Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The New Series of Transcriptions

Om Mani Padme Hum (closeup)
Transcriptions Series

I am excited to share my new painting series... Transcriptions. It combines the sacredness of books with the Divine connection that peoples, cultures, and religions have been striving for through prayers and mantras throughout our history.

I have completed 15 paintings and 2 are currently in process. I do not see an end to this series at any time in the near future. In fact, I feel as if I have only just begun... new and exciting worlds within this series are just beginning to open up to me.

In working on the Transcriptions, I feel as if I am straddling the past and the present. I have one foot into our collective history through the books and prayers of ancient cultures. And in creating these paintings, I am carrying them forward into the present.

For years, I have wanted to incorporate books within a series of paintings. It was an idea that kept resurfacing. I would occasionally create these canvases in my mind. A few years ago, I began a painting, attached a handmade book, but I never completed it. This 24" x 24" canvas has been hanging in my art studio waiting for me to be ready to finish it. It is with this as inspiration that I continue to develop the Transcriptions. I have such excitement in knowing that one day soon I will be ready to complete the unfinished painting.

Unfinished Painting (closeup)

Check out the Shared Easel Newsletter for more on the development of the series of Transcriptions. I will be posting the images of all the paintings here along with information on each piece.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Spring 2017 Shared Easel Newsletter

I just posted the first issue of the Shared Easel Newsletter in a year and a half. And... it seems that it has been a year since I last shared anything on this blog. I have been happily busy and sometimes consumed with the development of a new series of paintings. I am thrilled to be immersed in a wonderful creative flow.

It is my goal to make a comeback here at the Shared Easel Blog by sharing the paintings I have been creating, along with the inspirations, and behind the scenes research and prep on the Transcriptions Series. You can look for that in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, check out the latest issue of the newsletter and find out how the new series developed, what elements I incorporate into each canvas, and see a few images of the new paintings.... and more.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Creativity Takes Time

This wonderful video was produced by Cafe Next, a Hungarian ad agency. It shows how creativity cannot be rushed. It requires more time. Students were given a simple clock-like design and told to complete the image within 10 seconds. Every child drew a clock. But when given the same image with ten minutes to draw, they were much more creative. Each child created a unique and individualized drawing.

When I was in college, I had a art teacher who had us draw out 10 thumbnails for each of our assignments. The idea was to keep us from choosing our first idea in completing the project. Instead, we would have 10 ideas to work with. From then on, in all of my art assignments, in all of my art classes, I would come up with a series of thumbnails before beginning my work. It was a great lesson to learn early on.

Creativity is a process of trial and error, exploring various ideas and methods, and staying open to a flow of new thoughts during the creative process. It's no surprise to find that when the process is rushed, creativity is limited, and as a result, both the flow and the outcome suffer.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Arthur Miller Quote

I just had to share this quote of Arthur Miller's:
"The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself."
 See the world for all it's magnificent beauty!!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Angel Prints

The Presence

Last week I posted the background story behind the creation of the Angel Paintings, twenty years ago. I have loved revisiting these canvases in recent weeks and surrounding myself with the Angel images once again. As part of their resurrection, I have created a collection of Angel prints and products at Redbubble.com.

At present, there are 6 Angel images on a variety of different types of prints, posters, greeting cards, stickers, and spiral notebooks. Some of them are also available on iPhone cases, iPad covers, and a few other products. There are two additional images I plan to include in the Redbubble collection sometime soon.

The Gift
The Centering
The Birthing
The Enlightening

To see the collection of Angels at Redbubble, visit: http://www.redbubble.com/people/wendyarts/collections/489762-angels or click on any of the painting titles, found under each image on this page, to see the products available for that particular painting.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Angel Paintings

"The Gift" - a mixed media painting

My Angel Series of Paintings: I'm not sure if I've ever written about the angel series. I searched through my paper files and computer files and could not find any prior writings. So here goes...

There was a time, years ago, when I began to feel the presence of angels. One night while driving to a gathering at a friend’s house, I suddenly wondered, "Are angels real?" In that very moment a song came on the car radio in answer to my question. It was startling because I was listening to a classical station and the song was clearly a song from the fifty’s. It was as if the station had changed and then after the angel song ended the station went back to regular programming. I had no doubt, this answer was real and meant for me.

Shortly afterwards, I became determined to develop a style for a series of angel paintings that was truly my own… one that reflected my artistic vision and was not representative of the angels I had seen in paintings through the centuries. But in order to do so, I first spent a whole lot of time looking at the paintings of Giotto, da Vinci, and Botticelli to name a few. I was like a sponge, on a mission to soak up as much as I could on an “angel exploration.” Before finding “my angels,” I tried several attempts at painting angelic beings in varying styles. I did fall in love with one of them, but I was clearly drawn to the painting not to creating more in that style.

Then suddenly I had it… the first angel painting completed in my own style. At the time, I was creating mixed media paintings primarily with oils, acrylics, and papers. So the canvas was painted in oils, except for the body of the angel which I completed in acrylic paint, and the human figure was formed by cut paper. The wings had to be done in oils.

