Venus Studios Art Supply.

Venus Studios Art Bazaar FlyerVenus is one of those places that I shouldn’t be allowed in while carrying plastic.  It’s easy to get carried away with interesting new paints I’d like to try and ooh, I wonder how that brush would work…what else do I need….I wonder what that does…

This weekend I’m not going to be at the Bazaar – it’s one of my rare weekends ‘off’ from shows, catching up with some much overdue house maintenance.  But, if you’re in the area, you might not only enjoy the other artists at the bazaar, but if you thought you might like to pick up a copy of ‘The Skies of Peace and Passion’, my friend Christina Lange will have a few on her stall.  It will be one of the many gift items available, created by local artists.

And if you wander inside the store at their new larger location, you will surely find a wonderment of things to get your own – or someone else’s – creative juices flowing.

The Speed of Light

House - by James Youse - about 8x10, watermedia

House – by James Youse – about 8×10, watermedia

For the last three years I’ve created a painting for Alzheimer’s Association for the fundraising – and one of the interesting aspects of this is that I get to do a painting in response to the painting of an Alzheimer’s patient.  This year I happened to be in San Diego around the time they started this year’s project, so I was able to see all the available patient’s artwork instead of a small selection of images emailed to me because I’m so far away.

Many paintings spoke to me, but one spoke louder.  I am very aware when looking at these pieces of artwork of the decline of life of the artists, and this aspect alone significantly alters my response.  The painting is by James Youse, and is on the right.  It is simply titled ‘House’ – and is on the right above, but the part that struck me was the difference between the house and its reflection in the water.  My initial urge to respond was with a poem, which I did, and then created a refractured watercolor, including the poem on the painting.

    The Speed of Light.

At the edge, after my day is done,
sense of fulfillment resting in my heart,
my body’s atoms coming all apart,
returning to the dirt from where they’ve come
I’ll stop, before I dip these aching toes
into the water of the after life
(my soul arrived before the speed of light –
I don’t know how, but that’s the way it goes),
So I can see the breadth, the depth, the height
I leave behind, before my dive will break
the surface and destroy what others take
to memory, being slower still than light.
The vision in that lake will, by and by
return to stillness, leaving only sky.

The Speed of Light. Refractured watercolor with poem on float panel, 8.5x28.5"

The Speed of Light. Refractured watercolor with poem on float panel, 8.5×28.5″

The beauty of storms

"The Eye of the Storm looks through us All"  Watercolor collage on panel with acrylic edges. 12"x9". $135

“The Eye of the Storm looks through us All” Watercolor collage on panel with acrylic edges. 12″x9″. $135

I have always hesitated (to the point of not) painting one of the huge storms that sadly take  lives and cause much destruction in the mid West.  I also hesitate (to the point of not) painting skies filled with the smoke from wildfires.  The dust filter from these can produce some amazing sunsets, yet I think no one would want to adorn their walls with such a painting, when they cause more grief than their beauty can alleviate.

Yet the prairie storms still entice me.  Yesterday I was working on a small collage and found a dark piece of watercolor with what could be an eye in it.  It drew me to working around this centerpiece and creating a storm collage.  While building it I was thinking of all the recent destruction in Moore, OK and what power is in the air we take for granted when we breathe.  I have to say I find an awesome beauty in the huge storms of the mid-West that I will probably (hopefully) never see in person.  In the end this pieces is more about the fact that for all we can travel in space, and around the world, and faster than the speed of sound, how little we are in the face of such an aspect of sky.


"Comma Moon".  Watercolor collage on panel, 12x9". $135.

“Comma Moon”. Watercolor collage on panel, 12×9″. $135.

It’s always interesting to get feedback from viewers of my artwork.  Sometimes they will see faces or other items ‘hidden’ in the clouds – that I never intended to put there.  I remember in particular a painting of a winter solstice dawn in Salton City, the time of year that the sun comes up out of the water, it seems.  In the painting the sun was about halfway above the horizon, and the long bright reflection reached towards the viewer, getting narrower as it came closer.  It was one that I particularly liked.  One day a little girl (about three) came in the booth holding her father’s hand and pointed to this painting, which was on the lower half of the wall, just at three-year old eye level.  “Oh Daddy, look at the ice-cream!”  Of course after that I could never un-see the ice-cream.  The painting did sell not too long after, and I hope the new owner never sees the ice-cream, it did detract from the view.

