Bird & Sunrise photo

Bird & Sunrise photo
Because "someday" is today!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Childhood Memory

Last week, I heard about a birthday party for my aunt who is turning 80 years old this May. When I was four years old, my Mom became very sick and sometimes some of my siblings and I stayed with Mom's sister, who is the Aunt that is having the birthday.

One of the things my younger brother and I remember is eating the roses made of "decorator's frosting" that my Aunt used to adorn the wedding cakes she made. She would let us have the extra ones that she didn't use and we would sit under the table with the wax paper sheets studded with the lovely colored flowers. I always admired how pretty they were before we devoured them, saving the purple ones for last because I liked that color best. Actually they all tasted the same and I think only small children can have such a tolerance for such an intensely sweet treat!

I decided I wanted to do a watercolor rose birthday card for her in honor of the occasion. I haven't painted with my watercolors for almost a year now and I was interested to see how it would go. I was pleased to find that I actually had a better sense of the layering of the color washes and solved my light and dark values much quicker that I used too. This is such a help, since watercolors can look muddy and overworked so easily. It is always a happy day when I feel like I am making progress in becoming a better artist. I hope my Aunt likes the card!

Jeff's Corner: Jeff will be returning to his "corner" tomorrow, after a two week business trip away. I am so glad!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Balancing Act

I went out of town recently to visit my family which involves a 12 hour drive. I have made it a goal to take my camera with me more often when I go anywhere and I tried to capture some good pictures in what I call "guerilla photo taking" on this trip too. This often involves shooting out of a moving car window, (yes, Jeff was driving) or only taking a quick moment to take a picture when we made a stop.
Driving by some of the red rock scenery in southern Utah, 'm surprised they are in focus at all! © 2009 Tina M Welter
Red Rocks really fast!

It was great to see my family and I was very pleased to discover that many of them have been following the blog. Some haven't commented, so I didn't know they were reading along. I have been contemplating ways that I could use my flower painting images in more ways than just the finished painting. I appreciated the great response from the idea to put them on cards. I would also be open to any other appropriate suggestions.
 Rest stop for a quick drink of water, southern Utah. © 2009 Tina M. Welter
Quick stop at the springs.

Traveling away for a weekend made me realize how fine the balancing act I have been doing in order to get any art work completed. In between work, church, housework, and trying to start a garden, a long week-end away meant I didn't make any progress on the paintings. I felt anxious that I hadn't been creating anything and didn't have something new for the blog.
Train cars side tracked. Utah desert, Between Price and Green River. © 2009 Tina M Welter
Jeff's favorite subject.

I decided to take a look at what I had accomplished. I took some cool pictures, I found out I had more support than I knew about, and I took stock and realized that in a year from when I first set out to paint more seriously, I have completed 13 oil and 9 watercolor paintings. That is a marked increase from the one painting a year I had been doing the for the last twenty years.

I suppose every juggler drops the ball now and then, especially a new juggler. I can pick up where I left off and keep going. Thanks everyone for the positive feedback!

Jeff's Corner: Jeff will comment when HE gets back from his business trip out of town...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Spring Fever and Winter Chill

We had a couple of warm weeks in March and I was itching to get going on the "garden". I did some preliminary digging and was very excited about what I was going to plant. I was considering a whole painting series on the color green and the light shining through new plants.

The next exercise for writing the artist statement is: "I am most inspired by...." I have to say that particular green color of new plants is very inspiring to me. I also like the bird song that starts to be heard this time of year. Every spring, I always realize anew how much I missed it all winter.

Well, then like missing that last step on the way down the stairs, the temperatures dropped to four degrees overnight and the wind and snow were here again. I really don't mind the snow so much, any moisture is good moisture, but those steep temperature drops are harsh and cooled down my spring fever in a hurry.

I was inspired by the brave rhubarb, daffodils, and tiny lilac bush that I just planted last year and I thought would be ruined by that freeze. But there they were, not blackened and still green. Also those tenacious little birds were still singing! I have a lot to learn from such determination, since I am easily frosted by negative comments. I don't want to be a hot-house flower.

I did make progress on the pink columbine painting even though I had many distractions. It was on the blog several entries ago in it's grey scale beginnings. It still needs a little color balance, but I will share it in it's imperfect state.

Jeff's Corner: This year March came in like a lamb and went out like a polar bear!