Category Archives: drawing

Change is Good 4.23.14

20140423-145133.jpgFramed and ready to go to BAM tomorrow, accepted into the 50th Anniversary Juried Exhibit, slated to open on Friday, May 2nd.

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What a difference a few weeks can make. God comes first; then, everything else falls into its proper place. I just sent off a newsletter that I formatted for Mike at Explore Bristol (keeping my marketing alive), and framed the last of my three pieces (photos here) that will be part of the Bristol Art Museum’s 50th Anniversary Juried Exhibit that starts this week. I’ll be gallery sitting at the Museum on Saturdays until July; so, if anyone wants to see me, that’s where I’ll be!

I spent the morning today at my future school, signing paperwork and talking about what will probably sort itself out, Grant-wise. I realized probably should have done this years ago — but I never thought it made sense until now! Timing is not ever wrong, in my experience — and change is good if I come to decisions peacefully. I start school on May 15th, have three people interested (keeping fingers crossed) in taking over my studio space (a dream space five months ago but a burden now as I set my mind on studying for the next seven months), the movie debacle is over (never finished fast enough to help financially); and the only option and peaceful solution is to move on gracefully. The financial worry (enough for a lifetime; now has an end in sight), because school is practical study — technical in nature, with jobs in this field plentiful — always! From despair over the past months, then eventually to God and deeper faith, to remembering that without darkness there isn’t bright light, to hope after reflection, i now arrive at action. “Change is Good”. It has to be.

Another change that I’ll make this year: I wont be publicly sharing TMI on social media. Foolishly, I’ve posted too much personal information over the past year and a half on social media, with the lines blurred between private and public — and personal life and business life. No wonder I’ve been annoyed with all aspects of my life; I never kept them separate! With my gallery closing, I also felt like a personal failure (not accurate). Posting all the ups and downs of my emotions at those times has not helped me personally, nor has it helped publicly. Dwelling on negatives was my habit — bad, bad, bad. I was in a coffee shop this morning listening to a person who is stuck in sadness and I found myself (ironically) telling the person that he needed to embrace change and any available help! Accepting help from people who had a better grasp of reality was my deepest dread — that they would know my REAL imperfection; but without dropping the defensive nonsense, I can’t ever be better. Talking with an unbiased professional person also really helped to convince me that I was Going to come through this to a positive end and that I wasn’t crazy. And as usual, it takes a lot less time than I ever think it will to see new possibilities — with help! That was advice I gave today but couldn’t even remotely see, not long ago.

So changes over the past couple years (in photos; fun to look back momentarily): the gallery, the studio and a snapshot from home…

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Alta Luna Gallery was fun while it was open…

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…then that became Alta Luna Studio — a wonderful place to paint while it made sense…

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…And now it will be packed up and moved home!

I’ll keep the name — a good one — for the Webpage only, where I will write and post my artwork. Maybe I’ll write fiction or about art or whatever comes to mind — who knows? No plans are perfect for now. As for my paintings, I may paint more than Madonnas this year — or maybe just Madonnas — who knows? Eureka: Only God knows! Haha! I could get the hang of this.

Life is good. My only disappointment today is that I never got to NC this week for Addy’s birthday… But I hope to make it there before school starts! But life will be okay, no matter what. First thing is first. School is a positive start with little else determined beyond that! My goal is to be self sufficient by next year at this time — working and living on my own… But who Knows? Only God knows. With lots of prayer — Lots of prayer — maybe more will be revealed.
So be it (Amen)

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He is Risen Indeed

Happy Easter to All! This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.

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It has been an incredible week, with less exercise than last week (my only disappointment, really) but with more progress toward regrouping. I posted an ad to rent out my studio for the time being, so I can go back to school to get a “real” job as soon as possible. Many artists are interested but I pray that one will step up by the first.

