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Archive for the ‘Painting in Realism’ Category

I love the new advertisement for ?? is it WalMart?  It may not be the most successful ad, since I cannot remember what it is for, but I love it anyway.

We are all raised with an idea of what beauty is.  My mother tends to use the word pretty for all kinds of things.  “Doesn’t she have a pretty face?”  “That shirt is pretty.”  “There’s a pretty rock.”

Conversely, anything she does not like is ugly.  “That sausage tastes ugly.”  “That yard is ugly.”  Etc.

My idea of pretty is a bit off from my mothers.  I think that Whoppi Goldberg is one of the prettiest actors (I guess using actress is not PC.) around.  But, somehow judging say, Nicholas Cage, on a pretty scale is just wrong.  Now, if you want to talk Viggo Mortensen——.

I have painted portraits professionally for over twenty years now, and I think all faces are beautiful.  I love Whoppi’s smile.  It makes her beautiful.  Some people have beautiful eyes.  Some have beautiful wrinkles.  Honest! 

And, I love to watch that commercial because every one of those people is beautiful, and so are you!

P.S.  Right now, I’m looking in the mirror and reminding myself that I have always thought wrinkles were pretty.

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I have not posted on either blog very seriously lately.  I did have a bugger of flu, and then there were trees to decorate and cookies to bake and gifts to buy, and excuses to make up.  Not to speak of the book I am working on. 

 

I think my personal editor is actually taking a break from her editing though to—do what?  Teach and grade papers?  Shop for Christmas?  Decorate and cook for the upcoming carload of six people, a dog and a rabbit that will be descending on her house for Christmas? 

 

So, I got out my trusty list of things I have had on my list forever.

 

1.      Master’s daughter gave me fabric to make quilt squares; sweet clueless daughter that she is.  But, in fairness to me, my sewing machine is not working, which seems like a pretty darn valid reason to skip to next item on list.

2.      I have an almost finished wedding ring quilt to finish.  I mean this thing has been ongoing for daughter-of-eleven’s last eight kids.  She has now lost the right to it, so it is up for grabs and has literally, one set of maybe sixteen squares left to put in.  See excuse  #1.

3.      I have fabric for ten of my thirteen grandchildren for individual quilts.  I quit buying fabric three grandchildren ago but I probably have enough to cover them too.  OH, and did I mention my sewing machine isn’t working?

4.      I wanted to give JRock a blue jean quilt.  He loved the one his mother gave him, but his stepfather threw it in the burn barrel.  IF I can get my machine working before Christmas, this actually moves up to #1 on the list.

5.      Painting of my brother:  This was a request by my mother.  Every year I say that this would be a good Christmas present for her.  Every time I have taken it out to work on, it is a very difficult thing for me to work on.  I started it so long ago that I feel like I need to start over as it just looks horrible to me.  I am my own worst critic.

6.      Several other paintings started; one of Master’s daughter at a dresser that I love and may even have been started fifteen years ago but it’s one I can finish rather than starting over.  I hope!

7.      Novel in final line edit.  YIPPPEEE!  We, Masters daughter and myself are working on that and are on chapter five or six now.  I know, I really should know where we are at but I just was not sure which spot was the best for the chapter break, so I left that in her hands. 

8.      Mystery novel needs major revisions.  I have actually started on this also but am working on book two of the Novel that is in final edit.  I have envisioned a five book series going from Middle school to YA.

9.      Children’s Picture book needs putting together for submission.  Every time I work on this, I use guidelines and then feel like I was better off with my very first edit.  This is really odd for me as I tend to edit to death, so I’m thinking I need to go with my instincts here.

10.  I have tons of supplies to make more polymer miniature fairies.  I enjoy them and took them up as I was getting weaker and weaker from the undiagnosed heart problem. Now that my heart is repaired, the eBay purchase price of fairies is down by two-thirds.  Gosh, I guess food is more important than fairies right now and, by the sound of the news, may be for some time to come.

11.  I hope to make several Christmas gifts and have stuff for them too but don’t dare list that stuff here.   Did not do and not going to happen now!

