Sunday, July 22, 2012

One Hundred Paintings Part X

Good evening! Been a long couple of weeks again. I don't think we've ever had so much company at our house as we have this summer. Even on holidays. When I haven't been entertaining here, I've been visiting elsewhere. I tend to be a reclusive person when it comes to getting work done. I like to shut out distractions and work for hours at a time. It's been difficult to find that kind of time lately but I've managed to get these three paintings done over the past week. It's not all bad... it's been nice to see some folks. Some I haven't seen in a really long time. In one week I've had visitors from New Zealand and Finland. It makes me feel well traveled when I know people from other countries... but the truth is... I haven't been to Finland or NZ. Some day though.

I took out a book from the library about American Folk Art. I've been into it lately. American folk art kind of blossomed through the hard artistic work of average people. People who didn't have classical training in drawing and painting and for that you can always see these really strange proportions and perspectives, which makes them kind of juvenile or childlike. On the other hand, I always think there is something really interesting happening in most of these paintings, drawings, collage, textile etc. In particular I enjoyed this painting called "Dr. Philomen Tracy". Which has sort of a secret subtext going on. (And I'm all about subtext these days). It inspired me to do a folk art painting in the same vein. Tied curtains, windows, fancy dress are all fairly recurring themes in american folk art. 

And as an added note, "corvidae" is the family of crows, rooks, ravens, magpies, etc. (The more you know!) One of my favorite songwriters / poets, Aaron Weiss, has a great line in one of his songs for his band mewithoutyou, of a crow saying "Every rook and jay in the corvidae has been raven about me too." I always thought that was a pretty clever play on words, most of his lyrics are pretty clever in fact. 

"Dr. Philomen Corvidae"

I don't really have a huge explanation for this one, I just kinda started painting. Kind of stressed out these days. Is it obvious?

"The Runaway"

This last painting means a lot to me for a couple of reasons but I think mostly because I really empathize here with this bear. I've had both the fortune and misfortune of growing up in the digital age. I often feel torn between what I have to do and what I want to do when it comes to my career and life. People expect you to act a certain way and present yourself in a certain way while still maintaining some part of yourself that's genuine and honest. It can be really hard to find equilibrium between others expectations of you or and your own expectations of yourself. Especially when the same kind of professionalism is hardly reciprocated. I've always kind of been an advocate of just being yourself even if it's weird or normal or whatever. I often struggle with whether or not it's appropriate to just go build a cabin out in the deep woods and never come back, ha. Just the other day I broke my cell phone and I've been taking my time getting a new one because well.... I just don't care. I like art and music and if I could just do that forever I'd be alright.  There's a lot to be discovered. The past few years of my life have been devoted to making that happen because I don't want to be stuck somewhere that doesn't make me happy. Who would?

"The Age Of Refinement" or "How Old Habits Die"

Until next time.


  1. Very cute! Your paintings are starting to look more confident. There much more crisp in color and easier to read then some of the earlier ones.

    Id have to say the deer is my favorite. I like the soft, calming colors with that kind of concept. Its almost dreamlike. When I get stressed out I always have dreams of my teeth falling out or a tsunami is after me. Terrifying!

    p.s ginger tea is very calming :)

    1. Thank you! I was thinking the same thing Heather, that the paintings look crisper, but I think this is partially why...

      I'm spending a lot more time on my paintings than I was in the beginning. The first painting I did I also didn't draw anything underneath, I just kinda started painting with no plan. Now I'm doing more elaborate under drawings. I think both of those things are making a difference, but I do think I just might be getting better as well! One can only hope after 30 paintings...

      Teeth falling out is a pretty common stress dream actually. Although I don't get those very often. I do have a lot of dreams about drowning though, or the world ending when I stress out. It really is scary!

      I LOVE ginger tea, but I'm surprised you find it calming. Ginger is kind of peppy and awakening to me! I usually drink tension tamer or something with chamomile in it. You should try sweet apple chamomile by celestial seasonings. It's my favorite, but it's seasonal unfortunately, so I have to stock up whenever I actually find it.

  2. Haha I know, ginger calms my stomach and clears my head. I love chamomile with honey or peach white tea. Im so obsessed with tea....haha

    But yea theres defiantly a difference in the quality of your work. After I took science illustration and started drawing out things before i worked i noticed a big difference too. Still trying to figure out the collage thing but almost there! You should make a few paintings off of grim fairy tales or some Shakespeare. Something poetic with a lot of drama! :)

    1. Yes, ginger is amazing when you're nauseated. It's about the only thing that works when I feel sick. I really love honey vanilla chamomile. It's one of my favorites. I recently tried it as iced tea and it's kind of amazing. I'm obsessed with tea too. You should see my collection, it's kind of embarrassing. I look like some sort of tea hoarder.

      I think you're doing pretty well with the collage stuff! It's a unique hybrid of painting and collage. I've never really seen anything like it.

      I've actually been thinking the same thing. That I should do some promotional pieces of fairy tales... portfolio builders. I could use some new ones :)