The angel series was created about 20 years ago. It just happened to be soon after Eric and I married, during a time in which we were deciding whether to have a child and then trying to make that happen.

We were newlyweds at the time and lived in a small upstairs apartment in a house. Eric was hired to work as a project manager, so we made a temporary home in New Jersey for close to half a year.  Our living room was our bedroom, our dining room, and also my art studio. It was a winter of snow storms and weekend getaways (when we could shovel our way out) with family and east coast friends. I spent my days with the angels while Eric was at work. They filled my home and heart with love. I felt protected, blessed, surrounded by light and love, and so very propelled to fill the canvases with images representing the gifts of the angels.

Later on, during the pregnancy and back in California, I marveled at the timing of their presence in my life. It was as if these images heralded the coming of the new life that would take form within me. I am so very thankful for that period of time… and I am thrilled to be able to dust them off and surround myself with old friends.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Recap: 30 Days of Creativity

I enjoyed the process of posting some of my daily creative activities throughout the month of January. I achieved my goal of being more aware and more public with my creative ideas and process... and in doing so, I feel more likely to share here in the future.

I began the year, viewing the first month as somewhat of an intermission, a break between the goals and focus of 2015 and the new energies of 2016. So, last month was the perfect time to just play with creativity without jumping fully into a new major creative project.

The experience left me with several ideas to carry forward and return to:
  • I will be going back to The Coast to take more photographs (maybe today)
  • I am looking forward to taking photos of Water Droplets on leaves after the next rain. 
  • I completed the article I mentioned in the post, Writing Time, about my series of Angel Paintings. I will be sharing what I wrote along with images of those paintings, over the next couple of weeks.
  • This month I am doing Something I Love each day and using the form I created in January . 
  • The Mind Map I created for January inspired me to create another one for February. Is this going to be an ongoing monthly activity?
  • I will be adding to my new Super Short Stories Journal throughout the year.
  • It will be fun to spend time, once again, to Play with Food.
  • The health bars I made, the day I had Fun in the Kitchen, were such a hit with the family that I am looking forward to trying several different recipes to see which bars we enjoy the most.
  • and I finished painting the birthday card I had started at the end of January.
 It seems that the January focus on creativity may have jump started the creative year ahead. And for that I am grateful. I have so many wonderful ideas for what I would like to create in 2016!!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Fun in the Kitchen 2

Asian Style Portobello Mushrooms and Vegetables

Day 30: 30 Days of Creativity

Today is the final day of my 30 Days of Creativity. I wanted to start the year with a focus on sharing daily creativity, partly for the encouragement of spending more time posting at the Shared Easel and to increase my awareness of creative flow. I've achieved both of those goals.

Szechuan Green Beans

This afternoon, rather than making the very quick stir fry as planned, I chose to cook an Asian dinner with the ingredients I had in the house. I shifted gears when I spied the green beans in the fridge and remembered the Szechuan style beans I used to make decades ago. Suddenly, instead of a one pot dinner, I was making three dishes with different flavors that would all blend together.

Tofu with Garlic and Peanut Sauce
Dinner was incredibly yummy and the house smelled fantastic.

And... This evening I began painting a birthday card to send in a gift package tomorrow. I will have to finish the card in the morning before I send out the package. I tried using watercolor pencils for a change of pace. I've never used them on their own before, only in conjunction with acrylics. I probably won't be using them alone again, but I'm glad I tried it out.

Within the next few days, I'll be reflecting on this past month. Mostly, I am excited about the many creative projects I have in mind for the month of February.

Hope you've had a good start to the new year. I wish you a wonderfully enjoyable and creative year.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Water Droplets

Day 29: 30 Days of Creativity

While walking the dog at a local park, I saw the gentle mist of water droplets on a cluster of teeny leaves growing close to the ground. The visual of this collection of tiny water spots, glistening in the light of an overcast sky, was stunning. Luckily, wherever I go, I either have my DSLR or my cell phone camera. I wasn't sure if I would be able to capture any images of this sight but I certainly needed to try.  These images are from the day's brief photo shoot.

Now I am looking forward to visiting the same area again after the next rain. And Pickles (our dog) will not mind any excuse to go to the park.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Playing with Food

Food Play Mandala

Day 28: 30 Days of Creativity

During this month of sharing daily creativity, I wanted to play with food and create something visual, not just something to eat. Then I saw a Top Chef episode where they created artistic plates. That was perfect motivation for today's creativity.

I started with a food mandala and then wanted to try another design before cleaning up. I loved playing with my food and look forward to doing this again sometime in the future.

It was a bit reminiscent of the years I spent photographing lunches for Laptop Lunches, although, this was pure creative play.

Food Play 2

Then I used all the ingredients from the plates in a green smoothie. I also added some kale, green apple, half a grapefruit, and a carrot. Making the smoothie was a simple way to clean up the cuttings from my food creations.