Wednesday, February 25, 2009

new blog & news

I've started an art blog. I think I need to keep this one focused on Brandon, and it's too much about me. I'll put the address on my links list- This will give me opportunity to share my work with friends on a regular basis, and be more disciplined about sharing Bran's letters in this one, and what's going on in prison and recovery ministry.

We started a new group at the jail two weeks ago. I say "new", but really, it was made up of women I've seen before. That was really discouraging, and yet, I simply believe my being there, our being there, is something that wouldn't be happening if God did not allow it, and it is important. If we weren't there, our influence would not be exerted in these precious lives, and Lord knows they need positive and truthful, helpful influence. What happens with it is up to them.

Brandon is well. He is now posting on Shaun Attwood's blog as a regular, which is awesome. Bran loves to write and expresses himself so well. The address is in my links list. Thanks, Shaun. He's doing well, hoping to possibly be transferred. He's a four hour drive away from us, so being 15 minutes away would be more than we could hope for, but he is eligible to put in for it. The only other medium security facility in the state besides Somerset is the one down the road from us. We'll see what happens!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

by george I think she's got it!

I'm allowing myself two things I love today-painting and writing. The above pic is a detail of an acrylic painting I finished today. I decided that if I could not accomplish a portrait that I felt was truly strong in acrylic I'd go back to pencils. There are many reasons why that's not a good idea if I still dream of getting work in a gallery. Pretty much 90% of artists who show work are painters. Artists who work in dry media only have to be exceptional. Not that I'm not, but just about 8 years worth of rejection from CPSA (Colored Pencil Society of America) did not help my confidence. And I admit that while I do good pencil work, I'm not one of the best. I know CP artists in our area, one in particular, who are exceptional. Fine art is so competitive a discipline, one must truly be honest with oneself. Chuckle.

It was hard stretching paper today. I wanted to paint, but not to have another picture that was uneven, ok but not really good, or just blah even if it was good. I'm grateful for people and things that inspire me. I got that on Sunday. And in my reading recently. Really the hardest part of being an artist is finding out who you are and being that person in paint, pencils, whatever...I know what influences I like, I know what I would make myself into if I could-but my college painting instructor always said be the best version of yourself that you can. So hopefully this is it!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

follow up

Well, I did meet Boris and Julie and Dave (see previous post)...we laughed and had a great time just like old friends. And the thing I realize is, no matter how much fame, fortune, success, recognition, all that, a person may realize in this earthly life, the most important things remain the same. I did speak with Julie at length, and it was mostly about kids. She loves her art, to be sure, but it is not the center of her life. She couldn't say enough about my daughter, and it was obvious the affection was mutual. How lovely. And Dave is a wonderful young man. And I thought to myself, little fool that I can be, how often and intensely I have prayed, "God, show me the way. I want to have a full and complete life, send me what I need to complete my art training. Help me, help me." And standing in that crowded gallery, I thought of what lengths in my life He has gone to, even before I ever asked...He knew.

Whispers in my ear
and sends shivers up my spine
It's the gratitude I feel for all that's right
It's a mystery appeal that's been granted me tonight
This peace...

Sunday, February 01, 2009

bragging rights

One of these things is not like the others, the rest of these things are kind of the same...Yes, in the face of such talent, I have decided I shall use my art talent to carve watermelons. (No, I did not carve the owl-I just aspire to do as well, chuckle).
Ok, on to my story. What do the rest of these pictures (paintings) have in common? They were all done by one family, two sons and a mom. I did not include the dad because if I did it would just be depressing. The first picture after the watermelon is by Dave Palumbo, the next by his brother, Tony, and the final two by mom, Julie Bell. And how do I know this? Well, I am going to meet them this Friday. Oh, the stepdad is Boris Vallejo. (Just look him up). My daughter is dating a son, and he was kind enough to issue an invitation to his group show at Artists' House in Philly this week. Part of the reason I got into art was finding Julie Bell's Hard Curves. I had no idea a woman could paint like that.
I'm trying hard to remain calm and be content with my own melons, LOL.