Friday, October 29, 2010

New Painting!

Breaking Open 
acrylics and paper on canvas
2 x 4 ft

These photos really doesn't do the painting justice at all and it doesn't truly show it's size properly. This is the biggest painting I have painted so far - 2 ft x 4 ft (61 cm x 122 cm).

I got to use Daniel's easel, which I had set up in my studio and really enjoyed the process of painting standing up and with big brushes and long strokes. It really involves your whole body, which is such a new experience for me. I love it!
(You can click on any of these photos to see a larger version.)

So, my plan for this painting was to paint many layers of luminous paints to experiment with color a little more and to use interesting papers to create an abstract painting. Well, that didn't go as planned. I did paint many layers (at least 25 I'd say) and loved the effect, especially where I added a little iridescent paint, I added gorgeous papers, but then I saw the first flower the background and the plan for an abstract painting went out the window.
Although I have to admit that painting flowers was never something I wanted to do. Ever!  But then, two more flowers were added and when I stepped back to survey the painting, I saw the face. It was right there in the background - they eyes and the mouth just needed a little more definition, but it was all right there.
And when I began to paint the face, my heart started beating faster and that was the moment I knew I was connecting with my painting. Right then you know that you are not just putting paint on a canvas, but that the painting is speaking back to you and changing you. I think that feeling is why I love painting so much!
Now with it finished (I think), I just keep starting at the painting and marveling that I actually created this. It still amazes me!!

Well, friends, it's been a busy week here and I haven't been able to check with you as much as I wanted to. I really miss you!! Hopefully this weekend...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Journey to Atlanta - Finale

No trip would be complete without a good meal - in fact, most of our trips are planned around THE FOOD. Only, in this case, Daniel checked out restaurants around the High Museum and we settled on a great Thai restaurant.
The food was excellent and we were able to sit outside and watch a movie being filmed across the street from us. We never did find out what they were filming and didn't see anyone famous...
We've visited or lived near most major cities in the US and still every time I am awestruck by the skyscrapers and all that glass.
Downtown Atlanta was no exception.
There was interesting architecture everywhere we looked.

A different kind of beauty, but still beautiful to me!
Soon, I'll have my latest painting for you. I think it is close to being finished and so very different from previous paintings. I keep staring at it...

In the meantime, thank you so much for your visits and comments! I so appreciate all of you!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Journey to Atlanta - Act 2

In Atlanta, Daniel and I spent about three hours at the High Museum.
We couldn't believe that we'd never gone there before, but this time it was a must because of two special exhibits: Salvador Dali and Titian.
Both exhibits were exceptional, especially the Dali paintings and photos. Some of the paintings were simply enormous. What an interesting and eccentric guy he was! And what a painter! Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to take any photos in the special exhibits, so I have nothing to share...
However, we took plenty of photos of the amazing buildings and some of the other works of art.
The buildings fascinated us! I love museums where the museum itself is as incredible as the art!
Of their permanent collection, I enjoyed most the contemporary and folk art pieces!
In fact, an unexpected thing happened while looking at some of this inspiring art and reading the stories behind them:
I realized that I am absolutely and undoubtedly an artist as are all of us who express who we are and what we feel through creative endeavors!
Surprisingly, I found again and again that some of my most favorite modern art pieces were by German artists, such as the huge abstract painting below. The cloth-like piece above was made by an artist from Ghana, who creates these traditional looking cloths of the aluminum from liquor bottle caps. It was stunning!
We had some fun with these stacked mirrors.
It became so obvious that art is simply in the eye of not even the beholder, but the one who creates it and has something to express. There were quite a few pieces I could not believe were called art (not the ones below), but there you have it. Someone had something to say and said it through their form of art.
These photos we took on the way out, after we were told we only had another five minutes until closing. We couldn't believe so much time had passed.

We loved the architecture and the art!
Tomorrow, Act 3 of our journey.

You might be wondering if I am painting at all. Absolutely! And soon I'll have something to show you. Also, I've been knitting up a storm and have more to share with you as well... Soon!

I hope you are all doing well and hope to visit your blogs this week!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Journey to Atlanta - Act 1

On the way to Atlanta we drove through an area of cotton fields and got off the highway for a closer look and some photos. Not being from the South, cotton fields fascinate both of us. And for me, it is especially meaningful since so much of the US history we studied in school in Germany had to do with the American South, and so far cotton fields - in my mind - have been associated only with great cruelty and suffering.
Cotton, like hibiscus (and the Confederate Rose in one of my previous posts), belongs to the mallow family and it's obvious in the flowers. Actually, I was stunned at how delicate and pretty the flowers are.
Above a seed pod (I guess that's called a boll) right before breaking open and below one that has popped open.

I was just mesmerized by the rows of white-flecked plants...

and along the fields by the many flowering vines.
It certainly was worth a stop, don't you think?

