Solitude, Mostly

I had taken the precaution of painting two of everything–one for him and one for me. I’ve discovered that often people don’t really value a little painting that comes naked and unceremoniously in the mail, so I always make one for myself.

Here are a couple of passionate visual descriptions of our 2,000-mile-apartĀ  love affair. I’ll putĀ  all fifteen on their own page when I get to it. They seem to describe my life as much now as then, even though I’m no longer in a committed relationship. I’m calling the series “SOLITUDE, MOSTLY.”

We’re still phone friends, at least I hope we are (do forgive me…you know who you are), and I did find the picture I’d been looking for, finally, after also discovering a bag of original watercolors for my next book and a lost recipe for oatmeal.

Click on an image to enlarge it.

Imagine That!

So I’m putting in the first version I couldn’t stand, and now the second version that I really like. I thought I couldn’t alter the early one, as I had varnished it, but after a good sanding, it took new paint just fine. Then I added a little something playful and changed the title. Voila.

Matted and framed, the piece measures 12 x 16 inches. Click on the images to enlarge them.

At last, a New Fish Painting

The problem was a too-rough surface–my reds/yellows/pinks/oranges weren’t blending, and the shading just blobbed. I’d painted over the pleasant mountain scene originally contained by the frame so I could paint something I thought would go with the wonderful carving. But it was on plywood, very hard, very rough.

I was complaining about this recently to an artist friend who, off the cuff, suggested I cover the whole thing with a transparent medium and then paint on that. What a great idea! It gave me a more versatile surface, and although the painting never did look like the one in my head, I like it.

The picture, including the frame, measures 25″ x 16″.
Click on the image to enlarge it.

Beaver Island Sketches

The paper is too thin for watercolor, but I love these brief little paintings. This is just how I remember the harbor outside my Beaver Island house. A road wraps around the entire town part of the harbor, a good twenty-minute walk. Everything–grocery store, post office, bar, restaurant, deli, hardware–has this million-dollar view. I like living within reach of three airports and easy access to almost anywhere, but I miss this remote peace.

Paperwhites Emerging

This heavy glossy photopaper I’m painting on is quite fun for watercolors. They can be washed off, easily corrected, the way watercolors usually can’t be. Watercolors are notorious for being difficult to correct, but this paper is almost like a computer screen for its flexibility. Once the watercolor dries, and I’m okay with the results, I spray it with fixative, such as I’d use on a pastel to keep it from smudging, and it’s fixed. Really. I discovered it when I began illustrating What’s In the Woods? and had to paint recognizable nature. Not good at this, I needed an forgiving medium, and voila! Who knew?

I scanned today’s Paperwhites painting on PhotoShop and found that I could run some color plays on it and make some really interesting variations. The original is a 10-inch square–but it wouldn’t fit on my scanner and I like this better anyway.

Mary’s EVERYDAY ART project begins on January 01!

I said I’d only take half an hour for this project but I am taking more. This one took about an hour. I don’t like it much. Maybe I’ll try this again with watercolor. Beginnings are usually discouraging for me. I usually am appalled by what I produce. But I have done this kind of thing for many years and I’ve learned that to do anything worthwhile, I just have to start doing something awful. I’ve pledged four or five entries–art or poetry–a week for a year, but even if I just did three, that’s 150 small creations, and they just can’t all be bad!

This pastel piece looks darker than it is. I tweaked it on PhotoShop. I gave a similar set of paperwhite bulbs to a friend for Christmas. I wonder how HIS are coming along!