Monday, May 31, 2010

Rainy Monday in Studio


Lurking Temptress Oil on 20x16 Canvas by DJ

Detail of Lurking Temptress Oil on 20x16 Canvas by DJ

Detail of Lurking Temptress Oil on 20x16 Canvas by DJ
Nothing like a rainy afternoon off from work to send me into the studio.
I began re-working a bad painting and the possiblity of adding a partial portrait came to mind. Since she's supposed to be hiding-in-wait, I wanted to have the face emerging from the brown, so I'm not real happy with the almost white appearance in the photo, but it will be a WIP for now. And that glare on the right is making me absolutely nuts, even after I tried every camera angle to get rid of it.
Over twenty-five years ago, a former art professor mentioned in a critique that my work has a "sophomoric" quality to it. Unfortunately, I listened!
I'd love to shake off that curse this summer and develop a more sophisticated appearance. Any feedback is welcome. I'm thinking I need to paint more consistently and develop my color schemes to see real growth. This will happen after I retire; for now, I'll get in the studio when possible.
This Monday is a holiday in several countries, so I hope your day off is all you need it to be.
And may Peace prevail where you are...
Love & Laughter,
DJ

Saturday, May 29, 2010

My IC is Trembling with Fright


It's been so long since I posted any new artwork that I was wondering if I should change the name of my blog from "Studio" to "Garden".
But, I guess I won't since I just threw some paint around on some cardstock to make some sunny sunflowers this afternoon. :-)
Since I'm progressively stuck when it comes to my oils on canvas, I've been creating ATCs for swaps and making smaller "playthings" I enjoy. I started the backgrounds pictured here with some cheap craft acrylic paint and no plans. When the dreaded Inner Critic shows up to block your artwork, there's nothing like playing to foil his efforts.

These will be used as either backgrounds for journal pages, or small works to inspire larger canvas pieces. The first one began with a brush, which I quickly abandoned for my fingers, combined with some stamps and collage.

Chosen tools for pics two & three are fingers and an alphabet stamp. Backgrounds are actually white, not blue. Click on images for details.
So, if your IC tries to tell you things like, "You know your work isn't up to par." or "You're not really going to SHOW that to anyone, are you?" then do whatever it takes to regroup and keep creating:
~Play with paint or paper or cloth.
~Get your hands dirty and finger paint.
~Mix that media.
~Make a few ATCs and mail 'em to someone.
~Scribble and color a journal page for your photos.
~Become that seven-year-old who needs to play with play-dough or glue or crayons.
Your Inner Critic will tremble with every stroke.
Pretty soon, your Creative Confidence will soar with the eagles.
Post the results to share with us. I can't wait to see what you're up to...
Oh, yes!: Before you run off to play, please comment & tell me which sunflower pic you like best.
Thanks for commenting~

Love & Laughter, (& lots of play)
DJ

Monday, May 10, 2010

Well, I Wanted Color


And I got it...
No, these are not from seeds. Those little green sprouts did not spring from my soil.
Yes, I confess: This is a shameless "purchase n plug" act, but I got color!

A new bed dug and planted in one afternoon...Petunias to greet me as I arrive home from work.
Remember this close up of my rose from the last post?
It's doing rather well. Unfortunately, I don't know the name. Bummer.

This plot desperately needs mulch, but the rose will bloom well with all the buds present now.

I'd love advice on pruning, mulching, etc. for roses.Talk to me. K?
Love & Laughter,
DJ

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Blood & Sweat But No Tears


The old phrase says "Blood, Sweat, and Tears" but I'm smiling!
My backyard has presented many challenges over the years. Three extremely invasive plants had taken over a lot of my yard when I puchased the property about twelve years ago: Bamboo, Ivy, and Wisteria.
A Bamboo forest that spanned about thirty feet in length by ten feet deep was a kind of towering border on the right. Ivy claimed the left edge of the yard as a border gone wild. And the Wisteria...well, if you know Wisteria, it grew wherever it wanted. Since the previous owners had rented the property, no one bothered to tame these beasts, other than cutting the areas of grass that were trying to hold their ground.
Over the years, much blood, sweat, and tears have been shed in my attempts at taming my backyard. So, you see, when I post pictures of flowers, it's not just a nice picture; it's a Triumph of Spirit!
This Spring is finding me in my backyard once again...
A Wisteria vine was growing up through a Camellia shrub into my large Magnolia tree. My Magnolia tree was in danger, so on April 27th, I decided to do something about it.
(Click on images to enlarge.)
BEFORE:

AFTER:

DETAIL:

The Camellia's hemlines were raised, so I could get to the Wisteria's mother vines to cut off the supply to the vines in my Magnolia. There were briars and other sprouting unlovables that were making the Camellia their support system also. It took a bow saw, a pair of loppers, and a pair of hand-snips to cut through everything there. That long vine in the front is just one of the Wisteria vines that I disconnected, but can't remove without damaging my Magnolia tree.
But, I'm a patient person.

Friends, you know you're "in the zone" when you bleed from a cut on your finger, but the sweat washes it from your hands before you finish working and call it a night.
Opening up the bottom of the Camellia has opened up my backyard space, and inspired me to do more landscaping this Spring. I also love the sculptural look of the exposed branches.
I'll try to post a pic of the cleaned-up version when I clear out more around the shrub.
Right now, I'm too busy tending my wounds and smiling.
Hope you're getting to spend some time just smelling the roses.
Love & Laughter,
DJ