I filed for Financial Aid to get a school loan to cover what Pell Grants don’t and I chose a field of study and a quick 7 month Medical Assistant program. It may not be as impressive as my initial college placement but I should have done this (or Nursing) years ago. At 52 and beyond, it will give me opportunities to work steadily in a field that is always hiring. I’ll take the test in January to be nationally certified in phlebotomy and EKG, pre-coding, taking vitals (took them in a previous job) and lab work… FUN (not kidding).

When I realized that I’d passed the safety zone of unemployment without government unemployment benefits and that the movie wouldn’t be done in time for me to hold onto my studio, I felt a failure and was scared. I’m not so much now, except that I want to figure out how to get to Chapel Hill for my daughters birthday in a few days. My classes start on May 15th and I’ll have limited opportunity to leave her until January.

All paintings are at half off until further notice, to earn some quick cash! I need to sell all of them, now that I won’t be using them as rewards on a Kickstarter project. Closing up my studio to paint at home for the time being is necessary, too, financially and to keep life less complicated while I go back to school.

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Church has given me a community with whom to celebrate my relationship with The Lord. Prayer sustains me during my days.

Love to all this Easter Day. I love Easter, especially this year, while I can be born into a whole new life. Resurrection happens here and now, as faith raises us up.

My daughter turns twenty-five on the 24th, so Happy Birthday, my sweet Adelaide Mary Dever! If I sell something this week, I will be there to celebrate with you.

Jane

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Where do I begin? Panic on Holy Week

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This one painting from 4.9.14 “Collaboration”, because my pal Jen (co-owner of Angelina’s with Jason) gave me the board with a rough outline shed drawn and realized was in the shape of a Madonna/Child! Fun, I thought, so I grabbed it to see what could fit. It’s kinda cool, in the end, although the black edges need a second coat… And I’ll heavily varnish it.

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I’ve been painting less this month as the job search, Church and my new exercise routine have taken precedence. I’ve been without a job long enough and without the benefit of unemployment insurance (ever!) that I am panicky and scared of homelessness for the first time. To further exacerbate the situation, my mother with whom I live (and care, more than you think or she realizes each morning) has decided that it will be more fun to live in an Assisted Living facility. I’m meeting with a school this morning, a technical school, to discuss medical tech classes to be a phlebotomist or something useful in this damned world. I’ve considered myself to be a smart girl – and have been told that I am – but not following rules along the way, like getting divorced the first time (a mistake), starting a business, not re-marrying for income, giving away more than I have (a lot), and not being desperate to “get ahead” when I believed Dad’s money would be there in the end” has bitten me badly. Trusting that the world values art enough to buy it is salt in my wound though. Art doesn’t pay bills; in fact, it has used up my savings for the last time. The film maker is on the west coast and won’t finish the movie before I am forced to find an Artist to take my studio space.

So disappointed, honestly, I have little energy — until I remember that I do have Faith. Time for God to take the helm as I hold on and do my best to regroup. Coming home (to RI) and really looking at my past — getting a sense of why I’ve been in a daze most of my life and really getting to know my parents as they’ve aged (and Dad passed) — was a help. I’ve been tortured and confused most of my life, honestly. It has taken its toll. Time to head out into scary territory, without the parents I needed desperately along the way — but with the One who never fails, my Heavenly Father.

It is Holy Week, so I’ll be at church a lot — thanking God for every day and his love. I feel sad about my situation — but God gives me strength. I’ll need it. The Passion of Christ gives me life, a reason to keep going. My focus will be to make God God from this day forward. The Art is part of that but God is first.

A dream for next Spring: I have an idea to walk El Camino de Santiago or “the way of St. James” next Spring. It has inspired me to walk 21 miles this past week. Will run and heavily train this year, part of the time with a running group that I’ve found myself a part (by osmosis and friendship). I’ll do “The Way” alone, though. It’s not like the movie, by the way; and I’m getting sound advise from a friend who did it, as well as doing my research. It gives me a goal, a dream. And it would be a great way to improve my Spanish! I’d like to paint my way across (maybe miniatures), too.