Incidentally, Savannah played a huge role in the cotton market in the 19th century. The old cotton exchange building is still standing and beautiful! Click here to take a look.
Tomorrow, Act 2 of our day in Atlanta - the High Museum!

Happy Monday, everyone!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Late Bloomer

As promised a little break from deep thoughts ... but first thank you all again for your encouragement! You are wonderful!!

Now to the late bloomer! While most plants in our garden are winding down and signaling fall, but we have a new shrub/tree that is just now starting to flower - the confederate rose (hibiscus mutabilis). 
I was going to take a picture of this flower on Wednesday when it started blooming and was completely white (the color of the flower bud in the picture). Imagine my surprise when I stepped up to it yesterday and found it a beautiful pink. I remembered Daniel telling me that the flowers start out white and then change to pink, but I didn't expect it to be so intense! Isn't that something?
Wishing you a most wonderful Friday!!

We are spending the day in Atlanta to pick up some of Daniel's artwork that has been in a traveling show for the last two years. Should be fun! I'll take the camera in case I see anything to share with you...

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Thank you all so much for your thoughts and input on my post yesterday! I love when we get a (sort of) dialogue going like this! And whenever I read your comments, more thoughts come into my mind and more clarity. I hope you don't mind if I share some of those.
1. I realize that these "old friends" I talked about in my post yesterday really aren't negative (which is why I call them friends). It seems that feeling guilty or insecure isn't good, but to me it's only "not good" when I linger there and don't move forward. It seems I should ignore these feelings and just get creative, but my paintings are entirely intuitive and based on my emotions. I paint what I feel and so these feelings truly propel me forward. And I am grateful to them for that!
2. A few of you said that even if I never sold a piece of art, I'd still be an artist. It made me so aware how in our society we judge our worth by whatever others are willing to pay for our services or the goods we have to offer.

The thought that I could still be an artist if nobody even liked my art had never occurred to me. Even though I paint MY inner self and not what others think I should be painting, still I have always wanted others to like my art. Why?! Ok, I know why - I'm a pleaser by nature and I want others to like me and what I do.

This is a novel thought for me. I'll have to ponder that some more...
3. I had this thought yesterday that I don't just want to live a creative life, I want to live a totally integrated life. I want to embrace all parts of my self and I want to live a life that reflects all of me. Here, I mostly share my creative journey, but there's actually a good bit more to my life and I can feel how everything is starting to come together and I cannot wait to see where it takes me.
4. (and really this is Nr. 1)You are AWESOME!! I feel such gratitude for you all, whether you leave comments or you simply come to read... I can feel how we are all connected.

Ok, enough deep thoughts for a while (at least for today). Thank you again for being you!! And for reminding me how important it is that we spread beauty and joy in this world....

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Some Thoughts...

I have been so absent from blogland partly because the weather is too nice to be in front of the computer, partly because my days have been busier than usually, and partly because I had much I wanted to say, but it was still jumbled in my head.
I think it has become clearer now and I want to write about it and get your perspective.
Remember how last week, I made a decision to just go with the flow of my creative life? Well, no sooner did I do this when all the "old friends" reared their lovely heads. I thought they were gone, but it turns out, they were just having a little snooze.
Let me introduce you to some and ask if you know them as well. And how do you deal with them?
1. Guilt - as in:"How can I spend my days having such fun at what I do while others are experiencing hardships and are working so hard?"
2. Self-Doubt - as in:"Am I really good at any of this? Do I really deserve this? Am I kidding myself?"
3. Fear (I think I was born a fraidy cat) - as in: "What if I fail at this? What if I disappoint those I love?"
4. The People Pleaser - as in: "What if my friends and family disapprove? What if I don't live the way they want me to?"
5. The Poor Me - as in: "Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I think I'll go eat worms!"
Now, I did have a helping factor in this pity party I was having last Thursday.  Girls, if I say HORMONES, I think you'll know exactly what I'm talking about! Darn them!!
And by Friday I was feeling much better and told those "old friends" that I understand if they stick around, but that I was going to move ahead with the creative life that is unfolding in front of me.
There will always be self-doubt, guilt, fear and all the others, but I used to let them paralyze me and that is not happening anymore. Now I call them "old friends" because they actually help propel me forward.
If anything, I now feel more secure in my decision to live creatively and to share the joy I am experiencing with everyone else.
Incidentally, on the evening of my pity party, I was putting together my artist resume and saw that my art has found homes in 15 US states and in 7 different countries! Then I realized that the same goes for my knitting - I've sold over a hundred scarves and other creations in past years to people all over the world. Take that, Self-Doubt and Poor Me!

As to you all, thank you so much for witnessing this journey I am on and for supporting me every step of the way. What an awesome community we have here!