Houses of Aroostook, #1 11x14, acrylics on canvas SOLD
I took many, many photos during our trip to Aroostook County on Labor Day weekend, and this is the first painting of a series that I call "Houses of Aroostook." This house sits against a backdrop of trees on the road that runs from Fort Kent to Allagash in extreme northern Maine. I loved its clean lines, and the way the sun was hitting it. I took photos from both directions, so be prepared to see another painting of this house at some point.
Phippsburg Congregational Church 11x14, acrylics on canvas SOLD
Here is one of the commissions I painted this summer. I finally dare to show it, as it was a wedding gift for a couple who were married in this church in September. The Phippsburg Congregational Church, situated on a hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, has a long and illustrious history. The linden tree in front of it is very old, and apparently quite famous. The painting was commissioned by a friend of the bride. I'm sure the wedding must have been beautiful, and I wish the newlyweds a long and happy life together!
Just finished this one, from a photo I took on a trip to New Hampshire a couple of weeks ago. It was a beautiful day, and the foliage was starting to turn. I love fall, but I haven't painted many fall scenes. It's a little intimidating, trying to capture all those amazing colors.
The Forgotten One 16x20, acrylics on canvas AVAILABLE
This abandoned Sunoco station sits on a corner lot at a busy intersection in Lewiston. It's been empty for many years. I'm surprised that nobody has opened a new business there. The other three corners hold a convenience store and two drugstores, and all seem to be doing well.
Except for the two florals in July, this is the only painting I've done since May that wasn't a commission. There were several house portraits, a church portrait, and a landscape for a co-worker who's retiring. I finally sat down today and painted this. I feel as though I've been away for years! I spent most of the summer out on the roads with my camera, so I probably have enough raw material to keep me painting for the next twenty years. I can't say that I'm looking forward to winter, but I can say that I'll spend a good portion of it painting.
Commissioned House Portrait 16x20, acrylics on canvas
I'm truly not dead. This summer has been a whirlwind, for various reasons, and I've had little time or energy for painting. Since I got back from SOWA in May, I've only done a handful of paintings, and three of them were commissions. Just finished this one, which I have to say was a challenge. All those windows! And don't even get me started on trying to make the different shades of blue work together. But I believe the end result was worth all the angst. I really like this one, and I hope my customer will like it as well. Can I now get back to painting something for me? Time will tell. I still have one more commission to do, for a co-worker who's retiring, but I've been out for the past several days (now that summer has FINALLY gotten here and it's stopped raining...blech!) with my camera, so I should have some good new material to work with.
Another floral painting. Having great fun with color. And today, FINALLY, the sun has come back out full-force. It's about time, as I can't take much more of the gray gloom. Again, I painted this mostly with my fingers, although I did use a brush in a few places. Hope people are enjoying these colorful and fun paintings!
Poppies 12x12, acrylics on gallery wrap canvas Not For Sale
I've been sitting here in rainy Maine for the last, oh, four to six weeks, looking out the window at mostly gray, gloomy, drizzly skies. Every so often, we get a beautiful, sunny day, just to tease us. Then it goes back to ugly, monochromatic gray. I've desperately needed color, and it seems the only way I can get it these days is to paint it myself. But my landscapes don't generally have enough color to bring me out of a deep, gray funk, so this morning I decided to do something different: poppies. I painted this almost entirely with my fingers...only used a brush for the original background color (pale turquoise) and for the stems. There's just something so fulfilling about digging in and actually using my fingers in that paint while I create! The sun may not be shining outside my window, but indoors, things are getting h0t. Hope you enjoy!
Still no new paintings to post, but I thought I'd post a couple of oldies instead, just so you folks wouldn't think I was dead. I call this one Mountain Highway, and I painted it on a summer evening in 2005, by the light of a jerry-rigged lamp at the kitchen table in our camper while camping in Belfast, Maine. The scene was based on a photo I took on Route 26 between Errol, NH and Newry, ME. I believe the mountain is called Old Speck. If you're ever up that way, you should take a drive from Newry to Errol and then circle around to Gorham, NH. It's beautiful, wild country, abundant with wildlife (i.e., deer, moose, etc.).
