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The New Normal

Remember when a bubble bath was a luxury because you’d been out all day or super busy and needed to destress? Yeah, me neither. Pretty sure we’re on week forever and a day of quarantine and for us here in the United States, we’re looking at least least another month. Exhale.

How’s everyone holding up? I’ve heard from lots of people and it seems the consensus is the same. I hear this.  I’m ok. Today. I’m ok. This afternoon. I’m….ok. I’m hanging in. I’m coping. I’m taking it day by day.

I would agree with all that for me too.

I would also add that I lean towards optimism and glass half full thinking and I have seen so much kindness, generosity and human goodness in the last three weeks, it’s heartbreakingly beautiful. My little town has developed a program called “Adopt a Neighbor”, there are random food deliveries on my doorstep, I am delivering home cooked meals and treats, people are checking in on each other, strangers are waving as we walk our dogs, errands are being run for those who can’t and there is a general sense of “we are in this together.

So, do we deserve a bubble bath? I think yes. I posted this one and a bunch of new pieces on my website if anyone feels like looking at happy art and escaping for a minute.

Wishing everyone a peaceful evening or morning or end of week wherever this finds you. I’m grateful, more than ever, for this extended community of blog readers and supporters and like minded art community. We WILL get through this together!!! xoxo

P.S. Still including a FREE pack of 12 assorted greeting cards with any order placed on my website. No code needed.

P.P.S. Fancy Envelope update! If you have ordered these, my new shipment arrives tomorrow and your order will ship immediately (I have an actual tracking #…) If you’re thinking about ordering them…new batch of designs is great. Snail mail will get us through! xo

The New Normal

Remember when a bubble bath was a luxury because you’d been out all day or super busy and needed to destress? Yeah, me neither. Pretty sure we’re on week forever and a day of quarantine and for us here in the United States, we’re looking at least least another month. Exhale.

How’s everyone holding up? I’ve heard from lots of people and it seems the consensus is the same. I hear this.  I’m ok. Today. I’m ok. This afternoon. I’m….ok. I’m hanging in. I’m coping. I’m taking it day by day.

I would agree with all that for me too.

I would also add that I lean towards optimism and glass half full thinking and I have seen so much kindness, generosity and human goodness in the last three weeks, it’s heartbreakingly beautiful. My little town has developed a program called “Adopt a Neighbor”, there are random food deliveries on my doorstep, I am delivering home cooked meals and treats, people are checking in on each other, strangers are waving as we walk our dogs, errands are being run for those who can’t and there is a general sense of “we are in this together.

So, do we deserve a bubble bath? I think yes. I posted this one and a bunch of new pieces on my website if anyone feels like looking at happy art and escaping for a minute.

Wishing everyone a peaceful evening or morning or end of week wherever this finds you. I’m grateful, more than ever, for this extended community of blog readers and supporters and like minded art community. We WILL get through this together!!! xoxo

P.S. Still including a FREE pack of 12 assorted greeting cards with any order placed on my website. No code needed.

P.P.S. Fancy Envelope update! If you have ordered these, my new shipment arrives tomorrow and your order will ship immediately (I have an actual tracking #…) If you’re thinking about ordering them…new batch of designs is great. Snail mail will get us through! xo

A Memoir of Early Childhood

Just before Christmas 2019 a box filled with  copies of my newest book arrived at my door. Here it is! A book of stories from my early childhood when I was Mary Jane Lore and my world consisted in the boundary waters of Minnesota and Ontario, Lake of the Woods,  at my grandparent’s fishing resort. I am one of the few people who remembers these places as they were in those days, 1940-1948, or who collected the stories of  the olden days before my birth when even grandparents had been young.

A few years ago I began to go through old pictures given to me by my Grandmother Elizabeth Klimek and by her eldest daughter, my Aunt Eva Mapes. One picture at a time I took from bags or boxes and pondered, smiling or weeping but always remembering. Then I wrote the story of the person or place depicted. In the writing I let myself enter the little girl Mary Jane’s experience as a three, four, or five year old–those flashes of memory that seem permanently sealed upon my heart and mind. Woven among those episodes and images the now much older writer in me, Christin, followed their trail to where it faded into forgetfulness or was lost altogether. The crumbling of houses and landscapes. Development of something new. Death of the old and then the death of those who remembered them.

