Night time River Cruise, Saranac River 6x12

Night time River Cruise, Saranac River 6x12
Night Time River Cruise, Saranac River 6x12

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Holiday Advice from the Red Queen

December is rushing by, no surprise. Days are the shortest and complicated with weather, holidays and obligations. I like this time of complications, like my favorite line from Alice in Wonderland:


“My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

 

With the Red Queen in mind, here is a hot off the easel piece commissioned this past summer for Christmas: Somewhere in the Adirondacks.
SOLD! Somewhere in the Adirondacks 16x20 Commission
While I was there on location engrossed in the work, I felt someone watching me. I turned and there was a doe not 20 feet away calmly grazing behind me. She looked up at me for a minute, then continued munching the grasses, turned and headed back into the deeper woods. That will not happen in the studio.

SOLD! Catching Rays #7 -31 in 31, 5x7
This little piece from the 31 in 31 series almost got away from me. Several pieces from the series had been scooped up. This one was still hanging around so I framed it and bought it over to Lake Placid Center for the Arts for the Joy to the Children benefit auction.

A day later I got an email asking, "When can I pick up my painting?" Gulp! "What painting?" Catching Rays! O dear! I did a search through emails and found this little guy had been snatched up online during Studio Tour.

Once again: Where is that intern? Oh right. It's me.
Indian Pass #27, 31 in 31, 5x7, LPCA Benefit

A quick trip to Lake Placid rescued the runaway and was replaced by Indian Pass. All's well that ends well.

Holiday Gift Suggestion:
There are a number of little jewels on my studio wall looking for new niches to fill. Framed, they are priced for the holidays, from $100 to $250. I am in the studio in the afternoons during the week (Check my website for the days!) until 7pm for all you 9-5ers who are running as fast as you can, just to stay in one place.

The smaller pieces range from $100-$250. Stop in to get a good look.
Stay tuned.

Artliveslong, D




Monday, November 14, 2016

Super Moon Rising Tonight

The moon is rising in an entirely different place than in summer. It took me by surprise and I watch it faithfully. Northeast of the potato fields near where I live it rose last night, big and juicy. I was not prepared to paint it unfortunately, but I did capture last months Hunter's Moon, equally impressive.

October Crescent Moon

The moon reminds me of cycles. Seasons, children, friends, events. The moon still rises. Whether in its summer place rolling up the mountains or late fall over those fields, it returns regardless of other cycles.

It's no wonder it has been worshiped by so many cultures.

Stay Tuned.

Artliveslong, D


Three Quarter Moon October.



Oops one more! "Trajectory"

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Day 31 Trick or Treat?

Day 31 Trick or Treat 7x5 NFS
Good things come to those who wait. I knew I wanted a Halloween face for the last one of the month but the day is only 24 hours long. Got the reference after the loot had been gathered then spread across the floor.

This is a tiny portrait for me 7x5. I feel like there is a ton of work to be done to finish it but in the spirit of the 31 in 31 challenge I will say that is it.

It never fails to amaze me when I start a portrait big or small my confidence falls straight to the floor. I pick up pieces of it and struggle to get past the beginning and then all of a sudden the face actually emerges. O! It's there, needs a little of that there and a little of this here. and the image appears.

Portraits are not like landscape to me. Portraits tell me, if it works, that I can see. The ah ha moment is almost physical, a surprise. An adventure with no guaranteed result. It is why I will keep at it.

Thanks to all who are reading. 31 in 31 will be shown during Artist at Work Studio Tour Nov. 11&12 10-4 at my studio – 815 SR 86 Gabriels. Most will be matted. some framed and some have already been sold. Stop in and check them out live.

I will continue to work at making a painting a day. Keeps the synapses snapping.

Stay tuned.

Artliveslong,

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Day 30 Almost 31– The end that is the beginning.

Day 30 Loj Road Barn 6x8 $100 unframed
How is that for enigmatic headlines?

