Artists Statement

I paint as often and as much as I can. I take classes when I can afford it, but the money usually goes to buy more art supplies. This blog is to share the results with you! I am a Work in Progress.

Dianne Lanning Fine

Saturday, December 31, 2011

On the Seventh Day of Christmas,

St. Margaret's Chapel, Edinburgh Castle
It's New Year's Eve. Break out the Martinellis!
However, on to what this blog is about! To the left is what began as a freehand sketch of the stained glass window in St. Margaret's chapel in Edinburgh Castle, Scotland. It's the most interesting building in the place, to me. In the midst of this fortress was this tiny lasting, loving place. It struck my heart.  As it should, it stands a little apart, looks unassuming and unremarkable, but it's one of those places that sticks in the memory, because it sticks in the heart.
Built by David I around 1130 it's the oldest building in Edinburgh. He was a king and a warrior (they were all unbelievably brutal then) but also a pious man. He built to honour his mother. She became known as St. Margaret. 
I remember standing there in the cold and burgeoning sleet of a late February day and being swept away when told this. It's near the fence that marks the edge of the precipice overlooking the rest of the city. Well, the city is there now, not so much then.
It touched me that this man built this gift for her. She had passed on before he was nine. Suddenly the little stone box became more of a precious treasure chest representing Love and generosity of spirit.
Even an amateur medievalist will know a bit of how brutal these times were. Autocracy is too gentle a word, and there was little or no conscience or sense of outrage at the barbarities committed against the common man. As in the line from Queen Eleanor in "The Lion in Winter," "Nonsense, this is 1183, and we are barbarians."

Friday, December 30, 2011

On the Sixth Day of Christmas...

Heaton Hearth 2011
This is the hearth of some dear friends of mine. They have lived in a number of places. It got me to thinking about what "Home" means to me. A sense of home gives us a lot. To really help us, it must be portable. If it is tied to a building it becomes tenuous, ephemeral. Once you find a true sense of what "home" is, it goes with you because it comes from you. Have you ever known any of those people who "nest" wherever they go? There is a good possibility that it is because they carry their sense of home with them. A lifetime of frequent transplanting with a loving family gave me a portable sense of home, and I am forever grateful for that. It's like learning that you can love someone and you don't lose them if they are in another room, or even in another country. If it is Truth, it just is. If 2+2=4 in San Jose, it also equals 4 in Paris, and at the same time. If you Love, you Love. For those who must "possess" it's a good bet they are a collector, not a Lover.
Christmas can always be spent at Home, if home is where you are, if Home resides within you.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Fifth Day of Christmas,

The journey continues. Sometimes our guidance is as clear as a star in the east, sometimes we need to stop giving instructions and listen.
That's me all over. I hear a lot better with my mouth shut. Trouble is...oh the usual.
This landscape may not look right topographically, my familiarity is with southwestern USA topography, so the Wise Men are following the Star somewhere outside Benson, AZ.
Enjoy your Journey, it's Life.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Fourth Day of Christmas,

Candy Cane Watercolor 6X8
Half way to New Years Eve, and half way through Christmas Week.  This watercolor is in my sketch book, one of the ones that goes everywhere with me. It needs some cropping. It needs some crunching!
There is all this candy around, fortunately the hard candy doesn't need to be eaten right away, it can go on next years tree.
The See's must be eaten within a reasonable time frame, right? I'm trying to make it last until New Years.
Again a Merry Christmas Week and have a Happy New Year!
With much Love to you all, and to all a Good Night!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Third Day of Christmas...

A wintery scene.

I haven't tried this sort of scene very often. It's going to take some practice. Brrr, I got cold working on this one. It will have to be something warmer tomorrow or I'll have to turn up the thermostat. This is turning into a painting a day, let's see if I can get it each one finished (enough) each day for the twelve.
Merry Christmas Week to all!

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Second Day of Christmas:

Redberry Wreath 6X8 watercolor
Boxing day in some areas. A day to reflect. Or ...whatever. I'm just not in that solemn a mood! So I painted! This is using a little plein air pocket sized set of half pans and a block I can carry in my bag. This, however, was done inside.
Christmas was a lovely day for all the family and most of us were together. Today we are all "resting" after the preparations. Especially my sister-in-law, she decorated their house beautifully and together they fixed a scrumptious meal, plus lots of snacks of every kind, cookies and candy to raw veggies and dip. Yum!

 This all means heavenly leftovers of course. I got to bring some home, so I don't have to cook to night. I think I am showing rather a lot of unsuspected self control in not eating all the candy, I also brought home, in one sitting. Do you people have any idea what it is like to have an OPEN box of See's in the house? Time for some carrot sticks!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

It's Christmas 'eve, Merry Christmas

To all who drop by, and to those who don't find their way here, I wish a Merry Christmas, and all the promises fulfilled that this occasion represents. The Christ came to all the world and brought healing.

Peace be unto you, (Luke 24:36)

"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; (John 13:16)
"God bless us, every one!" (Charles Dickens)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Almost Christmas!

I can't believe I haven't posted all month! I've been drawing a lot and exploring the pen and ink thing, also I've been finishing some UFO's (UnFinished Objects) a Needle Arts term. It's satisfying to work with lace and even to make lace, and to embroider a sheer and delicate fabric with silk thread.

But last night when I got home from church there was this leaf on the back steps. It caught my fancy. So, here it is in my first watercolor attempt in weeks:

So, now it's time to do something seasonal. The Christmas cards are almost finished, time to paint one more. Merry Christmas!