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A Soft Vision

Lately I’ve been playing with paint to express emotion and a softness of vision. I rather like how these pieces are coming out. Take a look.

I call this one Beyond and it was inspired by a train ride through the Alps.

I worked another version of it in “Memories on a Train” below.

I liked how Beyond came out, but I admit I love color. So I did “Farther”.

I continued in this vein with a slightly more fanciful topic in “Enchanted”.

I think I’m going to explore this “soft view” approach for a year or so and see where it takes me.

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My Muse and The Owls

This winter was a particularly hard winter.  One day I walked bravely out on the deck to get a cold breath of nature and watch the birds feed.   There was snow all about.  Even the birds looked cold with their feathers fluffed up, making them look like round furry balls.   I heard an owl hoot.  And imagined him fluffed on his branch.  I heart him hoot again and imagined it was a lament over his cold toes.

CRASH!  I heard in my mental studio.  My Muse had just pushed all the painting ideas I had neatly lined up in row in order tagged with paint, color scheme and even if there was a preliminary sketch.  It was all in order.  I went to pick up one of my future canvases and my Muse rudely kicked them to the wall. “This!  This! ” and held up a canvas of a pissed off looking owl.  Not only was it a canvas it was a BIG canvas, about four times the size of my usual canvas.   “If you do this, I’ll even give you a few special bonus treats,” said my Muse.

So I put on some music and said down to paint.  One day I did the background and then gave it time to dry.  How about if I start on…this..and pictured a canvas and showed it to my muse.   “No”, said my Muse stomping on the ground.

Shortly I was back painting, feather after feather after feather.  And did i mention feather after feather after feather?  Big feathers, little feathers, paint from one feather merging with another and making a new color.  There must be a hundred small feathers around each eye! The music beat on.  It was a cold and wet stormy day.  Rain and hail hit against the window in staccato counter beats to the music.

Finally after hours of non-stop painting I was done.  Suddenly, I felt mist against my face, I could see the clouds and I was flying through them.   My rational brain panicked.  And I was back in my warm studio.   I thought there must have been a branch fall on the roof making a hole.  I looked up.  The ceiling was whole and dry.  I raised the shade on the window, as I paint with a light source I control.  And the window was intact.  I felt the floor.  It was dry. I checked to make sure I was using my non-toxic lavender oil rather than some toxic inhalant. And lavender oil it was.   I swear it was not a dream, but for a moment in time I flew as a owl.

My Cold Toes

So I went back to my mental studio and started to line up my projects again.   Someone posted a funny hash-tag on my Facebook feed.  I laughed.  CRASH!  BANG!  No, not again! My Muse had thrown all my mental canvases on the ground and was holding up a new one.  “Hash-Tag Hoot!” said my Muse, “You like?”  I laughed I did like.

Hash-Tag Hoot

Certainly, NOW we were done with owls.  What more could I paint, I couldn’t think of any thing I’d like to do with owls.  Not one.  In fact I was getting a bit tired of owls.  I went to put my mental studio in order, but before I picked anything up, I heard an evil cackle from my Muse.  “No, not more owls, no more owls”.  I begged.   My Muse, with a huge grin, held up a new canvas.

Odd Birds in the Family Tree

Now just when you have had enough of owls I have to confess this wasn’t my first encounter with an owl obsessed muse.  Here is one from last summer.

Owl Storm Eyes

So for a bit, my muse has given me an owly break.  But that is only because of the fox I saw running through the backyard.  But that is a story for another post.

 

 

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Painting My Inner Vision

I’m still searching for “my voice” in art.  I feel I am experimenting with different styles and colors.  But I’ve yet to develop one that you can look at from afar and know it is my work.

Looking for something that belongs to me, and is part of my vision led me to paint the third eye during meditation.  When I meditate and close my eyes there is a point where my awareness shifts.  And at the shift I often see a line across my eye of a reddish light and a diffuse glow.

I decided to try to paint my experience.  Here is “The Third Eye”.  It is the view from inside of your eye to the outside world, while experiencing a shift in consciousness.

 

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Canvas Clones

I was talking with my husband over dinner last night.  I was lamenting that I had sold my second painting but I was finding it hard to let it go.   He said, “Well you can always do another like it.”

But really can you?  For instance, when I painted “A Jury of your Pyrs.”

A Jury of Your Pyrs: View from the Dock

I was watching an old British TV show called Silk, learning about the British Court system and inspired by the pun, “A Jury of Your Pyrs.”    Would I have the enthusiasm to do it all over with as much interest and attention to detail?  I don’t think so.

Another thing that moves on is abilities and techniques.

I love the image of a Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog happily rolling in the freshly fallen snow.  Such joy!   So I did paint one canvas to portray this about a year ago.

Spirit of the Snow Angel

Snow kept falling and I kept learning and painting.  I painted may other subjects and then returned to the same concept again.

