Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lucky Square 13

Dear Reader-

It's been a bit of a long weekend, so I'll share another square mile painting with you and call it good.

Square 13 @2009 October Mist 12x12 pastel

This piece is one of those that had a mind of it's own, taking a different direction than I had intended. I'm learning to go with that flow, believing that my right "intuitive" brain and hand have a special relationship that my left "knowing" brain isn't privvy to.

Sometimes, most times, painting is a process of discovery, the understanding that occurs when play is allowed to overtake the plan. I took a "what would happen if" approach. Sometimes that process works, sometimes not, but it's always worth trying.

Thanks to those of you who checked out Brian's music. Pretty amazing, isn't it!

I see that before long we'll be celebrating 100 posts here at Skartz. Probly time to have a party!

Check your inbox, invitations will be coming soon!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Counter Clock

Several weeks ago I promised you some very cool and exciting news. After the usual creative delays, it's time to share.

My nephew, Brian Scarborough, has recently finished his first CD of original jazz. A freshman at the University of Kansas, this CD is, well, wicked awesome. Really.

Brian's been playing trombone for most of his life, and jams with some pretty cool cats in the Kansas City area already. If this CD is any hint of what's to come, KC won't be able to keep him.

Titled "Counter Clock", it's an exploration of the darker tones of music. Says young Brian, "In music, we often associate sounds with colors, dark and rich would be the blues and dark purples, and the bright sounds would be yellow and reds etc. Along those lines, chords have the same effect, and chord progressions do too. So, I tried exploring the richer and darker sounds (colors). " When I was his age I was having trouble tying my shoes.
Not only is it very cool for me to get to brag about this fine young man, I also get to brag about my part of the process. Every CD needs a cover, and I got to design this one. It was a stretch working with the idea of time, or lack thereof, and all of the possible interpretations. It won't be the last time. I'm hooked.
Thanks, Brian, for giving me the opportunity to participate in your debut. Wicked awesome, really.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Great Weekend

I just returned home from teaching a pastel workshop with a great bunch of artists. What a delight to share my experiences with such a terrific group. We started at Wild Rose Gallery, a gem of a gallery in beautiful Broken Bow, Nebraska. Traveling Nebraska Highway 2 is a real treat, and it's as beautiful in the winter as it is during the summer months.

This is my demonstration piece, an 11 x 14 pastel. It's challenging talking about the process while painting. Gosh, I hope I made some kind of sense while this was going on. Translating pictures from my brain to words in my mouth is sometimes an effort on a good day, and it becomes herculean during a demo with a live audience.

Photos of the weekend's work...

Several students chose to paint sunsets, so I thought I would give it a try. It was a challenge thinking my way through this unfamiliar territory while they watched. I don't use reds and oranges alot, so there was a ton of mental processing going on. With a little more effort I might be able to pull this one together.

There was alot of hard working and thinking going on in Broken Bow this weekend. Thanks to these wonderful artists for asking me to share their weekend with them.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Shadows and Other Delights

@ 2009 P Scarborough Square 10 12x12 pastel
Greetings Dear Reader-

This is the 10th in a series of square paintings I'm doing based on a single square mile north of my town.

I am fairly inspired by greys. Look closely and you'll actually see a universe of color in the subdued hues of green, blues, violets and yellows in the trees and shrubs and grasses in fields nearby. I prefer to think of grey less as a lack of light as it is an allowing of subtlety to rise unencumbered from the wash of the sun. There's alot of loveliness in the shadows.

Speaking of shadows...

It is said that behind every successful person, there is another soul standing behind them. It's a good day to honor Handsome Husband. Today he calmly peeled me off the ceiling after I got tangled up trying to keep too many plates spinning. (I know it's a slightly mixed metaphor, but if you had been here, you'd understand.) Everyone needs a cheerleader, that one person who helps them believe they can do anything. I've got mine, and I'm very, very grateful.

Who's in your shadow, and do they know you know they're there?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2009 Wrap

It's been an on again - off again kind of season here. Plans have been made, changed, re-made and changed again. We've been snowed in, snowed out, and snowed under all at the same time. I started to clean my studio, and found that I simply moved stuff from one side of the room to the other, and back again. Images of Sysiphus come to mind.

Since I seem to be getting nowhere in a hurry, I'm surrendering to a good book and a warm blanket.

I leave you with a few my favorite images from the past year . . .

Hangin' with the fam...

seeing nearly all of my 100 Off the Highway paintings in one spot at Graham Gallery...

my first cow...

painting en plein air with great friends ...
(Ethel W, who has forgotten more about painting than I'll ever know)

coffee with friends far and near, including you Dear Reader.

Hope your New Year is filled with all good things.