Seeking Warmth

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Drawing number 2 “Seeking Warmth” is finished. This is a drawing of winter, when the cold in the air outside has a bite and keeps everything still and quiet. When the sound of falling snow makes you think of wood fires and yellow light and mulled wine and reading books for hours. The animals are in the burrows and dens, huddling into their coats and snuggling up to each other.

I grew up in an underground house and loved coming in out from the dark cold into the bright warmth inside of our little hobbit hole. The dog would curl right up under the wood stove, loving the blast of heat; in fact, she still does that. You could smell biscuits or bread baking in the oven; the tea kettle would be whistling; the radio would be playing softly in the background. The blue of the outside through the window contrasted so well with the cozy yellow of the kitchen and living room.

Drawing and a Trip to the Farm

I’ve become an early riser this week in order to get more drawing time in during the day. By the time early evening comes around and the sun starts to go down, I’m beat and I don’t want to do anything other than drink tea and read a book. So, all this week I’ll be setting my alarm clock for 6, maybe even earlier if this is a successful venture.

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This past Friday, the girls and I went to Ardenwood Farm. I LOVE going to farms: so much inspirational material! The girls love the chickens and the goats, but my littlest is not very fond of pigs in the flesh–she loves the movie Babe, but stand her anywhere near a pigpen and she’s not a happy camper. I love them, though. They have the life (at least until they get to be optimum size).

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I love going to this farm in particular because of the beautiful eucalyptus trees and old farmhouse with its lovely cottage gardens and gazebo. I like the mix of plants: there are a lot of traditional cottage flowers, like irises and columbine and roses, but there are also a lot of tropical and subtropical specimens. I’m planning a drawing of a cottage garden for sometime in the near future–they are just so magical. You can almost see the fairies fluttering around the leaves and petals!

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I need to find my little Canon Elph camera for our next excursion. I like that better than using my phone, and combined with a little Photoshop Elements, I really like how the pictures turn out.

Hopefully will finish the “Stillness” drawing this afternoon!

THROUGH the ample open door of the peaceful country barn,
A sun-lit pasture field, with cattle and horses feeding;
And haze, and vista, and the far horizon, fading away.

–Walt Whitman

Finished Growth

Finished my first drawing “Growth” and now on to the second one “Stillness.”

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“Stillness” is going to be a calm winter scene: a little forest cottage, snuggled into the snow, sleeping critters, and geometric trees. I’m looking forward to the cold of fall and the quiet of winter, even though winters are a bit different here in California. It’s nice to take a breather after a crazy season of gardening and just curl up on the couch with a hot cup of tea and my drawing pad.

Working on Something New

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I’ve gotten back into the swing of things with pencil and paper! Pencil is much easier to work with than paint when you’ve got two young kids and are constantly needed for something or other…you can just put it down right then and there and come back to it when you’re able. And I can add ideas that come a little later, after I’ve started a drawing– just a little erasing here and there. AND I can probably get in up to 4 drawings a week, which is what I’m aiming for.

I have a good idea for a project that I believe I can actually finish!

I do miss painting with watercolors for hours and hours at a time, but I just can’t spare that big of a stretch right now. Maybe in a year or two. Even so, I’m definitely going to keep painting when I can; I don’t think I could ever stop completely, even if it is difficult to find the time presently…

I am also changing my 15 Paintings project to 15 Drawings–this is a much more attainable goal! And instead of completing them in 3 months, it will be closer to 3-4 weeks.

Hope to be posting more regularly, so stay tuned!

Oracle Card #1

I finished this a while ago but forgot to share.

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This is the first in a series of 45 paintings I’d like to do for an oracle card set I designed. I mentioned it a while ago and haven’t really been working on it lately. I’d like to get back to it soon. I based my system on Joseph Campbell’s A Hero’s Journey and Propp’s Morphology of the Folktale.

This one is called Lack. It is meant to convey that there is something missing in this young woman’s life, her potential not fully met. Her head is full of soaring ideas and dreams of adventure, but she hasn’t taken any steps to solidify those ideas and dreams. There is something missing in her life, but she has not yet taken the steps to fill the void.

By the Lake

Finished a new watercolor for a postcard. Some friends who met in the Finger Lakes, NY are getting married, and they asked for a landscape with a lake and trees and sailboat. I think they are going to use the image as part of the wedding invitation!

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I think you can really see my major influences in this one: Charley Harper, Eyvind Earle, Kay Nielsen. This has also made me remember a few other paintings I’ve wanted to do featuring lakes: one about Yeats’s Lake Isle of Innisfree and one about Pope’s Ode on Solitude.

I’ll be putting up a print of this in my Etsy shop soon! Need to start painting on a regular basis again, as it is definitely therapy for me, a way to relax. And I get something to show for all of my relaxing at the end!

Finished March Moon

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Finally done! Will be up in my shop shortly as a 5 x 7 print for $10. This was a good one for me because even though I put it aside a few times for a week or so, I came back to it. I need to start doing that again. I was fine at finishing started pieces up until a few months ago. I have no idea what happened. I guess I just stopped making it a habit.

1 painting down, 14 to go!

Next, I’ll be working on a square piece, probably chicken subject matter. Because I’m getting chickens soon! Yesterday was my birthday, and I found out my birthday present was chickens…how great is that?!

Getting There…

Finally got to work on my painting today and am making some progress! Hopefully, I’ll be done with this one by the end of the night!

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I’m going to try and condition myself to paint more often, even though my free time only comes in hour-long bits of time. If I can paint an hour a day, that would come out to a 5×7 painting a week! So, even if I have to work on smaller pieces, I’ll be able to see the work I put in come to a complete painting in the span of a mere week 🙂

I’m going to try to aim for 15 new pieces over the next 3 months–HOWEVER, a lot of pieces that I’ll be including in that tally are already started and just need to be finished! So this is a project for tying up a lot of loose ends 🙂

Ostara Paintings in the Works

It’s been too long between posts! Time to get back into the painting groove for me. I’ve been busy studying for my teacher credential tests, and that has been taking up a lot of time. I feel a little bereft at not spending as much time as I normally do on painting.

So, I’ve decided to do a few small ones in honor of this coming spring…Imbolc was a week ago, so I missed that one, but Ostara is coming up! And that means rabbits!!

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It’s a little dreary out, right now, but spring is coming…

Pet Portrait Commission

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Just finished up this acrylic-on-wood pet portrait for a friend! I really liked doing this one because it was such a change of pace for me. I’ve never done a lot of pet portraits, but I really enjoyed “Jupiter”….I liked painting his beautiful mane of hair 🙂

I am going to finish up another oracle card tonight; I’ll be staying on track with that project. Can’t wait to start another one…I will definitely be keeping the loose-but-careful style. Honestly, approaching the paintings like that makes me more confident in my technique.

All of the finished oracle cards can be seen via my Patreon page.