I find that how you view a concept and how you attack it changes.  Below is this year’s take on the same concept.  I’ve refined my brush strokes.  I still have problems with perspective.   But it is a “finer” image.  Could I return and to the first over again, and if I could, would I want to?

Snow Angel of Joy

Perhaps I should paint a Pyr making a snow angel every year, just as a record of how my abilities and outlook change.

Part of what I love about painting is the exploration of different styles and topics.  I don’t think I made a post about my chaos paintings where you just paint as the spirit moves you and go back the next day and try to refine shapes you see into images?

Dance to the Music

These two images are done on canvas paper and are very free and spontaneous.  Interestingly enough, the Mermaids below were actually purchased from my Etsy shop, also called “My Muse Calls“.   So the first painting I sold was of mermaids and not a Pyr.  As usual, an unexpected turn!

I’ve recently discovered the visionary artwork of Alex Grey and much to my delight he has a center where he holds what he calls “Art Church” and workshops only 30 minutes from my home.   I’m going to take a workshop he and his staff offer on visionary painting this summer.

The road twists and turns and keeps taking me new and interesting places.  I don’t really want to do another painting exactly the same.  And I shouldn’t lament if I am able to sell a painting.  I can use the money to buy more art supplies.  And the person who buys it hopefully will be cheered on daily basis by having it around.   The more I travel down this road, the more doors seem to open and the more interesting the sights become.

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Spooky Glastonbury

One night, in Glastonbury, a man’s dog gets loose.  It runs, barking, up the hill and into the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey.   Eventually, the man catches up with his dog and they start to return home.  But the hair on the man’s neck stands up and his flesh turns to goosebumps even though it isn’t that cold.  Is there something in the shadows?

Glastonbury Abbey
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Hill Town in Corsica

One of my Facebook friends was kind enough to share some photos of Corsica where her  mother lives.  I was inspired to paint this from one of them.   I love the idea of people living in a quiet community, all knowing each other, far from the crazed media linked existence we all seem to share.

Corsica-Hill Town
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Lavender in Provence-Use of Semi-Neutrals

This is my new favorite painting.  I combined some abstract elements with lavender fields in Provence.  I also used elements of color theory that I used from Stephen Quiller and his book Color Choices: Making sense out of color theory.

The Quiller Wheel works by using semi-neutrals that harmonize a painting.  For instance if you need a dark for a shadow you could try blending a purple with the opposite on the color wheel a yellow, for a cool toned semi-neutral.

You can see how this works on his website, where I love some of the muted tones in his paintings.

So without further ado, Lavender in Provence.

Over the years this has turned out to be one of my most popular paintings and I won’t give up the original. But for a friend I did Lavender in SC

lavender-in-sc

And in 2016 a gallery wanted the original (which I still won’t give up) so I did Provence 2016 for them.

provence-2016

So if you in the mood to try reading the book I used Making Sense Out of Color Theory know that although he works in watercolors, he has charts in the book that cover acrylics and oils, as the exact name of a purple hue may be different for different media.  It also comes with a pull out color wheel that I have on my studio wall.  One of my favorite things about the book is that he will do the same scene using different color combinations and intensities, that in itself is very educational.

Happy painting!

If you like his work and you are a watercolorist you may like this book:

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Best Friends

The first time I visited my breeder I noticed she had a number of cats around.  I remarked that she must be a cat lover.

“I despise cats.” She said, “and don’t go near that one, he bites!” 

She then elaborated that when her female dogs went into heat, and were not bred but still full of the instinct to mother they broke out.  While they were out and about they would find a kitten to dognap.   The cats around the place all were pets of the dogs!  

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Dream Gallery

I had a dream that I was in an art gallery.  As I walked along I saw many small paintings and they were wonderful.  When I awoke, I lamented that all the wonderful perspectives and concepts I saw belonged to someone else and I couldn’t use them.  Then I awoke more fully and realized, my brain, my gallery MY IDEAS!  

I painted this based on something I saw in my dream.  I call it The Light of Learning.

 

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Analogous Colors with Semi-Neutrals

I’m reading a great book on Color by Stephen Quiller that I will review at a later date.  I tend to go a bit wild with colors.  Sometimes my tones are all too bright and there are so many colors it hurts your eyes and it’s hard to see the main focus from the background.

I decided to do a few paintings base on color schemes I’m learning from this book.  While I’m not fond of the still life, I did one in analogous colors with semi-neutrals for this exercise.  I used greens next to each other on the color wheel, a yellow green, viridian, and a blue green.  I mixed the yellow and the blue-green myself using the viridian.

Here is my palette:

 The colors at the bottom are the semi-neutrals where the opposing color from the color wheel was mixed, for instance quinicone red with viridian green.   This gave me a semi-neutral.  I added white to the main hue as well as the neutral to give me a larger palette.

I set up this still life:

 I then did the following painting with the idea of it being soothing and calm.