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Yellow: A Month of Focus On One Color

Yellow! To explain, this May I am taking a beginning still life class with artist Karen O’Neil instructing. It is an online class offered by The Art Student’s League of NYC. And, we are exploring the color yellow. Warm or Cool? You might think, or rather I might think, that yellow is yellow. What else …

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The post Yellow: A Month of Focus On One Color appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Patience

In my little neck of the woods, the pandemic vibe is one foot in, one foot out. We’re ok to eat in restaurants. But apart. Ok to go to the gym. But with a mask. Hugging if you’re vaccinated…elbow bump hello if not? I’m as confused as the rest of us but one thing this time has taught me is PATIENCE. Oh my…patience. What a concept in this fast paced instant gratification world. Even Insta-Cart grocery shopping is called….INSTA!

I’m no expert in patience (all friends and family members rolling their eyes right now and vigorously nodding) but….painting and owning a small business that requires constant creative growth and output needs a big dose of patience. Recently I’ve been more focused on my greeting card development, expanding my paper goods and a variety of business changes that will ultimately be better for Carpe Diem Papers. I have not been focused on developing or changing my painting. Which is where patience comes in. When I miss it so much I’m looking over at my easel and art supplies like a homesick kid, I know it’s time to sit down again. But guess what? It’s like running 5 miles after not leaving the couch for 2 weeks. It doesn’t just bounce back. It takes coaxing and patience and a little kindness to the creative ego.

I sat down hoping thinking imaging this parlor would be some portrait of a room opus…and then I thought well that’s a little ambitious. You’re setting yourself up for disappointment. I swapped out the huge canvas and scaled down to 16×20″ Ok, that’s more manageable. I found several photos that inspired me that had large focal points instead of 100 interesting things I wanted to capture. I limited my paint palette. Easier again. I was patient with myself. Somewhere between squeezing out new paint and walking away several hours later, I felt an acceptance wash over me. I painted and that was the point. The result isn’t up to me. As Julia Cameron of “The Artist’s Way” says, “You take care of the quantity, God/Universe will take care of the quality.” Or in other words, show up. Be patient. Be kind to yourself. Try new things. Do it again. xo

“Chinoisserie Salon” 16×20″ oil on canvas

Of literature & Landscaping

 

I am being lazy on the literary front by not writing something fresh for this post, but all my spring creativity has been going toward landscaping!

So for this month, I’ll just say: I am delighted to have won an Oregon Book Award for my poetry collection, Hope of Stones. It was far more rewarding than making my own mulch! Immense gratitude to everyone at Literary Arts for honoring these poems and to dear Press 53 for publishing them. 

Here’s to words and wheelbarrows and wonder,

Anna 

Oh, So Many Choices

Oh, So Many Choices

I have used collage as a technique in some of my paintings for many years. I also keep every scrap of paper left over in case I need it later on in another painting. Needless to say, I have hundreds, maybe thousands of colorful scraps in my flat files.

It struck me that I actually could never need to paint on another clean white sheet of paper again.  Of course, that is an impossible thought because I love those clean white sheets and watching the images appear in the layers of color and texture applied. But I did decide to dive into an exploration of only using already existing scraps to collage together new creations.

With three different sizes of cradle board surfaces to collage onto which gave me some structure as well as variety. I started by letting my intuition guide me to select scraps as anchors or focal points to build onto.

This is where the plot thickens. Every piece I added affected every other decision and the possibilities were so immense that my mind boggled. Since pieces were still loose, I took photos so when it was time to glue, I’d have a map. Well, there was still so much fluidity that the glued results were never exactly according to plan.  

The Home Planet

Being used to following circuitous threads, I am pleased with the results.

Cake

“A party without a cake is just a meeting.” Julia Child

Happy Saturday, friends! I’ve just sent a fresh batch of paintings to wonderful shop and long time friend Watson Kennedy in Seattle, WA. This recent collection is a combination of FUN (because who else is needing that right now…???), fanciful with a side of sweet treats. Once I’m traveling again, his shop (and Seattle) will be on the top of the list!!!

Hope everyone has a lovely Saturday! I had a busy week–lots of new goodies came in and I’m taking a day off (sort of) and watching the world go by from the back deck. xo

P.S. The pink cake inspiration is from my beloved bakery muse…they are simply the best!

Fun!

Yay, it’s May!!!! Life and work are busy these days and I’m extremely grateful for that! And….anyone else ready for some FUN??? I have the urge to jump on a trampoline, ride in a convertible, hop on a boat or watch an action flick in a theatre with popcorn!! With people!!!

This piece was definitely FUN to paint. Until it wasn’t and then it was again. I had a lovely Vincent van Gogh quote to paint in for the last block and after several botched and messy attempts (and not so fun moments), I realized it was telling me it just wanted one big bold FUN word. I thought, I can’t paint the word FUN on a big painting. Which meant I definitely had to.

