The Puppy project

Riverside Art Museum is holding a fundraiser called Art Bark in the Park to which I applied and was assigned a pup. I decided to paint the pup in oil – a skyscape with lawns on the bottom of each paw with dogs on, and my sonnet about dogs painted into the clouds.  So far I’ve done the sky and the lawns.  I will need to wait a week or so until that is dry enough to add the dogs and poems.  I didn’t know until I picked up the dog that I was getting a beagle.

metal dog ready to paint

The blank canvas. I’d had to fix the undercoat in a few places. The difference in undercoat color won’t affect the painting.

Jeni Bate painting metal dog

My fellow artist Mary Foote came over to see this as a demo so took some photos of me in action

Jeni Bate painting metal dog

I was showing Mary how to blend clouds in oil

Metal dog with oil skyscape painting

Photographed this one at an angle to get the entire dog in.

And it’s possible to paint on the back, so I have another canvas to dream up!

A show goes up.

It has been a little while since I blogged – sorry – busy then away for a while.  Actually ‘off the net’ which pretty much equates to vanished!

Tuesday June 4th I set off for Escondido Municipal Gallery where I hung a solo show in a single room that, when I first stepped into it seemed small, but yes, the dimensions did work out as the plan said and all the paintings I bought fit in nicely as planned.  Actually I had some extra space on the outside I hadn’t know about, but that was easily handled because I brought more smaller paintings than I thought I’d have room for, so it ended up perfect!  Just took me two hours instead of one.  Then it was pedal to the metal to catch the plane (which was eventually cancelled and I ended up leaving the next day, but that’s another story entirely).

boxes of artwork in a bare room

Box city arrives

boxes of artwork in a bare room

…and a little table for promo materials and a bin.

paintings sitting around on the floor against the wall

Now it’s starting to take shape.  At this point one of the local artists came by and liked my work and wanted to buy a book. 

paintings sitting around on the floor against the wall

…line em up!

paintings sitting around on the floor against the wall, and flip flops

You can see that I like to work barefoot where possible.

Mixed media paintings in a gallery

Now that looks like a show

Mixed media paintings in a gallery

One on each side of the door

Mixed media paintings in a gallery

Looking good!  Books and cards went into the gift shop at the front.

Mixed media paintings in a gallery

The back wall is concrete and the gallerists gave me special nails that go in the wall, my regular nails were turning into L-shapes!

Mixed media paintings in a gallery

I spent so much time getting the quadtych level! It’s so much easier in a booth.

Mixed media paintings in a gallery

Almost ready. One more sign to go up, and that box of nails to go back into storage

Newer Work #87

It’s been a while since I posted a ‘newer work’.  Here’s one from a recent batch of smaller mixed media pieces.

Mixed media painting with poetry

“1391 Inexplicable”. 14×11″ on gallery wrap panel. Embedded poem is: Inexplicable – air, water, angle of light – fill our souls with joy.

Sonnet Challenge #33

I haven’t posted a sonnet in a while.  I was going to post one about hot flashes (seeing as I’ve been enjoying to the extent that I need to start laughing about it) but Andrew Eales’ post this morning reminded me about this sonnet:

Birdsong

It’s in man’s heart, because it’s in his head
to merge both words and music into song.
There’re places in our brains they both belong
together – feelings more than just what’s said.
But too, we wonder how that seed was sown
that made us lilt our words into a tune.
Was it the wolves a-howling at the moon
or cat’s meow, or buck’s loud rutting groan?
It’s much more likely that the sound above
that we sometimes call angels, were the trills
inspiring us to develop singing skills
to tell our stories, feelings, sadness, love.
Whatever was that singing that we heard
outside our souls? It was a little bird.

Cloud Appreciation Society

Always my pleasure to post the Cloud Appreciation Society newsletter.  This one especially is one to dig into and see whether you can get your tongue round the word “cataractagenitus”.

In the spotlight!

This morning I got an email from one of the art websites I work with – storiestoart.com.  This is a little different that most art websites – although they do offer artwork, they actively promote commissions both of artwork, poetry and songs.  And the staff have been wonderful people to work with!

I and another artist, Philip Lindsey, are the featured artists in this email.

Salton Sea update. Sonnet.

reflectingpoolapr2019

I often get asked about the Salton Sea. Whether it is still there. Yes, but a little smaller. I am looking at a mid to dark blue sea as I write this, sitting at my dining room table (the view is better than the wall in front of my desk), which means it’s pretty breezy out there. I love the fact that I can tell the windspeed by the color of the sea, and that sometimes one half of it will be dark and the other light. That when there is no wind, it is the same color as the sky.
This morning I walked down to the shore, such as it is, now perhaps a half mile of what will eventually be salt flats – some of it dry enough to walk on, much of it not, so I can no longer go to the water’s edge without ending up up to my thighs in fish guano.
I took a photo of the ‘reflecting pool’, which when I moved here almost fifteen years ago was full of water up to the far side of that little row of vegetation in the front.

When I returned I wrote this:

Shining Sea

Palm Springs to Yuma – not a hint of breeze,
the silence is so loud you’ll hear your heart
beat in your chest. Your breath will stop and start
as you behold the mirror Salton Sea’s
become on such a day. A piece of sky
stretched on the desert floor – cerulean rug
of knots so fine. And ’til a stop will tug
the air, that blessed earthly canopy,
and then that sea to ever deepening blue
then gray, then black with whitecapse, watch this glass
this polished surface thirty five miles vast
reflects the sky it lives under, to you.
On windless days, the Salton Sea shines most,
more than the oceans found on either coast.