Tuesday, October 29, 2013

gone fishing (escapism 2)

Yesterday, we shirked a few responsibilities and went out on the Sound. Initially, I was just going to let Dirk go out with his brother for some Man Time, but as he was getting himself together, I figured fresh salty air might do me some good. The last time I was on Jim's boat was over a year ago, near summer. It was hot, I was bounced around. Though I hadn't eaten much on that sojourn, towards the end of the day, I'd tossed my chum o'er the port bow. Jim decided we were done fishing at that point and turned the boat toward land.

So I've learned, as of yesterday, going on the Sound might be better for me when it's cooler and certainly when the waters are calmer. Add a shorter time out on the water into that equation and one has a fine day of fishing without chum chucking. We caught nothing but memories of a nice day on the Sound. And that's fine ~ at least memories don't have to be scaled and gutted.

We anglers three . . .

Cap'n Jim with salty Sound stories . . .

Dirk at the bow waiting for black fish . . .

An angler cloud gazing.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


It is a quiet Saturday. Blessedly quiet. My People have been busy with their things while Bennie joined me in the studio to tackle more Bloom True. I've heard mention a few times how these sorts of intuitive paintings go into ugly, weird phases that require some working through ~ finding the one good thing that might keep one going or stepping back and certainly including one's own unique imagery. I remembered I like to draw my left hand when feeling directionless. Since that was what I felt approaching canvases today, it's what I did.

While I might not paint this way forever, it's been a fun journey (for both Bennie and me) discovering new ways to play with the medium. I've found I like spraying water on the fluid acrylics and letting the drips drizzle where they may. I like painting with my fingers. I like swizzling (it's a technique) and twirling a thin paint brush aimlessly across the canvas, like making a road on my imaginary map. Finding My Own True Way in this process is slowly emerging. There are times I need to step away from the easel and let that Muse, that Genius, find me unawares. Though Flora encourages working with painting in that moment rather than planning, I've found my best inspirations arriving unannounced while somewhere else. That piece of inspiration might make it to the canvas, but I try to stay flexible letting it become something else when necessary. In essence, I'm thinking and living painting process all the time. A fair blissful state, that is.

Bennie's layers for today.

And the spot she likes.

My southpaw addition.

And my sweet spot.

Bennie's bitty.

My bitty with another southpaw.

Finished off with a random saori weaving shot.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

creative being

Painting and more painting ~ it's all Bennie and I have been living for this past week. We'd been lying in wait for Saturday to come just so we could paint. That activity waited until the afternoon, after taking an ailing rooster into the vet then going back to pick him up for a backyard burial. Fidget is out by the turkeys now, facing the sunset. At least we could paint. There is solace in simple things.

Bennie's canvas.

Bennie's other canvas.

My canvas.

My other.
(Which reminds of colors a Neil Gaiman character wore.)

Bennie's canvas with added values.

And the other, same deal.

Me playing with layers.

And again.

My woven journal page with Fidget's feathers tucked in and Mod Podged.

Fidget in his better days.

Sunday, October 06, 2013


There is something to doing what one says one is going to do ~ even if the dialog is internal. Last night, after painting a layer from the Bloom True course, I said to myself I'd come down to paint first thing in the morning instead of sitting in meditation. Sometimes, painting needs to be the meditation. And I made this plan based on the strong, palpable connection felt while applying and moving paint with brushes and fingers. I want more of that connection in solitude, before addressing anyone else's needs, in peace. Not that I have a problem being in service and co-creation with my family and the keeping of house and the animal husbandry ~ it's just that a woman body needs more than to be Of Service. Or perhaps it could be said a woman needs to be Of Greater Service to her soul's needs. I needed paint and a cuppa with time to explore the Ecstatic.

So as not to wake my slumbering family, the iPod was put into service playing Anugama, Sweetness of the Earth, as I blind dance painted over my earlier attempt. (Bennie noticed water had been sprayed onto the canvas before applying the paint ~ which I neglected to do at my first go-around. I saw it made a difference after Bennie's creation.) There is nothing like letting one's fingers glide through paint on the canvas or paper or wood or stone. It is direct, primal, visceral. As much as I enjoy some technical skill at drawing and painting, the free-form movements of fingers in paint on surface pings. It sends a signal to Source ~ I am here. I am listening. Tell me the story of this moment ~ a story that can only come through me because it is my story of Life. That same signal would move through you. Then your stories of Life in that moment, the ones only meant to come through you, would be seen by the World. I've got a pretty good idea everyone has this connection. It's just not always through painting. That shouldn't keep folks from trying to paint though. There are over a billion pathways to God Hirself as there are over a billion people on this Earth.

This is the morning I needed.

The second, more fluid, attempt at some blind dance painting.
My morning meditation.

The layer I played with last night on the other canvas.

Other stuff in progress on the Table of Candle Conflagration.

Bennie playing with her painting this morning.

Bennie's blind dance painting.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

cheap comes at a cost

Awhile ago, Bennie and I bought some art supplies at a local-not-so-local art supply store. We grabbed a couple brushes each, varying sizes of small-ish canvases, a Dr. Who Vanishing-Reappearing Tardis mug and a few other small things to aid our studio explorations. As we were tallying up at the register, the very helpful cashier noted that we could get a bunch of the canvases we'd chosen cheaper and in two-packs. Sure! Why not? Save money where we can ~ especially on these discretionary spending sprees (as in: It ain't roast beef, Martha! Put it back!). We all enjoyed a Happy Moment. The cashier proud to have saved us money and we were just happy to have saved money. It's the little things after tea and scones.

Now. I've waited a long time to use some of these canvases for Flora Bowley's Bloom True painting e-course. Laying down cash for a quality course, using quality paints and hi-speed internet doesn't call for crappy canvas. Which is what I bought. Cheap. The grain of the canvas isn't smooth, not in the least. So after doing the voodoo that is Flora Bowley-like, I had to blot off the excess paint (which wasn't even adhering to the canvas surface ~ in fact, it was more like resist painting on the entire surface). My easy, not-so-cheap-fix for this surface was to apply a coat of matte medium on the entire canvas after the paint was blotted and dry. If nothing else, I've added another layer to the piece.

Moral of the story? Cheap comes at a cost.

This first piece was done w/ acrylic on some pretty good Dick Blick Student Grade stretched canvas.

This blind dancing canvas was also the Dick Blick product mentioned above.

Now, this here is a Winsor & Newton Universal Canvas Economy twin-pak after coating it with matte medium and then applying the acrylic paints. A fair save at least.