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Finally, a Finished Painting!

Started last fall, this painting turned out to be tougher than I imaged from the original pastel sketch that inspired it:

"Cosmos," preliminary sketch, pastel on paper, 12x12

“Cosmos,” preliminary sketch, pastel on paper, 12×12

And the holidays got in the way, followed by husband’s surgeries (three) and normal life with a 10-year-old granddaughter, who lives with us, and a dog, and all the other activities that keep me away from art.

The smaller one was also supposed to be a preliminary sketch, but I finished it after working out the color challenges on the large one. The color blending was difficult, especially at the boundary between yellow and violet, which (as I know from art school) are complimentary colors and, when mixed, turn neutral–beige.

"Cosmos 2," acrylic on canvas, 12x12

“Cosmos 2,” acrylic on canvas, 12×12

The titles are homage to Carl Sagan.

"Cosmos," acrylic on masonite, 24x24

“Cosmos,” acrylic on masonite, 24×24

The paintings are for sale. They are brighter than they photograph. Email me at jillybeans@gmail.com if interested.

More B(loom)!

I posted B(l)oom a while ago, and decided to do a series, working square this time.

B(l)oom 2, acrylic, 12"x12"

B(l)oom 2, acrylic, 12″x 12″

 

B(l)oom 3, acrylic, 12" x 12"

B(l)oom 3, acrylic, 12″ x 12″ (This is my favorite)

 

B(l)oom 4, acrylic.12" x 12"

B(l)oom 4 (tropical), acrylic.12″ x 12″

These pieces are for sale, $50 each or $125 for the series. Email me if you are interested: jillybeanswiggins@gmail.com.

B(l)oom

Only one painting again last week. Actually there was another, but it was a graduation gift (a 4×4-inch canvas, requested by the grad’s mom, so that the young woman will have a sort of “quilt” of small canvases to take to school). I neglected to shoot a picture of it, but it’s a lot like this one, and will be A.’s own private piece of art.

This is the first of a series of “B(l)oom” (A’s little painting is “B(l)oom” zero) the title being a play on “bloom” and “boom,” take your pick (or do both). The next will be on square canvas as I continue to explore my longtime love for explosive color.

B(l)oom, 8x10", acrylic

B(l)oom, 8×10″, acrylic

Must get back to finishing some cards for the postcard swap that starts May 1.

Benefit post cards

As part of my gallery show, I offered to send an original post card for a donation to the church. Since it’s spring, I went with a floral theme in mostly primary colors. The tiny red biplane was inspired by one I often see fly over my house.

Spring Flight

Spring Flight (water color)

Spring Flyers (water color)

Spring Flyers (water color)

 

The paint is still wet

… and it’s untitled, but for the first time in weeks I have made some art. Another painting, started before major life changes took up my focus, time and energy, is in progress. I’ll get back to that, but this one just came in a rush. (See my other blog to see what has taken up my time and energy.)

No post cards for a while, but I hope to get back to mail art again when my new routine settles down.

Untitled, acrylic (painted mostly with my hands)

Untitled, acrylic (painted mostly with my hands)

 

It must be the heat

Not too much output yet this summer, for the usual reasons. Here’s this week’s work.  Apparently I’m into hot colors. Happy July!

Off-Center Boom. Had a scrap piece of round cardboard to play with. (Acrylic, paper, washi tape)

Off-Center Boom. Had a scrap piece of round cardboard to play with. (acrylic, paper, washi tape)

Little Bang (acrylic, paper, washi tape)

Little Bang (acrylic, paper, washi tape)

Orange, red, purple (water color)

Orange, red, purple (water color)

Sailing the Cosmic Sea (water color, collage, stickers, confetti)

Sailing the Cosmic Sea (water color, collage, stickers, confetti)

The above began as the first version of “Orange, red, purple,” but it wasn’t working so I just played around with images until it became rather whimsical. (I rarely just give up and call a piece a failure–of course there have been some–but I usually try to push through until I get something pleasing or, if all else fails, fun.) I also just realized that each of these four pieces was an attempt to express the same idea, and “Orange, red, purple,” is the closest fulfillment of that vision. Also the simplest and quickest (and last) one. That’s often the way art is. It works best when you quit trying so hard.