Other fun stuff in this quirky stationery world? Lots of new calling cards, postcards and a few new greeting card designs. Lucky for me, fun includes making paper goodies, finding just the right postage and popping it in the mail.

Happy weekend, friends! xoxo

“Fun” 24×30″ available at Watson Kennedy in Seattle, WA 206.617.9678

The Poet Wonders

Nationally, it has been poetry month, but personally, it has been gardening month (with plenty of gravel schlepping!). In the realm of poetry, my collection Hope of Stones was nominated as a finalist for the Oregon Book Awards. I wait to hear the results. In the realm of gardening, I planted seeds. I wait to see the results. 

 

I’ve always honored the timeless metaphor of a garden, but it’s one thing to write about it. It’s another to prepare the soil and plant the physical seeds. 

 

Since I’ve spent far more time with a shovel than a pen this month, I thought I’d pull out a poem from Hope of Stones. Unlike the opening line, it is still the “month of April & maybes.” So much waiting. And even more than the results of the book awards, I am excited to see what this coming harvest season will bring. 

 

The Poet Wonders

Oregon, October

 

The more I wonder, the more I love.—Alice Walker

 

It is no longer the month of April & maybes. 

It’s October & root vegetables—the soil-

pulled concretions of harvest. What we seeded 

in spring has grown up & down & waits 

for us to lift it from the skin of earth. 

 

How silent prayer was revelation & heresy.

 

The clouds roll in. The leaves redden. 

The cat’s coat thickens. We gather 

the tangible close & prepare for cold. 

 

How physics is the science of prayer.

 

One friend is dying. Another is trying to love 

someone who doesn’t love her back. 

 

I visit the first friend, & we sit on his deck 

watching tractors in the adjacent forest dig 

foundations for new houses he will never see. 

 

I visit the other friend & notice the old 

potatoes she keeps on a shelf. They’ve 

shriveled a bit but have new eyes—new shoots 

already looking for somewhere else to grow.  

 

How a perennial can inspire prayer.

 

The Baumann Effect Live Demo

Central Art Supply logo

541.773.1444   101 N. Central Ave., Medford, Oregon 97501   centralartsupply.com
MON-FRI: 10-6 | SAT: 10-5


Thursday May 6, 2021 / 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Central Art is proud to announce a FREE [in-person] painting event:
“The Baumann Effect” presented by Stefan Baumann
Live in-person demo Thursday, May 6 2021 From 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at Central Art
“Fundamentals – What Every Artist Should Know”


“The Baumann Effect”  is new series of classes/workshops based on Stefan Baumann’s successful YouTube channel and his PBS Painting Show “The Grand View”. This FREE introduction lecture and demonstration will be presented Thursday, May 6 from 2:00 to 4:00pm in-person at Central Art and is open to the public.

During the introduction, Baumann will introduce his 12 Keys to Painting demonstrating many proven keys that will improve your painting instantly, and set your painting on the path to success.

These lively talks will be part of an overall series that dives into “The Baumann Effect” and answers questions that many instructors fail to address. There is so much more to painting than color, value, and drawing. In this series, Baumann will explore the secrets to painting with the audience.

Through the study, exploration and evaluation of mastering art in Baumann’s lectures, along with your participation, you will discover not only your style but your core – the essence of why you paint. Students are encouraged to bring a painting for critique and a list of questions that they wish to have answered.

*Registration required. To sign up, visit centralartsupply.com


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Earth Paints Earth Day News + Sale

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Artist of the Month: Sam Girgenti

Our artist of the month is the wonderful Sam Girgenti, a health and earth-conscious oil painter with exceptional talent.  Check out her stunning paint mixing tutorial-meets-artist interview on our YouTube channel, and be sure to follow her journey on Instagram! Watch Here

Giving Spotlight: One Tree Planted

In an effort to spread the word about the incredible organizations we give back to and the work they’re accomplishing, we’re introducing our Giving Spotlight blog series. This month’s spotlight is on the incredible One Tree Planted; read more on our blog! Read More Tell us how we’re doing!

Want to get creative with your favorite Natural Earth Paint pigments?

Check out the Recipes section of our website for innovative uses of our products for fine artists and families!

Have questions about our eco-friendly products? Visit our FAQ page or send us an email at [email protected]

Interested in purchasing from Natural Earth Paint? Visit our Website for more details on our high-quality, non-toxic, and eco-friendly products.

2021 And We Are Back In Oregon!

Hello!  Happy 2021! I had not realized that I have been gone so long!  So, I send you my deepest apologies! And, I am sitting here, having recently finished a cup of espresso, wondering where I have been.  That is, what has kept me away from this blog?   January: Class. You see, the year …

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The post 2021 And We Are Back In Oregon! appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.