Archive for reflections

This is How We Roll!

Posted in art, faith, inspiration, Meditation, mountains, Painting, PLEIN AIR PAINTING, seascapes with tags , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2018 by sebland

imageOur ages range from 59 to 80 (am I really the oldest?) and we are on our way. Casting doubts and fears aside, we have one goal: to have a good time. We had our mannies  and pedis (except for Drew), colored our hair,

 

grabbed our coffees and descended on Austin airport. Southwest Airlines took it all in stride, literally. We felt like royalty  as we passed through the gates headed for our first stop, Oakland. Looking out the windows I think of the Scripture verse that says we are made a little lower than the angels. I am always awed to be above the clouds, and the mountains below look like crinkled folds of cloth.

We try to determine: “Is this the Rio Grande” or “Are we over the Grand Canyon?” As artists we are already dreaming of that next painting and we wish someone could tell us what town lies thirty thousand feet below us.

 

We have time to grab some lunch before our flight to Portland, and arrive in time to pick up our vans to head on west to the coast.  We’re feeling mighty fine as we clear Portland’s traffic and drive past farms that look like picture puzzles. I wish we’d stopped for photos. The rolling hills, clouds falling below the mountains give us a preview of the week ahead. Stopping to shop for groceries and dinner, we explore Tillamook.

 

Too late to tour the factory, we settle for a delicious dinner before the final lap to Oceanside. Our oceanfront home, The Anemone House, is incredibly beautiful and roomy. To sleep with the window open to the roar of the ocean, we are in Paradise. image.jpeg

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Never Stop Dreaming!

Posted in art, faith, inspiration, Meditation, mountains, Painting, PLEIN AIR PAINTING, seascapes with tags , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2018 by sebland

imagePhoto courtesy of Fon Thayer-Ulrich

Earlier this year on my 80th birthday, a group of my friends surprised me with a fun-filled celebration of life. Known as THE ART CHIX and THE DUDES, our group is composed of amazingly creative people who paint, draw, sculpt, write and drink a little wine together now and then. We talked about how we had dreams of far away places and how we’d like to see some of those beautiful places together. When I went home I realized it was time to put those dreams into action.

I realized I would not always be able to go and do what I wanted, so I began to look into a trip with my friends to the Pacific Northwest. I’d visited Oregon several times and really wanted to share that beauty with my fellow artists. You need to realize I’m not terribly young nor am I agile. I have an 83 year old husband who needs lots of care and I almost believed my travel days were over. Just for fun I began to say – “what if?” Going on line, I started looking for lovely places on the coast that a group of us might rent. I began to ask my friends if they’d be interested, hoping one or two might travel with me, provided my best friend and husband were cared for. My beloved children stepped forward and said, “Do it, Mom! We’ll care for our Dad.” And so we began to dream it and then scheme it, which is my motto.

Before I knew it, eight artists committed to join me and our plans began to grow.

I won’t deny I had moments of doubt, but as the days flew by, the excitement began to grow. I really felt more and more confident that this might happen. For nine months we dreamed and schemed. We had planning parties, shared ideas and goals and wondered if this might really happen. I prayed for direction and was reassured by Proverbs 3:5-6:  “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him,  and he will  make your paths straight.”

Tomorrow, the team begins to scheme….

Reflections

Posted in faith, inspiration, Meditation, Painting with tags , , , , , , on August 12, 2018 by sebland

imageI’m pleased to check another item off my bucket list!  Among my many dreams has always been a desire to write a book. This one, just released, is full of original watercolors, acrylic and pastel paintings, more than fifty of them, which I did over the past year. As a bonus I’ve added some reflections and home spun wisdom you might enjoy. Some you’ll recognize from previous blogs. The book is available from Amazon.com, or if you contact me  I will send you a signed copy.

That being said, I’m moving into a new focus. In the past, art has been my first love and will continue to draw me (pardon the pun), but events over the past months have led me to want to dig a little deeper. Without apology I want to share my faith. As I age, I like to think I’ve learned a bit, and now and then I believe sharing those thoughts might be helpful. So if you can use a bit of the old lady’s philosophy, feel free. I’ll share as they come along and hope you’ll gain a little from these insights.

