Posts Tagged ‘paint’

A new addition to the dining room table


Up at our cabin we have a dining room table that was a cast-off when we took it.  It couldn’t have gotten much worse, so I decided to paint it. Then I decided to put the name of each grandchild on the table? Why? I don’t know but it sure seemed like a good idea.  This is what it looks like.

Some of the family is coming up here for Thanksgiving, so I needed to make the new addition to the table.

Half of the Bakersfield Six will spend Thanksgiving with the Colorado Four – grandkids, that is.  We’ll miss them.  For anyone checking in on this blog for the first time, I just returned from Paonia, Colorado, where I was helping as Samuel, my 10th grandchild was born.

#best09 Dec. 6 – Conference or Workshop that was Great? It was a Conference of One, a Workshop of Self, and a Community of Women


I went to no formal workshops and no formal conferences.  I’m retired and there was a recession going on.  (Had I been able to, I would’ve taken a National Geographic photo trip to New Mexico.) This year, 2009, was more about teaching myself than getting outside help.  Specifically, art.  Photography.  I realized I know more about photography than I thought I did.

That’s how knowledge is sometimes.  It sneaks up on you.  You do something for years and then all of a sudden, you realize you’ve learned something.  Writing the eHows and some articles for ezines was like a Conference of One – I found out what I know.  I’ve sold photos, I’ve exhibited photos, I can write about photos, yet I have trouble calling myself a photographer.  I’ve sold photo collages, I’ve had collages accepted into museum shows, had my own show at Metro Galleries, and been part of several others.  But I have a hard time calling myself an artist.

The photographer problem comes from the fact that even though I know the most important attribute of a photograph is having a good eye because cameras, even point-and-shoots do such a good job, I feel I ought to be more technically informed.  But numbers scare me.  Yes, it’s true, I have to admit it.  I start learning about f-stops and ISO and speedlite flashes and proportions and distances and my mind stops.  It might be self-induced, but I do think I am mathematically-challenged (actually, I know I am – if I hadn’t had an extremely high SAT score in language, I might not have gotten into college based on the math score).

I’ve already set a goal for next year and it’s to finally learn the technical stuff about photography.  It might be a private workshop – me and someone to tutor me.  I can’t do it in a class or a group because I’d need remediation right away! But I can and will do this.  Even though it terrifies me. Then maybe I can call myself a photographer without flinching.  I know I’m pretty good, I know I can exhibit and sell, but I want to feel more complete.

My Workshop of Self was art.  Something took possession of me.  I had NEVER used paint outside of childhood, except for paining some metal chairs. ( You can see how successful that was in terms of having the paint land where it was supposed to.  Actually, the link to my story has a photo which doesn’t look too bad – it’s reading the story where the incompetence is revealed.)  But I so longed to do something with a canvas!  I bought small canvases, acrylic paints and a few brushes and went for background.  I used some vintage fruit labels as collage material and wow! I actually did something that was accepted into a juried show!


Then I did another one.


These were even used as the show poster and I won some money!  My dad said I could call myself an artist -that my stuff was good.  He knows.  I encourage you to click on the link because he’s a pretty famous and amazing guy in the art world.  Anyway, my dad said my work was good even though I broke all the rules.  Not hard to break rules you don’t know.

So in my Workshop of Self I learned, I produced, I had a million ideas, and again, a lack of technical knowledge.  That doesn’t bother me as much as with photography though.  Because I’ve been learning from a community of artists in Bakersfield – BECA (Bakersfield Emerging Contemporary Artists).  These women are astounding in their acceptance and encouragement, their drive and passion.  I also have been learning from people all over the United States, the world really, in last month’s Art Every Day Challenge. I think it was only, or almost only, women who participated oddly enough.  It’s open to anyone.  These women were also encouraging and through their posts I learned so much about technique and materials and I got inspiration.

Now I want to go crazy and try all kinds of art forms.  I am going to do something with the head gasket from a Model A Ford my husband is restoring for this month’s Creative Every Day challenge of using recycled materials.  I have an art journal going.  I’m trying to actually paint something.  I painted a pear.  Poorly, but it’s a start.

So I take it back that I didn’t attend any workshops or conferences that wowed me.  Having written this, I realize I attended the best workshop of all – that of learning from supportive, talented people everywhere.  Wow.  The power of the Internet.  The power of Jen Raven who got me involved in BECA and Burn the Witch.  Me and all the enthusiastic young people who luckily don’t know their limitations, and because of that, they are going to exceed them.  I think that’ll be a goal of mine for 2010 – exceed my limitations by taking part in a workshop of willing teachers and participants all over the web.

For that I have to thank Gwen Bell for this Best of 09 Challenge – you can link to it from the button on the sidebar.  Because without this, I wouldn’t have discovered what I just wrote!