Sunday, May 23, 2010

Still in a Rut

Well, working with the oils didn't help. Actually, I think it made things worse. Taking the day off Friday to go fishing began to recharge my batteries, but Saturday was a bust. It's getting so bad, I couldn't sleep last night wondering when I would be able to push forward again. I've got Birds In Art papers to fill out and send in... yet they sit here staring at me unfinished. I've got framing to order... not done. The deadline for my black bear painting (a portion of which is seen here) is fast approaching, but it has been on the easel for weeks... with no progress.
This production drought is really grinding on me.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Working Out of a Rut

It's been hard for me to work the past few days. I'm not sure what the problem is, but nothing was getting done. Finally, I got the oils out and started smacking some paint around. With fits of frenetic production punctuated by periods of near stagnation, my working life has more ups and downs than the stock market. Rather than accepting the "ruts" as a necessary part of the process (a much more sane and productive approach!) and being happy with the down time, I really let them get to me. My emotions will range from some sort of self-loathing depression to full blown panic. The sticky slow motion days have a feeling of permanency and creatively speaking... it's absolutely paralyzing. Just the other day, my sister was needling me a bit saying, "Noooooo... not my brother... obsessing over something!" Point well taken ;)

Sometimes I can get out a sketch journal and "draw my way out," and that's never a bad thing. Most of us artist types could use a little more drawing time. I can usually force myself out of doldrums after a few days... making myself paint rather than just staring at my projects wondering what to do next.

The last couple of days, I've been working on some oil portraits... slowly making progress.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Reality Check

I was sitting here in front of the TV, watching the hockey game, and writing a new blog post about the joy of being accepted into Birds In Art... that's when I got the call. I feel like the artist community I'm a part of is pretty tight. We all watch out for each other... especially those in the Birds In Art "family." That's why I was so stunned to hear that my friend, Debby Kaspari (whose blog "Drawing the Motmot" is linked to this page) lost her beautiful house and studio to a tornado today in Oklahoma. She, her husband Mike, and their cat all made it to their storm shelter in the nick of time and are all currently holed up in a shelter. The details are a little sketchy and all my information is second-hand (from her sister and other artist friends). I'm waiting to hear.
So now I sit here a thousand miles away... feeling helpless... not knowing what to do... and thinking how lucky I am. I wish I could do more.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Birds In Art 2010

It is with great pleasure and pride that I announce the selection of "Nuthatch and Crabapple" for inclusion in the 2010 Birds In Art exhibit in Wausau, Wisconsin. Birds In Art is perhaps the most prestigious wildlife art exhibit in the world and is organized and hosted by the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. It is truly a remarkable event! This marks the 4th consecutive year I've been fortunate enough to impress the jurors with my work. Now that the anxiety of the jury process if over, the burden of living up to this prestigious honor begins anew.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Walk in the Woods

It was far too nice a day yesterday to stay couped up in the studio. Finally, I got everything that needed to be done out of the way... and bolted for the rest of the afternoon. My dad and I went to one of our "secret" mushroom spots and put a few miles on our boots. Of course, I spent more time poking around looking for frogs and wildflowers than mushrooms, but we found our share. I nearly always have my camera with me, so I shot plenty of photos. I think some wildflower paintings are in order!
It's funny how my mind wanders while I meander through the forest (and through life). I find myself drawn to splashes of color like a raven to shiny sliver of tin foil... composing paintings on the hoof... and completely losing focus of the task at hand. I'm quite confident I walked right by most of the morels before I realized I wasn't "looking."
Tonight I'm making dinner... morels stuffed with spinach and ricotta. I can hardly wait.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Black Morels

After a good day here in the studio, I decided to cut my afternoon short and take a walk. This time of year, I never go anywhere without my camera and "Shroom Bag." Much to my delight, I stumbled upon this grouping of black morels. These are a rare find for me and I ended up talking to myself as I fumbled out my camera for some quick shots. They were remarkably nice specimens and all located in a spot barely as large as a table top.

The weather girl keeps saying it will rain soon... I'm still waiting. If we get a steady warm rain soon, morels will be everywhere!