Monday, June 30, 2014

Sun Dancing

Sun Dancer
W/C Batik on Rice Paper - 10 X 8

 Michigan artist Shirl Hathaway introduced me to batiks about ten years ago.  Despite lots of whining about burned fingers and legs (yes, hot wax melts through your jeans), Shirl conducts her classes with patience, razor sharp reflexes (we never had to put in a call for the fire department), and a great sense of humor. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

"B" is for Batik

I've been getting back into the world of batik and am having lots of fun. Three batiks have been framed and are ready to go into an open show in The Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts.  The batiks in the photo are on the pile waiting to be cropped, jazzed up or discarded.  I'm sure you've got one of those piles.

In the meantime, I've really been enjoying Thomas Kitts' blog.  Thomas is a fellow Alla Prima Portland member, and just conducted a workshop in Tuscany.

If you're in the mood, grab a cup of coffee and travel to Tuscany with Thomas (click here).

And if you're a artist, check out Thomas' entire blog.  He's not only a gifted painter, he's a great teacher.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Operation Overlord

My dad - Germany 1945

 I recently watched "Band of Brothers" and was reminded of the sacrifices made by those who proudly served in World War II.   Like many veterans, my father rarely spoke of the war, but every now and then he'd let a few things slip through.  

My dad was one of the brave Americans who stormed the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944.  He said the minute his boots hit the water, he accepted that this would probably be his last day on earth.  He was 21 years old.  Thankfully, my dad survived, but over 9,000 soldiers were either killed or wounded during the invasion.

Dad was a medic and didn't carry a gun.  Instead he was provided with an abundant supply of morphine to ease the pain of the dying during their transition to a better place.  He said it was an honor to comfort and tend to a wounded soldier.  Sometimes a heartfelt word, direct eye contact, or the mere squeeze of a hand was the best medicine.

So what does this have to do with art?  Well, my dad went to art school in Chicago after the war.  Supporting a new family, however, became a more realistic concern and he was forced to get a "real" job.  After retirement, my dad began painting again, but health issues eventually got in the way.

I wish I could have had the opportunity to paint with my father.  He died a few years before I took my first painting class.

You know, it's funny, but I can still hear my dad's voice.  If I get tempted to "borrow" a really good idea from another artist, I get the "do the right thing" lecture.  When I become discouraged, I hear my dad talk about having to pay our dues.  But, best of all, I often hear him whisper that he's so proud of me.

And it doesn't get any better than that.