Monday, September 28, 2009

Art Challenge #18: Hidden Treasures

Hidden Treasures
acrylic on 12" by 16" by 3/4" Centurian LX linen gallery wrapped canvas
SOLD to Sheila $206

I'd like to tell Sherry, Irina, Megha and Mary Thank you.
Thank you for your interest in me and my work.
Thank you for your kind comments.
Thank you for believing in me and letting me know.
You are all so special to me and I want to tell you in a special way, UP TOP!

This is the seventeenth challenge for The Artist Gallery, Hidden Treasures. I got up Saturday morning and took pictures of the special places where I keep treasures in my house. The painting is a composite of 3 things. The first is a shelf from one of my bookcases. The dolls are on a desk in my living area, the blue wizard is a favorite of mine. The antique powder shaker is from my grandmothers, it was in the bedroom I always stayed in; I don't know where it originally came from. I'm happy with this painting. It took many hours, for that, I was surprised!
The following quotes can say it better than I can.
About books:
  • Books may well be the only true magic. ~Alice Hoffman

  • For books are more than books. They are the life, the very heart and core of ages past, the reason why men lived and worked and died, the essence and quintessence of their lives. ~Amy Lowell

  • There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island ... and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life. ~Walt Disney

About memories:

  • As humans we look at things and think about what we've looked at. We treasure it in a kind of private art gallery. ~Thom Gunn
  • The many memories I will forever treasure. ~K. Hooton, from Just Not The Same

  • The secret of a happy life isn't buried in a treasure chest... it lies within your heart. ~Author Unknown, from Life is for Living

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Art Challenge #17: The Gift

acrylic on 11" by 14" by 3/4" gallery wrapped 'The Edge' canvas
SOLD to Joy & Scott $178 plus $11 shipping

This is the 17th challenge for The Artist Challenge. It is so much fun working with this challenge and the great group of people. This challenge is The Gift - Wow - the sky is the limit with this one! AND, this is a special landmark for me! This is my 12th consecutive entry. The Artist Challenge is the 1st challenge I ever entered. I hope to make another dirty dozen! Well, maybe dirty isn't the right adjective, but what the heck! It make a good movie!

This is painted after the old master Gustav Klimt. The painting, The Three Ages of Woman was painted in 1905, oil on canvas, 180 x 180cm. It is now located in Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Rome, Italy. The painting is of an obviously older, distraught, standing woman looking down on a full standing young woman holding a child. For some reason, the painting is often divided into two or three images and made into posters and prints. I chose to paint the torso of only the young mother holding a child which is called Mother and Child.

There is nothing more precious than a mothers love for her child.
There is no gift on earth that is more precious to a mother.
My daughter is my gift. My daughter is precious to me.
I could think of nothing else when challenged to paint 'THE GIFT'!

I'm am including the whole painting, The Three Ages of Woman. It is such an interesting and complex painting. It takes a few minutes to take it all in. I included two different sites about Gustav Klimt above. They are both worth visiting. I hope you enjoy it!

Thank you for stopping by. It is always good to see you!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Self Portrait Global Love In Challenge #2

Self Portrait #3

soft pastel on 61/4" by 91/2" tan velour pastel paper

OK, I'm adding this on - the point is the Self Portrait Global Love In Challenge #2, hosted by David Lobenberg. This is such a successful Challenge, probably because it started with David and our friend Milind Mulick from Pune, India. It drew attention from a world wide audience. There were many artists from Spain. Anyway, David, being pretty clever, I'd say, waited several months before offering the second challenge. This time, our self portrait is to include a hat or some type of head covering. For those of you that know me, or maybe just seen my picture on line, I am seldom without a hat. I don't even remove it when I lay down!

I remember the first hat I was attracted to was a little royal blue billed cap that came with a Beneton promotion for the perfume Colors. Remember that fragrance? I got that hat in about 1988, still have it in fact, although I no longer wear it. I probably wore that hat four years before I added to that collection. Crazy little things - without rhyme or reason - can start a life long passion!

I have written a long and detailed account of the origin of the photograph this painting was taken from. I hope it is interesting and I hope you read and enjoy it. But, all the details for this painting challenge have now been covered!

Is it proper to say you love your own work? Or even better/worse your own self portrait? Well, proper or not, I love this drawing! I love the hat, the shirt, the beads, the drop-off of color on the bottom and most important, the origin of the original photograph. The photograph was taken by a brilliant Jacksonville portrait photographer, Pete Helow.

Pete Helow is a patient and kind man! He had to be to put up with the day my family descended upon his studio - like a horde of locus! He is multi-talented and multi-faceted, being also a musician and now an aspiring pilot! I like people that do lots of varied things - you never call someone like that dull! But here is the story of what he did for me and for my family.

In May 2008, I saw a commercial on TV advertising his photography studio. I loved the work I saw and knew immediately that I would meet Pete and it was going to be expensive and a really big undertaking! My 60th birthday was approaching, October to be exact!

For my 40th birthday, I put together an album I called "My 40 Year Retrospective". It was a huge undertaking and took me months and lots of dollars. I started at my 1st picture as I was carried out of the hospital. I took every year and attempted to include the house I lived in, my friends and pets, my birthday and anything else that seemed interesting for that year. I combed through every family album that I could find.

