Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A NUMBER OF THINGS: Promise and Pressure

Today is the last of five days off from the job that supports my art habit. I can see why retired people wonder how they ever managed to both work and live. Time off is a source of both Promise and Pressure. I did two paintings, one I like (at the right) and one with which I'm still struggling.

Playing Blog catch up this morning before I go to Port Townsend with Suzanne, with whom I share love of: Art, Food, Books, Beach, and Uninterrupted time to paint.

So many wonderful visitors this summer: Experiences are So Much more Important than Stuff! I need to remember that.

Dear Katie and Mike at the Elwah...as if the two years since they left for sunny AZ had never passed. I took another day in Seattle with them, and Katie and Karen (Mike's sister) and I went shopping at the special sale at Beppo...I promised I'd post a picture of the goodies I got, which will become Christmas Angels.

As often as I say I won't buy, don't need Any More raw materials, I still succumb to temptation. Life is FULL of Unlimited Possibilities!

Mike and Katie brought me my favorite presents: Food (pecans from Green Valley) and a Very Impressive rock for my yard collection:

A subtly-colored Chrysacola from AZ now sits at the center of my infinity sign (look at previous blogs for an overview of my gray gravel yard with desgins drawn in white beach stones).

David brought and placed a glass globe from one of their rejected lights in the home remodel, and I have a VT white quartz at the center of one of my spirals...hope the VT government is back to work and that your cabins and house escaped flooding, Will.

Other activities for my days off: I cleaned the house and new car, baked a blackberry pie
the Himalayan bushes that threaten to creep up and take over my yard. I picked 3 quarts in 3 days and hacked the bushes back. The buck (3-point) that lives in the neighborhood thought I'd made a path just for him. I keep reminding him that he doesn't like my hens and chicks, but he keeps eating them and spitting them out...not very smart, And disruptive to my landscape design.

We keep having our perfect NW sunny summer weather (finally) and I can't resist running outside to arrange rocks and take walks to the library.

I'm reading books and watching movies about artists (Lee Krasner, Cezanne, Patti Smith, Robert Maplethorpe, and Van Gogh) and what strikes me again and again as I bemoan my dearth of paying Art customers is how hard these famous ones had to work to get known. Then if success does come (Pollack), it can be ruinous.

Why do I and so many others keep going back into the studio to wrestle with demons...or angels? When I do a painting I like, turn a phrase just right, the answer is obvious. Yesterday, when the painting just got more and more murky, it was time to take a walk. I'm soaking up
sun to remember during the fast-approaching dark days of fall/winter/spring.

I've always been fascinated by a photo of Kiki Smith, and took it for the subject of my painting yesterday. Then forgot that I've been liking the clean-ness of the portrait series, and worked too long, struggling, and adding way too much stuff, including the gold paint, that just breaks up the surface even more.

Learning when to STOP is an important part of art making, and as you'll see by the second image, I went way too far, and now must see if I can back up and save her--or start fresh.

I feel a little more hopeful today.

I see how Important it is to just Keep Working...the little lessons from just going at the problems/challenges again and again DO accumulate over time...Even if I'm just practicing for my own amusement...and yours.

I've developed a warm-up exercise, mentioned it in a previous blog, the series of 4" x 6" drawings inspired by a video I watched about Richard Tuttle and how famous he got for Very, Very simple drawings and paintings. (publicity helped)

I limited myself to 4" x 6" Bristol paper, taped to an old piece of cardboard, using 4 colors of pastel pencil, 2 shades of yellow acrylic in clear glaze, scraps of one or two kinds of paper. My brother, David challenged me to do 100, and I've finished the series with 101. The simplicity of the materials and size made it easy to use the project as a beginning exercise to get me involved in the studio and start the flow.

It's Amazing how many variations are possible with such limited parameters! For my next project, a slightly larger square format with a collage element and drawing...I hope it doesn't slow me down. The guys in Port Angeles who are doing a painting a day, got some impressive pieces out of their exercise.

I like my big piles of little drawings...maybe I should put them for sale in my online gallery.

How about $5 apiece plus $2 for shipping--order multiples? I have some kind of vague idea of a small project in an envelope cooking, And another project this week has been to put the missing paper doll images onto my web site, since Barb Kobe is offering my online paper doll class as a down loadable self-study at: http://www.healingandtransformativedolls.com/ along with Three Dimensional Doll Design and Doll Making as a Transformative Process.


Sunday, August 21, 2011


My desk is covered with To Do lists...I am so optimistic on Sunday morning, that the list items will be completely crossed out before the reality of Monday morning and back to the money-making job looms...oh, well, my Expectations are bigger than my capacity to Accomplish them all...so I'm human. Now that I have a new credit card processing machine, I want to make my web-based gallery So Enticing that the orders will start pouring in. Still on my list is to post pictures of all the items I have described, especially the paper dolls.

I had some great side trips this weekend: Wonderful Weather, A bonus day in Seattle with Katie and Mike, a visit from the man, Casey Groff, who built my wonderful house with some fresh halibut for me. Cody is now 5 and was born just three days after I moved in, 5/5/06.

I promised I'd post a free pattern, so will at least do that:

Drag the image onto your desktop and enlarge to fit on 8.5" x 11" for printing. Send pictures of what you do.

Kelly Philage Koch of SOFT DOLLS AND ANIMALS is going to publish the article I wrote about making the Big Doll (9.5 feet tall) who is now wrapped in plastic and living in my garage...I believe the March issue, but keep watching for all the other great articles and patterns.

Please visit the Gallery section of my website at http://www.pamelahastings.com for lots more patterns and books...now that fall is coming, time to start a sewing project. Also check out my online classes, including Three-dimensional doll design on http://www.healingandtransformativedolls.com/.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

New Online Classes for Fall!

I'll be teaching 3 classes online for fall (starting Sept. 17th),
but go to
Barb Kobe's http://www.healingandtransformative dolls.com Now to sign up. Reasonable prices and lots of virtual contact with Me during the process...and NO Travel Expenses!
DOLL MAKING AS A TRANSFORMATIVE PROCESS, a perennial favorite, with 6 lessons, cloth or paper projects for each lesson, and the possibility of changing your life through doll making...or just learning new simple techniques.

from the most simple two-part
fabric forms to designing and
construction your own mixed
media masterpieces.
Six lessons, inspirational images,
and daily online chat and sharing about the process.

ART PAPER DOLLS will be self-paced study with a book, lessons, and a kit of materials to get you started.

Take one or all three to sail you through the winter doldrums.
Sign up at: http://www.healingandtransformativedolls.com

The last of summer company, Mike and Katie, who left the cool blue Northwest for Arizona's brilliance almost 2 years ago.

The best of friendships stretch for distance and time. Here they are in the National Forest by the Elwah last Tuesday. We all wish we could afford to spend more time together. My turn to go to AZ in the spring.

Lest you worry that I've been spending too little time in
my studio with all this company and sunny days, here's
my latest portrait of my friend Annie's grandson, Charlie.
He's extraordinarily cute and talented.

Sharing insights with friends and patients...my wonderful daily captive audience about time and space...both become cluttered with "stuff" and the wise person keeps honing activities and possibilities to try to stay focused on what's most important to US. I hear that retirement these days is even busier than working life...but maybe I appreciate each tiny bit of "free" time, because
there seems to be so little of it.

Commercial Message: Please buy my books...go to Gallery on my web site...I need the space in my garage...also saving up to be retired myself in only 5.5 years.