Thursday, May 12, 2011

Digging through the archives of my mind ...

Recently I was cleaning out one of the few closets we have in this old house, and discovered a box labeled “Office Stuff” that I never got around to unpacking. It contained various and sundry office items that I haven’t really missed over the last four years, plus some old sketches and some CD’s with pictures of paintings that I sold back when we lived in Long Beach, circa 2004-05. This drawing was one I did in a little sketch book I had way back when (the drawing has a tiny little “86” beside my signature ... that was ... let’s see ... *gasp!* -- 25 years ago!)

I sketched this woman while visiting an art festival in Houston. She was one of several artists who were doing pastel portraits there. Her hat caught my eye, and I really like the air of concentration about her pose. So I sketched her with a little pencil I had with me, and later I went back and darkened some of the lines with pen. I have no idea who she was but there was always something about this little drawing that I liked ... maybe the hat, maybe the folds of her skirt, maybe her attitude; I had torn the page out of my sketch book and put it in a little frame which I kept on a shelf in my home office.

I had forgotten all about this little piece, but when I found it the other day it was like opening a surprise little Christmas present. What fun! Now she’s unpacked and sitting on a table in the parlor, looking quite festive in her little red frame.

Isn’t it funny how looking at a piece of art we did years -- nay, decades! -- ago, we can sometimes still remember all the little surrounding details of the time we spent making that drawing, or that painting, or that collage, or that scrapbook page?

This roses painting was one I did about six years ago, when we lived in Long Beach, California, and now it lives in Puyallup, Washington. It was one of the first ones I did when I started getting serious about selling my art again, and it’s still one of my favorites. I had my easel set up in the cozy little living room of our tiny little duplex (because that’s where the best light was), on a warm afternoon with all the windows open. Bailey was stretched out on the coffee table. The doorway leading to the kitchen was on my left, and I remember painting this to the strains of Mariachi music wafting in on the breeze from a radio our next-door neighbors had sitting in their kitchen window. Not too loud, not intrusive, just right. But definitely Mariachi.

And now it’s time for me to get to work making another painting, which will remind me of this beautiful day with Ray snoozing on my desk, the sounds of the dogs barking at a squirrel in the distance, red day lilies blooming on the patio and my Gospel Folk music playing in the background. Thank You, God, for all these everyday blessings.

Have fun making memories with YOUR art today!

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