Brawling Night Cats

Copyright

Cat – acrylic on yupo

I have several processes in the works that are “oh so fun” – a series of animal collage murals, 7 small stack books for foodie and bunny lovers (3 nearly done), the paperback version of The Art of Daily Cultivation + agent hunting. As well as 2 new websites, one for creativity coaching/blogging + fun muse-like tools for my coaching clients, and this site is going through some massive reconstruction for a new store launch.

So, here’s the thing. Life keeps slowing down the kid who wants to stomp in puddles and get on with it. This past week, the inhibitors larger than usual: bunny at death’s door + vet madness, a new bed that made me feel hit by a truck, waking up at 2 a.m. for several nights to screaming cats fighting and not going back to sleep, and design clients / creative director pressures in crunch week at work. I wanted a virtual lobotomy every hour — and a hug a minute. ; D

I found art during this time to be the thing — that beautiful daily apex between the life I own and the life I serve — that instantly relieved stress. Sometimes for just 5 or 10 minutes. But it calmed and restored without fail. Tickled again for this daily practice that continues to give (no matter what).

Elephant Mural in Progress

Laughing Elephant Mural in Progress

Next? An introduction between passion and patience is in order. I did want to be introducing all kinds of new goodies by the end of Sept. to you. But the end of October is more like it as the day job lightens and the night cats get slept through with the promise of the right mattress (soon). Patience! Now there’s a concept. I just want to play with my new toy—renewed passion through daily practice.

Thank you for your patience as well. And support as I’ve posted cakes on Facebook. ; D

Practice Makes Peace with Imperfect

Okeeffe Country 8 min. finger painting.

O’Keeffe Country 8 min. finger painting.

When you do something over and over again – daily, weekly, monthly and the year, you tend to get pretty creative about the rules. Standards mean about as much as a cold bubble bath.

Perfectionism, at least my 2nd grade version of it was a pain when cranking out a painting in a New Mexico lightening/hailstorm, no electricity or matches. I was stubbornly determined to prove that no matter what I had claim on at least 30 minutes of my day to paint. In this case I remembered that I had purchased some matches that day in the bookstore because they had a cool etching on the cover.

I lit a candle, calmed the bunnies and finger painted what I remembered of an image of O’Keeffe country in a magazine. I posted by iPhone before midnight and slept peacefully. I didn’t really know what it looked like until the next day online. I remember working fast and feeling nervous. Electricity in the air, the unfamiliar earth trembling, my elderly rabbits freaked. It seemed a bit silly at the time to hold fast to such stubbornness. As I look back I feel a bit thrilled and romanced by the aliveness of the moment.

As I look back now on the project of painting daily as a whole, I realize practice gave me creative license to rewrite my relationship to perfectionism — to make peace with it by practicing awkwardness daily. Perfection, it turns out has a lot of room for redefinition.

 

 

Summer Salmon & Really Good Wine

YUM

YUM

I’m just here today to remind you that cooking outside with loved ones, friends and well behaved furry ones is a really lovely thing right about now. If you have my book The Art of Daily Cultivation, this beautiful recipe from Shauna Prince is on page 110. And if you don’t have the book, you now have one of the best parts of the book. See, I don’t consider myself a foodie, but I am wise enough to have talented, festive foodie friends. Thank you Shauna and Daniel!

BBQ’d salmon with lemon, capers, and dill

Ingredients – serves 8

2 whole fillets of salmon (skin on or skin off, ideally wild, around 2 ½ pounds each fillet)

4 medium lemons – two sliced in rounds (with skin on), one juiced, one sliced in wedges for garnish

1½ oz butter

1/2 of a medium white or brown onion, cut in thin slices or wedges

3 tablespoons of white wine (optional)

1½ teaspoons of Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons of fresh dill – chopped. Plus sprigs for garnish

1 – 2 tablespoons of capers (to your taste)

Salt (approx. ¼ tsp Kosher salt)

Freshly ground pepper (approx. ¼ tsp)

1½  tablespoons of olive oil

Read more…

Daily Painting Made a Finisher out of Me

It hasn’t stopped. At some point everyday, I angle for the studio even if just for 10 minutes to get the hands moving and thinking. I used to average about 3 paintings a year. Never enough for an exhibit. Now, I average a large piece a week with the vision of the final series in mind throughout. I’m not at peace until I finish.

Frequency has a creative soul of it’s own. Like a marriage, there is that 3rd party always at play. Never just the two people. It can make you a bit crazy if you resist.

Mixed media-close up

Mixed media-close up

This is the 2nd mural in a 5 part series of 3 paneled animal murals. They stack and reconfigure in all ways. It’s a very different modality for me. Collage is a bit more meditative and deliberate than my usual comfort zone of flying the paint on canvas.

 

photo-3

Panel of Pudgy Birds Close Up

I really like the surprises. And the feeling of molding something, like a cake or sculpture.

Stacked Triangle

Stacked Triangle

Layering and layering until the math is right.

Curious Bird. Close Up

Curious Bird. Close Up

And I let it be a bit rough. I never want to smooth it or have tidy lines. I’m not sure why, just yet.

