Monday, June 23, 2014

Back to faces

I've been stuck in the slow lane for a couple days, when my back went out Saturday evening after moving a heavy flower pot in the garden.   so it's been a time for a lot of sitting in the recliner with an ice pack, or walking around wincing.    If you've ever had this injury you know what it's like.       The previous elephant paintings were done during this quiet time, and now I just finished another face.  One that I had drawn in the other journal.  I just had never painted her before.     

She looks like an Amanda to me.     She is older and healther than the last time you saw her sketched.     She survived!     

Elephants - A new Kick

I was a bit tired of faces so thought I'd paint a few collected images of elephants.     I am one of those that watch the elephant documentaries.  If there was an elephant channel I'd watch it.       If you can follow this string of nearly related people, you come to one of the people that perked my interest in them.     My first husbands' first son by his second wife,  is a half brother to two of my sons - got all that?     Not really important, but he happened to run away to join a circus as a teenager and became an elephant trainer.  (side note, one of my great grandfathers ran away to join a circus! leaving behind a wife and house full of kids.)  Anyhow, to get back to my point.    One year at Christmas my so's half brother came for Christmas at son's house.   He brought a video of his performance and introduction to his elephant.      I never knew anyone who loved an elephant before, but why not?   

These are new paintings in my new art journal.

A few years ago, a group of us visited PAWS,  the elephant reserve in San Andreas, where we got to be up close to these wonderful animals, now in retirement.     You'd be amazed how they capture the love of the volunteers and how they have changed the lives of some of them.    Awesome.       

 Here are a couple of pics from our visit.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Not so Tuff...

Here's the latest portrait I painted in my journal.       This is Tuff, Rosemary and Jerry's little dog/companion.  He is such a sweetheart and a good buddy of my two girls, Nikki and Lulu.       He's also a gentleman.   When he tires of their company, he ignores them equally.    LOL  

He's a very self sufficient little fellow, plays with toys and makes up games to amuse himself.  Like dragging the bathroom mat into the living room, or dragging a sofa pillow around the house.     Or a shoe.      He doesn't chew things up, he just likes to collect them and move them about.        He gets long walks at least twice a day, rain or shine.      He may be a teensie bit spoiled.   I'm not saying.    Shhh..   He likes to greet visitors at the front door, but does not like to be picked up or held.      He also loves being groomed and struts his stuff when he is looking fine. This is his new summer hair cut.    

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Julia and Bob - new portraits

Between classes I painted Julia from a n advertisement in a fashion magazine.     I love her wide mouth.     
She is in my new journal.   The former one is almost full.

At the class this week, John asked us to paint someone in our families.    I chose to paint my brother since I had already done Candis.   This is Bob.      BOB is an acronym for Best of Brothers.   Most of the students are painting grandchildren.   
 I think we are finished with the class now.

I give John a lot of credit for helping some of the artists who are basically landscape painters, get over their absolute fear of trying to paint  a face.     Some hare blossomed and are doing very well, others have struggled and probably will not continue, and others will take this and build from it.    It was well worth doing.      next week the Mayor will be there, so perhaps we will  impress him enough to get a little grant.  We hear his mother in interested in joining us.   Guess we'll have to stop talking trash about polities and polititions.    LOL  

One of the most meaningful conversations this week was about eyes.   With my own problem, and my brother's, now two more of the ladies in this group have had bad diagnosis.  About the same as mine or Bob's.    Another one had wonderful news about her cataract surgeries.    Both extremely successful and she's going without glasses except for reading.    Says she sees so much now, colors are brighter and clearer, distance vision is great.   But she sees things that she never noticed before.    Like her cleaing woman is not doing a very good job.    And she didn't know she had so many wrinkles.    LOL     hmmm... maybe that's why I though my wrinkles were looking better, - I guess I just can't see them.   LOL    Another friend had eye surgery last week and it was not successful.    In fact it did more harm than good.       You just never know.      

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Another loss

Our mixed media group in Lodi just lost a wonderful friend.   We knew it was coming,, she was fighting bladder cancer that had moved to her bones,  but the finality struck home Sunday morning when she passed.     Suzanne was a phenomenal artist and person.   Direct and honest, she spent much of her working life teaching art for the California Youth Authority (prison).     It takes a special talent to do that.    And she found it very rewarding.     When she retired she joined out group and taught us a few things too.     Like origami, and making paste papers, and twisted wire beads.   You can tell she had a lot of resources and talents.    We will miss her terribly, but glad she no longer has to face days of discomfort and pain.    

I wish I had more pictures to share of the books she made.    And the prayer flags, and the jewelry made with origami.      She could do everything and did them all beautifully.   Wnd she made it all look so casual and easy.    I saw her teach children at the art shows, to do intricate folded things that I can't do.     Yet she could capture their interest and channel their energies into producing something lovely.    A rare talent.    

We will miss you Suzanne.


portraits class again

It was a long time between Mondays when the seniors meet to paint together.     John's class has grown each week.  We now have a water colorist painting in her own style.    We were a group of 10 yesterday.  This time I expected we would work on hair, but instead, we had a new assignment.       Do the same face as last time, but this time do two of them, as mirror images.      This is tough.   

I've never been able to think in reverse, so my brain was doing flip flops trying to do this.     I hate that.     So, this is as far as I got.   No one else did much  more than this.    It needs lots of work.     Hmmmm....Shall I continue or do something I like to do instead?     Frankly, I don't see any reason to continue this, as I'm never going to put myself through this particular hoop again.   But, I'll probably paint them, just not thinking about the reverse thing.  

So, I moved on to something close to my heart.     My youngest grandchild  Candis is graduating high school this week and I wanted to make a chock full of her childhood pics kind of book like I made for her brothers when they graduated.     But, had a school assignment that was similar and she's having fun doing it for herself.    So, I decided to paint her portrait.      I took it to show her mom and made a few little changes she suggested, so it's about ready to frame.        

I had purchased one of Robert's paintings to give her, as it also looks a lot like her in a different pose.     She'll get two paintings in stead of one.       Here is how it looks at the moment.    I already see something that needs to change.       I have one more day to go, so I'd better get at it.