Bird & Sunrise photo

Bird & Sunrise photo
Because "someday" is today!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Beauty of Repetition

7"x 5" oil on "Gessobord" copyright 2012, Tina M. Welter
"Promenade" 7"x 5" oil on "Gessobord" c. 2012
For the sixth painting in my swan series, I decided to return to the English Garden and paint the same pair of swans that influenced "Swan Brocade". I wanted to try refining my palette to see if I could get some better colors.

Less is More.
Less is More.
My four colors were: orange, light yellow, ultramarine blue and yellow green, plus black and white as needed. The result is that I finally got the deep greens, gold reflections and shade of grey in the water I wanted.

I had an "Aha" moment today about life and repetition. Anything we want to really learn from losing weight to keeping a house clean involves consistent repetition. It's a good principle for getting success!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Under the Surface

5"x 7" oil on "Gessobord", copyright 2012 Tina M. Welter
"Island of Calm" 5"x 7" oil on "Gessobord" c. 2012 TMW

Is anyone getting tired of paintings of swans....?  I have found out that doing a series can lead to some feelings of boredom, but I am determined to finish what I started.  The good part about repetition is that I get to try different techniques to solve the same problem.

I like this painting because it illustrates that wonderful illusion of "making it look easy", when all sorts of work and paddling is going on under the surface.  Swans are masters of this.

Claude Monet, 1874
"Bridge at Argenteuil"  Claude Monet, 1874

 I hope someday my paintings will reach that place where they look effortless.  I saw a boat in Claude Monet's "Bridge at Argenteuil" 1874, that was composed of three lovely brush strokes.  I can only imagine all the practice that led to that moment.  Meanwhile I will keep splashing away until I get there.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fair Warning

5"x 7" oil on "Gessobord" copyright 2012 Tina M. Welter.
"Guardian" 5"x 7" oil on "Gessobord" c.2012 TMW
"Guardian" is the title for the fourth painting of the swan series. I love this painting because it represents a concept that I have struggled with my whole life, mainly that it is ok to protect some time and space for myself to create.

I has become very clear to me since we turned our lives upside down last fall that I really have a "people pleasing" problem. When people ask me what I am doing while Jeff is in school, I say "I am working on my painting skills." Many people can't understand that I am perfectly happy being in the apartment and doing this, they want to suggest other activities because I "must be bored".

I feel like I finally have to stand up and guard my decision and my time from my own guilt and from others. After years of working for other people, this is a lifetime opportunity for me. It is hard for me to tell people "no". I want to feel approval, not judgment, but that is one thing about being an older, grayer goose...I know I don't have all the time in the world to do the things that matter to me.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Turn That Frown Upside Down

7"x 5" oil on "Gessobord" copyright 2012 Tina M Welter
"Inversion" 7"x 5" oil on "Gessobord" c. 2012
In order to get our German residency permit, we had to get another set of passport photos taken. They conveniently have booths everywhere in the subway stations in Munich so you can do this, but not all booths are created equal.

The photo booth in our U-bahn station had a broken chair, so we had to hover in mid-air to be at the right height for the photo. I had been sick and was still pretty culture shocked in October, but we needed that photo for the next day. The result was an awful photo. It was such a bad photo that the Germans rejected it and I still had to pay for another one.

Yeah...I felt the way I looked that day!
  Yes, I felt the way I looked that day!
A few weeks later, in the act of tearing it up and throwing it away, I started to look at the pieces and thought they might be interesting for a collage. I kept them, and then when "Professional Artist" magazine announced a self-portrait contest I decided to use them for a painting.

The result was "Inversion". I didn't win the contest. But I did challenge myself. I haven't painted a portrait in years and it took several tries to get it right. I do like the result and I am glad I could change that ugly photo into something interesting and meaningful to me.