It was an AMAZING night at the Studio; and while I hardly slept last night, it was entirely worth it to me. Having a beautiful environment in which to work with the inspiration from my heart — where the Blessed Mother and her precious Child fill me with inspiration and leave me feeling as though my art matters at the end of the day.
My first painting involved gathering up and adding faces to the “dry enough” small works that I painted last week. They were fun, all oil, painted on canvas board. My collection of small Madonna Paintings is growing (smile).
Warmed up on the faces, I was ready and excited to try a new cold press 300 pound paper by Arches made for oil painting — and it was wonderful to sit at my desk to paint, rather than sit at the easel. I painted “Vermillion Aura in the Garden” (my favorite), as well as a “Grey Mood” (an odd mother/child).
I’ll be back at it tonight but will concentrate on more involved watercolor than the quick sketches I’ve done in that medium.
“Gray Day” by Jane Dever, Oil on Arches 300# oil paper, $200
I’ll close with my favorite for today: “Vermillion Aura in the Garden”
Spending time at the Studio was a hiatus from a steady stream of racing thoughts and too many lost weeks at home. Using oils and three small canvases, I wet my feet again and felt the release that painting is for me. Unemployment and worry has set me back in many ways, combined with an odd feeling of dread of late, so getting back to my life work is important.
Church helps me a lot, too, and today’s readings were intensely appropriate for what I’ve been fearing lately — exactly tailored to me!
God is always part of my innermost dialogue, so reading about Gods limitless love for me and listening to audio scripture while painting helped a lot. Today’s readings were about NOT worrying and trusting in God’s care. I do know how much I love my children — and I trust that I’m loved that way, too. Making God first allows everything else to fall into place.
I’ve decided to broaden my horizons to beyond the immediate, beyond the immediate company, beyond the immediate landscape, and beyond the imagined limitations that I’ve allowed to hold me back. Time to break free from molds that keep me in my self-imposed restraints. It’s hard to say why I’ve fallen into this rut; Lord knows that I’ve been given limitless possibilities. It occurs to me that it is time to bounce back.
I’m heading to see my children in my old town, Chapel Hill, NC, next week. Long overdue, I long to hold my granddaughter, to see my daughter and son and to visit with my granddaughter’s mama. I love Chapel Hill for its endless supply of dear old friends, cultural diversity, its music and intelligent open mindedness. I’m due for an infusion of its warmth and coolness! The fact that Ill hit the road on Ash Wednesday speaks to my need for a cleansing road trip — like returning to ashes where I once started my trip back here. Full circles are good. I may want to stay when I get there and I may want to come home; not sure. I’ve said that ill move to wherever I get the best job fastest but we’ll see. God will give me the gut feeling to know, I hope.
If I leave RI, I’ll worry for my mother and will miss my siblings. If I stay, I’ll worry more about the lengthening gaps in seeing my children. The visits north or south will have to be more frequent, regardless of what happens. The thought of not really knowing my granddaughter and being more available to my children hurts. Life is difficult when miles separate us from our loves. I’ve got friends in both places. The movie will help decide things, too, as a funded 365 Nights of painting will keep me at this studio for another year. I can paint in both places, though, so visits won’t interfere with the project. It’s all about being the Mother and being the Child — life.
Back to the studio tomorrow. Hope you enjoy my trio of impasto Madonnas…
I painted this today, after 21 days of being away from the studio. My mother fell sick with a BAD stomach virus, later complicated by an infection, then hospitalization. I caught it a few days after the doctors had admitted her. The recovery time was lengthy, so we are well again but still tired, believe it or not. I hope there isn’t a Phase II to the ordeal — but trying to be positive!
I had laid the foundation for this painting on the 6th of February (or thereabouts) with a simple outlined mama and child in green, yellow and white — wearing a fun outfit, well suited for SUMMER! The timing of this painting is perfect, since my mind has wandered South a lot this month — to warmth, my children and the thought of a job there if one arose. Warm tootsies, warm hands, warm hearts!
The cold season is wearing thin on Rhode Islanders, right about now, with temperatures in the teens all week and leaving me ready for SUN and SUMMER. This Madonna is wearing my favorite summer skirt — one that I actually have in my closet! Crisp cotton, white and Kelly green eyelet, gathered at the waist, a tad to short to be considered appropriate for my age group, it screams FUN (even though she looks as tired as I have been feeling). It makes perfect sense for today and the baby is just a love.
