Wednesday, December 15, 2021

February Snow

Inspiration Collaboration has been exactly what its name implies…inspiring. I’ve been encouraged (or forced) outside my comfort zone and painted things that I’d never have considered. I’m a better artist because of it. 

I do love color, but through Sara’s images and words, I’ve grown to see that lots of color is not a requirement for a picture to be beautiful. Her very first inspiration image was Barely There. When I saw that 24 months ago, I thought, “Oh, dear… I can’t do this… The image is… well… barely there!” But, I did paint a response to that one as well as the 35 that followed.  What a rigorous artistic endeavor! What a pleasure! 

I took this reference photo in February of 2011.  It’s the view from our mailbox looking across the highway. That’s not a typo.  I’ve had the image in a photo file for 10 years.  I chose to use this image, this style, and this color palette for Sara’s A New Adventure to honor her.

Original Oil Painting on 9"x 12" Wrapped Canvas
Click February Snow if you'd like to purchase this painting.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Self Portrait, Gram-E (Painting #600)

I think a self portrait should tell something about the artist.
So...This tells you something important about me.

There's nothing more special than holding a grandbaby close.

I painted my first self portrait for Painting #500.  Somewhere around Painting #575 I started fretting about needing to do another one at #600. What reference photo would I choose? That's a tough choice... until I came across the right one.

Original Oil Painting on 6"x 6" Gallery Wrapped Canvas

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Pink Daisies in the Field

It doesn't matter how many paintings that I've done or what the subject is; I still go through through the same patterns of thought
This one will be fun!
I can do this pretty easily
How is this going to work?
This isn't working.
I'm not sure I'll be able to make this work.
This is a disaster.
Should I scrape the whole thing off and start over?
I've been trough this before. I can do this. Just keep going.
Maybe this is going to come together after all.
Ugh, maybe not.
Let me just step back and look from the other side of the room.. 
Hmmm.... Niiiice...
Pick up the brush and get back to it.
I think I can make this work. 
This is starting to look good. 
Where should that next brushstroke go?
Guess it's time for a signature.
Good job, Helen.

You can use this narration as you watch this 26 second video of the process.

Original Oil Painting on 8"x 10" Wrapped Canvas

Friday, December 3, 2021

Bright & Shiny

Tis the season for surprises and gifts, colored paper and sparkly bags, ribbons and bows.

I learned to wrap really well during the Christmas season the first year after we married.  I was a teacher, but during those off weeks, I took an extra job working in the giftwrap department at Dillard's. People would give us their purchase, choose their paper and bow style, then take a number and go back to shopping while we wrapped their gift. Most of the wrapper ladies only wanted to work in the back rather than dealing directly with the customers.  I loved being the go-between customers and wrappers.  I made happy conversation with them even though they always acted shocked that there would be a wait.  I organized the merchandise in the right sized boxes with the wrapping style noted for the ladies in the back.  I took payments. And, I got to hand them their beautifully wrapped presents.  That was always the best part... until... that day. 
It was busy... lots of gifts to wrap... a long wait for customers... boxes (both waiting to be wrapped and ready to be picked up) were all over the place... I don't know that I was taking time to pay much attention to individuals as they came in.  A lady handed me her claim ticket.  I went to find the box.  It wasn't there.  It wasn't anywhere.  She was not happy. I was beginning panic then I remembered,  "Oh, yes!  Yours was that expensive Dooney and Bourke handbag!  It didn't fit in a regular box, so we had to set it in a different spot!"  Silence... I thought she'd be happy. She glared at me then turned to the young lady beside her..."Well, Merry Christmas..." Yeah, I ruined her surprise. Ugh... How to take that back!  
Lessons learned from that? Let's see... Don't forget to pay attention to people even when you multitask? or Don't get a job wrapping packages in a department store at Christmas? or Just keep my mouth shut? Oh, I probably didn't learn anything from it, but yikes... That was in 1985 but is still fresh in my mind.

My weekly-ish painting challenge with my dear friend Cheri was "Bright & Shiny." I always struggle with painting shiny metals.  Thanks to Lynn D. Pratt for a great YouTube lesson, I think I got this one right.

Oil Painting on 8"x 8" Canvas Board

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

December 2021 Inspiration Images

Click HERE to read the story behind each image.

We'll be accepting submissions through the middle of January to give time to complete whatever you've created and want included in the 2021 Inspiration Collaboration Magazine.