Recently I had one follower comment that she liked my paintings that included moons, and is currently considering a purchase, but I seem to have pretty much sold out of moons.  Indeed it was true – there were only two.  Well, red rag to a bull, now there are three.

Still wet.

The Last Day of April, mixed media on board, 12"x9", $135.

The Last Day of April, mixed media on board, 12″x9″, $135.

The weather isn’t still wet – we haven’t had a drop in months – but the second of three glazes of coating on this new baby is still a little damp.  I should be able to put the final layer on tonight, and wire the back, then it will be ready to box tomorrow to go to Sierra Madre on the weekend.  By the name, you’ll guess that I finished the ‘art’ part a couple days ago, but didn’t get to the glazes until yesterday and today.

Only a windstorm

"Rain to the Rescue".  Watercolor collage; 8"x6" will frame to 10x8"

“Rain to the Rescue”. Watercolor collage; 8″x6″ will frame to 10×8″

It would be so nice to have one more rainstorm before summer.  Each morning I see dark clouds, but they don’t pink up into anything interesting to photograph, and they dissipate to high cirrus clouds for most of the day.

This afternoon is the windiest it has been in a while.  I actually had to close the windows for the first time since I’d returned from Fountain Hills.  But I did so too late, I will have to dust now anyway!

This little collage is a bit like some of the recent mornings.  A little hint of interest, but that’s all.  We need rain to the rescue, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.

Every cloud has a rainy lining

Marching Band of Rainers. 4x4" acrylic on canvas.

Marching Band of Rainers. 4×4″ acrylic on canvas.

During my stay Orange County, it rained copiously.  The inside of the cloud looking like full speed windshield wipers and the underside of an umbrella.  I visited the Gift Store at the Brea Art Gallery to trade out artwork, and thought it was poignant that one of the new paintings chosen was ‘Marching Band of Rainers’.We went back to the Brea Gallery on the Saturday evening to the opening of the Glass and Clay show.  So many delightful and innovative three dimensional pieces, but some of the pottery is painted on.  Ah.  Ideas.  No, perhaps not, I’m too clumsy and there are good reasons why I own mostly unmatched glasses.

Clouds look most wonderful from the outside, unless you’re a thirsty plant, and there are a lot of people, apparantly, as equally crazy as I about them.  One of my favorite websites is The Cloud Appreciation Society.  The occasionally feature poetry and art about clouds, and I learned today that I’m their latest artist.

Here comes the rain…

December 30th storm over the Santa Rosa Mountains, headed our way...

December 30th storm over the Santa Rosa Mountains, headed our way…

We decided to go a little earlier than usual for an evening walk.  The skies around were leaden and promising.  Over the Santa Rosa Mountains, you could see what some would call ‘filthy weather’.  It is filthy if you go out walking in it and then come in the house without stripping down to dry layers on the porch.  We hoped this storm would bring a much needed water injection for the Salton Sea.  This was the most stunning of the two dozen photos I took out there.  We got back with only a couple spits on us, and a block before home the wind whipped up a little.  Now there is a smattering of raindrops on the roof.  We don’t need to venture out again today so this is the sound of the silver lining…. and a batch of new clouds to paint.

I had a feeling…

"The last sunset of the last Baktun!"

“The last sunset of the last Baktun!”

…. that somehow, the sun would indeed rise this morning.  It tends to.  I kinda take it for granted more than the next breath.  Though I recently stumbled on an interesting book called The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker, in which this became less frequent.  An unique read.

I also had a feeling (it’s also called reading the weather forecast) that this winter solstice dawn would not be the most interesting, skywise.  I was right, there was not a cloud in sight.  I immediately banished the thoughts of going to photograph the sun rising out of the Salton Sea, as it appears to do around winter solstice.

Fortunately there had been a more interesting display the previous evening, so I thought I would take the camera to it just incase my feeling was wrong, and this was the last sunset….

Kolaj Magazine

Red, Wild and Yonder

“Red, Wild and Yonder” 12″x8″

So, I’ve been so busy attending to various bits and pieces of life, I’ve not opened emails that didn’t look like they needed attention that day.  I’m just getting around to dealing with more of these and found that I’ve been included in Kolaj Magazine’s Artist Directory.