Actually worked in the garden today as the snow finally melted overnight in the yard. But was thinking about this one - this barn that has been taunting me for years.  I do not know much about it but I am sure posting the painting will flush some stories. Went to the studio late afternoon fought the angles battle and came up with a fair set of lines to describe its shape. I need to try again plein air when it is fair weather, spring sometime.

Yes it is day 30. I am not in the mood to stop painting, I'll be working on a variety of subject matter. Not feeling like it is the end but a beginning.

Stay Tuned.

Artliveslong, D

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Day 29 Shivers and Rain

Day 29 Grey at Colby 5x7 $100 unframed

Another one of those drive-by views that does not get the attention it deserves. Actually, mentally it is better for me to make the image in the studio since this location is constant traffic. Doesn't look like that though. I may have mentioned it before but I am a Stop-the-car-fall-out-and-paint plein air-ista. I don't see anything wrong with that but good weather days should be spent away from the traffic, which I do seek out.

Thinking about working on the list Eric gives out every year during the Paul Smiths paint week. To see those locations in less than prime weather would be inspiring. Though the sun could come out and I would be FINE with that.

Two more to go!

The whole collection will be matted and up for Artist at Work Studio Tour Nov. 11&12.

Stay tuned.

Artliveslong, D

Friday, October 28, 2016

Day 27 and 28 Demise of Autumn Funk n Flash

Day 27 Indian Pass from the Plains of Abraham 5x7 $100 unframed

Day 28 Last of the Color 6x12 $100 unframed
The Loj Road fascinates me, I confess. It goes beyond my usual fall-out-of-the-car-and-paint view and demands attention from a larger format. How many of us just drive by the Plains of Abraham and not take that side trip down to South Meadows because of one mission or another?  The Loj is one of the roads that demands one to stop and smell the roses, take in the view and be grateful for what we have.

The ride into town on 86 is just as demanding. Years I come over the crest of the hill to see this view and say "Gotta paint that." But don't take a pic. There are at least 10 highway signs, a traffic light, power lines and some one bound and determined to either run up your back bumper or dart out from Lake Clear road in a vain effort to get to town 2 minutes sooner.

That is what cameras and sketchbooks are for.

Stay tuned. Only 3 days left!

Artliveslong, D

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Day 25 and 26 investigations of the Loj Road

Day 25 South Meadows 5x7 $100 Unframed

Day 26 Ice Up 5x7 $100 Unframed

Compositions galore along the Loj Road but in keeping with my fair weather plein air thang I am resigned to the warmth of my studio to interpret the day through thumbnail sketches and reference photos. Someone told me once "You can't have the shadows that dark It looks like it was done from a photo." I have given that pronouncement a bit of thought and have this observation of my own.

It is really about seeing. That particular artist knows her territory which is the Southwest. Crazy light there, shadows glow. In the Northeast light is different, comes in from a sharper angle in the sky. That makes the Adirondack light not the same at all. The density of trees sucks light right out of the shadows. Days like the last few are even darker since the cloud cover is so dense no light comes through. It feels like 7 am all day. And the shadows are Really dark all day.

Keeping my fingers crossed that next week will be warmer - a lot warmer so it can melt this first snow off. I thought we were going to get stick season before winter. Stick season: the season of bare trees.

Stay tuned.

Artliveslong, D

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Day 24 High Peaks near Lake Placid

Day 24 High Peaks Boundary Algonquin Iroquois Plein air and studio 6x12 $100
This was started plein air half in and out of the car to stay out of the wind. Clouds were scuttling quickly and in 45 minutes they all darkened. Finished up in the studio.

This is another piece that intrigues me. So many little problems to solve: Do I put in the puddles? Can I make them convincing? Which batch of clouds do I commit to?  More blue sky or less? Already removed the chain link fence. Ya that looks better.

Stay tuned. Gotta catch up to 25 on the 26th.

Artliveslong, D

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Day 22 & Day 23 Before and After

Day 22 Just before the Snow - St. Regis Landing 6x8 $100 Unframed

Day 23 Over Stuffed Chairs 5x5 $100 unframed

Day 22 dawned iffy and sure enough the ice was already gathering on my windsheild when I took off looking for the days offering. The view at St. Regis landing had about an hour in it before it would change drastically to white. About 7 inches sticky, wet, accident prone. But the view here spoke of both the before: of gold and rust and the incoming atmosphere of after.


