This was the last painting I did that I actually felt good about.
Monday, December 28, 2020
As I revisit this blog, I am ashamed to see how many YEARS it has been since I last posted here. This is my effort to restart my badly interrupted art journey and reconnect with my former passion for watercolor.
As a short recap, following the caregiving of my husband and eventual loss, I tried to get back into painting once again. In the following years I had hand surgery, knee replacement surgery and the caregiving/loss of my brother, all of which precluded my physical ability to do art, to say nothing of the emotional hits to my motivation and inspiration.
I made several attempts to restart my watercolors, but felt I had lost so many of my skills and instincts for it that I got discouraged and didn't pour much effort into it for a long time. Then in late 2018 I had a failure of my mitral valve which put me into heart failure and on the list for valve replacement surgery. Unfortunately, at that time I also had double pneumonia, so had to get cleared of that before surgery. Delays were many, and on March 16, 2019, the valve ruptured. Fortunately, I was in the emergency room with severe fatigue and shoulder pain at the time and emergency care was rendered to help me survive the night and the following night I had open heart valve replacement surgery. After 24 days in ICU and three weeks in a rehab facility, I was able to come home. I had to have help for weeks and weeks, but finally began to be able to live independently. I am sharing this much detail with you in order to explain the REASONS I have not been painting. From here on out these reasons should only be considered to be EXCUSES, as I have recovered as much as I will and should be physically able to get back to my paintings. Then, the Covid situation started early this year and I had more excuses for not painting, at a time when I have all the time in the world, isolated in my home.
How does one get the passion for art fires burning when it has been so long? I have started by cleaning both my watercolor and artisan jewelry studios and revisiting what I have accomplished in the past. The cleaning brought me great satisfaction, the revisiting the accomplishments not so much. Very discouraging to see what I accomplished in the past versus what I feel I an capable of currently!
I plan to drag out my Yupo paper, which in the past has been a forgiving and inspiring medium in the past. I will post whatever I produce, with the hopes of kicking my artistic butt to learn again the joys of watercolor. I have accepted that I will never be 100 percent back my former physical self, but I feel I should be able to muster the strength to achieve that for my artistic and emotional status?! If you are a former follower of my blog and get notifications of my entries, please comment that you are still with me and offer any insights into my current, sad, unmotivated situation.
I hope you all found some joy in this different holiday season and will stay healthy. Living in Arizona means I am living in one of the nation's hot spots for the virus and plan to stay safe as much as possible, so should use this alone time more wisely and productively than I have so far.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Saturday, July 12, 2014
I feel that I am in a good place now, over the numbness, disbelief and worst of the painful grieving. I still have my moments, for sure, but they are becoming more bearable. I have to thank all of my faithful friends, of which I have been blessed with many, for helping me through this. Most especially, I thank my twin sister, Sandy, who has been with me so often when I needed her presence. My brother, sister and I took a one-week roadtrip to Texas to visit with oour many cousins there, and that trip provided a wonderful break from all I had been dealing with at home. It was a great rebonding time for we siblings.
I have to have hand surgery soon on my right (dominant) hand, so will probably not be able to paint for awhile once that happens, but do want to return to my more prolific times when I was increasing my painting skills more rapidly. Now, I feel I have lost a lot of skills and instincts after over two years of not painting very much at all.
Please hang in there with me as I work to recover what I have lost in my art. I promise to work on this blog more often, even if it is to show what I am working on, finished or not. Maybe that will allow me to be mroe disciplined?
Blessings to you all...Susan
Friday, January 31, 2014
This is a painiting for which I used Maryann Watkins special photograph taken at sunset at the Desert Botanical Gardens. I exercised my "artistic license" quite a bit with this since there was no path such as this in the photo, nor was the horizon this shape. What I tried to do was to capture, instead, the moody colors of this particular sunset. I also liked the shadowy blues in the cholla in her photo, so I accented those here. Thanks again to Maryann for her permission to paint from another of her excellent photos.
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Yesterday I participated in my art group's (ArtChix) art show/sale. It was well-attended, I was especially honored to have an old high school friend attend. It was great touching bases with each other again. An added bonus was my twin sister, Sandy, was there to spend the day with me while we "sat the show". So, Maryann Watkins, Sandy and I had a reunion of sorts. I sold three paintings and enjoyed meeting so many people who appreciated our group's art work.
Maryann was taking photos of my display while there and posted some of them on Facebook. We had a great day.
Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Stephanie's latest cookbook is 365 Slow Cooker Suppers and is chocked full of exciting recipes. One of the many things I appreciate is that she covers just about any specific ethnicities you could think of in this book, from Mexican to Chinese and beyond. I love cooking with recipes from other cultures, it makes our every-day meals more exciting, for sure. Tonight, we will have slow cooker Chiles Rellenos!
It is available at Amazon and other bookstores. I ordered it for my Kindle since I like to take all of my cookbooks with me when we travel in our motorhome. I definately endorse this book, but fair warning here...when reading it you will have to deal with salivating over the recipes and excellent photos!
Sunday, October 06, 2013
This is a small (7 x 5) painting in watercolor. I would not want any entomologist to check the butterfly out for anatomical correctness, for the reason I wanted to paint this was to use the wonderful complementary colors in the photo in a painting. Still trying to find my groove again!