12.  One pair of socks. Started knitting them for me, kit gift from Master’s daughter, very slow growth.  Actually, I mainly work on them when I am with Master’s daughter, so cannot wait for Christmas.

13.  Yarn for at least three sweaters is sitting around here somewhere

14.  I sorted the Rubbermaids, in their storage area AND scanned all the photograph albums.  Now to scan the individual photos (THAT is going to take time.)  But, I did not find all of my yarn.  What I did find was approximately eight Rubbermaids of paperwork to go through.

15.  Crop, enhance, remove red eye, about 500 more photos I took at the wedding last weekend and get discs to bride & groom, mother and grandmother of bride, and  assorted others.  I figure that this is going to take three discs each.  DONE!!! THIS IS DONE, and it actually took four discs.

YIPPEEE!  Something is done. 

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Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person that tagged you and put the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 weird or random facts about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and link to their blog.
4. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a note on their blog.

My Tagger – Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine and the Needles of Doom

Why is it that when you get something like this, your mind just freezes up.   Me?? Weird?  Random perhaps!  Weird definitely.

  1. I actually like to organize.  You would never know this by my house; where I organize my desk by throwing it all, the paper, not the desk, in a rubbermaid, when the paper piles up too high.  Two years later, you can just toss almot all of it.  But, when I am done working in my studio, I like to put everything back in it’s place, so the next morning, I go out and I’m ready to roll.  This is perhaps why, I cannot work now, because both studios look like a hurricane hit them.   I do dream of having a decent office, some day, where I can file, yes as in file in alphabetical order in a cabinet, all of that paper and have a place for extra office supplies.  AND, a cork board wall to hang all my information for my book:  drawings of characters, things not to forget, etc, etc, etc.
  2. I too am a fan of What Not To Wear : TLC and, if Lyda will nominate me, I will nominate her.  We’ll have to take secret photos of each other though and that could get embarrassing.  At the present time, my wardrobe is one pair of good dress pants, one polyster suit my mother gave me and I refuse to wear because polyster is just plain YUCK!!!  The rest of it–they can have all of the jeans and t-shirts they can carry.  I would follow you anywhere for $5,000 worth of decent clothing, a good haircut and what makeup to wear.
  3. I really enjoyed working as a security officer in a grocery store.  I would get off the train from Chicago, where I was going to college, grab a shopping cart, put some shopperly items in it and troll the aisles.  I did not like to bust the little old men who pocketed $3.00 bottles of aspirins, while buying $200 worth of groceries.  But, I loved it when I found someone loading up their purse with higher end items.  They were wise to security too and once I got stiffed when I missed them dumping the items before I could bust them.  But, that happens to everyone once in a while.  Those bikers with cartons of cigarettes in their leather jackets were a real trip too as they just did not want to stop.
  4. I really want to spend two hours a day practicing my violin.  I love playing it and want to get back to the level I was at, while living in Wyoming and taking lessons.  Well, actually, I want to get way better.
  5. I too am a pretty good dancer, like Anna-Liza.  I can follow just about anyone and often do.  Opps! That was meant for dancing.  However, I am a bit rusty.  Note to next romance, you are not even in the running unless you will learn to dance.  Twenty years without dancing is more than enough in one lifetime!
  6. One of my favorite all time movies is Kinky Boots (film) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The last ten minutes of that movie is worth watching over and over and over.  I just love it.  It’s such a study in thinking outside the box for success and a great message on acceptance.
  7. And finally, I love the realism I paint, and I can’t wait to get back to painting, where I hope to go off in a new direction and really free up my work to show more emotion. 
  8. I’m throwing an eighth one in that I just thought of.  That is that, I spend an inordinate amount of time daydreaming (Of love, what else?).  I dream of a relationship where we sit in a gazebo with swing each evening, under the stars with a glass of wine or Bailey’s and talk about the day and keep our relationship close.  A relationship where one of you comes in the kitchen and the other grabs you and starts dancing, see # 5 above, to our own music.  Where we are comfortable with the silent times together.  Where we can critique each others art work and make, not just the artwork better, but where we have the affect of making each other better people.  That would be a perfect match.

