I just finished reading Second Glance by Jodi Picoult. I think Jodi writes well. What I love about her books is that she usually takes a subject and dives in deep while making sure the lay person can get the gist. This book brings the eugenics occurring in Vermont in the 1920-1930’s crashing into today. She has in some cases taken direct quotes from historical documents that will make the bile rise. I found myself thinking-‘really someone actually wrote this down for all to read?’. Not only was it written down but some of these “great minds” got together and made decisions that have had long running ramifications. They were putting folks in prison, mental institutions and performing sterilizations to help save the “Vermont’s good quality stock”. If I am following Jodi’s lead correctly it looks like folks who had Abenaki blood were lumped into one of the blood lines that needed cleaning. How does this impact today? For decades folks who had Abenaki blood lines hide it to prevent these atrocities and who knows how many were sterilized which would end their ability to build on the Abenaki family tree. How shall these folks “prove” they are a native people? These practices are part of why it has been so difficult for the Abenaki to gain access to their lands and culture and try to save their heritage. Jodi Picoult did a good job opening my mind- I knew that people had done this but I had not thought deeply about the larger issues this creates. Then I got to thinking about how we are probably doing this today. People who consider themselves black are about 13% of our population. They are also 39% of the prisoners in our jails. ( according to prisonpolicy.org) I know there is a number of reasons we can site as to why this is the case and I bet the eugenics folks had a bunch of reasons too. Any way enough said….good read…thought provoking.
I did a bit of art this week…taught a private class with three of my favorite folks to hang out with. Below you can see I was teaching about how to apply a flat wash.( the yellow ochre at the top) and about negative painting (the darker blue on the bottom). I worked on the Bradford NH church a bit and of course ran into perspective problems ;). I also started a new painting with our plein aire group but spent the whole time drawing before the rain came. In art class this week we used some adult coloring books as guides to make our art from. I started one as an example that is a thank you gift for a friend. I also went to the Lyme NH library to see the art show and it is really nice! The colors are so bright and spring like- get there if you can to see the art of our Odanaksis painting group!
Bradford NH Church
Drawing of 57 Bridge
Photo of 57 Bridge
Class demo about splash=splashy painting and flat wash and negative painting
Class demo using adult coloring book as a jumping off point
This week has been a bust for painting. It seemed like everything I touched turned to mud! I travelled from Gouldsboro to Wells and back the next day to celebrate my parents anniversary- 57 years! We had dinner at our usual place, Hobbs Harborside Restaurant. Mom had a terrific piece of baked haddock. The crab quiche was – meh and Dad did not care for his lobster. What was most interesting was the drunk woman behind us ranting on and on about how nobody loved her and her family did not care about her and they needed to get with it and show her the respect she deserved! I almost asked the waiter if we could move and I was looking around to see if we were on that TV show “what would you do?”…but no camera came out and I felt just awful for her family and then her. I said a little prayer and gave thanks for my life…that could have easily been me had I not quit drinking! (I did paint a card for Mom and Dad but I forgot to take picture. Mixed Media watercolor and ink peacock) OK then back to the Maine house…I spent most of Sunday cleaning and Monday shorebird watch walk and then finish cleaning house and walk with a friend. Tuesday was volunteer at Dorcas library and Wednesday was volunteer and teach at Dorcas library and then drive home to NH. Thursday I painted with Odanaksis ( the folks I paint with En Plein Aire). I should also mention this show…I have a few pieces in it too :)-
July is zooming by….Here are the birthday cards I promised to post from last week..
The Dorcas Library in Prospect Harbor is offering a S.T.E.A.M. camp and I offered to teach water color. We are making zig-zag books of the things we see or hear or smell on a nature walk. Here are some example pages I have done.
Practicing Butterflies and Trees
Spme sketchy for a full size painting.
Tried to capture this boat race from Grindstone Neck the other day…I like the whiteness of the sails…I almost got this all done in one sitting. I was working fast! I just want to adjust the darkness of the trees closest to the viewer and sharpen up the sails.
