June 25, 2021 Weekly Musings
Posted on June 24 2021
The Process: Absolutely Delicious
Featured image: Absolutely Delicious
I have been asked by many folks about my process. Because the process varies with each unique piece, it's a very hard question to answer. Plus, it also means that I have to document the process. This means that I have to stop during the process to take a photo. For the piece titled ,“Absolutely Delicious,” even coming up with the title was a process. I kept on saying to myself as I was finishing it it, "This work is delicious, absolutely delicious." So, I named it “Absolutely delicious.” As I put layer after layer of paint on the piece, it felt like thick thick frosting on a cake. If you have ever seen or eaten a cake that I've decorated and frosted it is thick, gooey and oozing with peaks of sugar frosting. There is nothing controlled about the frosting on my cakes, they look just like the one I painted for myself this year for my birthday.
Birthday Cake by Christine Alfery
Anyway, there are many many layers of paint on the piece, “Absolutely Delicious.” There's not only the 15 plus layers of paint to create the sunflowers but the approximately 15 layers of paint underneath the sunflowers that I painted over because I no longer liked it.
The process- In the layer 1 photo that I photographed, I put on some background colors – major colors that I knew would be in the piece. These colors were painted over the pencil sketch I first placed on the white canvas. I placed this color generally and with very watered-down colors. In layer 2, I came in with a brush and painted the shapes of the leaves and the flowers. Layer 3, I added more color and defined the shapes more. In layer 4 I took out some color and in layer 6, I took out more color and continued to define the shapes of the sunflower. Layer 12, I took out more color and began to add details. Then, with layer 15 – finished work.
Posted June 21, 2021
Featured image: Fox
Eagle sours overhead.
Gliding. Slight tilt of the wing.
Gone over the horizon.
Baby fox stopped.
All legs now. Skittish.
Ears back – cautious.
Raindrops. Grey sky.
Fairy Condo in the Garden
Posted June 22, 2021
My dear friend and artist, Jillayne Waite, creates some of the most playful sculptures I have seen in a long time. They are whimsical, and happy, and they just make me smile. Recently, she created what I am now calling a "Fairy Condo," a condominium for fairies. When I was a little girl I used to go into the woods with my mom and she taught me how to create fairy houses out of moss, dried leaves, stones and sticks.
Jillayne's sculpture reminded me so much of the times that I spent with my mom building fairy houses and later building fairly villages as I would play in the backyard with the hose and mud that I bought the piece from Jillayne and put it in my backyard.
What a delight it was the other day when I saw a chipmunk playing around on the multiple roof tops checking everything out. What a delight!
Posted June 23, 2021
Featured image: Happy Days
What do you choose to value?
One of the things that I deeply value is my time, MY TIME, in my studio.
As an artist I know that I'm very selfish because of that. But, you know I have never heard of an artist call themselves selfish because they choose to value their alone time in their studio. They choose to enjoy and value the quietness of aesthetic and the media they that work with.
Artists choose to value this time over and over again, BUT, are they really selfish? After all, they are only thinking about their own happiness and their own life. No, they are absolutely not selfish. There is no question in my mind that they're not selfish, because they are thinking of that beautiful experience of being able to create something and they wish to repeat it over and over again. They don’t understand that this time in their studio could be labeled as selfish. Why? Because the word selfish in today's culture is thought of as something negative. It implies that they lack consideration for others and are concerned chiefly with their own personal profit or pleasure. In popular usage, the word ‘selfishness’ is a synonym of evil. The image it conjures is that of a murderous brute who tramples over piles of corpses to achieve his own ends . . . and pursues nothing but the gratification of the mindless whims of any immediate moment.
Yet the exact meaning and dictionary definition of the word ‘selfishness’ is: concern with one’s own interests. This definition does not link any moral equivalent to the word – any good or bad selfishness. It merely is a reasonable, objective definition of taking care of one’s own happiness and self interest. For example, eating when hungry, taking shelter when needed, taking walks when needed, looking at the stars when needed or painting in one’s studio when needed.
If selfish is understood as filling an empty cup, if selfish is choosing to create and make one's life fulfilled, ……. is that really being selfish? Or is that just taking care of oneself so that they in turn can understand and share with others?
The artist is not a parasite living off the work of others to make things for the public good, because they choose to be happy, or because of this alone time. The artist is not a slave to a "group think" process because of this alone time, the artist is just – well, the artist is just, living a life of happiness and fulfillment. That's something that a slave or a parasite could never experience and wishes that they could.
Don’t be a slave to another's thoughts. Be your own self, take care of yourself, and share, not because of guilt that would make you feel you are selfish, but because of happiness that will make others happy, including yourself.
Posted June 24, 2021
Featured image: The Creative
Why is it getting harder and harder to find creative people?
Posted June 24, 2021
Featured image: Emerging Dragonfly
I fly with them.