Received a nice packet from Honi in New York state, including the scan of a weave, and the dear little purple envelope with butterflies on it and a tiny handmade book inside.

Image of a weave, from Honi

Image of a weave, from Honi

Little envelope and booklet with tiny "tickets" inside, from Honi.

Little envelope and booklet with tiny “tickets” inside, from Honi.

 

Pretty Paltry

As I prepare for summer busyness with travel and grandchildren, here is my recent skimpy output, plus a card from my granddaughter. One other card was submitted to Postcard Poems and Prose, so I’ll save it to link to that site, should it happen. My lame excuse is a big birthday week and the excitement of reviewing a lifetime’s art output for a gallery show in November.

From Chloe. Not sure if the orientation is correct. (acrylic)

From Chloe. Not sure if the orientation is correct.
(acrylic)

Doodle 23, testing new markers (Infinity Markers)

Doodle #23, testing new markers (Infinity Markers)

Kupka homage in hot colors (markers). I seem to be into those hot colors.

Kupka homage in hot colors (markers). I seem to be into those hot colors, and definitely still enthralled with Kupka.

If you’ve been following the news in Central Texas, you know the drought is over, and there have been catastrophic and tragic floods, with people losing homes and lives. We are on a hill and we’re fine, dry, safe and grateful.

That’ll probably be it for a while. Happy summer!

Drought

Although the spring rains in Central Texas have not ended our drought, they have kicked the butts of anyone who suffers from allergies, which is just about everyone. So I’ve been in a bit of an artistic drought. Here’s my recent paltry output:

Code (poem fragments) - monoprint, marker on vellum, paper

Code (poem fragments) – monoprint, marker on vellum, paper

“Code” is second in a series about coded language. I love Gregg shorthand–still remember it after learning it in high school a thousand years ago–and I’m exploring different forms of coded language. The poems fragments say: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” (From “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver); “Life has loveliness to sell/buy it and never count the cost,” (From “Barter” by Sara Teasdale); and the last is after the title of a poetry collection I’m reading, “Grab Life by the Throat.” (The title is actually “Catch Life by the Throat,” but I like “Grab” better.)

Monster Dandelion - monoprint, collage on board

Monster Dandelion – monoprint, collage on board

Faded Honor - computer type on vellum over water color

Faded Honor – computer type on vellum over water color

Place Setting - collage over monoprint on board

Place Setting – collage over monoprint on board

Skating under the Aurora 2 - water color

Skating under the Aurora 2 – water color

I’m working on a book of dream poems, possibly to be titled “Skating under the Aurora.” This is the second version of what may be the cover art. It has a way to go yet to capture the dream.

Plus one card received:

"Adirondack Chair," from Honi in New York State

“Adirondack Chair,” from Honi in New York State

I have a surplus of cards to send, so if you would like to find a piece of hand-made original art in your mailbox, email me at jillybeanswiggins@gmail.com. International requests are welcome, and I’d love to swap.

Still in Love

It’s been almost a year since I got the post card bug, and I still feel like I’ve just begun. Ideas flow into my brain before I go to sleep. I dream ideas. “Palimpsest,” below, came out of a dream of creating “decorated shorthand.” I’m interested in the different ways people communicate, which can be kinds of code. For some it’s a foreign language, or American sign language, or math; for others, literal computer coding language; for me it’s body language, music symbols, Gregg shorthand–learned in high school, still remembered and still useful! Who knew it could also be art?

Palimpsest (marker, stickers on vellum) "Decorated shorthand," and playing with overlaid images on vellum.