On that note, I’m not sure I can find seven people I feel comfortable tagging, but I shall try those I read on a daily basis.  I am trolling through my daily blog reads and finding that those who write only about their son, or cooking (and don’t ask why I read that.  I have an aunt who reads cookbooks for entertainment — it’s another hereditary thing), or those who write about fitness or their upcoming nuptuals, or the two who you cannot post back to.  In other words, I’m coming up blank here. Of course, Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine and the Needles of Doom  and XUP  are on my daily blog reads but they are out-of-the-question. 

Oh, heck with it, now I’m losing my stuff.  What stuff you ask?  Brain matter!  Web pages! you name it.  If you are willing to be tagged, please let me know so I can tag you.  I mean we all need ideas for blogging, right?

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Were you ever in a relationship where you woke up one morning and said, ‘This person is making me old.’?

 

It’s not that they are actually making you old.  Mother Nature does a fine job of that on her own and when your genes add something like heart disease or cancer to the mix, it is scary. And, it is not that I am afraid of death, because I am not. And, someday I will explain that when I am feeling very psychic and ready to open my soul to the world (plus a death experience- not my own though).

 

What the thing is, is that I want to enjoy every minute of this life while I am here.  It is way too short not to.  I used to hike, picnic in the Dunes State Park in the winter, ski (cross-country and downhill), and just explore.  I went camping every chance I got.  Daughter-of-eleven and I once went camping with the tent and a roll of aluminum foil.  Seriously, I forgot blankets, bedding and utensils.  I stopped and bought a spatula and a blanket.  You can make a very good bacon and egg breakfast on foil, over an open fire.

 

I have visited every state in this union except Alaska. I have camped in Canada and spent two hours in Mexico.  That’s a whole other story.  I have whale watched and driven a large cargo van up a gravel mining road in Colorado.  That MAY just be what is wrong with daughter-of-eleven.  She was with me and never quite got over that adventure.  She did not mind going up so much, it was the backing back down the narrow, steep, drop-off, gravel mining road that did her in. 

 

The point is, and I am sure there is a point somewhere; I am not ready to sit in a rocking chair yet.  I have given up most things for years now because it seemed so unfair to my husband to do things without him.  He cannot help being disabled, but I realized a few years ago that I was getting older than I should be because of not living and it was not doing him any favors either, that I was declining.  He does what he can and I need to do what I can.  As I said, life is just too short.

 

I started out taking violin lessons.  It was something I had always wanted to do and I inherited my uncle’s violin.  So, the last year and a half I was in Wyoming I studied with Rainer Schwartzkof and, if I do say so myself, and actually, my teacher did; I’m rather an advanced case study on violin.  It may have been the years of music in school. and teaching myself to play organ.  But, by the end of the year and a half, we were doing Mazas duets and, oh, how I loved that.  I gave that up when I moved.

 

So, now that I am all better (my chest has been opened and my heart repaired) and I again have health insurance to get some rehab to help me get exercising again, I am anxious to get back to the violin.  My goal: to play Hay Una Mujer Desaparecida by Wolff; Three Pieces from Schindler’s List by John Williams and I have a book of Classical Solos to tackle.  I am also anxious to get back to painting.  

 

Until they get me settled in rehab, I walk (on our four acres), and I tend the garden (getting my pulse rate up a bit) and I take pictures, and I write. Irritating Chihuahua accompanies me and occasionally sneaks away, but when I am out of doors, it recharges my batteries.

 

Life is too short, not to live it.

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I grew up with a small black and white picture of my Grandmother Parker as proof positive we had Native American heritage.  Unlike earlier generations, who felt the need to deny being Native, my mother was proud of this photo.  It was said that Grandma Parker was a daughter of Quannah Parker.  My mother has the love of all things Native, so it was natural I would turn to painting Native Americans.  What was not natural for me, was to paint deceased children.

When I began oil painting, I found that my love was painting people. If I would have had the money for models, I would have painted the nude human form exclusively. Since I needed to stick to clothed forms, I began accepting commissions for children.

