Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Artist's Block and Dick & Jane

         I try to stay as honest as possible on this blog, sharing my thoughts on art, life and whatever else strikes me. For the last two nights I have stayed awake late into the night (early morning) to work on paintings. This is something I've talked about with other artists, and I have a hunch it is the same with many types of creative people, we hit walls....solid, brick, unbreakable walls.  I mean places where good art does not happen, at least not easily. It's the place where all of your great ideas simply disappear.  Hmmm,.... in thinking about  this, I think it may be like writer's block. Years ago I remember a documentary about a writer (name slips my mind now) who had severe writer's block. He was told by his therapist to write through it, write very day regardless of the product. He pulled out the typewritten pages (yes, before computers)  from these days and faced with no outpouring of inspiration, he had typed all he could remember from the old Dick and Jane reading books. Page after page were filled with things like - Go, Spot. Go and find Dick. Go and find Jane. Run, Spot, run.  Yes, his writer's block eventually ended and he found his voice again. So in my own way, I've been pushing through even though I am entirely at a standstill. Trust me when I say, all creative types have these times and various ways of coping. I guess it is our demons to battle as we all have them. That's probably why so many artists have a propensity toward drugs and  alcohol. So back to my present dilemma....The hot air balloon piece I talked about earlier this week?  It has been reworked at least 6 times in the past two days and by the grace of God it is still on my easel and not in the trash. There is still hope on that one and I may even like it eventually. Two other paintings, started this week, did not fare so well. Both were unceremoniously walked out to the trash bin in the early morning hours. My paint brushes will be waiting for me tomorrow. So today I've taken a step back,  pulled out my artsy doodle pad (my version of Dick and Jane) and just chilled....turned the music up, the noise in my head down, poured a glass of wine and relaxed...

Song of the Day: "Demons" ~ Imagine Dragons

Quote of the Day :  "I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're goin', and hook up with them later".  ~ Mitch Hedberg

Monday, July 28, 2014

Stormy Skies and Comfort Zones

The skies are filled with ominous grey clouds, pretty  unusual for my part of the world.  It's still  105 degrees even with these clouds but it reminds me that the change of seasons is on the horizon, both literally and figuratively.  Well, literally it will be hotter than hell here for a couple more months but with school starting soon I will begin the countdown to cooler temperatures, rain, fog, snow in the mountains...and all that goes with Fall and Winter. Figuratively...well as time marches on we all face a change of seasons, ready or not, don't we.

I returned from Cabo, rested and ready, with a whole "bring it on" attitude.  I love to get out of my comfort zone, I even thrive on that element of the unknown. Yea, as a matter of fact, I do get bored easily. While standing in line at a Starbucks in the Cabo San Lucas International Airport (dang Starbucks is everywhere!) I got into a conversation with a couple from New Zealand.  We were sharing our thoughts about the necessity for getting out of comfort zones, how true growth won't happen unless you can have experiences outside of your element. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward. Let go of fears, take chances.  

I'm posting a few photos. The first is a collection of work I did at Cabo.  Buying paints on vacation rather than packing them along was....sketchy....the only paint I could find was from Walmart (ugh*$%#&). It was an assorted package of soft body acrylics. I'm not Walmart's greatest fan but I guess they sell what is purchased by the masses and I suppose for craft projects these paints would have been okay. I had some serious frustration with painting plein air as I just could not  get enough structure out of those paints, or even the right intensity of color. So, I only did a couple of ocean scenes just for fun. It was also as windy as all get out so it was a  canvas blowing away, water spilling, hair in eyes kind of experience.  I spent one morning painting the vase in the picture. Now THAT was one of my favorite  moments  :)  The next photos are a just a couple of touristy type images that I couldn't resist capturing.

Finally, on the last photo,  I'm returning to a painting I started last year. Yes, I do procrastinate, once in a while, sometimes, often. This piece is far from done, but hopefully I will finish it this week and post the end result. It's an homage to balloon races, something I have always loved and the patchwork of farmland that makes up the San Joaquin Valley.

Two Quick Cabo Plein Air Paintings and a Vase

Cabo's Famous Arch
Perfect Cabo San Lucas Beaches

Work in Progress

Very Beginning of Painting

Quote of the Day:  "Someday after we have mastered the winds, the waves, and gravity, we will harness for God the energies of love; and then for a second time in the history of the world, human beings will have discovered fire."   ~  Teilhard de Chardin

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Thank you for the ideas on traveling with paint. I've decided to go with the suggestion that I take canvas and brushes and buy a few small tubes of paint in Cabo.  I just didn't want to take any chances that might complicate what should be a restful trip.

On another note,  I love to travel and even though most anyone will tell you that car travel is more dangerous than air travel, I have a love/hate relationship with planes.  I always feel that I need to make peace with those near and dear to me before I board a plane, you know, just in case.... When I was younger and a little more reckless I made a couple of bungee jumps from, shall we say, questionable places?  I felt the same on those jumps as I do getting on a plane. You just have to know that if it's your time, it's your time and accept it. If I don't have that mind set I will break the tiny bones of the stranger's hand who ends up sitting next to me on the plane. :)  

Have a lovely week. Adios for now my friends.

Quote of the Day :  "Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come."  

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Cabo San Lucas is calling me and I'm leaving for that beautiful gem this next week. A restful escape is imperative...  When life gets crazy, a one way ticket to paradise seems like a logical choice. I'll pack my paints, my camera, good coffee and my bathing suit. What the heck, I'll throw in some aspirin with the hope of so much fun that I'll need it. That should do it for the week. 

 But on a more serious note, I would  love to hear from artists who travel with acrylics. How did it work for you, the air travel and all. I usually only take my watercolors or just a sketchpad but I have read a few opinions on the rules when taking acrylics on board a plane. Would love to hear from some of you who have traveled with acrylics.

Quote of the Day: "If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun." ~ Katharine Hepburn

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Aldo Luongo

               I consider it a blessing that I have only been bored a few times in my entire adult life and today is one of those times. I guess that's not too bad, all considered. With temperatures hovering around 105 degrees, painting outside is not an option.  For reasons I can't explain, I sat staring at my canvas today and realized that I simply have nothing that I want to paint. This is so rare for me that I am taking advantage of the moment to ponder why and maybe do some soul searching.  Usually when I have some down time, I like to read and I'm enjoying Austin Kleon's new book, Show Your Work but not today. When it's not art books,  it's Dan Brown, my future lover/boyfriend/husband/whatever  and his book Inferno. Love his writing. Mrs. Brown might have something to say about this sooooo.... just for the record, it's a joke...really... seriously...but a girl can dream...and in all truth, I do love his books.

                So I got off track....reading is not even on my list today. So the next favorite activity is to browse the internet for up and coming artists as well as visit some of my absolute favorites and see what they're up to.  There are so many wonderful artists whose work I really enjoy.  Today I spent some time on Aldo Luongo's website. He is one of my all time favorites.  All of his work touches me but my favorites are those with The Hawk.  Some paintings just make you feel privileged to even view them. He's an artist I would love to meet. Okay, truth, he's an artist I'd like to personally learn from.
A Good Red Wine by Aldo Luongo

Pacific Breeze by Aldo Luongo

Mid Morning Cappuccino by Aldo Luongo

Quote of the Day: "It's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring" ~ Marilyn Monroe

Song of the Day: "Brave" ~ Sara Baraeilles