Tuesday, June 2, 2020

PAINTING PROJECTS / PANDEMIC PROJECTS:

#1  Acrylic  4x12

ONE HUNDRED DAFFODILS

"Never an ill wind that didn't blow someone some good," so spoke my grandmother, quoting I don't know who, but true. So many of us, faced with the pandemic shelter in place, set intentions of particular projects we could use that extra time to complete. Is there an artist out there who doesn't wish for more studio time?  Not me. At workshops, one of the discussion topics that inadvertently comes up is "How can I make more time for art?"
Indeed, pandemic project on a silver platter. 

Challenge Begun:  The first five of 100!
In the blahs of February (see previous blog) I enjoyed painting Spring Profusion, and by the time the pandemic and it's forced isolation was in place, I was ready to happily continue in the studio, painting flowers. 

Advice from one of my favorite art instructors comes to mind when I think of mentors. Doug Dawson, nationally known artist, told us that when he was getting started, he was told that he should paint 1000 paintings, which is overwhelming, especially for beginners who want to do everything yesterday....and then, shaking his head with a smile creeping into his voice, Doug added, "They never told us they could be small paintings!"
But I get it! "Necessity is the mother of invention," an apt quote for the art world. Repetition, repetition, repetition is boring! Our eyes and minds like variety, so doing a series pushes us into further creativity. One subject but 100 versions moves us into new textures, new colors, new paints, and exploring form and composition. And small pushes us further faster

It was early April, daffodils were bravely pushing through leaf mold and snow, here in NH, and I had planted several hundred bulbs, collections of early to late varieties with all the variations horticulturists have come up with over the years. That gave me a good start towards 100, though I did decide I'd count individual daffodils rather than individual paintings. 

SOOO,  these are the first five.  
Small paintings, Thank you very much Doug Dawson! #1 and #3 were only 4 x 12 inches, and #4,5,6 grouped in one painting, was an 8x10.
Only a few of the many varieties in my garden, Thank you White Flower Farm and Van Engelen Bulbs (Van Engelen calls them narcissi). 

Backgrounds are McEvoy inventions, and I don't claim to be a realist! Painting the spirit is often more important than painting the reality!


Photo taken at slant to capture the
"glisten effect" of interference paint.
Pearl, green and violet used here.
Discovery on these paintings: If you look very closely at flower petals, some of them actually glisten a faint spark of iridescence, but how put that on canvas?  From playing around with Golden's acrylic offerings I had discovered a paint referred to as "interference," and another similar called pearl. Spread thinly on the petals it does give the illusion of iridescence, and shifting light or standing at different places to view the painting gives out that subtle and not so subtle hint, unfortunately difficult to capture with a camera (at least if I'm the one pushing the button.)

See galaxy Blog from 2017 and/or follow me on Instagram  Barbara McEvoy Artist to see other times I play with the metallic and "interference" paints by Golden and other unique options that are out there if you browse the art supply stores!

Have at it! 

Ninety-five daffodils to go! 







Monday, May 18, 2020

HOW ARE YOU DOING? WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

Dandelions   24x36    Acrylic  $400

Locked Down, Sheltering in Place, or Coming Out Cautiously?

There's nothing cautious about a dandelion, one of our earliest Spring flowers, though many call it a weed. 

But consider it, as I did when a friend asked me if yoga fit with dandelions. She asked me in bleak February and I had visions of bright lively yellow heads dancing in breezes. Yes, I would teach Sun Salutations as part of the Dandelion festival being planned by the local farm museum, in trade for being able to set up a display of my paintings to sell.
Sunspot 8x8  Acrylic  $75

How to attract attention?

Paint a really big dandelion!  which I did, two years ago, and some little ones. Color is good healing medicine for the winter-weary spirit. So last winter when February blahs hit, I painted more colorful flowers, and some roosters. This year, when the two window decorators for Freedom Village Store were looking for bright and cheerful "Spring Things" for their display I offered my dandelions, in blah February of course, little suspecting what was coming our way.

COVID, more bleak than even February in NH. The Village Store closed its doors to the standard hours. The two window decorators wanted another painting for the other window, "something happy, and bright like the dandelions, something representing Spring, so even if we're closed, people won't forget us."  Spring Profusion (below) was my answer. However, the village store manager decided to Rethink some of what the store did. She developed a cadre of volunteer delivery folks, and proceeded to find out what people needed and wanted. The store "Reset and Recalibrated" its situation in the community.