Sitting on the Riverbank

Posted in art, inspiration, Meditation, Painting, PLEIN AIR PAINTING, Watercolors with tags , , , , , on April 10, 2018 by sebland

imageI’ve studied under several plein aire artists: Michael Chesley Johnson of Campobello Island, and William Scott Jennings in Sedona, Arizona –  numerous online painters, and countless videos and DVD’s. These guys paint in subzero weather and desert thunderstorms. Not me! In New Brunswick, I’m the old lady who left the workshop when the rain was  blowing sideways into my poncho. I had lunch at the Fireside Inn where FDR had lunch and toured the “cottage” on Campobello Island while my classmates struggled on and produced good work. I’m a Texas gal, and we know when to come in out of the rain. So when the weather is pleasant and the winds aren’t too cold, I gather my friends, a pot of coffee or a bottle on wine, and we find a shady spot and set up our easels. I have painted in Northern California on a wet and foggy day, and I’ve been alone on Ghost Ranch in an arroyo, painting very close to my car because a mountain lion warning had been posted. These are memories I cherish, and I’m looking forward to painting with my friends on the Oregon coast this fall, but nothing, really nothing, can compare with sitting on the bank of a river in the Texas Hill Country with good friends, feeling the breeze, smelling the diesel fumes off the trucks rolling over the bridge, and being grateful for this day. This best day, because it’s the only one promised me. I’m hoping you are feeling grateful for your day. It’s a gift, so treat it with the greatest respect. It is truly precious.

Light Shining in the Darkness

Posted in Acrylics, art, inspiration, Painting with tags , , , , , , , on February 17, 2018 by sebland

imageI believe that we all have seasons of the soul, just as nature has its seasons. As artists, we lie fallow sometimes, waiting for the time when a seed will fall into the cold soil, take hold and begin slowly to grow into something we can till and nurture and maybe even harvest.  Our lives don’t always run according to plan. Dreams die, friends grow old and leave us, bodies let us down, we lose heart and begin to doubt ourselves and even our own worth. I call those the dark nights of the soul. And then something happens. A friend offers an encouraging word, someone lifts us up in an unexpected way, even an encouraging word comes from a stranger, and we are up and running again. . John 1:5 says:”The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”  As a  creative person, you have that light within you. Look for it, because it is there, and the darkness cannot overcome it!

Getting A Little Sketchy

Posted in art, How to Paint, inspiration, Painting, Watercolors with tags , , , , , , on November 29, 2017 by sebland

imageI’ve always admired and been a little intimidated by those artists constantly sketching and journaling. I’ve even encouraged my students to keep a sketchbook handy and use it frequently to records events and sights along their journey. However I do confess that I could practice what I preach. When I travel or set out to do some plein aire work, I almost always will do a quick watercolor sketch, but I seldom record everyday events. I think I should. When I look back over old sketchbooks, I really get a sense of being there in the moment. In fact some of my sketches  before painting are more appealing to me than the finished work. Somehow those little sketches  along with the date and place, carry me back to a very special memory. Maybe 2018 will be the year of the “Art Journal.” We’ll see how that works out.

A Mighty Fine Day

Posted in art, How to Paint, inspiration, Painting, Pastels, PLEIN AIR PAINTING with tags , , , , , on November 28, 2017 by sebland

 

imageThere’s just not a whole lot to find wrong about a cool November day in Texas, in the Hill Country, beside a cool green river with the wind blowing and the trees showing off their colors. Add a good friend, a cup of coffee and some snacks, and you’d be hard pressed to find a better day. Yes, I could have stayed home and climbed Mount Laundry and the windows could use some cleaning. There are closets to be cleaned out and shopping to be done. But they’ll still be there tomorrow, and a perfect day just doesn’t come along every day! The wind was pretty strong, but the leaves waltzed in a perfect parade down the park road. A pair of geese, remarkably well mannered, seriously critiqued our work for the price of a few crackers, and the pastel dust flew away without prompting, so all in all, we were content. I’m still not well acquainted with pastels, but growing more comfortable with each study. I hope you’ll come to appreciate these good good days and learn to let go of the “woulda, coulda, shouldas.”  Grab your paints and head on out. I think you’ll live longer! By the way this little study is available at:http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/777874

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