"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words." Goethe

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I Finally Finished Ponte Vecchio

I barely submitted this to ADNW before the deadline.  Within 24 hours of arriving home from Utah, I was really sick. I still have not left my house yet--and my driver's license expired on Sunday!  I have to take care of that tomorrow.

Monday, February 27, 2012


I'm thrilled that the top winners at the Grammys and Oscars are, respectively, Adele and The Artist.  Hurray for the human touch and simplicity.  This is a very good year.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Magnolia Gardens

I set aside the Ponte Vecchio painting to work on a painting of one of the bridges in Magnolia Gardens near Charleston, SC.  My father asked me to paint something for him that he could hang on the wall of his car lube business in Charleston that he plans to take back over this summer.  We found a photo of this bridge on the internet and both liked it.   It was therapeutic to paint the moss that was so natural to me when I was a child, but that I never see in the places I live now (except for the time we lived in Georgia).  I added azaleas, because they just needed to be there.  I tried something new I've learned lately, too--putting down paint and then defining it with black outlines.  I went with my parents to visit an art gallery owned by a friend of my mother's from elementary school and his wife.  They are both artists.  She used that method and it was very artistic.  I later noticed that that is something Minerva Teichert does all of the time.  I also saw a painting that uses that technique for a non-objective painting in the museum at USU when I went to visit Meredith yesterday to see her recital.  So, there it is in my trees.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Totally Awesome

This weekend I went with my parents to Utah State University to see Meredith's Totally Awesome 80's Concert featuring the choirs at USU.  It was totally awesome.  We stopped by her apartment for a bite to eat before her rehearsal and hung her fig painting on the wall.

I am now working on a painting of Ponte Vecchio for a painting challenge on A Day Not Wasted.  I decided to experiment with a technique I've heard of but never tried.  I put everything down in black and white first.  It is supposed to help get the values right, but I really liked how it was so easy to rework and rearrange until the perspective is right--or close. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fresh Figs

Before I came to Utah, Meredith dropped the hint that her apartment needed some art.  I told her I would like to paint her something--a still life for her kitchen.  She picked a photo of figs from an old challenge on paint and draw together and I thought it was perfect.  I brought my brushes with me, but I had to purchase canvas and paint once I arrived.  I did not want to buy paints I already had, so I decided to stick with the primary colors (red, yellow and blue), black and white.  I thought it would be my own painting challenge--to have to mix all my colors from the color building blocks.  This painting is basically a red and blue combination, so it was a good place to start.

My minimalist paint set

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Mammoth Falls, Yellowstone

I am visiting with my parents, and on their wall hangs a painting of Mammoth Falls that I painted in 2007.  I gave it to them to commemorate a trip I made with them, my daughter, my brother, Laren, and his family.  I remember when I painted it, I just kept thinking, "How am I going to do this?"  I just went stroke by stroke, and it turned out to be one of my favorites.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Artist--A Silent Film in Black and White

In our modern world, this movie is a gift.  Today we can say whatever we want to whomever we want without regard to distance, timing or courtesy.  Texts buzz in, ringtones sound off, and videos go viral in a swirl of global communication; but when you watch this movie, your world becomes silent and communication becomes mulit-faceted.  Your mind becomes engrossed in the story because you have to pay attention to facial expressions, sequencing, reactions, and environmental clues.  It engages you in communication in a very human way--a skill that may be waning in our modern society.  It uses "old" style film making, but combines it smartly with a logical and artistic use of modern techniques, such as unusual camera angles and special effects.  These, however, are limited to story telling, never exploited.  Notice the pantomime used to show that a chorus girl has a crush on "the artist," (an old technique) and just take note that the "little people" sequence looks natural, not pasted on like it usually does in early films (new technology).  I was particularly pleased that while this story has difficult relationships and temptation, it deals with them appropriately, never accepting modern amorality as the norm.  The ending is a surprise, but not of the bombshell variety, it is simply a delight.

Would I recommend this movie--YES.

**There is an obscene hand gesture in the beginning of the film.