I am in the middle of reading a small pile of books that either ignite a spark, or calm me down. I love that. Knowledge awaits! Here is a small list of my favorite non-fiction:
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth
Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao, by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer.
Grit and Change Your Thoughts kind of balance each other out, OR they seem to oppose each other. I like the dynamic, and they each give me plenty to ponder upon.
I have delved into writing this year. I'm just doing more of it, and trying to learn to make things interesting when I write a blog or newsletter. Being genuine is the most important thing to me, and while I’m learning, I know that I may be trying too hard.
So, in regard to that thought, another book that I am currently reading, Bird by Bird – Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by Anne Lamott, is a great read right to my core. The first part addresses the kind of people that are “creatives” . If you are a creator, a maker, writer or artist you may find the first part of this book describing intimate parts of you and your psyche. It was jaw dropping for me.
I bought this book because I am interested in writing, so you have to realize that is where the book is headed, it's about writing. Even though I’m looking forward to continuing and studying further what the author has to say, I could read the beginning over and over again. It's just that I feel that I have just discovered an ally who utterly and completely descibes in words the familiar chatter in my mind. And now I know that there are many more people out there who operate similarly as I do. And Ann Lamott is really funny, dry, and really funny. I smile and giggle a lot while reading.
And I cannot leave out “the life changing magic of tidying up – the japanese art of decluttering and organizing, by marie kondo
Just buy it, and at least go through your bedroom closet. A real peace maker, here.
I read a number of fiction books in 2016, and these are the ones that really stood out for me:
Leaving Time, by Jodi Picoult
Mystery, humor, sadness, the habits of elephants in their natural habitat and otherwise, an easy read.
The Kindness of Strangers, by Mike McIntire – not fiction, but good stories. I read a number of travel books this year, but this was my favorite.
State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett
It was great traveling down the Amazon River with the protagonist. I was entertained, and learned a heap about biological research. It gave me lots to think about regarding our colliding lives on this planet as well.
I read a great many more books that didn’t quite warrant a recommendation from me, but I would re-read these three.
I read on a Kindle. After an episode with one of my retinas a couple years ago, I don’t see the way I used to, so I’m grateful for the magnification that I get. Still, I miss paperback books, the feel of the paper, being about to find a passage in my old, familiar way. BUT, hey, no complaining here, look at all that I can do, and still paint. I’m very blessed.
Would you do me a favor? I would love a book recommendation from you. Feel free to send a note if you have the time.
I have missed my regular painting schedule, that usually consists of painting every morning from 8 or 9 to 2:00. Following that I work at my desk, doing writing, marketing, and lately, setting up a store.
That has consumed much of my painting time. I'm endeavoring to offer another way to collect my work. I have to admit, I'll be new that this sort of thing, yet I've had a lot of great advice, and I'm going for it. Read more below . . .
Today and yesterday I have been working on a new work, and I'm going about it differently than I have done before. It's less planned out, but I know how I want it to feel . . . deep and warm with somber hues that make the reds pop. The trick will be to make and keep the somber hues quiet and deep, but still rich and not muddy. I had a great painting teacher, a master colorist, Susan Sarback, so I don't take paint into the mud. It's still tricky.
That's the technical part. From the inspiration part, I want the painting to FEEL alive, rhythmic, and pulsing.
You'll have to forgive the casual style that I'm showing the progress. The light and cropping are really poor, (iphone, winter light, ect.,). In the end, I'll show the completed painting properly lit and edited so the lines are straight, and the colors clear and beguiling.
And I know the title, right from the get-go. It's "Heart Beat", oil on canvas, 48" x 36". Thank you for your interest! Come back in a few days and watch the progress.
modernist, modern painting, oil painting, beauty and order, minimalism, modern design, color blocks, colorist
Trying to pick a piece of art, without understanding how it fits into your life, can be frustrating. Whereas if you are clear on what you’re looking for, you can have that feeling of knowing immediately when you see it.
You’ve spent hours and days putting thought into how to get just the right feeling in your room, or maybe you've just been staring at the walls hoping they will speak to you and give you the guidance you need.
Here is an alternate and specific method to view art and to identify artwork that could be an uplifting component to your living spaces, helping you to recognize the art that will really help you in your life.
1. Pick a space in your home or office. Stop and ask yourself - “When I am in this space, how is it that I want to feel?” Depending on the room or the space, you may want to feel differently.
Let’s say, you come home from work, you’re tired, maybe frustrated, things could feel a bit rocky. OR You may even feel great! How do you want to feel in this space? What would be nourishing?
It is essential for you to explore the possibilities of how you want to feel in your room, or what I call quality of being.
Some words that describe a quality of being, meaning, a way that you may want to feel, are: inspired, calm, soothed, safe, happy, nourished, vibrancy, full of life. These are just a few, and you may have some different kinds of qualities that would be more authentic to you. Choose 1 - 3 qualities that you would soak up like a sponge if they were to be found in that space.
2. Identify colors that you love to be around, love to wear, never tire of, colors that are truly you. Are those colors rich and deep, strong? Are they soft and muted or pastel? Or a mix of excitement and quietness?
You may want to include colors in nature, the sky on a summery day, strawberries, the blues and grays of winter, the foam in the sea, fragrant woodlands. These metaphors create feelings of atmosphere.
This process is easy, it’s like dreaming. When you ponder upon your colors, qualities of being and nature, you are better informed about what you may want in your surrounding that offers a gentle support.
Art serves its audience in many ways. I believe that when you view art, you are often moved to connect to something dynamic, whether a familiar place, a concept or a feeling. If you want to go about viewing art in a reversed method, looking for the parts that lift you up and for the colors that breathe life into you, you can discover a whole new angle of reference.
When it comes to making a change in a personal space, you need to explore the possibilities of how you want to feel in your room.
Recognizing the art that will really help you in your life empowers you to make choices that will better serve you. Pinpointing the supporting qualities that you want to be surrounded with is like finding a part of yourself, a treasure once hidden, now brought to light.
Past Articles you don't want to miss:
Why All Those Squares, Anyway?
The Hyannis Port Series below displays the process of a large painting:
I am in the process of adding a store to my website from where you may collect my original Landscapes and Modern works, from tiny paintings to large wall pieces.
The progress is going well, and to be quite honest, the deeper I dig into it, the more I'm finding that I needs to be done. Kinda like when I'm painting my bathroom. Working like a dog, and still have a goal of mid January to go live.
In the meantime, if you have any ideas of what might be important to you please write a quick note to me. I’m super happy to create this opportunity for you!
Get the free e-bookIet, "How Do I Want to FEEL in My Room?"
I designed this little booklet to help you dream a little bit about art in your personal spaces, about paintings that go beyond art principles and décor. You'll find images of artwork and thoughts about surroundings..
Each page features an image of a painting and a thought about the qualities it holds, the FEELINGS that a painting may exude in a room.
Plus, you will receive a once a month Studio Art letter where I share my thoughts, a behind-the-scenes look at the life of an artist - stories behind the paintings, what inspires me, how I develop a painting and much more.
Just fill in the form below, and you'll receive the book by email within 24 hours.
I won’t ever share your email info with anyone else. And you can unsubscribe anytime you like.
"I love your book! It is both eloquent and beautiful."
- L. C., Santa Rosa, CA
"Thank-you Jill! It's a lovely booklet! It's inspiring, and makes me want to rethink my "space"!
- D. B., Sonoma County
Luminous Color Explorations