Tulips  8x8 Acrylic $75

Consider your own February and March of this year, 2020 ..As a nation and a global community we entered March with hints of problems and finished March talking about and practicing sheltering in placesocial distancing, self isolationquarantine. When we communicated via email, phone, messaging, Zoom, we'd ask the old questions with very different import. "How ARE you doing?" "WHAT are you doing?" and we'd finish with, "Stay well," "Keep safe."

How Are we doing? WHAT are we doing? I hope making the best of what could eventually, if not already, be an enlightening experience!  Life for us humans became very different very quickly,  but there is no hurry. This isn't going away fast. Relax!  We have the time to Rethink, Reset, Recalibrate! just as the Freedom Village Store. 

What we need now is "new skill sets!" We don't really have to do all those things we thought we should/could get done. Instead, we can smell the air (less polluted) as well as the roses,  daffodils and pine trees. There is a world of healing out there in nature, with actual research showing that forest baths and indoor plants do clean the air, lower our blood pressure, in addition to being an aesthetic that speaks loudly to us.  With job loss and what seems to be economic disaster, maybe we don't need all those things we thought we needed! A garden could help with the food bill, and with meat supply in question, at multiple levels, maybe some new vegetarian dishes could be a family affair, a financial saving. Reading a book with our kids, even a chapter book, doesn't seem so time consuming when we are home together. ETC! ETC! YOU explore your own mind and interests, plus the multiple of articles and free or inexpensive classes available on line...then share them in new togetherness! No sense in rushing out into a world that has only tenuous control of the virus situation. Cautiously, we do have the time, we can work at making changes for the better!

Spring Profusion  24x48  Acrylic  and Metallics $800



And while we are considering the differences we're noticing, maybe we should readjust some values! What about those on the front lines, the ones NOT isolating, the very necessary...delivery people, health workers at every level--many of them deserve not only the accolades they are getting, but also higher wages. And as we open up, what of the servers in the restaurants and fast food places we frequent. 

So, let's RE-consider the dandelion! Thought of as a pariah of "well groomed" lawns, much money is spent on Round-up and other "toxic to everything" herbicides to get rid of dandelions and other beneficial and/or aesthetically pleasing weeds. Spring at Lowes, Home Depot and other Garden Centers is marked by high stacks of Round up though it is banned in other countries! Re think this! Instead of poisoning, not only the plants and the users of Round up, and ultimately pets, children, neighbors and water supplies, etc. we can pick the leaves of the dandelions and get free, ORGANIC, and extremely nutritious greens (while we shelter in place and avoid stores!!!) The flowers bring their sunshine, and this year, because of the decimated bee and pollinator population (attributed to the toxic pesticides also out there), the word is out that we really ought to leave dandelions in our lawns to feed the pollinators!  Dandelions are only one of the "weeds" with a bad rep! Times are changing. We need to Rethink and Reset when science discovers new things about our sometimes not so miraculous solutions. Remember DDT?
Lead paint? Asbestos? Caution is called for! 

Are there parallels between the dandelions and our service workers? While we are Relaxing and sheltering in place, perhaps we should use the time wisely to Rethink, Reconsider, Reset, and Recalibrate the values we have been living with and the values we WANT to live with...We may find that the gap is large but not at all insurmountable! Especially since some of the changes are already moving into place!

Find me on Instagram:    barbaramcevoyartist

































Tuesday, March 24, 2020

NEW WAYS for NEW TIMES

SACRED CONNECTIONS
Bubbling Up: The Creative Process
Acrylics 18x24

How quickly the world, the whole world, can change. A microscopic virus has sent us separately into self-isolation and solitude while creating a global, world wide connection!

New times call for new ways!
Sheltering in place, as we will be if we follow Dr.Fachi's advice, must be the new way, the way to "flatten the curve." But as individuals, we also need ways to handle this new-to-us isolation and seclusion.

Time to nurture our creativity!  How does the creative process work? Where does it come from? Do we all have creativity?How do we find it? How do we feed it? 

Bubbling Up is my visual answer to how the creative process works.The universe provides our brain and being with myriad images, events, happenings, stirred around by more of the same, bubbling like a great broth until those bubbles burst forth...aha! BINGO...OMG! in some artistic form... visual products, music, song, dance, poetry, theater, other modalities not yet even imagined. What a magical, marvelous process. We all have it, though perhaps hidden. We can all use it!

Pushing Boundaries  Acrylic  
For some of us, however, creativity has been pushed further down into the mire of our everyday living. Our society has squelched it, or we ourselves claim that lack of time, energy and/or money have set boundaries we can't break through.  Pushing Boundaries was my initial attempt to visualize a way to confront the societies and/or the selves that set uncommonly restrictive boundaries. Unfortunately, even as I painted away, COVID-19  was sending us to solitary confinement. The painting was a total blob. I saw an enveloping, attacking dragon; a distressed brain; haze, fog; unknown onslaught and no solutions. I relegated the painting to a dark corner. 

