Monday, August 31, 2009

The Virtual Paintout - August Challenge - London

17 Soho Square, London
acrylic on 14" by 11" Pintura Hard Board
available $165 + $11 shipping
email me for PayPal invoice

The Virtual Paintout is such a fun challenge. Every time I go to the Google Maps City Streets, I learn something. Bill Guffey certainly hit on something with this one!

As usual, I barely made the deadline. In fact, I did miss this challenge once. Why, Delilah, Why do I procrastinate until the last minute? Guess I just work under pressure best!

As I say at this time every month, I can't wait to see where we will go next month!

Stay tuned, stay real ... and thanks for visiting me today!

The Inferno Challenge #1 - Myth, Magic & Legend

Myths & Legends
acrylic on 18" by 14" by 3/4" Centurian LX linen
gallery wrapped canvas
painting wrapped onto sides
Sold to Mary Ellen

As a spin-off from The Artist Challenge, The Inferno is a wonderful new Blog that is living up to its name. There is an incredible amount of daily input, both art and literature, often combined. The host, Heather Brown Truman, is a regular contributor to The Artist Challenge, a wonderful artist, Life Coach and now, a Blog host to watch, as The Inferno is sure to shoot to the top of the Blog charts!

Sharing with the responsibility of managing The Inferno is Eric Schweer. Eric is the "Dream Boy" of The Artist Challenge. He is constantly thinking of new ways to offer the public a chance to get to know The Artist Challenge. He is a gifted writer and with the premier of each new challenge, writes either a poem or short story to introduce the challenge. His work is dreamy, hence, the name "Dream Boy"!

Both Heather and Eric are tireless in their efforts to promote art and literature, The Artist Challenge and now The Inferno. I am so proud to be working with these two gifted individuals, the host of The Artist Challenge, Vikki North and all the contributing artists at The Artist Challenge.

It is amazing to me how my art has expanded and grown in the short while I've been affiliated with The Artist Challenge. I'm not going to link my first challenge, as it is not one of my favorites, but you can find it on the side bar and see for yourself. I'm growing!

The painting, Myths and Challenges is from an old master. Mine is significantly altered, no one would mistake one for the other, LOL! I was unable to locate the name or artist, but will include it in an UPDATE if I find out. When I began this painting, I wasn't sure if I could pull out a fairy or not! My sister-in-law, Barbara, saw it and agreed with me that this one might have to hit the scrap pile! Well, when you begin a painting, it is not supposed to look good, its got to start somewhere! Last Friday, we had a family dinner at my sister's and I said, "I want to show ya'al what's on the easel". Barbara was blown away. She said she couldn't believe I'd turned "the blob" into a fairy! Go figure, the life of an evolving artist!

I am, perhaps, the 5th biggest fan of The Artist Challenge. I'd say I'm the biggest fan, but believe me, there are 4 tireless people who work their butt's off making that place the best. The Inferno is no less to be reckoned with. It is a proud and mighty adjunct to The Artist Challenge and we are all as proud of The Inferno as we are TAC!

Please stop both and enjoy. If you asked me, you might be glad ya' did!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Art Challenge #16: Anonymous

Munich on a Snowy Night
acrylic on 7" by 9" on canvas board
available $215 including shipping
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This is a little beauty created for The Artist Challenge # 16, Anonymous. Tonight, this lone traveler walks down a hall of the Train Station or perhaps even an Airport. There is no way to know who he is or where he is going. We do know he is traveling light as he is carrying a backpack. You can feel the crusty snow on the glass, it is layered with a coat of glass beads and actually has texture!

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware
~Martin Buber

The Artist Challenge is exploding. The art and artists get better with every challenge. The site Host, Vikki North must be a genius, as she has developed an incredible Web Site Challenge that grows in its potential every month! Not to mention that Vikki is kind, compassionate and a very gifted artist! She is an inspiration extraordinaire! I am in love with her piece The Fireflies and The Fish which she did for the Moon River Challenge #14.

In the last two weeks, a new affiliated Blog has been added to The Artist Challenge umbrella. It is The Inferno - Charlatans of Literature & Art, hosted by Heather Brown Miller and co-authored by Eric Schweer. Heather has a 1st Challenge in the works and I am just about ready to post my painting for that challenge. I will talk about Heather, The Inferno and Eric more in the when I post for their first challenge!

Thank you for looking, but do yourself a favor, visit The Artist Challenge and The Inferno.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Chickened Out!

