Wishes In The Wind

One of the many things from my childhood that makes me smile are the memories of picking dandelions that had gone to seed. What a joy it was to pick them, blow, and make wishes in the wind.

Seems easy, but there was a learning curve to it. Blow too hard and the fluffy head of seeds exploded. Blow just right, with pursed lips, and the seeds gently lifted into the air and rose higher and higher with the currents. Blow into the wind and you wound up with seeds in your hair, your mouth, your nose. Not fun.

Making your wish prior to sending them airborne was the ultimate thrill. You just never knew if a seed would carry that wish to the right “unknown” whereby the wish would be granted.

Many a race was run as I would try to be the first to get to a ripe dandelion before friends got there. And many a near fight would take place when, before I could make that wish-filled blow, someone next to me would blow first! Little heathens. There are unwritten rules for making dandelion wishes.

I still enjoy watching a child following the ages old tradition of picking one of these magical weeds and making a wish prior to blowing it into the air. Sharing that moment with a child is even better. The younger they are, the more magical the moment is.

However, if the magical, wish inducing, dandelion being blown into the air was found in my yard… then I really hope the wind is blowing away from my lawn.

Those things grow, you know… like weeds!

When It’s Hot, Paint Cool!

Summer is still here. The outside temperatures make that quite clear. Though I’m not a plein air type of girl and regularly paint inside where there’s air conditioning, I often find myself needing to paint in response to the heat outside. In other words, I need to paint cool.

So…. what is painting cool? Stripping down to your underwear (or your birthday suit) when you paint? (Maybe.) Putting your easel and your feet in your kids’ plastic pool? Misting yourself with ice water? Physically, all of these would indeed cool you down, but that’s not what I mean.

For me, painting cool means two fairly simple decisions. Choice of colors and choice of scene.

Think about it. We are very influenced by colors and composition (i.e. the scene). Our brains equate certain colors with temperature and time of season. We indeed often feel what we see.

Want to beat the heat? Want to paint cool? Mix up cool blues, some blue grays, various shades of purple, some pinks, some colors that evoke the many shades of white… then paint a cold snow covered treeline, a barn in winter, a figure bundled up with the hint of flakes falling, mountains with their highest peaks covered in snow. Or, as I did above, paint a frozen lake. Even the colors of autumn will get your brain to imagining cooler days and nights.

Painting cool works. At least until you open the door and walk outside. One more thing, this winter, when you’re actually cold… paint warm.

Purple At Sunset: The Painting

Purple At Sunset
oil and cold wax painting

It’s rare that I start an oil and cold wax painting with an idea already in mind. I usually throw on a base color and then start slapping down a combination of other colors until shapes emerge that kind of direct how the painting turns out.

However, (surprise!) this time I had a definite idea of what I wanted to paint… a sunset evolving into shades of purple as night falls. So, with inspiration from many beautiful photos of purple at sunset, I just had to pull out my purple, magenta, orange, and white tubes of paint, my palette knives, a brush, and get to mixing and painting!

To me, it’s no wonder that so many artists, photographers, and writers find themselves moved to express themselves in some way after, or while, they watch a setting sun. Sunsets are one of nature’s many gifts of color to those who choose to stop and look. Color which changes in the richness of tones depending on the weather, the seasons, and things in the sky or on the ground which reflect those colors. It’s a glorious transition of light to dark as the sun dips below the horizon line.

I love sunsets. I like to paint them (or attempt to) and I like to take photos of them… especially when there are clouds in the sky. They are just too lovely to ignore! Are you a fan of sunsets? Do they move you in any way? Maybe you prefer to watch the sun rise? Those are lovely too, if you’re a morning person. I don’t see too many sunrises now. I’m retired. I get to sleep in.

View From the Cabin: Painting With Blue

View From the Cabin Confession

First of all, I do not have a cabin near a lake. I do not have a cabin near a river. I do not have a cabin near a stream. I do not have a cabin near a drainage ditch. I do not have a cabin at all. But if I did, it would absolutely have a view. However; I have been in various cabin type structures in different locations quite a few times during my lifetime. So this scene is kind of a compilation of the real and the unreal. Did it start out this way? Of course not! When I started this canvas, the only thing I was sure of was that painting with blue was the main objective.

View From the Cabin

The Need for Painting With Blue

You may or may not know this, but art galleries will often have exhibitions where they put out a “call to artists” and you need to meet the theme of that particular exhibition. Well, this particular gallery’s theme coming up is Blue. So painting with blue was the main requirement.

Easy peasy. I LOVE all the wonderful shades you can get using blue (any shade) adding small (or large) amounts of white or black. I decided to go for it. The entry fee was reasonable and I hoped the “jury” would take anybody who paid. (I’ve seen and been in a few shows where it sure seemed that way, but then to be fair, art is in the eye of the beholder.)

I pulled out my black, white, and ultra-marine blue oils and my little pot of cold wax. I slapped some lines of black. I swished large splashes of straight ultra-marine. I mixed various shades of the blue and let them dance across the canvas. I jumped back in with white. Go girl! Let loose! I had an abstract on my canvas!

From Abstract to Landscape

Once again, I just couldn’t leave it alone. Yes, there are shapes, colors, and values and all kinds of fun things in an abstract, but I kept seeing ghost images of things recognizable. And I couldn’t leave it alone. Hence, a cold winter night slowly developed on my canvas. I know that’s just how my brain works. I see recognizable images in just about everything. I also know that I’m kind of tired of summer temperatures still hanging on here in North Texas. Maybe subconsciously, I’m hoping for a future cold winter night with a view… from a cabin.

P.S.

My painting got accepted. I’ll be dropping it off to thegallery 8680 next month. HAPPY DANCE!!!! Let’s hope it finds a forever home.