I realized I would have to climb the drifts and make my way to the back door.  I knew it was open since I haven't been able to close  it over the snow that has accumulated in the shed.  I kicked some snow away from the car door and convinced the snow covered dogs to jump in.  Then I climbed the two huge snowbanks that stood between me and the back door, pushed through the shed and around to the front door, which was stuck.  Back outside to get the dogs, then inside.   I decided to take yet another picture, got the camera, opened the door, and Willy charged through it.  He is in the picture beside the car, headed for the street.  Luckily the huge snowbank stopped him and at my urging he slunk back inside.

 Carrie was visiting last week, arriving and departing on the two snowless days we've had in the recent past.
We had a very nice, low key time, mostly in the house shivering and talking, or watching movies.  This picture was taken the day she left.  She arrived in New Hampshire just before it started to snow again.

The rest of the snowbound days have been spent on artwork...woodburning for the most part.  First I experimented with pastels, though.

These are on acrylic primed watercolor paper, about 18x24.  The third pastel was a bomb, so I moved on, back to my wood squares. 

The last one is an experiment in coloring the wood with pastel.  I like the idea, and the results, but I haven't done it again yet.  After this, thoughts of my show at the Arts Center in May pushed into my mind and I realized I needed to change my focus.  Before going back to painting, though, I had to satisfy the dying gasp of my pyrography obsession.  I decided to go back to one of my favorite subjects......the Szondi faces of my childhood that probably will haunt me until I die.  I went after them with great enthusiasm until yesterday, when the urge died as quickly as it was born.
Here they old friends........or some of them anyway.  I may do more later, but now i return to my acrylic friends watching the 4th of July parade.  I started yesterday, falling in love with a women with her legs crossed and a man with his stomach hanging over his belt.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Janet's work

My last post was about my friend Janet and her work.  I just received this photo of one of her new works.  Because I talked about her so much, I thought I'd share it.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Back to Pyrography, and Musings on Success

I got a bunch of 8x8 squares of wood from David and Thom for Christmas and this is the first time I've tried them out with my wood burning pen.  It turns out that they are just wonderful surfaces for the purpose.  I was inspired by a picture in New Mexico Magazine of this beetle.  I have no idea how big it is, but I gave it scale with the background leaf.  I also thought the veins in the leaf added more "essence of bug."

After I did that one yesterday I still wanted more time with my wood.  Like just about everyone who likes horses, I love pictures of horses running in water.  The splashing water presented a challenge that made the image even more appealing. I'm not sure what I did looks like splashing water, but I like it anyway.  Pyroghraphy is such a rewarding medium............quick and good-looking.  I'm not sure I would want to do anything much bigger than these (fear of boredom), although working after you have the general subject, it's fun to go over and over, tweaking the values.  Big is really not my thing.  Even though I am working a lot of the time, I get tired of the same thing, both subject and medium.  "Jack of all trades, master of none" fits me perfectly.

My old friend Janet has worked on the same thing all her life......watercolors that blow your mind.  Every time I see something she has done, somehow it seems that she is still improving.  This in spite of the fact that the last thing she did appeared to me to be the best watercolor a human ever painted.  I don't know how she continues to get better, but she does.  Janet is a person who knows how to set a goal and work hard to reach it.  We were both once new painters in the Bangor Art Society.  We became friends, and I watched her strive for one goal after another........a show, a sale, a contest, a prize.  Now she is a member of the American Watercolor Society and a couple of other national organizations.  You can look her up on Google and find many pages about her.  She wins prizes all over the world and sells her work for thousands of dollars.  There are articles about her in magazines.  I watched her climb the ladder of success with dogged determination, and she let nothing get in her way. When we stated out, we both entered our first juried show.  It was a show of miniatures. Both of us won prizes and we decided to send our masterpieces to a bigger show in Florida.  Again we both won prizes and both our paintings sold.  For Janet it was first step.  For me it was a last step.  I had entered a show, I had won a prize, I had sold a painting out of a big show.  To me, the goal had been reached.  All that remained was more of the same.  It was just a matter of scale.

So here I am, not sorry or envious.  I am full of admiration for us both.

Monday, February 02, 2015

................and even more

I don't remember seeing this much snow since I was in High School.    This is the third blizzard in a week.  It's still going on out there with very high winds and lots of blowing snow.  The picture is right as I step out the front door.  This whole area was completely shoveled out yesterday.  I was finally able to take the dogs for a good walk.  Then this morning it was still fairly open and we went out again, but not as far because the wind was picking up.  I knew it was going to snow very soon, and I needed to drive to the store.  By the time I got to the grocery store about thirty minutes later the wind was howling and the snow had started.  The roads were very slippery, but not many cars were on the road.  That was not the case when I drove into the parking lot.  The place was packed.We all bore a striking resemblance to snowmen as we packed our carts with supplies.  We hadn't been able to go out for a few days, and the future looked pretty bleak in terms of trips to the store. Everyone evidently took the brief window of opportunity to shop. On the way home the roads were very slippery with very poor visibility, particularly since my windshield wipers were frozen in place. 

 This is the top of the lilac bush in front of the house.
This is the street outside my front door.  The lower right shows the tail of my car poking out of
the snowbank.

So, that is the story of winter in Eastport.  I Don't think I will post any more boring pictures, but it's hard to resist.  Nature is so amazing.