Wings - Belted Kingfisher
acrylic on 5" by 7" canvas board
SOLD to Sheila $35 including postage

I painted this for the weekly theme "Wings On Things" from the site The Three Muses Challenge. I doubt a plain-old-bird was what they had in mind, but I just couldn't get a thought aout a fairy or angel or even a cow with wings. They suggested we "spread our wings and fly" - there I failed miserably! BUT, I did kind of like my birdy and since he does have 2 wings, I am entering him into this challenge. Perhaps if I continue to visit thier blog and participate, I will loosen up and have more "fun"!

A Very Good Morning to YOU!

UPDATE: I went to the site to post my link, but lost my nerve. Everyone's entries that I saw were - well, it's hard to explain. They appear to be collages, often victorian in style, greeting card appearance, very quaint - not a plain-old-bird on a canvas board.

Don't get me wrong:

  • I really like their art, I just think it is a different form than I work in.
  • I am very pleased with my Birdy!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Virtual Art Picnic - Creative Every Day

Picnic Collage, Recycling
mixed media on 12" by 12" canvas board
made during Tele-Conference - Virtual Art Picnic

Fun afternoon! Just what I needed - in fact, probably need one everyday! The host, Leah, joined a group of women together by a tele-conference. Leah has a smooth, soothing smokey voice that instantly inspires comfort. She tell us that today we are to just "do" without any fear of failure and without the need to create our masterpiece.

Leah then goes through a short meditation session to get ourselves center for the task at hand. I light a candle and lots of good quality art-lamps. I have been gathering clippings from the recycling box all morning. I look for old crafty things like raffia, rubber stamps, glue sticks, ribbon and even glitter (couldn't find glitter). I'm watching the clock for two hours ahead, but still manage to arrive four minutes late!

The conference lasts two hours. The first 30 minutes we are on the phone together. Then we work alone for the next hour and finally return together to share what we have done. One woman used Pink as her theme, inspiring me to add a lot of pink - mostly because it just looked good on the black background. Another woman worked on a project she had set aside. Everyone was inventive and enthusiastic about the project. But my favorite of all was the location of one of the participates; she was in the backseat as her husband drove home from a family reunion. I can't imagine having supplies enough to work in the car, but she did say it was a favorite travel method for her, so I assume she was experienced in what supplies would be needed. Little did she know she is in the company of my friend, artist Dan Lacey, who recently blogged with pictures about painting in the car while his wife drove, another favorite place for him to paint!

Sometimes I'd like to have a husband, I wonder, would mine drive me around so I could paint? My late husband was not known for his driving skills - on land, his skill was on the water and there he was a Master Chief! But mostly, I am lonely. Companionship is a thing to be treasured coming easily to some and briefly to others.

You never know what you're going to get in this life, so don't miss a thing!

I'd like to join another VAP, Leah hosts them every few months. It was a relaxing "just-for-me" time. Thank you Leah and the other participants for a lovely afternoon!

ADDENDUM: 3/30/11 I just got a new comment for "credit card casino" which prompted me to reread this post.

Oh my, I have let so much slip by. I need to renew, long-term thinking, Forward-thinking. Get up Beckie, it's not too late, but the sun is lowering closer to the horizon -

Thank God I love the night!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Grand Tour - 2nd in a Series

Moriah, New York Sidewalk
acrylic 11" by 14" by 3/4" wrapped canvas
available $115 including shipping
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Oh, so many memories here! In 2003, my Mother and I bought an RV and toured 10,501 miles in 10 weeks. I called it our Grand Tour or Driving Miss Daisy.

Mother was in poor health, passing away only 7 months after the trip. She used a wheelchair much of the time and was on a morphine pump due to severe back damage. She was on oxygen; that is why we got the RV, we could run the oxygen machine with the generator. And finally, she was in early stages of dementia. As I pushed her wheelchair with her portable oxygen tank attached to the back, all I could think was "Momma, I'm so proud of you" and I told her that all the time!

She was delightful on the trip. It was like she put all her problems aside to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Her joy was childlike and she relished every minute.

We were about the same size so I would dress her in my clothes, usually matching outfits, jewelry and fix her hair - the way I wanted it.
Then off we'd go to sightseeing, trying not to miss a thing!

I have already painted one photo from the trip, but didn't label it as part of the trip. It was They were never alone ... they had each other, dated July 31st of my dogs, Bill and Garth.

