This is the time of year I always try to rethink my time, my business, and my art. As I spend more time marketing on the computer, I have less time to spend painting. If I spend more time painting I end up with lots of inventory. But what is more fun?
I'll be in my studio.
The painting above is a non-painful commission. You artists know what I'm talking about. There are enjoyable commissions, then there are those where someone gives you a bad picture--or maybe two or three that they want you to combine--and you are supposed to make a great piece of art out of them. Painful! Just say no.
It's the middle of winter and this vine is blooming like crazy in my yard. Of course, it's hot one day and cold the next here in Florida, so it's confused like the rest of us. This was one of my 20-minute paintings, but I saw its possibilities and went back to it and refined it.
My friend Donna Vines introduced me to artist Mary Gilkerson's 20-minute challenge, which means doing a small painting in just 20 minutes. Here is my first attempt, a scene in Florence, Italy. I learned from this one that the subject was a bit too complex for a 20-minute execution!
This was my second attempt, and it went much easier. No buildings or people!
I was more deliberate with this last one, and stopped panicking over the time ticking by.
If you want to paint more loosely, this is a great exercise. One important tip: mix up your paint before you set the time.
Below is a page from my sketch journal, starting with my gym class the other day. Jean Thomas's class really inspired me to sketch more about everyday happenings.
This is number two in my series of succulents, bromeliads and cacti. This weird plant is called Encholirium Horridum, which, loosely translated, means a whirlwind full of spikes. It is a rare bromeliad from Brazil.
Euphorbia francoisii, a small caudiciform succulent from Madagascar, has
the most variable leaves in the plant kingdom. No two plants have the
exact same leaf shape or color, even if they are clones. The new leaves
emerge as new shapes and colors, completely unpredictable! Some plants
will have several different leaf shapes, sizes and colors all on one
plant! So weird. This plant is on the critically endangered list.
I will be painting more from the exotic world of succulents. They are some of the most interesting plants on Earth. For the real thing, check out Paradise Found Nursery.
This little painting is a favorite of mine, not only for the colors, but for the fact that it is the sum total of my blueberry crop. My little bush produced these berries then withered and died. I know blueberries can be grown in Florida, but they must be a certain kind, and maybe they are not salt-tolerant; maybe I'm too close to the beach. Just another gardening experiment gone awry.
Speaking of gardening, would someone please tell my weeds it's winter? As the planet gets warmer many of my weeds continue to grow when they should just hibernate. Could I please get a weeding break? On the plus side, I have flowers blooming in the middle of winter.
I visited Marzek Pond in the Everglades and was thrilled to see
flocks of birds of various kinds. Spoonbills are my favorites because of
their beautiful color and comical faces. This image may be ordered as a
high-quality giclee print on stretched canvas in the sizes listed by
clicking on "Select Dimensions" above. It is mounted on stretcher bars
and the sides are black, so it may be hung with or without a frame. The
materials are pigment inks on acid-free archival canvas and guaranteed
to last over 100 years.
This is Saint-Paul Asylum, Saint-Remy, France, where Van Gogh spent a
year. He was seeking treatment for his mental illness, and he painted
100 paintings while living there. The place is still a facility with
patients, but we only saw the part open to tourists. It was a thrill to
actually be in Van Gogh's room. His mental health improved there so much that he was allowed to wander the countryside and paint to his heart's content.