Learning

Princess tree blossom

A few years back I was in a slump. I was not creating in any way shape or form. I was depressed.. I had no ideas.. I felt lost in my art. I couldn’t seem to come up with ideas or projects in any way. It was stagnant. Then a colleague of mine from Facebook Invited me to a group . That was actually the beginning of a beautiful journey . Through that group I was exposed to new ideas.. To new art methods. I started exploring this group and others. I started looking on pinterest.. I also looked at artists and their body of works through YouTube and other platforms. Exposure to new ideas is important to one’s growth whether that is artistically, spiritually or intellectually.”Exposure” does not equal a recruitment of said media,religions,social,or scientific explorations. The tree of knowledge of good and evil ,as mentioned in Genesis 2 of the Bible,has often been misinterpreted as the tree of knowledge. The full text is important as the warnings to not eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is not a warning against science,discovery,or learning. That being said , input at an informational level is healthy. Learning things, hearing of ideas( even if imperfect or untrue) is a key element in deciding who you are and what you believe and learn. If you blindly except something without further study. You become part of a herd. Which can stampede over a cliff! But if you study things,dillagently enquiring beyond a statement or idea you gain not only knowledge but understanding. So many of us take another’s word as solid evidence and truth, without our own introspection and without further information . We assume it to be correct. An idea can be dangerous? Sure. But that idea can be delved into from multiple aspects and be confirmed or refuted. That “idea” can also lead to new ideas. New views. New discoveries. Now particularly within “religion” there is much controversy in what I am writing here. I am not writing of “religions” which are man-made constructs. I am not even writing about “faith”. I am actually writing about intellectual , creative growth. If you have a set of knowledge and skills coupled with experience, that’s a good start. But learning must continue. One idea leads to another idea and then there’s a blending of concepts that occurs as creativity! Learning new art forms,media,styles,movements,etc. Can create a brainstorming effect in your own mind. It is like a muse. It is inspiration! That creativity has been exploding in me these last two years. It has happened on multiple levels in my mind and even in my spirit. I had been so distracted by pain,physical issues,family issues,daily issues,finances etc. You know… that thing called life that happens.

Being busy is not being productive.

Thoughts became stagnant. My input was t.v. My pain became near hopelessness. ( Still a faithful Christian believer here, yet very much distracted.) I did pray. Then I prayed more earnestly. Then things started happening. Little changes. Interactions. Input. Exposure to others belief systems which reminded me of my own. What were those based on again? Go back to that solid foundation. Everything has a foundation. Even a piece of art. It has a beginning. It has a learning curve. It has a process. It has its own life. Go back to your foundations. If they are painful,or traumatizing, build on it. Learn from it. Grow. Evolve. Change. Turn away from it. Go another way. If your foundations are solid, loving,caring,compassionate,kind, then build on that. Start over on those good foundations. Remember good and cancel out the bad. Reach for new understanding. Hold onto hope.

Philippians 4:8King James Version

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. “

Resting after the weekend!

“Ferris Wheel at Myrtle Beach” photo by Julia Baker-Waite

This weekend was my birthday weekend! I was surprised with the weekend at Myrtle Beach, a place that holds so many dear memories for me. What a delight it was. Taking a sunset walk on the beach with the pups, Lacey Lou( springer spaniel ) and Gator Mae ( chihuahua ). This was there second trip the the ocean and they seemed very excited. And so well behaved as this was a busy time in Myrtle Beach this weekend with 3 attractions added with all the other fun stuff to do. There were many other pets with their families at the hotel we stayed at. I went live on f.b. showing the beach as the sun was setting…alot of nice waves! The sound is so beautiful and relaxing. I had to share it!