Speaking of total loves, I am praying that I’ll see my daughter, my son, my grandbaby and her mama next week. I hope to drive down to NC to love ALL of them with REAL hugs, not the across-the-miles hugs! Last week, my son was hospitalized out of state for inhaling the smoke of burning pressure-treated lumber (he didn’t burn it; someone else did) and he should be back by next week! PRAYER is needed for his health and a new job for him, if you are so inclined to pray. Addy has a lot of change in the air, too, including new bangs this week — like this Madonna’s! My daughter is a beautiful present-day Madonna with great adventures ahead and dreams of living in foreign lands… often the old-soul Child over the years, when I was most fickle. I want to touch base there to see them in LIVING COLOR… cannot wait… I’m tentatively thinking that when the snow stops here on Tuesday or Wednesday, I’ll hit the road.
[E. T. Phone Home…]
It isn’t easy for the 20-30ish year olds today. They have a lot of pressure in an uncertain world! It gets harder and harder to find work and it isn’t easy to make a living; seems harder than the old days, anyway. I support their dreams and try not to interfere BUT I worry more than they know — trusting in GOD but still worrying!
To find work for myself, I’ve resorted to creative marketing. I actually created a website, www.hirejaneanndever.wordpress.com with my first post called “See Jane Work… With your help”. On it, I included a link to my plain old resume (PDF) and video resume (below/click on photo):
I figure that hitting them with visuals might help — and it will SHOW them that I actually know how to design attractive marketing sites and presentations!
MORE on ESCAPING reality: and speaking of taking to the road, I saw a VW Van today and wished for one… and I watched an RV show for a bit tonight and I honestly may like to retire in one of those… I’d park it at South Shore Beach by summer and in NC in Spring and Fall and somewhere else in winter. Sounds great to me, anyway… With grandbabies sleeping over at Nana’s RV. I’d move it four times per year, painting all the while (of course)!
I’ve thought of designing and building a moveable solar cabin on a flatbed (a friend of mine in NC lived in one and it was really cool and “rough”!) or having an RV at some point. I have (thankfully) scaled life down to very little “stuff” — my best way to exist, I think — so I’m “portable”. Of course, God only knows the future; and beyond my drive to NC soon, I have no idea what it holds for me.
I painted this painting while hiding out at home and being glad that the roads were bad from the third snow storm in three days. One thing is sure though; when life slows down, reflection is possible! In between emailing info to my accountant, checking out the help wanted, scheduling shows, and arranging for art pick-ups at William Raveis Realty by Saturday, I did have time to relax.
I read somewhere today that I should cut myself some slack — and I moaned — because if I get anymore slack, I’ll trip on my cord. By the time I painted, I was ready to — really tired of not being by myself. The studio is my little escape, where I see my studio-neighbors but shut the door to paint.
I painted with my children and Maryin mind this evening, with an audience (Zoe). The palette was LIMITED, to say the least, considering that I only had six, mostly similar colors to work with (Venetian Red, Bright Yellow Light, Blue Violet Hue, Titanium White, a couple other reds and Indian Yellow). The rest of my oils were at the Studio. The blue violet offset the reds nicely, though…
When I was done, I turned to take a photo of the painting — only to find precious Zoe staring at me from her perch on my pillows, ready to go out in the snow — and ready for me to capture the moment on film! (photo, inset)
Missing the children and my granddaughter is part of what runs through my head on a daily basis, just part of my makeup at this point. Separation isn’t my choice but it is reality; partly due to my living with my mother (a necessity and enjoyable circumstance of her aging and my being here), as well as my children not loving the North after I raised them (for many years) in the South (Chapel Hill, NC).
I can’t say that I love the North, of course, with its somewhat thick-shelled and easily grouchy people (I grew up here, so I can say that) and its ghastly weather; but, for the time being it makes sense, and I will add that I love the coast here (hands down prettier here than NC’s). Sitting by the water here for two months a year makes it bearable — as do my other family members.
“Avoiding the Red Dragon” and other sketches I did today… reflect a yearning and discomfort that seemed real last night. Emotion is not reality — not easy to remember.
Fear is foolish, knowing that I am loved, and a sign that I am off track, trust-wise. Wisdom dictates that if my house welcomes God, he will bring peace to it. Fear is a terrible thing and it skews my thinking.
