"The true painter strives to paint what can only be seen through his world." ~André Malraux

After a year of intermittant "painter's block"  I am working again in my studio, and feeling in a tentative positive state. Painting is a solitary activity, and as artists, we are often working in a vacuum. Unless we have a show hanging, reaction to the work is minimal. With several pieces underway, I decided that perhaps if I write about what I am doing or am attempting to do, it might act somewhat as a muse for me as well as give me some feedback on the work I am creating -- hence the establishment of this blog. 

As for the blog title, traditional, representational painting is a language for expressing what’s visible. But I feel my work is the most successful, and most interesting, when focused on things not entirely visible. I paint what I see but also what I sense and feel by utilizing my interior and unseen world --- in other words, the invisible world. Plein air work or  studio work from photographs are only touchstones or landmarks which guide me to other inner spaces. By so doing, I find that I am pushing the boundaries between representational and abstract work.

You can enlarge the images in this blog by clicking on them.

Jan 29, 2012

Back to Work

I have not been working in my studio since well before the holidays, much to my dismay. I finally got back in there, and have a large piece started on the easel. I am painting over one of the Yellowstone paintings I did for the book for which I have no real love or use. I had hoped to make it an alla prima, but it has not worked out that way.

My gallery in Lyme called and asked me to bring over some new work for the show they are hanging. They sold both pieces from the last show they had up. I took six over, and they hung three, including this one which I did a few years ago and which I do not think I have put in the blog before:

"Early Snow on the River"  oil on
They also took the Nantucket Cranberry Bog painting, see January 19,2011, and the
landscape I call "When Summer Turns Gold," see March 2, 2011, both of which have been posted here before.

My Nantucket Gallery is finally getting a website up, and I sent in about 16 images to the webmaster. I am looking forward to seeing it when it is finished.

It is hunkering down time, firelight and movie nights at home time. We stay abed late these icy mornings, reading the New York Times on our ipads, snuggled under the soft flannel sheets and quilt. I still manage to haul myself out into the cold to go to my water aerobics as often as I can, but otherwise, I have been very hermity.

It is also time in my life to clean out closets, drawers, trunks, and hopefully soon, attic. The garages will have to wait until warm weather. We have been in this house 14 1/2 years, and although all was perfect when we moved in, we have added the contents of the NJ condo which we sold and contents of parents' apartments after they died. I am in overwhelm with stuff, and am determined to get rid of a lot of it. I am pretending I am moving, and doing the three G's -- making piles of 1) Garbage; 2) Giveaways and 3) Garage sale stuff.

Jan 7, 2012

The New Year

Happy New Year to my three readers of this blog. Maybe four. It doesn't look like January without the deep snow cover we usually have by now, but when I woke up this AM to 5 degree temps, it did FEEL like it.

We celebrated the holidays totally "away" this year, which felt very strange. This is the third Christmas we have traveled down to be with out children after years of them coming to us, but normally they then come up here for Vermont snow party and New Years. This year, it was decided that it was my son's in laws' turn to host New Years in Connecticut, so off we went again. It was all a delight in spite of being elsewhere, and I include a few photos below. 

Because we entertained rather largely this year prior to leaving, we did put the trees up, and filled the house with greenery and candles. Christmas actually came to TWO houses here ... I had to decorate both ours and the Littles' small domain ....

Decorating the tree in the Little house.

Our tree, featuring urn ornament which was originally John's grandmother's.
Mrs. Lily Little making Christmas cookies with daughter Minnie.

 We made real cookies too. My daughter now makes the traditional sugar cookies above, but I still make the molasses cookie cut outs (gingerbread, also above) and we all share.

Christmas Eve at my son's with three of our grandkids was delightful, but for some unknown reason we got very few photos  of their extremely pretty,warm and festive home, or of the glorious Christmas Eve extended family party. My daughter in law outdid herself. Did get this of the granddaughters' singing in their Christmas dresses....

The next morning was the usual and expected happy Christmas chaos of excited children (6, 8 and 11) stocking opening, plentiful gifts and yummy breakfast food. My grandchildren are very, very fortunate children.

They were all asked to give up a gift this year, and instead donate one to a deserving child. And I bought much needed school desks  for children in Africa in each of my four grandkids' names. 

Christmas day we made our way over to our daughter's home, where more gifts were exchanged. Things were calmer there, with just one 5 year old child, but every bit as happy. My  daughter and son in law try to keep things simple over the holidays --- Santa usually brings only one gift to my grandson Nate, plus the stocking, which keeps it very special. One of my favorite photos from the holiday is of Nate opening his magical gift from Santa... wrapped in glowing lights (see above)! (It was a child-friendly camera!)
Their home too was beautifully and simply decorated, including  the enormous beautiful tree in the atrium. Greenery and candles were everywhere. One of my favorite things was the Three Kings, who moved a bit every night as they approached the manger, and on the next to last night, rode the electric train under the tree! See below.
Santa stocking I needlepointed for Nate after he was born

My son on keyboard, grandson on guitar,son in law on banjo, husband on guitar.
On Boxing Day, both families gathered at my daughters's -- a very special time, except my daughter in law was not well. The highlight was the music making, a traditional part of our festivities. This year my oldest grandchild Aidan was allowed to join in the merrymaking on his new guitar, so we had three generations involved. 

New Year's in Sharon, CT at our machatunim's home (spelling??) was a warm, casual, family Eve gathering, and the next day, husband and son cooked our usual southern feast, harking back to John's NC roots. Most of the recipes are his mother's or grandmothers--- black eyed peas, cole slaw, collard greens, corn bread, ribs and fried chicken! Here are the chefs and their creations:
Son and husband in their Nantucket Red aprons surveying their repast.

All I did was make the desserts, dense chocolate cake, and Virginia pecan pie. Nobody starved.

The good news on the gallery front is that I sold two paintings through my gallery in Lyme, NH --  one of which I never even got a good photo of. They went for good prices, but sadly I only get 55% of it. C'est la vie.

Happy New Year to my readers!!!!!