Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Shortest Day

So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!!"

- Susan Cooper, The Shortest Day

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Flaws and Knotholes

"Our flaws, our imperfections motivate us to become pliable, moldable, and teachable. And like knots in wood, they give us our uniqueness and character. They help to bend or even break us to the point where we are able to recognize the needs of others and to help them."
From the book Hope Rising by Kim Meeder

Monday, December 10, 2012

Home Is Best

"A man travels the world over in search for what he needs
And returns home to find it."
George Moore

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Home, Heart, and Holidays

Not that she didn't enjoy the holidays: but she always felt-and it was, perhaps, the measure of her peculiar happiness-a little relieved when they were over. Her normal life pleased her so well that she was half afraid to step out of its frame in case one day she should find herself unable to get back. The spell might break, the atmosphere be impossible to recapture. Mrs. Miniver by Jan Struther

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Creativity and What Matters Most

"Ultimately, it doesn't matter to the world if you paint or dance or write. The world can probably get by without the product of your efforts. But that is not the point. The point is what the process of following your creative impulses will do for you. It is clearly about process. Love the work, love the process. Our fascination will pull our attention forward. That, in turn, will fascinate the viewer." Creative Authenticity by Ian Roberts

Monday, December 3, 2012

Coming Home

She reached her doorstep. The key turned sweetly in the lock. That was the kind of thing one remembered about a house: not the size of the rooms or the colour of the walls, but the feel of door-handles and light-switches, the shape and texture of the banister-rail under one's palm; minute tactual intimacies, whose resumption was the essence of coming home.
Excerpt from Mrs. Miniver by Jan Struther

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Photographic Redos

I consider myself more of a photographer than a painter, but painting just won't let go of me. One of my favorite things to do is to take one of my photographs and change it.

Here are two paintings that started off as photographs. The one of the ruins is the Old Sheldon Church off Highway 17 in South Carolina; pretty close to Beaufort. I've photographed it several times in different seasons. If you go anytime of the year, any season, take a container of potent bug repellant. The tiny mosquitos about carried me off last time! I was holding my camera with one hand and making flapping motions from head to foot with the other. It makes for some interesting photographs, that's for sure!

So for this technique, I took my original 4x6 color photograph,copied,and enlarged it onto gray watercolor paper. I then recolored it using watercolor pencils. The result is a finely executed watercolor painting. Since my drawing skills are pretty poor, this is a good way to let my photograph do the drawing for me.

The second painting is a watercolor using my image of a foggy morning in Virginia as a guide. The finished painting is a 5x8, so it's pretty small. I like to paint small so I can finish a painting in one quick sitting. I really don't have the patience to work on a piece for hours or days at a time. Instant gratification is the ticket for me!

I've tried many different techniques combining photography with painting which I'll share as the mood strikes. What different techniques have you tried, and were you happy with the results?