Friday, January 27, 2012

Sweet Marie

In my last post, I talked about making a portrait of my mom, inspired by the style of artist Henri Matisse.
This is what i have done so far.

What I'm learning is that it is difficult for someone as constrained as me to let loose and to be as uninhibited as a painter like Matisse. Also, I'm working on an image of someone dear to me, in cut paper no less, so that is a challenge too. 

I did the face over and over, from memory and from a few photos, trying to capture the sweetness of my mum, as well as her ladylike quality. After she died, a couple who knew her told me that they always referred to her as 'Sweet Marie' and I thought that was lovely. I included a pillow meant to look like needlepoint, which she did often, her rose pashmina shawl around her shoulders, and a long skirt such as she would wear occasionally. I plan to finish it with a few more items which represent her, a window in the background as is often seen in Matisse's work, and a few more prints and patterns.

I definitely need more loosening up, but it's a start!

Here's wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!
Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mom and Maggie

Like so many of you who read this, I'm really enjoying the second season of the PBS series Downton Abbey. Bill and I have always been in love with Upstairs Downstairs, which ran in the 70's. He introduced me to the series when we were dating and we've watched it many times since then. You might remember that our cats Rosie and Angus are named after Angus Hudson, the butler, and Rose Buck the maid from Upstairs.
Part of what I like so much about Downton is watching Maggie Smith in the roll of the Dowager Countess. My husband first noticed her resemblance to my mother in her later years, and certain facial expressions bring up fond memories and even laughter as we remember my mum.

These photos aren't the best to show this, but be assured that seeing Maggie in this role has my late mother on my mind lately even more than ever! 

I've decided to do a portrait or two of my mom, inspired by the style of my newest muse, Henri Matisse.
And I'll have my first draft, in cut paper, on my blog Friday, thanks to Karen at Sew and Sow Life, who invited her readers to articulate something they would like to accomplish by Friday. A little accountability can be a very good thing!

Hope you are having an excellent week!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Junk Mail Collage!

Last Friday I took the day's junk mail and recycled it into this collage.
(The scraps went into our normal recycle bin.)

Now isn't this more fun than regular recycling? I may do it again.

Also, I came across this school photo of myself this weekend,
and got a kick out of the similarity between it and my profile picture!
Just a FEW year's difference!

In my Catholic school uniform, hair - already curly -
made more so by rollers, maybe 6th grade.
A fun find!!

Hope your week is getting off to a great start!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Just Thinking...

What I'd like to achieve this year...

                                  Striped Robe, Fruit and Anemones by Henri Matisse, 1940

Let's see how I do!

Here's wishing everyone a great weekend!!

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Weekly Word

        K is for....

Loving daughter,
dear friend -
always in my heart.

Monday, January 9, 2012


I found this under the windshield wiper on my car a couple of months ago, 
with an ad for a cleaning service:

I saved the paper to use on my blog, but all I could think was,

"Are you kidding??'

I mean, a clean house is a nice thing to have. As we know from TV, hoarding is pretty undesirable and clutter is something we all have to deal with. But I can think of so many other things that are signs of a good life - a loving family, dear friends, work we care about...

Here are a few quotes on the subject that make more sense to me:

"Housework is what a woman does that nobody notices unless she hasn't done it."
Evan Esar

"At worst, a house unkept cannot be so distressing as a life unlived."
Rose Macauly

"My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance."  ~Erma Bombeck 

By the way, I'm wearing my apron in this photo because I'm making dinner, not cleaning!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mad for Matisse!

We returned yesterday from an amazing eleven day trip to California, where we spent the holidays with family and friends. Beautiful weather, fantastic scenery and warm hearted people - how lucky are we?

While in San Diego, I visited the San Diego Museum of Art with my good friend Ann. In the European art section, we came upon a few works by my favorite artist, painter Henri Matisse. Honestly, I just love his work. Something about the freedom of his lines, his use of slightly askew colors, and the textiles he used as props in his paintings - all are elements that appeal to me.

When we got home, I immediately began collecting my various books (including a children's book), note cards and calendars featuring works by Matisse. I'm determined to study his life and learn more about his  way of creating. Already I've learned that, for him, color conveyed emotion. I feel that this artist is calling to me in some way - perhaps to loosen up with my work, to be more expressive and to convey more emotion in the pictures I make. In any case, I know that I will continue to admire the great Matisse!

Hope you are enjoying this first week of the New Year!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year Wishes!

I'm looking at this New Year's Day, as I always do, as a time of great promise.
I have my new calendars, a date book, and a list of resolutions to guide me in the year to come.
"Become a better person, work on my weight and my health, dive into my art with gusto and passion" -
these are the types of personal goals I set for myself.
What kind of New Year's resolutions do you make?

I'm starting this year off with something I've been working on for months - a new website!
I worked with a talented young woman, Elizabeth Salinger, who helped me design a site that reflected my style and complemented my artwork. She was a pleasure to work with!
There's not a lot of work on there -  I'll be adding more - 
and you may have seen many of the pieces before, 
but I hope you'll stop by to take a peek.

I'm sending you my heartfelt wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!!
xoxo Judy