Returned from a short excursion to Fairbanks, AK where I roomed with three other women from across the country, I was again staring at Pushing Boundaries  thinking, Enough! Time to act! Destroy it? Paint over it? and also wondering about my three adventure partners. We'd all come through Seattle and had been home long enough to finish our self quarantines. How were they? Coincidentally, I received a text message from Miyuki related to the trip we'd shared. Soon Carol and Candy joined. We texted intermittently through the evening, sharing our separate and very different experiences related to COVID-19. The text exchanges, warm words and good memories, were stirring my creative broth and moving my paint brushes. Between texts I returned to Pushing Boundaries adding golden details and a trillion points of glistening starlight, a new vision, a successful makeover. Thank you, Miyuki, Carole and Candy. We were Reaching Out, in spite of our differences, our distances, 

Reaching Out  Acrylic   36x36
The best we can do in these times of seeming isolation is search for and use our own creativity. We can count our solitude as a blessing while realizing we need connections, contacts, adventures to fill the well from which our creativity bubbles up. It's a symbiotic relationship with its own energizer. But, just as the entire world is part of this pandemic, so too the entire world is connected by the globe we all share. We are none of us alone! Everyone and everything is, ultimately, connected. 

For our own creativity, we must also recognize and nurture our connecting relationships to all things and to the Earth that binds us together. It's a complex situation, but not without inspiration and hope if we look for them.

In your present solitude and isolation, explore your creativity and be grateful for all the ways you can connect without inviting COVID-19 to your party. We have a lot to learn from this experience.       STAY WELL, STAY CONNECTED but KEEP UP THE CAUTIONS.


Revisit my blog site 
Check out my website
If you're in Freedom NH visit Freedom Gallery for Art and Spirit,  Freedom, NH, 8 Elm Street
(Open by appointment and most weekends)
Email barbaramcevoy@me.com














Monday, June 5, 2017

SCENES FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE: DISCOVERING OIL PASTELS

DISCOVERING OIL PASTELS: Waterfalls
The flume in Franconia Notch  (9X12)

Although I'd used oil pastels before, my first choice had become pastels or oil. Over the winter my studio situation had changed and my main easel, with  my Artist Air machine, remained at my former studio. Since I would never consider doing an indoor pastel or oil painting without Artist Air, if I wanted to paint at my home, I needed another solution. Pencil, watercolor, acrylics or oil pastels?


Diana's Bath (9x12)
Pulling out my photo files (Mac cites over 14,000! photos!) I skimmed over some of my favorite hike files and chose  several waterfall photos. In real life waterfalls  and streams are soothing.   I breath with the pulsing of the waters falling into the waiting pools, and sliding over and around boulders. I merge myself in the splatters and spray as they dance to their own rhythms, and delight at the changing rainbows. Its calming and other worldly. 

My own life at the time was needing calm and my fingers were itching to move onto paper, push around colors, and create a few sprays of my own. I needed the art therapy and chose the oil pastels because they were the quickest. No setting up a palette, no fooling with mediums, mineral spirits, brush cleaning. Just open the box, pick up a stick and start! 


Could Be Anywhere! (9X12)
Painting can be even better than real life because it makes the artist the creator.
Diana's Bath (9x12)


Glen Ellis Falls
 It's not only mind and eye following the water, but also the hand itself creating the ripples, rainbows and spray on paper, immersing itself in the waters of calm!

I chose black paper to emphasize the water, the spray, the subtle colors of stream and ponds.  One painting led to another and another and then Eureka!  I was doing a series, and, like a soap opera fiend, wondering about the next installment!, before I had finished one I was working on. I had heard about doing series in art school but never put it to real practice until now.  Doing a series forces us to greater creativity! It's fun. Familiarity with similar color choices pushes to new techniques and new visions, then new color combinations, further technique exploration. Waterfalls in NH are everywhere, and different, not only from season to season, but from week to week. Even day to day if there has been a major storm, or an errant beaver at work. They are a never-ending supply of subject matter.

These five are among the 12 now completed, with two more sitting on my drafting table in various stages of production. I presently have an exhibit at the M&D Theater in North Conway, NH, there until July 5. Stop by if you are near.

Meanwhile, I'll be doing more Oil Pastels of Waterfalls. 

Check out other blog entries and my website for other Scenes of New Hampshire  and my blog, THE GREAT WHITE BARN to check the progress on my gallery.

Oil Pastels on black paper, 9X12.  $90 unframed, $130 framed in black frame.
E-mail me at barbaramcevoy@me.com if interested.