All photos by Julia Baker-Waite

Sunday was spent shopping for t shirts. And I also had time to start a pleinair painting right at the beach! One of my favorite past times.  The dogs and I were pleasantly exhausted. A restful nights sleep…a short walk on the beach and hopping in the car for the trip home, we arrived home safely. I don’t know if I will finish my beach painting today…but that’s ok..OK… I’m just gonna go over the new memories made and the older fond ones too…. if you cant get to the beach….you can always day dream and go there in your mind….imagine the sound of waves crashing…the salty smell of the always present breeze coming off the cool water. The sand beneath your feet as it changes from dry to moist to wet and compacted as you near the waers edge. Imagine the soft pastel colors spreading across the sky from the new sunrise. Glints of sparkling light reflecting off the waters. The sea foam washing up on the shoreline like the suds from an overflowing washing machine…. the few seagulls trotting speedily back and fourth near the waters edge . An occasional cry coming from their excitement of a new day. Imagine putting a large beach towel down on the sunlit beach and laying down to just soak in those sun rays for a few minutes……take a deap breath….feel the stress leaving your body as you exhale…….feel the peace of that moment….You have a brighter day.

It’s a process!

“THEY TOIL NOT…”

This piece is one that has been brewing in my mind now for quite some time. One of my favorite wild flowers is chicory! In Western New York they are referred to as “corn flowers” because they grow in ditches and fields, especially corn fields ! They are most beautiful and are perennial. They like to spread so in lawns they mayappearwhere you forgot to weed wack…they are prolific and do take over…but they are so lovely! I have often picked long stalks of these flowers and brought them inside with orange day lillies which also grow in ditches and are free for the taking! My Mother and I would go round in the spring looking for large patches of day lilliesto transplant to our property. You can never have too many day lillies as they are a good ” naturalization ” plant. My Dear Friend Pejj Nunes from Annisette Studios had done a Shibui Painting of these Chicory flowers and it inspired me! I always havea few Shibui Foundations around that I’ve previously done. I look at each from time to time and see weather I am reminded of certain shapes within this action art. I had just finished a peice I am entering in an art contest and thought to myself ” let’s see what’s in these foundations I have tucked away”. Now Pejj had just posted a blog about her Chicory Shibui and it was fresh on my mind. I studied a few of thesefoundation pieces and picked one I thought had stems and flowers suggested in it and chose that one as my next project.

The Foundation peice I chose to work on.

I wasn’t quite sure if these colors would be right but I did see blank white spaces where color enhancement could be done. I started finding the flower shapes and the main stem shapes and looked at reference photos on pinterest to familiarize myself with the specific petal / flowers hopes of Chicory that I found pleasing. I then encororated these shapes along the main stems carefully drawing them in pencil. Then it wartime to add color! I used prismacolor pencils to start defining the flowers that would appear closest to the viewer. These were my “event” field. Then I used gouche to lightly paint in the main stems and lighter faded stems and smaller flowers that would give it a sense of depth. Next I continued to rework the flowers adding more colors and deepening their centers and underneath each to also add depth and have the larger, more detailed flowers appear to come forward within the painting. I wanted to add other colors in the back ground to fill out the painting in a pleasing way. I used simple watercolors for this part. I then let the peice completely dry over night. The next morning I worked on it again, adding a few leaf shapes, tiny contrasting colored flowers here and there, and a bright crimson orb to the sky in the background. I enhanced the colors by layering colored pencil on top of the layers already there behind the main event flowers. Once dried thoroughly I used black India ink to outline my flowers and stems. And viola! I was satisfied.

When the Spirit hits….

“MY PORTION”