At first I recorded these stories and descriptions in another blog by the same name as the book. Then as I kept getting older and saw my grand nieces and nephew being born and already older than I was when I experienced this life and land, I began to think it needed to be a book that the Klimek and Lore families could hold in their hands. And then I thought of the place, Baudette, Minnesota and Lake of the Woods County for which these stories are part of history. And then I thought of old people I’ve known all my life–how they enjoyed telling the stories of their past.

When my grandmother told me stories I enjoyed it and could see that she enjoyed it, too. But what I have experienced now that I didn’t appreciate as a child is the absolute pleasure of storytelling, especially for the elders among us. The joy is this: we return in memory to places and people that no longer can be found anywhere on earth. Every time the story is repeated we find ourselves in that place among that company. That entire world is resurrected in our minds. What could be more glorious than realizing that even in the sad stories, the painful ones, being there again is good. My Aunt Edith from the Lore family told me many stories about my Grandma Klimek from years before I existed. When Edith was a teenager she worked at the resort and my grandmother was her boss. And every time Edith told the story while I visited her (over and over and over) her characterization of Grandma differed just a bit. It was growing. She actually was redeeming my grandmother as she re-imagined the story. She also was redeeming her perspective on that time of her own life when she saw the content of an experience far more and more clearly than its context. She became more compassionate as the story of my grandmother and her boss developed. And every single time she insisted on her memory’s accuracy and that her story was absolutely true.

It is the task of age to integrate the person’s entire life. A memoir unlike autobiography gathers together the truths stored in the heart more keenly than in the mind. It is a compassionate view of life. We attempt to get the facts right, but ultimately that isn’t the goal. A memoir records a person’s attempt to bring wholeness to memories from a limited time of life. And while it doesn’t deny the wounds inflicted by all sorts of violence, a memoir searches into even the most painful time until it can lean towards understanding and compassion.

The book is available for purchase on Amazon.com, only in paperback. It is full of pictures as well as stories which made a Kindle ebook a bit beyond my skills.

Sunday…Monday? Day.

 

Greeting Cards by Carpe Diem papers on display

Hello. I’d ask what you’re up to this Sunday but pretty sure it’s the same as me….under stay at home orders or quarantine or shelter in place. Yup. It’s a new world.

What are you doing to stay sane? Or hopeful?  I’m painting, walking Bella, staying in touch with people, organizing the towel cupboard, throwing away spices, you know, important quarantine activities. I’m also sending a lot of snail mail because it makes me feel good, and I hope, makes the recipient feel good. And honestly, it gives me a little purpose every day. I’ve found routine has been so critical these last 15 days. I love picking just the right card, writing a little note and putting it in my mailbox for pick up. (One of the many things I’m incredibly grateful for–uninterrupted postal service! Thank you USPS!!!!!)

I want to share and spread the simply joy of letter writing and note sending during this time. I’m giving away 12 free greeting cards in every order on my website. Send a card. Even just writing “thinking about you” makes a difference. Because really, we are truly thinking about our loved ones right now. This simple gesture has such meaning. We are living in a different time so let’s go back to a different way of communicating. The old fashioned pen and paper.

And they don’t have to be my cards! I bet a lot of you have that secret stash of wonderful greeting cards we’ve been saving…I know I do!!

We’re all in this together…I’m afraid a little longer than we first thought…so let’s get creative with communication. The snail mail renaissance is here…xo

P.S. No code necessary. ALL orders will include a FREE 12 pack of assorted Carpe Diem Papers greeting cards. Each pack varies. (Only available in the US right now…sorry, Canada. I’m working on it.)

P.P.S. Fancy Envelopes also make a happy mailbox. New designs arriving this week. xo

Draw or Sketch? What is the Difference?

