Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Shelter, acrylic on linen panel, 12x12
Earlier this summer, as I let our dog Willie out for his last pit stop each night, I was delighted to see small birds sleeping in the corners of the porch.  They'd turn their heads, look at me, and tuck themselves back into their corners.   Once, around midnight, the moon had tucked itself into a corner, too.  I made several sketches (below) before painting.  Our street has street lights--rather than shoot them out, I guessed at how the scene might look on a dark cool night, and added the house at the top of the street (actually it's my impression of the house--can't see it from my porch).  I can tell by the light (which needs to be dimmed along with my signature) that my neighbor's home--upstairs, probably at the computer.

1st sketch

2nd sketch

Interesting that I see these columns at least ten times a day and don't know their curves until I paint them.  This is probably the fourth time these columns have appeared in my paintings; one day, I might get past my front porch and paint other streets or towns.
I just re-read The Writing Life by Annie Dillard.  She is so right--the artist or writer begins with a vision; time and materials hound the work; the vision recedes.  At the end, you have a replacement of the vision--a page.  
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Friday, September 16, 2011

Drawn from Life and Virtual Walking in New Orleans

Drawing of me, 20x16
©Terry S. Denton
(I have trouble taking photos of drawings on white paper.)

Yesterday--Thursday--was my Art at the Y day.  I was joined by a wonderful artist, Terry Smith Denton.  I've known Terry for a number of years; our first meeting was at my sister-in-law's restaurant (when her husband Mike put out a fire I accidentally started).  We usually talk at the grocery store, and her cart is usually filled with healthy stuff (unlike mine).  Being with her for three hours at the Y was a real treat.  She has a degree from VCU (sculpture) and attended Pratt.  When I was in the suburbs in the 70s (driving that station wagon) she was a hippie--alas, I was born too early.  I like hearing about NYC and other places, and the art world she has known.  My town is lucky that Terry and Mike chose this area--they live waaay out of town (beyond the internet), take care of their oodles of acres, and their goats and chickens.  Terry had a great exhibit last year, mostly portraits, and Mike builds docks and houses and has worked at getting our local airport up to speed.

Terry set up a still life yesterday--a vintage stuffed monkey (Percy, I believe).  First, she finished the drawing of me; then finished two great drawings of Percy.   Hmmm.....I was the warm up for a stuffed monkey?  My husband loves the sketch and thinks it looks exactly like me.  I think it's a bit flattering but I recognize my extra chin, my missing neck, my mother's nose, my dad's long upper lip--and I'm wearing my ever-present hoops and a men's shirt from the thrift shop.  Yep, that's me.  I would not have been able to pose for something like this; she sketched me while I was drawing New Orleans (below).  I hope to submit it to TheVirtualPaintOut--a first for me--hope I can follow directions.      

720 Brooklyn Avenue, pencil, 9x7
I chose this scene on my virtual walkabout in New Orleans because I liked the wires and the poles (and I got tired of walking).