Tag Archives: memory

Argyle Sweater Lady

I drew this quick little sketch on a paint card. No reason, I was just drawing. I kept it and I show it to you because about 25 years ago I had very soft wool sweater, bright argyle pattern on a black background. I wonder if my memory was guiding me here. I remember that sweater fondly and if I had it today, I would wear it.

This lady is thinking in colors. See the thoughts above her head? Maybe she is considering what a nice sweater this one really is…?

Lady in argyle sweater 9-18 pen and ink paint card01

Small Landscape Day 2

Claudia McGill says: I remember walking in my bare feet along creek banks in my childhood. Sometimes I’d step in to wade. I think about how cold the water always was, even in the summer.

Landscape purple mountain dark truquoise sky 6x6 11-15 small

Small landscape Day 2. 6″ x 6″ on Masonite.

 Do you like this little painting? Would you like to have  it? Remember, it’s Giveaway Time. For the details about the landscape giveaway, look here. Then-

 Email me at claudiamcgillart@gmail.com and mention Landscape Day 2 or use the form below.

All available landscapes are posted on the Giveaway Page  the day after they are published, until they are gone.

A Very Nice Day

Yesterday I participated in an art show in a park not too far from home, Memorial Park in Lansdale, PA. This show is a long-running event and I’ve been in it, though not every year, for about 20 years. I’ve shown fabric, collage, and now paintings for the last couple of years.

Lansdale 8-15 #1 small

This event is special to me because it was one of the first shows I did when I got started, and it’s also the place where I won my first award, also about twenty years ago. I got third place for a fabric wall hanging, and when the ribbon was presented to me I broke down in tears. To me, that award meant I was really an artist, that I belonged.

This year, we had a beautiful sunny day, warm and breezy. A great crowd attended.

It was a day for seeing people. I caught up with several friends who were exhibiting. My friend John came to see us and sat with us for most of the afternoon.

A little boy, about ten years old, stopped in with his mother; she said he insisted on seeing my work, and he told me he wanted to be an artist himself. I gave him one of my little paintings and they said it was his first original piece, so I started off his art collection! (I got an email from him later that night thanking me and sending me an image of one of his paintings.) What a nice day for me.

To top it off, I won Best of Show. A surprise for me and exciting. I did not cry this time, but I certainly was very happy. Thank you, Lansdale Festival of the Arts!

Scrawling a Picture or Two

I bought a whole box of 8″x10″ birch boards and prepared them all with gesso. My intention was to paint a lot of small pictures using photos I took during the Sunshine Project or more recently as the inspirations.

I was thinking to try to be somewhat literal – meaning to follow the photo as closely as I could. In this way I am revisiting the location and the moment that I took the photo and evaluating the experience of being in that place. It is a good way to think about the small moments in everyday life that can get overlooked. This lesson is something I am trying to take forward with me from the Sunshine Project.

Things did not work out as I had thought, really. The part about taking time to absorb an experience is very valid, but the way I was going about it was maybe not quite right for me. I was once again reminded that I value my painting life for its lack of direction and structure. For the idea that what I paint does not have to make sense. I felt a bit trapped.

Still, what I also learned was – using the photos as a starting point and then adding or subtracting or amending made a good way of working. When I thought about things, I realized that once again it’s all in my attitude about the process. It’s up to me to decide how it goes. When I came to this conclusion, balance seemed to be restored to my art/painting/memory process, and I was happy.

Anyway. I started off a group of four paintings by quickly drawing in the outlines of shapes in black paint on the white background. I liked the way this looked. I think I would like to try painting with some watery acrylics later on.

Here is the finished foursome. Each painting has a meaning to me – they are all directly drawn from my everyday life.

Sketch with Paint and Pen by Chance

I was working on a painting project and wondering if painting a small person in a doorway would be a good addition. I needed to test my idea. So in a twinkling I painted a figure, quite roughly, just a set of shapes, really, in the paint I was using – happened to be green. And I did it on the first piece of paper that came to hand, the back of a used envelope.

I held the figure to the painting and decided a person would not fit in – sometimes it’s better to try a mock-up version and actually see its effect than it is to attempt to imagine the outcome – or worse still, paint something in, hate it, and then have to get rid of it.

So no figure to be added to my painting. But something about the little green person caught my attention. I took my pen and drew in a more defined personality. Suddenly a green girl came to life, wearing a short dress and leggings. My son, home on a visit, happened to take a look at my work and liked the image. I think it surprised him that something could come from nothing, just like that!

So I mailed the green girl to him after he went home (I often send him mail art) – and she traveled comfortably inside another envelope, not out on her own. And when she arrived, my son was surprised to see her again, and pleased to add the image to his mail art collection.

Lots to think about here – the element of chance and surprise in art, and the element of chance and surprise in everyday life. A small thing can make a nice memory. Who would have thought a little green girl could do so much?

Green girl on an envelope. Where is she going? Pittsburgh, it turns out.

Green girl on an envelope. Where is she going? Pittsburgh, it turns out.