Tuesday, February 26, 2008

studio dreams

Earlier in the month illustrator Rebecca Doughty invited Anna and I for tea at her studio. I looked forward to it with great anticipation, because I think seeing other people's studios are fascinating. My own studio always seems to be a work in progress, which is why I have never finished the "studio tour" portion of my website. It's only been under construction for three years.

And maybe that is because touring other people's studios is much more interesting. Rebecca's most certainly was. It was large, bright and airy--complete with a small lounge area and a gallery wall for her beautiful, small bunny paintings. I definitely began to feel twinges of studio envy. It made me want to go home and start hanging little paintings on the wall and rearrange the furniture.
Something tells me the studio tour on my website will need another three years.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

no use crying over broken eggs

This year I set aside some time to paint an egg for the Open Field Egg auction. It's similiar to Robert's Snow with different artists creating works of art to be auctioned off for charity, except it's an egg (not a snowflake) and the money goes to a school (not cancer research).

I'm trying to make it a point to do an egg every time I am asked, and to do a good job with it--at least attempting to make it an art piece of value. The egg auction is in honor of beloved children's illustrator Trina Schart Hyman (she founded the event). Trina participated in the first Robert's Snow, shortly before her death--ironically from cancer. Her snowflake was probably one of the last pieces of art she created. The least I could do was to at least try to paint an egg of quality for her namesake auction.

So with my recent trip to China as inspiration, I decided to paint a lantern scene--glowing red lanterns floating in the dark sky with crowds of people walking and gazing below--it was going to be detailed, intricate, beautiful...

until I broke the egg.

Luckily, the smart people of the Open Fields sent two eggs just for these type of calamities. But now I was running out of time. I had spent too long with the broken egg, now there was no way I could do the in depth lantern scene in the time I had. So, I had to quickly come up with a simpler design:

Which is an illustration of part of a poem by the Chinese poet Li Po:

The birds have vanished down the sky.
Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me
until only the mountain remains.

It is one of my favorite poems, so for the time I had left, I was satisfied with the egg. But I think the lantern one would've been better. Oh well, maybe next time.

life continues

I admit I have been stubborn this last month about my blog. The days of my life continue, yet I refuse to write about them because my post-blogging of China is incomplete. However, I am beginning to realize the futility of postponing the rest of my entries until my China posts are complete. Since this blog functions as a kind of record for me, it is inaccurate if I keep ignoring notable events just because past events take longer to document. Also, I have discovered the genius of blogger's "post options" which allows me to change the dates of my posts--essentially lie about when I wrote them. This means I can continue to write about China slowly, post date them so all my China posts are together--while writing about my daily hum-drum life. Ahh...brilliant.