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Still in the GREEN, May 6,2021

I'm still swimming in green, although the lilacs appeared in the green market this week so I'm also enjoying a little purple.

a bouquet of lilacs
Lilacs in the spring

There was more green at my friend Paula Heisen's show titled: Light, and Time at the Painting Center.

oil painting of green hills and blue mountains
Paula Heisen

When I say swimming in green I really mean it because my two current works in green are underwater fantasies. House of Green is just about finished. I put it away for a while so I could see it with fresh eyes and decided to fill the last empty windows with several phases of the moon. Here it is.

Green Townhouse underwater with whales and goldfish
House of Green, Pen & Ink

Drawing the moon makes me think of a beautiful line from Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World;

The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night.

Now I'm working on a new piece--the interior of House of Green. Here's the first step. It's not easy to see; I keep my pencil work faint because I'll erase it as soon as I go over the lines with ink. Some people leave the pencil marks in their art but I can't wait to get rid of them.

pencil drawing
preliminary sketch

It's starting to take shape.

a golden  staircase
Preliminary sketch

Wallpaper and curtains

Pen & Ink, Curtains
Pen & Ink window,

I never do a complete preliminary sketch, I prefer to let the picture evolve. Actually, I don't have the patience. I'm always eager to get started and sometimes that gets me in trouble. In the floor here I wasn't sure if I liked the checkerboard tiles and thought I'd make another drawing of waves to cover them up. But I kept at it and now I like them. At least I can live with them. That reminds me of the time I made a suggestion to a second grader about her work. I thought my idea was brilliant; she thought it over and said,

"I don't love it. But I can live with it."

Pen& Ink underwater scene, dolphins
Pen& Ink underwater scene, dolphins

Two porpoises a shark and a whale.

Pen& Ink underwater scene, dolphins
Pen& Ink underwater scene, whale

Drawing and thinking about water takes me back to when I was a shivering blue-lipped kid with pruned up fingertips. I just loved the water. I don't remember my mother ever telling me to get out and warm up; I guess she assumed I'd know when I was too cold.

Do you have a secret place to go in your thoughts? A place to feel safe, or just quiet, to comfort your spirit? I think mine is here. This is the Float, designed and built by my grandfather. You can't see it here but it had a ladder so it was easy to climb aboard. That might be me jumping off the diving board. It sat upon six oil barrels and with too many people it could tip over which was always exciting. My secret place was underneath. To get there you had to dive under the barrels then you'd come up in a place lit from below with a green wavering light and your voice would echo from the barrels. I loved it there, especially because not everybody was brave enough to dive under the barrels.

seascape, diving board
seascape, diving board

This also reminds me that Teddy, two summers ago when he took off his Floaties and swam on his own announced to his parents, "There's a new fish in the family!"

Back to the drawing table. You can see I have a long way to go. It may seem tedious but as my left hand keeps moving across the paper, back and forth to and from the ink jar, my mind takes off. That's when the ideas come.


I'll keep you informed as to my progress.

May 06, 2023

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