In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season furniture was rearranged to make way for our beautiful live and traditionally tall tree.  Artworks were also rearranged to make place for the decor (and frankly to make room at the dining room table!).  Then things calm down (it was eerily quite and lonely when my loved ones left town!) and the post-holiday cleaning and organizing begin.

Let me state here that there was very little PRE-holiday cleaning but there were valid reasons for that.  Then there’s the procrastination factor.  And the it-was-just-a-busy-time factor.  A poor excuse is better than none, right?

Anyway, I noticed two works of mine that had been absent-mindedly placed together.  Oddly enough they share a common theme.  One is an oil pastel painting of a friend’s daughter’s hands holding a broken bird egg.  The other is an assemblage of my zentangled eggs and other objects.

This got me thinking about themes in an artist’s body of work.  I am currently working on a series of portraits of friends and family that show a variety of emotions, so there’s a theme.  They are/will be drawn and painted, as per my favorite media.  But the egg assemblages are a completely new medium for me, originally the solution to an overabundance of drawn on eggs.  Creating them almost made me feel as if I were two different artists because they are so removed from the 2-d work, I even made separate Instagram and Facebook pages for them.  But now there is a connection, although I’m not planning on creating more egg paintings just to justify that (come to think of it, I DO have another egg painting, lol!).

Comments welcome!

egg drawing and assemblage
Accidental but happy placement of works.
detail egg box
Detail of egg in hand-made paper “nest”.
angel overlooks the decorating
The tree-top angel was checking out Duncan’s work!
detail egg in hand drawing
Detail of oil pastel painting.

New Works in Oil Pastels

This summer I didn’t sign up for any out-of-state workshops like I usually do (sorry Johnna).  There was, after all, a grand baby coming along.  And he IS grand, but this is an art blog so I’ll stop at that, heehee.

So instead I took a community college art class in another county.  I love being in class, it makes me commit myself to the work, and gets me in a routine (which somehow I am sorely lacking).  The instructor was great and if I’d had thin skin my feelings would have been hurt the first day, but his criticism was constructive and much-needed.  Also, he’s 84 years young!

It seemed that taking oil paintings on the road would be a little cumbersome in my little red car (appropriately named “Lil Red”) so I decided on working in oil pastels.  That and the fact a dear friend commented how much she liked my works in the medium.  Ok, I love working with them but it had been quite a while so her comment jump-started me back into this creamy, malleable medium.

One of these works was “just for fun” (Black-Eyed Susans), one was commissioned (Sisters) by a grandmother, and the single portrait (Going Somewhere) was from a former student’s selfie while working on a make-up business venture.  Remember, I never take or appropriate photos without permission.  Well, hardly ever.  As a matter of fact, I’m really excited about the next two drawings (or paintings, as oil pastel purists call them), photos from friends are the inspiration, but I want to use them as a springboard into more expressive work.  Stay tuned.

“Going Somewhere” is in a competition at the Moore County Arts Council summer show at Campbell House in Southern Pines, NC.

black eyed susan detail
Detail, Black Eyed Susans
black eyed susan
Black-Eyed Susans                  Oil Pastel on Canson Mi-Teintes         200.00
the grand daughters DETAIL
Detail Sisters
the grand daughters
Sisters                 Oil Pastel on Canson Mi-Teintes                         NFS
TM detail eye
Detail – Going Somewhere
TM detail hair
Detail – Going Somewhere
TM 1
Going Somewhere          18″ x 24″   Oil Pastel on Black Canson Mi-Teintes          500.00

The Organization Gene

oil pastel
SISTERS        Oil Pastel      18 x 24″        $600 (framed)

I’ve been doing a lot with oil pastels lately.  Nothing is finished yet so I have zilch to show on the blog,  but there are three pieces  (one commissioned, one experimental floral, one a non-commissioned portrait) on the boards now, another two close behind.  Oil pastel purists call works created with them paintings, but to me it seems like I’m doing a drawing that usually ends up with a painterly quality.  But that’s another topic.  The organization of one of my favorite media is the topic for today.  I have abused mine and in return this has hindered the efficiency of my work because I have to search through the piles of pastels to find the colors I need.  So I decided to really organize them.

Organization is an on-going battle for me.  I didn’t get that gene.  I do work hard sometimes to get things organized and then things just explode (I know, one should REPLACE things after they are used).  And as I write I look at the stacks of books and papers beside the computer, so much to do, so little time!

Anyway, today I went to Harbor Freight with friends and bought me a really cool tool box for what I think was a good price.  It has drawers with dividers and will be easy to carry around.  The pastels are sorted into cool, warm and neutral groups.  The box is labeled.  I was going to have one drawer labeled “for works in progress” but knowing me, that would defeat that whole putting things back idea.

I just have to put the little things back in the compartments.  I can do this.

Now, about that desk…