Sisters ca. 2000, acrylics on canvas 16x20
This is another of my early paintings, I call it Sisters, and it's a painting I did nearly ten years ago of our old neighborhood. Our house, in which we lived for sixteen years, is the one at the right. The lines are a little wonky, and the photo doesn't do it justice, as the colors are quite striking, with the sunlight running in bright yellow bands down the hilly front lawns.
Foggy Evening, Old Orchard Beach 2007, acrylics on canvas 12x24
This was an experiment, as I was trying to paint the OOB pier on a foggy night. I didn't like the way it came out, lived with it for a short time, and then painted over it.
Whew. In case you couldn't tell, I've been in a major painting slump. It hasn't helped that it's rained for nearly three weeks now, with only an occasional sunny day interspersed with all the doom and gloom. It's raining again today, and the forecast calls for rain, rain, and more rain, although we may see some sun in between raindrops during the next couple of days. One can only hope. I can take a day or two of rain, but when it rains like this, for weeks, it really gets me down, and I find myself unable to do anything but sit around and feel sorry for myself. Which is very unhealthy!
So this morning, I went downstairs, turned on the lights, and allowed myself to play with paint, which always restores my spirit. I really got into it, shoving my fingers into the gooey stuff and swiping it all over the canvas. I just love the way it feels on my hands. This painting is a commission, and a gift, so I can't say anything more about it publicly. But I'm excited to be painting ANYTHING at this point, and I have my sticky, paint-laden fingers crossed that it will please the giftee (Is that a real word?).
Just a few photos from yesterday's trip to Boston. The Beacon Hill Art Walk was fabulous, but we walked our legs off. Up and down, zigging and zagging all over the Hill, over crooked and buckling brick sidewalks. The artwork was beautiful, amazing, invigorating, inspiring, so much to see! So many different styles! I discovered a few artists I really liked, and scooped up their business cards, but since I got home at 10:45 last night and had to work this morning, I haven't had time to look any of them over yet. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and the sunlight and shadows all over the Hill were spectacular. Got a chance to chat again with Sean Flood, who I blogged about after the SOWA Art Walk, and to enjoy his wonderful paintings again. We also got the chance to walk all over the city, which I always enjoy doing, but the walking is tough on this out-of-shape old lady!
We also stopped by The Trident Booksellers & Cafe on Newbury Street, near Mass Ave, where JJ Long has a solo exhibit hanging right now. I think his exhibit will only be up for another week, so if you're in the Boston area, now is the time to stop in and check out JJ's work. I love realism, and JJ's brand of realism just sings!
I didn't get to take as many photos of the city as I'd hoped, and I was carrying my hubby's small camera instead of my new one (which is pretty bulky for carrying around all day), but I'm hoping I got two or three photos that would make good paintings. I've only done one painting since I got back from SOWA three weeks ago, and I'm starting to itch to pick up a brush. So stay tuned; new paintings will be posted within the week.
This Sunday, my sister-in-law and I are headed to Boston on the Amtrak Downeaster to visit the Beacon Hill Art Walk. This art exhibit I'll be seeing as a visitor, and not as a participant. It will be different from any kind of art exhibit I've ever visited; artists and musicians will be set up in the private back gardens and yards of Beacon Hill homes. These are places the public doesn't usually get to see, so it will be a real treat, not just looking at the art, but getting glimpses into the private homes and lives of Beacon Hill residents.
The weather report is promising, and although I sometimes have trouble climbing (and this is, of course, Beacon Hill), I plan to pace myself so that I can see all the art I'm hoping to see. There will be many artists there whose work I've never seen, as well as some whose work I admire: Sean Flood, who I mentioned in an earlier post, will be exhibiting there, and so will Jen Matson, a Boston photographer whose work I've been admiring for several years now. The day promises to be tiring, but fun.
It's been a while since I went down on the train, and now that they've finally put BENCHES in North Station (what a novel idea, to provide seating for the hundreds of people waiting to board the trains...), I'm looking forward to it. It does make for a long day, though. The train arrives back in Portland a little after nine p.m. on Sunday night, and I still have a 60-mile drive to get home from there. Plus, I have to work Monday morning. But I'm sure the trip will be worth any fatigue I'll experience.
