Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day 60 of 100

Yesterday was rough. That showed in my post for that day.
I held on to love. My special tear-off calendar for 7/29 had perfect wisdom for me:

Hope can keep us from becoming bitter and angry
when things are less than perfect.
Nurture the soft spot in your heart where hope abides.

I did just that.
Today was lovely and love-filled.

Today's calendar quote from J.B. Priestly left little doubt as to what I would paint today.

"I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day,
a fresh try, one more start,
with perhaps a bit of magic
waiting somewhere behind the morning."

Love to you all, with hopes that you too find something special just for you,
waiting somewhere behind the morning.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Day 59 of 100

Hard day today. Off-kilter. Really had to hang onto love.

So I painted hearts.

The little baby heart in the corner won't give up.

Neither will I.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Day 58 of 100

My main "purpose" all throughout today was art. Not sure that has ever been the focus of one of my days (I'm not counting writing here, although I most certainly consider THAT as "art.")
I caught up on several days of posting my 100s, did today's, worked in another artjournal, worked on a journal cover, and painted a card to accompany a gift.
That last task really taught me something. I was giving a check towards an item a new mommy wanted to buy and I thought I'd paint a picture to illustrate the baby bike trailer she was saving for. I've said before that I am NOT a representational artist--I can laboriously draw out something, but sketching is NOT my forte. I have other gifts, just not that one. But I have had some success lately in sketching a very loose picture and that's what I thought I'd try.

Well, I wish I'd thought to take a picture of it before it got all wrapped up to give, because then you'd believe me when I say that IT DID NOT WORK AS A PAINTING. I'm not being coy here, or dismissive of beginning efforts. This piece just did not work. None of the lines or shapes came out quick or true . . .they just did not.

And here is the wonderful lesson I discovered: it didn't matter. I had fun trying, and I am very comfortable giving it as the background for the gift (the check is rolled up and tied in as part of the picture.) Yes, sure, I would have liked for this to be one of those times when WOOHOO!--magic strikes and I produce something beyond what I thought I could. But I didn't. And it was still perfectly fine. Now THAT'S a woohoo moment for me!

This project (thank you SO much, Rowena, for the idea) has really brought me into a level of comfort and JOY with painting that I hadn't imagined possible.
No surprise that I felt very free to try a "scene" for today's effort. I liked what came out.

We are now more than half-way through our 100 days. My first journal bulges with my work. I'm still stunned to flip through this little book and see so much joyful experimentation.
Who knows what will be produced in the last half of our time????

Days 53, 54, 55, 56, and 57 of 100

Time to catch up. I've been painting every day, but obviously, not posting. The past few days have included some hard physical work, some harder emotional work, and some deep deep praying.

Painting throughout that time wasn't hard at all. It seemed utterly natural. But I avoided the computer, because it represented more busyness than I could handle.

I think I'm back now to daily posting. We'll see. I like to offer my painting each day, because it seems to make a nice "sign-off" to the day's efforts. I came across a Victor Hugo quote recently: "When you have . . . accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake." Isn't that a peace-inducing thought?

Here's Day 53. I like the color here, and the line work.

Day 54. Still playing with the line work. This is a busy-er picture . . .

Day 55. Spirals were calling out to me. The stuff I was working out personally seemed like a tornado. I think I was experimenting with the swirls to see if I could see some direction and purpose there.

Day 56 was when I found some shaky peace with what I was dealing with in my life. I just played with color. At first the applications seemed shaky and woobly--(technical term, there :). But at the end, I liked that no matter how out-of-focus my moments might seem, at the end they still make beautiful colors and patterns together.

Day 57. Not sure if this is more spiralling, or "eye of the storm"--it didn't come out as I'd envisioned. All I know is that that is me, at the deepest, darkest center, and the dark is not "dark," but solid and sure.

I continue to be amazed at how this project has introduced me to painting as a way of wordless expression. I am quite loving it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day 52 of 100

Long day.
I'm pooped.
Gonna be brief here.

This is my submission for, but I just read that due to a family emergency, the Thursday post will be delayed. So I'm just gonna go ahead and post the whole image here. But I hope you do go visit TST--you'll meet some incredibly gifted artists.

Today I just played with blue. Three different shades. Did my old favorite of spitblowing on the drops with a straw. Used my rigger to squiggle in some other lines.

