Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
These darlings were on the left of me as I raked hay. I got out and shot about 50 reference photos so that I can paint some goats! They reminded me of the giraffes in Africa, they just kept looking at me and making me wonder what they were thinking.
I've enjoyed working the hay this year. I've told a lot of people and events "no" this summer so I could tell Greg "yes" if he needed me. Not only do I want him to see in my choices that he comes first, but I also know that our teamwork builds financial success and comforts for the both of us. I still get to play a lot - like on my right was a pen of dairy cows. I kept getting out and taking their picture too. They are very curious creatures and eventually walked right up and snorted on my camera to see what it was. I love how they collectively, walked closer and closer, only brave because they had the mob mentality. Like civil war soldiers who walked shoulder to shoulder to face their enemy. Except these guys weren't scared of me AT ALL.They just had to see what I had in my hands. I'll give you 3 guesses about what I'll be sketching next. I got my hay raked before it was dry but I had a little fun with the animals too.
I wanted to show you the nose on my camera but blogspot says I can't download anymore. Just picture two wet, pink nostrils with slobber all around and you will get the idea. I was slimed in the end.
Farm life is a hoot.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
There I was, walking to my vehicle after working all day in a John Deere tractor. My head was down, my walk a little stiff, just thinking about what I had to do next. Brain dead. And there in the ground a little art - as if to say, "Made you LOOK!" One of those brilliant moments in an ordinary day to enjoy the little mystery surprise placed strategically in front of you to wake up your tired soul and quicken your spirit. Now the odd chick in me had to study for a minute. What gift had nature provided and why did this piece of art catch my eye? Well, I liked its unusual hard-edge contour, suspended in its crackeled frame. I liked the contrast of the white and the free form of the bird and proud posture and his expressive beak. I liked the primitive heiroglyphic form on a stone in the dirt. My own little art appreciation class.
Doesn't nature provide the best shapes, the best colors? Was it all given to refresh us, knowing that once we left the garden, our days would be hard and long and wearisome - and that we would need a little art to lift our spirits, a little bird of paradise to remind us to stay in the moment and to keep our minds awake to little gifts planted at our feet because we're too preoccupied or too tired to look up and look around. I believe the more little treasures we see, the more we are trusted with. I don't want to miss a thing. Do you?
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
This was a drawing exercise that I had to do for an art class last spring. It's a collage of various art pieces and photographs clipped from books and magazines and then I drew it with charcoal. If you visit my blog very often, you know the bowed head shows up in my art from time to time.
This is one of my Mom's favorites. I miss the color and I'm too lazy to make the pencil really sing with all the dimensions of black and white. But I do love the images. For me, it's a very spiritual piece of things I love like gravestones and moths, smooth stones, cathedral ceilings, plants, stars, moons, and mountains. And an old faithful face (Mother Teresa). And hands. Don't you just love a pair of old hands - except your own, maybe.
We started a new study today on "Prayer". I'm reminded by this old sketch I pulled out, and today's new lesson that I need to participate more in this sacred communication. It's my hope for change and understanding and direction. I would be a lost soul without it.
What keeps you centered?
Monday, September 15, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Sometimes, I think we act more like heartless beasts and it's the animals that have the right Spirit in them.
I think if I could be an animal, I would want to be a giraffe.
Did you know the giraffe is vegan, s/he never harms anything, unless you go after her baby. She's got a two-foot heart inside her that helps pump blood to the head she lowers and raises so quickly. Her padded knees are actually wrists. When I saw the giraffe in Africa, I noticed they always walk away, but they always look back and then they just look ..... and look as you look and look and it is the most amazing, breath-holding moment. And then when she walks away, she looks like a tree has been uprooted and is now walking out of the landscape, and even her shadow had grace. (a line from a Josh Groban song)
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
This was inspired by some beautiful art that makes me want to look again and again. Check out Beyond Words for a view of fantastic visual journalling, very zen and healing and primitive. Also, Color Sweet Tooth - a man who does gleeful images like Glee2, and frogs, chickens, photographs...delightful, incredible, waterfalls of color and artistic genius. Though there are many other artist I visit, these stand out for me today.
I love a fantasy, abstract image or a primitive edgy image - even though they are both very different, they both provoke something basic in me that I wish I could describe. (she's looking, searching her little mind for the words..) OKAY...It's like those images turn hot brilliant lights on and liven up an area of my brain, like those heat-map MRI or CAT scan images you see in medical journals, or my invisible, electric burner on the stove. Or, maybe like the rush you feel after a good run, or a really good piece of chocolate after depriving yourself of sweets for days. Even though I've never done drugs - I can only describe it as a high or a heightened sixth sense... that I get from unusual, colorful, fantasy images..... oh dear, does that make sense to anyone but me?
ouuuuuuuu, sending that scary question out into the universe......and.........wait a minute............ I just got an answer...
God, the maker of the stars and all wondrous thought, said, "yeah, honey, it does".
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Hey, I have a novel idea (she says a little sarcastically)! How about let's not rush this week. Let's just add layers of interest and beauty to each life we touch. Let's walk by a soul and say, "hmm, I could add this...", "maybe, she/he needs that" and possibly the collage of goodness we've layered one on top of the other will produce something beautiful to send out into the world, and art will be more than just a hobby or profession, it will be a sacred practice.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Odd Chicks don't just happen you know.
Nope, they are raised to believe they can be play ugly and love it.
They're taken to ballet classes, piano lessons, tennis lessons, dressed up for pictures, and generally doted over by a tribe of loving people.
They are taught that the world is a friendly place, that people are good, and that gratefulness is at the heart of everything in life.
They are provided not just the things they need, but most of what they want. They are cared for emotionally, and nurtured spiritually.
And when she had a passion for blue birds, she got bluebird books. And when she had a passion to sew, she got a sewing machine and all the material she could use to make short-suit sets for the summer. And when she collected piggy-banks- she had 3 shelves of them. And every passion is met with enthusiasm and applauded and encouraged.
She was raised with an abundance mentality - that love never runs out.
And when an Odd Chick grows up, she doesn't mind being odd because someone said she was unique and not like everybody else, and special. And proved it to her by their actions.
Love has never, ever run out in her life.
Thanks to all those that love an odd chick.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
I took a short road trip with an elderly man the other day. He only calls me when he needs something. But that's okay, because I have lots of lessons I want to learn from him before he gets too tired to teach me.
I sketched this old 1939 classic at the shop where we waited.
And this elderly gentleman that waited with me...well he's also a classic. But he feels used up and un-valued. I expect he has never really felt any value in himself, ever. And now, without being able to produce something tangible...he dreads his days and they creep by slowly. He can see nothing but his own bland horizon, or sometimes the past from his rear-view mirror. He reminds me of those old rusted-out junkers that sit far back in some one's pasture.... and you wonder what their story could have been. I really hate that for him.
But, he's teaching me about growing old. And what maintenace and additives I use in these years to keep my engine running in my later ones. I know I won't be shiny and purring someday... like the steady, old red Lincoln I feel right now. I've already lost a lot of lustre. And I will someday lose most of my usefulness. But, if I continue to love others and learn something new everyday, I think there's a chance I could be a well-cared- for-shiny-old- classic sitting in a pretty showroom for all those who knew her, to come by and take a loving look. Yeah, she'll have a story or two. They'll admire her classic shine and remember her Sunday drives and road trips,... and how much fun they had with her, and wonder... if just maybe.... she's not up for one more joy ride.
What kind of classic would you like to be?