Day 23 The Chairs are my fall back. There was no power all night -about 12 hours - so today is doubled up. Snow removal and u-turned little trees had priorities. Lost two trees and a few limbs and the chairs just needed to be made fat.

Full day of other priorities tomorrow. Will riffle though my references to come up with Day 24s reveal.

Stay tuned.

Artliveslong, D

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Day 21 Conflicted imagery

Day 21 Barnum Outlet 5x7 $100 unframed
Should have been watercolor. But it may have still been wet hours later. Light is what makes an image work though and there was little enough of that today.

Like several of the little paintings made in the last month this size is making me eager to get to a larger piece to explore it more.

Stay tuned.

Artliveslong, D

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Day 20 Painting with radar.

Day 20 Church Pond Canal Plein Air 5x7 $100 unframed.
Like a race or a quick draw, today was being timed by the weather. Radar said an hour and a half, then rain - forever I think. Risky decision making had me actually standing in the canal at Church Pond - what was left of it after the drought  - one foot of the easel placed on a found branch to keep it from sinking into the muck of the canal, painting without a thumb nail, aiming for the light at the end  of the tunnel.

Here is where the challenge will be for me. Most of the lovely maples are done and they are claiming an insane snow event over the weekend (20 inches on the mountains!). I am a self proclaimed fair weather painter but I am going to do my best to find what is beautiful and interesting in spite of the incoming weather. I may travel to lower altitudes Keene perhaps and see what may be possible. Just hafta see.

Stay tuned.

Artliveslong, D

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Day 19 Earth Muscles

Day 19 Earth Muscle 6x12 Plein Air  $100
I pass this field where the "Lightning Rod Barn" stands every time I head to town. Standing in one place to capture what I imagine I see everyday was a surprise. I have the image of what I see in my head but in one spot it is not quite there. My challenge will be to put it all together how it is in my head. There will be figures in it too eventually. There was a crew more than a half dozen men following a wagon drawn by a tractor tossing stones into it so the harvester can gather all the potatoes.

This challenge has me looking harder and seeing more than I thought possible.

I am getting to the point where I think - why stop there? Yeah right.

Stay tuned.

Artliveslong, D

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Day 18 making 31 paintings in 31 days

Day 18 Immersed Fall Abstraction 7x5 plein air $100
Ok I am totally ignoring certain fall chores to accomplish this crazy goal. The weather made me do it! I headed to Black Pond today because I know it has good compositions and was surprised by this tenacious red maple and calm waters. Reflections are such abstractions - exaggerated shapes and underside viewing. Then there is the sky in reverse reaching near ones feet at the shore. The wind came up and riffled it all away. Arghh. That is what plein air painting is all about. NOTHING stays the same for long.

Saty tuned.

Artliveslong, D

Monday, October 17, 2016

Day 17 Leaves are dropping fast.

Day 17 Clouds moving in Fast along the Saranac River 6x7 $100 unframed
Would have been a good afternoon for a paddle on the Saranac River, though it must be very low in some spots. From what I could tell the river is down at least 2+ feet from this thirsty summer and fall. Yellow predominates along the river though there are still strong oranges and some reds in spots. Rain tonight with blustery wind will take care of more. I will have to travel further from home to keep following the color.

Stay tuned.

 Artliveslong, D

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Day 16 Close up

Outlier 5x7 $100
The one leaf in a tree full of yellow caught me. Reds are about gone. The days are filled with yellow even when greyest skies predominate.

It is not difficult to find subject matter for thirty-one paintings in thirty-one days in Autumn.  I am curious as to what will show up by months end.

Autumn is not at all like Summer. Greens are in charge in summer and the sun over head allows for longer periods of time to paint plein air for an interesting reason. Not because days are longer. It is because the sun is higher in the sky and shadows don't appear to move around as dramatically or as fast as they do in Autumn when the sun is past equinox. Day 14 taught me that. Should have known but I've never concentrated on painting Autumn every day before.

