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