Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Just more pictures!

My class is coming to an end for the semester, and as usual, the last part of the class is the best. Then, when you start a class next term, you have to start all over and get familiar with the other students, get them used to you, get a learning rhythm going, and just when it gets really good, POOF! it's over.
B*B, Ysabeau

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thinking about painting

Here are two more of my figure studies.
Unfortunately, the next couple of pictures I need to have ready to frame, need to be colorful, not figure studies, and a fair size. Some of what I have done is pretty small, and many of the larger ones are figure studies, so not suitable.

I am working on a high desert/red rock landscape with a water reflection, but my first attempt just isn't quite what I wanted to do. It's just going to take a little thinking... maybe something with an ocean view? Some flowers? We'll see. B*B, Ysabeau

Sunday, November 18, 2007

We get a few male models, too...

I'm finding it more difficult to express the men physically, just need more practice, I guess. Sometimes they pose so stiffly that I end up just doing a practice drawing with an effort to get their proportions right. We did get one who had a lot of experience, and he made it a lot easier. B*B, Ysabeau

Just keep on painting...

It seems like the mood I'm in affects the pictures even more than what the model does. Sometimes, no matter what I do, I think what I do isn't any good... other times, it seems to flow much better for me. B*B, Ysabeau

Ladies in watercolor

I've been trying to capture something special about each of the models we have been using in class, and some of them are right here...



Watercolors are complex

The first picture is an abstracted landscape of a river and sky, and my teacher asked to have it because it reminded him of a trip he made on the Amazon. The woman in the hat took a lot of layers and glazing, and I think of her as a goddess of creativity, and the last is a large nude I did from a model, which just seemed to flow when I did it. I loved the way the colors merged and blended in the simple lines I used to try to describe the model.

B*B, Ysabeau

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Figure studies

I've been enjoying working in watercolor in my Life Drawing class, and I feel like I'm making consistent progress, even though there are days when I just don't see anything happening. Some days I complete a bunch of small sketchy things, and other times I only do one or two larger pieces, but it's an exploration.

I need to just be patient with myself to make progress at my own pace. It takes time. BTW, the green one was claimed by one of my fellow students before I could get it out of the classroom, but I managed to get a photo.

B*B, Ysabeau

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Just thinking

My friend Judi suggested that I need to be helping other people, which will help me, in theory. I wonder if by pursuing my creativity, that might be enough? I've been trying to be as real and honest as possible with my artistic endeavors, and have as much fun as possible while doing it. I've also been making playful, interesting, and thoughtful things to wear or use, and in a way I hope people will get a smile or a good feeling from them.

I just don't feel like going out and trying to find a niche where I can help other people with their lives and their choices. I have tools I've developed, learned, or adapted, sure. I don't know if what works for me, is really what will work for everybody else. I have a relatively low amount of energy, and a chronic pain level, and I think it would be extremely easy to get in over my head and make myself really miserable. I'm also really unsure that I know as much about their lives and choices as they do, and I think that people have to respect their own selves.

Maybe if I can just manage to heal my own life, that is the main thing that I am supposed to do right now.



Thursday, October 04, 2007

Reality Check

Usually when I post on my blog, I have just taken some pictures, or have something new going on, but sometimes I just need to think out loud about my priorities, and what is going on in my world. I have not been able to make it to a couple of art classes, and I won't be going tomorrow, either, partly because I'm doing a friend a favor, and partly because I haven't been feeling so hot. I know it's partly physical, and partly mental, but that's just the way it is. I've been doing a lot of beading, partly for gifts and partly for myself, and one of the good things about it, is that I use it for a form of meditation, it's creative, and I can do it with my feet up when that is necessary, like right now.

I haven't been having many "spoons" lately, partly fighting off some kind of virus, and it's really discouraging when that happens. What I need to remember, is that most of the time I can use one of my strategies to make happen, what needs to happen and that is alright. I don't have to do it all, everything I think of, or want to do... I can space it out, or do part of it now, and part of it later. I have had to stop doing some things, but I can use my excellent brain to work around the blocks to do what really counts, and it is ok to take some of my prescription pain medication when I need it, I'm not just being weak.

I have had a few disappointments lately, for instance I thought that I could participate in the local Art Association, but found that for now, the one I joined just doesn't work for me. Perhaps in a larger group, maybe with a more diverse membership, I can find a way to participate that works better for me at this time. I tried to do the Newsletter for the Brea group, and found that the group had an intense "control issue" and really just wanted things to stay the way they were done a long time ago. Since I spent a lot of time and energy trying to do what I had been told they needed, that was pretty intensely upsetting and disappointing.

