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Patsy’s Creative Corner…Moved!

Hello Friends,

Here’s another short video to tell you what has been happening at my house!  I have been busy moving and getting rid of furniture and packing up my son’s room.  I do miss him, though…and yes, I am goofy in this one, too!

 

Also, since I am painting flowers again (and still working on sea turtles for sure!) I tagged this post with Georgia O’Keeffee.  I had forgotten how much I had written about her a few years ago!  So if you love her art, check out those posts, too.  Thanks.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

Challenging Yourself Lately?

“In the last several years I have taken a few art classes. In every one, the instructors emphasized drawing or painting what you see. I understand why they did this, but not everyone “sees” the same exact thing! After studying Georgia O’Keeffe’s work in the past and reading what she had learned in her many years as an artist, I have to say I agree with modern art instructors up to a point. We can spend a great deal of time concentrating on getting this line or this curve in just the right spot so our drawing ends up looking like a photograph, or we can study the subject and know it so well that we can draw it in a way that expresses who we are as individual artists.”  Patsy H. Parker

You may remember the paragraph above which is a tad different today from when I wrote it in my piece about on Georgia O’Keefee. I was re-reading it, and I have found that my approach to drawing has changed quite a bit since just last summer. I have been pulled into learning all about sea turtles, as you know, and lately I have been trying to figure out how to draw them more “animated” looking like in children’s books and movies since I am working on my first children’s book.

Last night I watched “Finding Nemo” to observe how the artists drew the sea creatures, mainly the sea turtles, of course, because lately, I’ve had my animal books out trying to figure out how to make certain sea creatures look animated with the expressions I desire them to have. I don’t want to copy anyone else’s stuff, you know! Professionals make it look so simple, but as I watched the movie (which is on a VHS tape, by the way,) I kept stopping it in places, and I learned I would not want to be an animator for movies! I don’t know what all is involved in their jobs, but I would not want to draw every frame to get them to move the way they do! So I admire anyone who has that much patience! I realize much of this is done on computers now, also, but think of the old movies like “Bambi” when they didn’t have that technology! WOW! Those old Disney artists were incredible! I have great respect for all artists, but those guys made animals so look so incredibly cute! I mean Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web is adorable! I never thought about the fact that he has blue eyes until I noticed them when I watched it again. And his little gosling friend is equally adorable!

I guess I have always had a desire to do animation of animals since I was young. It is fun to learn, but takes a great deal of thought. That’s what I like, though, a good challenge!

QUESTION: HOW ARE YOU CHALLENGING YOURSELF AS AN ARTIST OR WRITER TODAY???

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

Art Jobs That Sound Interesting To Me

Georgia O'Keeffe on Success

In “The Successful Artist’s Career Guide – Finding Your Way in the Business of Art, there are many lists of different types of art jobs to choose from.

Art jobs that sound interesting to me from these lists are:

1. Paint scenery for the theater
2. Teach art to children. I would also like to teach art to people with special needs.
3. Do art workshops with children, the elderly, or the chronically ill.
4. Write about art or art techniques.
5. Work in a gallery
6. Show in a gallery
7. Design posters, cards, stationery
8. Write an art technique book, and/or write and illustrate a book. (I am in the process of trying to come up with a picture book series for children about each type of sea turtle.)
9. Sell my art work at art fairs.
10. Be an apprentice to a well-known artisan (I wish I could work with Georgia O’Keeffe.)
11. Assist another artist (manage schedule, chauffeur, buy art supplies, stretch canvases, etc.)

Reading…one of my favorite things!

“Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.”  C. S. Lewis

I love this quote! It was in my Goodreads newsletter today. I had never heard it before as one of his quotes. I agree with him wholeheartedly! One of my favorite things to do is have a cup of hot tea while I’m reading in bed at night. So now I’ll probably think of Mr. Lewis when I’m having my tea as well!

One thing I’ve always wanted to do is find a local book club. I haven’t gotten around to it yet, but the thing I used to love about taking literature classes in college was reading and discussing books whether they be non-fiction or fiction. One of my favorite literature classes that I took was when I went back to college for awhile after having both of my kids. My youngest child was about one and a half; her brother is two years older.

The class was in the morning for an hour three times a week. My mom was not a morning person, so I found a friend from church who gladly watched my kids for me…for free. She was a lot younger than my mom and loved little ones. She already had grandchildren and was used to all the running around and changing diapers. She never had a complaint about them which was so wonderful. Sometimes I stayed at the college for an hour or two after my class to do homework, too. So I will never forget Gwen.

