Friday, June 10, 2016

Art and Nature

Last week, I didn't do a whole lot of painting. Daniel was out of town and I just took it easy. You'd think I'd be in my studio all the time, but I felt more inspired to read, knit, crochet and watch some movies.
I did finish this rather large painting which is going to my sister's when we visit this summer. It was quite a challenge for me and I love, love, love how it turned out! The colors and the feel of it.
The canvas below was moving in a direction I didn't like, so I gave it a layer of gesso for a new start, while keeping some of the previous layers peeking through. It'll add to the texture of the painting once it's finished. I have no clue yet where this is heading.
We've had some days of big rain (Tropical Storm Colin came right through here) and then much sunshine. Flowers are blooming in abundance and I love bringing some of them inside.
The other day, I was lucky enough to find a perfect snake skin in our back yard. Isn't it gorgeous? I am keeping it for nature decoration in our house. We have quite of bit of that - dead bugs, animal skulls we've found, sand dollars, etc. This will fit right in!
We are always on the lookout for interesting bugs and this spider fits the bill. It was tiny, but look at that color! Amazing!
And here is one of the fascinating Golden Silk Orb Weaver spiders. A couple of years back I blogged about a female I watched all through the summer (click here). Here is a new female and she's going to be fun to observe. Right now, she's only about an inch in length (including the legs), but by summer's end she'll be about 6 to 7 inches long, while the males are tiny! Fascinating creature!
And this last was a lucky shot while a swallowtail butterfly was busy drinking from our bougainvillea. Isn't it gorgeous? Actually the colors are inspiring a painting...

I'm linking to the ever wonderful Paint Party Friday and wish you all an amazing week!!

With love and gratitude,

Silke

Friday, June 3, 2016

So much to catch up on!

Dear friends, over a month has passed and I have not posted. I've also not painted a whole lot - life has been busy with other things. Good things. Spring time. Great weather. Being outside. Friends visiting. A sudden need to read a lot and devouring several books. But still, art happened.
And I managed to record and edit a little video of me painting the horse. I hope you enjoy it. And I hope to do more of them in the future. 

And then I've been working on several bigger canvases that are going much slower. And the process is so different. I'm enjoying the color mixing and painting in a more painterly style.
And faces are coming up again. Mixed with the animals. We'll see where that goes... (These are both details of larger canvases.)

And remember this sweet guy? Well, he is going to be published in a art book on koalas in Australia. Of course, it'll be a little while before the book is actually available, but I'm excited already. A part of the proceeds will go to support the Australian Koala Foundation. I like that!
Do you remember when my blog was called "Metamorphosis?" It's still happening for me. I am becoming more and more of the "real" me as I shed old programming and fears, as I paint more and allow parts of me to shine that I've previously kept hidden. Much of that I have done to make life easier for me. Life is so much simpler when I pretend to be like everyone else. Truth is I am not like most people. I've always been different and I'm starting to be ok with that. They say that art heals - so very true! I'll definitely be writing more about this in the time to come.

But in the meantime, lots of love from my heart to yours!

Linking to the ever fabulous Paint Party Friday, where a whole lot of amazing art happens every week!

Silke

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