A prank phone call riled me before bed last night. I cried a lot and then prayed for safety and fell asleep. The man who called was not kind, and it triggered a PTSD sort of reaction in me – paranoia even. I’ve had time to reflect, even after another tearful breakdown tonight, wondering how to move past the fear. He was the Red Dragon, for all intensive purposes. I can run into the woods to the safe place God has in store for me; it just takes me a while to get it!
In the end, it is as simple as this: mankind can kill my body but not my soul. I actually hid behind the snow today and stayed home. I will leave the house tomorrow.
Making God first is my goal. I know that money, a husband and a home of my own can be a curse if they aren’t of God. I pray for them, of course, and being nearer to my children — at least being able to visit them on a regular basis.
I will write again for the next painting… photos of my kiddos will be part of that post.
I have a lot of remembering (remembering God) to do. Human concerns must take a back burner, for greater rewards.
This photo is the final version of a previously better draft, which is only history now. Luckily, I took a photo of it before I impulsively painted over her… I feel sick to my stomach, like I do when I lash out with words, or look at an old photo of my children and wish cleaning the house hadn’t been so important in those days. Will I ever learn?
Now, look at her again, before I show you the better version, now a layer of her, her former self. It is a painting, like life, changed forever by the stroke of my brush; a reminder of how one decision can change everything. One “Yes” or one “No” or one Slip of the tongue” or a lie or not following your gut.
We always start out better and change, so there. Here she is.
Now look at the new girl, the new baby. It’s almost like when as a child, I thought about, “I wonder what I’d look like if Mom had married someone else — or if Dad had married someone else”. An odd thing to wonder; but I wondered about much weirder things, believe me. Maybe she is the identical twin I had in moms birth canal but who never lived to see the day, neck snapped in delivery. I like her better now, having thought that… The second version of a fabulous woman (hahaha). Her lost soulmate.
The change has merit, with that last thought in mind. Next time, maybe ill remind myself to, “Step AWAY from the canvas, Jane. step away from the canvas.” Anyway, she’s still there; she’s just underneath. I DO Iove the new girl, anyway, and the new baby.
Another day of painting; another lesson. Which do you prefer, version 1 or Version 2 of “Well Enough Alone”. Lesson: not moving on something is always my best tack, as impulse differs from my gut. I probably won’t stop me, though.
I cannot believe this palette! Beautiful spring colors again… And she is as tired as I am… Eye strain and up all night painting, perhaps. I wonder which caused her look and stance. $275
I’m looking hoping for an early Spring.
Moving back to New England was tough for me, after living in NC. I remember that first winter of 2007. I was living in Seekonk, MA, and had a slate floor in my studio there… A very cold room, with three sides of windows with a door to the rear yard, where I brought in hundreds of logs to burn that season.
As a matter of fact, I just loaded this “Seasons of Change” landscape onto my pile to take to the show at the Unitarian Church (opening, Feb 9th from 5-7pm; located at One Benevolent Street). And I’ll share it, because I’d like someone to buy it ($400 includes a great frame; it won an award at BAM) AND because it shares the color scheme of today’s painting. Here is the photo:
The night I painted this landscape (see it here), I was literally wrapped in a blanket while I painted it — freezing cold, with only one arm exposed to deal with the brush. I was so upset by yet another snow storm and decided to paint the tree line, as it was that night.
The upper portion is what I saw in the yard, leading to the reservoir: drifts of snow, an owl or coyote (I had both), and deep dark wilderness on a frigid night. I was not a happy camper about my cold surroundings; so I abruptly added the North Carolina landscape below it, to remind me of what I left behind there; with a cross-slashed pink line to separate them.
The house I lived in, as a caretaker for my family, was so cool. We eventually sold it — but it was nice while it lasted (even as cold and drafty as it was, I’d hoped to keep it). Life goes on though; and at the end of it, I won’t be thinking about this house (photo)
Now it’s time for this sleepy-Eyed Madonna to go home to sleep before my trip to Providence…
It’s after 2 AM but I finished this at about ten thirty yesterday (4 hours ago). I got a late start, after waiting for hot water. The new hot water heater was installed today at home, after the hassle that was a frozen water main break in a vacant condo nearby… A mess. But it is finally over, officially, with all repairs done. Somehow, invigorating 40 degree water was not part of my shower plans today.