Anyway, the class I took was Asian American Literature. We read writing by authors who wrote from the cultures of Vietnam, China, Japan, etc. We discussed the Japanese-American internment camps, the Vietnam War, and many other things. But the book we had to read, discuss, and write an essay final on was called “The Woman Warrior” by Maxine Hong Kingston. It was a haunting but inspirational book. There was a great deal of it I may not have understood if it hadn’t been for the help of my awesome instructor, Steve Turnwall. He brought out things and explained them to where I really got into that book. As I read it, I took notes, wrote in the margins, and asked a lot of questions. It is the only book I will never forget reading in college, the one that has stuck in my memory all these years. So if you’ve never read it, check it out!

Reading is one of the greatest privileges I have ever known. My mom was an avid reader; she only enjoyed fiction, but also read the newspaper.  She and my dad sat together at the table drinking coffee and reading the newspaper every morning after they retired. I was living with them for awhile then so I will never forget that image. It makes me smile. They would discuss the local news and tell me all about stuff while I had my breakfast before going off to my classes. My dad only read the newspaper and T.V. Guide. Once in awhile he would look through baseball books, but I never saw my dad read a full-length book. He was more of a T.V. guy.

My mom read so many novels after she retired that she would go to the Goodwill store and buy bags of them. She would read through them and save them for a while. Then she would trade them in at a local used bookstore for more books to read! She went to the library a couple of times, but that was it. Apparently it wasn’t her cup of tea. But I remember that when I was in grade school she used the library regularly. She would take me with her, and we would check books out together. Back then we could only check out two books at a time for two weeks with one renewal. I have become spoiled with our local library. I don’t feel I have to hurry to read anything anymore. We can check out as many books as we want for three weeks with two more renewals! I know that’s a long time to have a book, but that’s almost how long it took me to read that enormous Georgia O’Keeffe biography last summer!

Georgia O'Keeffe, Full Bloom

What kinds of books do you like to read? Leave me your comments! I’d love to know my readers as well. Have a great day and give someone you love a big hug!

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Footsteps

Donna, thank you for liking my blog. I’m glad I checked yours out, too! These pictures are great and go with all of the stuff I’ve been writing about Georgia O’Keeffe. I’m glad you were able to go there. I sure wish I could! Maybe someday. Thanks again.

Always Backroads

white place 1

In the distance from Georgia O’Keeffe’s Abiquiu home, the cliffs she called ‘The White Place’ can be seen.  She would drive there and camp, wander and draw and pick up a few rocks.

I had an O’Keeffe weekend visiting her Abiquiu home, photographing the Pedernal, walking around the White Place and finishing up at the O’Keeffe museum in Santa Fe.  And I learned to spell ‘Abiquiu.’

white place 2

Thoughts from that trip – I didn’t realize she was 61 when she moved to the Abiquiu house which was beautiful, but not easy living.  She had a huge garden and dried or canned much of her food.

I took the guided tour of the house – the only way to see inside.  No cameras, no sketchbooks, no writing paper allowed.  I felt naked.  But also alive to paying attention in a way that a camera prohibits.  Not sure I want to spend more…

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“Full Bloom: The Art and Life of Georgia O’Keeffe

Today I cried as I read about the ending of Georgia O’Keeffe’s life.  It’s amazing that she almost made it to 100.  (I know this, because my Grandmother made it to 102!)  Georgia lived a long full life, that’s for sure.  She had more stamina than most people have in half that long of a life.  But after many illnesses and her nervous break down earlier in her life, she decided that she wanted to become healthier.  Leaving her husband I’m sad to say was the only way that could happen for her.  She just couldn’t live with his insanity, adultery, and his bothersome family any more.  Who can blame her?  The last half of her life was a very simple life.  I’ve concluded that she had to have been more of a recluse than anyone I’ve ever read about.  But that was how she wanted to live – a simple life doing what she loved – her art!   Her little adobe house in New Mexico was her home.   

Here she felt serene, happy and motivated to work once she was totally on her own.  She seemed to have a somewhat harsh personality some might say, but I think it was because she didn’t trust people easily.  She was taken advantage of emotionally by her husband, and others tried to tell her how to be who they wanted her to be.  What I love about her most, though, was that she basically said, “the heck with everyone else!  I’m going to be my own person, do my own thing, and be happy. ” And that’s exactly what she did.

But don’t just take my word for it.  Read the biography I read.  It is called  “Full Bloom:  The Art and Life of Georgia O’Keeffe”, by Hunter Drohojowska-Philp.  I wrote a review for it at Goodreads, but didn’t say as much there as I have here.  On there you will see that the paperback is 480 pages.  I think the one I read was a little larger print (because I’m half blind)!  The one I read was about 545 pages!!  To date that is the longest book I have ever read.  I’ve read the whole Harry Potter series, but I read her seventh book in a few days!  As involved as that novel is, I was so engrossed in the story, I devoured it almost overnight!  However, this biography took me well over five weeks to digest.  But that is the difference.  There was a lot of stuff to think about and digest.   She was a complex person to understand.

