We're scaling back and simplifying at our house this year... Smaller tree with fewer ornaments; fewer gingerbread houses; simpler Christmas Eve dinner for the small, extended family; fewer presents, but more handmade and upcycled presents; scaled back expectations all the way around. All with an eye toward conserving resources and creating more time to enjoy each other.
May you and your loved ones have a wonderful holiday (whatever it might be)!
Recently, I managed to catch the afternoon light streaming through the blinds onto "Calm". It virtually bisected the painting, landing a couple of inches below an existing demarcation line of lighter paint above darker paint on the left portion of the painting. I have experienced this "superimposed" light more than once on a couple of my paintings that are somewhat atmospheric. The situation is both intriguing and mind baffling, because, of course, it leaves me wondering: how could I ever replicate that with paint?
The winter sunrises have been magnificent here in Portland. So often, I lament that I have neither my camera nor the time to capture them. A couple of days ago, I had both -- sort of. The rosy glow on entire fascades of structures was fading fast, and I found myself literally running up and down the hill to find openings between the houses through which I could get glimpses of the light and three of Portland's icons:
Mt. St. Helens sans its beautiful top that blew off in1980.
(Actually located in Washington, but visible from Portland)
"Big Pink" -- as it is affectionately called by the locals.
(The architectural glass on this building makes for very special effects.)
Similarly to the light on "Calm", the light on Big Pink intrigues me. Of course I realize that I will never begin to know how to paint such atmospheric light unless I actively pursue the skill by painting from direct observation. I wonder if I have the discipline to do that??
We got our Christmas tree from our favorite tree farm today. Snow began to fall as we brought the tree inside-- the first time that has occurred in the twenty-three years we've been getting a tree. A batch of ginger cookies has just come from the oven, awaiting a slathering of real lemon icing (compliments of my youngest daughter and Cook's Illustrated magazine), and a mix of holiday favorite tunes is playing. A warm, lovely fire is glowing in the fireplace. These simple pleasures are what our family treasures. This, is richness.
If you've visited this blog before, you might be wondering if you landed in the right place today, what with the new look and all. Thought I'd "switch it up" a bit -- at least, for awhile. Really, I was attempting to accomplish one primary goal: I wanted to add thumbnail images from the many wonderful blogs I'm following, and to do so in a way that would create space for those images and mine, too. So...some things were gained, (yay! the thumbnail images) and some things are yet to be further tweaked.... Stay tuned!
Mindless vacation doodles sometimes get interesting. These were done a while back; the one above, while visiting around a table; the one below, while on an airplane. The thought being, "It's better to do something artistic than to do nothing.... (Of course, knitting would be so much more productive. I need to get back to knitting.)
Ballpoint ink and Prismacolor
And speaking of dots and such, I am really enjoying
Book, edited by Kerstin Svendsen, on "thrifted", factory-made, machine-stitched quilt.
(Thank you to the quilt's maker!)
Today in America, we are pausing to gather with our loved ones to give thanks with grateful hearts for that which is good in our lives. This morning, I am counting my blessings and am full of gratitude for a loving family, good health, warm and safe shelter, good food, and friends---the basics of "richness" that I would wish for every person on earth. And this minute, I am grateful for the flock of red-headed finch outside my window that are feasting on the hips of the rugosa roses that my husband planted to "ring" our kitchen garden. And this year, I have something new to be grateful for: the experience of blogging, which I took up in earnest last January. I am grateful for the friendship and artistic support and camaraderie of fellow artists, artisans and crafters from around the world. I am so appreciative that they have allowed me to see into their world and learn of new wonders and beauty through the process. And I am grateful that through the "habit" of blogging, and specifically, photographing, and viewing others' photographs, I have become more attentive to my natural surroundings and the rhythms of the earth.
And recently, I am grateful for "From Orchards, Fields and Gardens," an anthology of beautiful prose, poems, and art that captures the essence of living close to the land, and instills a desire to do so. I am grateful for Kerstin Svendsen, the editor, for having had the vision for this project and seeing it through, and to the individuals--many of them fellow bloggers that you will know--who have made, and will continue to make a positive difference in the world through their contribution to this project. One thousand copies were printed in the first run. I hope it was the first of many runs; hope the book finds its way into the hands of young people in high schools and colleges so that the grassroot "new agrarian" movement builds strength. The book is compelling in all of its simplicity. I hope you will have a chance to read it.
Mushrooms gathered from the field.
(Many mushrooms are deadly poisonous. Don't gather them for
consumption unless you know without a doubt that they are edible.)
The trusty garden "companion"
A late bloomer. White because of the lateness?
