Friday, September 12, 2014

The Point Where Hypothesis and Fact Meet

Back on August the ninth, I posted a photo of a WIP (along with the Rooster update) This is the finished piece. 

Honestly, I thought I would be farther along with this body of work than I am by this time of the year. Oh well.


18 x 24 inch pre-stretched canvas
Untitled
watercolor & Ink

One of my daughters thinks this piece is kind of creepy and it reminds her of a carnivorous plant from an old horror flick, like the venus fly trap. While the other called the painting, metamorphic and like a botanical centaur. 


The carnivorous plant interpretation pleases me because a little research revealed that these plants (carnivorous) had to adapt, learn to feed and grow in poor soils in order to survive. Also they not only survived but evolved independently, over six times. This more than doubles the plants genera. Now that is an awesome metaphor in the making. 

I also like the metamorphic and centaur interpretation. The centaur, which was a mythical creature, are often described as savage, drunken and lustful, a part of an untamed nature. This painting could definitely read as aggressively evolving and untamed in its efforts. Yet another great metaphor to build from.

 I like them both.

What I see: (you know I don't explain my work very often, so mark this down)
a transformation of the tree into a flower, as it twists and pushes forward to become beautiful flowers. Your mind is encouraged to consider both the roots as darker and rough as they slither over and underground while the limbs begin to color with life as they open and flower, upward to the light. The roots, pulling from it the earth, nutrients they need for survival. Then as your eyes move upward, the flowers pull your eye into their vitality, their beauty as they appear to be straining toward a sky both blue and cloudy. 

Some will like this piece of art other may feel uncomfortable and still others may see something altogether different. But the writer Lillian Smith's quote seems almost to have been written for this painting:
To find the point where hypothesis and fact meet; 
the delicate equilibrium between dream and reality; 
the place where fantasy and earthly things are metamorphosed into a work of art; 
the hour when faith in the future becomes knowledge of the past; 
to lay down one's power for others in need; 
to shake off the old ordeal and get ready for the new; 
to question, 
knowing that never can the full answer be found; 
to accept uncertainties quietly, 
even our incomplete knowledge of God; 
this is what man's journey is about, I think.

I love art!
Peace,
Valerie 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

To Be Awake is to Be Alive

“The millions are awake enough for physical labor; 

but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, 

only one in a hundred millions to a poetic or divine life. 

To be awake is to be alive.” Thoreau

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My family and I just returned from a stay at my favorite place on the east coast. We managed to coordinate seven different jobs in order to share time together for my big 50 birthday in Oak Island and Southport, North Carolina.


Every time we go there, I have a lot of grand plans for making art, sketching, doodling, etc....but those plans wash straight out with the first day's tide. 

Once I get my toes in the sand with the cool relaxing breezes blowing strong with salty sweet smells, well,  that is it for me. I am officially on island time. 

I did find time for one drawing which I added to the "from where I sit" sketch book: 



There is something about Oak Island for me, and, the rest of my family. We've shared many years of memories from there and add to the list with each visit. This year, being no exception, the additions are both good and not so good, but memorable nonetheless.   

1) Shark Sitings: While sitting beachside, we observed three different baby sharks in the waters edge, one who almost seemed to be playing with my oldest daughter (perhaps he was sizing her up for a tasty treat?!) 

2) Dolphins: Watching dolphins chase the fisherman in their boats one day (not a new experience, but always an enjoyable one)

3) Aquarium: There is a wonderful new exhibit called the Butterfly Bungalow, be sure to check it out if you get a chance. It is guaranteed to bring a smile to even the guys in your group. During our aquarium visit I filmed some of the fish and reptiles for a certain young friend I have who loves animals and sea life. There was a large cotton mouth snake lazily watching people come and go by his tank, so I decided to make a short video of him. He began to slowly navigate toward the water and I thought he was oblivious to me as he had been the others watching him before, WRONG! As I recorded, he slide gracefully into the water and BAM! before I realized what was going on, he sprang out of the water at me! Not once, nor twice, but three times. Of course I didn't get a great video of this actually attack attempt, because I nearly jumped out of my skin....

4) Sea Gull Christening: While riding the ferry back from Fort Fischer, and our visit to  NC Aquarium (I highly recommend) I was christened by too closely following sea gulls! (they say this is good luck, I am here to tell you it really doesn't matter either way, it is gross! All in all, worth it to see my family giggling and trying to hide the fact from me)

5) Under Water Adventure: And, the mysterious brush with either an unfriendly specimen of fish or jelly (the more exciting version of this story is a shark attack, depending on how imaginative you wish to be, resulted in a not so pleasant burning, stinging, itchy rash on my ankle/shin area.  I will refrain from sharing any photos. (you may post your thank you's in the comment section) :)

There were many more moments of laughter, joy, sun worshipping, seafood eating and beach time enjoyment. After I get some of our photos organized and edited please check back and I will add a page where I may share them with you as well. 

Until then,
Peace
 and Happy Labor Day Weekend!
Valerie 






Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I'd rather sit on a pumpkin

Art: 

I have been painting and sketching, at the same time. Well, maybe not exactly at the same time...but you get what I meant, right? 

The fall season almost upon us, so I put some that creative energy in to creating personalized work for halloween and/or fall. 

I have come up with a few variations that I can do with these two pieces as well. Each will give them a personalized touch. 
examples:
1) Give Thanks: Can be a last name or give thanks
2) Give Thanks: the ribbon can come from the top and have one initial. 
3) Give Thanks: Can also have a monogram initial in the center of the pumpkin as well.

1) My abstract/geometric pumpkin: the center section can become a family name or large mongram


Patch Work Pumpkin
12 x 24--$60
10 x 20--$50

Give Thanks
12 x 24--$50
10 x 20--$45
Display Idea using personalized art and an old window

 The good news is that these pieces are sold.  I am working on some orders and more ideas that I have brewing. Should you be interested in ordering a hand painted canvas and do not live near me, these pieces can be purchased via my Square store (link on left side of blog) or via email. (I do accept credit cards through the online store).
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Sketching:

Something that I never do enough of, or consistently is to sketch. I agree that any artist can benefit from the practice. The problem is, who can discipline themselves with the follow through. To learn to draw what you see, not what you think you see is trickier to do than you might believe. 


The View From Where I sit: Sketch 2 today (tues)


The View From Where I sit: Sketch 1 (last thurs)

I am thinking of trying to do an experiment of sorts on myself. I will do a series of sketches from my perspective at any random time during a day. To see if my mental perspective is in alignment with my visual perspective. 

And, how I came up with the title: 'The View From Where I Sit'. 

Kiss The Cook 

Kiss the Cook is a caricature 
(just in case you couldn't figure that out on your own! hah)
It is an Ode to a Friend/Collegue of mine who is going through a very very rough patch in his life. My hope is to bring a little light and laughter as well. 
I hope it works. 
To Charles!

Peace,
Valerie


“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”