Monday, January 30, 2012

Pier at Coupeville - oil on canvas

The little town of Coupeville is one of our favorite sailing stops. This is a painting of their historic warf in the twilight hours. The photo I painted from was taken by my talented husband, James. He probably took this while our boat was mored up to the tiny dock below. The winds really kick up through here as it is just on the other side of the Straight of San Juan de Fuca. Straight ahead in this view would be the famous Penn Cove mussel farms. My husband has to have some fresh mussels every time we visit! In the painting I tried to capture some of the fog that frequently fills in the straight just behind the narrow strip of land on this part of Whidbey Island. And yes, we have been fogged in and there are times we cannot drop anchor or dock because the winds are too strong. But when we can, we truly enjoy our visit.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Waiting - oil on canvas

Little Black Bean has made an appearance again. We typically see her watching out the front entry window when we return home. How could you not love that face....

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Art Kitty - oil on canvas

Well, this is today's creation. My husband liked my "Little Black Bean Watches the Snow" painting and suggested a series. My sweet Mr. Hobbes cat inspired me today. He couldn't get enough of my lap while I was painting. So I tried to capture a little of that today. This piece is pretty abstract and I had fun painting this one. Loosening up and letting things just kind of happen is what I needed to do. 

Update: Just this morning, after seeing Rhonda's post on Wabi Sabi Birthday, I had a realization that this is exactly what I was feeling yesterday about this painting. It is incomplete, imperfect, and simple. I will continue to embrace this concept and see what happens. I actually felt relief just being happy with this painting as is and letting go. As I have been battling my inner critic, this was a happy movement forward. Another friend of mine had mentioned wabi sabi too. I'm listening to the universe on this one. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Working From Home - oil on canvas

Early morning on a snow day, my husband and his loving cat, Little Black Bean, are working hard. The daylight has just started to show itself. This is my first low level light painting. I have no idea how folks paint night scenes. I don't think I quite got this one down and I may work more on it. I will need to try to understand night and shadows more.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Accepting and embracing older work....

This is an older piece I created when I was in a different place in my art and life. I'm not sure how I feel about it now. I was wondering if other artists have a hard time viewing and accepting older pieces of work they created. I recently posted on "Battling the Critic" and it talks about getting over the hurdles of creating new work and embracing that, but I'm curious as to how we look at our work over a span of years. This work to me is very vulnerable. I still like it, but at the moment it makes me unsure and a little exposed, but I'm sharing anyway. I'd like some thoughts from others on this topic. How do you all feel when you review work work over a period of time. What does it say about you? Do you put it away or show it proudly?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Obachan's Tea Room - oil on canvas

This is a scene from my husband's grandmother's traditional tea house. She is 96 years old and still going strong! She is also a master tea ceremony teacher. I feel so lucky to have been able to visit her a few times and spend time in her tea house. It is a quiet add on to their house in Tokyo. I like to just go in there when no one is around and sit quietly.  It really feels like a sacred space to me. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Little Black Bean watches the snow - oil on canvas

This is a larger piece than what I have been doing lately and I have to get used to working bigger again. This is one of our sweet cats. I decided to keep it simple and not too detailed. Of course, it may get more work done on it later. I have lost two lights in my art room and am having challenges.

Tree & snow - watercolor, pen, oil sketch

It has been wintery here in Edmonds, WA this week. I think we have at least 4 inches of snow min. + ice. My daughter has had the whole week off so far due to snow and ice, so needless to say, snow has been on my brain. I have two more complex paintings I'm working on that are related to the snow experience this week. Hopefully they will be up in the next day or two. In the meantime, I'm trying to fit in a little time for painting in between the fun with my daughter - sledding, snow forts, hot chocolate, cookies and games.

I'm adding in a couple pictures of the snow. Having just been outside, I think we have at least 6-7 inches of snow.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Letting Go - acrylic on canvas

It is snowing here in Edmonds, WA today. I was inspired to paint some snow scenes this morning. This piece incorporates a river birch we have that is trying to hang on to the last of its shriveled up leaves.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Note of Thanks

I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude. For one thing, a various generous & creative blogger, RH Carpenter, posted a note about my blog site this morning and said some very kind things regarding my art. It made my day and I'm sure the many other artists she has also acknowledged along the way must be thankful as well that someone would take the time and effort to do that. Thank you RH.

I am relatively new to blogging and began this enterprise in mid September. I wanted to also thank all those who are following me on my attempts at painting daily. I may not post every day, but know that I am working at it daily. Since September, I have made a commitment to engage fully in my art and to make it a priority. I am growing and learning so much just by showing up at the canvas every day.

I am also thankful to all the artists who have blogs that I review daily. They are all an inspiration and I enjoy seeing all the unique work and styles that are out there. I am grateful that we have the ability to share like this around the world. Keep blogging everyone!

Ms. Tink & me

A misty morning in Spring on Miyajima Island, Japan - watercolor, acrylic

Reviewing old photos of trips I've taken has brought up a lot of old memories and feelings for me. I am processing it all through my dreams and daily thoughts. It is appropriate for this season which is a time for introspection and acceptance. I am reminded to go within myself to embrace and nurture that creative voice within my spirit. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ponta de Sagres, Portugal - acrylic on canvas.

I have a few paintings in the works and am finding myself getting a bit too tight and confined in what I'm doing. So I decided today to try loosening up a bit. This painting is referencing a photo from Portugal on a trip my husband and I took way back in 1999. We were lucky to have an excuse to go and spend time with friends who were getting married there. I do want to return someday. The country and people are absolutely beautiful. And the food is amazing!

Kurashiki, Southern Japan - acrylic on canvas

This was painted from a photo I took while traveling in Southern Japan 12 years ago. During the trip, my husband and I stayed at a very old Japanese traditional Inn right in the neighborhood of this photo. We had the amazing opportunity to enjoy a hot bath in a wooden tub carved out of a tree. Wow! I wish I had a picture of it. This is one of those little towns that feels like you step into another time period. I hope it can remain that way. I'd like to visit again.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Battling the Critic - oil on canvas

This is a not so pretty self portrait of me that I created today. When I am depressed I find a soothing shower helps (at least most of the time). I have committed to sharing my art journey and I am now sharing the not so glorious side of it, which is going through the darker moments of the creative process. There are days like today, in which I doubt everything I am trying to accomplish. I question what I'm doing, why I'm doing it and why I'm not doing better at what it is I'm doing. I am fortunate right now in my life to have the time available to paint and yet I feel pressure too because of it and that I should be in a more advanced place with my art. My husband reminds me that I need to focus on the moment and let go of the expectations - he is right. I know this. I know in a few days I will be in a different place. I will feel hopeful and will be joyful again. This is a cyclic process. So here I am in my not so finer glory, sharing all. 

I would love to hear stories from some of the other artists on this blog and how you all cope with the dark days and work through making peace with your inner critic. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Heaton Bay - oil on canvas. For Virtual Paintout project

I thought it would be fun to try doing a painting for the Virtual Paintout Blog for January. This is from a google maps street view. I was drawn to the concept of the road continuing on and that this is but a momentary glimpse as one is continuing on their journey. You can see the original street view from this link: 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Shinto Wedding - water color on paper

This is another piece created from my series of photos from my previous trips to Japan. I am having fun exploring water colors that I had purchased a couple of years ago in Tokyo.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

First Snow - water color and acrylic on paper

This is from an old photo during my first trip to Japan with my future husband. I love how you can walk in the busy city and then right around the corner there will be a shrine or temple with a very beautiful garden waiting for you. I've altered the image a bit and added in a sense of snow & winter to try to convey the peacefulness of the image.