I'm very frustrated with social media. The algorithm, the oversaturation, the nightmare of the culture wars.
These things have all been complained about at length by smarter and more eloquent writers than me, so let my part just be to say that I'm hoping for a new enthusiasm for blogs to come forward out of this frustration.
Even if blogs, or this blog specifically, never becomes popular or widely read, at least I have a place of my own on the internet, that isn't being monetized by someone else, or shown between two ridiculous ads, or hidden completely from people who followed me. Though not many may see it, it is here, on my terms, and those that do want to see it can see it. It may be another exercise in futility, but at least it feels like my own.
So for this first blog of this year, I have a new painting to show you!
I call this painting Winter Quilt. It's a bit of a self-portrait. Not just because those are my feet, but because I made the quilt as well. I am showing how I put a part of myself into the things I make.
This quilt has a thick warm cotton batting inside and it's so heavy and warm. We keep it in our bed until the warm days of Spring begin.
I made the quilt from a gorgeous line of fabric called Outback Wife, based on vintage floral barkcloth fabrics. The rich colors and the granny-ish flowers spoke to me on a visceral level. They make me think if my Grandma Gene's brown flower couch, her gaudy orange and yellow wall paper, the yellow roses that bloomed in her yard, and the holly hocks, snowball bushes and peonies she grew.
It really is the perfect winter quilt, the rich colors satisfy my eye's hunger for saturated color on the long, dreary stretches we have this time of year.
The painting was a joy to create, and getting to recreate the vibrant blooms with my paints was just so much fun. And painting my feet was a very intimate experience as well. I was surprised at how baring this small part of myself to the viewer is quite a vulnerable feeling.
Here are some in-progress photos.
And again, the final picture.
This piece feels like it is in a series with my piece "Music is Medicine."
This piece was lost in a tragic fiery accident involving the Fed-Ex truck that was carrying it to an art show. I will write in more detail about that soon. I want to preserve the story of this painting, but not today.
I feel that both paintings put into an image the feeling of putting myself into all that I create.
Anyway, I'm really happy with Winter Quilt, and I'm hoping for more inspiration for more paintings that are this fulfilling and satisfying in 2022.
A few weeks ago, a friend on Instagram, @theplussizemermaid posted a beautiful photo of an unfurling sunflower partially filled with water. She lives in New Zealand, and her garden is currently in bloom.
I asked her permission to paint her photo and she granted it.Here’s my progress.
And the finished painting!
It was a big challenge. First of all, yellow is such a challenge in watercolor. It’s so easy for the shadows to take on a green tinge, and I wanted to preserve the beautiful maroon shades of the original flower. Also, because the flower was in filtered light, it was a bigger trick to make the water look wet, if that makes sense. But whenever I am lost and don’t know what to do in a painting, I just slow down and work on recreating exactly what I see.
I feel good about how this turned out, which I really needed because I just received notification that none of my pieces were selected for the Western Federation of Watercolor Societies. For this year. That was really disappointing and discouraging. So much so that My nerve has failed me and I don’t think I’ll apply for the city traffic box art program after all. I’ve been rejected from that several years in a row, and it’s really tough.
I think I’ll just focus on making great art and not worry about entering it into any jury situations for a while. My Instagram supporters on my art page are so supportive, they can help me heal my rejection wounds and help me repair my certainty that I should continue making art.
Follow me over there if you don’t already! @henandchickart
This summer has been full of time in my garden, roadtrips, and long, leisurely naps. My health has been better, and my heart is so full of gratitude for that. Time with my husband and son has been so sweet, too.
And along with feeling better, I've had more energy for creating as well.
With one more trip on the horizon, we're going to make the most of the remaining season! what joys have you been enjoying this summer?
it was a difficult winter, seeming to last forever, but here we are, and it's really and truly Spring!
I've even started a few seeds, and I'm working diligently, bit by bit, to clear the grass out of my overgrown strawberry bed.
Easter was lovely, how was yours?
I've had some fun doll orders lately.
And I've been painting.
Check out new prints and cards at HenAndChickArt.etsy.com
I'm also looking forward to an art show which will show 10 of my pieces! Stay tuned for details on that.
I just started my first dresden plates quilt! I'm using all vintage sheets. Here's the first plate.
Also, Abby recently quoted me about my experience using craft as an escape from my chronic illness in this great
blog post. I'm working on expanding my words into a blog post, so watch for that, too. Happy Spring!
Hi there! Welcome to the world of Hen and Chick! My dolls and art are designed and created by me for you to bring a bit more beauty to your life. Shop at HenAndChick.etsy.com