Saturday, October 29, 2011

Don't TOUCH My Shovel!

It's October and it's snowing. It's not just a little flurry action either, nope, this is hard core and I'm going to need a shovel.

Well, I do have one. Let's just say I "had" one. I have only part of it and yes, it has become a permanent structure in my back yard near the bistro set and no one is allowed to touch it....again.

My shovel.

Throughout my journey I have had the pleasure of meeting all types of people. The most interesting and comfortable people to be around have been my intuitive friends. I felt at home immediately upon meeting them. I was able to discuss things and events that occurred in my life with them I would never discus in open company. You know, discussions of the unexplainable stuff like angels, ghosts, strange dreams and the nether world.

My one very close friend felt compelled to call me after having had a dream with me in it. She explained a beautiful scene with me and a new man. There was love and laughter and it all sounded great. Of course, I wanted details....but all she could say was that things were shown to her in a kind of sepia tone and things were moving, but exact details were void. But I was hungry to know and pressed on asking was she sure it was ME and was she sure it was MY back yard and what DID she know? She couldn't say anything except she had the "feeling" it was my backyard and that I was extremely happy. Extremely happy is always good for my art.

Weeks later in a text I showed her a picture of the new chicken coop and how lovely it blended in with the house. It looked like it had always been there. The photo captured the entire backside of the house and on the side was an orange shovel propped up against the house. It was the beginning of summer and yes, I admit I was too lazy to run that shovel up into the garage for storage till the winter. But I'm thankful I didn't because she stopped our text short and typed out....WHAT IS THAT???? Apparently it was the ONLY item in her sepia colored vision that WAS colored and that helped place the new man with ME in MY backyard! The shovel somehow gave the prediction weight. It stated that at some point in time "he" would arrive.


So, from that moment on the shovel found a new place of residence. It would remain propped up against my house to bask in the summer sun. I weeded carefully around it and it was never to be moved until the day "he'd" arrive to swoop me off my feet and ride me off into the sunset. Never, ever to be moved father ran over it with the lawnmower!

Bits of orange plastic lay everywhere. The shovel head discarded in the recycling bin. My eyes filled with tears and my father stood there perplexed. "It's just a shovel" he kept repeating. "I can buy you a new one." I tried to explain to him that THAT one came with the purchase of the house and that one was suppose to be the one and now "he'd" never come. How could he? The shovel was gone! He'd never know which house I was in! His response? "Whose "he"? No more boys for you!"

Weeks went by and in the process of clearing out a part of my rental I found, in a dark corner of a closet, another orange shovel! It was left by the house owners, original to the purchase of the house. Joy! Bliss! I quickly ran it down to the house, propped it up against the siding, and all seemed right with the world again.

But a father can be a formidable force when it comes to his daughter, no matter what the age. Someway, somehow he just knows deep down there is a man connected with this "shovel" and he would prefer me to remain "daddy's little girl" even though I am too old to be called "little". And this loving fatherly force appeared once again when I discussed placing a dowel in the chicken coop for my hens to roost properly at night. He, being a most resourceful artist, grabbed the first thing handy. Yep, he grabbed the shovel and with an underlying glee in his eye started banging away at the head to dislodge the pole for use as a roost.

Shouts of, "Daddy NO!!!!" fell on deaf ears. He was in "the zone" experiencing the "artist high" and on a mission to create the nicest roost possible for my hens. There was no stopping him. The damage was done and the shovel head lay on the ground partially cracked.

Is this really
happening in Oct?

Gingerly, I placed the shovel head against the house and asked that no one touch the shovel again. I said that if the shovel head were gone I couldn't work. "If it's not there I cant draw, paint, sculpt or do anything." At that moment I could see from the look in his eyes that he understood how important it was to me. He understood superstition. Hell, he can't work without his "hat", and he understood that the shovel head had to stay, propped up stupidly against the back of my house all for the sake of my art. As the father of an artist he could accept "superstition" as a reason. Deep down though he knows the real reason and he knows it brings comfort to me, it gives me hope even though the reality is it will probably remain propped forever. I have to believe that although that fact brings a bit of sadness to him it also brings an added comfort for as long as it's propped "he" hasn't arrived and there is nothing additional for my father to worry about and in a sense the shovel has become comfort for both of us serving a strange little purpose. But it's really snowing out there and I'm really going to need a shovel. Anyone got one I could borrow?

Beau resin
being painted to a blue roan appy

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Water Water Everywhere

Storm clouds....many of them

I love rain, but this past fall we've really gotten bombarded with far too much of it. Just when I think my cellar is dry more water seems to creep out from....somewhere. The walls I guess. Everyone around here has the same problem. Water in their basements. Most owners have sump pumps running, others dig trenches. Previous owners of my house dug trenches in the cement to help drain the excess when weather would get bad, but this fall Mother Nature has been relentless.

My lovely down stairs studio now resembles a dungeon. It's cold, damp and just plain uninviting. I've been trying to embrace the fact that this is how it will be during certain times of the year but I am having difficulty wrapping my brain around working with the dampness.

Poor easel waiting
to get back to work

Most of my work has been taking place in my office/studio. But as delicate and involved projects come to a close and new ideas for canvas work surface it's time to face all that water for good.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

German Shepherd: A Visual Step-By-Step

Laying out the drawing
in colored pencil

I've been consumed by acrylics recently. Illustrations and portraits have encompassed my thoughts. I've learned its best to just sit down, pull out the paints and let the ideas flow when my mind can't think of anything else but painting on a flat surface. This time around I was enticed by the nuance of browns, blacks and blues within the portrait of a German Shepherd. I started capturing the process early on and was pleased with the end result.

This portrait was painted in acrylic on archival bristol.

Blocking in main color.

Slowly defining more shape.

Defining more shapes and color.

Trying to capture the
structure of the actual dog.
l believe he looked most like the real dog here.

More refinement of structure.

Honing in on details.

The finish ready for presentation.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Open: Commission Books. & A Taste Of Fall


Fall is here. The moment the calendar turned to October 1st it got freezing cold. Honestly, I could really use at least one more month of hot July weather and a few more dips in a swimming pool. I feel as if winter was just here.

Fall and winter in the big city is much different than in the country. In the city everything just gets cold and the trees turn brown and the leaves fall and it looks depressing. Here in the country the trees slowly turn color and then stay brilliant for about a week and then fall. The best part is that once they fall the woods floor is a beautiful carpet of color to walk on. Im looking forward to those walks in the woods. Also decorating the house is more fun. Of course I was perplexed by the way they do business in the country. You certainly wouldn't see this type of monitary exchange in Brooklyn! LOL.

Lastly, commission books are now open for the month of Oct. Spots are limited. Please email me at: if interested. All sizes are being accepted. Was able to get a Mini Lonestar commission into the studio but would love to paint a few more up if you are interested. I loved painting the big guy up and the little one will be like potato chips for me.

Most recent commission
currently in progress