As an artist and in my spiritual walk with God I have always felt there was “something more” to create. To accomplish. My mission so to speak. It has been on my mind ever since I was say 12? A passion for Artwork. Learning,doing. And I was terrible at it. And I was told that I should by no means pursue art. That I needed to find another career path. And another hobby as well. It would have broken my heart were it not for my Mother’s words of wisdom after she decided to tell me what this particular art critic had advised her concerning my “talent” , or lack there of. My Dear Mother; a Christian herself, had looked me deeply in the eyes and said to me ” If it is God’s will and will be used for His Glory , He can and will give you the desires of your heart. Pray about it and search your heart. ” She prayed with me right then and there. Outloud. “Where two or more are gathered together ,there I am in the midst of them” ( Matthew 18:20 ) that’s what the Bible says. And I believe it whole heartedly. I wanted to serve God. I wanted to create beautiful artwork. I wanted to be a mother. I wanted to marry my soulmate. All fervent desires of my heart. And all ( I praise God) has been given to me. My life has been hard often. But also by the grace of God I have come through. And each true desire of my heart has been fulfilled. My personal ministry has changed over the years in form and substance as my life here on Earth has progressed. There is this place when I create art, where my troubles fade, my mind quiets. I have always felt that my Art endeavors were a form of prayer, meditation, and Worship. It is what I wish to communicate in my work. Through colors, subject matter and design I try to express my awe , my belief. Whether a person is creating as therapy, fun, or work, there is always an intent behind it. Sometimes it can be dark. Sometimes that darkness is a buried memory, or another intent all together. Sometimes it is a burden that needs to be shared. Other times it is not even actually about you. Often it is a message for others who are suffering ,hurting, or are in pain. Art itself can convey ideas, political views, social commentary, or just plain beauty. As I have been developing more in my work , I’m finding new ways to construct my ideas and put them into my work. The more I study art , artists, techniques , do research, talk with friends and fellow artists, the more ideas I seem to have flowing through me. Granted :outside stimulation is often a positive thing and it is not confined to Christians alone, but also spiritual nourishment can influence and direct on every level including creativity. This “Spiritual Connectivity” is something that has been developing within my artwork since that day that I realized God was truly in the details, atleast with me. There is something called form that describes a person’s makeup; genetic, social, environmental, and faith all play a part in forming our ” design” or individual “pattern” . It is as unique to each of us as our finger prints are. Psalms 139:13,14. The natural progression of these thoughts is that we each have an opportunity to create,influence,lead,teach others. “There is nothing new under the sun”. Ecclesiastes 1:9. In our pain or sorrows as humans we often feel alone. I have personally experienced such emotional and physical pain that I cried out ” God ! Where are you?! ” I felt cut off. But it is through these experiences that we can grow and help others as well. As an artist I have found that many are fearful to share their knowledge, techniques, and experiences because they feel that would threaten their niche. From experience I have learned that no matter how hard you try to follow lines, colors, techniques you cannot copy exactly another artists work. It may be a good facsimile . It may even fool an expert. But your imprint is on it. A good artist can copy. A great artist combines form, color, and techniques to create his own style of works. It is his creativity that is forged in each work. It is his life, his spirit, his intellect that weaves a new thing. Are we not created in our Creators’ image after all? ( Genesis1:27)

Feeling under the weather but you can’t stop my mind!!

Just a snippet of a recent work as I am not sharing the full finished work at this time.

Last night I felt like I was coming down witha cold.  Today I know I have a cold! I’m fatigued,sore throat,swollen glands,earache,headache etc. Etc. I don’t suppose I’m up to working in the studio. Yet my mind keeps wandering  back to recent work and developing new Angle&Curve Impressionism styles. Also I have a fascinating piece on my studio board. . I’ve penciled in my shapes.. I’ve worked it with different sized rapiograph pens ( technical pens ) I’m quite pleased with the pen and india ink details. Now I’m pondering the colors I will use and what I want each color to represent. My works of late are based on Biblical Scripture. Finding new ways to illustrate them is a thoughtful, prayerful process. I am thoroughly enjoying this time with the Lord. My faith is being strengthened as my ideas are inspirations. I will take it easy the rest of today. May you have a brighter day.

Collecting my thoughts. .

A work in progress

This peice that I am currently working is an Angle&Curve Impressionism  “Tiffany style,stained glass effect ” The initial steps of free form curves and angle-line placement  have been applied with line work finessing.  I decided to incorporate botanical design in some of the larger vacant spaces. In choosing the botanical subject matter I am invoking a feeling of earthiness  . These particular plants are some of my favorites from past gardens as well as fields I have traversed especially in Western N.Y.  I am wishing to change up the color pallette from the last project I completed therefore I am incorporating my favorite colors, hues and tints. So far I have used colored pencils to add both color and more detail.  Since the curve aspect is reminiscent of nuerographica art it is very calming. Angle&Curve Impressionism provides a similar introspective  healing response within  the practisor. It requires critical thinking, and problem solving and thus opens up ones mind to problem solving and new possibilities through which naturally  rewires negative thoughts and emotions into endless positive  promise.  I am also considering clusters of color swatches within this peice which with intent will imply  supporting subjects or storyline elements.  Indeed there is much to ponder. As I am working on multiple projects  including research and development,writing a book,learning French,etc. I am keeping busy. I wish for you not that you” live in interesting times”( which  is an ancient curse) but  that your time be spent learning interesting things! Have a bright moonlit night.