Color is the other obvious thing and that changes almost on the hour depending on the light and the temperature. Red and gold are not used with such abandon in Summer.

Autumn is an elusive beast.

Stay tuned.

Artliveslong, D

Day 15 Hunters Moon

Day 15 Hunters Moon 8x6 $100
 The light was magical. There was a lot of atmosphere predicting the incoming weather. This piece will be transformed into a larger work over the winter.

These little color studies are so inviting tempting me to drop everything and do 24/7 in the studio. The time will come…

Stayed tuned. Sign up for updates.

Artliveslong, D

Friday, October 14, 2016

Day 14 and what an Adirondack day it was.

Day 14 Blazing 11x14 Plein Air $350 unframed
The window to go paint plein air is narrowing. Between temperature and shortened hours, the witching hour for interesting light is compressed to about 3 hours in the afternoon. That means dropping everything else and GO. As it was the sun ducked out early in the spot I was standing, shadows dropping with a thud and temperature dip of 10 degrees almost immediately.

I make no bones about it, I am a fair weather painter. The medium - pastel - dictates that but I appreciate the warm sunny days regardless.

Stay Tuned.

 Artliveslong, D

Thursday, October 13, 2016

#13 Illuminated Beech

Day 13 Illuminated Beech 5x7 $100 unframed

Working plein air gives insight to weather. As yesterday drew to a close, looking at strong light from the setting sun bringing out the gold in the beech trees, it was hard to believe it was heading to a rainy day. But I knew today was gonna rain. Last nights photo reference served for making this piece. It is why there a skillion photos of weird stuff in my files, cause ya never know when it is gonna rain.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Same Month Moon at Three Quarters #12

Day 12 Three Quarters Full 4x4
Close to midnight but plunged in to a tiny (4x4) moon painting regardless. If I do enough I just may figure moon landscapes out.

The eye has to be given time to see. Found light on on the leaves of the nearest tree and a couple of stars too.

Stay tuned.

Artliveslong, D

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Erratic Boulder for Day 11 for 31 in 31

Day 11 Autumn Erratic 16x12 plein air pastel $100
The challenge is not finding more than enough subject matter in the Adirondack autumn. The challenge is time - as usual. Now the hazard is the sun is heading to the horizon so much sooner too.

There is a great plus in making so many of these preliminary studies. There will be at least a dozen that will be made bigger and explored more thoroughly during the winter. 

They call boulders sitting in the middle of nowhere erratics, big lumps of glacial debris left after the ice melted. Nature shrouds the boulder with temporary visitors and detritus that changes over time, the boulder stays the same.

Stay tuned.

Artliveslong, D

And now something a little different.

Day 10 in 31 paintings in 31 days.

Those of you who know, know that for over 28 years figure drawing has been a big part of my work. Sessions have been happening at LPCA since forever it seems and there have been many figures and artists who have participated. These two mini pastels are part of my work in the 31 day painting challenge.

I don't usually do pastel during life sessions. It is enough just to try and get the line and proportions and light close - turning 3D in to 2D. They are each 10 minute studies.

For shameless promotion, drop-in artists are welcome. Contact me for details.

Stay tuned.

Artliveslng, D

Day 10 Figure 7x5
Day 10 Sitting on her hands. 6x5

Monday, October 10, 2016

#9 in 31 in 31

Hmm gotta do something about the creative blog titles. Later. Back to Ketchup.


Catching Rays 5x7 Plein Air $100

Yesterday was a wash. Family took priority over anything else. While that is good, better was it was a low hanging cloud day making painting outside a bit of an issue, so it all works out.

Here is Day 9 in the 31 paintings in 31 days. I need to find out who came up with the design for Adirondack chairs. So many crazy angles.

Stay tuned. If I am lucky tonight I will be back on track for Day 10 with a life drawing from class.

