Thursday, May 27, 2010

Reflections on art and heart

In memory of "Survivor" special friend and art critic 1994-2010

I am back in my studio and have been reflecting on a wonderful painting trip with my API group. We had wild weather in CA but it was worth the challenge of high winds, cool temps, and frequent rain to be together to paint, share art news, and visit the many gorgeous locations both public and those privately arranged by our host. I'm sharing one of our views in nearby San Simeon which was one of my favorite spots. The photo at right is the 9x12 plein air painting I did on site. The photo below is the digital image I took for reference. I may or may not tweak the painting. I like to let it sit for awhile before deciding if it needs further work or if it will be a study for a larger piece later on. Lighting was never the same day to day so we took advantage of finding new locations frequently (there were so many choices!). Painting the crashing waves and rocks were a new challenge and very exciting to do alla prima. Many of those will be used as studies or color notes along with photo references. This was a memorable trip and proved to me how inspiring it is to be part of a talented group that takes their painting seriously but knows how to have fun in the process. You can check individual group members' works and accomplishments on the API link above.

It was a bittersweet return home when I learned my favorite pet had "hung on" for me to return in order to say good-bye after almost 16 years in our family. Appropriately named years ago by a small town newspaper after being rescued, "Survivor" has given and received lots of love from our family and will be sorely missed. My heart goes out to others who have had to deal with such a loss. I have done a lot of reflecting since returning home, obviously not just in regard to painting. After hearing so many similar family, career, and health related stories this past month, I realize how much our life experiences impacts the heart of our art.