Thursday, November 30, 2006

Complimentary Complements

The American Heritage Dictionary says: "Complement and compliment, though quite distinct in meaning, are sometimes confused because of the context. Complement means 'something that completes or brings to perfection' : The antique silver was a complement to the beautifully set table. Compliment means 'an expression of courtesy or praise' : He gave his hostess a compliment on her beautifully set table.

I would say that a perfectly thoughtful compliment is the unparalleled complement to any conversation.

In the case of art, what this blog is about, there is such a thing as complementary colors. These colors are exact opposites on the color wheel. For instance, the opposite of red is green, therefore they are complementary colors.

In the newest painting in the works, I decided to paint the entire background basics in complementary colors. So far, the sky is a pale orange, the shrubbery is deep red, the tree is dark yellow, and the rest is a cross between tan and pale yellow. It looks pretty cool, and my daughter, Anna suggested that I work in solids for the whole piece. Maybe. When it dries, I can start working in the complementary colors to create the piece/painting that's already in my head. The complement of the sky will be a pale blue. There will be a variety of greens in the shrubbery. The tree's basic color scheme will be lavender, with violet blues (or blue violets) in the background. Some of the background colors will peek through on the finished piece.

But I just so happen to think that these colors will also be excessively polite to one another. "Oh, aren't your color variations stunning today?" "Oh no, not me, I insist that it's you who has the lovely hue."

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Art of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, what a concept. Gather friends and/or family for a mighty feast, and remember events from the past year for which we are grateful. No pressure, no stress....just thanks.

To paint pours vitality into my soul, and I am thankful.

Time is an amazing gift. May we all use it well.

And it's pretty wonderful to have dear ones in my life.

For what are you thankful?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A Square to Spare

Today's Via Colori sidewalk painting extravaganza was magical....and exhausting. Because it was such a public event, there was time to chat while painting. The most common questions were: 1. Have you ever done this before? answer--"no." 2. Would you do it again? which I answered, "Like having a baby, not any time soon." 3. Does your back hurt? answer--"I feel like Cro-Magnon man every time I try to stand upright." Ouch.

For inspiration, I copied my own painting, Arches at San Jose Mission-2, and worked almost non-stop from 10 in the morning until 6 in the evening. (Several people walking by recognized the mission!) Reese was my everlasting support.

Again, the event was to raise money for the Center for Hearing and Speech here in Houston. Over 100 local artists participated, with at least two "ringers" flown in from California.

100 square feet sponsored by Simmons and Company International!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Nick of Time

Last week Monday, we dropped the paintings off at the gallery. I came home to empty walls, and wasn't prepared for the onslaught of raw emotions that assaulted me. What had I done?

By Tuesday, David, the gallery owner had curated the exhibit, and everything looked great. He gave us a small tour, and wall after wall put the paintings in the best possible light, literally and figuratively. Toward the end of the walk through, he said, "I need one more painting for the show. Do you have one more small vertical painting for this wall?", and then he showed us a small wall that indeed could use a small painting. I mentioned a few paintings that I still had at home, and he said, "too big, wrong size, not you have anything else? Can you paint something?"

Dumbly, I said, "Sure, no problem."

So right away, I went to the art supply store, bought an 8" x 10" canvas, stopped at the florist on the way home, bought some tulips, got home, set up a still life in my studio, and started a new painting. I say still life, but tulips are anything but still. They kept following the sun, and opening and closing, so that I finally had to just paint them in place. Painting that day and the next did wonders for my fragile psyche.

Every painting needs a frame, and bless his heart, when I agreed to paint another image, Reese also agreed to have it framed in time for the show on Thursday. We both got busy; me in the studio, and Reese in the garage with all his tools. Mind you, Reese made at least 50 frames for the show...not one accident. But making this tiny frame, he sliced off the end of his right index finger and fingernail. Lord, have mercy. He almost passed out on the kitchen floor.

We both finished our parts by 2 o'clock on Thursday afternoon, and when we got to the gallery at 6, handed the wet painting (and the haiku description card) to David Baquero, who put it in it's place. The end.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Big Event

The gallery show went wonderfully well. There were a few glitches and things that we forgot, but nothing that made the evening less fun.

Starting at 6pm, or slightly before, we had a few people lining up outside the gallery waiting for the keys to arrive. For our part, earlier in the day we mentioned to the gallery owner that we would see him by 5:30, and he said not to worry...just show up at 6, that people don't usually come to galleries before 7. We had already communicated that several people had told us that they were going to stop by between work and supper, so I knew we would have a small crowd there early, and we did.

The crowd kept arriving. It was great to see everyone enjoying themselves. My friend, Michael Coker drove Elli and Erin in from Austin---sweet! Some of my youngest friends came; the Jonsson boys turned the evening into some sort of project to find the paintings in numerical/alphabetical order---very cute. A family who used to live in Jamaica recognized the beach scene before they saw the name of the painting. That was cool. Several people said that when they realized that all the description cards were in haiku, they went back through the exhibit and re-read everything and re-looked at all the paintings based on the haiku descriptions.

The one thing we didn't do was get pictures---bummer. If anyone has any photos of the evening, I would appreciate some copies.

The whole event was a whirlwind. Many thanks to all who attended. It truly made a special evening absolutely wonderful.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Driving Miss Crazy

Morning is my most sluggish time of the day. It takes a while to get my motor running, and then it needs another kick around 10:30 or so. Morning people must accomplish more things than I do....because my day drags until just before lunch. Of course, then it's time to actually eat lunch, which takes more time, so that my day really gets started at around 12:30.

This morning, I thought it would be a good idea to practice for next weekend's street painting extravaganza. Remember, I'm "painting" a ten foot by ten foot square in the middle of a street downtown, to raise money for the Center for Hearing and Speech.

Amazingly, I think I made it outside by 10-ish. Reese helped me mark off a giant square on our driveway, and I sketched and started working on an image that I thought would look great for the festival. Turns out that it was a big mess. So I washed off the first image, got out the leaf blower to dry the driveway, and got to work on a second image.

Good grief. It is so challenging. I, for the life of me, couldn't figure out proportions, even after Reese came inside and made a grid of the whole image. And I am worn out, and didn't even finish a one foot by one foot portion of the whole thing. And it's the time, but I am out of gas.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Good Press

Here is a link to the article by Nick Keppler in the Night and Day section of the Houston Press.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Amazing Reese

My husband is amazing. He's building all the frames for the show. As he finishes each frame, he frames each painting, and brings them back inside to hang on the walls. These frames have transformed the collection painting by painting, until it looks like we are living in an art gallery. His fine craftsmanship helps the eye focus on the painting, not the space around it. While they are absolutely perfect for the paintings, they might easily be overlooked. When you come to the show, and everything looks great, it will be in part because Reese has done such an outstanding job with the frames. He's putting the finishing touches on the last three frames today.

By the way, he also built the art studio website from scratch, and photographs all the paintings.