The city of Boston energizes me in a way nothing else does. And I plan to bring my camera, so that I can take some cityscape photos which I hope will turn into future paintings!
I couldn't resist. I just had to commit this one to canvas. Yes, the color is exaggerated a tad, but that's pretty standard for me. No houses in this one; just the road, the trees, and that amazing sunset.
Night Approaches Digital Photo, taken with a Canon Powershot SX10 AVAILABLE
No new paintings this week. Between the long holiday weekend and other matters, things have been so hectic that I haven't had time to pick up a paintbrush. But I thought I'd share a photo I took on Saturday evening as the sun was setting. I may paint this someday. I love the bands of color in the sky.
After a few days of recuperation from the Art Walk, on Memorial Day I drove to Ellsworth, near Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, and dropped off a few paintings and some prints at a little place called The Rock and Art Shop. It's on Route 1A a few miles out of Ellsworth toward Bangor. If you happen to be traveling Down East, I'd recommend you stop in. It's small place, but it's packed with a ton of amazing stuff! Among other things, there are visual arts, gems and rocks and semi-precious stones, jewelry, awesome metal sculptures of dinosaurs (I took one in trade for a painting at the end of last season), equally awesome metal sculptures of adorable bugs (yes, I did use the words "adorable" and "bugs" in the same sentence...if you don't believe me, drive down there yourself and check it out!). Annette and her family will be showing and selling my paintings there all season, and I have my fingers crossed that we'll do well. In the meantime, since I just depleted the supply in my Etsy shop, looks like I'd better get back to the easel!
I foresee a busy summer ahead. I've added all the regional art shows to my datebook, and I'm going to try to visit as many of them as I can. I love looking at art almost as much as I love creating it, and here in Northern New England, summer brings a wide variety of sidewalk art shows and festivals and fairs. Then, of course, there are the galleries. Oh, the galleries! While I was in Ellsworth on Monday, I drove over to Acadia so I could go up to the summit of Mount Cadillac and get some photos. I swung through Bar Harbor in search of an ATM, and while I was there, I must have counted six or seven galleries. And those are just the ones I saw as I breezed through town. Looking deep into my crystal ball, I foresee a day very soon when I'll be driving down and spending a day in Bar Harbor, checking out the galleries and the awesome specialty shops. Maybe I'll have lunch at some cute little restaurant with a view of the water.
And maybe return with some inspiration for my artwork.
I'm also planning (weather permitting) to check out the Beacon Hill Art Walk in Boston on June 7. From what I understand, it's a sort of art/music/secret garden tour, where the artists are actually set up in the private back gardens of Beacon Hill residents (which of course are not generally open to the public). So not only will visitors get a chance to look at some beautiful art and listen to local musicians, but they'll also be afforded a special glimpse into the private lives of the residents of Beacon Hill. It sounds wonderful...except for the climbing. I don't do well with hills. But I plan to pace myself, and only visit as much of the exhibit as I can easily manage. While I'm in Boston, I also plan to check out the Trident Booksellers and Cafe on Newbury Street, where J.J. Long is having an exhibit. I wasn't able to get there while Jen and I were in Boston last week for the Art Walk; there just wasn't enough time. But I really want to see J.J.'s work again, especially since he wasn't able to make SOWA this year. He's a very talented artist from the Boston area, and I always look forward to seeing his new work in person.
So as you can see, I've been busy, and it looks as though that will continue for the next little while. Stay tuned for new paintings...hopefully by the end of this week! And happy summer, everyone. After a long, cold, and snowy winter, I am PSYCHED!!!!
We had a wonderful time at the Art Walk! Met a lot of nice people, saw a ton of amazing art, and I discovered a couple of artists, both new to me, whose work just blew me away. Check out SEAN FLOOD. There's a link to his website at right under artists I admire. Wow! This guy is about two years older than my daughter, and his paintings are amazing. The photos on his website, while great, just don't do them justice. These are big paintings, and you need to see them in person. I wish I had a tenth of his talent!
