Maxx and Nomi meet

May 29, 2009

Maxx holds newborn Naomi WatercolorAug06 006
Maxx and Naomi

  • Watercolor
  • In the collection of N/AM

Naomi raced into this world at full speed and hasn’t slowed since. Her mom/Anna had gone into labor, Maxx was strapped into his car seat ready to race to the Birthing Center and dad/Nat went back in to get mom. Mom said, “I’m not going anywhere.” Aunt Laura shows up. Dad says, “Get Maxx.” Laura takes a minute to extract Maxx from the car, goes back in the house and Nat is handing a baby to Mom. All sorts of names suggesting “speed” were proposed, but Naomi Elizabeth, aka Nomi, was chosen a few days later.

Maxx and Naomi, now at 5 and 2 (excuse me, 2 and a half) recognize who their best friend and chief competitor is. It’s a joy watching these two in the world.

Heroes

May 29, 2009

Heroes
Heroes

My decision to use a limited palette on this painting led me to use a couple of black and white photographs, both of people I admire; my father as a handsome young sailor and the opera singer, Leontine Price. This painting was the first of a series with photos inserted into the still life. Heroes? To me they are. A singer, despite being born in 1928 in the segregated south, who achieves international success in her career. A young man born one of 10 children in rural Missouri, taught his children patient observation, culinary curiosity, self confidence and so much more, which makes him my hero. The war? He would never talk about it.

TreesFlowersBirds 005

Patrick Dougherty's sapling sculpture

Patrick Dougherty KU Sculpture 003

Swirling saplings

Today, Rob and I walked on the University of Kansas campus and came upon a Patrick Dougherty sapling sculpture commissioned by the Spencer Museum of Art. It’s an engaging and fantastic piece of work. The placement of the saplings gives the impression of a tornado surrounding a very calm tree. Further into the walk, swallows circled us in their crazy flight pattern as we walked around Potter’s Lake. While I was studying the birds I noticed Rob fooling with what I thought was a trash barrel. Not. It was a whirly-gig. Perhaps the inspiration was a Merry-Go-Round, but the fabric had come out of the pivot point making the whirly gig only partially operable.

Patrick Dougherty KU Sculpture 007

Inside the sculpture limb lines sweep around form

What's Rob fooling with?

What's Rob fooling with?

A whirly-gig sculpture that needs repair

Anonymous whirly-gig sculpture

LOC dionne diapersNancysite

My great-grandmother’s crazy quilts where almost as fantastic as this one. The photo was provided by Barbara Brackman,  the material girl. She is a quilt historian, author of over a dozen books on quilting and a fabric designer.

Quilt making was a family artform and I’ve inherited a few. My favorite is the crazy quilt. It’s the surreal foreground in the painting Awakenings.

Kids reading 2D as 3D

May 27, 2009

Maxx tries to insert lizard in mural 009

Maxx’ Mural in progress

Maxx's muralsInProgress Feb 2005 001

Using Maurice Sendak’s story “Where the Wild Things Are” as inspiration, I painted a jungle mural in Maxx’ room. He’s swinging through the picture on a vine, while monsters, lions, tigers and some ‘Gary Larson inspired’ fish play baseball in the creek. It’s a mix. I talked to Maxx about the images in the mural as it developed and one day, at the age of 13-14 months, he walked over to the mural and tried to insert his stuffed lizard. That amazed me and also that he chose an appropriate jungle animal. He’s definitely above average.

Pard

May 26, 2009

Pard
Pard

  • Oil on Canvas
  • In the collection of JW

Pard must have been a dear. I was commissioned to paint his portrait after he’d passed. You’ll see a reproduction of this portrait in the entrance of the local Humane Society, where  they do a good job trying to find just the right home for the animals they shelter.

I borrow my son’s dog, Wax, when I want unconditional love. He’s the best, although he does lick excessively. Due to being weaned too early, I’m told. Grandson Maxx was playing with Wax on the levy behind their home today. Anna, aka Mom, and I were working in the garden. Wax’s range was increasing. Maxx called to Anna that Wax was getting too far away. “He’s the size of a hot wheel,” Maxx called. I taught him spacial perspective when he was very young.

Awakenings

May 23, 2009

Awakenings
Awakenings

It’s late and soon I’ll be dreaming. I should study this painting with a Jungian, where I might learn things I didn’t know I knew.

Best Friends

May 21, 2009

Sunina & Sofie
Best Friends

  • Oil on Canvas
  • (2) 12″ x 12″
  • In the collection of AS

10 year old best friends with complementary birds on their shoulders.

Chickadees and Coffee

Chickadees and Coffee

  • Oil on Canvas
  • In the collection of D/SM

Whether I paint them or not I enjoy collecting bird stories. “Do you have a bird story?” is a question I might pose to a complete stranger. The following was told to me by a guy behind me in the check-out lane at the grocery. While in Alaska, he’d watch the ravens in winter take turns covering the solar cells of the village lights with their wings, which kept the lights on, providing a warm perch.

There is an other worldly feel to Chickadees and Coffee. A landscape and still life combination which is surreal, yet I don’t think uncomfortable.  A dreamscape combining two curious chickadees, a dramatic  sweep of clouds, an eclipsed moon that lets you know it’s a chunk of rock floating in space, and windblown prairie with fresh oranges, coffee and eclairs. The viewer has lots of elements to draw on for a story.

Coffee with Chocolates

May 14, 2009

ChoclatesAndCoffee
Coffee with Chocolates

Chocolates and coffee are for savoring the moment.