January 20, 2008

What do you mean I need 3 new tires?

When you think of the great artists in the world, or at least my favorite, Andrew Wyeth, John Singer Sargent, Cezanne, Picasso, Egon Schiele and maybe even Beatrix Potter you think of them as artists wrestling with ideas, colors, the change of light, philosophy maybe even love but NOT with the fact they need three new tires for their car. Granted, I realize I'm "no Picasso" but hearing the Firestone guy, Bill, tell me my tires are no good is a total creative buzz kill. How can I paint when I have tires to buy, hairballs to clean up, dishes to wash, huh? Tell me?Simple, you do a "color study". This is what you do when you are too old and too "mature" to buy a coloring book and crayons and lay on the floor all afternoon while you color away to the music of "Captain and Tennille" (Which I might add here, I just bought "The Ultimate Collection" from iTunes and it's awesome!!!!)
You take a picture draw it a couple of times and paint it a couple of different ways. In this case I did a non-water soluble pen and watercolor version and then a straight watercolor version. And yes, the pain of my tire purchase dramatically diminished.

January 16, 2008

Welcome to St. Louis -zzzzZAP

This has been a very long two months since my last post. I'm glad to be settled in my new place here in St. Louis and ready to get back to the business of living, creating and painting. I'll just lay out the bad news of living in a winter "wonderland" and then we will bask in the highlights of the mid-west. First, it's cold every single day. Now, to most of you that's not a surprise, but I haven't experienced crisp, eye watering, nose running, finger chilling cold in a long time. (I'm dreading my first heating bill.) Second, I haven't had a good hair day since my arrival and rub a Bounce dryer sheet through my hair just to keep it in place. (roof top view from my apartment)
And thirdly, I've pulled out an old tube of Payne's gray which I was told by many a teacher is a no-no color to use in watercolor paintings because it doesn't mix well with other colors and basically can bring a heaviness to a watercolor painting very quickly. But I have to say, there's no gray like it to express the gray of these winter days. It's been hard to come from Sunny California to Gray St. Louis. But the hardest part of all is missing my California friends. I miss you all terribly - Samantha, Deb, Gianino, Carol, Danny, John, Michel, Sharon, Jen, Wally, Michele...

But let me tell you about the good stuff - I live in a great big, beautiful, old apartment where BabyKitty slides across the floor when we play fetch and she makes the funniest face when her little pink nose gets ZAPPED by static electricity. I can write my rent check without feeling physical pain in my chest. I have my art table set right in front of two big windows. The natives I've met are truly kind and helpful. There is a White Castle in my neighborhood - my FAVORITE - and yes, I ate there four times the first week I moved here. Living near my brother and his wife is awesome and I'm never, not for one second, lonely. I love all the typical mid-west 1920s brick houses everywhere. My neighborhood is old and close by is a brewery and a railroad track which feels like I live somewhere between the sitcom "Laverne and Shirley" and the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes" And there's SO much good stuff to paint - I'm learning my grays and learning the light. I look forward to the spring. And best of all St. Louis believes and supports the fine arts in a HUGE way.
Oh the possibilities....This is a quote I've had for years. I liked it so much that I painted this and tacked it on a wall as a reminder, maybe even a hope. But to my surprise, the ideal of this is quite different than the reality. I don't know why I'm surprised. It's hard to sacrifice a perfectly fine life (that would be mine in California) for a bigger life (which I hope is St. Louis) So the moral of this is be really, really careful of the quotes you collect - you just might have to live one out.


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