Blueberry bushes that my husband and his father planted years ago.
Happy "Day of Thanksgiving" (today and every day).
Looking forward to a very productive "catch-up" day, (domestically speaking). Found the above while in the process of the never-ending artworks "shuffle-and-sort" task. Thought you might enjoy the digital alterations of the second piece. The original piece (in its autumn palette) is featured here, along with a link to a previous post about Diane Ellison Stroud's beautiful gameboards.
Have a wonderful day and thanks so much for stopping by.
I wish I could say these prints are "hot off the press." Regrettably, they aren't. And furthermore, I won't be doing any printmaking on real presses anytime soon. But it's fun to dream of a time in the future when hours and days stretch on end and printing presses are nearby. In the meantime, when a few hours present themselves, there's always the possibility of printing by means of the back of a spoon or by using a barren. :)
I love the ends of logs; whole or split, wet or dry, with either growth rings or sawmarks showing. Well, it so happens that Holly Ward Bimba, a.k.a. Golly Bard does, too. At least I'm guessing she does, because she's been working on a series of log watercolors for some time now. I featured Holly's work awhile back, and I've been a huge fan since I discovered her. She's looks for, and finds, the most interesting bits of natural history. And she translates what she sees into the most carefully and precisely rendered watercolors. Her recently completed pheasants, both now in her shop, are masterful renderings of fowl and vegetation, and for the life of me, I cannot figure out how she has the patience and the steadiness of hand to create such beautiful work.
Ring Necked Pheasant no. 1
by Holly Ward Bimba
18" x 24"
Ring Necked Pheasant no. 2
by Holly Ward Bimba
18" x 24"
But getting back to the logs, if you follow Golly Bard, you know that Holly periodically offers giveaways. And it just so happens, that she was recently giving away one of her original log paintings, and... that being the case, I decided to throw my name in the hat. And.....it just so happens that luck was with me in a big way and I am now the very happy beneficiary of Holly's generosity, having won her lovely watercolor painting that arrived in an equally lovely package!
Original watercolor by Holly Ward Bimba
Thank you Holly!!
If you're not already following Holly's blog, get on board so that you can catch a glimpse of the world as she sees it. You'll love what she discovers! :)
Our little pumpkin made it through Halloween unscathed and, therefore, able to cheerily see us through the Thanksgiving holiday! (I can't believe the holidays are now just around the corner...time to take action! )
Today, I'm heading into downtown Portland to spend some quality time at flora, a most lovely --and very artful--gift store and gallery. Jenna Robertson's wonderfully graphic nest "collages," made from recycled sweaters and wool are featured there, and I was only able to take a quick look at them when I breezed through the store on Friday. Among several other artists, my friend, Hadley Hutton, is also showing at flora, and if for some reason, you're not yet familiar with Hadley's work and you're not able to make it to this show, I highly recommend taking a peek at her various online venues.
But the fun and enjoyment will not end at flora, because from there, I'll be heading around the corner to The Cleaners, the old laundry that's been remodeled and has become quite the pop-up store venue. Abby Powell Thompson, of Abby Try Again and Chelsea Fuss, of Frolic, have put together a stellar cast of local and distant artists and crafters for Little Winter A Handmade Market. Many of them are Etsy sellers and I'm really looking forward to meeting them and seeing all of their goods. Then, it's off to Portland's own Art Media, to have some custom mats cut for a few little items I'm planning to add to my Etsy shop.
And when I return?? Well.... there does happen to be one 36" x 36" painting that's got me a just a little bit stumped!!
It's an absolutely gorgeous morning in Portland, after a night of torrential rain. The sky is a brilliant blue with white and grey billowy clouds. The light is variable, and the fall foliage is resplendent!! Can't wait to head out!!
Have a wonderful day and thanks so much for visiting!
I'm currently working on a 36" x 36" painting. It's been awhile since I've painted a canvas this large. In fact, this is the first time I've actually worked on a square canvas of this size. It always amazes me how many interesting images can be found within an image. Erin Spencer is currently exploring this concept with her "little details" oil paintings. You might want to check out her blog and Etsy shop. :)
I tried my darndest to capture raindrops hitting the surface of the rainwater that I have allowed to accumulate in this 12" high vase/candle holder. Finally caught one, but the picture was blurry. Well, this one is a little bit "soft focus", too, but I liked what was happening through the vase below the surface.
My neighbor's tree delights me throughout the year.
It has the most lovely branching pattern (to say nothing of the leaves!)
Happy Halloween !!
(I've eaten half our candy! Well - almost, anyway...)