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Category Archives: A Commitment to Canvas

Doing the Happy Dance….

Egret Evening 18″x24″

Do you hear me doing my little happy dance?  The Egret canvases are done. At least they are signed and sitting in my studio and I feel in my heart that they are complete. This project was hard for me.  I think part of it was the fact that I was making it all up as I went. I had nothing to look at to see what it would really look like so I just painted what I thought it should look like…LOL

Images are burned into my brain from years of research and studying and loving nature and I’ve retained the essence of people, animals and places seen in person, through coffee table books, photographs and movies. Somehow as I work with paint the sense of place manages to emerge through my artwork.

The first time I became aware of this was when I painted furniture for another business. I had just finished painting a chest with a beach scene of sea grass, palm trees and footprints in the sand when my boss walked up and said, “How do you do that?  I want to live there!” The next time was when I owned my own gallery and was teaching classes. One of my students who had been on safari many times said to me “You’ve been to Africa. You’ve captured the essence of the animals and the country.” I felt very flattered and hated to admit that, no I had never been to Africa. I actually painted how I felt Africa would be.

Often as I paint I think of how it feels and smells to be there. In the jungle, I think of the wetness on the leaves and the gnats flying around for the frogs to eat. How the earthy dampness fills your nostrils and how you can  breathe deeply…real uncontaminated oxygen. In the African savannah, I imagine how the merciless sun bakes the earth and how the crisp dry grasses smell. I think of standing next to the mud hole where the animals gather to drink, the mud sucking the shoes off your feet and the aromas and sounds of the animals filling your senses.

Preening Egret 18″x24″

As I wrote in my last blog…”Life is in the Details.” That’s what my art is all about.  Seeing, feeling, hearing and smelling the details of my subject’s life and transferring the essence of their existence  through paint for others to enjoy.

Creative Juice

I was sitting here in Tampa when my hubbie looked at me and said, “Everyone’s going to forget about your Egret canvases.  You haven’t been blogging.”  I said, “I’ve forgotten about the Egret canvases!”  Business has picked up exponentially this week.  I worked last Saturday and Sunday on a mural job which I rarely work weekends anymore.  Monday and Tuesday I was up and down the 10 foot ladder working a ceiling faux finish job.  Also during that time I managed to squeeze in two look-see appointments for two great commercial murals and booked both of them.  Now we are in Tampa painting doors.  We are finished for the day, thanks to our afternoon thunderstorms and I can take a breath and turn my attention to my blog.

I haven’t touched the canvases since I last blogged.  The Egrets have been sitting on the easel watching me in the evenings.  One evening I noticed how they seemed to glow as the sun shone through our drapes and backlit the canvases.  What a beautiful look.  I may have to investigate adding some kind of lighting behind the canvases.  Bob can figure that one out for me. 

Today on my way to Home Depot for glue and screws, I made a side trip to Michael’s.  My agenda was to pick up paint for a ceramic tile job but first I got side tracked by all the pretty beads and baubles in the front of the store. Show me sparkles or feathers and you can entertain me for hours.  Once I took all of that in I cruised the fabric painting aisle.  Cool colored t-shirts lined the shelves which made me think about designing our polo shirt logo and then finding the right colored polo shirt to represent our business.  Moving on I came to the canvases…big ones and little…fat and thin.  I have an idea for some artwork using all the different sizes but I just haven’t worked it out in my head yet.  Besides I already have a stack of canvases at home.  Of course they aren’t exactly what I need for the project I am thinking about doing.  I resisted temptation to go ahead and buy a few to play around with and moved on to the most dangerous aisle for me.  Brushes and fine art paints are my weakness.  To my delight I found the tube acrylics like the white acrylic I love so much and put 5 different colors in my basket along with a few new brushes and a pack of palette knives in different shapes and sizes.  I am going to have some fun. Finally I made it to the ceramic tile paint, found the colors I needed and added them to my basket.  It was a fun hour and I came away with some creative juice.  I feel excited again about creating new things and I feel excited about life.  It’s been a very good week.

My Commitment to Canvas…A Work in Progress

I am excited!  Today I have a plan…a real plan to take my career in a new direction. My husband has been after me for years to paint my art on canvas besides painting on walls and furniture.  Instead I turned a deaf ear to him .  Recently a gentleman saw a photograph of a canvas I had done while teaching class.  He asked me what gallery could he go to to buy it. Then this weekend we visited an art gallery and as I viewed the many works displayed there I knew that my work has a voice and  should be in a gallery, too.  I simply need to have a collection.  So I’ve thought about it for a few days and started a couple of canvases.  They are sketched and prepped with washes and ready for my brush this afternoon.  First, however I have to finish my design job on an entertainment center for a client. The murals, custom furniture and home decorating jobs are our bread and butter which I cannot neglect.  But today, right here and now, I am making this canvas collection commitment and will blog on it as it progresses.  Can you hear my husband cheering? I will keep you posted!