Saturday, February 22, 2014

I Finished!

This morning I finished my watercolor sketch of the almond blossoms. That's one long-standing goal accomplished. Hurray! The sneaky thing about goals is they give birth rapidly -- to many more of their kind.
 My brain is telling me that if I take what I learned from this sketch and do a few more of the same subject matter using different techniques and interpretations, my skills would quickly improve. If only my art time were unlimited.... We will see. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Painting Almond Blossoms

In 2000 when I first began drawing and painting, I used soft pastels to paint a picture of an almond orchard in bloom. I think it was a great beginner's attempt, but it's packed away now, and I don't even know where. It's a precise and carefully rendered piece, but it lacks spirit. I know that now. Painting the gestalt of a tree, an orchard, a person, or even an object is much harder for me to do than merely copying what I see in front of me.
 I want to paint how it feels to see all those blossoms at once; to see the space around me utterly transformed by the pink and white delicacies that arrive on their own timetable. I'm challenging myself to paint the blossoms this year while they are still here. This is my first attempt (in progress) of a sketch in watercolor:

Monday, February 17, 2014

Finding Your Muse

The most potent muse of all is our own inner child.
                            --Stephen Machmanovitch

This is Ember Rose at 18 mos. You'll see her here from time to time, because she loves to paint. It calms her busy little body and focuses her active mind. When she paints, ALL of her is quiet. As the world around her disappears, she paints with passion and pure creativity. She cares about exploration and experimentation and has no fear of judgement.
I try to learn from her to play with the paint and be fully present in the moment -- enjoying the process more than the product. I'm lucky to have a little mini-muse in my life to remind me about the little girl inside of myself who loved to draw and paint but became hidden beneath layers of responsibility and adulthood. I need her to help me become a better artist.

So if you haven't let loose in a while, strip down to your diaper and get out your paint! Metaphorically, of course.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Almond Blossoms: It's That Time Again!

I'm happy to live in a town where acres and acres of almond trees begin blossoming in February. 
Durham is known for its almonds, and orchards of them border our property on two sides.

These silent, unassuming trees put on a spectacular show.

photos by Lacie Myers

Everything else is still under the influence of the barren winter, but these pink and white blossoms remind me that spring is coming, and they help me wait.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Playing With Photoshop

This year's birthday present was the latest version of Photoshop Elements.Today I used it to superimpose some of my favorite quotes over photos I've taken.
I thought I'd share some of them and get your opinion.
 Below are two versions of the same quote.
If you like one of them, pin it and pass it on.

Any preference? Why?
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