I am not sure If I had shown this Muster Field Farm painting. I was attracted to the burgundy color of plants growing in a line. You cannot really see from the picture- but they are in there!
W.I.P. Muster Field Farm June 2017
The photo taken from area I was sitting in.
I found these orchids growing on my nature walk…
I am sure this is an orchis but I have no idea what kind 🙂
I think this is a dragon tongue orchid
And also these pitcher plants…
Heading out to paint some more! Peace Out Till Next Week! Bec
Last year the well went dry, this year the basement is flooded. A friend asked me what the higher meaning of water is? I thought about the properties of water- a fluid that seeks itself, puts out fires, nourishes our bodies, gives life, and cleanses. Tides and waves and oceans. The Scorpio sun sign is a water sign. Water is my favorite thing to drink. Nothing relaxes me more than sitting by water and it is a huge part of my chosen medium. HMMM- none of those properties are small and I am sure I left out some. How do I make sense out of too little and then too much? Perhaps this might be another lesson in moderation? MODERATION! What the -bleep- is that?! I like more! I have the disease of more and when I am not having more, I am having none. This does not feel much like sobriety but it does sound eerily like a flood and a drought! I have known for a while that I need to look at this moderation thing but have been trying to go around it. I should know better. I have never been able to go around much but I have tried countless times to skirt around an issue, only to be faced with another situation bringing up the same- same issues but often on a more “crisis” type level. This one is going to be hard but I know the thinking about it is often worse than the doing. I have been able to keep up the daily watercolor journaling. I will try adding meditation about moderation into that mix and see what comes of it!
I did not get to a whole lot of painting done outside of the journal…
recycled a parking note 🙂
Practicing butteflies gettign ready for S.T.E.A.M. class next week 🙂
let me see 2 birthday cards. Which I cannot seem to find…I will post them next week. I have not done any work on the peonies. The masking fluid applicator has been clogging and I broke the pin off in the tube. I swapped the older nib and pin to the new bottle of masking fluid- that one never clogged- but that did not work either. I will have to use a brush to apply, too bad I love the fine tip of the masking fluid pen.
I also painted with a friend and we did this real loose- splashy-splashy thing to start the two paintings that are mostly about roses.
I masked a small bit to hold the light of the buds in upper left corner- then lots oa water and paint and more water- splashy- splashy 🙂
W.I.P. same deal here only I used a paper towel to keep a large area of the painting light.
W.I.P. here you can see I have removed the paer towel and started working on the flowers…I like this part of the painting better at this point…time will tell 🙂
The summer solstice has come and gone and I think my friend Kim put it well when she said…”On June 21st I always have a happy sad moment when I realize that Yay! it is summer! and OH NOOO the days only get shorter from here on until December 21st. Carpe Diem which I have been led to believe means seize the day…I painted out side all day on Tuesday- had a great day and some success. When I arrived home and loaded the pictures I realized I had once again NOT drawn the perspective correctly. But I am super happy with the overall tone of the picture. I knew that I had made the building shorter and I was OK with that but it is really obvious how the other lines are off when compared to the photo :). I was also stumped about how to render the roof and I can see now that the first wash was done well and the dry brushing over the wash is just too dark a value…I am going to try to lift some of that and see what happens.
W.I.P. Tin Shop, Bradford NH
The picture of the Tin House
Thursday the Plein Air Group went to an amazing spot called Cider Hill Gardens & Gallery located in Windsor Vermont. Get there if you can- they have amazing peonies and hosta and a splash of other plants too. If you are lucky (like I was) when you are checking out the gallery you will run into the artist David and get to pick his brain a bit! I bought a print of his and a yellow peony. Such a beautiful spot….and mean while back at the farm my basement flooded and the excavator guy was trying to find the cause- so I had to leave early and got NO painting done but I did get this sketch done and today I was able to get most of the masking fluid applied. I LOVE the “bones”…the plan is to pour paint on the paper and try to get a luminous free flowing back ground.
I have been keeping up the daily watercolor journal but I cannot get the pictures to load…look for them next time! Until next week- Peace Out- Bec