Friday, January 25, 2008

Not Taken for Granted

Lately, my time has been focused on putting together thoughts and words preparing to write a grant proposal. Most people don't realize how much paperwork goes into being an artist. Just this last week, when a new friend found out I was an artist, said,

"Oh! That must be so paint all the time."

To which I replied,

"It's a lot of hard work."

Sure, some days the paint seems to find it's own path, and it feels like I'm painting in the zone. But by and large, it's persistant hard work. Not only is the act of painting a job in and of itself, but the life of an artist requires paperwork out the wazoo; case in point, the grant proposal.

My friend Carrie very kindly wrote an article about my first big solo exhibit a year and a few months ago. As a thank you, I promised her a sketch. She gave me some photos of her kids, we met at at least two different playgrounds for me to take photos of her kids, and then I lost all those images from my camera card...well, it took a while to get everything in order to draw this for her.

She came over yesterday to help write me this grant proposal. If the grant isn't granted, I don't want it to be because it wasn't well written. Words are powerful. Her skill, another friend's advice, and my thoughts could be a winning combination. If anything, it won't detract from what the committee accepts. The idea is that the merit of my art will show through and be enhanced by a well written proposal.

Back to Carrie: She was walking through the house looking at all the new art on the walls while I was gathering the little people for Hampton to play with, when I heard a scream from the studio. She had seen this drawing on the easel and it stunned a good way. It's the only image I had left to work with after a year's worth of various mishaps. It's a pastel on linen drawing of Carrie, her son Hampton, and daughter Eliza reading a book. She liked it so much she began to cry.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Yeremiah was a Bullfrog

Around the supper table not too long ago, we were discussing the pronunciation of names. Last week, Sol brought over some friends, and when the guy introduced himself, he said,

"My name is Lewis."

So I called him Lewis.

Later in our conversation, it came out that his name is actually Luis, pronounced Loo-ees. Why, I asked, would he introduce himself as Lewis when his name was actually Luis? To make it easier on the people he met, he opted to go with a more Americanized pronunciation. Nice.

My own mother-in-law, God rest her soul, was very particular about how her name was pronounced. Her name was spelled Elise, but pronounced Uhleeze. Best not to forget that one.

In the deep south, my name is pronounced either Say-rah, Say-uh-ruh, or Ser-uh. In Mexico, it's more like Sah-dah.

So then Joy pipes in, and says that when she is in Mexico,

"My name is Yoy."

By the way, this is the third time I've changed the background and shirt on this painting of Yoy.

Yoy to the fishes in the deep blue sea, Yoy to you and me!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Debt Free?

A year and a half ago a friend of ours Skipper-sat while we went on a short jaunt as a family for a few days. As payment, I promised her a drawing. The first image she sent me had copyright issues...and then time flew by....getting ready for the solo exhibit, and all the art related business that comprised most of last year. It's been a very busy year of art stuff.

Even though a sketch is what I promised, I really don't like drawing that much---there's too much detail to bother me. Painting is preferable, which is technically sketching with paints and a paintbrush (isn't it?).

To make a long story short, I have finally gotten around to "drawing" the long promised sketch, though I did it with oil pastels. Oil pastels are like a chalky crayon...which was an unusual medium for me, considering this was my first time to use it. The problem was that since I chose to draw on a linen canvas, it was hard to fill in the bumps in the linen. So I put some oil on the end of a paintbrush and kinda sorta painted everything together.

Now the issue is will my friend like it and consider the debt cancelled?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Good Book

While Anna was home for Christmas, she graciously posed while reading her book so that I could begin a new painting. "Young Lady Reading" has been a theme I have been wanting to try for a good long while. After less than an hour of painting, we started losing light, and Anna had another commitment---another booking, so I took some reference photos in order to finish the painting later....

What I didn't know and had never experienced until now, was that when the atmosphere is charged with electricity as it often is during winter, and one tries to upload photos on a computer, the teeniest and tiniest of charges can erase an entire disc. In an instant approximately 200 photos were erased, including the reference photos of Anna reading her book.

After Anna was in her car ready to book it back to Austin, it dawned on me that I had lost the reference photo of her reading. I frantically knocked on the passenger window, explained the dilemma, she turned off the car, came back inside, sat on the love seat, grabbed a book, and quietly posed....again.

Thanks, Anna. It was the perfect book end to your stay.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Remote Commander Reese

What might be a little difficult to see in this photo is Reese's birthday present. In his hand is the remote control device, and in the air above his head is the remote controlled helicopter.

While shopping for the remote controlled helicopter yesterday, Anna and I began to experience what Arnold Schwarzenegger's character did in Jingle All the Way. Since Reese's birthday is on January 2nd, and I am not generally accustomed to buying him toys for this celebration since we obviously got married after his childhood, it never once occurred to me that a *RC helicopter* might not be available for purchase this close after Christmas. Happily, we stumbled upon the prize not too far in our quest.

It's a really cool gift if I do say so myself.