As you can tell, Georgia O’Keeffe is my favorite artist.  What artists have you read about?  I’d love to be referred to some great biographical books on artists.  I’ve read a couple about Vincent Van Gogh and browsed some about other artists.  But the book I just finished was the best one about any artist that I’ve ever read.  Check it out!  I won’t tell.  After all, I got mine at the library.

Happy reading, painting, etc.  Have a great day and give someone you love a hug.

Success…

Georgia
“Success doesn’t come with painting one picture. It results from taking a certain definite line of action and staying with it.”

The Subjects Painters Choose

Have you ever wondered why painters decide to paint the subjects they choose?  I have.  Personally, I have never been a fan of Picasso’s or Pollock’s work.  But does that mean it isn’t done well?  Of course not.  It was done exactly the way THEY wanted it done.  Besides, I’m only one person out of billions of people who love the disjointed faces of Picasso or the wild splashes of color poured or drizzled onto Pollock’s canvases.  You see, I believe that unless an artist tells someone why they paint the things they do the way they do, then all we are left with is speculation.

My favorite artist is Georgia O’Keeffe.  I love all of what she did, although I wouldn’t hang all of it in my house.  I love her flowers the most out of all her work.  But her cow’s head paintings and some of her abstract work is very interesting.  Even her cityscapes she did while she lived in New York are pretty intriguing to me.  She really didn’t enjoy living in the city very much, so that’s why she painted the skies and accented the sunspots and clouds she saw.  Georgia absolutely loved the outdoors.  That’s why she ended up living out most of her later lifetime in New Mexico.  She took long walks and found all kinds of things that interested her enough to make paintings of, mostly animal skulls and bones.

In Lovingly, Georgia, on pg. 92, she said,  “I had been taught to work like others  and after careful thinking I decided  that I wasn’t going to spend my life doing what had already been done.”

Georgia knew from the time she was a young girl that she was going to be an artist.  She was also fortunate enough to be able to attend art schools growing up.  She taught art for several years, but she always knew she would become who she turned out to be.

In her autobiography Georgia said,   “I said to myself, ‘I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me — shapes and ideas so near  to me — so natural to my way of being and thinking that it hasn’t occurred to me to put them down.'”  (Georgia O’Keeffe, Georgia O’Keeffe)

Before I ever studied anything at all about art, I wasn’t even the least bit interested in going to a gallery or even drawing or painting myself.  It wasn’t until I went to college at 30 years of age and took an Art History class that all of this was introduced to me.  I didn’t become an artist until about ten years later!  But what I learned there that I think has become the most valuable knowledge for me is not to be so quick to judge the artist just because what he or she has done may not be my own taste.  I wouldn’t want people to do that with my art, but they probably have.  In fact, I expect it really, especially from people who aren’t art lovers in the first place.  Or from people who just love to be critical about everything.  The people’s opinions I take to heart the most are other artists’.  Others who have studied art or those naturally talented people who just do art of all kinds, but maybe have never even read anything about it.  Those are the ones whose opinions I value most.

No one knows what is going on in an artist’s mind when they are creating.  Only the artists themselves know this.  A perfect example is Georgia O’Keeffe.  Many of the male critics in her early years of fame assumed that all of her flower paintings were expressions of some hidden sexual ideas.  At first, she felt offended by this.  Over time, however, she didn’t care what people said about her.  She chose to paint what she wanted and how she wanted it to be.

In a gallery brochure for fifty of her flower canvases that were being shown, she was defensive of her paintings and how many of them she was showing.  She said in her autobiography,  “Everyone has many associations with a flower.  You put out your hand to touch it, or lean forward to smell it, or maybe touch it with your lips almost without thinking, or give it to someone to please  them.  But one rarely takes the time to really see a flower.  I have painted what each flower is to me and I have painted it big enough so that others would see what I see.”  (Georgia O’Keeffe, Georgia O’Keeffe, bold italics mine).

This is what I love about her.  She took the time to tell us why she did the things she did.  Some of her abstract art has this same line of reasoning.  She did all of her painting so we could see the things she saw, the way she saw them.

So whether you are an art lover or not, the next time you see a piece you’ve never seen, don’t be too quick to judge it.  If you can, take the time to learn about the artist.  You might be surprised at what you find and end up respecting the piece.  Or you might still hate it.  And that’s okay (as long as you don’t tell the artist you hate it).  Some artists can take that, I suppose, and don’t care what we think of their work.  But most artists I’ve met are sensitive and just need that extra encouragement.  Which would you rather be – someone who discourages others or an encourager?  I’d rather be the latter.

Until next time, have a great summer day, and give someone you love a hug.

