Painting

NEW MEXICO AND GEORGIA

I was recently in New Mexico and found myself at the Georgia O'Keeffe museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I don't think I've appreciated O'Keeffe's documentation and love of the West until the last few years. Whenever I find myself in New Mexico I am driven by appetite of New Mexican food more than anything else. Between meals we must do something with ourselves.

We found ourselves at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. This is my second time going. I admit that I am usually craving more of her work than what it displayed there. The museum is a beautiful space to be in. If you have ever been to Santa Fe, you know the Georgia is practically the mascot of the city. Her artworks and images are on a lot of brochures about the city.

If you go with kiddos, they generously give the kids a sketch book and encourage them to sketch the art.

In The Patio VIII Georgia O'Keeffe

Georgia O'Keeffe. In the Patio VIII. 1950. Oil on Canvas. 26" x 20"

Georgia O'Keeffe. Horse's Skull with White Rose

Georgia O'Keeffe. Horse's Skull with White Rose. 1931. Oil on Canvas. 36" x 16 1/8"

This is one of my favorite paintings that is there to look at in person. I get lost in those teeth and the space between the edge of the canvas. 

Sky Above Clouds IV Georgia O'Keeffe

Georgia O'Keeffe. Sky Above Clouds IV. 1965. Oil on Canvas. 8' x 24'

This is my favorite painting of hers. It does not live in New Mexico. Whenever I am Chicago, I go see it at the Art Institute Chicago. It is 24 feet across and embodies an entire wall, or did last time I saw it. I know paintings find new places to exist amongst the museum space.

When you find yourself in Santa Fe, Taos is just a little bit away and worth checking out. The Taos Pueblo is a great place to take a walk and take in the landscape.

Taos Pueble Church

Taos Pueblo

Taos Pueblo New Mexico

Taos Pueblo, New Mexico

These are just a few things to do between eating chili con queso and sopapillas. Summer brings the sunshine and an opportunity to explore and discover. May your summer be fantastic!

 

PLAYFUL DOODLES WITH A PURPOSE

Even when one doesn't think of themselves as an artist, there are a lot of people out there doodling with their pens in the background of phone calls, meetings, waiting rooms, and so on. 

With the academic year upon us here I thought I would share one of our routines around here. If you have a drawing tool, and a paper bag, then you are set to go. First I will give a disclaimer that our household uses reusable food storage containers for our lunches. One of our kiddos eats on the go from time to time, so I was wondering what the best alternative would be for those moments a child can't be toting around various mason jars of many sizes. We arrived to the sac lunch paper bag with food items folded in paper towels, or just placed in the bag. 

It's easy to make these unique and add a personal touch. The kiddos also enjoy drawing their own. 

decorate_lunch_paper_bag

It's easiest to decorate these when they are flat before you put food in them. If you happen to have paint out for your next projects, you can pull out a few bags to use up that leftover paint. These will take paint just as easily as painting paper. Do make sure you are using non-toxic paint, and not putting it on surfaces that will come in direct contact with food to be safe. The other beautiful thing about this is to not be too precious about this. The lunch bag is not going to be a masterpiece, so don't spend more than a minute on it. It's just a lovely way to say hello, I love you, and brighten someone's lunch! My offspring even use their bags more than once until it has lost it's functionality. It's lovely having the perks of a disposable lifestyle, but we try not to be wasteful.

 

PART 2: EXERCISE YOUR DOODLE

 

This playful doodle is something that is best to do when you are cleaning up painting, and you have just enough paint you don't want to waste. I did this as a regular drill when teaching a workshop this past summer. It's a great way to warm up, and possibly surprise yourself.

doodle_swatch

I like to make my doodle purposeful, so I take a piece of scrap paper and fold it in half for a potential card. Then with my left over paint make the same shape over and over. This can be any size, any color, but at least a dozen is a good number.

doodle_card_swatch

Then with a few parameters one can begin.

In this case these were my limitations:

  • I had 1-2 minutes to finish all the swatches. 
  • I used the same drawing medium for the entirety of this exercise, a pen.
  • I left the subject wide open, but you can do something like abstract only, straight lines only, objects only, food, etc.

Then go for it! The purpose is to get your hand and mind moving without getting bogged down, or too precious. You may find a source of inspiration. If nothing else, you will have goofy card to send to a friend.