I now have 18 completed works for our exhibition 'Peeking Through Someone Else's Window'. I finally decided on the text for the old boots painting. Its a quote by author Greg Anderson, 'Focus on the journey not the destination'. I have also finished the sunflower painting. It was too late to take decent photos so I will post them tomorrow.
Bob is starting to be his old self again. He's still in hospital and still bed ridden but he's doing a lot better. Hopefully he will be home soon. He misses Jack. Julia brought in a large photo of Jack and he's stuck it up in his hospital room. Jack misses him too and whines at night for awhile. He's getting used to having Bob's spot on the bed at night though. That could interesting when Bob gets home hehehe.
And to top it all off Julia is sick too. She's got shingles. The pain is easing but she is just so tired.
My son Troy has just returned from a small holiday in New Zealand. He says its a lovely country and the people are ever so friendly. I would like to visit there one day too.
Nothing much else to report. Life is just rushing by at the moment. Adding hospital visits into my day makes me feel like I'm chasing my own tail. I'm having trouble keeping up with my household chores and my artwork gets done at odd hours. Oh well, this too will pass.
Bob is doing well. He's sick of being bedridden. As one of the spots was on his leg they have to make sure the skin graft takes before letting him out of bed. His stay in hospital will be longer than first expected but he's on the mend.
Bob is going into hospital tomorrow for some surgery. He has skin cancer and it needs to be removed and then skin grafted. He has to stay in hospital until the skin grafts take. They estimate 2 to 3 days. Cancer is always a worry isn't it :(
Still haven't come up with the text I want to use in the work boots painting. I think it might be 'working hard to make a living' or maybe 'focus on the journey not the destination'. Anyway I've put that painting to one side and decided to carry on with the next.
I had an idea to use different handwriting and some book pages onto which I would paint a sunflower or part of a sunflower. Some of the handwriting is my grandparents, some is mine and some I got from the net. But as it sometimes happens the background is doing its own thing and getting a different feel to it. Not sure if its suited to a sunflower. I will just keep going with it and see where it takes me. I do enjoy not knowing the destination.
Last Wednesday I was guest speaker at the local RSL (Returned Serviceman's League). I took along a few of my artworks (always good to have visuals). I thought it would be good experience for me to stand up in front of a group of people and talk about my work, my techniques and accomplishments. As the time got near I began to get really nervous. I had to use a microphone and for anyone who knows me they know I have a fear of microphones, groan. My mouth went dry, my hands started to shake and I just wanted it to be over. Once I warmed up the nerves disappeared and the words flowed quite easily. I spoke for 45 minutes non-stop!!!!! I started by saying that I am not a public speaker but I was led to believe you start with a joke. I said "Standing here like this reminds me of AA meetings I've seen portrayed on tv so I will start by saying: Hello, my name is Uta and I'm an art-a-holic." Everyone laughed (thank goodness) and that broke the ice. I am happy to report there was a lot of interest in my work and my techniques with a lot of chatting and questions afterwards. The best thing is I even got paid!!! Wasn't expecting that.
Had a great art day yesterday. No interruptions and I was able to get into 'the zone' and not come out till it was time for me to cook dinner. I still need some text to go with this piece. It needs a little dialogue to start to tell the story I think. But as yet the right words haven't come to me. Maybe today. Any ideas will be appreciated. Today is the day I do those mundane duties, those necessities of life we call housework. While I'm entrenched in the everyday humdrum I will think longingly of my art and perhaps then the right words will come. How dramatic am I. Bit of a drama queen this morning hehehe. I quite enjoy the mundane humdrum of housework once I get started. It keeps me grounded and balanced as its an absolute contrast to my airy fairy art self.
I had the best day painting yesterday. I got a good 6 hours in and it felt so good. Its at the stage where I need to stare at it for awhile to see if there's anything that needs adjustment. Then a coat of protective varnish and I'm done. Oh yeah and it needs signing.
The heat is over for the time being YAY!!!!!!!! The forecast says it will creep up again on Friday to 34C (93F) with Saturday forecast to reach 36C (97F). That's ok we have some time to recover. There have been a lot of deaths related to the heat and a huge number of people admitted to hospital with heat related problems. The elderly are too afraid to use air conditioners or fans for fear of high power bills that can't afford to pay for. Its not only the elderly affected though. People of all ages have been struggling. And even some well cared for pets have perished in the heat. I make Jack stay inside with the air conditioner to make sure he stays cool. Anyway this morning my curtains are pulled back, the windows are wide open and the outside world is once again visible from inside our little home.