No particular purpose or design to this piece. Just blue.
And play.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Day 51 of 100

Lovely day today. Seems fitting for the first day of the second half of this project.
I had an idea. I implemented several "techniques" discovered during the first 50 days. And the piece came out kinda sorta as I'd envisioned, only better.

Laid down a variegated wash first--liked using my round brush instead of the flat. Laid in plops of the same color, only less diluted, for "petals." Had some of the images continue "off the page." Used the rigger pretty loosely for delineations after.

I quite like the finished product, both the full picture and the closeups.
Wonderful feeling of having traveled quite a distance in these first 50+ days of this artistic challenge.
Thank you, Rowena, for gifting us with this idea.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Day 50 of 100




Day 50. Halfway through. Truly, I'm amazed.

And today's painting is a pretty good one to demonstrate the strength of this project. A few days ago, I got excited about using my rigger for a certain effect. Yesterday, I actually got just what I'd hoped for. Couldn't wait to try more today.

Except it didn't turn out as I'd envisioned. As I'd hoped. And that's okay. That's all part of this easy, play-with-it feeling.

That's what I commmitted to at the very beginning: for 100 days I would PLAY with watercolors.

If I ever lose that sense of play, I've lost the guiding force behind this project, at least as I have defined it personally. And playing includes falling down and getting dirty and getting back up again.

This painting didn't turn out as I'd hoped. I don't particularly "like" it. But when I created it, I was playing. Truly playing. And that's a very good thing.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Day 49 of 100 and Bonus

I knew today I wanted to use my rigger and try some more squiggly lines . . . but what?

Ah, trees.

So I painted a background. . . .only I got a little carried away and the background got a little too representational for the kinds of trees I had in mind.
And then, the background got a little wackadoodle, with mountains coming before grasses . . .so this became my First Official Do-over. But since I'm valuing every step of progress, the wackadoodle gets its 15 seconds of fame here.

Next attempt pleased me much more. Suggestive background with blends of green.
Then the trees.

Oh, I quite liked this section. Made me gasp. It was exactly what I'd tried to imagine but couldn't quite, until I saw it on the page. Feels really good to have a YES reaction.

Bonus: I painted an anniversary card for my son and his wife for their 5th anniversary.

Inside reads: two hearts, one love.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Day 48 of 100

Worked all day in my yard. Manual labor. Felt really good.

Around noon, I passed by my written journal and got the sense
that it was okay to write in it again, which I did.

I think the past couple days has pushed me into realizing that I'm not painting just for fun. That I have "something to say" when I paint. Or maybe the painting has something to say to me.

Halfway through the day I painted a purple circle. No clue what else was gonna come.

Then later, I realized it was a full moon. So I painted sky around it.Yeah, I know. Moons aren't purple. Well, in MY world, they can be purple :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bonus Features

Somehow on Day 45 I screwed up my email submission to ThursdaySweetTreat and it didn't arrive. Heck, it didn't even show up in my "sent" file.
Who knows. I guess I blinked the wrong way.

Anyhoo, here is the whole picture that I did NOT show on this blog for that day.
I just know y'all been dyin' to see it!!

Also, if you checked out my post for Day 47, you know this was a day I did NOT write in my journal, for reasons currently unknown to myself.
But I DID make a note to myself, and instinctively painted it.

It's going into my car somewhere to serve as a reminder for something I'm going to be doing when I'm out and about. Typically this sort of thing would be taken care of with a bright colored sticky note and my favorite gel pen. But no, only paint would do today.

Day 47 of 100

Not sure what's going on. Since noon yesterday, I haven't written a single word in my journal. And LOTS has been going on. The sort of stuff I normally feel compelled to capture in some sort of written fashion--to sort it out, make sense, wonder.

But no. Since yesterday's painting, with the black squiggly "letters" at the end, I have not been able to pick up my journal. It almost feels like when you try to put the "wrong" sides of two magnets together--you'd swear something invisible was getting in the way of those two magnets making contact.

As soon as I thought of today's painting, I knew it would be more black squiggles.

I just "listened," and then painted.

Had to have a background--blue for endless sky. Painted it horizontally on the page. When I picked up my rigger and carbon black ink and was ready to "write," I knew to turn the page a quarter-turn. I'd thought the horizontal lines in the sky color would be the lines I'd write along.

Turns out I was supposed to write in columns, between vertical lines.

I did most of the writing in one sitting. Went back a few hours later, looked at it,
and then added a few dots and a couple very short lines.