I also really liked the work of JAMES MUSTIN (also a link at right). His paintings speak to me. They're very urban, very understated. Sort of industrial looking. Water towers. Utility poles. Sharp-edged buildings. Simple backgrounds. Wow. Love his stuff!!
We saw lots and lots of dogs (on Saturday, it seemed as though every other person there had brought their dog!), and on Sunday afternoon, I sold six paintings. Woo-hoo! We will definitely do this again next year. The only thing I'd do differently is that next time, I'm staying in the city. The back-and-forth was too tiring. Even though the hotel we stayed at was only about ten miles out, it felt more like a hundred.
Now, for the fun part: the photos!
Friday afternoon. Headed back to Portland after setting up. The Tobin Bridge, perennially under construction.
Heading in on Saturday morning.
I take photos of blue doorways...
...while Jen takes photos of red chimneys!
Outside 560 Harrison Avenue on Saturday morning. We were waiting for them to unlock the doors so we could get in. I believe the booths in the parking lot are vendors who set up there every weekend during the summer. There was a hot dog and french fry stand that did a whopping business. They ran out of french fries around 4:00 on Saturday afternoon and had to replenish their supply for Sunday.
Our setup, left wall. The venue was a former office building, so most of us had our own little rooms. We quickly discovered the pros and cons of that kind of setup. At least I was able to hang all the paintings I brought. This photo's a little blurry. Please excuse!
Original Saturday setup.
Jen had two photo posters on the front wall by the table, her laptop running a photo slide show, and her prints on the table. Her large framed posters were on the wall beside the door. People would come in to look at my paintings, then turn around to leave and see Jen's posters, and dismiss them without bothering to look. They seemed like an afterthought, and the people who like to look at photography instead of paintings weren't coming in because the posters weren't visible from outside the door.
So on Sunday morning, I decided to do a little rearranging. This is Jen standing in front of the table Sunday morning.
We moved Jen's big framed posters to the front wall to the right of my paintings, moved her sign over there, too, to identify her and separate her stuff from mine, moved a few paintings to the outside wall where Jen's posters had been, and put her laptop on a small TV table in the corner, by itself, where it didn't get lost among all the other stuff on the table. This display drew in more people who were interested in photography than we'd seen on Saturday. Jen got a lot of positive comments, people really liked her work, and she made a sale that I'm not sure would have happened if we hadn't changed things around so people could actually see her work.
And a fun time was had by all.
Headed home! Sunday night sunset, taken from a gas station on Route 1 in Peabody. Jen took this out the window while we were fueling up for the trip home.
It was a great experience, but I have to say I'm glad to be home!
Jen and I are headed off this morning to my favorite place -- Boston -- for the SOWA Art Walk. We'll set up today, spend a few hours in the city, then drive back to Portland to spend tonight at Jen's place. Tomorrow morning we'll head back down for the weekend. If anybody reading this is in the area this weekend, I urge you to stop by SOWA. Free parking, free admission, and so much art you can't possibly see it all in one day. For more information, here's the link to the SOWA website.
Have a great weekend, everybody!
Oh, and Deb...in answer to your recent question: INTP.
Liquid Gold 5x7, gouache on watercolor paper NOT FOR SALE
Thought I'd try something different, so I picked up a gouache student starter set yesterday with one of those wonderful A.C. Moore 40% off coupons. This is my first work in gouache. It's an interesting medium, very much like watercolor, but with more vivid colors and better tinting strength. I like its fluidity! I'll probably continue working with it, and eventually will replace those student paints with artist-quality ones. If I can get this good a result with student paints, I can't wait to see what I can do with professional quality gouache.
This little painting will be going with me to SOWA this weekend. Only four days left! By this time on Friday, I'll be on my way to Boston for the weekend. Still have some last-minute stuff to do, but the biggest part of the preparation is winding down. I can't wait for the weekend!
Love that Dirty Water 6x12, acrylics on canvas AVAILABLE
Another Boston skyline. Again, the colors are a little off. The buildings are actually a slightly softer shade. This is a teeny-tiny one, just 6x12 inches. I'm having great fun experimenting with color.
