Wednesday, July 16, 2014

News About Mom

16 x 20 inch mixed media on canvas

Last year I painted this intuitive piece.  The figures revealed themselves as I painted and it wasn't until I was trying to name the painting that its meaning came to me.  It is a memory during my childhood involving a move from one state to another. The figure on the left depicts my mother, the child is me and the other two women are my aunts.  I will not get into details other than to say the move was life-changing and that my mother was touched deeply by this painting when I showed it to her.

When I look at this painting today I see something different because my mom passed away on July 7th I am sad to say. It was a bit of a shock, but also not, because we knew about her sick heart.  She had just celebrated her 80th birthday.  She was a beautiful and vivacious woman and 100% mother and I probably don't need to tell you what a hole she has left.

So when I look at this painting now, what I see is my mother stepping forward...and away from me.  
I see my aunt looking at her as if to welcome her, as this aunt has passed on as well.
I see my other aunt who still remains with us standing where I am in the background...the last living sibling.

As I shared before, I wish to keep personal things off my art blog from now on, but so many of you already knew about my mom being sick from past posts and have asked about her.  It seemed right to let you know. I will leave this post up for a time, then print it off and delete it like I did with the others.

Here she is having the time of her life at her 80th birthday party in May.  It was easy to forget how sick she was...she remained strong and positive to her last day.

Thank you all for caring about her.  Many of you have already reached out in emails and on Facebook and I really appreciate it.  Your words have brought great comfort.

♥ Lisa

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sketchbook Sweeties, Sold Paintings and a Local Art Class

sketchbook sweetie

This week there has been a little bit of face drawing...

sketchbook sweetie

and dog doodling...

sketchbook sweetie

sketchbook sweetie

and cat sketching...

sketchbook sweetie

and sunflower changing...

 Detail of WIP 16 x 20  inch oil on paper
a redo of the flowers in the last post

and nature marveling...

young deer I saw on a hike here in Kansas
photo edited with distressed fx

and just feeling free.  Summer does that to me.

sketchbook sweetie

  These paintings sold recently on Etsy...

Sold art:  left to right
 Leah's Heartfelt Dance
Miss Doo Doo Would Rather Wear Plaid
Patch Dress Traveler #3

 and I started attending a weekly art class last Tuesday.  It is taught by talented Wichita artist and teacher Brian Hinkle at the gallery where I have a space.  There were eight of us that day, each of us painting in a different style and as we worked Brian intermittently buzzed about the room and offered feedback and instruction when needed.  It was a very relaxed and inspiring three hours.

 He gave me some walnut oil to mix with my oil paint and I think it's going to be awesome.  It helped the paint go down so easily and gave some really good control.  I will write more about it after I have used it more.

Hope everyone is well and that all my American friends had a great holiday weekend!

♥ Lisa

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Sunflowers, Kansas, Sketchbook Sweeties, and Birds

Detail of WIP
16 x 20 inch oil on paper

Slow progress is being made on the 16 x 20 inch oil on paper painting.  Above is some more detail.

Trail at Pawnee Prairie Nature Center
Wichita, Kansas

I have been hiking quite a bit at our Pawnee Prairie Nature Center.  Lots of beautiful Kansas scenery makes the senses go wild.  I am not sure what I do most of...hike or take pictures.  The above photo is very Kansas...fairly flat with lots of grasses, wildflowers and big open skies.

Our backyard this morning after a storm

We have had so much rain here in Kansas and everything is so green.  It sure does make it a lot easier to pull weeds.  I have been spending hours and hours in the backyard working.

sketchbook sweeties
graphite in a tiny moleskin

Of course no day would be complete without at least one little sketch.  The above sketches are from weeks ago....the crazy girl on the left is a favorite.

sketchbook sweetie
graphite in a tiny moleskin

 I've been doing a lot of bird watching too and this sketch was done last night.  


 Kansas has gorgeous birds...Cardinals, Blue Jays, Orioles, Golden Finch, Purple Finch and if you're lucky, you might spot an owl from time to time.  I often stand at the widow waiting for that perfect picture.  This is an Oriole...a little blurry...but you get the idea of what a gorgeous bird this is.  Its song is about five notes long and sugary sweet-sounding.  What kinds of birds do you see where you live?

Until next time!  Have a beautiful week!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Artful Musings of the Week

Moleskin sketchbook 5.5 x 8.5 inches
graphite, water-soluble graphite,
charcoal, tinted charcoal, Inktense pencil,
colored pencil

Sketchbook work has continued this week.  Some sketches are more involved than others.