My Father had taken slides most of our growing up years and I was especially interested in finding a photo of my first dog, Gaman, a little toy poodle mix that had been given to me when I was about 10 years old. I couldn't resist a couple of other slides and started by having a handful converted into prints. Remember that at that time, the late 1950's, most photo's were still printed in B&W and these were modern day size and beautiful colors. When my Brother saw them, he said "Beckie, did you find an old roll of film that hadn't been developed?"

I suppose the hand writing is - or was - already on the wall. Both my brother Bruce and my sister Beverly wanted their own Retrospective! This became a massive project but worth every minute. I still remember the joy of working long hours every night after work, the organization it required to select the photo's by year and subject for each of the three Retrospectives, taking them out and picking them up for reprints and then labeling them with the best information I could find and finally organizing them into each album. Whew! I'm impressed all over again!

For my 50th Birthday, I decided to do a Timeline of my life. Although not as glamorous as the Retrospectives, it also became a massive project - just a more personal one. I used Excel and it took 36 pages. I included every year by 6 month intervals.

* My Immediate Family, Extended Family, Friends and Co-Workers - Births, deaths and Marriages
* Mine and my daughter Mary Ellen's - Babysitters/Daycare, Schools, jobs with hourly wage and annual income and cross-reference schools for Beverly & Bruce - we were seldom ever in the same schools due to age differences
* Homes - location with addresses and monthly rent or mortgage payments
* All pets - YES - 50 years worth!
* My BFF's and friends in general
* Facts, Antidotes and Events
* Presidents and Wars
* Headlines & Media Blitz'
* Trivia - This and the above 3 requiring hours and hours in the Library!
* Things about my Dad
* Things about my Mom

So, for my 60th birthday, I again had the urge to celebrate the landmark! But I didn't just want photographic portraits of me, I wanted one great portrait of "the sisters" and we would coordinate our outfits. If Bruce had been alive, I would probably have done the siblings, but with his passing, my sister-in-law Barbara became my sister. I have actually posted about Barbara and our relationship in previous posts. Since Mary Ellen is grown, she also falls into the "sisters" category. But, first I had to convince them how important this was to me and I would like them to join me without a lot of grief. Lucky for all of us, they got it! In fact, they ended up loving it - the planning, the shoot and especially - the finished product.

I met with Pete and his hair and make-up artist, Rene a week before the session to find out as many details as possible. Then I had a strategy planning session with Bev, Barb & ME. We color coordinated at least four outfits, selected props and jewelry. On the day of the shoot, we arrived - each with a large suitcase and tons of bags. I think Pete & Rene were surprised to see how 'heavy' we were traveling! Rene set out styling hair and make-up on each one of us. By the time the shoot was over, we had been at it over five hours! I was exhausted and looked it in the later pictures.

The one great group portrait turned out to be the least of the entire process! But did we ever have fun. It was probably one of the absolutely most fun family events we have ever done together. We ended up with coffee table books, the one Mary Ellen and I share has 27 pictures in it!

And you know what? I credit Pete and Rene with making our adventure a lasting memory that will out survive us all! However, as our family dwindles down to branches without leaves, I just hope some future obscure cousin will be interested their ancestors.

On a funny note, I was telling my physician who is my age, about my 40, 50 and 60th birthday commemorations. I said, "I'll guess I'll have to come up with some other idea for my 70th birthday"! He thought a moment and said this, "Gee, I'm hoping to just show up"! How right he is!

Please, click on Pete's link to see his web site and beautiful work. He is a treasure and gave my family a wonderful gift on my 60th birthday!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

NZ Art Guild Challenge #9 - old house

Taramea Bay Road, Southland, NZ
acrylic on 11" by 14" by 3/4" gallery wrapped canvas
Creative Mark "The Edge" painted on sides
available $179 plus $11 shipping
email me for PayPal invoice

The NZ Art Guild Challenge #9, this old house! I was very enchanted with this house when I first saw it. However, I had just finished a house on a lot for the London challenge with The Virtual Paintout. So, I turned the house around and visualized it as looking out the front door!

Then, I had to find something to look out onto. So, I went to Google Street View Maps and ventured around New Zealand. I started at the tip and ended at the middle where the country divides, near Nelson. I believe that is called the South Island. I loved everything I saw, but decided on the image I found at the bottom of the country in Southland. The house had a beach feel and look, so I thought it was important to have a beach or coastal look.

Then I got really, really interested in where I am, in Jacksonville Beach, Florida in relation to New Zealand. So, I went back to Google maps and finally to MSN encarta World Atlas.
This first globe represents about 1/3 of the globe. You can see in the bottom left corner, Southland, New Zealand and in the upper right corner, Jacksonville Beach, Florida.
The second globe represents the second third of the globe. It looks to me like Jacksonville Beach, Florida is about the same distance from South Africa. People go to Africa all the time and never think anything of it, but when you say you are going to New Zealand, everyone thinks you are going to the other side of the world!

This last globe just shows the last third of the globe. Now that is the other side of the world!

I've never had much interest in traveling outside North America. There is SO much in the United States to see, somethings I've seen and would love to see again and so much I've not seen. AND, Canada has a special place in my heart and interest.

However, now with the art challenges, meeting artists all over the world and Google Street View Maps, I am beginning to want to travel. South America, Africa, New Zealand and Australia to start with! Just think, with a computer, a bag of cloths and plenty of art supplies, you never have to go home again if you don't want too!

For your information, in case you're wondering, I DO still want to go home!