Emerald City 12x24, acrylics on gallery wrap canvas AVAILABLE
No matter how hard I try, I can't make my camera capture accurate colors for this one. The buildings are actually a soft teal; the sky, and the water, pale purple and pink. The painting is much nicer in real life. This is Boston's Back Bay skyline, based on a five-year-old photo. This means that there have undoubtedly been changes since then, as Boston's skyline is an ever-evolving work in progress. In between preparing for next weekend's Art Walk (also an ever-evolving work in progress), I've been painting when I could, deviating from my usual style, experimenting with something a little different. Stepping outside my comfort zone. I have a thing for skylines, possibly born of living my entire life in a place without a skyline (unless you count treetops...or Key Bank downtown, which I believe has seven floors). Boston's skyline in particular excites me, because it happens to be my favorite place on this earth (Since I haven't done any interplanetary travel, I can't vouch for the entire galaxy, but on Planet Earth, it's definitely my favorite place). I wanted to do something soft and moody, a little wispy and vague, with very little detail, and I believe I accomplished my goal. This will be going with me to Boston next weekend for the Art Walk if it doesn't sell first. Time is getting short, but most of my prep work is done. Aside from cleaning out the car trunk, which still has my beach chairs and umbrellas from the summer before last, I pretty much have everything done. Anything I paint between now and then will go with me, but the rest of them are wrapped and boxed and ready to roll. Sure hope I sell something...nail-biting time, as hubby is starting to make noises about all the money I've spent to get ready and will be spending while I'm there. It would be nice to make back something, if only to prove a point to him! To be fair, he's been very supportive of my fledgling art business.
ADDENDUM: Maybe I spoke a little too soon. I carted this one upstairs last night and showed it to hubby (aka Mr. Supportive). He looked at it, nodded his head, and said, "So that's the one you're working on?" When I confirmed that it was the one I'd spent several hours working on, he looked at it again and asked, "Is it done?"
This is also known as The Painting That Almost Wasn't. You can't see it in the photo, but directly behind the attic window in the house at the right front, there's a tear in the canvas, caused on Sunday morning by my incessant clumsiness. I was carrying masonite painting panels and the top one slid off and its sharp corner sliced right through the upright canvas on the easel, causing a puncture wound I feared was fatal. I had spent many hours already on this painting, and it was only about a third done. For a day, I wrestled with a dilemma: toss the painting (and lose all those hours I'd worked), or mend it and keep going. I opted to keep going. I put masking tape on the back, smoothed out the front, added another coat of blue paint, and then decided to camouflage the whole thing by adding another window on top of it. Good old Payne's Gray will cover a multitude of sins. The painting was saved. If I do end up taking it to the Art Walk in Boston, I'll offer it at a discount because of the injury. If it doesn't sell, I'll keep it and hang it in my house, as it's one that I really like.
Life. It's what happens while you're making other plans.
April Afternoon in Mexico 16x20, acrylics on canvas AVAILABLE
Mid-April in the tiny town of Mexico, Maine. We have a very international flavor here in Maine. Just up the road from Mexico lies Peru. A little farther south are Norway, Oxford, and Paris. If you drive through Augusta headed east, you'll probably pass through China. The Scandinavian countries are represented by Denmark and Sweden. And we can't forget Poland and Naples. There's a famous signpost in Western Maine that points to all these towns. You've probably seen it on a postcard a time or two.
All of which has nothing whatsoever to do with this post, so let's get down to business. This house, sitting alongside Route 17 in Mexico, caught my attention as I was driving past last week. I liked the way the strong afternoon sunlight hit it, liked the dormer across the front (side? back?) and the way the house sits a tad below street level.
Beaver Pond in April 8x10, acrylics on canvas AVAILABLE
In the wilderness of Western Maine, Route 17 runs from Rangeley to Rumford, crossing the Appalachian Trail at the route's apex. Not far from that spot, this small body of water, known as Beaver Pond, lies in the shadow of distant blue mountains, waiting for spring to arrive. In mid-April, ice still covers its entire length, but the bluish color of that ice tells the true story, that spring is just around the corner.
April Afternoon, Route 17 11x14, acrylics on canvas SOLD
This farmhouse sits in the middle of a huge field on Route 17, the scenic route that runs between Rangeley and Rumford, Maine. I caught it at the time of day when the lowering afternoon sun cast velvet shadows that enhanced its beauty.
