Sunday, September 26, 2010

Colors of Fall

Fall Bouquet, 11x14

A Secret Garden, 6x14

Believe it or not, the colors of fall in Dallas right now are really what you see in A Secret Garden. Inspired by a real garden I found on a walk, this is a plein air study. The blooms are a little embellished, but, it is true, the flowers are much happier now with the high 80 degree days vs. the +100 temps. The encore azaleas are blooming, as are the crepe myrtles and the roses, hibiscuses, inpatients and perennials are all happy. However, the shadows are getting much longer. I walked out in the backyard the other day and noticed I was in the shadow of the house as it stretched far into the yard.

I wanted to share that gorgeous middle photo with the plant alive with the glow of the sunlight.

Fall Bouquet is painted from a bouquet I put together for a school coffee at my house. I couldn't resist using the pumpkin branches or the bright orange and magenta colors.

Thanks to both my blog readers and my email subscribers for your comments on my posts. I love that connection!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Art Therapy - You can still paint even if you can't see

Meet my father-in-law, Grampy. He has had Macular Degeneration for about 30 years. That means he started to lose his vision in his early 40's and can no longer do the things he once could, like drive, for example. Imagine if your vision started to go away very rapidly and you could no longer do all of the things that require eye vision. Every summer we visit my in-laws. I use to drive my father-in-law around to antique shops. He would pick up a piece and have me look at it and tell him what the writing said and I would answer his questions about an antique he was looking at. Now with the economy and increasing loss of his sight, he is not in the antique business anymore.

Every summer I always encourage Grampy to take clay sculpture classes or pottery classes so he can use his hands and creativity. It never happens. I guess because I had just done our little impromptu painting workshop with my nieces and nephews, I talked Grampy into painting right at that moment! Of course, he resisted. He said he had no talent and his painting would be ugly. I told him who cares, we will paint on a paper plate and then throw it right in the garbage so nobody sees it. I told him that we were going to paint just for the experience, not for the end result.

I myself learned so much about painting. I would ask him, do you feel how much water is on the brush? Do you feel how the brush feels on the paper with this amount of water? Can you feel how much paint is on your brush? Then he would ask me questions like, "Were is green, I want to use green. How do I make it darker? I like how that looks, what color is that? How do I make it darker?" Grampy can see through his peripheral vision, but, I don't know how well.

Here he is holding up his favorite of his three paintings. Look at that smile on his face, especially the one where he is painting. I haven't seen him smile in a long time. Grampy had some great ideas for his first time painting. He said, why can't each color have its own tray/bowl so that the colors are not so close together (talking about my paint palette). I told him that there are artists that do that and I happen to have a book of one of those artists on the table.

I hope you find this story encouraging and that you may pick up a brush and paint on a paper plate one day, too. P.s. Grampy didn't throw his paintings away. I hope Grampy keeps painting.

To find out more about Macular Degeneration or to get a free screening, visit the Retina Foundation of the Southwest.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Stoli Doli and Friends

Stoli Doli and Friends

I have been collecting photos of ice cold beverages during the 107 temps in Dallas. I saw this jar of Stoli Doli in a bar in Cape Cod. The bartender was already working on my martini, so it was too late for me to try the Stoli Doli. I have heard it is good. Pineapple soaked in vodka. In any event, I couldn't resist taking a picture of it to paint one day. Limeade has sold so I wanted to paint another jar of sliced fruit before I missed it. I couldn't believe how strong the local color influenced me in this painting.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

DALLAS Exhibits Announcement - Mark your calendars!

Three great shows in Dallas with wonderful art by local Dallas artists and by Artists of Texas. All works will be for sale! Yes, I have paintings in two of the exhibits and maybe even the third. However, I already saw a painting by someone else in the show that I just have to have!

September 10 - October 2
Fine Art in Dallas 2011: A Retrospective
Artisan Style
2417 Mahon St., across from the Crescent
Please join us at the opening on Friday, September 10, 5-8
This show will feature the art of over 50 Dallas artists that are in the 2011 CityARTCal book.
October 11 - October 24
Alan Barnes Fine Art - Juried Exhibition
1019 Slocum Street
Please join us at the reception, Thursday, October 14, 5:30-8:30
November 6 - December 31
The Annual Artists of Texas Show
Dutch Art Gallery
10233 E. Northwest Highway, Suite 420
The reception will be on Saturday, November 6, 1-5
This show will feature art from Artists of Texas.