ALOHA from Blue Hawaii!
Here is a brief update of the status of my art and recent summer activities:
ANIMAL ART. I met a friendly gray horse at my granddaughter’s ranch wedding out in the country in Punalu’u, the windward side of our island of O’ahu. That got me to bring out drawing pencils to draw the horse, other horses, and a steer. So I became interested in doing more graphite drawings of other animals including a lion which is still on the drawing board.
APPLE ART. One day I discovered a Gala apple in the recesses of my refrigerator that had unusual coloring. I found a box of colored pencils my grandchildren used to draw with and decided to do an apple drawing. The real apple was also the model for the next photo of a water color pencil painting. So far that is as close as I’ve gotten to plein air work in a long time. In this case plein air to me means not working from photos entirely. I’ve painted other still life fruit and vases from life in the past. But, no, I’ve not done plein air outdoors with easel and paint yet.
VOLUNTEER WORK. The volcano paintings I did in May and June are now in a gift shop at a rehabilitation center where I started to do volunteer work. Most of the outpatient group are recovering from strokes and have continued their therapy and time of interacting with friends they met during their stay at the hospital. It is a gratifying experience for me to help set up easels, prepare palettes with paint, and lend support as needed.
CROCHET PROJECTS. One of my granddaughters told me that it was getting cool in New York City where her boyfriend has started college. It took me a few days to crochet zillions of single and double crochet stitches for a 7’ long scarf (he’s a 6 footer). There wasn’t enough blue to make a matching beanie, so I crocheted a black one. It was the first one I’ve done with ‘ribbing’ which has a nice stretch to it, similar to a knitted beanie.
REFURBISHED YAMAHA DGX 500 GRAND PIANO. The last photo is my 13 year old Yamaha keyboard taken apart and having new ‘contacts’ replaced for all 88 keys. Over the past few years a few keys developed a ‘twang’. The first technician who came saw it and told me to put it out for bulk pick-up and buy another keyboard. No way! It is in excellent condition, has a beautiful wood stand and padded bench and to replace it would cost $800. I finally found the only Yamaha technician on my island of O’ahu who is able repair any make of digital pianos and he ordered the parts that came from Japan. After waiting for over a month, the gentleman showed up to repair my piano and it plays like a dream now! The repair for parts and labor was $185.00. Although I play several instruments by ear- ukulele, guitar and piano, I never could read notes with ease and play from sheet music. But with the internet, I have access to tons of lessons, many free ones, and can even choose piano courses to learn at my own pace. My hope is to learn classical piano from the many books I’ve collected through the years. With my headset on I can practice on my Yamaha piano in the evenings and save daylight hours for other activities.
ART GOALS- DO MORE DRAWING! I hope to finish my lion drawing and maybe do a painting. I plan to make more time improving my drawing skills of other animals. One goal I have is to do a Noah’s Ark scene with lots of pairs of animals or a forest scene in the style of Henri Rousseau. He was a French post-impressionist (1844-1910) who put animals into his landscapes.
THANK YOU. I’ve learned a lot from Dennis and Nolan Clark of paintbasket.com and onlineartlessons.com who got me interested in drawing with graphite pencils and pen and ink, and I am forever grateful to them. Nolan Clark told me, ‘. . .keep at it, these sketches are going to help your paintings as well.’ What he told me confirms this quote from the late Canadian artist Robert Genn (1936-2014):
‘Drawing is still the bottom line’.