My latest effort. This one took a few hours; lots of detail, and after my last fatal attempt at a painting that couldn't be resuscitated, I wanted this one to be something I really liked. These houses sit on the backside of Sand Hill, where the morning sun hits them early in the day and causes all kinds of wonderful light and shadow patterns.
No new paintings to post this morning, but I thought I'd share these images I caught this morning as the moon was setting. I got a whole series; these are two of the better ones. It's difficult to get photos in dark light without blurring, even with a tripod. Just pressing the shutter release causes movement.
I did get up at 4 and start a new painting this morning, but so far, I'm not impressed with it. Most of them go through an ugly stage, but this one seems uglier than most. I may end up surprising myself; often, a painting so ugly I want to toss it without finishing turns out perfectly acceptable. Others start out ugly and stay that way. I've had a few failed paintings. I just consider it a learning experience.
This old trailer sits on Route 3 between Augusta and Belfast. I've been driving past it for years, and it holds tremendous appeal for me; it reminds me of the old trailers I remember from my childhood. I've always had a special fondness for these old relics, possibly because I spent so many years of my life living in trailers. None of them were as old as this one, though!
No new paintings this week; work has been hectic and I'm going home at night too exhausted to do anything. Plus, I spent a big chunk of the weekend working on taxes. Ugh. Saturday is looking like one more tax day. Hope to finish them then. Maybe after that, I can get back to painting. She said hopefully.
Meanwhile, here's a digitally-manipulated photo I took recently with my new Canon camera. In my spare time (what's that?) I'm having great fun taking photos and playing around with imaging software. Since I'm now officially Poor White Trash and can't afford Photoshop, I'm using a combination of two free programs: Picasa and Gimp. Picasa is pretty basic, but Gimp, I'm told, can do pretty much anything Photoshop can do. Or it would, if I only knew how to use it! Baby steps. That's what I have to practice. I've also been matting prints for next month's Artwalk in Boston, but I'd like to get a few more paintings done to take with me. I'm also starting to list photo prints, like the above one, in my Etsy shop. Too much to do, too little time, even less energy.
All I can say is, I hope summer arrives soon. Life should be a little easier then.
Yellow House, March 11x14, acrylics on canvas SOLD
I was hoping for a nice weekend so I could go out with my Canon SX-10 and get some nice shots. Alas, the weatherman lied. Saturday, which should have been sunny and in the high fifties, was cold and raw and gloomy. Sunday was even worse. I went out anyway, cruising the back roads in search of something to paint. I'm not even sure where this house was; somewhere on Route 105 or 220 between Camden and Washington. In other words, out in the the boonies. It's beautiful country, lots of old farmhouses and fields. In better weather, I'm going back. I got almost no shots coming back from Camden because it was raining, and it's nearly impossible to shoot through the windshield with the wipers on. In Appleton, I saw a big flock of turkeys, and stopped to take a few shots, but they came out blurry because of the rain and the wipers. They used to be nearly extinct here in Maine, but in the last twenty years, the wild turkey population in Maine has skyrocketed. Now they're everywhere. I've even seen them in my driveway, and I live almost across the street from Barnes & Noble. On the other hand, we also have woodchucks, foxes, deer, and a wide assortment of birds, so I guess the turkeys were inevitable.
There's good news and good news. The good news is that my awesome former son-in-law, Rob, has managed to save my 40,000 photos and god-knows-how-many mp3 files. The other good news is that I bought a 500 gig hard drive for $99 at Best Buy, and Rob is going to install it and get the computer back up and running. Do I need to mention that he's my hero?
Now that I've spent all my spare time dealing with computer issues, looks like I should probably get back to painting....
This is a scene straight out of my childhood. The building on the right, currently an apartment building, used to be New Mills School, where I attended first and second grades many, many years ago. The blank front used to have two doors, as every proper schoolhouse used to have. Behind those doors, permeated by the smell of wet wool on winter mornings, were two cloakrooms that opened to the downstairs classrooms. Times change, and most of the older schools like this one have been closed down. At least the building is being utilized instead of dying of neglect. I liked this school.
