Life in general Painting Watercolor

Wind Up Angel Dressed for Christmas

Guardian Angel, Watermedia, 8x8"
Angel, Watermedia on Arches paper, 8x8"

My sister has great parking karma. She deeply believes there will always be a parking place for her, and there is. She gave me this little wind-up “parking karma angel” that I keep on my dashboard, along with my Boy Scout “Finding My Way” badge (that I bought at a Boy Scout store I happened upon) since I’m notorious for getting lost. The angel has a knob on the back and if you wind it up, her wings flap and she grants you a parking space.

Perhaps she can also grant New Years or Christmas wishes. Send me your wishes and I’ll wind her up for you.  Be sure and let me know if they come true!

About the painting:

I placed a turquoise cloth beneath her and draped a red one to her side, making her silvery gown and wings reflect all that color back.  I wanted to paint her in oils but decided to do watercolor first. Since I still haven’t  gotten around to replacing my masking fluid (which had turned into a solid lump), I tried preserving the whites but didn’t completely succeed. So I tried recapturing them with gouache (came out greyish), then acrylic (too cool, too bright white) and finally used some latex interior house paint that I’d previously had matched to the color of my Arches watercolor paper. It worked well and matched the preserved whites.

I took photos of Angel Baby (what I call her) with different colored cloths and some of them were quite dramatic. I’m going to try painting her again with some of those other colored cloths.

Happy Holidays!

Life in general Oil Painting Painting Still Life

Green Fig (Minus One Bite), Rock Tours, Guardian Angels

Green Fig, Oil on panel, 8x6"
Green Fig, Oil on panel, 8x6

I took one bite out of my last green fig and was treated to an explosion of taste and color so brilliant I had to paint it. I gave myself the length of a Tom Waits live concert podcast to paint it. I finished before the concert did. It’s still playing and is fantastic! It’s one of many of NPR’s “All Songs Considered Live Concerts” that can be listened to directly on their website or downloaded from iTunes.

The back up musicians are incredible (love that sax and drums) and there isn’t a boring or annoying song in the whole 2 hour performance. Of course Tom Waits is not for everyone. He trained his voice when he was young to make it sound like a gravelly-voiced old man and it stuck that way. His songwriting is eerie and strange and some might be offended by his more irreverent themes. “Glitter and Doom” is the name of his 2008 tour and it fits the music perfectly.

2007: The Oil Slick Tour

I’ve always been jealous of how musicians get to name their tours, like Madonna’s “Sticky and Sweet Tour,” (yuck, gross) Elton John’s “Red Piano Tour, ” U-2’s “Vertigo Tour.” I love the idea that for a period of time you name your “tour.” I think I’m going to start having tours instead of years. I could call 2007 the “Oil Slick” tour, as I’ve worked hard this year to learn how to paint in oils, with lots of slipping and sliding along the way.

Now it’s time to plan my tour through 2008, and gather my roadies and back-up singers. Hmmm, what shall I call the tour? I’m thinking maybe the “Anchored Angels Tour” based on some helpful advice from two friends about completely unrelated issues:

Setting Anchor

I’ve been trying to get to bed earlier but my caffeine habit makes it hard to do that. So my friend Ree told me that she never drinks coffee after a certain time in the afternoon. She thinks of that time of day as setting an anchor, putting in to harbor for the day. Then she’s able to get to bed at reasonable time and wake up rested instead of being kept awake by the caffeine into the wee hours and waking up in need of another jolt of java.

Guardian Angels

Another friend said “Don’t fly faster than your Guardian Angel.” I loved that saying since I’m often doing a dozen things at once, trying to get more than is possible done, and can barely keep up with myself.

If I were rich I’d have a full time personal assistant/personal trainer/life coach/personal chef. But since I’m not rich, I have to do all those things for myself, and sometimes I can be quite incorrigible. So maybe if I adoped a Guardian Angel (and not just the wind-up Parking Karma Angel on my dashboard) she could tag along and fill in for that personal trainer/coach/etc. All available Guardian Angels, please apply within.