Saturday, September 21, 2013
I must be in a purple phase or something. This is the first in a series of small (5x7) paintings I am doing to get ready for our first ArtChix sale of the year in November. I want to do some vegetables and fruits since I think small ones would fit nicely into a kitchen corner and add some color. I also am doing some sweet 5x7 paintings of flowers, etc. Good to be painting for a goal again. Might keep me painting more.
Saturday, August 31, 2013
Friday, August 16, 2013
I have also started on a funky cactus painting, which I like so far. I'll post a WIP when I get just a bit further along.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
We have our neighbors' flag here, amidst the sunset contrails of jets from Luke Air Force Base which trains those who protect us all. I wish peace and comfort to all those who have lost those in the trials of our freedom. I will be forever grateful and blessed to live in a free country, made possible by those who have given so much. God bless America!
Thursday, April 18, 2013
We carpooled to Wickenburg, AZ for this exhibit, which left all of us "artists" both inspired and intimidated" for our work! But, we all enjoyed the integrity of the art at this Los Caballeros Museum exhibit, so we all went away happy. Then, on to Anita's, a wonderful and traditional lunch stop for our museum visit for Cowgirl's Up exhibits through the years. We always love the camaraderie and food there after a very inspiring tour through the Cowgirl Up exhibit. Personally, I can only refer anyone visiting there to the "Chiles Rellenos" there, as they are "to die for"! Many of these women are my therapy "every-Thursday-watercolor-group" which I meet with so these are my main choice of friends with whom to visit these exhibits with whenever possible. They are the best, and the main sources of my laughter/fun/therapy and support!
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
I have painted this once when it was a lot younger, may need to do that again, I just love the colors of the blooms.
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Aubrey had been given a pair of flip-flops that had blingy peace signs on them. When the shoes broke her Mom suggested they cut them off and bring them for Aubrey and Grandma to make jewelry from when they visited. The results were quite stunning, or at least Aubrey and I thought so!
We made jewelry and we painted. Zane was not so impressed with his first painting session with Grandma as his sister was at hers, but he tolerated it just fine. He was too busy running around our patio and sinking baskets with his ball.
Being a Grandma is such a hoot!
Friday, March 22, 2013
This is a painting I finished (?) yesterday at the Thursday afternoon watercolor group painting session/therapy session/comedy club. My reference was an excellent photo by Terry Dekker at Paint my Photo. I loved those shadows! I need to paint more, I lost my passion for this project because I took so long between painting sessions on it.
Saturday, February 09, 2013
Thursday, February 07, 2013
In the interest of maintaining some artistic integrity here, I am posting the WIP 2 of this painting, although I am hardly proud of this stage. It was not until I took a photo of this that I saw the wonkiness (new word) of the barn roof line and the one window. Why can we not see these things in our own paintings IRL that we see in a photo or in others'?! This is yet another example of why we should paint every day instead of just once a week. You lose your skills! While I haven't managed painting every day this week, I have taken two opportunities to work on this one, and will take it to my art group this afternoon and paint for my weekly painting that I always try to accomplish.
I have added the darkest darks and have started adding more darks to the depths of the background. I will next try to correct that roof line of the barn and window. Grrr!
Saturday, February 02, 2013
Saturday, January 12, 2013
I did like the photo a lot, so I think I will try it with my RIGHT hand, on watercolor paper and a larger size.
Friday, January 04, 2013
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Saturday, December 22, 2012
This painting from the past is for all my cyber friends and family...I send best wishes for a blessed Christmas and blessings for 2013.
Many of us have endured less than perfect health and prosperity in 2012, so please join me in prayers and positive thoughts for the best of new years.
Thanks to Joan Hahn-Widman for sharing this photo of Monet's garden and allowing me to paint from it. I still have lots to do, clean up, etc. with this. I didn't have my reference photo with me last Thursday so I didn't dare go too far on my own and there is still much to do. I am painting this on Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground over regular canvas, the first attempt to use this ground. So far, it acts very much like cold press watercolor paper and I am enjoying it so far. Those odd things that look like green and blue ducks, will actually become (hope, hope) lily pads, but I needed my reference photo to get the shading and highlights correctly done. This watercolor ground allows you to lift back to almost white in most cases.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
I received this e-mail joke in the mail this morning and thought it so funny that I will share it here. This may not be so much of a joke for me, though, since I have done no decorating at all and may not do any this year. Since our kids won't be coming and there won't be any little ones to miss a tree, I may skip that part of the holidays.
I hope that you and yours have the best of holidays and a safe and prosperous new year.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Friday, November 02, 2012
I didn't draw any of this, choosing instead to just go in with my bristly brush and add layers of blobs as the first wash began to dry a bit. I love how it granulated in all the right areas.
Next, I will add the suggestions of tree trunks here and there and then start lifting to try to re-create those sunbeams.
We had such a fun time at our art session yesterday, where I started this painting. We actually do accomplish some artwork during these sessions; but more than anything we have FUN!
Sunday, October 14, 2012
This is a Cairo Rose Hibiscus, I had two of these wonderfully colorful blossoms before the frost damaged it beyond resuscitation, so I am glad I captured the photo while I could.
Watercolor, 11 x 15, Arches 140-lb
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
I find it so difficult to wrap my brain around this technique; I find it time-consuming and often frustrating. I am wondering why it is so important to me to "get" this technique? Maybe I will add some negative painting techniques in a positive painting, not try to do a whole painting with this technique...yeah, that's what I'll do.
Monday, September 03, 2012
If you would like to see some of her work, click here, she painted many pears in many different media and compositions. She called herself "The Pear Lady".
Ruth, you will be missed.