Georgia O’Keeffe Quote

“You paint from your subject, not what you see…I rarely paint anything I don’t know very well. It was surprising to me to see how many people separate the objective from the abstract. Objective painting is not good painting unless it is good in the abstract sense. A hill or tree cannot make a good painting just because it is a hill or a tree. It is lines and colors put together so that they say something. For me that is the very basis of painting. The abstraction is often the most definite form for the intangible thing in myself that I can only clarify in paint.”

I read a biography recently about Georgia O’Keeffe by Lisa Mintz Messinger that had the following quotes in it from other sources. I find that I like the way Georgia thought about art and the way she approached her work. She did do some abstract painting for sure, but she painted her own interpretation of what she saw which always made her subject her own.

In the last several years I have taken a few art classes. In every one, the instructors emphasized drawing or painting what you see. I understand why they did this, but not everyone “sees” the same exact thing! After studying Georgia’s work and reading what she had learned in her many years as an artist, I have to say I agree with modern art instructors up to a point. We can spend a great deal of time concentrating on getting this line or this curve in just the right spot so our drawing ends up looking like a photograph, or we can study the subject and know it so well that we can draw it in a way that expresses who we are as individual artists.

This is what I love about art the most. Art is an expression not of just what we see or imagine, but it is a picture of what our soul is seeing and feeling while we work. At least that is how it is for me! However, this does not mean that we can’t learn how to draw the way that instructors are teaching us. Whatever we can learn in a class or from a book or from working with other artists can benefit us. I think of it this way: study art instruction, chew on and digest what you will use, and spit out the bones. (My husband says this all the time about studying theology or any other subject that interests him.) I think it is good advice. In art classes we are required to deliver what the instructors want. But when we are working on whatever we desire to do, it is OKAY to do whatever WE want to do, because it is an expression of who we are. Let go of the need for other people’s approval. Create art because you love to do it, not just to please someone else’s tastes.

I have been studying different artists’ work for years, so I have chosen to read about my favorite artists’ lives and think about the times in which they lived. For instance, I know many, many people who just do not like Vincent Van Gogh’s work! But he truly struggled in his endeavors to create art. He struggled with depression and money problems to the point where he committed suicide. But he painted what he saw in the way he saw it, and to me that is all that matters.

I believe that when we take into consideration the individual, the context of their painting, and the times, in which they lived, we can come to understand any artist’s work and give them the respect they deserve for having the courage to put it out for all to see.

Have a great day and give someone you love a big hug!

I Am An Artist

Self-Portrait, Spring 1887, Oil on pasteboard,...

Self-Portrait, Spring 1887, Oil on pasteboard, 42 × 33.7 cm., Art Institute of Chicago (F 345). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Don’t let yourself conjure up an image that doesn’t apply accurately to me, however. I’ve never sold anything. I do it for the joy of the process. So if you’re interested, here’s my story.

For the last ten years I have become a self-made artist along with the help of many different types of artists who I’ve met in my journey. I learned a great deal from them all.

I started out using watercolor paints. I bought the lowest-grade supplies of paints, paper, and brushes just in case I didn’t stick with this endeavor. There’s a very good reason for this! I have a tendency to start all types of hobbies or start learning something like Sign Language, but then don’t stick with it in the long haul. Anyway, back to the watercolor painting. I wasn’t sure what to paint, but I knew what I liked: flowers, landscapes, oceans, that type of thing. At first I would find greeting cards I liked and just copy the image by eyeballing it, not tracing it. I began using small pieces of paper – 4×6 and 5×7 sizes at the largest until I got the hang of it. I painted things pretty loosely in the beginning until I could learn to draw better. Now I have become very detailed in my work, especially when I paint flowers. That is my greatest interest of late. Actually, it always has been. In fact, I love Georgia O’Keefe’s work very much.

After I decided I was going to stick with painting, I joined the North Light Book Club and built up a fine collection of art books. It became expensive in the long run, though, so after I had quite a few to start with, I quit the club. Besides, I had obtained plenty to keep me busy for quite some time. So I put myself to work – LEARNING!

I don’t feel like I was born to be an artist like Renoir or Van Gogh, both of whom I love. For me, it has been an endeavor that I have had to work really hard at. But it has been the most rewarding work I’ve ever done outside of being a wife, mother, and home school teacher. All of those responsibilities have kept me busy through the years. My two kids are teens now, so I have more free time for myself as they can work more independently.

Lastly, I have to say I am thankful that I have been fortunate enough to stay home and raise my family like my mother did before me and her mother before her, etc., etc. That was a priority of mine and my husband’s. Plus, this has afforded me the opportunity to learn many other new things, such as playing the guitar and getting back into piano which I learned to play as a child. I have always loved art and music. It’s a great blessing to be able to do both at my leisure!

Until next time, keep cool, get outside and enjoy the sunshine, and tell someone you love them today!

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