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 29, 2012


The Lacemaker-Vermeer, 6X6 graphite on paper
If you are unfamiliar with it, there is a wonderful Artist's Challenge Blog called Paint and Draw Together that offers fascinating challenges for artists to interpret. Right now it is issuing challenges to learn from the Masters, currently Vermeer's Lacemaker. It's free of charge, you accept the challenge and send the results per the simple instructions given in the upper left corner.

It's wonderful for artists because it is "rut prevention." I find myself sometimes painting the same thing over and over because when one sets up ones own still life, or paints plein air near home a "sameness" can creep in. It's natural because you are picking it out yourself. An Artist Challenge is chosen by another pair of eyes, another set of experiences. It can freshen your work no end! It's relative to getting a commission.

In the back of my mind I kept thinking I should do this one, but with Christmas and all...
But this morning I saw it again and realized time was wasting! Without preamble I grabbed a pencil out of the drawer and an old drawing pad, found a clean area on the back of another drawing, cleaned it up a bit and started in! I was too lazy, and too "into" drawing it to go get a pencil sharpener, but the dull pencil was a good challenge too!

I think my neighbor just moved out yesterday! Wow, am I oblivious or what? There was a small van there 2 days ago, but it's a bustling family and lot's of going and coming. But it finally dawned on me that there was an actual moving van there yesterday. Er, uh, did I miss a memo? Was it something I said? I was painting a lot yesterday on the other side of the house and not paying much attention. Now I feel bad. And embarrassed. And the painting isn't finished.

Here is what I've done so far:
Foggy day(?) 8X10, acrylic
Lots to do, rigging, reflections, shading, lots more, but it's a start. Sorry neighbors, I hope I see you again.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Christmas Card

At the moment Jose Feliciano is singing "Have Yourself a Merry Christmas,"
Christmas in Arizona, #1, 5x7"acrylic

Navaho Christmas, Arizona, 5X7 acrylic

Grand Canyon Christmas, 5X7 acrylic
Most of my very early Christmases were spent in the desert, rather like around Bethlehem.
Some were in El Paso. El Paso has a really long history of luminarias. Phoenix is trying to adopt it, but I know where it started. It was established in El Paso way back, and by the 1950's planes landing at the El Paso airport on Christmas Eve always made a special pass over the city after dark because whole neighborhoods would be outlined in the little brown (yes BROWN, not white) paper bags, weighted with sand and a votive candle burning inside, spaced three feet apart outlining all sidewalks, roof lines and fences. The city would agree to turn out the electric street lights for the evening to get the right effect. It was breath taking!
Boy Scout troups would help their neighborhoods, especially the elderly people, to set them up and light them. All other Christmas illumination would be turned off for the evening. I wish I could show you all what it looked like for that one evening. Cars of families would tour all the streets with their headlights off to see it.

Why? Well to guide the Three Wise Men so they wouldn't get lost, of course! We combined customes very naturally there, there would be the Christmas Tree, and it is base was La Nacimiento, naturally. Of course it was best if your main nativity figures had a removeable baby Jesus, because he was to be added Christmas Eve in a special traditional way. However we did NOT wait until January 6th to open presents. There was no way!

Growing up during the Baby Boom years, the whole world was full of kids. The war was over, and the phrase "well, there was a war on," as an explanation for things began to fall out of use eventually.

Peace on Earth, "as it is in Heaven." It IS natural.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve, Fa-la-la-la-la

It's Christmas!

"And God sent his only begotten Son," 4X6 watercolor
Since tomorrow morning is Christmas Morning and there will be Christmassy activities, I thought I'd get this off to you now!

Bless all of you on this special day when we honor the birth of Jesus, the Christ. He may or may not have actually been born on this day, but I don't think that's the point. We picked this day to remember and reaffirm the Christ in our hearts. That's Love multiplied in our lives, our reason for being here, to express that Love and live it.

Have a very Merry Christmas as part of the family of Man, and enjoy the day! We all be thinking of you, here and everywhere! There is no divide that can separate us, Love is instant in our hearts.

Art note: I think next time I'll set up La Nacimiento and paint from it directly! No guessing about shadows and shapes. This one is out of my imagination, or "out of my head" as one teacher used to call it. That was too ambivalent a phrase.
Hey, it's not raining today!
Love to all, every one!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Deck the Halls with...

Home and Hearth, watercolor, ink, markers, 8X8
Since my "hearth" isn't much, this is a picture I did of a good friend's last Christmas. It was a Christmas gift to them, but I have this electronic copy. There is a wonderful sense of "Home" in this house.

As for the artsy stuff, I was experimenting the dual pens and markers, then I added some watercolors for a wider palette. The tree on the left is a little half tree that actually hangs on the wall. I used my Artistic License to set it on the little table. Their real tree was on the other side of the room and out of my line of sight while drawing and painting. Now I look at it, I think I should have used a cooler color for the shadows.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Closer and closer to that precious day,

Window, St Margaret's chapel; watercolor, 2.5X6"
This is a "souvenir" I painted of a trip through Scotland. I wish my little watercolor could do it justice. I'd seen a lot of impressive stone piles, but this tiny stone room, all by itself off to the side at Edinburgh Castle, said it all much better. The subject is not Christmas, specifically, but the feeling is there.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It's almost here, what should I wear?

Actually I have been painting daily, but mostly I've been knitting. The daily paintings I've managed, little watercolors, have not been in the Christmas theme, so here is one from last year, because it is Christmas time!
Candy Cane-watercolor 5X7
Alas, this one doesn't look quite like this anymore. It's in a sketch book I carry with me and it didn't travel all that well. Thank goodness for scanners that can stop time in it's tracks! Before rains and seepage.

For Christmas presents this year I decided to try my hand at knitting lace. Oh my. To make it fair to the lady recipients I decided to use the same type of yarn for the same lacy shawl/scarf, but in different colors, except the one I had already started in a different pattern. It's going to Alaska and will be warmer, so it's OK.

This all involved a lot of do-overs, believe me. An odd result is that now, suddenly I have long nails. All I can figure is that my hands haven't been in as much water or chemicals and I've had to keep the nails smooth to avoid snagging the thin yarn. I guess.

It does not, however, make it easy to type.

Now I've got to get to the post office as soon as the last one I'm blocking is dry and get them on their way! There is no hope for the one going to New Zealand to get there in time, but it's summer there anyway.

Merry Christmas to all!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas is coming!

Christmas Candy 3X5 watercolor
OK, you've seen this one before, but it's Christmas time and celebration is in the very air!
More, much more, later! Gotta get that tree up.