I’m feeling all a glow today. I think that’s being reflected in my tree painting. I really love the way the alcohol inks look in this painting. It feels lit from within. I don’t, however, love the composition. My eyes want to see the top of the tree and having it sliced in half like it is feels a little frustrating.
Some paintings are paintings you want to stand proudly next to and some paintings are a learning experience. This one was the latter. I love the colors and the movement, but I think it would have been much more successful if I had spent more time thinking about the composition.
When you paint every day, you aren’t always going to create a masterpiece! That’s OK. Sometimes we have days where the goal is to develop a new skill or gain a new perspective. Don’t get discouraged if you go through periods of creating that seem to be more about learning skills than creating masterpieces. This is all part of the process and part of the big picture.
Now that I have reached day 20 of the challenge I am starting to feel fatigued. This usually happens at some point in the middle. By day 20 the late nights or early mornings start to catch up with you. The house is getting more cluttered and messy than usual. Your family wants your attention and there are usually a few kinks in your schedule that have set you back. Yesterday we went to El Paso to do some shopping and spent almost the entire day there. We got home after midnight last night! We’re all a little more tired than usual today. A day away from home is always fun, but it also puts me behind on all of things I need to do. Right now I have a pile of dishes to wash, a few loads of laundry to fold, and heart jewelry I desparatly need to make before February! I’m starting to feel some time pressure that will likely escalate between now and the end of the month. It’s never easy to get this whole life balance thing right, is it?
The good thing is these are easy problems to have. I mean, I can’t really complain that I have too much art to make, or too many dishes to wash, or too many people to love. I’m pretty fortunate. I do, however, sometimes wish there were more hours in a day! I could use just a few extra hours to get more things done.
This Desert Moonscape painting almost didn’t get painted today. Sundays are busy. Jim is working so Tiny-Small and I are home alone together and she likes my undivided attention. Sometimes that means I don’t get to paint until late in the day or late into the night. Usually I don’t paint at all. We usually just do things together like chores and cooking or playing in her room. We often go to the park or out for donuts too. She likes to hike in the forest and do crafts, but she doesn’t like waiting around for me to paint something or to write. She thinks all of that stuff is pretty annoying. When I am doing the 30 paintings challenge I always have a hard time with Sundays. In the back of my mind I am always worried that I might not get my painting finished.
Tiny-Small was really tired today so I put her to bed early. Of course, that didn’t go as planned either. She was over tired and crying. I was trying to get her pajamas on and she turned wicked running all over and hiding under the bed laughing like an imp. Then the toilet clogged up. Then she cried some more. Then her toothbrush couldn’t be found. Then she cried some more. Then the blankets were twisted. Then she was thirsty. Then I cried. Then finally, by some stroke of luck, the stars aligned and she closed her eyes. She was snoring in three minutes. Poor kid. Why do we fight what we need the most?
Bedtime goes smoothly some nights and other nights it is an exhausting adventure. Sometimes, after getting Tiny-Small to bed and taking a very deep breath, I step outside for some cool air and to look up at the moon and stars. The sky is so big here and the stars are very bright. Looking up at the vastness of the universe is very calming. It’s so beautiful. I think the sky, during the night and the day, has become a big part of who I am as a New Mexican. It’s become something that sustains me through the hard times. I am sure that is why the sky has a big presence in my artwork.
Is there a part of your landscape that grounds you or has become a part of your identity? What one thing do you look at every day that inspires, energizes, or calms you?
At the lake was inspired by a photograph my friend Molly Field sent me when I was working on painting landscapes a few months ago. I didn’t paint it for my landscape series, but I wanted to. I ran out of time so I decided to paint it today! I think she said it was a photograph of a snow-covered lake, but I can’t remember for sure. I need to ask her, but it felt like a lake to me. With the sun behind the trees on the other side of the lake a nice, dark shadow was created. That orange sky is nice a surprise between the gray of winter too, isn’t it?
I had some trouble photographing this one. When I get a chance I am going to scan it to get a better image. Sometimes the inks and the Yupo paper can be very reflective, especially when there is a lot of white in the painting. I tried photographing this on an overcast day, but it still is a bit washed out on the right side. Alcohol inks can be a challenge to use and to photograph. I often think they are much prettier when seen in person. The color is very intense and sometimes that doesn’t come across as well as I’d like in the photographs. It is a medium that has some quirks, but it sure is pretty!
My daughter has been painting with me each day. At four she is starting to create symbols and draw people. It’s really fun to see what she comes up with. I wanted to share a couple of her creations with you today.
This one is a picture she drew of the two of us and we each have our own house. I am on the right and she is on the left. We are trying to holding hands.
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