Artliveslong, D

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Day 8 Last nights sunset hour at Church Pond. 31 in 31

Fall at Church Pond 6x12 Plein Air $150
I went down to Church Pond yesterday because it is always a given the is color there. Good thing I did not bring Moka! She would have been in the water in a flash and would have changed the whole view. The water was still as a mirror. But the sun was not. Moved so fast I couldn't catch the depth and strength of the racing shadows. I was moving pretty fast but not fast enough.

See what tomorrow brings. Stay Tuned.

Artliveslong, D

Friday, October 7, 2016

So much color so little time. Day 7 - 31 in 31

Day 7 Autumn Glory 9.5x8 $150
The color changes almost by the minute as sun reveals color then bakes the leaves so they relinquish to the slightest breeze. Tomorrow it is supposed to rain and be a bit windy. That will shake the leaves loose. Can't paint fast enough.

Stay tuned.

Artliveslong, D

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Day 6 - 31 paintings in 31 days

Waxing Hunter Day 6 - 6x4 pastel on Pastel Premier board. $100 unframed
Too beautiful a day and it almost escaped without a painting for the 31 in 31. Moon was cooperative. Going to aim for an early bird painting tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Artliveslong, D


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

31 in 31- Day 5

Day 5 - Along the Saranac 8x9.5
The light was great when I found this spot then the sun proceeded to duck behind a particular string of clouds. Just when I had packed everything up, late in the afternoon the clouds moved off.  5:30 on is really the witching hour at this time of year. The color and shadows are great everywhere. I will go back to this spot again. The reflections are worth getting control of.

Stay tuned.

Artliveslong, D

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Keep Moving - or 31 paintings in 31 days

The last two months have gone by in high gear.  I found myself addicted to the movement. When Gail Sibley tossed out a challenge to paint 31 paintings in 31 days I thought, Why not? Best to stay engaged and moving. In fact, that is my cure for just about everything right now, "Keep Moving."

The challenge began October, hence the name 31 in 31 and it is now day four. The challenge is to do a piece - not big or tiny but what ever is working for the time frame available for that day.

"Escape" in the making
The Saturday, October 1 work came from the quick draw for the Seneca Lake Plein Air Festival on the last day of painting in the 5 day event. In two hours, "Escape" came together and was framed for the jurying at 12:30 pm the same day. Whew!

The Great Willow, Seneca Lake
Next day, still in Geneva, the set up was on the lake- The Great Willow. The sun had come out and had to be enjoyed after the mostly iffy and rainy weather for the previous 3 days. This one is not finished as there are wavelets in sunlight and other issues that should be worked out. Stay tuned.
Seneca Lake Park


Rainy Day Apple
October 3rd dawned another rainy day but at home in the studio, I was able to set up a quick study of the apple tree outside the window. Learned a couple of things about damp weather and my pastel ground and decided Great American Pastels just are not for me.


Today Day Four has been easy. It is rolling into peak color in the Adirondacks and there cannot be an easier time to find a glorious color composition. Saranac Lake along the river. was the go-to for today Sun ducked out for most of the time but the leaves radiated regardless.

Color on the Saranac River
So there ya have it. An effort to post every day for the month will be made, with successes and failures.

You can follow along. Sign up for updates and the blog will land in your mailbox.


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Where in the World is Face to Face?

http://deleifheit.fineartstudioonline.com/event/78410/where-in-the-world-is-face-to-face-drawn-to-saranac-lake-democratization-of-the-portrait
There. 

All 185 portraits have been installed in Saranac Lake. This project humbles me every time. When the exhibit was first installed at the Saranac Lake Free Library last November, 2015, there were five people who helped me get all the portraits up on the wall – Kathy Merritt, Cat Micheels, Barry Lobdell, Peter Shrope and Chris Leifheit. It was up in a day and a half. I couldn't thank them enough. In fact I think I still owe them all a six pak each just for starters. This time around it was a solo job taking 5 days to install.

Whew!

It is all up!

Pendragon Theatre is hosting a Face to Face reception August 11, 5-7 pm. Stop by and visit all those friends and stay for Pendragon Theatre's production of Baskerville a Sherlock Holmes Mystery.

