Saturday, April 05, 2014

Learning to Have Fun

The painting above was such fun to do.  I am posting this to start a series of blog articles about a journey towards having fun.  I have been so serious about my art, trying to be perfect and accepted.  Through it all if forgot to accept my art myself and to have fun.

This painting started out as an abstract painting assignment as part of the Painting Faces Online class taught by Judy Wise.  Katie Kendrick highly recommended this class so I decided to put all other online classes on hold for the month of April and concentrate on this class.  It was the best decision, but back to the painting above.  After making marks on the page, putting an initial layer of paint, covering that layer with clear gesso and finger painting with more colors, I sat to look and see what spoke to me.  I saw two big eyes (I seem to have something with eyes), anyway, I drew in the eyes and realized that what I wanted to draw was a clown and it morphed from there.  Drawing and painting on the diagonal made the clown look like he was falling, so I decided to give him a hat that was falling off.  I laughed as I was painting, it made me happy, so happy that I am going to get it framed.

Each morning when we get a new assignment, I have to have a serious talk with myself.  "Glenda we are going to have fun today.  If you need to play that video 100 times, you will get the technique."  I have my own style, it is being perfected and this new found zest for fun and enjoyment is spreading to other areas of my life and my art.  I am smiling as I write this because this all falls into my plan of preparing for my 65th birthday….a monumental time that will be filled with joy and wonder.

Next in this series will the Calla Lilies that became tulips..It is a blockbuster

Until next time…..pilgrim

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Finished portrait

image by momoo50
image, a photo by momoo50 on Flickr.

This is the finished portrait of the initial drawing posted yesterday. So fun to do.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Even if it is just one more


Last year I wrote 109 posts.  That was really good for me.  This year my intention is to exceed that number.  I would like to write at least 200 posts; however, if all else fails I commit to 110, one more than last year.

It is exciting to think of this goal because I have made it achievable and it should be a lot of fun and quite interesting.  Here's the deal dear reader, if a post happens to touch you in some way, please leve a comment.  Comments make me happy and I appreciate your stopping by.

Have a good night.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Random Thoughts Tuesday: Blessings

I woke up this morning and the first thought that crossed my mind was how blessed I am. I thought about my life and all of the things I have done.  Things that I would never have dreamed of and a feeling of deep gratitude enveloped me.



Looking at these pictures taken on two separate trips, Italy in 2012 and China in 2013, I realize that they are but a small glimpse into why I am feeling such gratitude today.  Growing up I never dreamed that my life would take such a turn.  Living in Las Vegas, is like being on a permanent vacation.  It is very humbling to think of all of the blessings I have received and there are still more to come.  More exploring and adventures, more life to live and for that I am eternally grateful.
randomly thinking and grateful on a Tuesday morning....pilgrim

Monday, March 10, 2014

Happy Anniversary: 30 Years of Card Making; 30 Years an Artist

February 14, 1984 I began a journey that has spanned 30 years.  The magnitude of which did not really hit me until this week.  Because of my dear friend and co-worker GeeGee Black I started making handmade greeting cards.
I wrote poetry and had been doing so since around 1965.  Most of it was kept private, but a few were shown to friends.  Anyway GeeGee asked me to write a Valentine's poem for her good friend and I said that I would.  She was also a great promoter of my talent so she solicited other customers and told them I could make a card to go with the poems.   Huh????? I had never made a card in my life.  To the rescue my other friend and co-worker Sue Karam.  Sue went to the Grosse Pointe Park Library and got a book on making cards for me to review.  It seems that the first greeting cards were made using paper doilies.  That was interesting, but I still did not know what to do.  As Valentine's day fast approached, I became more and more worried.  I decided that the best thing I could do was to write out some instructions and follow that plan.....
 I still have the book with the original orders along with the type of poem they wanted.  I developed 4 styles of cards using paper doilies and went to work.  It was fun but let me tell you those cards were not masterpieces; however, they were made with love.
Over the years I have made hundreds of cards for family and friends as well as designed my own cards for Christmas, Birthdays, Mother's day, etc. most for free or at little cost.  The amazing thing is that I never considered it art or myself an artist.  Truthfully, not even a poet.  I just did not embrace my talent and that is a shame.  But, but, is never too late.  My last post was about my attendance at An Artful Journey and the paintings I conceived while there.  I returned home with a different mindset.  Not one of ego, but one of appreciation.  Appreciation for the fact that I was able to dig deep within and realize that I had been hiding my talents, just doing enough but not really exploring the depths of my being and getting to the core, the essence of what I can really do.  I mostly used my talents to help others.  I have a friend who got into nursing school partly on the essay I wrote on why she wanted to be a nurse.  The advisor said anyone who wants to be a nurse this bad should be in the program.
I have written a couple of  written Masters Thesis' for friends; college papers for friends and a document that allowed a friend to get 2 years of college credit using her life as a housewife to show how each task could be equated to a college course for credit.  It was so much fun helping friends and more or less honing my skills.
Now, I am at a stage in my life where I want to just be open and explore, Make my cards, paint my pictures, start to write poems again and just enjoy the artistic me.  I have always been good at promoting the gifts of others; but never myself.
I want to shout from the rooftops I AM AN ARTIST.....  Today I say Happy Anniversary to Me.  30 years of making art, here's to many more.  Thanks GeeGee for seeing in me what I did not see in myself.
until next time.....pilgrim

