Archives

May, 2011

Tuesday Tea Time

A friend of mine gave me a beautiful flower made of tea leaves recently. The whole tea leaves had been tied together in the center with thread to create a multi-petaled dried bloom. It was so pretty to watch it plump up when the boiling water was poured over it. It tasted of a fine rich black tea, not flowery at all – it just looked like a flower. There were lots of layers of tea leaves in that blossom. I got kind of wired after I drank the delicious tea. I have always said that flowers give me energy. That one kept me going all day.

June Art Display

Sixteen pieces of my art will be hanging at a local restaurant for the month of June. I overcame some pre-show angst by pulling out the artwork and leaning it around the floor of my studio so I could see it all together. Some new pieces and some from past series all looked nice together and it was good to see a body of work sitting there. Usually I work on one or two paintings at a time or I’ll refine my sketches during a period of days, doing all the drawing and compositions when that is flowing. Then the color work is painted one or two pieces at a time. When a painting is finished I may live with it for a bit, move on to the next piece, or put it safely away in the flat file drawer until I have a batch of art to be photographed. I always have pieces hanging in my studio but it still feels good to see a big group of paintings ready to go on display and share with the public. I’m excited!

Tuesday Tea Time

I started a few large paintings with acrylic on canvas the other day. It has been awhile since I have painted that way, so it was kind of challenging to my comfort zone but energizing too. As time passed I got in the flow and lost myself in the process for a few hours. My husband walked in to my studio and asked “Why are you fascinated by tea cups?” I said “I guess they represent sort of a civilized-ness to conversation, and also a centering aspect when you are alone…and comfort.” There is more to ponder about that I’m sure. Anyway, since the acrylic paints were out, I painted this colorful design on some gessoed paper for today’s tea cup. I’ll keep you posted when the larger pieces are finished…in the meantime a cheerful cup to brighten your day.
“Orange and Periwinkle Cup”, acrylic on paper, 6 1/4 x 8 14/ inches

Impressions of Monet

Last year at this time I was in Paris enjoying the magnificent paintings Monet painted of the water lilies in his pond at Giverny. They are exhibited at the Musée de l’Orangerie and it was his idea to display these large paintings in an oval room – actually two oval rooms – one for the mostly pond and waterlily paintings and one for the paintings of the willow trees with their branches dipping down to the water. It is a meditative and beautiful experience to be in the room surrounded by this art. Even though there are many other people viewing these paintings with you they remain quiet and serene. The paintings up close have a different mood with dashes of colorful brush strokes that are abstract, gestural and confident.
I wish I were there now.
Photo by Mikel Covey

Tuesday Tea Time

Precision, geometry, and balance are all things I admire. Also, shape—both positive (the object) and negative (the space around it)—which to me needs to be in harmony. And, I like form and flatness. Sometimes I think I have a split visual personality because I love gestural spontaneous freedom and whimsy, but also refined perfection. This contrast in me keeps things interesting. Most of the time what I end up creating is about color and line whether it is free form or rigid. Today my tea cup image sort of reminds me of a graphic, stylized, flattened shape version of a Wayne Thiebaud still life. But it is just me being me after a few cups of tea.

Tuesday Tea Time

Curiosity is an important trait, especially for an artist. Sometimes just wondering where an idea might lead and then playing around with a direction is all it takes to send me down a path of exploration. Experimenting and just making art, even when it seems fruitless at times, is what it takes to create something – something that might be meaningful and inspired, something that might communicate, speak to someone’s heart and allow for an aesthetic experience. A sense of discovery and skill, a little faith, and at times, patience and persistence are part of what it takes to be an artist. Sometimes I chide myself for going off in different creative directions, but illustration, design and painting are all things I enjoy. Exploring what interests me will hopefully be of value in some way. The tea cup above was a whimsical study that could lead to a larger painting or pattern…maybe I’ll have a cup of tea and ponder that.

Tuesday Tea Time

We went to a friend’s annual Tulip Party on Sunday which is a delightful event held each year. It is so nice to spend an afternoon chatting with people, enjoying a glass of bubbly and some good party food in a lovely garden filled with tulips and blossoming trees. Even though it snowed the day before, the weather cooperated by being sunny and cool but not too chilly to linger outdoors. So today a tulip becomes my tea cup and it’s leaves make a handy saucer. A bit of whimsy and creative interpretation to usher in the month of May.