And attend Saranac Lake Third Thursday ArtWalk and see everyone. Yes I will be at Blue Moon Cafe August 18 from 5-7:30 for the ArtWalk. If you participated and have not received your portrait print I will have them that night.

Locations are:
Pendragon Theatre, 15 Brandy Brook Ave. 891-1984
Blue Moon Cafe, 46 Main Street 891-1310
Prime Lending, call Franny, Depot Street 891-5055
Historic Saranac Lake, Church Street 891-4606

Call for Hours!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

"Promise" - A record in time.

"Promise" pastel 20x24
The day was warm and muggy. Early morning the clouds were thick and low. It was the big tree on the fence line that had captured my attention. The field had recently been hayed and wild flowers were returning. As the painting evolved so did the weather. The light became more yellow as the clouds began to rise. Just as I was getting to done for the morning St. Regis mountain appeared in the distance. It had to be in there.

"Promise" is one of my favorite works. It is what plein air is about, capturing a point in time, a record of nature. The tree has since succumbed to the green ash borer. Inside of 2 years it has turned into a pen and ink drawing etched against the sky. There are some things one cannot do anything about.

"Promise" is in exhibit "Under Adirondack Influence" thanks to Sacandaga Valley Arts Network at the Northville Public Library now through the end of August. It's a good day trip or even an overnight. Check out Northville on the lake and maybe camp along Indian Lake.

Do call for library hours and when you get there ask for the lights and air to be turned on. Enjoy!

Northville Public Library                    
341 South Third Street
Northville, NY 12134
518-863-6922            
http://www.svanarts.org/arts.htm22

Monday, July 18, 2016

'Tis the Season... for Day Lilies

Summer Trumpets pastel 28x38
"Summer Trumpets" was great fun to paint. How many times can I get into the yellow spectrum in the pastel box and get away with it? The lilies were willing posers - capturing sunshine and breezes, bowing in the summer heat. What a great way to warm up a space.

"Summer Trumpets" is in the exhibition "Under Adirondack Influence" with over two dozen pastel paintings of the Adirondacks and beyond at the Northville Public Library, just south of Wells in the Adirondacks. A reception is being held July 19 from 6-8 and everyone is welcomed.  Call for library hours. 518-863-6922

Yes that is tomorrow. Stop deadheading your lilies and come see these. They never need deadheading!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

"Under Adirondack Influence"

Been slowly gather a collection of work to exhibit for the Sacandaga Valley Arts Network in the Northville Library.  "Under Adirondack Influence" will contain a majority of works that have been made "en Plein Air" in the Adirondacks and work that was made outside of the Blue Line but still reflects where Adirondack understanding of light and dark, and subject matter - which influences the images. Full disclosure, there is work made in near the St. Lawrence River, in the Finger Lakes, Cape Cod, the garden, the studio.


Where actual work is first made or conceived is not relevant to the work. What is, is where I live, in the Adirondacks, that has influenced how I see my subject matter. Light is the biggest consideration in making a composition. Dark compliments light, bringing definition and life to compositions. Light evokes air, wind and temperature. It is not a small thing there is only one winter scene in this exhibit. Winter is a dark time in the Adirondacks. Light is a different color in winter. Temperature certainly has plenty to do with the lack of winter scenes as working in pastel is a frozen knuckle/fingertip event which is simply not working for these particular fingers any more.
"Overrun" 16x20 pastel on the dark side of the barn
 Visualizing the works to be exhibited together is fearful and exciting at the same time. Most of an artists life is spent in close contact with one piece at a time. Working to assemble pieces to be next to each other in a group creates a different view of the work vs. how an artist sees work in the privacy of the studio. The goal is to create an interaction between pieces that translates to the viewer.

The viewer of "Under Adirondack Influence" can become a participant in the process making of an Adirondack grouping of works. The opportunity to look into the woods, across a field and almost smell the flowers in the garden will entertain the viewer with each story a piece offers. 

