Today wasn’t “my” day at the Art Co-op, but Ms. Saturday was sick so I worked. The river was roaring and muddy!
It is fun to watch the seasonal changes at that prime little spot. The brilliant yellow trees out front have been a treat, and I have been waiting for someone to come in and tell me their name.
Today a lady named Martha (no, not my mom but another lady) told me they are Acacia trees without even being asked, just what I was waiting for! Have a closer look:
This is one of the most dreaded, misunderstood and boring aspects of being an artist. We artists, in general, dislike writing about our work. Obviously this doesn’t apply to me! But while I love to write, the artist statement gets me bowed up. I don’t do well with Artspeak, and I hate pretentiousness. This a.m. I read an article in the business/art magazine Art Calendar about writing an artist statement and realized it was time to update mine (yet again!) I’m still not sure if it is supposed to be a personal history, a personal philosophy of art, or an explanation. Regardless, here is my current one:
Art has been my fulltime profession for 17 years. Pencil used to be all I’d consider – it was the best way I knew to get every single detail in excruciating perfection. As my drawing students and customers asked for color, I reluctantly entered the world of colored pencil to record life around me. It didn’t resonate with me the way graphite did (and still does!), so 4 years ago I began to oil paint. As my proficiency increases, I’m able to focus more on light and color, and less on minutia. Although my medium is different, my favorite subjects remain: giant Sequoias, Mineral King, citrus, and Three Rivers. Tulare County is my home and recording its beauty is my goal.
It will probably be rewritten many more times as I learn what this is supposed to be and do. Mostly it is a requirement for gallery entries or group shows. Since I tend to be a maverick (as my college photography teacher told me back in the late ’70s), I can usually avoid this part of an art career. Yea! So, have a look at what is almost finished for the Zonta show (and they invited me WITHOUT asking for an “artist statement”):
A few months ago, I painted the famous Kaweah Post Office. This is up the north fork of the Kaweah River, and is the smallest operating post office in the United States! Really! The folks who live near it and use it insist that they don’t live in Three Rivers but in Kaweah, and since they do have their own zip code, I suppose it is true. However, the town of Three Rivers claims the Kaweah Post Office as its landmark. Regardless, it is cute as can be and always sells when I paint or draw it. It sold as an 11×14 in November; someone stopped me in the Three Rivers Post Office (Where else for such a request??) last week and asked me to paint it again.
Here it is in its beginning stages.
Here it is a little later. Incidentally, all realistic artists either work from photos or they lie about it. (This is a quote from Jack White, my painting guru)
I’m writing blog entries when I should be painting. Painting is supposed to be my first priority now, so anything else produces guilt. But, I feel compelled to stay in touch, and tell you about another trip into Mineral King. As usual, it provided more inspiration, recreation and good times with Michael in the snow.
There has been avalanche activity in the valley. First, a slide came down off spud mountain. The real name is Potato Hill because it reminded the Irish miners of rows of potatoes in the fields of home. Those rows are avalanche chutes. Here is one result:
This is a little shed that prolly needed rebuilding anyway. . . out of respect for my friends and neighbors, I will leave this without identification, and will also not show the cabin that got knocked off its posts. (It doesn’t look nearly as dramatic in the photos as real life anyway!)
Another slide came down Chihuahua, which is the drainage across the valley from Spring Creek (about 1/2 mile before Crystal).
It is all snowy, so how do you know this is a slide instead of just snowfall? It is fan shaped, like an alluvial fan but made of snow instead of dirt. And, it covered the creek that is exposed in other parts of the valley:
There are also broken branches and other debris, but it isn’t that pretty in a photo, so I skipped that part of today’s lesson in Mineral King Winter. (There won’t be a test or any homework, no worries!)
Say what? “Founded in 1919, Zonta International is a global organization of executives and professionals working together to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy.” They have a chapter in Porterville that hosts a wonderful event called Wine and Art, and I get to be part of the Art part. (that was a weird rhyming sentence!) March 6 is the date, and there still might be tickets available. You can email me and I can forward your inquiry to the right Zonters (I made that up – can you tell?) This is one of the paintings I will have for sale at their event:
If you are reading this in Chicago or Alexandria or somewhere else that is having a real winter, please don’t do anything rash but just try to enjoy this posting. February is spring in Three Rivers. Down the hill in Visalia those poor folks have to contend with fog and gray days, but up here there are fiddlenecks in bloom, along with something white, an occasional plum tree, and narcissus. The daffodils are about to pop in my yard, as is the flowering quince. The green kind of looks fake because it is so very intensely green. This is how things looked on a recent walk:
My husband sometimes rides his bike along with me on my long walks. It helps pass the time, and he brings water. 😎 On days like this I have my little camera; someday you may see paintings that look oddly familiar!
Since I can’t tell you what the giant secret project is, I will show you these tangerines. I just ate one – smells good! (No, not a painting, the real thing!!) Too bad this isn’t a scratch’n’sniff. They are in this box so I can carry them back and forth from the studio to the house. There is almost always a painting or 6 propped up above the woodstove this time of year.
Because I am the daughter, granddaughter, niece and cousin of farmers, weather has always been an important part of my life. I was trained from an early age to stop talking (mid-sentence if necessary) whenever the weather came on the radio. Dad did call most of the weather guys “weather-guessers”, and I have noticed in the past few months that a prominent weather guy on a prominent localish radio station refers to himself as a “metorolist”. Perhaps he isn’t a real meteorologist, or perhaps he is just in a giant hurry or even has trouble pronouncing his profession. . . hard to say, but I digress. What I meant to say is have a look at a Mineral King cabin as of Sunday, February 7, 2010. (Thank you, Evan and Karl!)
Now that I am so immersed in my technological items, I have begun thinking in the same terms. CD players and iPods reshuffle; apparently, so do I. My paintings are in several different places, and I constantly rethink where they might be seen by the greatest number of people. Because the First Saturday Three Rivers http://www.1stsaturdaytr.com/ is turning into a huge success, I moved as many paintings as possible to The Art Co-op http://www.theartco-op.com/ for last weekend. My space is really really full right now (but I haven’t checked to see what sold over the weekend yet because i am messing with my electronic devices, painting on the giant secret project and walking like a maniac)