Saturday, January 26, 2008

Creativity takes many forms

Living creative life means doing more than just practicing your art (music, painting, drawing, dance). Living a creative life involves using creative thought processes in almost everything you do. Sometimes that will give you inspiration for your next project, sometimes it is just good mental exercise. Creative living keeps us young, keeps our minds alert and active, and contributes to good health. Today I had a tea party and my guest (yes, there was only one) was one of my Red Hat sisters. Our chapter has a traveling teapot. One member invites another member to tea and then passes on the teapot so her guest can host a tea party for another member and so forth until everyone has been a guest and a hostess. I started the chain.

So, you say, where's the creativity in that? Tea parties often have themes. I chose not to use the traveling teapot for my party because I have a lovely red tea/luncheon service that I preferred to use instead. The theme--everything red and purple. First I needed a menu. A proper tea has three courses: bread, savory, sweet. My bread: Cherry scones. My savory: Chicken salad with cranberries in filo shells. My sweet: Cherry Shortbread, Almond Cake decorated with red roses and a purple band, and Madeleines. The tea: Eastern Shore Tea Company Cherry Moon (cherry scented green tea). Next there was the table setting. I chose to use a white table cloth because it is formal and because I don't own a red or purple one. Besides, you can have too much of a good thing. My centerpiece was red roses in a tall rose bowl with purple ribbons tied around the neck. I tied purple ribbons onto some red wooden napkin rings. Top it all off with fine silver and an antique cake stand, and the table was complete. Do you see how everything tied back to the theme of red and purple both literally and figuratively? This is creative thinking in everyday life.

I am looking forward to getting back to my paint brushes, but I try to practice creative living every day whether I have an opportunity to paint or not. Maybe it is time to paint some hats--red and other colors, too. Or maybe I'll build a still life with teapots or tea cups.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New Miniature Paintng

It has been a while since I started this little piece, but here is Sadie. Sadie was painted on a 4x4 gesso board square. The technique was a Burnt Sienna underpainting with oil overlays. The world is made up of dog people and cat people. I am a dog person and I find it very difficult to paint cats. Cats' faces are flatter and have less dimension than dogs'.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Historic Painting

The month of January is always busy. There are year end things to do, tax stuff to find and get ready. It is not necessarily a fun time, just a lot of work. Today I found time to actually sit down and paint. I worked on a design by Barb Franzreb that is adapted from an actual painting by Rufus Porter.

Rufus Porter was, among other things, an itinerant artist in New England in the early 1800s. He traveled around painting murals for people who could not afford wallpaper. It certainly was a different time--today a mural is much more costly than putting up wallpaper. How times change! His murals were generally stylized landscapes. He used patterns and stencils in creating his murals. He considered himself a decorative artist and, indeed, used many of the same kinds of techniques used by decorative artists to this day.

This is a practice piece painted in acrylics on a lazy Susan found at a rummage sale. I will paint it again on a lazy Susan that will be used as a centerpiece for the Town and Country Decorative Painters retreat banquet in April. The theme this year is See the USA the Decorative Painter's Way. What better subject for my centerpiece contribution than a design adapted from one painted by a true early American decorative painter! The piece actually has some antiquing that dulls down the colors a bit. Unfortunately, the antiquing did not come out well in the photo.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

A New Year, a New Project

The holiday season is over and things are getting back to normal. I finally got some studio time in over the last two days. Today I spent a little bit of time with a new medium--colored pencils. These are just colored pencil, not watercolor pencils. I will be taking a seminar in February, but I got the urge to see what I could do today. This is my Lakeland Terrier, Miss Windy. I worked from a photo of her laying on the steps. It is done on a 5x7 piece of blue mat board. It was just the taste I needed to get even more excited about the seminar.