Thursday, January 15, 2015

New Blog: Depicting Things

2014 was a blur for me. So much happened in my life I can't even recall all of it. While much of it was challenging and took a lot of processing to get through, I thank God for each thing that happened because I know it was all part of the process of refining me like gold in the fire.

Without going into a lot of detail. let me mention that I moved no less than three times last year. Do you know how disruptive moving can be? Half the time I didn't even know where my paints were, let alone have a place to work, but even when I had them at hand I had little inspiration to use them.

Our last move was all the way across the country, from Albuquerque NM, our home for 36 years, to Amherst NY, my husband's boyhood home. We relocated to help care for his mom, whose needs have increased recently.

We arrived here in August, a beautiful time of year. It was warm and sunny, with autumn just beginning to lick at the trees with yellows. As the  palette transmuted to fiery reds and oranges and golds and greens, I found myself starting to paint again.

At first I did more realistic pieces, like these, all of which are 2.5" x 3.5" (except where noted):

Over a short time, I loosened up a little:

1.5" squares

Did I mention that Amherst is a suburb of Buffalo NY? Yes, it is.

My different-kind-of-snow education started in mid-November when over 7 feet of snow fell about 10 miles from us, although we only received seven inches. Still, to have people dying of exposure trapped on the Thruway and roofs caving in under the crushing weight of the snow added a certain, shall we say, focus to my consideration of the realities of living in Western New York.

After the joy of the beautiful fall colors, I was dismayed by the almost black and white palette. Don't get me wrong, we had snow in the mountains east of Albuquerque, but the sun always came out and shone brightly, enhancing the vibrant winter colors. Not so much in Buffalo.

But I started drawing. The freezing weather shook something loose in me, it seems, and I started recording some of the things I was seeing using a simple pencil and eraser in my little Moleskine sketchpad. Simple. Direct. Values oriented. As an art teacher, I preached values, values, values to my students for years. Here's an example of what I've been doing in pencil.

More Snow, Moleskine sketchpad 3.5" x 5.5"
In a way, I think of blogs as being somewhat like picture albums. They're free and easy to set up. I like the creativity of making a new one from time to time. Having this Gouache Blog intact pleases me, showing the work I did in the last six years, but these drawings just didn't seem to fit.

So, I started a new blog devoted to this new season of work. I deliberated for a while about the title, deciding on  Depicting Things. Unlike this blog, devoted to gouache, I'll probably use all kinds of media, returning to gouache from time to time, using pencil, maybe even exploring some other possibilities, since I now know exactly where my art box is located.

Please join me over at my new place. It's been going for a couple of months, so there are some snowy and not-so-snowy subjects to look at. I'm going to post the new gouache paintings over there. Thanks for coming along, but I think this blog is done!

Click here to go right to the new blog: DEPICTING THINGS