I've been realizing that I have too many unfinished projects around here. That tends to happen to me when I'm feeling down, and when I don't feel focused. I'm going to box up some of them, and see if I have anything I don't need anymore, then I can work on things as I want to, with more space to work in comfortably.

Anyhow, this is just what is going on right now. We have two new chairs, and mine is very comfortable, which is great because I'm spending a lot of time in it right now. We rearranged the living room, and I think it is going to be much more pleasant to sit in now, with a little more light, and some new curtains as soon as I get them made.

I stopped going to the quilting class a couple of years ago, since it conflicted with the other classes, and we don't quilt in there, we just show whatever we've been making, and get involved in more, and more, and even more attractive but unfinished projects. It's basically a three hour lecture, and not even time to socialize, either, just a short break somewhere in the middle.

I'm taking my second semester of Life Drawing, using watercolors in addition to the usual drawing materials, and I feel like I'm making some progress from time to time, but my drawing is still pretty iffy. I was enjoying the oil painting last year, maybe I'll take that next term, but right now, one class seems like plenty. One factor is that it takes a while after you get to class, to get your stuff set up, and get your painting or drawing to flow, and just when you get it really going, class is over and time to stop. I need to think about this, maybe do some oil painting at home now that Autumn is finally here, and now that I have a stable easel for oils.

I think it's a good time to have a finishing up of outstanding projects, and organizing myself so I feel better about my working space, and about what I do there. Right now, I'm having a hard time valuing my work like I should, and I think it's important that I work through that! B*B, Ysabeau

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Finishing up some lingering projects

Some of the jewelry I finished this Summer, I had started last year. Sometimes I'm just in the mood to work on the base, design the shape, and come back to it later in a different frame of mind. The beading repetition is a great way to be in a meditative frame of mind, and get some internal peace. I also do crochet, hand sewing/quilting, and painting and get the same effect, it's fun and creative, and I end up with really pretty objects for myself or for special gifts.



Jewelry design this Summer

These are just a few of my designs that I made this Summer. I made some wonderful simple flowing pieces, and some fun complicated designs, all one-of-a-kind, and now that school has just started up again, I'll probably wind up most of the jewelry supplies until later.

The pieces range from simple pendants and earrings, to bracelets and necklaces in sets. I worked in peyote stitch and right angle weave for the bases, and went as crazy as I wanted to, from there. I love the way the right angle weave is so flexible it almost feels like a heavy supple fabric, and while single stitch peyote is slow, you can make structures that are only limited by your imagination with it! I also am working with some polymer clay making pins with character. That is interesting because I can combine beading, wirework, painting, even a little quilting or fabric embellishment.



Saturday, June 23, 2007

Brea Art Association

I recently joined the Brea Art Association and attended my first meeting. I may be helping them with some work on the newsletter and I put up a blog for them, just basic with some information. It's definitely a work in progress, not done yet, but better than the absolutely nothing they had before on the web. There are some very talented people there, wonderful artwork, but just not that many are comfortable with computers, like they are with their other mediums. The group has been around for quite a while, but right now is quite small due to the natural cycles that groups go through. Anyhow, they now have a blog! Maybe some of the members will want to get together and paint outdoors, which sounds like such a lot of fun to me.



Sunday, June 10, 2007

Believing in myself

My husband bought me this easel set for Christmas several years ago. To me, it meant that he believed in me, that it was worthwhile for me to spend time painting, and learning to paint. He suggested (over and over, I resisted!) that I should think about taking a painting class at the local college. I finally did, and it was a great idea, but very hard for me to start doing it, I felt selfconscious and fearful that nothing I did would be any good. I was terrified, but I wanted to learn.
I found teachers that encouraged me, other students that were kind and fun to paint with, and more ways to play with my painting. I need to remember to believe in myself as much as possible, and not get stuck in fear or in the past.
B*B, Ysabeau

Monday, April 30, 2007

Student Art Show 2007 Fun!

Here I am blurrily receiving my unexpected award, the Marciano Martinez Scholarship, for the abstract watercolor below, called "Days of Chaos".

Here I am with my two pictures, and my friend Andres who won a special award for his oil painting portrait of a young woman.

Here is my finished "Building Trust" oil painting that took me about five weeks, the picture somehow doesn't show the colors well, but I really enjoyed doing it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Submissions to the Student Art Show this year

This one isn't very large, but I liked the abstract quality and the depth I was able to get while still using lots and lots of color. When I matted it and framed it, I was pretty happy with it.

