Sunday, December 30, 2012

Black Angus

What are you thinking as you look into my eyes?

One of my earliest memories is being told to "stand in the fence opening and don't let any cows get through" as my parents and brothers were trying to run the cows through the chute beside the barn. I suppose they were giving them medicine, putting in ear tags, or checking them for pink eye.  I have a vivid memory of a cow standing right in front of me and staring me right in the eyes.  She was easily ten times bigger than me so I cried, "It's looking at me!" and Momma came running.  "Well, of course she's staring at you.  She can't help it because you're so pretty.  Now here's a big stick; whack her if she comes back over here." That seems so funny and farmer-like to me now - sweet then practical all in one breath.  I do believe that was when I learned to enjoy looking into a cow's eyes.  Hmmm... she thinks I'm pretty...
And, isn't this a pretty little Angus heifer!  She's got her hair all spiked on top and swirled in the front...long fluttery eyelashes and wispy long ear hairs...

She lives on the farm land where I grew up.  I took a picture of her when I went back for a class reunion.  


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Yellow Bowl of Tomatoes

Who picked those lovely tomatoes?

I love the artistic composition of this piece.  I love the perfect tomatoes, the twist of the vine, the shadows and highlights, the shape of the bowl.  The artist in me thinks it's just beautiful.

The farmer in me, however, says, "I don't know who did pick them, but I do know who didn't."  I am quite certain that a farmer didn't pick them.  How can I be so sure?  First of all, a real farmer wouldn't have destroyed the vines by pulling the leaves and stems off.  And, if a stem or leaf had broken, she would have pulled it off in the garden, not brought it in the house.  Second, a real farmer wouldn't have let her tomatoes stay on the vine until they were that ripe.  An orangy-colored tomato can ripen just fine on the window sill and avoid the dangers of cut worms, sun blisters, or the skin splitting after a rain.  Third a real farmer would have put her harvest of tomatoes in a big ole' well-used bucket to bring in and wash, not an impractical fancy little bowl.

Now, I'm going back to that artist side of my self... I love this still life...
I've painted this Bowl of Tomatoes before, so it fell into place easily with familiar brush strokes.  I loved the first one, and I think I may love the second one even more.  I'm going to enjoy it on my own wall while it dries and before it's shipped off to its permanent home.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

So Sweet

How does it feel to give a painting to someone?

First, there's excitement followed by a tiny bit of insecurity.  "She's going to be so happy... I hope...  She's going to love it... I hope...  She's going to cry or squeal or gasp or be speechless... I hope!..."  
Next, I suppose I try to cover that insecurity by being nonchalant.  I think I might even avoid being right there when she actually sees it for the first time.
Then, there's relief when she loves it. 
Finally, I feel such joy and satisfaction knowing that the colors and shapes I put onto a canvas have made someone smile and that it's going to be loved.

FYI... that sweet little one is a grand-student.  Do you know what that means?  His momma there was once a sweet little ten year old in my fourth grade class!

Original Oil Painting on Wrapped Canvas

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Whimsical Christmas

Are you a rule follower or a rule breaker?

Isn't this a fun tree!
It is far from my usual style of painting, but it's curly and colorful and kind of Whoville-ish.  I think Dr. Suess might approve.
I'd like to say that it's my version of modern art where each color and curve and dot and streak has a deeper meaning and represents something important.  But, it doesn't... that I know of...

As for the question above...
I'd have to say I'm a rule bender.  I might bend and twist that rule into a pretzel, but I generally don't break it.  Although my teaching partner and I came pretty close on this one.  That fine group of people represents my school.  I get to teach kids with them everyday.  
But my partner and I, the one I share 50 kids with all day everyday, were kind off to the side  from where the teacher was and had a different idea of what color of paint we wanted to use.  Can you pick us out of the crowd?