Sunday, July 20, 2014

Rain = feeling lazy and sleepy. 
Or, at least that is how I am mentally conditioned (thank you mom). We, my twin brother & sister and I, grew up in a rural community, in Ohio. My parents moved to Ohio when I was three years old; my brother and sister had only been born a few months.   Living there until my grandparents failing health impacted the decision  to move back to help out in Virginia. Imagine, transplanting three predominantly northern raised children in to the south west mountains of Virginia. (Other stories for another time)  

Summer weather in Ohio can be tricky business. I think my mom pretended it was nap time in order to gather us together in case a summer storm took a turn for the worse. On the occasion they did, we would head to the basement. Anyone living on the Ohio River Valley or any part of tornado alley areas know and understands exactly what I mean.  


During that time, Holgate was a small community, surrounded by extremely large farms. Farmers grew things like soy, corn, alfalfa and beans. The size and extent of those farms seemed to go on and on for miles. The farming equipment they use is very large. A, must have, in order to work those massive sized farms. Some of the machines are as large as coal mining equipment which I see used for stripping coal here in SW Virginia. AG ED was a big and important part of the life. My children laugh at the notion of AG (agriculture) Ed (education) being as a big deal as it was. But, it was, and for all I know, it still is today. 

There was a train track that ran through our town. Main street was the central location of the farms and houses surrounding its perimeter. Anchored at one end by a large grain elevator and the opposite end by an immigration camp. The bins of the grainary stored the produce which was to be hauled off by train and the camp area is where migrant farmers and their families lived. 

This immigrant camp, was mostly a temporary living arrangement for the farm hands. Sometimes, more than one family lived together in each house. I would describe them, as small, shanty like buildings, not really even houses. They were not as nice as the coal camp houses of the south, that I have seen. Most migrants only stayed long enough to work a season, moving on when the work was finished. Some would chose to stay with their families and make homes. Their children became part of the community, schoolmates which I played, befriended and grew up with. It never occurred to us to think of them in any way, except friends. 

During the 70's, a lot of changes were happening. But as a kid, I was too young to understand most what the "hippies" were all about or what being termed a "baby boomer" meant. I was a kid, playing softball, riding bikes and hanging out at the pool with my friends. Our biggest worry was rainy days, not having enough money for ice cream and whether of not "the cute guy" I was crushing on liked me or not. For me, living in the seventy's came and went without much disruption or understanding. That is, until I grew a little older. 


But as the seventy's drew to an end and I was growing more aware of the world around me. The conflicts in the news seemed a little more real as they grew in proportion with my understanding. The issues became world-wide scaled and more important. From the hostage taking in Iran, Three Mile Island catastrophe, and the imminent fear of a nuclear holocaust, we watched, listened and grew as the Vietnam War veterans seem to fade from existence. The seventy's were definitely a decade of change.  

Living in Virginia was confusing and a culture shock for me and my brother and sister. I realized quickly there were large differences between what I had grown up learning and accepting as the norm and what changes had not yet become part of this area of Virginia. I listened and observed and adapted. Times were changing, the beginning of new exchanges and interactions between my friends and neighbors of the new spanish speaking residents began trickle into and become a part of this region. Change is always difficult and often uncomfortable for most. But, as time marches on, as with all things, people adapt. Albeit, slower in some places than others. 

Today my post has been a story from childhood and growing up during in the 70's. When I've made a little more progress with my art work, I am looking forward to sharing that with you. 

In the mean time I hope you enjoyed my story on this rainy weekend. 

Peace,

Valerie


Sunday, July 13, 2014


aRt in ProGrEsS:
The first image is a piece that I had to get out of my system. The urge to create textural pieces of art work will always be a part of me. 
Below it, the next piece, I have recently spoken about (the tree).  I still have not had time to make a lot of progress, so for better or for worse, here is its current state of completion. 

18 x 24 inch canvas
oil and spackle
Motherhood
for sale
UNFINISHED
WORK IN PROGRESS
18 x 24
Mixed Media
Title: The One Who Creates
If you will remember, I recently posted about this painting a short while back? It is a transitional piece, helping to create again after a while of feeling stagnant. The painting has been purchased. (yay) 
The buyer of this piece asked me to include a verse, which came to their mind when viewing this work. I agreed. I added the verse in the lower right corner. I have not been able to give this art a title, until now. 




Other Works:
Lately I have been doing a lot of what I will call craft work. While not my favorite, certainly they provide bread and butter for my art business. In between selling paintings, these pieces enable me to make a little extra cash and keep painting what I want to paint. I am grateful for all art jobs big and small, creative or craft. I can not think of anything more detrimental to an artist than to NOT be doing something. A lot of artists refuse to do these kinds of projects and while I understand their reasoning, each of us must go about our business as dictated by our economy, location etc. Who am I to judge the decisions of others until I have walked a mile on their path?  

12 x 24 pre-stretched canvas
acrylics and metallic paint
custom designed and hand painted (no stencils)

12 x 24 pre-stretched canvas
image of work hanging in home of customer
hand painted no stencils

To send light into the darkness of men's hearts 
such is the duty of the artist. 
~Schumann
 
Peace,
Valerie 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

On Art: 

I am currently working on a new tree painting. This piece is significantly larger than the last few pieces and it will take longer to complete. I do not want to bore you with too many postings of progress just yet. Instead, I am posting images of my art cards that I have left. Each card is 5 x 7 inches, made of a heavyweight card stock and includes an envelope. These cards are printed from images of my art work and are protected in a glassine sheet. 

If you are interested in purchasing one or more of the cards 
please contact me for more information. 
***
$5 each  
3 for $13.50 
*(plus tax and shipping)*

 

 



a thought on Trees:

“What an irony it is that these living beings whose shade we sit in,
whose fruit we eat, whose limbs we climb, whose roots we water, to
whom most of us rarely give a second thought, are so poorly
understood. We need to come, as soon as possible, to a profound
understanding and appreciation for trees and forests and the vital
role they play, for they are among our best allies in the uncertain future” 
-jim robbins



Peace,
Valerie