Sketchbook Sweeties (tiny sketches in a tiny Moleskin)
left:  graphite and water-soluble graphite
right:  graphite and colored pencil

Some sketches are just simple and quick exercises or ideas for future paintings.

Sketchbook Sweeties

Oh look, another bunny.  Woah.  Camera was too close.  :)

sketchbook sweetie
photo used as reference

Yard work is never ending at our house, so obviously gardening ladies are dancing in my brain.

Sketchbook Sweetie

The desire to paint visited the other evening.  Not only that, but the desire to paint big. Here's a peek...can you guess what she is doing?

detail of WIP
oil on paper 16 x 20 inch

 I am using this paper that I bought weeks ago.  It is nice to have big space to paint on, yet this paper will be easy to store...just lay it flat on a shelf.  If the painting is horrid (which it may be) no big expensive canvas wasted.  

16 x 20 inch pad of paper for oil

This painting sold this week.  It is always a happy day when they go to a new home.

mixed media on 9 x 12 inch birch panel

I also took lots and lots of pictures this week and edited them with "distressedfx", including this one which is now my new profile photo.  
I am a photo junkie so if you are too, find me on Instagram.

self photo
taken with iPhone and edited with distressedfx

It didn't seem like there was very much time to make art this week, but now that this post is done I see there was.  Plus, this evening is the "Final Friday" art crawl here in Wichita.  I plan to go see a couple of shows and also spend some time at Tessera Fine Art Gallery where I have a space.

my wall at Tessera Fine Art Gallery
Wichita, Kansas
Happy weekend to all of you and as always, thank you for stopping by.

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Sketch in Oil and Other Artful Things

oil in 8 1/2 x 11 " sketchbook
There are still pencil marks visible in this sketch which for some reason seem like they belong. And there's another bunny. Perhaps that's a sign we should get a pet bunny.


But this beautiful creature might hunt it. He is a retriever and retrievers like to retrieve things, especially ones that are running (or hopping) away.

wildflowers on the Arkansas River

I hope your first day of Summer was a special one.  We spent it taking a lovely morning walk on the river...

backyard beauty

and lots of yard work was done...

graphite, tinted charcoal, pastel pencils
3 1/2 x 5 inch sketchbook

and the day was finished with some sketching.

What did you do for the first day of Summer?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sketchbook Sweeties

sketchbook sweetie
(tiny sketch in a tiny Moleskin)
tinted charcoal and graphite

I do not use charcoal very often, especially in my tiny Moleskin, but charcoal is really wonderful and often  gives a nice result.   The thing I love most about it is the depth you achieve with each layer and smudge.  Plus it is easy to make adjustments...raise an eye...lower a mouth...etc.

sketchbook sweetie

Another bunny sketch....this one from imagination rather than my photos.

Until next time...

Friday, June 13, 2014

Sketchbooks, Bunnies and What I'm Reading

8 1/2 x 11" sketchbook
acrylic, colored pencil and pitt pen
 It feels like vacation right now.  I am not painting anything intended for the gallery or my Etsy shop...I'm just working when I feel like it in my sketchbooks.  I never did finish the sketch in my last post.  The children looked sweet as they were so I left them alone.  Leaving things alone is good practice for me because I often keep painting to the point where I wish I would have left it alone. :)

sketchbook sweeties
tiny sketches in a tiny Moleskin
 graphite pencil 
Lately my practice is to stop in the middle of the day and do a quick tiny sketch like these sketches in my sweetie book (the tiny Moleskin).  It goes like this...start some laundry, do a sketch,  wash the dishes, do a sketch...and so on.  My favorite time to sketch these little ones is at night because that's when I'm too tired to do anything else.  It's like saying your prayers at night...only with pencil instead of words.

sketchbook sweeties
tinted charcoal left
graphite pencil right
In 2010 my husband and I went to the Kansas State Fair and I took a multitude of photographs of prize bunnies.  I had every intention to paint them, but never did.  Well, recently I've been thinking a lot about these bunnies and decided to sketch one.  That's him on the right and he turned out pretty cute.  Maybe I will paint bunnies some day.  But for now, I feel like sketching and experimenting in my sketchbooks...

What I'm reading
...and reading this book.  It was sent to me by a generous blog friend and it is a good read.  It has a lot of great insights for us blogging/tweeting/facebooking artists who share our stuff every day.  This is an easy read and I recommend it if you are interested in being more in-the-know about sharing your work in a way that is effective and interesting for others.  I wish this book had been around in 2011 when I started my blog.  I would have included fewer photos of my feet.

I hope you have a great weekend!  Thank you hugely and muchly for your visits and comments!

♥ Lisa