This scene was a front yard of the most quaint house, totally in ruin, but beautiful none-the-less, that I've ever seen. I want you to really know the feel of this piece, so I'm including a picture of that house. Click on each image to enlarge it. The wood detail is spectacular!

It is in Moriah, NY which is a lovely little town on the east border of the Adirondack State Park and just miles west of New Hampshire. It was such a lovely town, I could easily see myself living there. Mom and I went to a coffee/diner early for breakfast and just watched the morning unfold. Those are the memories that you can Cherish.

I started this painting last week as my entry to The Artist Challenge, No-Theme Theme, but about 3/4's of the way complete, just "changed my mind"! Now I know why. I needed to do this for The Grand Tour, and had a lot to say, too!

Enough for now, I did sort of leave the subject - the painting, to take a trip down memory lane. But that's not all! I will try to find photo's of the trip that might be interesting each time - I'm lucky enough - to paint another painting from The Grand Tour!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

NZ Art Guild Challenge #8 - Lines

Lines #1
mixed media (wc & acrylic) on 10 1/4" by 14 1/8" Aqvarelle Arches hot pressed paper
available $35 including shipping
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Lines #2
mixed media (wc & acrylic) on 9 1/4" by 13" blue tinted Neptune WC paper
available $35
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Lines #3
mixed media (wc & acrylic) on 9 1/4" by 13" pink tinted Neptune WC paper
available $35 including shipping
email me for PayPal invoice

This is my 3rd entry for The NZ Art Guild Challenge. The theme for the 7th challenge is Lines. Provided is a list of definitions for the word "lines" from Wikipedia.

I decided to play with this one. Just have fun. I started out to practice and when I was through, I liked all 3! That was a surprise! The iridescent acrylic gold used on the watercolors really pops, especially on Lines #1.

Here is something to think about! Who knew there were that many?

Lines... noun
1. a mark or stroke long in proportion to its breadth, made with a pen, pencil, tool, etc., on a surface: a line down the middle of the page.
2. Mathematics. a continuous extent of length, straight or curved, without breadth or thickness; the trace of a moving point.
3. something arranged along a line, esp. a straight line; a row or series: a line of trees.
4. a number of persons standing one behind the other and waiting their turns at or for something; queue.
5. something resembling a traced line, as a band of color, a seam, or a furrow: lines of stratification in rock.
6. a furrow or wrinkle on the face, neck, etc.: lines around the eyes.
7. an indication of demarcation; boundary; limit: the county line; a fine line between right and wrong.
8. a row of written or printed letters, words, etc.: a page of 30 lines.
9. a verse of poetry: A line in iambic pentameter contains five feet.
10. Usually, lines. the words of an actor's part in a drama, musical comedy, etc.: to rehearse one's lines.
11. a short written message: Drop me a line when you're on vacation.
12. a system of public conveyances, as buses or trains, plying regularly over a fixed route: the northbound line at State Street.
13. a transportation or conveyance company: a steamship line.
14. a course of direction; route: the line of march down Main Street.
15. a course of action, procedure, thought, policy, etc.: That newspaper follows the communist line.
16. a piece of pertinent or useful information (usually fol. by on): I've got a line on a good used car.
17. a series of generations of persons, animals, or plants descended from a common ancestor: a line of kings.
18. a department of activity; occupation or business: What line are you in?
19. Informal. a mode of conversation, esp. one that is glib or exaggerated in order to impress or influence another person: He really handed her a line about his rich relatives.
20. a straight line drawn from an observed object to the fovea of the eye.
Even more Definitions here:

Now, waiting for next time!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Art Challenge #15: No-Theme Theme

Observing Raging River
acrylic on 12" by 16" canvas sheet
available $60 with shipping included
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This was a fun theme - anything goes! And everyone turned out with their Sunday cloths on! Please go visit The Artist Challenge to see this awesome gallery. The artists are so inspiring and the best group of compassionate people I've ever had the pleasure of associating with!

Raging river has breached the bulkhead.
Mountain snows melted,
Water rushes across stones downhill.

The purpose of street lamps
Is to make you feel safe.
But not this night, in our village.

A full Fledged river of purple water
Is pooling in a greasy mist.
We find ourselves on Hell Street.

This is a study of contrasts and surprises for me! I have posted this painting once before, comparing it to Betheleham. Today I called it Hell Street! I did not realize this contrast until I was ready to post now. It just goes to show how our emotions and percepsions change from day to day! But I still like this painting be it Heaven or Hell!

You must call me darling!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Today is ART DAY!

