Posts Tagged: gratitude

Ingredients for stir-fry

Pepper and onion

This was long in coming. Some of my friends heard of my interest in still life. Some heard me discussing pro’s and con’s of a new for me, but really old, classical medium. Some lent me books. Others suggested brands. My painting teacher held my hand. Well… not literally, but he held my brush and showed me stuff. It really took a village! But it is here – a first oil painting. Thank you all!

Veggies are long chopped and cooked, but the painting is drying on a rack. This was a memorable dinner.

6″ x 6″ (15 x 15 cm) oil on Gessobord. To buy this painting click here.





Meet my husband Lou!

None of this would have been possible if it weren’t for my husband. There would be no project, no 40 portraits, no sketchbook. For four and a half months my husband supported me, cheers me on, left me alone, reminded me to bring my camera when we went someplace, admired my half-finished productions, and was saintly patient.

He shopped for groceries and cooked chicken korma, and I drew.

He cleaned bathrooms, and I drew.

Laundry would only get done when we literally ran out of things to wear, and I drew.

Dust-bunnies grew bigger than the cat, and I drew.

General life was postponed until after the sun-down so I could draw.

I could speak of nothing else, but references, bone structures, face modeling, expressions, skin tone, paper quality and lack of daylight – and he listened.

This was very much a team effort. He even wrote my artist’s bio for me to accompany the sketchbook. So it is only fair that his name should appear in the book. I dedicate this book to Lou, my husband. I love you!

And so, boys and girls, this is the last page, #40 of 40. The project is complete.

Oh, there are still a few things: the cover, the table of contents, cleaning smudges, restoring contrast on several pages, applying fixative… but all this is post-production.





Meet Phyllis!

Phyllis is an artist, a painter and a student in Kaye’s art studio. Phyllis works in abstract style and mixed media. I want to take a moment here and really appreciate Phyllis and her art. Let me explain.

Every 8 or 10 studio sessions we have a discussion / peer review / critique session where we all hang our recent productions on walls and discuss them as a group. For the longest time I had next to nothing to say about Phyllis’ work. As an artist I gravitate to hyper realism; abstract art the farthest on a spectrum for me. At these group discussions I realized that I don’t even have the language, the vocabulary, to talk about abstract art. I had nothing to contribute except an occasional “I like this” or being quiet when I didn’t because I didn’t know how to express what it was I didn’t like.

Thanks to Phyllis and her art this is changing. As I look at her work, hear her thoughts on developing it, listen to Kaye’s suggestions to her I started acquiring some initial understanding and language in the area of abstract imagery. When I like something now, I have some ideas as to why I like it. Last time I even ventured forth with a suggestion on color.

Thank you, Phyllis! Working next to you is a pleasure!

#21 of 40. Graphite, Moleskine Cahier sketchbook.



Meet Leslie!

Actually many of you know Leslie already! Leslie of Leslie Paints is an artist, an art teacher, an art blogger, and a friend of mine.

I keep thinking how the world is changing before my eyes. I remember times when people wrote letters to communicate, I remember having a pen-pal. I hear people still do the pen-pal thing now, but it has become a sort of creative anachronism. What people really do now is Internet. As do I. I met Leslie in blogosphere and we became friends. End of story. We never met in person, not yet, but I think of her more often, communicate with her more frequently, get more out of our connection than from a number of people I say Hello to in person in the hallway. Communities of Internet age… an interesting subject… I understand it is part of today’s Social Anthropology taught in schools.

If you haven’t met Leslie, go and check her work on her blog Leslie Paints. She is very good. Well, she is a professional. Which makes me very much unsure of myself posting this portrait. How does a novice make a portrait of a mentor… On top of being wonderfully talented Leslie is a generous, sharing, thoughtful person. And she is so beautiful! Which presents yet another challenge. Beauty is so exact and elusive, a millimeter off here or there and beauty is gone in a puff of eraser debris. I hope I did Leslie justice here.

For this portrait Leslie wore a Chicago shirt – in my honor. I truly appreciate the gesture, Leslie. So I had to acknowledge this thoughtfulness by showing the letters on the sketch. It took forever!!! Leslie sweetie, let’s have a plain shirt next time please… 😳

#10 of 40. Graphite, pastel (for letters), Moleskine Cahier sketchbook

Sunshine blog award

I received a blog award – Sunshine blog award. I never received a blog award before. Not one, but two people gave me this award nearly simultaneously – Leslie White of Lesliepaints and Ryan of Asmalltowndad. Two people thought that I am doing something worthwhile here, brighten their day in some small way. I am grateful and honored. Thank you, Leslie and Ryan!

Now following this award rules I am nominating 12 bloggers who helped me on my journey, taught me things and continue to brighten my life.

  1. Jana Bouc – a wonderfully talented artist, I started my blog modeling it on hers.
  2. Christy DeKoning – an accomplished watercolor artist, who watches my watercolor adventures and leaves wonderfully helpful comments and suggestions.
  3. Roz Stendahl – an amazingly productive multimedia artist from whom I learn, and learn, and learn.
  4. Sam Harrison – a young artist who was an inspiration and a catalyst that started me on portraiture. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I am capable of drawing or painting a portrait. I thought that for decades. Now because of Sam I know that I was wrong.
  5. Rob Carey – Once in a while you run across a person who seems closer to the Divine than the rest of us. Rob is such person. And a wonderful artist too.
  6. Pete Scully – an Urban Sketchers correspondent, who helped me with recommendations, links and books when I truly didn’t know what I was doing.
  7. Barbara Weeks – a Chicago artist who invited me to her Sketch group.
  8. Casey Toussaint – who is a wonderful artist and a great supporter of my art endeavors.
  9. Doris Joa – just because her art is a delight.
  10. Sheona Hamilton Grant – one of my favorite graphite artists.
  11. Ramesh Jhawar – for his wonderful watercolors. I always wait for his new ones.
  12. Gigi Sanchez – a wonderful writer and blogger with an amazing sense of humor. Go to her site and read her stories, especially Day at the Pound.
  13. Joseph Tomlinson of Joseph’s Art. Now, I don’t know Joe closely, but I get an impression he is not a kind of guy who plays Blog Awards games – sorry Joe! But his sketches touch me and leave a long lasting impression.

Ok, I can count to 12, I know I got thirteen. But there is no way to exclude anyone from this nomination list. 13 it is.

And finally, special and unnumbered, this award goes to my husband, also a blogger, who deserves all awards in the world. Being married to an artist isn’t easy!

Now, my dear friends, if you accept your nomination, please do the following:

  • Put the logo on your blog.
  • Pass the award to 12 bloggers.
  • Link the nominees within your post.
  • Let the nominees know they have received the award by commenting on their blogs.
  • Share the admiration and link to the person from whom you received this award.