Great Expectations, Part 2

(Hello again!)

Five months into the year, I’m happy to say some things have panned out (while others have not). The opportunity I wrote about earlier did not work out. I was hoping to get a three-month artist residency on the isle of Skye in Scotland for this summer, but I was turned down (sad face). That was disappointing, but not devastating. In fact, it was for the best, since I am now halfway through my second pregnancy! We are expecting another boy in September. This was another hope I had for this year, and it IS happening.

So in that light, I have slowed down some. Pregnancy is of course tiring, but so is being a regular adult. Sometimes life squeezes out the art. Gone are the days of being in art school with nothing else to think about except how long I can paint without stopping for food. I guess that means I’m a grown-up now. I haven’t worked for a couple of months as my little family has packed up and is transitioning to a new house. In that time, I have spent many hours at my parents’ house. Just so happens my mom has a great sewing machine and I MUST make something. This is what happens when I don’t have my art supplies. I applique designs on my son’s clothes just for fun.


My favorite: the Matisse paper-cuts reference. (It’s okay if you are laughing at me.)


Another outlet has been teaching elementary art for the first time. I normally teach college courses, so it was stretching my brain to change to preschool. They were great little artists, so uninhibited and creative.


The greatest oasis during this two-month dry spell was getting to travel to a big city and see art with my very own eyes. I was a bridesmaid in a dear friend’s wedding in San Francisco. After a decade of admiring the Bay Area painters (they were the reason I first wanted to be a painter), I got to actually go to the Bay Area! We had one day to see the city before commencing wedding festivities, but our quick graze of the city did not disappoint. 


The hills and the lighting made for beautiful layering.


And THEN. And then I got to the art museum. Here is a Bischoff painting I was already familiar with before seeing it here, but the tiny picture in the book does not compare to standing in front of it (and now here is a tiny picture for you to see). I felt surrounded by the painting.


I could get really close.


Loved this Diebenkorn. What always drew me to his work was his paint application. That complex white at the top? That has as much to do with how he applied the paint as it does with the colors he chose to put together. Thin, thick, grabbing wet paint underneath, quickly, deliberately.


I also enjoy the way Diebenkorn composes. A dense collection of shapes and paint that fans out exponentially to larger shapes, in this case making a landscape.


De Kooning: “Flesh was the reason oil painting was invented.” Yeah, I miss it.


Stella: “A painting is a flat surface with paint on it — nothing more.”


Scully: “Abstractions that long to be figurative”

And then upon returning to Jackson, I got to have a local experience with great art. The Mississippi Museum of Art has an exhibit right now on European Expressionists. My favorite was a portrait by Millet from when he did portraits. I felt like I was getting to see more obscure art by great artists, which can be just as rewarding as seeing the “famous” paintings they did. You should go see it if you get the chance.

The hardest part about being away from my work for a bit: I can’t just be normal. I can’t just enjoy the time off. I am fidgety and try not to be moody (well, I am pregnant too). I want to work again. I will be back at it soon. Until then, I guess my son will be well-appliqued!

Thanks for reading. The blog is officially back.


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