I joined several events to participate in, through Bloggers Unite. I am new to Art Day and the organization that sponsor's it, Artists for A Better World International, so this is about what I have learned.

A member of AFABW, Becky Mate, founded ART DAY in 1998. It is dedicated to artists of all disciplines to encourage creativity and bring joy to others.

Draw a picture today.

Compose a song today.

Write a poem or story today.

Paint today.

Have a party! today.

To prepare and celebrate today, Becky sent a letter to participating Bloggers. Being a very interesting study into the meaning of creativity, I asked Becky if I could post this letter here and she gave me permission. It is fairly long, but I assure you it is worth the time!

So, enjoy! I did!

Hello Beckie,
This is the eleventh year of celebrating international Art Day on the second Friday in August (this year it's 8/14). I wish you a fun, artful day.

The holiday gives us an opportunity to appreciate artists, the arts and cultures around the world. But further scrutiny begs the question, "Where does creativity come from?"

Does creativity come from a certain combination of brain chemicals? Which two molecules combine to form a sonata? Will my poetry have more imagery if I eat my greens? Maybe I should turn to my fellow playwright and say, "Lay off the okra and sauerkraut -your tragedies are way too sad." Perhaps the pharmacy in my local drug store is the key to improving my choreography ability. Or what if I add some O2 (oxygen) to my molecule that contains carbon and hydrogen? Then I could perform a fantastic dance.

Does creativity come from brain neurons firing? Zap! Does this electrical zap, zap, zap bring about a symphony? Maybe we could harness this creativity-generating electricity and build a huge machine. Ask it for the next "Star Wars." Zap! Zap! You have the next box office hit.

It used to be thought that creativity of an emotional nature came from the heart and the liver. Then it was discovered that the heart is merely a pump and the liver little more than a filter.

Does creativity come from properly spiraled DNA strands? Is it genetic? Can we go in for a chromosome adjustment to get over writer's block? How about adding some sculptor DNA to my existing helices, because I wouldn't mind being the next Michelangelo?

Does creativity come from the subconscious, that place where all human mysteries are conveniently swept under the carpet? Is creativity a joining of hidden mental forces, a miracle of unfathomed thought combinations, a recipe of emotion-experience-imagination stew, a mysterious mental image collision, a phoenix erected from the ashes of my anxieties, my flaws, my angers, my heartaches and my broken dreams?

Does creativity come from God? Is God spiritually pouring through our bodies, down our arm, through our wrist, through our hand and paintbrush? If so, it comes in handy when someone doesn't like a painting. Just shrug and say, "Wasn't me," and point to the sky.

Does creativity come from my soul? By the way, where is my soul? I know I was given one. Did I put it in storage knowing I might need it later? Has anyone seen my soul? What does it look like? I don't know. You say you've got three souls in the next room and want to know how I can prove my claim to one of them? Where does a musician keep his soul? In a pocket, so he can pull it out for inspiration? Judging by Beethoven and Van Gogh, they didn't keep it in their ear. Can I pour my soul from one cup to another? I think I keep my soul in my toes, because I get such a tingle there when a great new idea hits me.

Or, does creativity come from somewhere else? From a place that needs no location, from vision that requires no wavelength, from a reality that can't be measured, from a perspective that span and steps out of time? Does it come from that which considers, decides and imagines, but which is free to reconsider and re-imagine at will? Does creativity come from life itself? Does it come from, simply ... ME?

Becky Mate
Personal Website: Virtue in the Arts
Founder of Art Day: International Holiday for the Arts
Artists For A Better World International
5125 Hollywood Blvd, #13
Hollywood, CA 90027 USA

Thank you Becky for such an interesting study of the meaning of creativity and for allowing me to share it on my blog!

Happy Art Day to all! Now, go create something!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

FTM Following the Masters Challenge #5

Dancing Poppies
acrylic on 8" by 10" by .75" gallery wrapped canvas
SOLD to Mary Ellen $50 including shipping

This is my entry for Following the Masters Challenge #5: Poppies, Flowers or Gardens.

Sometimes, in order to understand something, you have to remove yourself from the situation and take a broader look. These Poppies are dancing, I am the observer and you know what? I like what I see!

Our lives are like that too! Please join me and look at your garden. Do you like what you see?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

DSFDF Challenge #25 - Week 44-45 - Streets of San Francisco

Lombard Street
acrylic on 14" by 18" x .75" Centurion LX Linen Stretched Canvas
Given to a friend

This is my first Different Strokes from Different Folks Challenge. I have been considering entering this challenge for a long time, but for one reason or another, never have. I have watched it closely since January.