Sketch Or Drawing: Just A Cup

To Draw, To Sketch, Drawing, Sketching, A Drawing, A Sketch.

I’ve been thinking about the difference between the act of drawing and sketching.  And, I’ve been considering the finished products: a sketch and a drawing.

Defining the Difference Between Sketch & Draw.

Truthfully, I find it a struggle to come up with an easy way to describe the difference between the two that fits all cases.  Or even most cases.  Even still, a definition that might give me a “litmus” type test for what is a drawing and what is a sketch.

Drawing Or Sketch Broken Seashell with Knotted Napkin

Shades of Gray.

You see, I tend to find myself thinking of exceptions.  That is, I think the terms shades of gray.  This is not a particularly helpful approach, however, when one wants to define something.

Drawing Or Sketch: A Page From My Sketchbook

 

An Analogy.

But, I did think of analogy that may shed some light.  Perhaps sketching is like writing short notes.  Taking the analogy further, perhaps a finished drawing is more like a novel or a biography.  It was the notes that you did during the research process that enabled you to write the novel or biography.  Therefore, the act of drawing is like more in-depth drafts and finished writings of poetry, novels, biographies and so forth.  Whereas, sketches are a type of research for that in-depth study or finished piece of art.

Time.

Another difference one might consider is time needed to produce the work.  Sketches may be thought of as faster types of drawings.  One works in haste to capture the essentials of the subject in a few minutes.  On the other hand,  a drawing might be a slower, more deliberate type of drawing.  It might take hours, days or weeks to complete.

To Draw – Umbrella Term?

To my mind, I see the verb “to draw” as the umbrella term because it means to pull a mark across the surface.  The result then is a drawing.  To sketch, and the resultant sketch, would be  a subset or specific type of drawing.  Again, a faster, less developed type of a drawing.   So, when a person draws to create a detailed, more finished work, then it would not be a sketch; instead a drawing.

Vague and Convoluted.

Do you see how easy it is to get vague and convoluted when considering the differences?   

I think there is certainly a difference between the types of drawings.  But, perhaps, types of drawings can be considered on a sketching/drawing continuum, with quick sketch at one end and finished drawing on the other end.

Clarity of Meaning.

So, why all this struggle to define?  Clarity in communication might be one desired result.  When I say “I draw out my design before I paint it“, I do mean a more deliberate preparatory drawing.  A fair amount of thought and consideration has gone into the composition before I paint it.

Drawing Or Sketch? Concept Drawing Tea For Two With Milk

On the other hand, sometimes I sketch rather than draw before paintings.  That is, I note on the surface the boundaries or critical lines of the subject in a more simple manner.  I leave the painting part of the process to develop the composition and design.

Ask The Artists or Draftsperson.

I do have one more thought.  In some ways, it seems to me more appropriate for the artist to determine if their own work is a sketch or a drawing.  Because the amount and type of work would be relative to the artist’s needs.  That is, can you tell by a finished sketch or drawing the amount of work done beforehand?  Maybe the answer is we think so, but may easily be deceived!

Sketch or Drawing Blind Contour Drawing: Santa Cat

Still Thinking.

Incidentally,  I still haven’t solved my own problem of writing about sketches or drawings.   If I use only the words “sketch” or “draw” based on the work, then the writing becomes too stilted.  That is to say, the same word gets used too often.  So, how to solve this problem?  I am not sure yet.

In the meantime, perhaps I’ll go work on a sketch or drawing.

Articles That Shed Light On The Subject.

Here is a list of four articles about the difference between drawing and sketching.  You might find them helpful.

http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/the-difference-between-sketch-and-drawing/

http://www.differencebetween.info/difference-between-drawing-and-sketching. Note, this particular link has a nice table that highlights the difference between the words draw and sketch.

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-a-sketch-and-drawing

 

The post Draw or Sketch? What is the Difference? appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Peace be with you

What can I say that you haven’t read, seen, experienced or felt already? Not much. So I’m just here to say hi, send a hug from a far and staying connected in the way I know how.

