I’m writing this on 4/12/2020, Easter Sunday. We are in unprecedented times, in the midst of COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders. I hear that term “unprecedented” everyday, in these strange times. It’s true. We are in a health crisis, and if we were not behaving well over all as a society, it would also be a community crisis. But like has happened in hard times before, people have come together and support each other in any way they find appropriate. For me, it’s art, sewing, gardening, cooking, keeping in touch with loved ones.
Being a citizen and part of a community has never been more important in our world. For so long I’ve been able to just concentrate on playing in the art room, entertaining myself, and making cool things that people also find cool. Being a citizen was low on the list of things to pay attention to.
But now it’s time for us to focus a bit differently, focus more outside our own edges, more world wide. Our focus is on saving lives, and supporting people who need us. I will still approach that with humor and whimsy since it comes from me.
I am not what might be referred to as a political activist. You are unlikely to find me marching in downtown Seattle, but my causes are in line with many democrats and tend toward those that value government supporting people over business, value human life over money, and level the opportunity field to include all. I think art can communicate these things.
So this is my contribution for now.
Life is still so good.
Looking at the last show I had up, I noticed a preponderance of quinacrodone burnt orange which in one way, holds the show together, and in another, it seems like it could be time to add some new colors to the palette. So I started working with a small palette of Quin gold and ultramarine blue, titan buff, and Van Dyke brown hue, and I liked what came from that today.
In an attempt to add to the flower collection, I chose to start with dogwoods. They make me remember Georgia and Virginia in the spring, with the pink ones and white ones blooming everywhere and the cicadas singing in the rise and fall of their songs. I like the flow of the flowers across the canvas. This first one is just a start. It will end up quite different — at least it usually does.
Then inspiration hit with a photo of a dear one, and I made a portrait. Because it didn’t become a likeness of her, I will try again, but I still like where it ended up. There may be some slight finishing to do, but she’s very close to done.
I played lots of loud music to help me quiet the rest of the world. All in all, satisfying studio time.
I’ve been working on affirmations lately with Alyson Stanfield, at artbizcoach.I’ve worked with Alyson before, taken classes and gotten LOTS of good information. I really appreciate her support and the community she’s built up around the coaching she does.
You might have read some of the affirmations on my facebook postings. Not posted yet, one of them is: “My art work is brilliant and fun.”
I chose to focus on this one for a bit because of a statement from one of the art foundation teachers I had while working on my BFA in the century before this one. She was teaching a class in two-dimensional art, essential for graphic design, and for simply understanding color/value/line/shape relationships. She repeatedly insisted that none of us or the works we produced were brilliant enough, at least that’s how I heard her words. “More brilliant, more brilliant!” was her mantra, or nag, depending on one’s perspective.
In the end, the class did it’s job, making us all think about how visual elements come together, and to make the leap from simple to brilliant. BUT I will never feel comfortable in range of someone who teaches this way — teaching by complaint never creates confident artists.In total contrast, my mentor and advisor, Elizabeth Hopper
, said many things to me — the most memorable within the point of this little post was, “Well, you’ve found your voice.” Thank you Liz.
Oh my — DUH! I have to change my affirmation!! “My art work is brilliant and fun, and I have my own voice.”
I remember this as I contemplate the next steps of what I will do as an artist.
I’m bringing back my 25 inches of art for $25.00! Here’s how it works — you choose 1 image and 1 word and I’ll make you a collage!
The collage is 5″x5″ (25 square inches).
Play along with the Flying Redhead!
There are 50 words from which to choose, but I’ll only use each word once (and some are gone already):
- joyous -SOLD
- sweet -SOLD
- squiggle -SOLD
- tasty -SOLD
- poised -SOLD
- persnickety -SOLD
- Grace -SOLD
- transformed -SOLD
- transparent -SOLD
- uncommon -SOLD
- sublime -SOLD
- architectural – Available for sale
- beautiful -SOLD
Here are a few of the images to choose from:
Have fun with me and play along!
Link to the 25 Collage Page
Lynette Hensley, the Flying Redhead!
I think I’ll call it Details, at least as a working title. And the first challenge always, is to simply begin. I have this sign on my office/studio wall: There is always now. Simply begin while you still can. I don’t know who said it, it might have even been me.
So we begin. I say “we” because I’ve offered this up to witnesses. The rules of engagement, should you choose to be witnesses, are these: Offer encouragement, support, and positive feedback, or simply be a witness, silently. I will not take in suggestions for what direction to go, or any negative feedback whatsoever. This is not a critique opportunity. There may be a critique opportunity later–we’ll see how the project goes. While this is not the only way I create art work, I’ve found that having witnesses can add some spark to my work–movement and impetus, some accountability, and as long as I can remain within myself for ideas and direction, the learning that I do in the process is quite valuable.
I often start with books. Ideas come from everywhere of course, but books are not fleeting and so can be used as reference material.
