I’m really enjoying doing these abstract pieces. There is so much freedom of expression in abstract work. I don’t have to worry about making it look like a real object. When I first started painting, I was very uptight about making everything look true to life. I have a brain for exact detail, and it’s so easy to get caught up in the millions of details of nature. Whenever I do a representational work, I work from real life or a photo. When I do abstract work, I do it strictly from my imagination. I don’t have to worry about making some semblance of something “out there”.
This piece reminds me of pregnancy, womanhood, fertility, etc. It could be the eggs of marine life in some seaweed. It could be a woman’s womb with eggs in it. It has a very organic sense of rhythm and flow caused by the curved lines, and the lines that echo from each other.
After being very busy taking care of my 13 year old, who is off for the summer, my house and garden, and my health, I finally got back to my art today. I started out with a sheet of heavy duty black toothy pastel paper. I drew “S” curve lines on the paper, and fanned them out. Then, I drew in colors on each “S” curve, in the order of the color wheel. This makes it colorful, but yet harmonious. My color palette is red violet, red, red orange, orange, and yellow, with accents of green. The green accents add contrast, and interest. This piece has a nice flowing organic feel to it. It is all based on curves. At the same time, it is lively and colorful, and has a sense of controlled energy.
Here is another abstract I did today. I did this in colored pencil (mostly Prismacolor) and Prismacolor Art Stix on Strathmore gray scale paper. I started by drawing wavy lines and boxes within with charcoal. Then I did the rest with the art sticks and colored pencils. The nice thing about Prismacolor, is they have a nice system of grays. There is cool gray, warm gray, and french gray in various values. I decided to make most of the squares in various shades of gray, black, and white. Only a few of the boxes have color in them. In my experience, life is mostly mundane, punctuated with occasional times of joy and excitement. However, the mundane grays make the good times all the more happy by comparison. Here, the grays really show off the bright colors.
I seem to have taken a turn towards the abstract. I never thought this would happen. However, I have become interested in expressing ideas, instead of physical stuff lately. This piece was entirely hand drawn – no computers here. I only used a ruler for the lines I drew in perspective. I hand drew all the ovals.
Before I knew Jesus Christ and had a personal faith in Him, I was in darkness. I came to trust in Him in 1976.
The square light represents Him. All the small surrounding ovals in white, yellow, green, and blue represent different facets of me, and also me in various stages of my life. Some days in my life, I am towards the dark, blue ovals. Other times I am in the light yellow area. Most days I’m in the green or yellow green areas.
For the past couple of months, I had been struggling with bitterness and resentment. I was in the darker bluer areas at that time. In the past few days, God has really been dealing with me, and I’ve repented of unforgiveness. I’m praying for some people that have been persecuting me and falsely accusing me. I’ve forgiven them. I have to see them as broken, hurting people, which they are. I have to look beneath the surface, which is usually hard, tough, aggressive, and often polished and pretty. My sins against Jesus are so much greater than any transgressions against me. I can only forgive and let go through the power of the Holy Spirit. I have felt such peace and joy since I’ve released all the wrongs done to me. I’m praying for the people who hurt me, sincerely. Thank you Jesus.
Several years ago, I had an art studio in the Soulard neighborhood just south of downtown St. Louis. One half block west of there, on Menard Street, I decided to plein air paint these intricate Victorian turn of the century homes. I painted this on a blue toned pastel paper, and allowed this to show throughout the painting. This is a celebration of color and light!
I had great fun painting this. I remember standing on the other side of the street, and a guy who owned the nearby bar whistled his appreciation and said he would consider buying it. I remember soaking up the warm late spring sun (it was June), and enjoying the violet red roses growing right nearby, and the backyard garden of said nearby bar. I like the way the shadow looks on the building to the left. I love detail, as you can see from this. The Soulard neighborhood has blocks and blocks of houses like this, as do surrounding areas of Benton Park and Lafayette neighborhoods. This is only a few blocks from the famous Anheuser Busch Breweries, an old St Louis tradition, as well as Soulard Market, an open air market that opened in the 1700’s.
I just completed this colorful pastel drawing yesterday. (May 2016) I was raised in a very strict religious home. I was also born with high functioning autism, and being artistic I was somewhat “out there”. This drove my mother crazy. She was always trying to make me fit a certain mold that she thought I should fit into. I also got lots of flak, bullying, and teasing from teachers and classmates. I believe that our world tried to make us fit into a certain mold. That is why I made all the small mini paintings within this painting to fit into a checkerboard pattern. It shows how each person is an individual, yet there are constraints on us imposed by family, religion, society. However, this can be confining, and keep us small. At some point, it really helps to BREAK OUT of the mold people tried to force us into.
I had great fun doing this. I drew this on a large sheet of Sennelier La Carte pastel board in the color sienna. I started out making a grid of 1 inch squares on it. I used hard Nupastels and pastel pencils. I started making a small abstract mini painting in every other square. I just went with the flow on this one, and was very spontaneous. After I was almost halfway done, I decided to BREAK OUT, and very gesturally painted the large element on the lower left side. Freedom to be me feels GOOD. God made me with high functioning autism, and that is exactly how I’m supposed to be. Certain others who can’t or won’t accept me – that is their problem and their hangup.
I will never, ever get tired of spring flowers. I also love architecture. I love the way the architecture combines with growing things. The flowing, soft lines of nature contrast well with the hard, straight, geometric lines of things built by humans.
One day last spring, my husband and I were driving around in his truck looking for something to paint. We were driving around the Tower Grove south neighborhood of St. Louis. As we drove down a side street, I was drawn to this whimsical, charming and delightful home filled with all kinds of flowers and neat things. I introduced myself to the owner of the home, and she was just as delightful. I started this painting in the bed of my husband’s truck. It was so windy, he ended up holding on to the easel as I started the painting. After about an hour of this we both became quite uncomfortable (it was cold, too). So I took a photo, and finished the piece in my studio.