Friday, March 30, 2012

FIRE (Work in Progress Boot Camp Series)

9x12 oil on panel 

As many of you know, my son enlisted in the Navy last month....He will be in boot camp until the end of April.  Having gone through boot camp myself and surviving it with no lasting wounds, I thought this would be a piece of cake....I never anticipated the worry and concern I would feel being on the "other side".  When I was at boot camp 20 something years ago, I was kept so busy there was very little time to think about home.  As a mom, with my son there, the inability to contact or comfort him is very profound....I have a whole new respect for military families now, but especially boot camp Moms.  I have found lots of comfort and support on the Navy For Moms website, but also on the US Navy Recruit Training Command Facebook page, where they post photos of random divisions and recruits regularly...I keep hoping to see my son, but as of yet I haven't....

However, I asked if I might use the photos as reference for paintings and was overjoyed when the answer came back as yes!  I will credit the photogropher when my work is complete, but I'm not quite finished with this one yet, (you can see the peach colored areas that still need work) but I was anxious to get back to blogging, so here is my second in the Navy Boot Camp Series....

Firefighting training....I remember this well, the hose is extremely heavy and strong and requires all the man/woman power shown to manage it.  I remember being quite exhausted and scared after putting out this very real fire.  I really like the composition of this, it has many meanings for me.. First, the guy in red is an experienced Sailor, evidenced by his title on his helmet,  EMC2, he is leading the recruits into danger, yet at the same time, showing them the way....The way they all stand so uniformly represents the trust they have for their teacher/commander.   He knows he must lead them in to the danger while at the same time showing confidence so that they will succeed in the mission....I really like how the position of the subject/focal point's body suggests no fear, while at the same time, the recruits seem frozen....they will go in and fight the fire, there is no doubt, but experience and trust are the running themes here.

I have found myself quite distracted and uninspired with regards to painting since my son left, I imagine it is the worry...the only thing that seems to help is painting what he is going through...It seems to help other moms as well, to see my for now, and until my son is safely out of boot camp, I have  a feeling you will be seeing many similar scenes! Enjoy a glimpse into what goes into training the greatest Navy in the world!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Olitsky Revelation in Glass"

12x12 fused glass 

Hi Everyone, I bet you thought I fell off the face of the earth and quit painting altogether!  Actually, I'm still a little behind and not painting as much as I'd like but I'm getting back in the swing.  I had a commission for another sailor painting immediately after the first one sold so I took care of that, and there is an upcoming show for Findlay Area Artists at the prestigious Toledo Museum of Art that coincides with a Jules Olitsky exhibit and also is held during the international Glass Art Society conference.  Basically what it means is there will be a lot of visibility for the art in that show.  There is one caveat however, and that is that one of the 3 pieces we create for the show must be inspired by Jules Olitsky...Now he's an interesting guy, but not my style at all, so I kind of struggled with this one.  But then my glass friend Kelly reminded me that thousands of glass artists would be milling about so I decided to do my piece in glass......It has taken me over a week and 6 "firings" so far.  Each firing is about 24 hours from start to finish.....mostly just lots of waiting time....I'm not entirely happy with it, and I think I'll do one more tiny adjustment, but here it is.  Olitsky was inspired in his later years by the landscapes around his home very near where I grew up in New Hampshire.  I chose a sunset of Lake Winnepesaukee as my inspiration for this piece, where Olitsky created many of his works.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Still Life with Fruit

8x10 oil on panel click HERE  to bid 

Finished! Now I'm going to enjoy the gorgeous day!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

On the Easel

I'm torn between spending time outside in the beautiful spring weather or painting in the studio.....So I compromised....I go in and paint a bit, then go out and do a bit of  This is a still life I set up last summer and took photos to paint over the winter.....It's from all the flowers from my yard and fruit from my trees....the problem is, I took the photo outside, on the front porch, and I don't know how to do the background(suggestions welcome!)  In the actual photo you see the blur of bright foliage behind it and I don't think it will work with this compostion..Should I go dark, should I go light?  Help!....Here it is about halfway through, the orangeish is the underpainting of burnt sienna.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Anchors Aweigh

5x7 oil on panel Click HERE to bid on original.  bid starts at $1 shipping is free.

well, I did paint a flower today, and it was a major flop, and after hearing all the happy moms on the Navy For Moms website that are headed to Great Lakes this weekend for their kid's Pass in Review (boot camp graduation) I was inspired to paint something different, and it will likely become at least a weekly challenge for me in honor of the graduating recruits and their moms that have helped support me through this.  "Anchors Aweigh" is the Navy theme song and it plays at their pass in review.  The recruits know it well, they sing it often during boot camp.  I loved painting these young soldiers, esp from  behind because I'm not so good with figures! Any mom of a sailor is welcome to use/copy/print this for their personal use. I signed this one a little different today, in honor of all the moms that miss their sailors.

added note: one of the Navy moms asked me how I could part with this.  My answer to that is easy, if I sell this, the proceeds  goes towards the expenses of seeing my own son's pass-in-review where I get to see his face!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sunny Days

8x10 oil on panel click here to bid/buy (bidding starts at $30)

This week started out great, I finally feel like I am back to my old self again.  Hard to believe it's only been a week since my son started bootcamp, but after the week of my pity party, I decided to pull myself out of it and get back to business!  I started walking everyday too, and it helps quite a bit, especially since we're having gorgeous spring weather.  I'm back to flowers again until I finish my goal of ten, but I may do a DPW challenge in between since these weeks challenge is painting donuts and I've always wanted to paint a jelly donut.   

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Good Girl

Ok, I know I said I was painting flowers this week, but I keep forgetting to post this one that I posted last week, the companion to the Wild Girl painting.   I'm still painting today's flower so here is Good Girl.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Iris no. 3

Well it's been a long week since I posted last! I have painted a little but not much.  I noticed I was in a bit of a rut so I took some time off from painting and went to my friend's house that is a glass fuser and did a class with her and two other lovely ladies.  I'm excited to see how our glass turned out and it was a nice break from painting.   The other big thing that happened in my life this past week that prevented me from painting was my 18 year old son leaving for the Navy.  He'll spend the next 8 weeks in Great Lakes, Illinois at "boot camp", hard to believe almost 20 years ago I was doing the same thing.....Ironically, Jared was born in a Naval Hospital, something tells me its in his blood.  Anyway, it was a sad experience to see him go, with just the clothes on his back, and a slip of paper with addresses and phone numbers in his pocket.  I expect a phone call around midnight or so tonight saying "I made it, love you"  and that's about it for the next couple months.  I have letters ready to mail as soon as I get an address, but that usually takes a week or so.  I'm not looking forward to receiving the BOX.  The box is what you get in the mail with all of your child's clothes and possessions he arrived with.....everything except your kid......Had I not been through it myself I would be worried sick, but I know he will do just fine.  

As far as painting, my distracted mind is hopefully back on track.  I am following the advice of a friend to try to do a series of paintings, at least 10 on a subject before moving on.  This structure is going to help me while my mind is still in a whirl with other things. I'm starting with flowers because the last two paintings I did before my "rut" were flowers and I figure with my current state of mind I need a little boost. So here is number 3 in the flower series, an Iris.  I used to paint irises every day when I worked in watercolor.  This iris is one of only a few that came up in my yard last year....I'm glad I took pictures!