January musings

Well, January is almost over.  I have not written anything in months.  I have always hated web sites that don't update.  Now I understand. Life gets in the way.  There are only so many hours in the day and where do I want to spend my time? Not on the computer.  I would rather be in my studio, reading a book, teaching, swimming etc....the list goes on.  Every time I get to my website I have to re-learn how to do any thing.  The simplest task that would take my children seconds to figure out can take me hours.  Artist talk about "paper fright", that point when one is ready to put a loaded brush on brand new 300# piece of watercolor paper and the artist starts to panic and sweats blood. (I get that way with 140#).  That to me is less daunting than technology.  

Years ago (at least 20) I attended a seminar on how even the most artistically challenged can be an artist by using the computer.  I don't remember who was sponsoring the program but it was something like Microsoft Word or Adobe Publishing.   The presenters made it look so easy and it was for them.  I was still teaching full time but was gradually moving into art.  The message was everyone could be an artist and all you had to have was a computer.  I knew of a professor at one of the local colleges that felt computer art was the way of the future. That all other art would be marginalized.  I never thought that.  Everyone business it seems wants to go "paperless".   I can not imagine a world of paperless art, no brushes and no paint.  



I had hoped to get into my studio to paint, but I ended up cleaning and organizing it.  Things were a mess. It is a little better but I still have things to do.  I am between classes.  The winter class ended at the end of January.  The spring classes starts in a week.  Last weekend I attended a workshop in Mt. Vernon, IL with Jeannie McGuire, a portrait artist from Pennsylvania.  This is her website: http://www.jeanniemcguire.com/ .  I love her art work.  She paints "intuitively".  She gets the drawing down; that is about all she plans.  Now, I believe all artist work "intuitively", some more than others.   But, I can not enter a painting without more planning than what she has.  I at least have to have a value or color plan in mind.  She says she has a stack of unfinished paintings in her studio that is so large she can hardly lift it.  Most of the art work she showed us was in various stages of completion.  She never completed a demo. I think that is the down side to her style of painting.  When you don't have a plan it is difficult to find your destination.  Keeping that in mind, I am always ready to change my plan if the painting dictates that.  To her credit, when she gets into a painting again, she will do what ever she can to make it work.  Jeannie works with both transparent and opaque watercolors.  She loves neutrals and muddy colors but there is also streaks of pure color to keep her paintings interesting.  Her design skills are amazing.  Some of the paintings I liked the best were basically three or five major shapes.  As an instructor she is not a high content teacher.  Hers is more a visual workshop.  I only took about a half page of notes.  It was basically watching her start paintings and talk about her unfinished and and completed work artwork.   She readily admits she is not a teacher and that shows.  But I am still glad I met Jeannie and had the opportunity to take her workshop. It got me thinking about my own artwork.  Maybe I plan too much.  Maybe I should give her style a try once and a while.  The only place I am unplanned is when I do collages.  Maybe I should approach some of my portraits in that way too.  


Welcome to THE BLOG

The first time is always the hardest.  And this has been hard.  I am not a computer person so getting this far is a major accomplishment for me.  I dedicate this website to family, friends and artists everywhere.  Soli Deo Gloria!  (To God alone the glory.)