Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Art of Mother's Day

If I wasn't a Mom, I might not be an artist.

It's hard to say because you can only live your life in the order it happens and while there are always side tracks, there are no real do-overs.

But here's the thing... my children made me believe in myself. I know it's supposed to be the other way around - and I'm sure that's also true - but the point I want to make is that my kids helped me discover my confidence.

As parents we're often whistling in the dark, doing the best we can and wishing we were sure it was the right thing. But then your kids look up at you and they're little and you're big and they believe you! Most of the time what you're trying to get them to believe is that it really is bedtime, or vegetables really are good. And that works, eventually, because that's how it is - parents are supposed to know!

But at the same time that we're giving them guidance and responsibility, they're giving us a kind of power that comes from the need to be strong and brave for THEM. Which is so much easier than being strong and brave for yourself. When your kids think you can do something, you kind of have to give it a try!

Anna Mary Robertson (Grandma) Moses once said, "If I didn't start painting, I would have raised chickens."

Four Feathers ©2009 Dorothy Lorenze
That's just so down to earth! She must have been a confident woman.

I might not have raised chickens (chickadees perhaps) but I can tell you for sure that my children raised me to be an artist. And, for that and so much more, I am more grateful than words can say.

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Being "in the moment"

from A-Mused by Philip Chircop
Admittedly I am not the most practiced practitioner of yoga. 
This could be me:

You're supposed "be in the moment," pay attention to "now" and appreciate where you are at this particular point in time. Because you can't ever have done what you are doing right now, in exactly the same way, ever before. Got that?

However, as I struggled with a yoga chair pose (not sitting in a chair: being the chair) I was thinking about painting and how this concept might apply. Hmm, not so very zen-like.

Here's what I'm thinking: it could also be about having the grace to appreciate whatever your level of ability is while you are actually doing a thing. Yoga or art.

In art, maybe that means being less judgmental and valuing every experience as it happens. That's not easy when you are your own best critic!

But  this yoga mindset might be taking hold... a little. I have two paintings of the same pewter pitcher on my wall. One was done about 4 years ago when I was just beginning to use oils.

This, small painting was my first time doing a silvery/pewter color and rendering abstracted shapes in reflection. Grey is hard! So is yellow. But it turned out OK and I like the former-graphic-designer influence in the pattern of those reflected colors.

Pewter Pitcher ©2009 Dorothy Lorenze

Recently, I painted the same pitcher again. I know I've learned a lot since the first one. (Thank you Todd Casey)

The hardest part was probably figuring out the right color for the shine on the ribbon: add yellow, not white! The new painting is rendered more accurately, perspective is better, the colors are more complex and it has a greater range of values. Those are all important improvements and I'm pretty pleased with the result.

But, in the spirit of yoga and appreciating "being in the moment", I'm also glad I can look at the earlier painting and not say "I should have..."

So now they are both hanging on my dining room wall. Looking at them together I truly appreciate what went into each piece at the time. I love the shape and the finish on this little pewter guy and will probably paint it many more times. Pewter Pitcher Milestones!

Satin, Pewter and Quartz ©2013 Dorothy Lorenze
I've posted this one framed because the frame just suits the painting so well! It's from Custom Frame Solutions where you can get reasonably-priced, quality frames in any custom size.  Take a look. They're having a sale for Cinco de Mayo!