Saturday, September 18, 2010

Framed and Ready to Show ...

These gouache paintings are what I call my vegetable mandalas. I sent for framing materials from American Frame and put them together today. I will be hanging them at the Houston Iyengar Yoga Studio, where Constance has a small space that is used to display individual artists' work.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


The Three Stooges used to do a routine at a fancy dinner table. They are served artichokes, and one says, "what IS this thing?" the second one says, "yartichoke"; the first one replies, "So should you!" It makes more sense if you say it aloud.

This one is another plant mandala. I like the way it spirals out from the middle.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Whirling Peppers

Someone asked me recently, when they saw this painting as it was then, was it all one one big sheet of paper, and the answer is, yes, it is. In fact, the sheet of watercolor paper (300 lb. Arches Aquarelle) extends well beyond the painted area. The edge is visible at the top, just above the tube of paint.

The underlying design of this piece is the Golden Mean. The center square is flanked by two sets of whirling squares, the one on the left moving counterclockwise, and the one on the right, clockwise. There are some small areas still left white, but that is temporary.

The flower of the bell pepper is in the lower left corner, and the leaves on the upper right. The flower has six petals, and to some extent, the lobes of the peppers form a pattern of six, though that is subtle. The main geometry is the triangle.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bell Pepper in Process

I have to let the layers dry now, or suffer the consequences. Some colors are bleeding into one another, which I do not mind, but to preserve freshness I have to let the painting rest. If it was acrylic that would be a very short time, but with gouache it takes a little longer. Using the hair dryer is also a no-no with gouache.

Work in Process in Progress

Some bell peppers I have seen have three lobes, and some have four. I had the preconceived notion that each sort of fruit and/or vegetable had one geometric shape, but at least for fruits, such as tomatoes and bell peppers, there are variations. I believe the flowers are consistent, but that belief may also be corrected, who knows?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Strawberry Mandala

This piece is 6"x6", gouache on aquabord. I was struck by the similarity of the strawberry and leaves to the image of the Sacred Heart.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Reincarnated Drawing

The square black paper is really too lightweight for gouache painting, so I thought I would make square drawings using white pencil.

This is a version of a drawing I did ten years ago, which I named "My Problem". At that time I felt cut off from the source of inspiration, and my aspiration was enclosed in my too-solid self.

The original drawing is nice, but this version really glows.

Two Tomato Mandala ...

The gouache is drying, but very slowly. In this area we have a minimum of 75% humidity at the moment. Our climate tends to alternate weeks of wet and weeks of dry, so once it starts to dry out again I know the painting will finish drying.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Two Tomato Mandala

TIMELINE: May 26, 2010 I did the first layer of the Tomato Mandala, based upon a red tomato I got at a restaurant, which had four connection points. After that I sliced open another red tomato and it had five connection points. Then I tried a Beefsteak tomato, which had 8 connections to the outer flesh, and a Roma tomato has two.

A few days ago I shot and uploaded the finished Tomato Mandala.

On Monday I went to yoga class and my teacher, Constance, showed another student and me her newest drawing, which is 6 feet wide by 9 feet high. I was very excited by it. It is based upon the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. I hope to post a video of her talking about it, later.

So today, I brought my Black Drawings (white pencil on black paper) with me, along with the Tomato Mandala, to show Constance. After class I stopped at the art supply store and looked for heavy black paper to paint on, as my black drawings made me think about how nice these mandala paintings might look on black paper. I was walking up to the counter to purchase a large sheet of black paper when this pad of black paper caught my eye. It is SQUARE! Perfect for mandalas!

I had purchased a yellow tomato and an orange one, so when I got home I cut them open and Lo and Behold they had each only three connections. So amongst tomatoes, I have seen two, three, four and five, as well as eight connection points.

Constance offered to keep a tally of the number of connections in the tomatoes she encounters, as well. I was planning to go on to my red pepper mandala (3), but this got me going.

The heavy black paper was not designed specifically for water media, but it took the gouache well, in a thick solution. I have to tip my hat to my sister Betsy, who suggested I might like working with gouache. It took a couple of years to get around to trying it, but I am really enjoying it tremendously.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hot with a Chance of Tomatoes

Osprey posted her weather, which is amazingly different from mine, so I am putting mine up too. The tomato mandala is just for fun.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


I know Van Gogh would understand what I am about to say. I have very little motivation to paint, and I have not had much motivation for years now.

I have walls of paintings, plus a big storage area filled with paintings, some of which are successful, some of which are not. A lot of paintings were sold, probably for less money than they should be worth, but they sold.

My website has only made me one connection over these many years, and that brought me a couple of sales, but then it was over.

The gallery that has sold many paintings for me shut down.

My feeling is very few people want my work, and I have plenty for my own use. I know I am supposed to want to paint for my own satisfaction, process, etc. but that well is dry. I did all the work I wanted to do, solved the problems that interested me, and when I tried to do other work (spiritual symbolism, abstraction) it looked like crap to me and everyone else who saw it.

One of my sisters commented, "You would probably be painting if you had to sell to live on the income." Actually, when I was poor I could not afford to paint. Painting requires motivation, physical fitness, time and money. I have all but the motivation.

If I wanted to be gung-ho I could pursue representation in Houston, but I am tired, and I hate selling.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Harmony Drawing

Osprey posted this fabulous drawing site, and I did a drawing of my computer desk, the area between my keyboard and the monitor. It was fun and interesting to see what it put in when I scrubbed the mouse across an open space in "sketchy" mode (light grey surface of desk). Left-click on the drawing to see a much larger view of it (nice to see the details).
If you visit, don't be surprised that it is a blank white screen with just a few menus on the top. Just start drawing with your mouse and play with it!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

The Thingie

Yesterday my Faithful Dog Bear and I went for a walk in another part of The Neighborhood, and we found ... This Thingie. Embedded in the top of a storm drain, it was mysteriously spiraling, filled with concrete that did not match the drain cover itself, and made of what looked like tar. If you know what this is, you can keep it to yourself, because I LIKE IT!

On another storm drain in the same Area, we discovered a small sign that read, "DO NOT DUMP: this storm drain empties into Galveston Bay". So ... should we dump into some other body of water? No, seriously, I could not believe people would dump (what? oil? gas? body parts?) into a storm drain in the first place, so the sign astonished me even more than the Mystery Spiral Symbol.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Today's Studio Work

I am still fiddling with Snake River I, trying to get closer to what I feel. This photo is darker than the painting, but gets the idea across. I increased the contrast on the mountain edges, lightened the blue, made the clouds less red-violet, added red-orange to the branches and trunks of the trees, and made the background hill red-orange again.
I feel finished, but I have felt that way about this painting before, then changed my mind, so I will have to live with it to find out if it wants me to do more.

Monday, January 18, 2010

the Old and the New

The image on the left is what the Yellowstone Falls painting looked like today when I started working on it. On the right is the painting as it is now. It is not finished, but I like the way it is going.