Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Of Visions and Studies

Cast of Diana for study
I have been in Portland, OR for the weekend where I celebrated my birthday, dropped off my Silent Ones painting, visited family and friends, and ate myself silly in all the wonderful Vegan food establishments that Portland has to offer. I haven't really had much to show or to post about and didn't have the time to dig up interesting art tidbits to offer so I apologize for falling off my blog schedule, yet again.
I have been busy setting up still lifes and studies as I feel the need to put in a bit more study time to continue to grow my skills. I have mentioned that I want to paint portraits. I had planned to start doing just that but I feel I need a bit more skill under my belt before I tackle a full rendering of a portrait. To aid that goal, I will be doing several cast drawings, getting back to basics. I am also going to draw and paint a few self-portraits as the model is free and more or less does what I ask of her. None of this is glamorous stuff but I will share the progress as that is what this blog is mainly about. 
I have also planned a series of paintings that combine landscape and still life. I am working on building the main prop for that, and for the weather to improve, before starting in on that project.
To make things even more interesting, I was innocently studying music theory to go along with my cello playing when a simple drawing of an unusual musical notation system in the book unlocked a staggering artistic vision.  Sometimes an idea for a painting or series of paintings is the work of painstaking research and development. Rarely, in my life, has an idea is dropped into my head like a bomb which explodes into a grand exciting scheme. I have been having a hard time sleeping! I pretty much figure that if I have been clobbered over the head by an idea such as the one that visited me the other day, I probably need to act on it and not put it off. I have set that vision in motion and of course I will be documenting the progress on it. I will just say that it is a musical/artistic collaboration between my husband and myself. He has even already done the first part and wonderfully at that. 
Things might be a bit slow winding up but there should be quite a bit of material coming to this blog as it all unfolds. 
Wishing everyone good visions, dreams, and idea bombs. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Virtual Art Museum

Old Woman Cooking Eggs, 1618 Diego Velazquez.(
Do you love to travel? Do you enjoy visiting art museums or wish you could? Thanks to The Google Art Project you can see thousands of wonderful artworks without having to leave your own home. Not only that, many are in high definition. You can zoom in to see each individual paint stroke and every scratch on the painting. Maybe that isn't how you want to look at a painting but perhaps you would like to learn a bit more.
I have mentioned the Google Art Project before but I think it is worth mentioning again. The website allows you to not only view collections in museums around the world, artworks by specific artists both in the past and contemporary but also allows you to virtually walk through certain museums. It is pretty fun and a lot of time can pass pleasantly by. I am going to have to schedule virtual art museum holidays. 
Of course, nothing beats seeing these works in person. I think it would be fun one of these days to use the website as a tool to create a very specific grand tour of art to visit. There are a few other features such as the ability to create your own little art gallery on the site. I am collecting pieces to study and perhaps even order prints of for further study. I highly recommend the site anytime you have a little spare time to spend.
I have spent the week catching up on house and garden and a few chores around the studio. I have a few stations set up with still life, a cast study, and a mirror for a self portrait and practice. I have a few days to work this week before taking The Silent Ones painting into Portland. The next couple of posts won't have a lot of progress to show as it will start out slow but it will be progressing none-the-less. I will have a report from Portland!
Spring is still flirting with Winter here on the coast. Hope others have lovely warm weather and to those in the tornado zones, stay safe.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Catching Up

Neahkahnie Magic
First, I would like to thank everyone for the comments I have received about my painting both here and on other sites. I am overwhelmed by how many "me toos" I hear from women who are childless, and those who were able to successfully have children. I will have to relate this to K. the woman who has pulled this show together. Her blog site can be found here.
A friend asked me if this was a juried art show. It is not. It is a call to express pregnancy loss and miscarriage through art.  I will be entering other paintings in a juried art show this year but I felt called to contribute to this important show first. Judging from all the response I have had so far, I am glad I did. Perhaps it will start a much needed conversation.
In the meantime, I have been catching up in other areas of life. I got the spring cleaning done in the garden and a start (a very small start)  on it in the house.
I also got a very special weekend in Portland booked. It will be a fun little get away and I will be dropping off the painting too.
I have more work to do but I am busy thinking about what I need to do in the studio too. I am just getting warmed up here! 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Silent Ones

© 2012, R.L. Delight, "The Silent Ones", oil on canvas, 18"x24"
Here is the promised finished painting, at last! The title of the painting is, The Silent Ones. The painting is as finished as it will be at this point. I honestly can't tell you what I think about it at the moment either. I know it reflects a lot of the skills I have built up so far but it also shows how far I have yet to go.
The painting is going to a show in Portland called, "Bearing Witness: Healing Pregnancy Loss and Infertility Through the Arts" 
On a personal note, and I will keep it short, I have lived with infertility and miscarriage for the past 27 years or so. I will also say that I have a wonderful life and have been able to do many things that would have been difficult or nearly impossible had we had children. I, along with my husband, have been mentors and Auntie and Uncle to many children throughout the years. I think this position in our culture is not valued enough. It once was. 
I have had the idea for this painting in my sketchbook even before I went to art school. The call for entry came along just about at the time I need to stretch myself and jump in. Funny how those things happen. Losing children doesn't mean they leave your life in every way. They are still there, just on the other side or in a different universe. This painting reflects that idea. Mine have grown up, in a misty sort of way, throughout the years. My oldest child would be about 26 and my youngest about 10 had they survived to live in this world. This was a challenging painting to make on many levels but I am very glad I did. Here is part of what I wrote to hang with the painting:
"I see them in reflections, I feel them in warm rays of the sunlight, and hear them in the sound of the sea when she whispers on a calm, cloudy evening. They have never lived on this side of the veil. Their presence brings me comfort and joy, and sometimes sadness. They are the Silent Ones."
I will be spending the week getting paintings varnished, frames made, props built, and the studio cleaned before diving into the thick of things again. Drawing and sketching are ongoing as always. 


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Almost There...

© 2012, R.L. Delight, painting in progress

I am getting close to getting the painting finished. I kept thinking that I would have it finished by the end of the day but I forgot that every time I complete a section, I have to go back to a previous section to make corrections or to meld it together. I also find more areas that need to be worked or fixed every time I come back to the easel. The time the painting is taking aside, I do love the process. It is very rewarding to see the progression even though the process can be so frustrating at times. As always, I am learning by leaps and bounds. I am not only learning the technical stuff but a lot about the philosophical process that goes into a painting. Learning all this makes me admire the painters I already admire all the more. I will talk a bit more about the details and the process once it is finished. If all goes well and to plan (I know that can be tempting fate) the painting should be finished by this Friday. It will be a week later than the time limit I set but it will still work. I will be working hard and keep my fingers crossed that I will have the finished painting to show-and-tell on my Sunday post.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Get to Work!

© 2012 R.L. Delight, Twill
Here is Twill giving me a look that reminds me to get to work! Actually, I have been working very hard which is why I have fallen off my blog schedule. I am working hard to finish up the painting I have posted about. April has arrived and I didn't have it completely finished. I got stuck a few times. One issue was that I needed to have some photo references of children. I found some online but I really prefer, and I think now require, my own photo references. I was wondering how I was going to accomplish that as we don't have many small children in town. In fact almost none unless it is vacation time. Fortunately for me, the Spring Break crowds arrived as well as a small break in the weather so I could snap pics of children playing on the beach. 
I didn't need a lot of detail for the pictures, just the unique gestures that kids have when they play with sand and water.  So now, having obtained the pictures and hopefully leaping the final hurdle, I will get the painting finished. Fingers crossed that I will be posting the finished painting on Wednesday. Back to the studio! 
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