A part of the botanical design detail.

Just chillin. Literally!

Last night and today were pretty rough…up til 5 a.m….finally got up ,went downstairs to warm some milk in a pot on the stove. It helps sometimes. Feeling hopeful I stir my milk until it warms enough to coat the side of the pan . I add cinnamon. Stir. Pouring it into the big mug my son gave me at Christmas I smile and make my way ,cup in hand,to my studio. I settle myself in the comfortable chair ,placing a throw blanket on my lap. Schooching the chair in closer I turn the work lamp on and set to working on the black and white portion of a peice I had started several days ago. My work pulls me in and I am lost to the sleepless worries I have been returning to these past 5 hours. Sipping my warm milk the cinnamon tastes wonderfully earthy. A good 40 minutes slips by as I am immersed in the strokes of the technical pen . I prefer the Koh-i-noor Rapidograph for its smooth precise lines and easy flowing ultradraw India ink. This ink has a subtle sheen to it,with a dark color load. It is important to use this Ultra draw ink because of the flow itself. It causes less problems with the ink drying inside of the technical pen. This is extremely essential as I prefer to not take the pens apart except for filling the reservoir. Inside the lower tip of the pens there is an extremely small spring. It is not recommended to take it that far apart because of the difficulty in re-assembling it. The rest of the mechanism can be taken apart and reassembled gently for refills, cleaning or changing ink colors. I prefer the black Ultradraw India Ink for my detail work. If a different color ink is needed I will use a dip pen,calligraphy pen or tiny brush. If you do not allow the ink reservoir to become empty and you cap the pen in-between uses there is no problem with the ink drying in the pen . If the ink is allowed to dry inside the pen no amount of cleaning will save it or make it usable again. This can become expensive. I highly recommend the Koh-i-Noor Rapidograph pen set.

Work in Progress

After working for this bit I decide to head back upstairs and try again to fall asleep. I did manage to sleep fitfully for about four hours. Then I stumbled back downstairs to grab a cup of coffee and attempt the day laying before me. It’s been unseasonably cold outside. Snowing and sleeping of all things, my poor achy joints have been protesting. I was exhausted, in pain and very grumpy. I did manage to get some studio time in, cook and do some dishes. I am feeling a bit better this evening and am hopeful for a good night’s rest tonight. Here I sit snuggled in my chair wrapped in blankets and perusing t.v. channels searching for something worthwhile to watch. And so I thought I’d write you and tell you about my sleepless night and following day. Have you had trouble sleeping? What seems to help you in those times? I’m very interested to know your take on this dilemma. Do share your ideas and comment. Have a lovely evening.

Angle&Curve Impressionism versatilty

Lillies of the Field”

In creating the processes in Angle&Curve Impressionism I have found that it lends itself to multilayered creativity as well as individual styles. Inherently built in to the processes are choices in color pallette ( which do not need to reflect past Impressionistic colors,shades,hues ) as well as decisions in the angle and curve application, subject matter, contemporary techniques and mediums, applications of brushstroke size, detail , intentional work.

In this peice I wanted to have it come together with stylized “stained glass”-“Tiffany lamp” irregular shapes with which I intend to suggest the perceptions of petals, leaves, and blossoms. In the placement of color I attempted to structure lighting. The light source I also implied and carefully directed . It is with this that I hope to impact the viewers cognative responses . The opposing warm and cool colors and placement of gradations of light and dark I also influenced by the chosen angles and curves leading the gaze back into the painting field which holds the viewers attention. The final result is a contemporary abstract with the feel of organic influences. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have on the process, media techniques used in it. I welcome your opinions as well and look forward to reading comments. May you have a brighter evening!

