Friday, November 27, 2009

"From My Past"

The Photo Friday theme is "From My Past". I first thought of my photo of the bridge at Lake Havasu, "Bridge from the past to the future", a photo I took in 1995. I hoped to find the original photo and scan it larger.

I didn't find it in my drawer of photos. But I did find a few other interesting photos. The first one I pulled out was taken in 1997, first making its appearance in my journal twelve years ago. I scanned that one again, and found another from that day, a visit Laura, Julia and I had taken to Tuzigoot, Arizona:

The original was even smaller than a 5x7...

I like the wide expanse (and singled this one out for the Photo Friday theme)

The next old gem was from a trip we took to Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum also back in 1997:

The original is only 3.5 by 5 inches, I cropped it down to print to a 4 x 5

I didn't take the next photo (for I am in it!), but I'm including in this set, because it's from my past. This is from 1993, when I visited my birth place for my dad's funeral. It was good to see my mother:

Sadly, my mother died in 2004, exactly five years ago

I caught my mother with the 110 camera I had at the time...

Saturday, November 28, 2009 A

"From My Past II"

My Aunt June sent me some old photos from my past and before my past. Her father had an old Brownie camera, and I was probably around five here:


I'd had a smaller version of the following photo on the web, but this is from an 8x10:

This was from 1963, as well. It was hand colored, but they got the dress wrong, for it was really aqua blue.

The next amazing curiousity is my dad as a young boy:

Info (no doubt for the colorist) on back:
Complexion - Fair
Eyes - Blue
Hair - Light brown
Shirt - Brown & beige
Did Dad sign it himself?

It's just so hard to imagine my dad was ever a little kid.

Saturday, November 28, 2009 B

"Art Quotes"

I must get some of my library books back to the library, but I want to jot some favorite quotes before I do.

"I've said that there is nothing more difficult or demanding than painting. It calls for a state of physical and mental alertness sustained throughout the session. There is no place for sluggishness. Every nerve must tingle. Every sense must be vibrating and sharp. Observe, analyze, respond with paint---all at white-hot speed." (From _Portraits from Life in 29 Steps_, by John Sanden, page 11)

"Over the years, I've noted several patterns that govern the progress of art students. Those who approach their work with total ambition, with no timidity, with confidence and with even a kind of arrogance seem to attain their goal with greater frequency. The three traits that seem to count most are a burning desire, perseverance and a healthy dissatisfaction with everything you've done before, coupled with the urge to do it better the next time.

"Remember, a bold failure is better than a timid semi-success."
(From _Portraits from Life in 29 Steps_, by John Sanden, page 66)

Earlier, when we went to the library, I enjoyed reading the magazines on art while Julia hunted books. (No more books for me, until I finish the ones I have!)

I took note of a quote from a favorite artist which appeared in the December issue of Southwest Art:

"Paint from life as much as you can so that all your senses are bombarded. Somehow, all those elements work their way into the painting." (Daniel Gerhartz, page 82)

I love that idea of 'bombarding' the senses, the sensual aspect of it.

Also, I learned of an exhibit that is at the Met only until January 24, 2010, but "American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life, 1765-1915 has an online exhibition catalog. Every painting is featured and has a close up view which lets us see its details. I really enjoyed seeing how each painter told a story in this exhibit. My favorites are William Sidney Mount's "Power of Music", 1847 and Seymour Joseph Guy's "Story of Golden Locks", 1870, but each has interesting aspects. (Except for the 'hunting' scenes and aftermath of 'hunting' scenes, although they are executed well.)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

"Making a Colorful Attempt"

I woke feeling so cold and achy. Hot tea soothed some of the ache. But I still feel a malaise. I scanned some Matisse drawings I want to save from the library books. I love his lyrical line. So I thought I'd attempt a line drawing. Gerhartz says 'draw from life'. I'm not sure a 5 1/2in (14cm) statue of Shiva counts as 'life'. My first drawing was dreadful. I'd already wasted the bristol board, so I figured I'd turn it over and try again. The details on this statue are so vague, I had to imagine what hands in the various positions would actually look like.


Yes, coloring (and some digital fixes!) improved this piece.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Feeling a bit discontent and uninspired, I thought I'd amuse myself by searching through Flicker with 'laughter' as the search term. I enjoyed the images of happy people and made several attempts at sketching them. This is the only one that turned out:

Drawn from people enjoying street theatre...

I was also amused by the title to a video, "Why I Don't Paint People", done in playful honor of Bob Ross, whose painting lessons live on in re-runs on PBS. I remember his cheerful approach and 'happy little trees'. Wikipedia reports:

"When asked about his laid-back approach to painting and eternally calm and contented demeanor, he once commented: "I got a letter from somebody here a while back, and they said, 'Bob, everything in your world seems to be happy.' That's for sure. That's why I paint. It's because I can create the kind of world that I want, and I can make this world as happy as I want it. Shoot, if you want bad stuff, watch the news."

That's partly what the song refers to, "Creation can be so good, it takes you away from all that's evil, and that's why I don't paint people!" Really, I can't imagine mellow Ross ever being misanthropic, but the song is just joking. The singers called 'Rossies' wear big 'afro' wigs as they paint in Central park, just having lots of fun in this tribute song.

Go Back to Archives...
Go Back to Main Journal Index Page...
Go to Index of Joan's pages...

© Joan Lansberry