Day 26. Taking up space and losing control

I love spotting these birds in my front yard where that little flash of red can be seen through the grey of the trees.

I’m learning to use more water and let it lead instead of always trying to be in charge– blurring more edges, washing away what I thought was important and seeing the water transform it into something better.

Art is both about taking up space and losing control.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Day 25. Light a Fire

Years ago, I saw a painting of a tufted titmouse by an artist I admired. I’d like to try painting that little bird, I thought, and proceeded to file that thought away only to emerge again today when I finally actualized it. 

One of the cutest of birds, this fellow seemed to be made for watercolor– soft, delicate. I must admit most of the best parts of this painting happened by accident. But I will give myself credit for this at least: showing up to the painting, being the vessel through which the happy accidents occurred. 

I’m still working on the outline for my upcoming watercolor workshop. I mean, what do I really know except how to actually sit in a room with my art supplies and get to the business of using them? That’s the whole secret, the entire trick. Most people who want to make art just don’t. They don’t need an art teacher so much as a loving little fire lit right under their rears. And how does one do that in a workshop?

 

 

 

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Day 24. The Birds and the Brees

Yesterday I got a great suggestion for the name of this month’s watercolor series: Birds and the Brees.

All of the original watercolors will be available on my site early February, and since so many of you have asked, there is a print series in the works for the Saints players (and perhaps a few of the birds). I will doing limited edition, signed and numbered prints, so let me know in the comments if you’re interested in a print (and of which painting). It would be super helpful as I try to figure out how big to make the editions. Ya’ll are the best.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Day 23. Everything I’ve learned so far from daily watercolor painting

This is what I’ve learned so far on my 23rd day of daily watercolor painting.

  1. You paint with the water and the paper as much as you do with the actual paints– this oil painter had no idea.
  2. At least I’m not an Atlanta fan
  3. I didn’t start out on January 1st with the intention of painting football paintings– the thought has never even crossed my mind. It just happened, and I can’t seem to stop (mostly because it’s therapy from that atrocious no-call I can’t quite let go of). This is the beauty of a 31 in 31– a small devotion engenders new paths you didn’t see coming.
  4. I’m still going to paint birds and I’m still going to use oil and a palette knife. I feel myself longing for both already. But there’s a lot of water color exploration left in me too.
  5. I still have so much to learn about painting
  6. I’ll always love a good sack– especially if it’s on Matt Ryan.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Day 22. Think about that time

 

Yesterday my six year old asked me if the Saints had ever won the Superbowl. It’s a question I can honestly remember asking my own parents at his age, but where I got to say yes, they had to explain the playoff curse– not only had we never gone to a Superbowl, we’d never so much as won a playoff game. So I told my son the story– two years before you were even born we had this magical season. I watched the game in the quarter with people that would become your godmother and godfather, other friends you still call “aunt” even though we aren’t really related. When it was all said and done we laughed and cried, we hugged strangers on the street, we jumped up and down, and chanted with gravelly voices worn down by four quarters of cheering.

He looked up at me with those big, dark brown eyes and said, “Try to think about that time, mom, and not the last game.” So I did try. And I found myself smiling.

For those of you who have been following me since the beginning, you know that art was, above all, my therapy, my response to tragedy. And now, even in much smaller disappointments, it continues to be.

I think I’ve got one more Saints sketch in me. Who should accompany Kamara, Thomas, and now Brees?

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Day 21. Shouldn’t.

I really shouldn’t be painting my favorite Saints players. I paint chickadees and pelicans and hummingbirds– quiet little things that don’t really care much for football or the community it creates. I don’t have many words right now, so my truly gifted and wonderful friend Jennifer Smith Richard graciously allowed me to borrow her words which articulate so powerfully what so many of us decades-long Saints are feeling. Last night she wrote:

I’ve been a Saints fan long enough to remember a lot of things.

I remember the Aints and the paper bags. I remember listening to the game on the radio because we didn’t sell enough tickets for the game to be televised.

I vividly remember “Shoulda, woulda, coulda.”

“Shoulda.” What a concept tonight. The refs shoulda made that call. We shoulda won. We shoulda made it to the Superbowl tonight.

But this city isn’t built on “shouldas.” It’s built on shouldn’ts.

On paper, Drew Brees shouldn’t be the GOAT. Announcers love to tell us his age, his height, the improbability of his greatness. They scratch their heads at his accuracy. They love to say he shouldn’t be able to do it, but week after week, he does. He definitely shouldn’t have come to play for us, a city with its back broken, a losing franchise, a home stadium haunted by tragedy. He shoulda taken one look and run, but he didn’t. He stayed, and he’s the greatest QB to ever play the game. He’s the MVP of the league no matter what.

We have a history of players who shouldn’t have succeeded. They were too small or too old. They weren’t drafted, or they were free agents. But Payton knows what he’s looking for, and knows when he sees it. Season after season, he proves it. He’s built legends out of players that other teams overlooked, players whose careers shoulda ended.

In 2006, Gleason shouldn’t have been able to block that punt, but he did. In 09, a lot of people thought Hartley wouldn’t hit that fleur de lis, but he did. And the on-side kick in the Superbowl? C’mon. That shouldn’t have worked . . . Except it did.

They’ll say we shouldn’t have a parade to celebrate this season . . . but we will.

The refs shouldn’t have taken that game away from us tonight, but we’re a city that knows what to do with shouldn’t. We shouldn’t ever give up hope. After all, I grew up hearing, “There’s always next season.”

There’s always next season. And Goodell, the NFL, and the world shouldn’t count us out.

Who dat.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.