I’m trying to get to NC again, in time for my daughters birthday next week. Not possible, I’m afraid. In light of Holy Week, it is okay, though. It’s all okay.

“Spring Palette” on a raw and rainy day ~ 4.8.14

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“Spring Palette” watercolor on Arches paper, 9″ x 12″, $150
I woke up late after not walking again… Second day in a row! I felt lousy yesterday (an edgy, unsettled day physically and emotionally for reasons that have since resolved themselves) and I went to bed too late to rise at 6 am last night, after late night texting to my children… And asleep at 1:30 am. Early morning makes sense for exercise but with mom, the dog and a morning routine here, it doesn’t really work. I’ve got to figure this out, even if it means walking to Studio later each day.

I sought the job search advice from Realtor friend Deb Jobin over coffee first thing, so even though I got a late start (and it involved a drive rather than a walk), it was a positive one. From there, a research trip to Rogers Free Library provided inspiration for a mural I’ve been asked to do (a commission for an old acquaintance). I spent a couple of glorious hours reading and web surfing, and found time to also brush up on new interior color trends for a home color consultation that I’ll soon do as a favor to a friend.

With the rain this morning and a lingering nip in the air, my entry to a cold studio was not as inviting as usual. Most days the warm sun streams into the south and west facing windows there, readying it for this artist. Without sun to do that job today, it took twenty minutes for the heater to work its magic. Meantime, I sketched a cold crayon drawing with cold fingers and with a bit of a grudge.

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The first sketch was raw, the watercolor over it was too heavy, and the third watercolor was unplanned and easy. The fourth was enough to send me packing… Not my best painting day… I never warmed up completely, literally or figuratively! I don’t like cold, if you haven’t noticed.

I’d been waiting for calls, then realized that I’d left my phone at the library! I dashed out of the building at exactly the same moment that my expected visitor arrived –along with the librarian, who was holding my missing cellphone! Beata Stiepen-Liu, a painter friend, was there to claim two paintings she’d left for the last Raveis Realty exhibit that I’d curated. We toured the studio and then left for coffee to catch up — such a fun visit.

We enjoyed Espresso and coffee at Angelina’s — AND I was entertained by her lovely story about her pilgrimage to El Camino, where she walked “The Way”. I’ve been thinking about making that walk at some point and it seems that her tale was fertilizer for that seed… Still only a seed at this point. It will require a lot of preparation, should I decide to make such a trip; and if I do it, I’ll have to wake up in the morning to walk, hike and TRAIN for it!

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It has been a great day, overall. Too much coffee maybe, as a started with a cup at Coffee Depot with Deb Jobin — and one before that with mom — but a busy and social day, nonetheless. Catching up with old friends is wonderful — and it is good for me to hear how others are, rather than being preoccupied with self all the time! By sharing my “Way” in the world with friends, family and God, I can be a social being.

A Ruby Red Day – from 4.4.14

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Above: “Ruby Red Day”, Acrylic on Arches oil paper, $300

Saturday, April 6th: Gallery sitting today, I have time to reflect and share. Starting each day walking in only slightly chilled air, seeing the breathtaking beauty of my hometown with the visual delights of the shoreline and nature, and (even) glimpses of the homes of my youth along the way, I am starting to feel roused from winter doldrums.

Aside from a brief panic attack over financial worries and the still unfinished Kickstart movie, I worked hard this week and feel a sense of accomplishment. The acceptance of 3 pieces into Bristol Art Museum’s upcoming juried show, “a Call to RI Artists” has also given me a needed lift.

The possibility of a globally publicized project looms in question, with the movie to pitch it in the hands of a too busy filmmaker, like a mirage of sorts! Holding on with a few meager sales and the charity of family, I crawl along with high hopes through a financial dry zone. I won’t let it go. Lest the world sees a “365 Madonna Nights Project”, I will never know what should become of this nine year vocation.