This morning I'm going to catch up on some much needed chores with the hope of getting in a little painting time this afternoon.
Another background ready for painting. On this one I've decided to paint a pair of well worn work boots as soon as the weather allows. It has that kind of grungy look that I thought would work well with some old boots. I won't paint them too big because I want a lot more of the background visible. I don't want to cover some of my favourite areas. This one has a lot of layers. I kept painting and then sanding and scrubbing back to show different layers through and then painting over some of the ugly bits to cover them up and then more sanding and scrubbing. As its been too hot to paint detailed things its meant I've spent longer on the backgrounds. More layers and a combinations of different techniques has been fun to do.
60.9x60.9cm (24"x24") canvas
Now this background below I've posted before. Due to popular demand hehehe I've decided to do a peach painting on it. Not a bowl of peaches or a basket of peaches like the photo in an earlier post but a section of a branch complete with a few leaves and a nice big fat juicy peach dangling from it. Its all drawn on and ready to paint next week when the weather is cooler and I can open up the curtains and let in some light.
60.9x60.9cm (24"x24") canvas
I have one more canvas this size and I've just started work on the background. I'm planning to paint a section of a sunflower on that one but that could change depending how the background turns out. I do plan things but I also like to let things happen so sometimes the background turns out a little different and then doesn't suit the image I've chosen to paint on it. That happened with the work boot one. It started out with colours and patterns that would suit a harlequin but now it has evolved into something else.
I've just found some GAC200. Been on the hunt for that for ages and finally my local art store is stocking it YAY. I want to play around with aluminum foil in my collage/mixed media backgrounds and a little GAC200 mixed in my acrylic paint will ensure that the paint sticks to the aluminum. It gives a lovely metallic look as the aluminium shines through the paint. Can't wait to see what happens with that. Aw, one lifetime just doesn't seem long enough to try out all the things I want to try.
I haven't melted yet. In fact I think I'm getting used to the heat. Its starting to get a little cooler and next week's forecast looks mighty fine.
During this heat the pool at my gym has been closed for maintenance. Its sprung a leak. I have however been going to the beach to do a bit of swimming and a little exercise. I have been going early so I'm not burnt to a crisp by the hot summer sun. The water has been glorious and I even collected some treasures in the form of shells.
On the art front things are going well. Nothing is completed as its just too hot to paint but some backgrounds are done, photos been taken and some good ideas have been brewing. With the weather cooling down I will have a really productive time next week as long as life doesn't get in the way.
Next week I'm giving an artist talk to a group of seniors in our local community. I'm going to show them some of my artwork and talk about my techniques and the stories behind my work. As the time is getting closer I'm getting a little nervous but I know once I start talking I will be fine. My art is about me and my everyday life. Its about my memories of people or times in my life that are very dear to me so it will be easy to talk about that won't it.
We are now in day 7 of our heatwave and the weather forecast tells us there is no relief until next Saturday when it is forecast to be 30C (86F). The last few nights have been cooler which makes for a good nights sleep and a happier outlook. Instead of being over 30C (86F) overnight its been around 25C/26C (77F-79F). The garden is holding up alright. Things gets a bit droopy in the afternoon but they are surviving. I'm glad I picked all the peaches when I did. They would not have lasted in this heat. The computer however is not doing too well. I'm having trouble with it crashing and not loading and freezing (hehehe freezing, there must be another word) and its all due to the extreme heat.
On the art side of things my creativity is flowing again YAY! Ideas a popping into my head and I'm feeling like my old self again. The only problem is its too hot to paint. The paint dries too quickly and I end up making a right mess of things. So instead I've been preparing some papers and working on backgrounds that don't need such careful consideration and drawing on images ready to paint when the weather settles down. I don't get a lot done as I feel a little lethargic and am constantly resting with a cool drink of water under the air conditioner.
Well I'm off to do some housework before the heat really sets in for the day. At least the washing doesn't take long to dry.