Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Warm Memories

It’s cold and grey today, makes me want to post a whimsical summer painting. This is my dad, and it’s imaginatively titled “Bike Ride.” Bet he feels like he’s ten years old again. Makes me smile every time.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sweet Dreams

These are two paintings I particularly like for their sedative effect. The cat is our former pet, Junior.
He didn’t show up for breakfast one morning, and our neighbors say probably the coyotes got him—we did actually hear them howling in the cornfields the night before, but that’s too gruesome to even consider.
The fact is, we’re fairly certain he joined the circus.
I don’t know why we didn’t see it coming, given that one of his predecessors did the very same thing. Should have suspected it—I mean, the pinups of kitties in tutus, riding unicycles wearing clown makeup…I guess we were just in denial. For a house or farm cat, circus life is a real lure—he was a stray after all. We don’t blame Junior, but a post card or something would have been nice.
That was years ago—I suppose we should stop hoping.

I found a stray kitten on the roadside recently—we named him Expendable

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Begining of The End

It is true that some of my paintings have won awards. This one, Bowl of Cherries (as a writer you would think I could come up with a more imaginative name), won a Best of Show award. I was allowed to glance at the little notation, written by one of the judges. I wanted to stand there and memorize it, line by line, but I hated to appear self-absorbed; all I remember was “technically precise”, and it is that.

In that same show, I also entered this imaginatively titled work, Lauren Sketching. She took the Peoples’ Choice award. In all honestly, though, I think the poll was rigged. Lauren is a friend of mine with a very large extended family, and I wouldn’t put it past some of them to stuff the ballot box. But, who am I to argue with the numbers? Besides, the prize was something like $50.00, enough to keep me in paint and paper for a year.

Before you get all impressed, I should tell you that it was only a county fair. Yes, it's true that the art show was separated from the pie contest, veggies exhibits and cow stalls, but the blue ribbons did look exactly alike… Okay, in all fairness, and out of respect for fellow entrants and administrators, I should emphasize that there were some very accomplished artists, in fact the show had an amateur and professional division. I entered the amateur division for years (in my opinion, I did not meet the 'professional' criteria: sells or teaches art). The last year, before we moved, the administrators 'forced' me to enter under professional.

The hardest part of those shows was claiming the awards, and retrieving my paintings. That could be done only within a brief window of time, during which all the other artists milled about.

When no one was looking, I removed my paintings, hoping to claim my money-laden envelopes and flee.

“Oh, J.B. Chicoine…” that’s how I sign everything, but my name, Bridget, was right on the entry form in front of the woman at the claim station, announcing my presence. I cringed at how pretentious J.B. sounded, and suddenly I had an audience asking me questions.

“How did you get that texture on her jeans?”, and “I would just love to stand over your shoulder and watch you paint...”

‘Really?’ I thought, ''cause I’d rather be stripped naked and chased down Main Street by an angry mob, than have someone watch me paint.’ I smiled and said nice things back, amazed that they actually thought I was an artist.

Oh, what the heck, just call yourself an artist for Pete’s sake. So, I did. Thus ended possibly the most prolific painting spree of my life. I think I started and finished nearly 10 painting in a year’s time, most of them in a span of weeks.

Now, when I pass a favorite, hanging on the wall, I pause and wonder? Did I actually paint that?

I wonder if I can ever paint that good again.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Deviant Bees

This is a series I worked on immediately after all that cut glass. A reprieve from tedium, in a way. It is unlike all my other work, in that I exercised a fair bit of imagination from that otherly side of my brain. They are not fairies; they are Bumble Bá Bees, another thing entirely.
What I really like about them is that each one is dismantling flowers—deviant little bees!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fried Synapses

I love—used to love—painting glass. This project may have cured me of that obsession. It is only 9 ½” x 7”, the typically small size I like—used to like—to work with. All those little facets of cut glass seemed like a good idea when I chose that bowl from among my Grandma Bee’s treasures. It is not the last painting I completed, but I think the intensity of it shorted out some of my creative synapses.

It's called Amber & Cut Glass

Sunday, August 16, 2009

An Award

Laura Martone, from Laura’s Simple Pleasures just nominated me for this award; an award for which I just recently nominated her.
I understand there are rules and niceties involved here, which are as follows:

The rules are:
1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award. Thank you Laura!
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog. It’s in the left hand pane
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award. Laura
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting. See below, if you think they might be interesting
5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers. I cheated, if you’re interested in knowing why, go here
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate. (Or the 4)
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they have been nominated. I didn’t do this right the first time around, I just e-mailed them—see how poorly rules and I get along…

That said, since I was kindly nominated for said award on my writing blog, and because I had difficulty fulfilling the aforementioned and sometimes veer toward deviance, I am simply relisting the aforementioned lists on my aforementioned blog, while waiting for the blogging etiquette police.