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Above: “Mary and Boy Jesus”, acrylic on YUPO, $150; this reminds me of ‘the scream’! The removal of the paint, scratching it away, was a lot of fun.

Peace.

LOTS of Living Water today… “Noah”, Anyone? (3.30.14)

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On the paintings:
Yesterday, I finally got to finish this painting “Living Water” (above) started last week, the title of which seems to have been a sign of what was to come this past Thursday night at church. I also got back the painting “Vermillion Aura Madonna in the Garden” (below) from Bristol Picture Frame, where I had them mat it to a frame I’d bought from them a while back. It looks prettier than the photo, in person… And they did a great job with a quick turnaround.

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This is a stormy Sunday, a very rainy one, with massive floods that had traffic backups for miles and the roads to downtown Bristol blocked off. Instead of my ritual after-church coffee at Angelina’s Coffee and painting at Alta Luna Studio, I was forced to come home. I was disappointed but I’ve gotten over it. Keeping the Sabbath, I won’t work at all at anything job-search related (seems silly since I haven’t worked since November), although I did go online to try to find a used/cheaper set of Rosetta Stone digital Spanish language software, to help me “brush up” and qualify for a more jobs. One I wanted at the Diocese and another two with the State all require fluency in Spanish.

So, even though I feel like I’ve missed something, it has been a relaxed day at home with my dog Zoe, my mom and (even) a visit from my brother (with my sister and her husband coming by later on).

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My brother’s visit was fun, since he always makes us laugh with his detailed stories and entertaining storytelling style (his photo, inset, holding his dog) 20140330-165008.jpg

Regarding my baptism in The Holy Spirit ceremony at the “Life in the Spirit” seminar at church, it was beautiful! After a prayer in which I rejected Satan and chose God and the life of Christ, four spirit-filled women laid their hands on my shoulders and head, prayed over me there and received words from the Spirit to give to me. I was given a card of notations after — all meaningful and appropriate for me, I thought. They’d written on it: “John 4:7 on” (the same reading I’d written about the week before /the Samaritan Woman at the well), the words “My daughter, how long have I waited for you — come into my presence and be with me forever!” (from God, obviously); and a task for me, “Up on a mountaintop, paint a picture of Jesus and keep it on your heart”.

Since then, I’ve reflected and imagined that painting on my heart, reread the passage (the whole book of John several times, in fact) — and I know in my heart that my prayer connection to the Father is secure, really close. I have never felt more loved, really.

I have also been thinking that I want to find a mountain to literally paint that scene… Perhaps Mount Hope, here in Bristol… maybe one in NH or western Massachusetts, not sure… Maybe with serious altitude, like Machu-Picchu… or with Christian significance, like Mount Sinaii… Mt. Eremos or the Plain of Gennesaret? It probably doesn’t matter, as long as its here on my heart. [I’d love comments about great mountains!]

In closing, I’ll share a painting I did called, “Office Politics,” with emancipating ramifications today… Life is good today. Amazing (grace). God bless! Oh the reference to Noah, refers to a new movie that I want to see… One of these days.

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“Child’s Play” and other Watercolors

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“Child’s Play”, watercolor, 6.5″ by 6″, $150

Painting at Angelina’s Coffee and at home today, I used watercolor to continue the fun I’m having using this new medium. It was great to be out in the public, running into old friends from my gallery days and having great tea.

About the paintings: The top one is “Child’s Play” with the baby reminding me of my granddaughter Anahata. The middle one is “Mod Mama”; and it reminds me that I should be more precise, if I’m going to use designer-style swirls and shapes. The last one “Shoes on the Beach” is funny, as it shows my habit of making the women way too short — and she has terrible shoes. I consider these all child’s play, part of my ongoing lessons in my self-taught trials in painting.