This “Small Mother” is a nice surprise, totally unplanned and delightful in so many ways, as I study her now. Anatomically, she is three or four years old, based on the “number of heads tall” she is. I never plan them and that happens sometimes. Subconsciously, I must have planned it to be a toddler with a doll or a small person. She has one foot turned out which shows some confidence; but I do think she looks a tad timid and she is holding the child with great care. The spring greens and petal pinks and carrot oranges are the gentle colors of Spring. And I watered down the many layers that comprise the background of this acrylic painting, using the medium as a light watercolor wash. This is one of my very favorite paintings, to date in 2014. She is perfectly protective and a very good mama to her baby. I just noticed that their auras are pink and gold, by the way, spiritual and regal. I think she has an old soul, from the look on her face… It’s no surprise that she reminds me of my granddaughter Anahata, in her expression. She too, must be a good mama to her babies.
Things are wrapping up with the film… I know! You’ve heard about this since October; but it takes that long to plan and properly implement a Kickstarter campaign; and AS soon as it is approved, I will post the link to this blog. It shouldn’t be long and I only have a few more pieces to write for the static part of the post. The budget is the scariest part, as I have to price everything i need for the year in advance. Describing donor gifts and calculating shipping costs to other countries is difficult — and very expensive if I price things incorrectly. It’s more complicated than you’d think. Just try to imagine how you would calculate studio costs and material costs for 365 paintings. I’ve just completed a few more than 28 in 28 days, and it is costly. I’m running out of canvas again.
I will catch some sleep before I drive to Providence for 10am this morning. I am dropping off several of my Madonnas for a three person exhibit at the First Unitarian Church on Benefit Street in Providence (the Opening Reception is on Friday, February 7, 2014, from 5pm to 7pm) so come if you can. Everyone is invited to this show. If you have mentioned that you want a painting, please call by phone. I need to get definite answers today if possible, so that I don’t hang a piece that you definitely want to buy. All pricing is negotiable before the other project begins. I need to make room for 365 paintings! Yikes. That is a lot of Madonna love!
I will close with a photo of my granddaughter, the photo I thought of when I saw this Madonna’s expression… A lot alike, I think. She definitely has an old soul, too — and she is precious.
I started this painting at the Gallery last year and just added final touches today… Unfortunately, I painted “Silver Light Fantastic” on the back of it impulsively. Now looking at this Orange Aura more closely, I am torn between the two and may have to frame it so that they are seen from both sides and can be switched back and forth — somehow.
These are both great candidates for Gicle prints, too, so you will see more of both, with possible paintings on top of the prints to enhance the prints. Whoever buys one will get both, TWO GEMS. I’m in the painting ZONE on Day 26, grabbing boards and painting, paper, canvas, you name it; a bit crazy at times, too, with (even) TWO-sided pieces to show for it!
All in all, it was a busy and fun day. It started with a cold shower (new hot water heater arrives tomorrow), church in Providence where I bought two homemade empanadas after church (yum; they sell them in the corridor after Mass), then had a coffee at CAV while I waited for Jerry’s Artarama to open next door (a very pretty setting for a $2 cup of coffee!) Lowes Hardware was next, where i found a very patient clerk to cut all different sizes from the 4 foot slats that i selected for a new hanging system project. From there I headed back to the Studio to add final touches to today’s painting, I matted and framed, “Summer Rose Madonna”, then jumped into my project.
With the help of the cut plywood slats and Gorilla Glue, I attached spacers to the backs of my Masonite pieces, an alternative to framing. Applying spacers this way, holds the unframed boards away from the wall by 5/8″ with a great overall effect! My friend John Irwin, (a painter, whom I featured at the old Alta Luna Gallery over the summer) used this technique well; and I decided to try it. Unfettered by framing, this simple hanging style adds impact without drawing attention away from the image. All total, I readied about ten new pieces today, leaving time for dinner at my brother’s house (we had a blast).
The cold shower and early start allowed me time to worship, time to work at the studio; and I had nice balance in my day, without frantic rushing to do it all…
EVENT: I’d like to invite all of you to attend my next art show opening on February 7, 2014, at the First Unitarian Church on Benefit Street in Providence from 5pm to 7pm. I will be one of three featured artists! Thanks to Elizabeth O’Connell, a talented water colorist, I was invited to be part of this exhibit in February. I’ll also have three pieces at the RI State House long term loan Exhibit soon (yay)… As well as a small exhibit at Sage Cafe in Riverside (5 or 6 pieces)…
I hope you love this new painting, and the photo of my nephew holding one of my old tiles, Rasta Mama 2. He is the youngest of my parents grandchildren, so I feel old as he turns 24 tomorrow. This tired Auntie Jane is ready to sleep now at 10:46 pm! Goodnight.