nina colors

Archive for March 2009


Since I’m stuck w strep throat, there’s no painting going on here, so I thought it might be fun to look at some famous paintings and learn a bit about them.  Most of you know this one; it’s “Guernica” by Pablo Picasso.  The Basque town of Guernica, Spain was totally destroyed in quite a brutal way during the Spanish Civil War by Generalissimo Franco w the help of Hitler. 

Picasso had been commissioned to paint a mural for the 1937 world’s fair in Paris, but he remained uninspired.  When the news of the Guernica destruction hit the Paris newspapers, Picasso saw in stark black and white just what had happened, and he began to draw “Guernica”.

The painting was not well-received by art critics at the time, but the power of the images is so strong that I would say it has become an icon; perhaps the most famous anti-war painting of all time.

I did get to see this once, but can’t remember where.  I do remember that I had to sit down and alternate studying it with looking away because the effect was so powerful.  Even now when I see a tiny image of it , I feel like I felt while looking at it.

Nothing soothing here.  From the almost blk and white starkness to each line and shape, it all cries of anguish and suffering.  My memory is that it is about 25′ long from side to side,  and 12′ high/

Please tell me what you think about this painting. Love? Hate? Boredom?  No matter what you think go here  to go inside this painting in a 3-D movie created by Lena Gieseke.  It is INCREDIBLE!

I started this divorce 3 years ago, and told my husband that was the amount of time I needed to be ready to leave.  Interestingly, it has been exactly the amount of time to get rid of a house full of stuff (moving to a small apt.), build myself up physically, and emotionally/mentally prepare to leave my marriage and home of 22 yrs.  Did I adapt to the time frame?  Or did I predict correctly?

But what I find really “woo-woo”, is this preliminary sketch for a painting that shows me and Roxie flying free over the Chicago downtown (which they call “the loop”). At the time that I did this, I was planning to move to SW Michigan, which is on Lake Michigan, but Chicago had never entered my mind, even tho I have family there (maybe because I have family there:-)


Sometime after I did this quick study, I visited my family in Chicago, sat on the Lake Michigan beach, and bawled from the bottom of my soul.  This was where I needed to be; there was medical support, family support, and I could live a few blocks from the Lake.

So that’s where I’m headed.  So, what made me sketch a painting about flying over downtown Chicago before I had even the germ of  thought about moving there?  God only knows;-)  Maybe Roxie knows, too!


and so do you!!!  Between editing my friend’s manuscript, massaging numbers for my divorce, trying to coordinate selling the house and all that needs to be done to move, and applying for medicare, I deserve  a lazy day, so that’s what I’m doing.

It’s good to do this on a regular basis and I should do it more often.  It allows thoughts to roam and/or to gel.  It allows new ideas in and shuffles n’ sorts the old stuff.  I think about how our parents or grandparents sat in rocking chairs on their porches and chatted with the neighbors — that makes me nostalgic for a life I’ve never experienced:-)

Well, a little bit when I first moved to this neighborhood.  We were the first of the younger generation to move in here and folks did sit on the covered porches when it rained and just enjoyed the smell of the rain, and a bit of gossip.  Now it’s all young people, and everyone is busy, busy, busy.  I understand it, but I don’t have to like it.

Quiet is so soothing for me.  I can hear the birds now who are beginning to build their nests.  I can see what’s popping out of the ground and compare it to last year.  It’s still a bit chilly for sitting out there, but a brisk walk around the block (that’s what I can manage) is delightful:-)

A funny nest story to share. I had collected a nest and left it outside (bugs!) until I was ready to use it in an artwork.  Well, the first time I checked, it looked much messier than I remembered it. But I wasn’t ready to use it yet. When I finally went to collect it,  it was completely gone.  After a bit of puzzling, I realized it was birds using the perfect sized sticks from an old nest to build a new one.  Birdie recycling:-)

Hope you get a chance to listen to some birdsong this week.


Here’s a painting I finished late this past year.  The conundrum for the artist with little money is —  what surface  to paint on.  Since I can’t get around to garage sales (old canvases & wood), I have to order.  Sometimes, I don’t have the bux, so I just paint on cardboard.  Not exactly archival — but who knew it would turn out to be something I liked and that someone would want?  So, I’m doing my best to make  it more sturdy before I send it off to it’s permanent home in Australiagoddess.

I was studying Goddess archetypes at the time, and just couldn’t get into the whole feel of it. I’ve always had trouble relating to myths of any kind; so Demeter, Athena and Aphrodite just didn’t seem to fit w this post-menopausal body:-)  That’s why this is called “The Reluctant Goddess”.

Everything but the kitchen sink in this one.  Acrylics paints, mediums, collage, stencils, molding paste, crayon, sparkles, stamping, and walnut ink.  Finished w a coating of beeswax.

Yikes, I’ve taken on a big task.  A UK friend has written a book and  needed an American to read it and make sure it would be understandable to Americans.  I volunteered because she has done many nice things for me.

I just printed it and it’s over 100 pages!  I’m going to take it a bit at a time, since reading is hard with my CFS.  I sure hope it doesn’t interfere w any of my art “urges”, but we’ll have to see.  I said I would do it and I try to keep my word.

Stay tuned:-)

Everyone seems to like the music video, but in order to really appreciate it, you need to watch this segment of Bill Moyers interviewing the young man behind it.  It’s about 20 min and honestly, it has changed my life. give it a go:-)

(sorry, I don’t know how to enbed this kind of link:-(  I’m sure one of you wordpressers will tell me.

I’m going to try to imbed a YT video here; let’s see if it works.  This is one of the most incredible things going on in the world right now (good incredible).

If you want more info, go to

I’m new to the blogging world (such a dinosaur!), but I need a place to share my thoughts on art, life, chronic fatigue syndrome, and the myriad of subjects that intrigue me.

Art IS my way of living – with or without CFS. It has always put me in a state of what artists call “flow”, but it is surely a state of unconsciousness of some kind. I try to remember to turn the phone off, I center myself, often light a candle and say a prayer, turn towards my paints and brushes, and the next thing I know, it’s 4 hrs later!

Here’s my process of yesterday: a textural collage.  I actually started this as a background for some painting (that would come to me later:-), but I like it very much and am going to let it “perk” for awhile on it’s own.

note:  bad photo, the colors at the bottom are a true representation of the whole piece.  I’m too tired to take another photo  (you’re gonna read “too tired” a lot).


textured collage

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