Folding In

A Beautiful Sunday Morning

This piece will live in my yoga studio for now. I like waking up the body to the birds that woke me up to a new creative avenue.

What’s next? Giraffe’s, Cats, Kangaroos, Zebras, Elephants? Not sure. Feel free to vote. The next piece is 18×24 with 2.5 inch deep sides. So more square than I’ve been working.

Have a wonderful week.

 

Love Bird(s)

Close up of a larger mixed media work

Close up of a larger mixed media work

 

This is just a little teaser. I’m working on another 3-paneled piece. Fat, happy, conversational birdies. I have 3 more sets of canvas’s of 3 ready to go (9 of 15 total canvas’s of 3-paneled murals). My goal is that each combination of 3 can fit as a puzzle together in any arrangement. It’s a fun design challenge.

Close Up of Another Love Bird

Close Up of Another Love Bird

By the end of September this new series should be ready to go. YAY. Happy Friday!

Fat Animals Series

What I love about art is that it can begin with most meager expectations — yet, one thing leads to the next and now you find yourself falling in love and sailing around the world.

Panel1-2

Panels 1 and 2

My collage experiment began with a long panel because it was on sale at the art store. I filled it with random paper I wanted to recycle. I saw a couple of tall rabbit ears and off I went. One of the rabbits (the one with the apron) got under my skin. He is pudgy with a bow tie and has a story. After the first panel, the poor rabbits had a small request (bodies), but I really wanted to make one long rabbit mural. So back to the art store: 2 more 12 x 48’s and back in the studio to do both. I’ve just ordered 9 more canvas’s to create 3 more series. Fat animals based on the rabbit with the apron. Who turns out to be a personality replica of my fat rabbit, Max. Ah… life, you make me giggle.

Close up on right of panels 1 and 2

Close up on right of panels 1 and 2

Panel 1 at the top and then the bodies underneath. And here is a close up of the rabbit in the clouds:

 

And now, panel 3 full scope.

Panel 3 to follow 1

Panel 3 to follow 1

 

The long version of 1 and 3:

14 rabbits there.

14 rabbits there.

 

And a close up:

Zzz

Zzz

 

The 3 also mix and match well:

3 and 1

3 and 1

 

And the rabbit bodies (panel 2) looks pretty nice over the bed:

chuckin and jivin

 

Stay tuned for more of these fun puzzles. Aiming for a full zoo by the end of the summer. Wishing you all the very best this summer. Stay cool.

 

 

Big Eared Rabbit Convention

Edna loves the ears - Mixed Media. Close Up. 12x48

Edna loves the ears – Mixed Media. Close Up. 12×48

I’m taking a class (Joy of Collage) that honestly I wasn’t sure I would get into because it’s less about painting and more about shaping. Surprisingly, I’ve fallen utterly and completely in love. This piece is a work in progress – a 2-paneled diptych. I’ll show the full piece completed in a week. In the meantime, some very tall eared rabbits have my full attention.

This rabbit has a story. Mixed Media. Close Up.

This rabbit has a story. Mixed Media. Close Up.

And the final image is the full perspective on the studio table. The studio rabbit, Max is surprisingly quiet about this one. He watches in silence and every so often nudges my leg. I think he wants me to invent him a girlfriend out of this painting and is impatient.

Full View - almost. 12x48 first half of the diptych

Full View – almost. 12×48 first half of the diptych

 

Thank you. Have a wonderful weekend!

It’s a Series …

Watercolor, pastel, pen

Watercolor, pastel, pen

I have run out of title for my flower forests. I have also run out of reasons to fight it. Believe it or not this began with the same whimsical thought (hope) of simplicity and elegance as all the rest. It’s become clear to me that a mild flu of the wild has caught hold and I’m powerless.

Next step? Go big. And go all out in series mode.

By the way, do you see the girl in the gold, pink dress? The pear that looks like a fish … and the dog that looks like it just did something wrong? Do you see the elephant in the flower that seems to think she is a bee? And the reptile looking monster above the ant eater? Did you notice I refrained from bunnies for the first time in weeks? Are you proud of me?

Forest of Characters

Final Garden Painting - Acrylic on Gesso Board

Final Garden Painting – Acrylic on Gesso Board

I seem to be onto something : : c h a o s : :

I really thought it would be different this time. But there it is … complexity at its finest. Ha!

I do like the girl and snail and blobby character with the skirt. They decided to pay a visit and make me giggle.

Have a great week!

Blowing Flowers Up

Blown Flowers. Acrylic on Paper with a straw and good lungs ...

Blown Flowers. Acrylic on Paper with a straw and good lungs …

 

From Painting Gardens: blowing paint around with my fancy black straw and spackling with a toothbrush. It’s been wonderful painting daily again. The sense of excitement is the same (even more so). The challenge to make it a priority activity in the midst of work and life demands is the same but easier since the 365 marathon.

By the way, The Art of Daily Cultivation: A Celebration of 365 Story Paintings hardback book arrives Friday June 13th (unless the UPS guy swerves to avoid a squirrel and dumps them into a river or something – but hey I’m not superstitious)!

I will send out the newsletter this weekend. There are new story cards as well and other exciting news. It’s been an awesome June!

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