Friday, April 22, 2016

Roadtrip and Art

It's been a couple of weeks since I last posted. Life has been a little busy with family visiting and then taking a road trip to Franklin and Nashville, Tennessee for our niece's wedding.
I had never been to Nashville and had so much fun! It is THE place to visit for country music fans, but even if you aren't (which I am not for the most part), there is so much to see and do.




One of the places we visited was Leiper's Fork, a small art community that is still quite rural and very beautiful.



And then there was the wedding, which was just beautiful and so happy! We loved being there for it!
Back home I haven't done a lot of art. Somehow I got out of the rhythm and haven't quite found it again. But I will! I did play some more with charcoal and gesso and refined this drawing a little more. I'm glad I didn't stop where it was in my last blog post.
This below was a quick 30-minute drawing. I love the mood of it.
And then with this drawing below I covered the paper with oil bar and then drew on it with charcoal. It gives it a very different look. I also used some gesso for the highlights.
All of this black and white drawing reminded me of this amazing moth I found on our front steps a couple of weeks ago. It was big! And I found out it's called the giant leopard moth. I've never seen one before. What a beauty!
And, of course, there has to be color in my life. Lots of it! I finally finished this little cow painting a couple of days ago and it's already on the way to it's new home in California. Apparently the grass is greener there... :)
Speaking of color, I'm loving my new crochet project. It makes me happy!
Our weather has been gorgeous and our garden is exploding with color. I might have to do a blog post just with garden photos. In our climate, things bloom pretty much all year round, but never as beautifully and lusciously as in the spring.

Linking this to the fabulous creativity of Paint Party Friday. Go visit for more amazing art!!

Warm wishes for a sunny week for you!

Silke

Friday, April 1, 2016

Another Week...

Dear friends, another week has passed and I don't have a whole lot of art to show for it. I managed to paint one little turtle. These little paintings are so much fun to do. Of the 30+ small paintings I have finished and listed this year, only five are still available. The rest have all flown out into the world, which makes my heart ver happy!
Much of my week has been spent preparing our tax return.  And any downtime I had, I spent drawing for Renata Loree's Expressions class. And let me tell you, there are real parallels for me with working on our taxes and drawing faces and hands.
This was an exercise of drawing with charcoal and white gesso.
At this stage the paper wasn't holing up too well, so I get to try again on different paper. 
With both it takes me a while to get into it, but once I do I actually find it quite engaging and relaxing.
Before I started being so creative I used to love numbers and adding things up. Of course now I'd rather paint. The same goes for drawing. It takes a long time and I'd rather paint. Until I get into it! And then I am in the zone and hours pass without me noticing.  
So, today I will finish our tax return and start another drawing. And this weekend I'll get ready for a family visit next week. I won't have much time to spend creatively, but wherever we go I plan to take my sketchbook and a few pencils with me.

As usual, I am linking to Paint Party Friday, the perfect place to visit if you want to be inspired!

With much love and gratitude,

Silke

Friday, March 25, 2016

Vacation & Art

This past week Daniel has been on break from teaching, which means it's been both a relaxing and a busy week for us. It has also made it difficult for me to visit many of your blogs, which I intend to remedy this weekend!

We decided to go away for a few days and visit Apalachicola, a small town in the panhandle area of Florida. We loved it!
There really wasn't much to do around there, except walk around town, eat in several very good restaurants, visit the local coffee shop, the excellent bakery and a few of the galleries.



We were pleased to see that Apalachicola also has their very own brewery, where we sat for a while, tasted their excellent beer and talked with some interesting people.
On one of the days, we drove to a river that originates in one of Florida's warm springs. Our hope was to maybe see some manatees. They come to the warm springs in the colder weather as they need warm water temperatures to survive.
Alas, there were none to be seen, but we still had a gorgeous paddle! It took us two hours to paddle upstream, but just one hour to get back. The way back was definitely more relaxing.
We did see a few alligators and we both noticed how used to them we have gotten over the years. We didn't even take photos.
The scenery was gorgeous!
We rented a tandem paddle, which was fun! I was in the front because Daniel is so much better at steering than I am.
The water looked dark, but it was crystal clear.

We saw lots of lots of turtles. I loved how the one above was stretching out its hind legs. Very graceful... In the photo below an Anhinga was drying its wings.

Back home, I have been busy working on our taxes (oh, joy!) and also doing some painting. I am working on all kinds of things at the moment. Below is a detail of a large painting, which I am sure will change drastically, but I sort of liked this somewhat raw stage.
Then I've been taking the online class "Expressions" by Renata Loree, which is really good. I'm somewhat behind since we were on vacation when it started, but luckily it's self-paced.
I will be drawing different face and head angels and also expressions (like the worried one on the drawing below). Another part of the class will be dealing with hands. That will be a challenge! Drawing in general is a challenge for me since it requires a good deal of patience, which I often lack... Good practice!
And then, of course, there are my little paintings. I have three in the works right now, but none finished to show you.
I am linking again to Paint Party Friday, a great hub for artistic inspiration! Head on over to have a look!

In the meantime, I wish all of you who celebrate a Happy Easter! And definitely a beautiful week for all of us!

Silke

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Art and Much More

Another week has passed and it's been a busy one. It's also been a week where spring has arrived complete with sunshine, warm air - a few days felt downright summery - and tree pollen, which is giving everything a thick dusting of light green and making many people sneeze.
I've been busy painting. Small paintings like this horse. Can you see it in the background photo below?
Another small painting - a fun bird!
I saw him right away in the shapes of the background below.
This was the final small painting of this last week. Love the closeup of the owl face. The horse and the owl have already flown off to their new homes. This little paintings don't stick around for long. I'm grateful!  
Now here finally is the finished large painting of the alligator and his friend, the kingfisher. This is such a fun canvas size - 12 x 36 inches (31 x 91 cm).
I loved painting this keeping my palette to three colors plus white: Naphthol Red, Payne's Grey and Phthalo Green (blue shade). 

The funny thing is that I started the background with the red and blue because I still had a lot on my palette from another painting and didn't want to waste it.
Then I liked it so much that I only added the green for the gator and left it at that. I like both challenges - using many colors and making it work or using only two or three.
This was a very quick sketch for a larger painting I want to do soon.  I liked her pose.
Aside from making art, I went to the beach one morning just for a long walk. It was so beautiful. 
 The sun was shining and it was warm. Even warm enough to walk barefoot and put my feet in the (still cold) water.





Then, one evening I met Daniel in town after he was done teaching and we spent some time at our favorite rooftop restaurant/bar on the Savannah River.
We were in luck in that two big container ships made their way past us.
A perfect evening!
Of course with the warmer weather nature is exploding and with that our garden. Even the frogs are coming out of hibernation... 
And our fig tree, which last week was still completely bare, now is full of leaves and already has little figs growing. How amazing is that?!
I'm linking - as usual - to the fun and always inspiring Paint Party Friday. It's always an inspiration to visit everyone's beautiful art blogs!

And to you all a beautiful, warm, sunny and creative week!!

With love and joy,

Silke