A Tale of Two Paintings


When Jordan brought this Cyclamen plant into my studio I was in the middle of a figurative painting. The beauty of this plant clouded my mind for days. It was all I could see or think of. Nearly took the figure off my easel to do a painting of this beauty. Rain and dark grey days kept me working on the figure. I prayed the blooms would wait for me but one morning I found two withered and a bit brownish. Relieved of the pressure to get this plant on canvas I finished my painting of the girl in a hammock.

To my surprise, a second blooming came. A second chance! Only a second wave of rain storms also filled the skies outside my studio. These things happen. This plant deserved the full glory of direct sunlight. I rolled my easel over to the window and began to paint in hope of adding sunlight later. No background in mind and no sunlight to work with I added what I could. Leaving the studio that evening, the sun broke through, lighting up the backs of the old buildings. With my not-so-ready new hip I scampered back up to my studio for my camera, but not fast enough to get the picture I wanted for my painting, but a fair enough one to remind me of the vision I saw for my painting.

Stopped off at the Post Office to mail a card to little Josephine, Jordan's daughter, and there a second idea for the background came to me. A sliver of light broke through, way off in the distance, and I saw it as another possible background for my Cyclamen painting. Which to use was now my problem. I’ve never had much luck doing a second painting of the same subject. Yet I had to try and my hand and mind were with me - I like the second painting as much as the first. Making the setting different made it possible, keeping my desire and interest in both paintings high.


The Woodland Scene Has No Balloons

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I feed my soul every day with the good things in life. My soul is where my art comes from. Taking in the moon every evening on my way home, seeing it in the deep indigo sky with the cross atop St. Michael's church steeple reflecting the warm, vanishing glow of the sun, feeds my soul for the next day's challenge in my studio. Seeing neighbors shoveling snowing as I pass or the hum of a distant lawnmower are the morsels that bring color to my canvas. Rain clouds, the streets silver with rain drops. Waiting for a break in the downpour, I watch the trees dance. These little things energize the juices that lift my hand to lay a stroke of color on my canvas. Holding a door for a stranger and smiling when things are not going right.

Painting brings these moments to life again. These little things make me see a bit clearer . My studio is full of plants and cut flowers that add to paintings absent of such things. The light on a leaf in the studio is placed on a model's hand, though no light is on her hand. Still-lifes not intended to be painted are everywhere around me to submerge me in light and color while painting. Textures of every kind catch the light flowing in from the west windows of my studio. I treat myself to fresh flowers every now and then, and balloons that bounce on the celling. The woodland scene before has no balloons or glass balls, they're just in the studio to fill me with smiles as I paint fallen trees and moss covered rocks. Painting - creating is a total experience for me.