The problem with painting children is that, in the economic circle I have floated in most of my life, the only commissions I was getting were in the $300 range and were people who wanted to remember their children who had passed away. At first I felt as if I was doing a service. After a time, it just became depressing.

The final straw was the woman who came to me with a snapshot. Her sons face was the size of a dime. He was a cute little boy with freckles and buck teeth and ears that stuck out. She requested that I give him a Heavenly background, an angelic smile without the buck teeth, and please pin his ears back. The heavenly terms kept coming and I knew this woman was not ready for this painting. It would not bring her son back and she would never be happy because it would not look like her son; even if I could paint it from that size of photo.

My two years of pre-law, and ten years of law office work kicked in and I drew  up a four page contract. Giving me say as to when the painting was complete.  I took the sign down and dedicated myself to painting Native Americans and Revolutionary recreationers. 

I traveled coast to coast, marketing my art work for many years.  I loved the times I exhibited at Native “Pow Wows.”   I exhibited at an inter-tribal school in Bismark, North Dakota and did some things with schools on the Pine Ridge Reservation. 

At the Bismark Pow Wow, I sat up my display and went to move the van (a normal thing for a show). When I turned around I saw a sea of cars. There was no way I was going anywhere, even if I wanted to, till the Pow Wow was over. We were treated like family. Another vendor brought us lemonade shake-ups every few hours.  We purchased typical fair food. One man had come up to my booth several times a day and stood in  companionable silence. The last day of the show, he was in his dance clothing. He took his full eagle feather headdress off and asked if we would please watch it. It was a great honor.  I was also given red-heart trade beeds by the Chieftan, and, my memory being what it is, I cannot remember his name.  But, they are my most valued piece of jewelry.

It was a wonderful weekend, sleeping in my van, going to sleep and waking to the rhythm of the drums. That is one of the most beautiful sounds in the world. 

I have always had a sign on my booth. “I PAINT WITH RESPECT. Should you see me photographing in your direction and you do not wish me to, please tell me and I will make sure not to. If you do not mind, please talk to me and I will send you copies of any photos I take with you in.” People would come up and give me photos to keep and paint from. Rarely was I asked not to take a picture, but I always honored that request.

If you treat people with respect, they will treat you with respect and the world will open up for you.

 

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I did it!! And,  it didn’t even take two years. I changed my banner. These are three of my paintings.

The middle pastel is of a lady I saw in Seattle. I used to travel across the U.S. to place my art in galleries, exhibit at sales and enter art competitions.

While I was in Seattle, many years ago, I went to the mall for lunch. While I was there, a dance for senior citizens started on the main floor. As I watched from the balcony, I became entranced by this lady. I went downstairs to talk to her and she was just as enchanting close up. She loved life and it showed. She allowed me to photograph her and I promised to send her copies of the photos, but somewhere on the trip home, I lost her address.  I’ve always felt bad that I didn’t get her copies because she is just so beautiful.

The work on the left is an oil painting I created many years ago. It’s of a dear friend of mine from northern Indiana, Gerrie Govert. She is a wonderful painter, teacher and friend. Another student of hers took the photo but gave me permission to paint from it. People continually ask if it’s a self-portrait.

The photo on the right is of a woman doing quill work at a Revolutionary war recreation.  Much of my subject matter came from the Native American community and re-enactors. I loved to exhibit at Pow Wows. I had a permanent sign for my both that said, “I paint with respect.”  The Sandos, from the east, were particularly interesting and I have painted grandfather, father, son and daughter.

My second sign read: ‘If you see me photographing and you do not wish me to, please let me know and I will be careful not to include you. If you do not mind my photographing, please give me your name and address and I will send you a copy of any photos of your family.’

My favorite thing was to go to sleep to the sound of the drums. It is a part of the leaves rustling in the trees and the whisper of voices on the wind.

I love living in a tent. I do not normally do much cooking but love cooking over the open fire, with simple main ingrediants. The other benefit of the fire is sitting around the campfire at night.  We had a friend who played guitar and knew every Jim Croce song.  

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