This time of year my garden is a riot of color. After several attempts at trying to capture the blue woods hyacinths which fill the whole yard with fragrance, I did a study of just them and I was finally able to get a color that evokes what they look like in my yard. There are probably too many hyacinths in my little yard, but nothing else smells so good and they look wonderful The tulips, which are beloved by many creatures that eat them, are brilliant spots of light and dominate the scene.
I felt like I made progress with these paintings.
The most exciting plein aire experience I had in Oaxaca was this one. We were left to our own devices on a narrow street without an actual sidewalk. The only thing keeping me from getting taken out by cars was this telephone pole between me and the cars… It ended up being a nice painting though. I wondered what the people on that street thought of us, as they bustled through their busy days; trying not to trip over our junk, strange Americans sitting and painting in tiny spots of shade..
I am going through stuff in my house, trying to reduce clutter. As a result, I found these wonderful treasures from my past.
This first portrait is of young love. We used to sit and gaze into each other’s eyes. True love. This is Donald, but a little stylized. Hey, I was in love!
By the time I did this caricature of Donald, I knew him a little better. This sketch is stained and battered, it hung on the wall for a time because we both liked it. I guess I fantasized at this time of being a caricature artist. Working full time at Boeing, and mom to two busy little boys, that just never happened. From time to time, I’d drag out my sketch pad and pencil and draw a couple more pictures. That’s as far as it got.
This sketch is from a photo, It was when Tom first started to smile. All of the other sketches here were done from life with a pencil and an eraser.
This is a sketch of Donald with our two boys, eating popcorn. It was a pretty typical evening for us.
This last sketch is Josiah when he still went by the name Dan. He was an artist in his own right starting from a very tender age.
Our last lesson with Tom Hoffmann in Oaxaca started with him just painting colors. He talked about design, composition, and shapes. It seemed really intimidating, but once I started painting, it was fun. We were in a small forgotten corner of a huge Mercado. He explained that this was a perfect place for all kinds of abstractions due to the shapes and the colors of the tents and tarps surrounding us
As we sat in the shade and painted, we wondered how they actually sold anything here, almost no one stopped by. Most of the shoppers were in the huge crowded Mercado a block away.
After a wonderful morning visiting the ruins at Mitla where a church was built right onto the walls of an ancient structure and painting for a while, we headed back to Oaxaca, eating lunch at a great restaurant which was also a mescal manufacturer. Tom got us permission to sit in the warehouse where they were processing the agave into mescal. He promised us it would be fun to paint the still with the beautiful landscape in the background. So I sat on the cool cement and painted the still. There was a little mollie mule there, she was pulling this immense wheel in a circle which was mashing the agave and separating the fiber from the juice. She always rested in the same corner, so I decided she was my next subject.