Friday, April 27, 2007

New Drawing

I've been trying some waterbased oil pastels on colored Asian papers. They are very transparent, so I started with a base of construction paper crayons. I like those things, they are very opaque and made a good base for the pastels. After editioning some of my woodcuts, I decided I needed to brighten up a little today. Then tonight I visited an Australian design blog I really like called Absolutely Beautiful Things, and she (Ann) was having a pink and yellow week, with posts of very very beautiful images of rooms and objects, so I sent this image and she kindly included it in her week's roundup. What a great idea, focusing on a color combination in that way. This drawing was fun, but not as much fun as pulling the first of this image tentatively called "Rocks". Suggestions for a better title are welcome!

Sunday, April 22, 2007


I have always been involved in volunteer work, but for the past few years I have focused on getting a building for the Wesley Foundation in Langston, OK. I play a very small role in this, but hope it has been a helpful one. This building will be a home to the United Methodist students in the rather remote rural town where Langston University is located. It will also serve the local townspeople, which currently have no place to hold any kind of community gathering. Our board has raised over $600,000 with donations ranging from 77 cents to $150,000. Construction will begin June 1st.

In an earlier post I promised to show photos of our groundbreaking, which was held yesterday, April 21. It was a a beautiful bright (if windy) day. That's me in the green on the left, with my co-chair (coincidentally also in green) Doris Washington as we greeted the crowd. Then a couple of photos of students preparing the dinner on the grounds. Bennie and Isaac have been active members of the Wesley group all the way through school. Isaac is currently the vice-president. In the background you can see the University campus, and what a great spot the new building will have - right across from two large ponds and looking towards the sunset. I'm hoping we will be able to have a sunporch on that side of the building, to really take advantage of the view.

Friday, April 13, 2007

It was a nice suprise to find this article this morning, especially after This One yesterday! It is fun to check my web stat counter and see how varied and international these site's readerships are. It is amazing to think that people in China and Poland spent five minutes looking at my work.

Last night I had a long visit with an artist friend in eastern Washington. She and I had both been in the same gallery for many years. This gallery had never once sent me a piece of mail, or even called me when they sold something. They sold nearly everything of mine they ever had, and I will always wonder how much more art we could have moved if they had tried a little harder - or if I'd known to come rotate work! The last straw for me was when they broke a large chunk out of a very hard flat wood frame. Rather than contact me to replace the frame, they filled it in with magic marker! They assured me they had continued to show it (like that was a good thing).

Yesterday she received all the work the gallery had. She'd asked for her older stuff back, but they had dumped years of work in boxes and sent it off. We talked about how our experience with this gallery had probably made us feel like nobody wanted to see or live with our art. We let them affect our own attitude about our own work. So, a long hard lesson learned. Now that she is in a geographic area with even fewer galleries than here, I might put a page on my own website for her. People need a chance to see her work, and after working in a near vacuum for decades, she needs to have her work seen.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Back to Painting

I took some time off from painting while my show in Tulsa was up, and then did some drawing for a few days, but am now back to the paint. There were several paintings that didn't make my cut for the show due to a lack of space and, well, some of them were either incomplete or had developed issues I didn't have the time to deal with. It is a good exercise to try to get a crazy painting back under control - unlike carving a woodblock, there is no limit to how much paint one can put on the surface. At least with woodcut, at some point you will have carved away the entire surface.

Once I finish these unfinished ones, I think the next series might be almost black and white. Not entirely, but at least very high contrast in values, with less emphasis on color. I just have a sense of wanting to step back a little and focus on the linear structure.

Today was my 46th birthday and I painted for a little while after supper, and had good phone visits with my aunt and sister and nephews.