Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Today I finally stashed all the materials I brought home from my August workshop in Michigan, and tried to fine tune this oil painting of a traffic signal.  I took a photo of the stop and go light a couple Saturdays ago, attracted, perhaps, by the bright September sky and the geometric shapes and intense colors.  Looking at the painting, which looks best if viewed through squinty eyes, I'm not sure it was a great subject to paint, but at least I got going with working in the studio, after several weeks of real hesitation.  What is that?  What makes a person be full of ideas and enthusiasm and suddenly seize up and stop working?  I've been blaming it on my unhappiness with the workshop, and an end of summer desire to be outside.  Maybe that's all it is. Maybe this painting is some sort of message from the universe to think carefully, proceed with caution, but not stop.  I don't know.

I did have a nice day last weekend in Madison at the state day for the Wisconsin Regional Artists Program. I had a small painting accepted to the show, and also received a cash award. Can't complain about any of that. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Back Again

The end of summer, a sad time, and exciting as well.  The summer flowers in my yard all have started looking ratty. I had to pull out the impatiens, not because of frost, but because we had so much rain and humidity that they either rotted or some bug or fungus got them.  But the mums I popped in to replace them look fine.

At the end of August I drove to Michigan for a much anticipated artist workshop.  It turned out to be something of a disappointment to me.  I still admire the artist's work, but her style of teaching was not one I liked.  To my mind she was ultra critical and negative, and at one point I wrote in my notes "I do not feel safe."  That would be emotionally safe, since she was prone to suddenly calling on class members out of the blue, and then showing them up to either be not paying sufficient attention or able to discern what it was she was after.  I did enjoy her demonstrations, and getting to see her work up close.  I made a new friend. I learned to use a GPS.  There were good things, but since I came home I have spent essentially zero time in the studio - which must change.

Just a few days after I got back from the week long workshop, we flew to Montana, rented a car, and spent five days at Yellowstone National Park.  This was the first time we got to use our senior passes, bought for $10 at an office in Madison a year or so ago.  Neither of us had been there since we were children, so we were happy and anxious to revisit the iconic park.  The weather was interesting, sometimes very warm, sometimes freezing, mostly according to elevation.  I wore shorts and sleeveless tops, and jeans, wool socks and multiple shirts, all in one trip.  The scenery was stunning, and we enjoyed out stay at the Old Faithful Inn Show Lodge.  The only thing I missed seeing, that I remembered from childhood was bears.  No bears.  But we saw lots of bison, elk and deer, so I was happy.