 "Under Adirondack Influence" opens July 1 exhibiting through August 29, 2016. A reception will be held Tuesday, July 19 from 6-8. I am looking forward to meeting everyone.

"A Day Better Than This?" 12x22 pastel shadows on near mountains
"Fresh Paint" 11x14 pastel feeling the heat and wind
Hours at the library are:
Monday, Saturday 9 - Noon
Tuesday 9 am - 8 pm
Wednesday, Thursday 9 am - 4 pm
Friday 9 am - 4 pm



Northville Public Library
341 South Third Street
Northville, NY 12134
518-863-6922
Sacandaga Valley Arts Network www.svan.org

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

There is a list for that.

Moka is ready to go.
Gardening list. Shorter - since it rained an inch and a half. Check

Dog to the vet appointment. Check

Pack art for trip to Glens Falls for Adirondack National Pastel Exhibit. Check

Pack for Sacandaga Valley Arts Network exhibit. Huh?

There is a list for that. Just over 30 pastel paintings will face bubble wrap and snug surroundings next week for a trip to Northville Public Library opening July 1 - August 28. Listed, priced, recorded - but now need the jpg to follow so that more PR can be sent to various outlets like Dale at NCPR and the Facebook page. The postcard will be following too, to announce the reception on July 19, 6-8 for the exhibit "Under Adirondack Influence".  Everyone is invited!

Somewhere near Canandaigua
All this on the heels of a week in the Finger Lakes painting in the Canandaigua area. Nope those paintings are not in "Under Adirondack Influence" Sign up for The Thumbprints Newsletter to see those. 
Or stop at the studio. Hours are up at DianeLeifheit.com

Then there is the new frame list, the grocery list, the "Where in the world is Face to Face?" list, the "Convergence of Pastel" list, the pay-the-bills list (uck). 

Where is that intern???

Oh never mind.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Do you have a gardening brain?

Here it is the middle of May and Sunday it snowed on my tulips and daffodils. What does that do to my gardening philosophy? What is the philosophy anyway?

"Gardening brain" - the ability to act on the details that need to be looked after, so the big picture can emerge. 

Planting a seed or a bulb is really an act of faith that is rewarded maybe 9 times out of 10 by a carrot, a great salad, or a daffodil. There are constant tests and chores involved in continuing success in the endeavor of North Country gardening. Through the seasons the tests change; recognizing that violets tend to behave like weeds and want to choke out other perennials; that a batch of day lilies that needed rescuing once has turned virulent and are spreading into other patches of plants that have no manifest destiny in mind; are a couple of tests that come to mind. Being proactively tidy, not OCD tidy, but keeping after the creeping weed that wants to shrink the borders of the vegetable garden and then disposing of weeds far away from the garden - in a compost that reduces the weeds inborn survival instincts - is all part of the gardening brain. Feeding the earth with good compost and supplements needed in North Country earth contributes to thriving veggies and flowers. At the end of the day the relation to the garden is - when the garden is thriving with a minimum of rowdy takeovers, then the rest of life seems to follow in the same pattern.

What does that have to do with work in the studio or plein air work? Opportunity favors the prepared mind. There is a kitschy phrase for this idea that that may be accredited to Picasso. In the studio work surfaces are left clear and ready to work for fresh return the next day. Boards are prepared for travel. Pastels need cleaning and are remade by crushing the little pieces back into dust then mixed with water to form a new stick large enough to use again. New frames need to be ordered and glass too. New pieces are worked up. The critical eye is engaged to step back and ask what does the work need to make it sing? Decisions about when a work is a "weed", taking up time and space where a other piece has better chance in coming to life are made. Not every thing works; not everything is a "master piece". Being prepared does favor good outcomes.

Fortunately it does not snow in the studio at inappropriate times. Once in a while heat takes a holiday but for the most part what is worked on there in the studio is about being prepared to move, to paint, to get out in the field to paint.

So the gardening brain is about a degree of preparedness and maintenance that allows for growth and repose, as it is also in the studio and in the field for plein air.

Artliveslong, D