My Mentor. My Friend.

The other day I was reminded of an Artist who mentored me . His name? Joseph Orffeo.  And through our friendship and his kindness he encouraged me to continue with my artwork. And continue I did!

The Birchfield Penny Art Center in Buffalo N.Y. saw fit to include him in their legacy program. If you visit the site you will find an audio interview conducted with him. It is fascinating and to me also heart warming as I hadn’t heard his voice in a long time.  I can still remember him coming out his door to greet me with a warm “Jewels! How are you?!” and I would receive a hug or kiss on the cheek as he grinned and made me feel welcome. ( He didn’t have to take the time to do that as I was visiting his sister in law when I came over. ) We had a few talks about art. He gifted me a field set which opened to a drawer with oil paints in it and an easel for plen air painting. He said he took it all over Europe with him.  I had created my first oil painting with these oils and other oils my grandmother Eva had passed down to me. I brought it over to show him I had been busy.:) He held it up in the light giving it his full attention. And he then said words I will never forget. “Jewels! This is your life painting,isn’t it?!” I asked him “What’s a life painting?” And he responded”Oh Jewles. It’s the one that you have to sell or give away or put away,because it’s exactly what  and how you wanted to paint it. And you might spend your life trying to recreate it or something like it! I was just ecstatic. My eyes were wide. How did he know?! How did he know how I felt about it!? How did he know? His experience learning , creating, and teaching  gave him great insight.. He was a warm, intelligent, gifted, fun person.  If you are lucky enough tobe visiting the Buffalo area soon you may want to check out the current exhibition of some of Joe’s  work.
This work of Joe’s is what he gifted to his beloved wife Linda. Hence the title of the exhibition.  The following are a few other works of this wonderful person and artist.
And this is a view of part of the workspace in his amazing studio.
I am deeply humbled that this man took the time to encourage me way back when. I hope to leave behind an Artistic Legacy. God willing!  May you, Dear Friends ,have a brighter day.

Something from something .The creation of a new artform called ” Angle and Curve Impressionism”

THE FIELDS

Inspiration must come from somewhere. Your muse can change. I had not done a work on canvas in 2 years or more. I was wondering if I would ever get back to that form of artwork. I am quite pleased to report that I have created a new canvas acrylic painting. The basic color scheme came in the form of a painting that I admired in a facebook group I belong to. The work was beautiful. The pallette was stunning. My work seems to gravitate towards bright colors. It hints at many things in itself. How can color choices infer meaning? Values? Desires? I choose to use bright colors partly to express worship, joy, a sense of well being. But also to encourage these things in others. Light, sunshine, growth,natural beauty I encourage in a surreal dreamlike way. Yet there is form and subject to consider. The first step I chose in the making of this peice was something very different for me. I have not been abstract in former works until several years ago. Playing with realism amidst randomness, and often organic qualities is something I have grown to enjoy through learning about, studying , creating Shibui Found Image Art. I am most fond of the works of Pejj Nunes at Annisette Studios. I also am taken by the works of Naza who does a completely different type of art. Nazas work involves angled shapes and veiled images. This is how I approached the first phase of the above peice entitled “THE FIELDS”

Phase 1

Notice the pencil lines and curves drawn first on the canvas? I used these lines to suggest spaces where suggestive paint strokes would be confined. My idea was poppies and greenery with a light source towards the left. I started applying bright yellow strokes and gradually mixed in orange ,red,purple,green,aqua, and white, black. Working from the left side with the light source in mind.

Phase 2

As new colors were added I kept the lighter colors that had been mixed with white more concentrated on the left side. And purer, darker colors were applied heaviest towards the right.

Phase 3

I then added black to several colors I had previously used in increasing amounts, distributing these from left to right respectively as I intensified these colors with the black. I added a bit of a pure dark green. Finally ending with hints of white where the light source would hit the brightest. You notice that the original angled lines and curves have blended in to the stokes of color with occasional overlapping of space and color making it appear more organic in nature. This entire process was created by me solely . I have named it” Angle and Curve Impressionism” . For more information , lessons, purchase information please contact me. May you have a brighter day.

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