I have NO CLUE what it "says." I just know that I look at it and feel comforted.

I am way into unfamiliar territory right now. I would have thought I'd feel adrift without writing in my journal, especially since some very significant things have happened in the last 24 hours.

But for right now, painting in a non-verbal style of expression is profoundly moving to me.

Maybe I'm nuts. Maybe not. But I sure feel something deep down,
that is brandnew and wonderful.
That's good enough for me.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day 46 of 100

Well. Hmmmm. Something different happened with today's painting. It's quite possible that it won't be apparent to anyone but me. And in describing it I may come off sounding loony.
Well. That won't be anything new.

I mostly use words to find my way through this life. Thought words. Spoken words. Written words. Clear words. Clumsy words. You get my drift. My tools of exploration and explanation have been words.
Until today.

Earlier today, I used spoken words, quite haltingly at times, to attempt to explain something to someone else. The ideas were important to me. The person was important to me. I had no idea whether or not "communication" had been achieved. Plans were made to get together again, a few hours later. We did, but due to unforeseen complications,
the time together did not go at all as planned.

Normally I would turn to my journal and use written words to process the "events." Tonight however, something in me just said "no." I started today's painting instead, with absolutely no conscious intent other than to have no intent. As far as I knew, I just picked up the nearest brush and let instinct guide me to the paint and the waiting page. Over the next hour or so, on breaks from watching something on my laptop, I laid color on the page. Still, no conscious decisions as to shapes or colors or placements. But somewhere deep inside my thoughts, I could tell I was "talking." Only no words or sounds were used.

At some point, I "knew" to paint the different circles, and then stop when I had 5.
Toward the end, I "knew" to leave three spaces white.

Then the final step: I picked up a rigger and dipped it in carbon black and "wrote." When I stopped, there on the page were 7 "messages." They made me goosebumpy. I have no idea what they "mean." And yes, I realize this may all sound really woo-woooooo . . . but as I stared at the "messages," I got this incredibly primal assurance that I DO know, at the deepest level, that my life is good and is on track and that I am right where I am meant to be. On the surface of my daily life, I don't have a clue. I wonder every day what in the heck I'm doing and why. But these "messages" tell me that underneath, I DO understand. I DO know. I don't know WHAT it is that I know, but now I know that I know.

I'm pretty dumbfounded at the moment. I never imagined I could find a language for expression that worked as well as words did. But these 46 days of painting have led me into another whole world. It is very very unfamiliar. But I think I'm too happy to be scared.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day 45 of 100

Had fun today, painting something less abstract.
Also tried more of the "painting off the edges" of the paper.

And today's painting is my submission to, so I hope you hop over there and visit. All I'll show here are closeups.

I really enjoyed today's efforts. At the end, my favorite part is the squiggles that are the kite tails. I just love the movement in the black lines.
I have been so hesitant in the past to do something freehand like that,
sure that it would come out clumsy.
But then I let myself try, and I end up just enchanted, like now.
The fluidity in the twists and turns just makes me smile.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Garden Fun

Keeping up with my 100 in 100 paintings has occupied much of my blogging time.

But sharp clear sunshine pulled me outdoors with my camera today.

Usually bright overhead sun is too much for a good photo. But for some reason, it was just what this lovely marigold needed.

And I'm having fun with some humongous sunflowers growing in the cracks in my sidewalk. Yes, I know that's a bad idea from the sidewalk's point of view. But this section is already slated for replacement, so I let the flowers grow this year.

Here's an ordinary photo of a garden visitor, atop an about-to-emerge sunflower.

But shift position ever so slightly and he's got lots to say:

"Hey there, lady. Kindly get that camera out of my face.
I've got business to accomplish and you are in. my.way."
Amazing what a difference perspective makes.

Day 44 of 100

Just played again today.
Turned to painting to counteract some early morning tears.
It helped.

Rowena, the inspiration behind this 100 in 100 project, had suggested something to me. I was liking my closeup photos better than the whole picture quite often. So, she suggested I try to paint "closeup" to begin with. Not consider the edges of the paper as my frame. Let the images run beyond the size of the page.

I liked trying that. All at once the painting felt bigger. My strokes felt freer.

But I realize that one of the things I like about my closeup photos is that I shift the orientation of the picture, turning left and right into diagonals. I'm sure I could paint that way to begin with . . . either I have to think about it more, or maybe less.

Anyhoo, I had fun.