Tuesday, May 2, 2017

PAINTING GALAXIES

GALAXIES:  We don't KNOW what we don't know

The night sky has always fascinated me. Many of us living in more populated areas never see the Milky Way. Too much ambient light. But, when we get to a dark place and see it, it IS truly breathtaking.  Moving to New Hampshire, I'm on the look out for our "Milky Way Nights," clear skies with those lights twinkling away.  

Having never seen the Milky Way, if you get yourself away from cities and crowded suburbs, Look Up! You will recognize the Milky Way.

A natural outcome of being a landscape painter is to realize that the night is part of the world we live in. More appropriately called a skyscape, the night sky deserves representation.
Galaxy Paintings, Acrylics  on canvas with black light.  36 x24 ($450) and 10x10 ($100).

The "black light" photos above are a poor representation of the actual paintings. Imagine the  photo with ONLY the phosphorescent green illuminated...the effect is two completely different paintings! If you know how to photograph these appropriately, please e-mail me. Otherwise, use your imagination, or better still, visit "The Galaxy Room" in Freedom Gallery, (8 Elm Street, Freedom, NH 03836) Viewings available by appointment. Email me for more info. or to make an appointment  


More recent photo from Galaxy Room. Some of the small paintings are in a different order.
Paintings with regular light
Three major sources of inspiration get credit as my galaxy series continues to evolve.  First influence: the Hubble Telescope. Those photos are incredibly beautiful, reminding us that we really don't know what we don't know. With literally trillions of stars and accompanying planets, whatever else is out there, beyond our own little blue marble, is unfathomable. Star Trek, Star Wars and science fiction can only guess. Hubble has given us real life examples of the beauty and immensity. But, as one gallery goer said, "Immense, but we are all connected. We are part of that!"

Second very important influence goes to the art student/sales person at the Allentown PA Dick Blicks (art supply store), who, hearing me say I was painting galaxies, said, "Do you know about phosphorescent paint?" "No," I replied, "hook me up." She hooked me up to the most fun painting series I've ever done!  

Third influence goes to the Dick Blick stores in general  (At this point I shop the catalogue and go to the Boston, Landmark Store for their incredible array of paint type products, including mica gold and silver flecks, a variety of Pebeo products, glitter paint and glue, etc.) 










Wednesday, April 19, 2017

SCENES FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE: MOVING TO TOWN

Oops! Did it again!  Seems when life gets busy, blogging gets lost. 
The trick, I'm told, is to have a reason for blogging and a routine for getting it done. And this time I'm determined to get it done on a reasonable (pun, pun) basis. I am conquering both REASON and ROUTINE.  Really!
REASON 
YOU, you the reader, you the viewer, you the artist, are the reason for both my blog AND my website.My Reason for wanting to blog (and invite you to my website,) is that I want to share my visions. That's what we do when we create....whether it's art in any of its numerous forms, or blogs, or websites.  Sharing our vision is what we do and why we do it all!

My big move last year was actually Moving to Town. I've stated before: Art, Nature and Yoga are INTRICATELY INTERTWINED in all I do. They make my dreams come true!  They took me to art school, they moved me to NH, and now they have MOVED ME TO TOWN! 

The intertwining process is actually quite simple. I became an artist because I loved nature, but I came to love nature more as I painted it because I saw more, which then made me want to see even more...mountain tops, panoramas, up close bugs, leaves, moss and lichens., etc. Breathing, then mindful breathing, stretching and meditating became a natural part of hiking, climbing mountains, paddling kayaks. And these inevitably moved me into deeper yogic concepts of non-violence, contentment, moderation..all of it!
Mt Madison and Madison Spring Hut  (as seen from Airline Trail)  Pastel  12' X 18'
The very act of painting becomes a way to further appreciate what  you are painting because you have to look more closely, notice more. When I paint the trees, I am the trees, when I paint the trails I am hiking them again. My quest? How to share this?
Three on the Ridge     (Crawford Trail between Mitzpah and Lakes Huts)


Hiking with others, introducing my kids and Grandkids to the AMC Huts, (an annual trip now), volunteering for AMC 

Gallery sign at 8 Elm St., Freedom, NH

(Appalachian Mountain Club). We share what we  love, so I definitely have a reason for blogging, for websites, for showing and telling.  

Routine 
Routine is the second trick to "getting it done." I should know about routines...It's how you keep up a yoga practice, become a good runner, lose weight. Set a time and/or an intention, make a plan, and just do it. Sometimes you can skip the plan, or make it up as you go. If I had a routine that was working, moving to town messed with it big time. But MOVING TO TOWN was big time...big time dream come true. 

