Today is day one! I was tagged to do the 3 pieces of art a day for 5 days, Art Challenge, by Mark Mitchell. The theme for today is dogs. I bet you didn’t see that coming! Tessa is the watercolor, Hunter in pen and ink, and Blitz in mixed media. These are all dogs that Mary and I have raised. For that reason I challenge MaryA Livingston to the Art Challenge.
This challenge originated on Facebook, but I have moved it over to WordPress. Incidentally, it was my first post on my brand new Facebook page, Tim Livingston on Facebook. Please check it out.
I love this post by Mary about our dear friend Noriko, who visited for too short a time. I sat at my painting table while she sat next to me at Mary’s. Watching her explore watercolors for the first time was humbling and inspiring. She is so gifted as an artist and a friend.
The highlight of my week was sharing art with my friend, Noriko. She arrived last week to meet her puppy, Kinta. The puppy is living with us while he waits for his health clearance to go home to Japan. (See Puppy Bliss)
You may recall from Puppies, Friends and Bliss, that Noriko is an artist. She has worked mostly in oils, and more recently in pencil and pastel.
She was curious about watercolor and we invited her to give it a try. We introduced her to the brushes and tools. In no time she was bringing life to a stunning image.
I think you’ll agree, sharing the art experience with friends is bliss.
When I say “lost art”, I don’t mean a lost skill. I really mean lost artwork.
Pen and ink of the Battery Point Lighthouse at Crescent City, CA around 1981. Preserved in a photo.
Have you ever lost track of your artworks. After decades of doing art, there were some pieces I had entirely forgotten about. Mary used to take pictures of my art. It is the only record I have of some of my work. After all these years I don’t remember where or to whom some of it went. I never kept track of things in a serious manner, since art was never my first career. Between selling art, giving pieces away, moving again and again, and years of living life, things fade in memory. Then, out of the blue I come across a photograph of some lost and forgotten art. It’s a bit of bliss to me. All because Mary, of Sneaking Bliss purveyor of bliss, had to forethought to record my art.
Have you ever done pro bono artwork. It is an excellent way to get positive exposure. As artists we have all done artwork for friends or family as gifts. Try taking it one step further and do some artwork for your community, church or charitable organizations.
A steam traction engine hauling lumber.
The pen and ink shown above was done to aid the Shingletown Historical Society, a small community historical society that works to preserve their community legacy. They are a small organization with dedicated volunteer members. They have more enthusiasm than money. At the time, Red Tail Publishing still did book manufacturing for other independent publishers, a service that has been discontinued. The historical society hired Red Tail to do a reprinted edition of Way Back When, a book about the local history, written by Myrtle McNamar over fifty years ago. The original cover art was lost long ago and the previous reprints of the cover were reprints of reprints. At one point the only copy of the cover art was on a tee-shirt that had been produced for a fund-raiser. The cover art had become so degraded that an acceptable copy could not be produced. Mary, of Red Tail Publishing, asked if I would like to create a new piece of cover art for the project, and I agreed. We used an old photo provided by the historical society as a basis. I flipped it around and changed the background to make it work for the cover, and you can see the results below. The Shingletown Historical Society, at no charge, got permission to use my illustration for their book, but I kept all rights to the art.
I have done other art donations, such as illustrations for our church newsletter, and donations of artwork and commission work for local non-profits. Being an artist has not been my primary career, so I have been able to do this simply because I want to. It is a gratifying way to give back and a nice thing to support local organizations that in turn are trying to help others. It is also a great way to get your art seen by folks and to build good will. Who knows, you might even get published.
The Tiger Lily is one of my favorite wild flowers. It is a late bloomer in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and it prefers riparian zones. When it blooms I am compelled to pick a batch to bring home to my honey. In fact, it is the one I like to bring her the most. That is why I picked this flower to paint. Now Mary can have them all year. I sketched this painting a number of years ago. It is based on a picture I took a long time ago and have since lost. Without the original photo I had to wing it. I hope Mary likes it. I think it is the last watercolor that I had started, but not completed. It is now time to move on to new works.
That’s my hand with the bandage. If you are thinking that some emotionally motivated gesticulating by the digit wrapped in gauze was the cause for the bandage, then I’m going to disappoint you. No, Mary did not do me bodily harm, nor was it the result of some road rage incident. I had a cyst and bone spur removed. I know, considering which finger it was, I could have come up with a whopper of a story. You are welcome to speculate wildly if you don’t believe me. Now I have two WIP. One is the watercolor in the photo and the other is my hand. It looks pretty swollen in the picture. Fortunately, I am right-handed so progress continues.
Those aren’t my tears from the procedure. I’m a big boy and only cry during tragic dog movies. I took these pictures during the rain storm last week. It helped bring an end to the fires that were burning here.
Manzanita flowers in the rain.
That night after my surgery, when we went to bed it started raining again. It was hot in the house so I opened the window to let the cool air in. My hand ached and it kept me awake. The lightning flashed in the distance and the thunder rumbled through the sky. The sound of the rain falling outside was so peaceful that I finally drifted off.
Battle Creek Meadows
This rain has been a relief and has delayed our oncoming drought. Soon it will be dry again.
An artist’s thoughts are often very personal in the creation of art. When another artist had me and my family in their thoughts, I wondered what will this piece of art speak to me. This painting speaks of a memory. A memory of time spent together with one I loved.