I’ve gathered materials. The ideas that I have now are that I’d like to do a project with fabrics, and details of historical fashion. I was inspired by the book, Historical Fashion in Detail.
Come along with me? I will go at my own speed–I’ve done this once before, and really enjoyed the process and the result, and learned mucho!
Feel free to comment on the blog posts, and the pictures along the way, within the parameters of being a witness.
Lynette, The Flying Redhead
July 24, 2004
Dianna Shyne, an extraordinary artist right here in Seattle, painted a beautiful, evocative acrylic on gesso coated watercolor paper in two hours, the space of time allowed for the workshop today at Daniel Smith. With her paints stored not in tubes, but in fishing tackle boxes, and a method for keeping paints wet that amounts to a simple but effective wet paper towel in a tray and a piece of palette paper on top, she masterfully talked us through this wistful painting of her friend at the kitchen counter. She laid down a Quinacridone gold background, then using rubbing alcohol as an eraser, the lighter areas of the composition were defined. From there, she built up the shapes of the lights and darks, cooling them and warming them to her taste. It’s best to see her in person, and this is hard to describe, so I won’t go on. But it was amazing to watch this person who just KNEW what needed to happen next.
I had already signed up for her two day workshop in August, and now I’m looking forward to it even more.
While at Daniel Smith, I purchased 3 inexpensive hake brushes and some watercolor postcards. I can never leave without buying something. Plus it was air conditioned.
Did I mention it was still hot? No? It was still hot. I bought an extra fan, and dressed like Stanley in a Streetcar Named Desire. I take that back–Stanley never wore a skirt.
July 23, 2004
It BOILed down to this: the HOT topic of the day was film school. Today’s plan was to take Katherine to the Arboretum–and draw stuff that we saw there, plants, people, whatever. But it was (may I quote “Damn Yankees”?) just “TOO DARN HOT“. What? Seattle over 100 degrees? Yep. So we SIMMERED and STEWED, and in the end decided to reduce our plans to just the necessaries.
Katherine, my 19 year old daughter, is looking at film school for 2005 or 2006. SFI, Seattle Film Institute, offers a 40 week intensive course where the student comes out the other end of their studies with a portfolio of projects after a comprehensive dive into what goes into being a filmmaker. Right now her target is to be an editor, though of course that could change after this total immersion course. We had an appointment at 1PM today with David Shulman who I would say is an entirely warm hearted, passionate individual, and who talks, ALOT. I’m glad he did, we learned ALOT about the program. I can see why the film school has succeeded to it’s current state over the last 10 years. It is located in a gray house on Capitol Hill, with another gray two story building behind it. The back building houses a lab/studio/equipment room and the offices. The front house has the editing room and a newly remodeled classroom. I say newly remodeled, but it’s nothing fancy. This facility is about pure practicality. It’s not impressive on it’s surface at all.
But what IS impressive is the work I saw coming out of the students. This is where it becomes remarkable. We attended a screening of 10 years worth of student work, followed by a feature film that one of the faculty just completed. The student work ranged from old-timey Chaplinesque slapstick comedy to a fast-moving farce called “Rent’s Due” set in a Laundromat where the dryers were apartments and schools, offices, etc, and the people were climbing in and out of the dryers, multiple children piling out one by one like so many clowns from a little teeny car, there was an eviction, a chase scene, and of course the eventual resolution. (I had to say that so as not to give too much away. You may actually be seeing this one someday.)
I don’t care if the facility is non-existent, if this school can make this kind of work happen, they are doing it right.
No pictures today. And it’s still HOT.
For a full-time working artist, a day in the studio would feel like just another day at work. For me, it felt like a breath of air. Katherine was gone all day to her math class, martial arts and her Irish dance teaching –so no interruptions for me. I fixed that hand. It wasn’t as hard to do as I was making it.
Another painting was started today as well. I think it will be called Mrs. Carlysle’s Inner Fool, to continue on my fool theme. The costume sketch on the right is by Susan Tsu for a show called She Stoops to Conquer. I was a stitcher at (the now defunct) TheatreVirginia where I had the privilege of working with Susan on this show in 1990. She was generous to let me keep the color copies of her sketches for several of the characters whose costumes I worked on. I am using her pose for this one, though the character of Mrs. Carlysle will be very different, of course.Placing a grid over a scan of Susan’s sketch in Photoshop, I cropped it to work for my purpose and then placed a grid on the canvas to transfer the image. Already the characters diverge.We’ll see where this one goes.Yours, Lynette
|Using tissue paper to work out the hand shape
||The other balls had more white around them, so I needed to rework this one to make it relate to the others.
|Much better. Detail of Edgar and the Moth
The found poetry says:
Moths lit up like jet streaks
like chalk on a blackboard
they flickered around the blue church skyHere you can see some of the texturing and layers
that are in this piece. The acrylic medium is fairly thick
after all the layers have been applied ala Barbara DePirro.