Outdoor Painting Studio, Santa Barbara, CA
I can be engrossed for hours, standing in the sun, painting. It fills me with such indescribable (although I’m trying!) peace, contentment, excitement and rejuvenation all at once. Sometimes I just can’t wait to get home from work to paint, and sometimes it does feel like I work so that I can come home and paint! While I absolutely, truly loved teaching, with all of my heart (the actual teaching and working with students side of it), I never had a single moment of time to create myself. To be honest, even if I had had the time, I was so completely exhausted physically, emotionally, and mentally that I just didn’t have anything in me to create. I’m not one of those tortured artists who is does their best work when, well, when they’re feeling tortured! Granted, I know suffering and pain, anger and frustration have their place in artistic expression, and I have turned out some works in that vein too, but for me, it’s when I am happy and at peace with my life, that I am most inspired to paint and write. For me, it’s an expression of my appreciation and praise to God for all we have been granted on this earth and beyond.
I finished 5 paintings in my Lotusland-inspired series, which I had immense fun doing, but suddenly got inspired to take a brushstroke birdwalk in a different direction. The following are 3 paintings from a series of patio paintings, where the plants and furniture almost feel like they are active participants in the scene, rather than backdrop.
Loving the outdoors as I do, I am most prone to using it as subject matter for painting. There are no hard a fast rules, styles or themes in my art. I nod to rules but don't limit myself to them. The ottomon in "Reading Nook", when painted with the correct perspective just looked boring, so I changed it back to just a little off kilter, that state of being often preferrable to me than the accepted and predictable. You'll find this quirkiness often in my painting, and I'm good with it. Hey, Cezanne and Van Gogh certainly didn't confine themselves to scientific laws of perspective, not that I equate my work with theirs!! The funny thing is, I was rejected (this time) from being inducted into the Santa Barbara Artist Association because my perspective was inaccurate in this painting!
I paint where the fancy takes me. I paint because I love it; not because I want people to buy it, (Still, I want these to go to good homes of art-loving homes!) This series evolved from a patio I saw and my fascination with dappled light. The series evolved into me bringing outside a piece of otherwise “inside furniture” and creating a beckoning outside living space. My favorite comment with these is “ooooh, I just want to go sit in that chair and read a book and listen to the birds”. Some people watch movies to escape, others, books. I want people to feel they can escape into another place when they view my paintings, or maybe view it with new eyes and hearts that help them appreciated the wonder of what is around them, sometimes unseen right under their nose!
My room is beginning to look like those European galleries in the 17th century, where paintings are hung floor to ceiling with barely space between them I need to find a venue to show soon, or I’ll have to hang them as flags from the ceiling!
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