My Tonsu

tonsuThis winter has been a long dry period for me. I haven’t been inspired to paint. Hoping that a class might help, I started a class with Tom Hoffmann, a local artist and instructor. This week he told us that we didn’t have to waste time looking for stuff to paint, just sit down and paint what you see. Based on that and his reminder to paint lights, darks and midtones, I sat down and painted my tonsu.

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Thirty day challenge – collage

PicMonkey Collage

What a month! I made a collage of all the work I did.
I sold ten paintings out of thirty, and made almost 400 dollars for endangered species conservation! There are several more of these paintings for sale. If you travel backwards on this blog, you can see which are available and which are not.

And I forgot poor Enza! shadesofenza1

Next month, I will be focusing on faces.

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Day 18 – His sweater

hissweater

Many of you know that my husband died recently. I can write it in a sentence and it sounds so matter of fact. You can meet me and talk to me, and you’d never know what it’s like inside of my head. Widows (and widowers) can smile and laugh, many young widows carry on with full time jobs and raising kids, but inside of them there is a secret sorrow. We don’t often show it, because we don’t want others to feel bad, or to be uncomfortable, but it’s there. I can’t imagine what widowhood was like before the internet. Widows were alone. They had no one around them who actually understood their experience. Of course most of them had family and friends, who also suffered a loss, but our kind of loss is just not comparable.

Losing the person you thought you were going to spend your life with is unimaginably hard. People do not understand. They compare losing a spouse to losing a parent, an aunt, a pet; they even compare the loss of a spouse to their divorce! Thanks to the internet, modern widows don’t have to be quite so alone.

There are forums where we find others like us and discover, we’re not that unique, we’re not crazy, and we can talk about all this crazy stuff and not disturb our well meaning aunts, sisters, and friends. I painted this painting today thinking of all the young widows I have met on line. Some of them are younger than my own sons, but widowed just the same.

This painting is sold!

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Plein Aire in downtown Seattle

1standbattery
What would you do if someone told you that they would give you $100 if you’d set up an easel and paint pictures outside just long enough to have it recorded forever? Well, I said yes!
I was told I had to be at 1st Street and Battery Street at 3:00 pm, so I got there at 2:00 pm and set up my easel. I was in a rather industrial section of downtown Seattle, or mostly just streets, with some appealing vistas off into the distance in two directions. So, enjoying the incredibly rare warm sun, I positioned myself looking out over Elliott Bay and started to sketch out a painting. What was I doing? EEEK…
And people walked by. I got many smiles, and a lot of encouragement, even when all I had to show was a couple of blotches of color. It’s the first plein aire I have done in a long time (plein aire means paint outside from life) even though I do a lot of sketching in my travel book, this is not the same, there’s a lot more pressure, because unlike working in a travel sketch book, you are on display for the world to see AND CRITIQUE. And critique they did! But it was all favorable.

And I’m going to do it again!

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La Giara – Sersale


This is a scene from a large house in Sersale that appears to be abandoned. Two years ago, my cousin Peppino Talarico told me that the Talarico family owned this house many years ago. During my latest visit, my tour guides let me peek inside. How lucky could I get? There was this amazing jar standing on the landing.
Many years ago, these jars were used to store water. Now the few that are left are collector’s items, bringing great prices on Italy’s ebay. Since I couldn’t take it home with me, I painted it.

This painting measures 10 1/2″ x 12″ and it is for sale for $200. All proceeds of this sale go to conservation charities, dedicated to preserving endangered species.

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