Passions of an Odd Chick

Friday, October 29, 2010

Good News and Bad News

I have good news and bad news.
The good news is Colorado was spectacular. We were in lower southern Colorado and the views would give you goosebumps. I am going to use florescent paints  in landscapes to make them more realistic.
The good news is our friends had a beautiful and sweet wedding and we shared in all the goodness!
IF YOU ever have a chance you should definitely consider staying at Arbor House Inn in South Fork, Colorado. I have never stayed in a place where every guest had a perfect room, perfect food and not one single complaint. Laurie and Keith are fantastic hosts with very high standards and an exquisite eye for details and it's not expensive compared to the quality you receive!
The other good news is Sweet Farmer gave me a Canon Rebel SLR T1i EOS 500d!!   LOVING IT!!
The bad news is:
It did not instantly make me a better photographer!
That I lost some pics because I didn't know how to transfer them! UGH!

The other bad news is that they held the Day of Dead day at Tinnie's (while I was gone) where my paintings were shown on one wall and I only sold 3 of the little pendants, and NO paintings. There were 10 artists, and only 2 sold two small pottery items - no paintings! Lots of people came to socialize and eat gourmet chili- but no one was buying. That's really discouraging to me. But I know it's part of the ups and downs as an art journeyman.

The worst of the bad news is that one of my best friends has breast cancer and she leaves tomorrow for Arizona to begin treatments at a wellness center that promotes natural healing and a raw diet, with low dosage chemotherapy. She'll be gone 6 weeks. But I know she will be in good hands.

I'm needing some inspiration from my friends so I'll be visiting your blogs often and soon.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Few Mysteries

For the life of me, I don't know where this portrait came from in my head. I'm working with oil pastels, just practicing and this face began to emerge so I just went with it. I look at so many art books that I'm sure I was influenced by someone, I just can't remember who. I like the different affect, and I tried not to over paint it. He looks like a painter to me.
I've got two more girl faces to do to finish my 20 (a commitment I made to myself) but nothing comes so I just wait.
I did get to see my two favorite little faces this weekend.
Oh MY, not those, although my daughter tells me that they can be little stinkers- I've never seen it.
Photograph by Stacy Berry
I loved seeing my family and my grandsons.
When I got home, Sweet Farmer had a big surprise for me. I can't tell you now because I'm getting ready to go on a trip to Colorado but I'll let you know when I get back.
Here's a hint.

Can anybody guess?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Different Kind of Survivor

Warrior I
This is a little different, huh?
But last night as I was drawing in my journal I was thinking of men I knew that looked so traditional on the outside, but I wondered what their souls' portrait looked like? They have survived emotional and physical abuse, alone, because it wasn't cool to cry or tell. They carry the wounds and the pain alone. They are fighting for their lives from drugs or alcohol that they use to self-medicate. These hardships haven't made them mean, but wise and kind. They may have a haunted look in their eyes, but it is hard-earned wisdom if you look deep enough. They are rebels, but they are good men, with ravaged hearts and minds, but a spirit that fights to survive.

Everyone knows one of these men. Just because their outside looks like they don't need anyone - look closely. Let them know that they are warriors, heroes, and that you are glad they have survived, and that you will listen if they ever want to tell their story.

Do you know this warrior?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Good Season

5X5 block canvas, acrylic
Sweet Farmer and I will head for the mountains in Cloudcroft for an anniversary on 10-10-10. At 10:10 a.m., we will be having a champagne brunch at the Lodge at Cloudcroft. If you are ever in the area, it is a beautiful place with a 5star chef, and one of our favorite romantic spots. The aspens should be turning just about now and I hope to get some good pics as the above is just a study of what I would like to try on a very large canvas.

Farming is slowing down, thank goodness. And I look forward to the fall and winter when I can visit family and friends, paint in front of the fire, and drink my lovely variations of hot tea.

I'm in such a great place in my life, a good season. I sometimes feel so happy that I know anytime the shoe will drop and this beautiful, peaceful time will come crashing down. But there are so many that I hear from, that I pray for, that I cry with that are not in a happy place. In fact, it's tortuous and nerve-racking. And the solutions to their problems are not around the corner. And we know it and we accept it- but it still makes the going so difficult.

6x6 canvas, mixed-media

This one is for you. May you feel this little chubby, calm bird sit on your shoulder and let you know that there are people thinking about you and this season will pass in time.
I believe we will all go back to a garden and green hills will be in our vision for as far as we can see.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Whadda heck?

No, this is not one of my Day of the Dead pieces, this is a disgruntled turkey at the county fair.
Sweet Farmer wanted a date with his wife and since I'm that lucky girl, we took yesterday morning off and headed to the county fair right up the road. Yes, it is just as idyllic as you can picture it.
There are booths of cheap toys, greasy food smells, rickety rides, animal moos and ducks honking. Unique characters with tattoos and earrings chanting their sales pitch for simple but challenging games with cheesy rewards.  Really. I am not kiddin you.
And we love it. Sweet Farmer totally gets into what he calls "carni-food". It is guilt free eating for a day of artery challenging, comfort food.
We hold hands and check out all the local 4-H booths, extension clubs,  and children's art (one of my favorites).
We see old friends and little kids we love to watch, and try to buy them sweet lemonade and funnel cakes.
Sweet Farmer takes an old engine down every year. And this I totally don't get. People, especially old men and little boys will stand around this thing for hours and watch it go round and round and pop and ding and ring likes it's the biggest deal in the world. It's crazy. Try as I might, I have never figured out the fascination of it.
Every year they call him to bring it down and every year we cart it up there for smiles.

Sweet Farmer found some friends of ours and he just had to take them to the craft barn where I had entered some paintings that won some blue ribbons. They weren't nearly impressed as he was and it was a little embarrassing but so sweet to see him try to talk them into some mutual enthusiasm. Not everyone likes their goats yellow for pete's sake, darlin.
Yellow Goat

Do you love the county fair?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Losing Your Mojo

Journal sketch
I lost my mojo. It was days with nothing and terrible paintings and no, none, zippo, nada inspiration. I felt a little lost. But I painted anyway. Those MEAN critical voices that tell you you can't paint, that you know nothing about composition, color, that you have no originality, that your stuck, that your boring, etc. got loud and louder. But I painted anyway.

One of my fav art books is "The Art Spirit", the collected words by Robert Henri. He said,

Your education must be self-education. Self-education is an effort to free one's course so that a full growth my be attained. One need not be afraid of what this full growth may become. Give your throat a chance to sing its song. All the knowledge in the world to which you have access is yours to use. Give yourself plenty of canvas room, plenty of paint room. Don't bother with originality, set yourself just as free as you can and your originality will take care of you.It will be as much a surprise to you as to anyone else. Originality cannot be preconceived, and any effort to coddle it is to pre-conceive it, and thereby destroy it. Learn all you can, get all the information that is within your reach about the ways and means to paint.
And I was set free again of the VOICES. I found my joy in the process again.
I painted knowing that I might paint over it, that I might hate it, and that the only good thing I did that day was LEARN something more about paint and texture and color and composition.

And Life. Goodness sake. Even when we're making a mess, getting it wrong, bullied by the critics, nothing's jivin, no mojo anywhere around - it's still just one more day toward getting it right.

We're okay.

No. 18 She Speaks For Herself

No regrets.