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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Unstuckifying ... ?

Photo Idea
Postcard from Betsy
Newest Direction

Awwww ... A Happy/Sad Gift from Betsy

My sister Betsy phoned the other day and asked if I had received anything involving wings from her. I said no, I had not. Then I got a great postcard of a human being flying in the midst of a flock of birds. I assumed that was the wings thingie. BUT NO!

Today I received a truly Betsified package. As always, there was layer upon layer to open, a tiny journey inward to the heart of the gift. First there was a beeswax candle heart, then a package wrapped in violet tissue with spring flowers glued on it. I unwrapped that layer, and there was a beautiful Asian paper wrapping!

I turned that one over, and there was yellow tissue, with more spring flowers attached. A tiny silver cord was peeking out.

I unwrapped that layer to find ... WINGS! Tiny white spangled wings. I hung them up in my kitchen to remind me of Osprey and her flight to freedom from her broken body.
There was one more small package wrapped in golden yellow, under the wings. Inside was a small book titled "Grief Therapy". It is a charming and gentle illustrated (thank God) book about the grieving process. 

They say it is the thought that counts, but the wrapping counts too! A thousand thank yous to Betsy for her Zen gift.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Old Underpaintings

An underpainting is a preparatory phase of painting. My process involves at least three layers. I cover a gessoed canvas with a color, then I draw the shapes onto the color and paint the shapes in different colors from the finished idea. Then I put in the final colors, letting the underlying layers show through in places. I like the effect a lot. Letting the underlying color show through is called scumbling. 

Sometimes I prefer the underpainting to the finished work. These two are unknown quantities; I may like the finished work more, or maybe less. They are a few years old, and I had forgotten about them. I like them more than I remember. 

Bayou Walk

Yellowstone Pond

Process Drawings

I am not at all sure where I got this process. I think it may be from Drawing on the Artist Within?
It may be hard to read the writing, so here it is in print:
1. problem visualized
2. components separated
3. components recombined: reversed, combined, rearranged, enlarged, reflected
4. negative shapes

Landscape Sketches from my Studio Wall

Pencil Sketch from photo
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River

Pencil Sketch from photo
Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River

Pencil Sketch from photo
Rafting on the Snake River

Pencil Sketch from photo
Pond in Yellowstone National Park
These pencil sketches were done in preparation for paintings. I finished a painting of the Snake River, and one of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River. I started a painting of the pond in Yellowstone, but have not started a painting of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. I like the sketches a lot and wanted to share them.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Alchemy Drawings done in Paper by Fifty-Three

The volatile and the fixed Mercury
After: Lambsprinck,
De Lapide Philosophico, Frankfurt, 1625 
Solidify the volatile and volatilize the solid
After: M. Maier, Atalanta fugiens, 1618

Solve et coagula
After: Lambsprinck,
De Lapide philosophico, Frankfurt, 1625

Sublimate Sulphur and Mercury 
until they are inseparable
After: M. Maier, Atalanta fugiens, 1618
The originals of these drawings appear in The Hermetic Museum:
Alchemy and Mysticism, alchemical art compiled by Alexander Roob.

Copying them by drawing with my finger in Paper by 53, an iPad app, gave me insight into their meanings. Note the seven stars on the body of the Green Lion, which are the Western symbols for the chakras of the Hindus.
The Green Lion is one of the three things 
sufficient for mastery
After: M. Maier, Atalanta fugiens, 1618

The green lion who swallows Sol is Our Mercury
After: D. Stolcius von Stolcenberg, 
Viridarium chymicum, Frankfurt, 1624