I’m exercising a bit. Walking outside. Puttering. Starting projects I can’t finish. Emailing, calling and texting to stay in touch. Painting a little. Listening to podcasts and news. You’d think with this amount of time I could do more but I can’t. It’s ok. We’re all in this together and all coping day to day. Or hour by hour.

My heart is breaking for all the small businesses that have ground to a halt. The medium, the large. All of us.

I don’t talk a whole bunch about prayer or spirituality but I’m a believer and I’m praying. I went to an Anglican church growing up and there’s a moment in the service where you say to each other “Peace be with you.” And you say in return, “And also with you.”

Peace be with you. xo

Linda Abblett Show and Reception

Linda Abblett announces a show of her watercolor paintings at The Crown Jewel in Jacksonville. A reception is scheduled for Saturday, 11 of April from 4-7 pm.

Silvia Trujillo Announces Art Events

Silvia Trujillo flyer for SO Art Show & Sale 2020

There are a few upcoming events I would like to share with you :
The first one is the ​2nd Annual So Oregon Art Sho​w being held at the Medford First Christian Church on Crater Lake Ave in Medford. I will be there with some of my latest work, and I’m planning on doing caricatures for those who would like to pose for a few minutes. There is going to be a great variety of art by some of So Oregon’s finest! So come on out and say “hi”!
Then there is:
Silvia Trujillo demonstrates watercolor painting techniques
On Sunday, March 22 from 12-2pm join myself, and 2 other artists who will be doing a painting demo to the live music of Peter Stone at the Art & Soul Gallery in Ashland. These events are super fun and informative. Past attendees really enjoyed themselves!
And on Sunday March 29

Local artists discuss the evolution of their art over the years and present digital photos of their work at a monthly Art Salon held on the last Sunday of every month at the Ashland Library.

Come and see slides of over 20 years of work! I’m looking forward to presenting years of images that I’ve produced along the West Coast and New Mexico. I’m looking forward to be able to see them on the “big screen.” It’ll be fun!
Time:
02:00PM – 03:00PM
Location:
Gresham Room, Ashland Library
Will love to see you at any one of these events!,
Silvia

Shift to the Left

Shift to the Left

My creative life has taken a much needed turn to the left. For the last 15 years I have had the delight of playing a major role in grand-mothering. That girl is now in high school and although we are still very close, she is busy finding her way exploring her new life.

All of this time I have had my Artwork in Art & Soul Gallery in Ashland Or. and for 7years was one of the owners with 3 other women. It was fun to be a part of it all on that level but kept me busy enough that I struggled with getting and staying in my creative groove and following the threads which is the reason to do it. It kept me in my right brain which is not my home. A little more than a year ago, we sold the gallery. I still show there and it’s a lot less stress.

Now, I am finally focusing again on my teaching and creating. The shift has opened up new directions in my expressions. I’ve always been a texture freak but right now I am using physical instead of just visual. It creates an entirely new puzzle to solve and I’m having a blast following the new threads.

My biggest challenge now is with the technical expertise it takes to get the images and information out there. I’ve always referred to it as my “button impairment” but I think it is mostly being two generations too old and being dominantly left brained. So with focused attention and the grace of friends, I’ll function more comfortably soon.

I’ve recently joined forces with a wonderful Artist friend Pam Haunschild to teach workshops in other locations. Our theme is “Using textures to create Expressive Water-media paintings”. We will be teaching at the Emerald Art Center in Springfield OR (Eugene) May 9th and 10th.
Contact them at EmeraldArtCenter.org
We will be at the Mendocino Art Center in Mendocino, CA June 20th and 21st. Follow this link for full information: http://www.mendocinoartcenter.org/Summer20/Haunschild-Withrow
The information is also on my website and posted on our Facebook pages at, Eve Margo Withrow and Pamela Haunschild .I’ll also be teaching more often here in my home studio so stay tuned.

Rogue Valley Messenger Artist Highlight – Dana Feagin

My painting of Cookies, a former blood donor cow, was featured on the cover of the Rogue Valley Messenger in December. That issue also includes an interview about me and my art, which you can find here.

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