I saw a lot of the entries, and they were very good, so I don't have a great deal of hope that mine will be accepted, but I feel good about entering. I love seeing all the diverse pieces that everyone has done, we have so many talented students at school that you never know what you may see.

I submitted two more that I don't have pictures of yet, one was finished at the very last minute, but it was interesting so I managed to mat and frame it up, and it's there to be counted! Four pieces was the maximum you could submit this year.

This one was really hard to mat, I ended up centering it in a longer frame, which worked out pretty well.

B*B, Ysabeau

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

One of my Friendly Spider-eating Lizards

He posed for me, I took half a dozen pictures, and he'd move just a little bit, so I could get good pictures of him. I like my lizards.



Oil painting class

This is the underpainting for a painting I'm working on right now, with people working together to rebuild a footbridge across a damaged ancient stone bridge crossing a fast river with rocks. It's further along, now, and I'm having some fun with the individual people holding the rope.

The big stone hand is being carved - just a hand (?!) by the sculptor they hired for the annual visiting artist program. Last year it was a wonderful painter, who did an oil figure study, but I'm not wild about the stone hand. It's just weird... they are saying it will be a statement, but I don't understand what kind.
I'm really enjoying my oil painting class, of course learning a lot, and getting a lot of time putting paint on canvas, so eventually I hope to develop some skills. So far, I've done a waterfall, this bridge still in process, a glacier in process, and one that I just put some color on, and left it to dry. I like the texture and adaptability of oil, but like everyone else, it's hard to be patient with the long drying time of 2 days to 7 days, depending on how much paint and which color and brand you are using. It's slow, but very interesting, and I want to work on glazing techniques to finish this bridge one, because I think it will really enhance the light in the picture. I am reading what I can find on oilpainting, but one thing I am already discovering - everyone has a different opinion about what to use, and how to use it. They don't agree about anything. The advantage of that, is that I can try different techniques and see what I like to use.
I'm hoping that I can just keep learning and playing with oils, acrylics, and watercolors and enjoy them for a long time.
B*B, Ysabeau

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Southern California Springtime

I love this time of year, the weather is wonderful, flowers are everywhere, and my local hummingbirds show thier young ones how to eat from the feeders and where the best flowers can be found, and I get to watch!
My hollyhocks are very happy this year, and I want to paint them.
In fact, I'm enjoying painting everything, in oils, watercolors and acrylics, figuring out what works for me in each medium and playing with color and texture. Today in class I worked on a middle stage on a picture involving a collapsed Roman bridge being rebuilt by a community of diverse people. Of course, it needs lots of work still. I also started a smaller picture that will probably end up as a sunset over water, but it's at a very early stage. Happy Springtime, everyone! B*B, Ysabeau

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Setting boundaries and limits

Today, I'm taking care of myself. I'm realizing that it is so easy to be pulled off my own course by other people and their needs, wants, and manipulations, and so hard for me to put myself first.
When I do something nice for someone else, and don't think anything of it, some people come to me again and again and assume I'll do other things for them. I don't know how to easily tell them NO, and if I do what they want, I don't always feel good about it.
I have a wonderful art teacher, who is chronically disorganized, and who wants me to do secretarial work for him. A little bit is ok, but that's not what I'm in class for, and I really do have limits. I gave someone some art supplies that I saw that they needed, and that I had replaced because they didn't suit me. Now that person is offended because I won't take my personal time and tutor them in art, and I barely know them. A dear friend says I "attract needy people", and I don't know how that can be, but she had a couple of examples, and she's probably right, so I'm trying to be more aware of it. I know I looked "useful" to my ex-husband, my parents were very demanding, and I was the oldest of four and had to take responsibility early and often. One of the other students in my oil painting class (a very mouthy and usually funny guy) was teasing me that I ought to get a job as a teacher instead of taking a class.
B*B, Ysabeau

Gorgeous Hike

When I was in my teens and living in Portland, Oregon, going to Multnomah Falls was one of my favorite hiking places. It's a pretty strenuous seven mile hike all the way up above the falls to Skyline Ridge, and part of it is without any real trail. After one of these hikes, I'd be really tired and muscles would ache.
Now, I feel that way after a much smaller adventure, but I wanted to remember that everyone has limits, even when you are young and healthy. My limits are just different now, but limits are not a new thing, it's just a matter of adapting to reality, and being creative with the abilities I still do have. B*B, Ysabeau

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Window Boxes Full!

This morning we put in pansies, poppies, dianthus, and stock in the windowboxes for Spring! Variegated big and little pansies, lots of color, this was so easy and it will be really pretty. When they get tired out, we'll just replace them with some other annuals. What a plan! B*B, Ysabeau