My September in Costa Rica continues to inspire and so far I like what’s happening with the resulting art. I’m also working on a Bay City snow scene, which I’m not liking very much so far, and a portrait, which so far I do, if I don’t ruin it. That’s one of my frequent mid-project fears: When I’m halfway through a book or a painting, I either love it so much I don’t dare try to finish it, lest I do something to spoil it, or I can’t stand it and want to give up. At times like this I invoke my artist’s mantra: PROFESSIONALS FINISH!
I’m calling my palm trees “Cabin Fever” which seems to give me permission to get hysterical with color and makes it sort of Michigan relevant at this time of year. Titles do influence lookers (and buyers), I’ve discovered. I have an artist friend on Beaver Island, Cindy Rickskers, who has a genius for giving abstract paintings irresistible titles. I’ve always envied her this talent. You’d think, my being a professional writer, that I could fling titles around with ease, but Cindy’s still better. She beats me at Scrabble, too.
“Cabin Fever 1″ is acrylic on paper, with a border as part of the painting, 19″ x 21”. Click on the image to enlarge it.
What fun. I wish I were more focused–I like the idea of doing twenty paintings on a theme, which makes for a cool show. I could easily do twenty paintings on Costa Rica, and I might, but meanwhile other ideas pop into my head–a full-length portrait of a beautiful friend whose radiance I find irresistible; or families on a traditional Bay City sledding hill after a pristine, Saturday snow. The colors don’t really go together, nor do the subjects.
But as usual, I do what I love. In the end it will be fine, just like my home, where I do not decorate but simply surround myself with loved paintings, textiles and objects both d’art and practical. They seem to enjoy each other, celebrate diversity, and welcome visitors to make themselves at home.
So here is a painting I’ve been working on since September. I don’t think it’s such a great one and it took me a long time because I got tangled up in all the leaves, but I love looking at it–it’s the view framed by the kitchen window in my Costa Rica studio. There were many more exotic views than this one from larger windows in the same studio, but this one, featuring the side of the next-door studio and a row of flowering shrubs, kept changing color and shape with the moving sun.
“Costa Rica Kitchen Window” is acrylic on paper, 16 x 20. Click on the image to enlarge it.
I emailed a jpeg of this painting to a friend who’d done the trip with me and remembered this girl as one of the most beautiful children she’d ever seen. The child’s smile had hunger in it, I thought. She’d clearly posed for the tourists before.
Her home was one of many small thatched roof homes surrounded by flowering shrubs and located between the many banana plantations owned by companies like Delmonte and Dole.
This is the second painting I’ve done of Costa Rica since my month-long stay last September.
Click on the image to enlarge it.