Here they are: well, 4 of them...
Laura's Simple Pleasures
A Walk In My Shoes
Weronika's Novel-in-Progress
Elana Johnson, Author

7 Things about me that may or may not be interesting…
1) This one’s easy, because there’s a link on my blog—I’m a watercolorist.
2) This one’s also easy because there’s an additional link on my blog—I’m a watercolorist who hasn’t finished a painting in over a year.
3) I’m relatively new to blogging. The first time I entered a comment on some forum, (back in March) I freaked out and couldn’t sleep until I deleted pretty much everything in my profile.
4) When people meet me for the first time, they think I’m gregarious and funny. They don’t realize that I simply get over-stimulated in social situations and then need a great big nap afterward.
5) My husband and I have moved quite a number of times. People think we have wanderlust or that we’re running away from something. The truth is, we’ve simply been left unsupervised for too long.
6) I had a nightmare once, where ‘They’ told my husband and I, “We’re sorry…It’s been brought to our attention that you have exceeded the ‘Lifetime Quota for Marital Bliss’. The two of you must separate immediately!” NOOOooooo!!!!
7) I used up all my best material writing this list.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Something Old! and—well, more exciting than …

Okay, I’m really tired of having no recently completed paintings to post. This blog is truly a disgrace, and, I have to say, a bit demoralizing. Therefore, in the interest of preserving a modicum of dignity, I am shamelessly posting one of my favorite works. Never mind about how long ago I completed it…

It's Called: Deb's Kitchen

Monday, June 1, 2009

My Last Big Completed Project—More Than Just Painting

When I thought I had finished my first novel, Girl Running, I couldn't wait to see it in print. I worked on some cover art, and went all out with my graphics software, and at the same time came across http://nomediakings.org/doityourself/doityourself_book_press.html. That was all the inspiration I needed. (Hamish MacDonald also has a nifty website, http://www.hamishmacdonald.com/)
Here are some snippets of the art that went into the project…
I know, it looks like she's wearing a bra—I actually thought white was compositionally appropriate, but polkadots or stripes might have been a better choice.
I got out some of my art supplies, and painted them. Then did the same with an old photo of a piano keyboard that I warped in my graphics software, and came up with these two elements...

You may be wondering, 'Why paint brushes and a keyboard?" My protagonist, Leila, is impossibly talented— that's why.
Next, some interior accents—Chapter Headers and the fist letter of each chapter, sort of like illumination, but not so elaborate.

...and some of those little 'thingies' placed between sections of a book...

I put all that together, printed my signatures, sewed them together, and trimmed them (Okay, my husband did the trimming—he won't let me use sharp implements for reasons that don't require much imagination). Then I put them in the cover, and this is what I came up with...

Notice the neat little jacket sewn into the back, for the soundtrack—and yes, I know I can't distribute it without copyright permissions...
Whether or not I find a publisher for Story for a Shipwright, I plan to do the same with it, but this time I hope the manuscript will be all polished and complete before I bind it…

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Black and White to Color

I think I may have bit off more than I was ready to commit to with this one—it’s the first time I tried to translate a black and white photo to color. I do love the composition, though. It's hard to tell in this photograph, but the old woman is pulling those last bits of feathers from a chicken! What I like so far about this attempt is the old woman's arm—don't know why, but it makes me want to finish it!

Friday, May 29, 2009

A Stalled Portrait

I've always loved painting portraits, but I started this one and just couldn't get beyond, 'what if it doesn't look like her'...that's why I moved on to a still life—thought all the hard lines might feel less ominous, I mean, after all, a vase is a vase, right?

A Successfully Completed Still Life

This is one I completed a few years ago, so I know I have it in me...and yes, it is a watercolor. I know there's little left to the imagination, but I can't help myself!

Got Stuck on This

I started this one but just lost interest...maybe it's a case of been there, done that.

Writing Instead of Painting

Over the past 2 years I've worked on 3 novels. My first 2 were, shall I say, verbose—the first at 150,000 words. I pitched it as Women’s Fiction only to learn it was Young Adult—150,000 words? No takers. So what. The sequel was only 123,000.

Story for a Shipwright is a modest 89,000 words of Commercial Fiction. I’m hoping to send out queries over the summer, and then move back toward painting, which used to be my primary creative outlet. These days, I find more satisfaction in writing. Maybe if I get the stories out of my head and onto paper, then I'll be able to go back to the drawing table, pick of one of my fine-point sable brushes, and it will behave for me. For now, perhaps I'll post a few of my watercolor works in progress—maybe that will motivate me...it's worth a try... Besides, I've learned that writers need to take a long break from a story before the final edit—as if I could stay away from it that long.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to break the record for the most posted query revisions on The Public Query Slushpile—I’m not really, but I seriously think my borderline OCD has just gone full-blown! How embarrassing, once you hit the ‘POST’ button and can’t take it back…