Life lately:  My experiences this week have been dramatically different then last week… More content, yesterday’s fun with oils is reflective of this shift. The changes involve reacting to feelings differently (job search, weight, rejection, family, financial challenges); less acting out or wallowing (this week I did both for one day) and more prayer and honest reflection. Sounds exhausting, right? No, actually, it is easier to see myself get better through the eyes of God. Seeing the truth faster allows me not to lose myself — and punish myself. Forgiveness of small failings also helps me to get back quicker… And god is not as punitive as he is forgiving! I used to be able to laugh at myself easily and hope to again.

When Ash Wednesday came, I kicked into Lent (cleansing) mode with a brand new vigor and was reminded at Sunday mass to spend time in conversation with my best “friend” — Jesus. Joining a group at church for “renewed spirit”, praying throughout each day to keep the friendship going and devoting at least a half hour of each day to reading scripture and contemplation are helping in all aspects of my life. With the exception of my giving unwarranted advice (imposing my opinion) on a family member and an acquaintance, and a three instances of gluttony, it was a great week!

Disturbed by my physical health and knowledge that I’d never have been able to walk very far if Jesus had ever asked me to physically follow him as a disciple, I’ve decided to incorporate self care with spiritual devotion in a non-gluttonous cleanse during Lent. I started the week off miserably by eating two boxes of candy and what seemed like half a chicken on Ash Wednesday, then completely forgetting not to eat chicken on Friday, and having a two martini Sunday at the pub during a fundraiser (dangerous thing to overdo). Self-Forgiveness was given, and I restarted with a low carb routine that includes at least one protein shake per day.

My food issues: emotional eating, grazing, starving myself in high school, self-loathing binges followed by hateful mirror conversations, and happiness definitely curtailed in all other areas of my life when I am overweight. I use food to rebel against people, places and things that upset me. You name it; and I’ll have used food to respond to it. The least pretty (interesting choice of words) side of myself, I make vain efforts (aah, another interesting word) at going back to a healthy weight but usually fail. Another side of these food issues: when I succeed, lost weight lightens me but the extremist side of my personality sends me to my own private ‘vanity fair’ of sorts, at which I become the equally revolting, hell on wheels ego-maniac — until I gain it back to start the cycle again.

I believe in the power of Love, so using God should help! And a few affirmations in the mirror might also help — and thanks to my Irish friend, Helen in NC, I have a tirade of these loving self-affirmations to take out of my toolbox. “Youre a beautiful Childnof God” is actually one of them… No joke, this is a loaded issue (unfortunately, a loaded potato came to mind as I wrote that — Dear God). For those of you who think I’m rambling, I probably am; and, if you aren’t into non-filtered banter, I am sorry to hear it.

Back to the art talk (this emotional stuff is actually all related, by the way, since painting purges my feelings):
Next, I’ll work on adding figures to a background I’ve started more than a week ago — and trying a black, white and grey-tone Madonna in Acrylic for a friend (if I can finish the other one. Taking my time will be my goal for the day — not rushing but enjoying the process. I’ll have plenty of time to rush and finish, when and if I get funded for the 365 Madonna Nights project…

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“Mod Mama”, watercolor, $125
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“Shoes at the Beach”, watercolor, $125

1.5.14 – Venetian Red Madonna

Venetian Red Madonna

2.5.14 – Venetian Red Madonna – and family photos

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 Mary in 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, zoe on bedI 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).

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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.

2.4.14 – Avoid the Red Dragon and other sketches

2.4.14 Avoid the Red Dragon
2.4.14 Avoid the Red Dragon, Mixed media on paper, 12″ x 9″

“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.

2.4.14 Right Angles by Jane Dever, pencil sketch on paper, 12" x 9"
2.4.14 Right Angles by Jane Dever, pencil sketch on paper, 12″ x 9″

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!

Bright Eyes by Jane Dever; pencil on paper, 12" x 9"
Bright Eyes by Jane Dever; pencil on paper, 12″ x 9″

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.

Dr.Zhivago

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.