This latest virtual art walk post was supposed to have been a “Feature Friday” post, but apparently I picked up an unwelcome microbial hitchhiker when I was up in town earlier this week. I spent Friday feeling worse and worse, but the good news is, it didn’t last long at all and I am back to my old self. That means it is time to grab a mug of afternoon coffee, apply fingers to keyboard, and type out my post for our December edition of the virtual art walks we’ve been doing the past couple months on our art blogs.
But first, an earworm. Typing out the opening paragraph immediately brought this song to mind:
December mean winter
At least in the northern hemisphere. Folks in the southern hemisphere are opposite of us, but I have never traveled south of the equator, so for me it means winter. I grew up in the Midwest in the late 70s and through the 80s, so I saw my share of snow and even a couple blizzards. It may be pretty to look at, but the cold just does not do me any favors. However, on the visual side, Jim Hughes up in the great frozen north – er, Minneapolis – has posted up his black and white record of the battle between the ice and the water flowing beneath and even compares it to images by abstract artist Jackson Pollock. I am not as familiar with the abstract works, so will leave that comparison to those who are, but Jim’s photos do make intriguing visuals.
December is a time to look back
Being the last month of the calendar year, December is the logical time to reflect on the year as a whole. Steve Heap has been doing monthly recaps recently, and for this virtual art walk he looks back at his November sales, including one of his personal favorites involving the West Virginia University’s mountaineer statue edited into a photo of a particularly picturesque building on the other side of campus. In the comments, the puffin photo seems to be getting most of the admiration, but my personal pick us the Hawaiian canoe photo. Between the colors and the layout, I would be inclined to paint the Kauai canoe scene out of the group.
Jo over at Siena Blue is also doing a bit of looking back, this time spotlighting some of her watercolor and gouache (pronounced “gwash” or similar, for those of us who look at French spellings oddly). The bird painting is cute, and hard to believe that is so small – an artist trading card which is 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches. The one that really turned out beautifully is her landscape in burnt sienna and “a shade of blue,” as she describes it. Personally, I’d like to know which shade of blue, but that is probably because I love the triad of blue, purple, and red/pink so much. Either way, the burnt sienna and blue are across from each other on the color wheel, and if you aren’t careful and those two colors blend too much, you will get a greyish-brown color artists call mud. To use complementary colors and have it work without the dreaded mud happening – especially in watercolor! – is the challenge that both keeps us coming back to the studio while saying some very “nsfw” words when it goes wrong.
I also wrote a bit of a look-back post earlier this week, but hey – I had a good reason to do so! For those who missed it, I took first place in the watercolor category at the VA Creative Arts Festival for the second year in a row.
Looking back at trying something new
Sometimes, the December retrospective is all about looking back after trying something new, and new art walk participant Dorothy Berry-Lound’s post is a look back at a new art technique she was inspired to try after watching a YouTube video. (Funny how many of us can get so fired up after watching a short YT vid!) She describes how physical the new technique was for her, since she has fibromyalgia. Hubby has “fibromyalgia-like symptoms,” so I know what that looks like and the fact she decided to do a second painting using the new technique tells me exactly how pleased she is with her results.
I rarely “get” abstract art, but the art world is certainly large enough to encompass the entire spectrum from hyperrealism all the way to the most abstract of abstractions. The color combination is certainly pretty, and it definitely looks textured. I’ll also note that it does resemble a few of my practice watercolors that ended up with cat prints across them (phthalo green does NOT lift), but that is about as far as my more-literal mind will go in trying to interpret. Again, the fact she did a second painting using this physically-exhausting technique tells me she likes the end result.
Looking forward to 2023
I’ve already started getting emails this weekend warning that products ordered this far into December may not arrive in time for Christmas, so I suppose it is time to turn my sights to the new year. After New year’s Dat, there is my birthday, and it is the “big five-oh.” Yeah, I’ll be turning fifty, and Friday before the stomach bug jumped me in earnest, my mother-in-law cut my hair in a new style since my friend Keashia said I should try to style my hair like my new internet “face.”
One last December earworm
This one is for my Dad, and my Mom as well, since they probably will both wrinkle their noses at the one I posted at the beginning. Here is a bit of Frankie Valli for some December music.