Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Inexpressible Joy, the 6-month painting

Inexpressible Joy © 2007 Karen Mathison Schmidt
24 x 18 • acrylic on 2" cradled Gessobord • sides painted dark umber

Yep, we all have ’em ... that project that gets started with a gung-ho enthusiasm (“... this is gonna be great!”) and then for some reason or other gets pushed aside for just a bit ... then weeks, months, years. It seems the longer these projects go unfinished, the harder it is to pick them up again. This painting, which I started in May, has been lurking around the edges of my to do list since June. Here’s a detailed description of the first progress photos.

After the muted chilly morning grays of Anticipating Flagstaff I felt like doing something really bright and sunny, so I painted Oak Tree on Ratcliff Street (I still need to get a final photo of that one to show you) and then I pulled this one out, dusted it off and dived into luscious color!

One of the things I miss about our old neighborhood in town is all the wonderful front yard gardens ... I love day lilies, and these particular ones were out in full force last May, right around the corner from our place. When this painting first appeared in my blog, I pointed out the lively sweeping motion of the picture; it just seems so joyful to me ... hence, the title!

More work in progress photos; this first one was my starting point.

When working on a picture like this one that might have a tendency to look busy, I have to step back from the easel pretty often to make sure that the composition as a whole is still making sense, and has clear overall areas of light and shadow. Toward that end, I build up all the areas as I go along, as you can see from the progress photos (rather than starting at one end and finishing my way across),

Here are some details:

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Recipe for Success

Psalm 145:2-3 (The Message)
I’ll bless you every day, and keep it up from now to eternity.
God is magnificent; he can never be praised enough.
There are no boundaries to his greatness.

Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)
Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

Oak Tree on Ratcliff Street ... work in progress photos ...

Whew! What a week! My art exhibit went up in the LSU Medical Center Library on Tuesday, and I’m planning to take some photos tomorrow ... I’ll try to get them posted by tomorrow night. Above is a work in progress photo of the last painting I completed for the show ... unfortunately I forgot to take a final photo before I delivered the art, so I’ll get a good pic of it when I go, and post it tomorrow as well.

My day invariably goes smoother, and God grants me much more patience and perseverance with obstacles and difficulties when I take some real time for prayer in the morning. Reading in my little book of 19th century devotionals, I was quietly encouraged during this hectic week by these words of timeless wisdom, to re-commit every aspect of my life and work to the glory of God, every morning:
Morning by morning think, for a few moments, of the chief employments of the day, any one thing of greater moment than others, thine own especial trial, any occasions of it which are likely to come that day, and by one short strong act commend thyself beforehand in all to God; offer all thy thoughts, words, and deeds to Him – to be governed, guided, accepted by Him. Choose some great occasions of the day, such as bring with them most trial to thee, on which, above others, to commend thyself to God.

– E. B. Pusey

Will you not, before venturing away from your early quiet hour, “commit thy works” to Him definitely, the special things you have to do today, and the unforeseen work which He may add in the course of it?

– F. R. Havergal

And finally, In my last post I showed work in progress photos of this painting, Anticipating Flagstaff: I decided to put the finished version here at the end of this post so you can more easily see the pics together:

© 2007 Karen Mathison Schmidt
24 x 18 • acrylic on cradled Gessobord
This painting will be available for sale after my show
at the LSU Medical Center Library in Shreveport,
November 13 - December 31, 2007

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Flagstaff Morning ... work in progress ...

I started this one yesterday ... another remembrance of our recent road trip west. It’s 24 x 18, acrylic on cradled gessobord. I’ll try to finish it today, if I can get my fingers to thaw out!

This is traveling west on I-40, just coming into Flagstaff. It was a chilly October morning; we had left our hotel in Holbrook before dawn, and had stopped a while back for gas and coffee. (travel note: you can pretty much count on the fact that Flying J truck stop will have French Vanilla creamer on tap ... ooo la la!) I was cozily ensconced in the passenger seat with a steaming mug cradled in my cold hands and hot air blowing on my frozen toes ... aaaahhh. The sunrise was behind us, making the sky ahead of us glow with wonderful, lovely, yellow and lavender light. I hope I can capture the feeling of it!

Friday, November 2, 2007


800 Miles to Long Beach © 2007 Karen Mathison Schmidt
36 x 18 • acrylic on cradled gessobord
Gloss varnish for protection and ease of cleaning
This painting will be available for sale during my show at the
LSU Medical Library in Shreveport, November 13 - December 31, 2007

This morning while walking the dogs, I stopped to pick up an empty beer can someone had tossed out on the side of the road. This isn't the first time I've had the privilege of picking up some anonymous motorist’s trash; in fact, we’re thinking about putting up one of those little signs, “This section of Yearwood Road adopted by the Schmidt Family.”

Anyway, as I was walking along carrying the empty can, one of our neighbors down the road came driving by on her way to work and I waved good morning with the hand holding the can, because I had Trixie’s leash in my other hand. She smiled and waved, and as her car disappeared around a bend in the road it suddenly occurred to me that it might look like I had just had a Bud Light for breakfast. Hmmm.

Then I thought, I wonder how many times I’ve jumped to a wrong conclusion about someone based on my false perception? Maybe (hopefully) next time I’m tempted to form a hasty impression I’ll flash on a picture of myself walking down the road with a beer can in my hand!

I was kind of relieved when I came across two more cans a little further up the road. A 50-year-old woman walking a dog and carrying an empty beer can may have just had a brewski for breakfast, but a 50-year-old woman walking a dog and carrying three empty beer cans is definitely just doing her part to help keep the roadside clean!

Happy weekend, everyone!