Bad joke!



Mother Nature, or should I say Climate Change, played a mean trick on the Maritimes today. Snow, ice pellets, snow, blowing snow and cold. Haven’t we had enough of it this year! After all, it is April.

My mother used to play the same trick on my father every year: put salt in the sugar bowl. She loved watching his reaction, spewing his mouthful of coffee over the breakfast table. It was funny, sort of, but I don’t know why she did it. What it makes me realize is that I didn’t know that side of her very much. But then, those were the times.   But better than snowstorms in April.

So what do I do on a not very nice snowy day, housebound? This morning I was painting in my studio of course, this afternoon painting the stairwell down to my studio (one more wall to go!), and then later drawing the tulips a friend brought me last week. It is so relaxing to draw. No pressure, no fumes, like a quiet meditation.

When I was listening to the radio this morning (not sure if it was on the Current or Q, but I think it was The Current, where they have been featuring a series on Project Money), they were talking about how governments, banks, and such, are selling off their art collections to raise money for themselves, even if the art was donated. And most of it has never been seen by the public. One interviewee commented that this was a foolish policy, at a time when more people go to art museums (for entertainment) than to sports events. These institutions will never get the true value of the work because the wealthy collectors are looking for what is new and trendy, not for the classic artists, like Miro or Bellini. He also, astutely, said “the value of art is how it makes us feel and think, not in how much it costs.” Perfect!

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Taking off the Panti


Panti did say the costumes she wears allow her to be more forthright, to say things she might not as Rory. Having always been rather shy publicly, I started thinking about what mask I might wear. Probably I do it through painting. The paintings say more than I ever could. I’m just catching up with them. My paintings are not so shy anymore, nor am I.

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More Panti


At the end of the question period, after her talk, Panti was musing on how, with the changes in cultural and social structures regarding LGBT rights, everyone is going to be the same. We will be a homogenous culture. When she first discovered she was homosexual and there were other homosexuals out there as well, she felt so liberated, free, like she could do anything she wanted. Now everyone seems to want marriage a and babies and a mortgage. The price we pay for being fair!

But seriously, there will always be rebels, no matter what. That’s why we have the arts!>

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I went to see/hear Panti Bliss, the Irish Drag Queen, talk at St. Mary’s University last night. She was lovely, totally honest and eloquent.  She spoke about fostering gender discombobulation, but mostly it was her integrity and enthusiasm for being honest about who you are that was so moving. For some people, gay or not, that is hard, being honest about yourself. I must say, she was very inspiring.

If you have a few minutes, do watch the video on YouTube of her at the Abbey Theatre in Ireland.

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Another Wednesday; another storm



MarchSnowOf course it is Wednesday: we are in the middle, only the middle, mind you, of the worst snowstorm of the year. And we have had plenty, mostly on Wednesdays, when I could be teaching if it weren’t snowing so hard.

I still have power, at least, so I am catching up on computer business.  Naming and labeling photos of recently photographed paintings.  I can’t imagine how someone can work on the computer all day.  My eyes are not used to staring at a screen for such long hours.  I need frequent breaks and I’m looking forward to getting back to painting.  It’s much easier than this!

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The photo thing

IMG_3992, originally uploaded by leyaevelyn.

I had photos taken this morning of my new work. I think this was the first time I didn’t feel like reworking most of the paintings as he was photographing them. What a relief. My level of self-discrimination seems to be improving. That’s important. So much of painting is knowing what needs to happen to make it work. And there are always so many choices. It’s just about making the right ones, continuously.

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With color


I am finding out, once again, how important color is to me.  I had painted one wall in my kitchen a beautiful shade of dark blue.  I love the color.  But I was always uncomfortable looking at it.  It was too heavy for that particular wall.  So last week I redid it, painted it a rich shade of grey, and now I am enjoying being near it, looking at it, cooking around it.  Strange how important color can be.

Now my need to redo the colors in my house is traveling down the stairs to my studio.  I put that intense, beautiful dark blue at the end of the stairwell, just by the studio door.  It looks perfect there.  I also painted some of the walls going down the stairs a lighter, warmer shade of blue, like a robin’s egg.
Now I have two more long walls to do in the stairwell and that will be it for choosing new colors.  It is amazing what the right shade of color can do.  There is an app now for the iPad with Josef Albers Interaction of Color exercises in it.  I have the book.  And I studied with him.  So I have done all the exercises.  They were invaluable.  At the time, I didn’t think I would ever understand what he was trying to teach.  After about two months, and the tutelage of a fellow student, I came to take it in and it is now a major part of my painting process.  Just how important placement, amount and hue can be.  Like everything else in life.  But here, just color.
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