EXPLANATION: On my first trip to find a NH home, before my official house hunting trip, I drove into the little Village of Freedom, parked in front of the Village Store and walked across the street to admire a big white barn with a gallery sign at the corner of the driveway, and an old cape house, circa  1822. Dream come true, but it wasn't for sale, nor did I have the money. 

Art, nature and yoga all played their part in the next few years. Nature drew me into the mountains, my art became good enough to gain me an invitation to join a co-op gallery where I took my turn sitting and finding out how many people wanted to be artists but didn't have the nerve or the confidence  to try!  and a few people in Freedom were looking for a yoga teacher to teach in Town Hall. I started two yoga classes. Then the property went up for sale, Sept 2015. It took almost a year before "things worked out" but the move-in took place June 7, 2016.

Old houses can have a lot that needs doing, and the Gallery had been a summer only operation. Rehabbing to include a proper studio and winterizing will probably take another 6 months from now, but the plan is evolving into more than a gallery for local artists. I'm seeing it as a busy place for "ART and SPIRIT." For the local artists, but also for yoga classes and yogic exploration! maybe even yoga dance and definitely for art classes and workshops. PLUS I'll finally teach those classes I've been wanting to teach:  "Explore your creativity." "You ARE an artist!" "Find your artistic Roots"! I'm even thinking of a one week "New Horizons: Art Camp for Adults"! Maybe several sessions.
E-mail me if you are interested! Seriously, let me know! barbaramcevoy@me.com
Freedom Gallery
for Art and Spirit

Do I have a routine yet? Not exactly...next week I will start a diet I've been considering, and begin semi-regular blogging. I changed the home page on my website. Check it out, especially if you love the White Mountains. Expect a new home page every two weeks! 

Since MOVING TO TOWN, I have been painting almost regularly, teaching 3 yoga classes a week,  catching up with the gardening (snow shoveling during the winter) and walking Harry the Dog fairly regularly, getting my 10,000 steps in daily, so I'm closer to routine than any time since I moved to New Hampshire. 

Excuse the overlong blog, but it's my promise to me and for those interested it's a glimpse of what's to come, why and a peek into the how!  (remember? art, nature, yoga!)
If you are visiting the eastern side of our state, stop in for a visit, 8 Elm Street, Freedom, "Next to the Church." Give me a chance to share my vision in person.  

Friday, February 19, 2016

NEW HAMPSHIRE SCENES: OFF ROAD STONE WALLS

OFF ROAD STONE WALLS

Stone Walls: They should be New Hampshire's symbol…they are iconic. You won't travel far, outside of the main cities, without seeing several…We know the story…too many rocks, stones, boulders in the fields to farm. And animals had to be contained.
Roadside Wall at Dusk   Pastel   9X12   $150
Stones were an anathema and a blessing. Move them from field to the edge! Stone walls! Everywhere in NH. Too low now to contain sheep, but, now one rarely sees sheep in the fields of NH. When the sheep were here, the fences were higher, wider, functional.

Robert Frost tells all about it in "Mending Wall." "Something there is that doesn't love a wall/ That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,/ and spills the upper boulders in the sun."


"Something there is that doesn't love a wall!"  Oil on canvas 30x40
"Off-road" and "had-been-road" explorations reveal different versions of the stone walls. Look for an opening in the woods, perhaps ruts from a road that used to be, and follow the ruts as they turn to an overgrown brush path of uneven footing, a New England jungle with vines, bushes, ferns, rocks and arching trees. After a fair distance you are quite likely to find remnants of a stone wall or two. "Something there is that doesn't love a wall"  and "Golden Afternoon" are paintings of such places. 
Golden Afternoon   Pastel  19x19

Both of these paintings are thanks to the Upper Saco Valley Land Trust. Each spring they host the event entitled "Celebration of Art and Place." 

As a true celebration of nature in its glory,  their mission to preserve, they invite several local artists to do their interpretations of   scenes from the USVLT's new acquisitions, and then showcase the paintings with an evening of good food, readings, songs, and general camaraderie. (Paintings and notecards are for sale as well.)

It was my pleasure to be one of the invited artists and to visit the Leita Monroe Lucas Preserve, where I  discovered these two scenes.

The jumble of boulders are obvious remnants of past residents, but nature is slowly moving in to claim its space, and thanks to USVLT and other land trust organizations, these are places where we know there will be no condos, no strip malls, no parking lots (except at the edge to provide access to the interior).
But there will be off road hiking and plenty of natural beauty.
Thanks to all Conservation and Land Trust Organizations.

Visit my website for more paintings of New Hampshire Scenes.