I’d like to give you glimpse some of the sketches I made yesterday from around town.
While I sketch I either listen to the radio or a book on CD. Right now, it’s “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.” hahaha. I find the strangest things at Goodwill.
I’ve decided these works will be best displayed in published book form, rather than hanging on any gallery walls. This also means I’m free to work on both sides of the pages in my sketchbook, without worrying that later, one will be hidden in the back of a frame somewhere.
It also means I am not uploading the best quality photos on my blog. Nor am I posting all of my drawings, only some. Otherwise, what reason would you have to buy the book?
While making a concerted effort last week to work more in my sketchbooks – they are invaluable tools for artists: they help one learn to see, think, play, practice and hone… I could go on but it could turn into an inarticulate ramble so I will move on to my point.
I discovered that I have been really wanting to make a “Portrait of Portales”. A collection of drawings or paintings that describe the personality and character of my town.
This is a project I sort-of began over a year ago with small, “en plein air” oil paintings done from my car, of scenes around town. Let me jog your memory with a photo-collage:
Grated, the above could really be paintings of anywhere in New Mexico, so common are the scenes of yellowed grasses, cows and crumbling adobe structures. Many of my new works will be specifically Portales, its stores, real estate, lawns, animals, abandoned buildings and neglected alleys. And as the title of this post suggests, they are being worked in my sketchbooks.
So now I’m back to venturing around town in my little mazda, and at the risk of looking like a creep-o or a cop on a stake-out, parking and sketching from the car. It really does make me feel like a cop… or okay, more like Stephanie Plum…
It is SO MUCH FUN and really IS showing me more about where I live. Nothing makes me appreciate a place more than painting it. Here are some examples of my work so far. I will share more detailed/close-up pictures of them in the future. For now you just get a taste:
In the past three days I’ve driven over 12 hours in the desert. I went west to Albuquerque over the weekend and to Lubbock, Texas and back today. Some say the drive is dull, “in the middle of nowhere…” but I have to remind myself I’m driving, to look straight ahead now and then, and not let my eyes wander so long in my surroundings. It is exhaustingly full to me, so much sunlight where nothing can hide behind anything. I love it here.
It is fitting that I painted a landscape this afternoon. The snowy desert. It was inspired by my adventures this week, driving through snowstorms, only to be in a t-shirt two days later… It is a sibling painting to an oil I made last year (on left) and I thought you might like to see them together.
Today’s art attack was inspired by reading the beginning chapter of St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell – author of Swamplandia.
Here is an excerpt:
“…with mosquito-blackened sills; a tin roof that hums with the memory of rain. I love it here. Whenever the wind gusts in off the river, the sky rains leaves and feathers. During mating season, the bedroom window rattles with the ardor of birds.
Now the thunder makes the window glass ripple like wax paper. Summer rain is still the most comforting sound that I know… In the distance, an alligator bellows…”
It’s been a busy few weeks for me and I’m glad to be back to the blog.
I enjoyed a lovely closing reception at Runnels Gallery on Friday and want to thank everyone who came out to see the art and show their support in general. I really appreciated the feedback and great turnout.
I have some pictures of the evening to share with you!
First, there was the food (That is warmed caramel dip… mmm)!
Although we didn’t manage to document all the goodies, we couldn’t miss the crazy cupcakes!
There were so many great people who attended (and yes, I am poised to devour this cupcake)…
…and there was discussion of some alternate hilarious interpretations of the art:
I’m taking a wee break from the painting to knit. Yes indeed, got to let the tight muscles of my upper back and shoulders rest a bit and enjoying a stay-cation for a few days. Right now I plan on wearing the shawl I’m making (pictured here beside some chamomile tea) to the closing reception of my present exhibition.
Reminder for those who are in the area: the closing reception is Friday, October, 28th 5 – 6:30 at Runnel’s Gallery.
This was one of the last paintings I completed for my show. I began it over a month ago when Portales experienced a nice storm – anyone who lives here will understand what a great thing this is. Rain!!! I get very excited when it rains and especially enjoy thunderstorms, dark skies and the swallows that take shelter in my covered porch with me.
I felt the air pressure change and set up my supplies on the porch and painted quickly as I watched it move towards me across the fields. The swallows didn’t make a peep but watched intently and I took that as a compliment. Storms seem to blow over quickly here, so I knew I had to work fast. The result of such a quick painting session didn’t impress me all that much, so I set the canvas aside. After that storm passed and we were left in bleaching sunlight for another month I just couldn’t bring myself to continue work on it.
Finally, last week we had another rainy day and I was inspired to finish it up, just before my show went up. So… er, yes, it’s hanging wet in the gallery… shhh!