The Challenge began September 3, 2008 as a weekly event. After the 11th Challenge, the Challenge Administrator, Karin Jurik, turned it into a biweekly event. It was successful from the first challenge with 55 entries. The premise is "One Photograph Painted by Many". This Challenge, Week 44-45, is the 25th Challenge.

As I prepared to post this, I looked over the earlier challenges. Everyone of them had some really fine paintings with many artists returning again and again. Two really stood out to me. One was week #11 - Pedestrians and Shadows. Although the art wasn't the best challenge, everyone was to paint their entry upside down. I've know about this, but never tried it. I thought that was a really good idea. The other outstanding challenge was week #16-18 Painting Us Different Folks. Every artist traded pictures and painted each other from that photo. They were a trip and what fun that must have been for the artists when the painting were revealed! And of course, most of them had never met!

I am very excited to have finally entered this challenge. As everyone knows, I love the challenges. But my heart belongs to another - and always will. You know who you are! And so would everyone just by taking a glance at my sidebar.

I met another 'kindred' artist, Sherry Massey, from The Virtual Paintout who inspired me to enter this challenge. Sherry, you're a good friend! Thank you! Now I need to get Sherry to take on The Pub!

Monday, August 10, 2009

NZ Art Guild Challenge #7 update

When good things come, there is such a relief and such joy that someone takes the time to let you know things are OK. This is a comment I got after yesterdays post where I was doubting myself for participating in this challenge.

Hi, These are fantastic! Great to see an artist from the other side of the world be encouraged to step out of their comfort zone by our challenges. :-) Look forward to seeing more of your artworks int he future. I'm pleased you enjoyed the challenge and learning about one of our kiwi artists.

Kind Regards
Sophia Elise
NZ Art Guild

Thank you for making me feel comfortable in my own skin!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

NZ Art Guild Challenge #7 - Master Artist

NZ-AG Challenge #7 - after Marilynn Webb
acrylic on 8" by 10" canvas board

NZ-AG Challenge#7 - after Marilynn Webb
acrylic on 8" by 10" canvas board

NZ-AG Challenge #7 - after Marilynn Webb
acrylic on 12" by 16" canvas sheet

The #7 Challenge for The New Zealand Art Guild Challenge is:

RULES: N.B. Artwork must be an original interpretation based on the artistic style or subject, a straight reproduction, or your individual interpretation of the Master Artists' work.

I am so out of my element here. I question why I'm even participating in this challenge. It is open to everyone and they invite artists from all over the world to participate, but it is dedicated to New Zealand artists!

Reminds me of my favorite old joke from THE FAR SIDE. An elephant sits on a stage at a concert piano. He is dressed in a tux and is ready to play. A caption above his head tells what he is thinking: "What am I doing here? I'm a flautist for crying-out-loud!"

However ...

Again, I am forced to try an art I would never have thought of by myself. Additionally, I am introduced to the master artist, Marilynn Webb and her lovely work. Her work and bio can be found at Gallery De Novo and toi o tahuna.

These are Marilynn Webb's paintings that I used as references.  Although similar, there are distinct differences!  Hers are perfect!

Going Through Fiordland Series by Marilynn Webb
Chalk Pastel

Thanks for looking and be sure to check out Ms. Webb's work!

Good night

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Art Challenge #14: Moon River

Moon River
acrylic on 11" by 14 " Pannelli Telati canvas panel
available $145 plus $8 shipping
email me for Paypal invoice

In the nights silence, the River shines bright
and flows without awareness of the white light.

Under the water the dance is glorious,
as fish glisten bathed only in moonbeams.

On the shore the people watch,
wondering where it all ends and when it begins.

The Moon smiles his nightly smile.
his job is good, his job is right.
All is well, on this night.

This is my entry for the 14th challenge of The Artist Challenge. It is my 9th consecutive entry and I almost missed completing it in time. I submitted it about one hour before it premiered, too close for comfort!

At the premier, Vikki North, the site administrator, announces the next months challenges. For August the two topics are, at first glance - nothing! But after some consideration, I know they will be both challenging and interesting. They are "No-Theme Theme" and "Anonymous". Yes, this will be interesting indeed!

I am very pleased with this painting. I was a little apprehensive about this one for some reason. As usually is the case, the worry is not necessary.

Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.
~Leo Buscaglia

OK, my friends, it is off to a few hours of sleep for me. I have things to do this weekend!