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Random thoughts Tuesday: An Artful Journey




The paintings above are the result of spending time in the foothills of the Santa Clara Mountains just outside of Los Gatos, California from Thursday Feb. 27th to Monday Morning March 3rd.  An Artful Journey 2014 was just that a journey,  


I spent a few weeks preparing my supplies for this retreat.  I looked at the supply list and had most of the items (no surprise since my house looks like a wonderful art supply store).  There were a few items I had to buy, absorbent ground, 3 18x24 gessoed canvasses, filbert paint brushes, a few more sponge paint brushes; and one more bottle of gesso.  That is it.  I packed up two priority boxes and mailed a lot of the supplies to make room in my suitcase for the canvasses and my clothes.  As the day drew near I really got scared.  How was I going to paint on such large canvasses.  I really wanted to take Katie Kendrick's class.  I had her book and wanted to really stretch myself and find the poetry in my art; but, 18x24?  I could barely paint in an art journal and all of my other work has been based on class assignments not thinking about something on my own.  Oh the horror of it all.  Well Feb. 27th came and I focussed on the fact that I would see my good friends Jenny Messerle, Michelle Unger, Gail Pfrommer, and Monica Moran.  It was a comfort to know that I would be among kindred spirits, so I got up at 4 am to make sure everything was packed (it was), house was clean (it was), garbage out (took it out), travel backpack ready with ticket where I could find it (it was)…..Larry my cab driver and friend arriving at 8 am (he did) and I was on my way.  

The flight was good, Gail and I met up at the airport and flew in together.  Shuttle service was there in San Jose waiting for us.  There were two cars because 6 of us needed rides (Gail coordinated the entire process and did a great job).  Met up with Annie Hooten (doesn't she have the best name) and all was well with the world.


An Artful Journey is held at the Presentation Center which is a wonderful haven in the mountains.  It is run by an order of Sisters and I can never remember it's name but trust me they are really sweet.  They ate dinner with us each night.  Anyhoo, this locale is magical.  There are walking trails, a labyrinth, and we even found the swimming pool (who knew).  There is a sense of peace that I wish I could bottle up and bring home.  We arrived around 2:30 and Cindy Woods, our director, and friends were ready to greet us with fruit, cake, smiles and the most wonderful books made by DJ Pettit.  Jenny, Michele and I roomed together in the Lower St. Anthony cabin.  This irony was not lost on me because last year I went to a silent retreat in Alhambra, California and was assigned to the St. Anthony room (need to read about St, Anthony during lent).

We took our supplies to our classrooms and prepared for dinner.  After dinner we had orientation and met our instructor/friends.  


On Friday classes began.  Katie greeted us with open arms.  Some of the students had taken her classes several times before.  This was my first.  Before we started painting each day Katie read to us about the wonders of the creative process and then we meditated and created a sacred space for our process.  It was a priceless experience.  Over the next few weeks I am going to talk more about each painting individually because it is important that I write about the process for each one.  However, working on the three paintings above was very emotional for me.  It was as if flood gates opened and the me that wanted to be released burst forth wide eyed and full of wonder.  It was very emotional and tears flowed.  Tears of happiness, tears of surprise, tears of humility and tears of joy.


I took my paintings to Small Church Community session last night because some friends wanted to see them.  They suggested that I should name them and it seemed right.  I am not going to explain now because the name may change; for today though, they all have a "working" title.

Well, this is getting long so I am going to end this post.  I hope you enjoyed reading about my journey…..TO BE CONTINUED……

Blessings and Love, pilgrim

Monday, February 17, 2014

Random Thoughts on a Monday before Tuesday.....

Portrait 15 of the 29 day portrait challenge

I went to a funeral today of a marvelous man.  He and his wife were very nice and welcoming to me as a member of our church, St. Thomas More Catholic Community.  I learned some great lessons as I listened to his son Brother John Eustice deliver the Homily in remembrance of his Dad.

First, Bob (that was his name, Bob Eustice) used a quote that I learned a few years ago and use quite often , "Bloom Where You Are Planted.".  These few words say so much about accepting life as it is exactly where you are.  I have had to call on this often in the past few years as I have tried to embrace the aging process.

Second, Bob was a treasure hunter, he enjoyed the process and it did not matter if he was successful at finding the treasure, the thing that mattered most was having fun.  As I listened to this in church today I thought about my art.  I post items on Facebook and in groups hoping that I will get comments or acceptance.  Sitting in that pew this morning I learned a great lesson.  It does not matter if I get approval, it does not matter if no one leaves a comment.  What does matter is do I feel about what I have done?  The picture above Brings a smile to my face.  In fact I LOVE it.  I really do and that is what really matters.

Third and most important, be able to play and get along with everyone.  When what you do in life 
brings joy to you and to others, when you can all play in the same sandbox and get along....your life has been successful and that is my answer on how I want to spend the rest of my life.
I may not sell one painting, I may not paint or draw as beautifully as many of the paintings that I see, I may not even get it right, but as long as I am having fun, that is all that matters. 

So, I thank Bob, for his friendship, the words of wisdom that impressed his son so much that he shared them with us today.  I thank God for the privilege of getting to know Natalie and Bob
But most of all I am thankful that my ears were open to hear the words that spoke to my heart today and made it smile.

I think I am going to frame the picture above, it is calling me and I am going to answer.

Until next time.....