Palimpsest (marker, stickers on vellum) “Decorated shorthand,” playing with overlaid images on vellum.

 

Cheer Up (water color, water color pencils) Playing with transparency

Cheer Up (water color, water color pencils) Playing with transparency

Make a Wish (collage). The central image came from a birthday card received last year, so I sent this back to the sender.

Make a Wish (collage). The central image came from a birthday card received last year, so I sent this back to the sender.

I Don't Want to Set the World on Fi-yer

I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fi-yer (water color, water color pencils), after a writing workshop about setting your words on fire. My mother used to talk about my brother singing the song when he was little, and I had heard it several times recently. So it honors both the writing teacher and my late brother. I sent it to the teacher.

Spring Will Come (collage). To reassure friends after a dreary winter.

Spring Will Come (collage). To reassure friends after a dreary winter.

Shine Bright Dream Big (mixed media collage--coffee filter, watercolor gel crayons, washi tape, various papers)

Shine Bright Dream Big (mixed media collage–coffee filter, watercolor gel crayons, washi tape, various papers)

Haven’t done many exchanges lately, but below is another card received from Honi in New York. She really goes all out with envelopes, something I have yet to get into.

Orange is the Happiest Color, by Honi. Love the envelope, too!

Orange is the Happiest Color, by Honi. Love the envelope, too!

Email me your mailing address to jillybeanswiggins@gmail.com if you’d like to receive a card. International addresses welcome.

For the Love (Part 2)

If you missed Part 1, please visit my other blog, the gist of which is that I blog because I love doing it and I’m not very good at promoting readership.

My mother was an expert knitter. She could knit anything: fair isle, fishermen’s knit, cable, dolls with removable knitted clothes, coats, vests. Local yarn shops had rosters of knitters to knit for well-off non-knitters. She refused. She said if she did it for money it was “work.” She gave away hundreds, if not thousands, of items in her  80+ year knitting career. She would charge for yarn, or let people buy their own, but she wouldn’t take a penny for her work.

 Fair isle made when I was in high school!

Fair isle made when I was in high school!

Lacy multi-color from about mid-80s.

Lacy multi-color from about mid-80s.

 

Someone told me I should sell my post cards at a booth at Austin’s South Congress Artists’ Market. I told him about my mother and knitting. I do it because I love doing it. If I have to worry about renting and running a booth, marketing, parking on market days (!) and everything else it entails, it’s work.

Another reason I’m not so good at marketing myself:  As a public information person before retirement I was responsible for getting my agency’s message out to the media and the public. But the focus was on what the agency was doing, not on myself. I have mixed feelings about attention. I can talk with a live mike in front of me,  and did TV interviews, but I’m embarrassed when “happy birthday” is sung to me.

For 2015 I’m going to learn how to get more eyeballs on my blogs. In the meantime, thank you for your eyeballs, and if you’d like to receive a real, non-digital version of a post card, please send your mailing address to jillybeanswiggins@wordpress.com. International requests are welcome.

I’m still playing with grids inspired by Uruguayan artist Joaquin Torres Garcia.

1950s bathroom (marker)

1950s bathroom (markers)

Shiny New Year (markers, metallic and glitter markers)

Shiny New Year (markers, metallic and glitter markers)

Fat Tuesday (markers) Named after I got going with those colors.

Fat Tuesday (markers) Named after I noticed the colors I had chosen.

Stained glass (marker)

Stained glass (markers)

Maori art overlaid on a New Zealand map (scanned images)

Maori art overlaid on a New Zealand map (scanned images)

Good Morning (Gratitude) (Original photo retouched with colored pencils and glitter markers)

Good Morning (Gratitude) (Original photo retouched with colored pencils and glitter markers)

This is not upside-down (original photo). Having fun with Texas winter sky.

This is not upside-down (original photo). Having fun with Texas winter sky.

Another card received from Honi in New York State:

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!