This has not been a good week for me. In addition to being on crazy deadlines at the day job, my cell phone died on Friday and I had to replace it on Saturday. Then, last night when I got home from work, my computer was flashing a message saying:
HARD DISK FAILURE IMMINENT! YOU SHOULD BACK UP YOUR FILES AND TAKE YOUR COMPUTER TO THE REPAIR SHOP FOR A NEW HARD DRIVE.
I know zilch about these things, but I tried to follow directions and back it up to the backup drive, but of course that would only hold about a tenth of what's on my hard drive. I then tried "restore." The computer rebooted and my desktop was still there, but since I didn't dare to play around with it, I shut it down and called my daughter, who suggested I run to Best Buy and pick up an external hard drive and try to save my photos and music to it before the computer died completely. So I ran to Best Buy and bought the external drive (my credit cards are taking a real beating this week). But I shouldn't have shut down the computer, because it wouldn't boot back up. I could get to the DOS menu with the screaming message about the IMMINENT FAILURE. But Windows would not come up. It would just sit there loading, and loading, and loading, but never getting anywhere. So I now have the external drive and my photo printer attached to my laptop (thank God I still have that!) and my poor desktop unit is waiting until I can afford to take it to the shop where, hopefully, they can salvage my 40,000 photos and nearly 1,000 mp3 music files.
I am quite impressed by my own ability not to panic. Many of the photos I took on my long drives, photos I eventually might have used for paintings. Not a big deal; I can always take more long drives with my camera. There's no shortage of available material for paintings. It's the personal stuff I'm concerned with: photos of the grandchildren on holidays, photos of camping trips, four or five years of digital photos we've taken. And of course, there's my entire iTunes library which represents not only the music I love, but hundreds of dollars I invested, paying for those songs.
Looks like I've learned a hard lesson: always back up everything one way or another.
Early morning on I-295. The mood is blue, but tiny threads of pink are woven into the sky. Just finished this one tonight. I wanted to do something a little bit different, and I've been eyeing the original photo since I took it back in early February.
UPDATE: Last night (3/8/09) there was a bad fire at the white house in the center of this painting. It spread to the red house and there was some damage there, as well. Fortunately, everybody escaped safely, but there's no word yet on the fate of the houses. I drove by on my lunch hour today, and the white house looked really bad. Probably a total loss. The red one appeared to only have external damage. How sad!
WORK IN PROGRESS Working Title: Winter, Bridge Street 12x12, acrylics on canvas
This is what's on my easel right now. Bridge Street on a winter afternoon, looking toward the intersection with busy State Street. This street marks the border of Augusta's historic district, not far from where I used to live. Years ago, when my son was in junior high school, one of his friends lived in the house with the sunporch. It was light green then, but it was painted white a few years ago.
I was up until 11:00 last night, working on this. Urgh. Now I have to work all day, then drive sixty miles each way to have dinner with my daughter. By the time I get home, I'll be half-dead. Thank God tomorrow is Saturday. Of course, I'll be up at the crack of dawn anyway, because I'll want to get back to this painting.
It's coming along nicely. I still need to add the trees and the power lines, and do a little bit of detail work here and there. But I can already tell that this is going to be one of my favorites. It's just flooded with light!
Here's the new one. I had a snow day today, but kept busy with other things and didn't get around to painting until late afternoon. This is a house in Livermore that I snapped a photo of a couple of years ago. Finally got around to painting it.
I also have news today. I have opened a second Etsy shop called CityscapesbyBreton. I wanted a shop that not only had my name in it, but that was more descriptive of what I actually do. I've moved most of my original paintings over to the new shop. I intend to keep ViridianArt open, but will sell mostly prints there. I just felt that it was time for a change. It will be interesting to see how it works out.
Here's the latest. I had trouble photographing the sides of the white houses because the small amount of yellow kept coming out mustardy. Finally had to add another layer of yellowish-white, and then I was able to photograph them properly. My camera is very picky about certain colors, especially yellow. Sometimes, even if there are several layers of another color over the yellow, what the camera picks up is that yellow underpainting. It's very strange.