Sunday, June 18, 2017

Art Lessons from a Garden

Returning home from a cross country trip to visit family, Hubs and I stopped at a Visitors Center on Interstate 40 in western Arkansas. In front of the building there was a lovely garden, an oasis of beauty in the midst of concrete. While Hubs went inside to pick up a map, I grabbed my camera to join several other travelers snapping photos of the garden, one of the prettiest I've seen. Later, as I uploaded the photos to my computer, it occurred to me that this little garden had helpful lessons to offer visual artists. In addition to its visual beauty, like all good works of art it exemplified some of the elements and principles of design, bringing them to life in an arresting way.
A view of the garden from the parking lot


Warm colors predominate among the flowers in this section of the garden, but a closer look reveals the subtle influence of cooling purples and lavenders to the left


Here the spiky leaves of iris serve as strong counterpoints to the rounded forms of the shrubs and annuals



An interesting selection of colorful blooms points the way to the garden's center



In the garden's interior there is a dry creek bed made of native stone -- a visual surprise for the observer. Note how it, and the silvery leaves of the dusty miller, lead the eye toward a curve to encourage further exploration





Intense shades of red, rose pink and bright yellow catch one's attention first in this colorful vignette. The pale pink and light yellow flowers play supporting roles. The cluster of brightest colors is the focal point in classic position using the "Rule of Thirds."



Rough-hewn stone contrasts with soft ground covers and rounded shapes, while spiky and upright forms leaves offer variety, contrast and movement



A closer look yields more visual information. See the dainty purple flowers just beyond the daylily in the foreground? To the careful observer they're a reward for taking the time to study the garden closely, just as a good painting offers surprises to viewers who look beyond the obvious.
My thanks go to the state of Arkansas for providing such a nice welcome to travelers on I-40. The staff at this visitor center were most gracious and helpful, and the facilities were very nice as well. The garden out front, however, was a grace note that turned stopping in for a map a delightful experience for the soul and the senses. For creative types like myself, discovering a gem like this on a busy interstate is serendipity of the most gratifying order. It restored my road-weary psyche and lowered my blood pressure after hours of nerve wracking driving in "survival" mode. It also made me want to get home to my studio and re-introduce myself to my paints! If only there were more gardens like this one to soothe harried spirits, perhaps our world would actually become a kinder, gentler place.

Text and images ©2017 Lynn Edwards

A Thought for Sunday, June 18, 2017

"What a father says to his children is not heard by the world, but it will be heard by posterity." -- Jean Paul Richter

Monday, June 12, 2017

Another New Series is Underway!

As my readers know, I've been creating a collection of mixed media pieces that I've titled the Dust Bowl Series." These are larger works that demand studio space to complete. But I also wanted a project that was smaller and readily portable so I could work on it almost anywhere. And so my other series was born. Here's a sneak peek at one of these little gems:

 Though it appears rectangular here because of my scanner bed's dimensions, it's actually 12x12 inches, still small enough to be both portable and comfortable to work on. My goal is to create 24 more related pieces before moving on to something else. Meanwhile, the "Dust Bowl" will continue to absorb my attention. I've got some plans for doing some photography that I can hardly wait to shoot!

Text and image ©2017 Lynn Edwards

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A Thought for Sunday, June 11, 2017

"No man is a failure who enjoys life." -- William Feather

Monday, June 5, 2017

Do You Recognize the Artist?




If you love a mystery, here's one for you: Who created these four pen-and-ink drawings? I found them a few years ago in a church thrift store in Marietta, Georgia. They were a fantastic buy: just $10 for the lot. Each is an original on heavy watercolor paper. Two have been tinted with watercolors, two have not. They've all been signed by the artist but unfortunately I can't decipher his or her name. Nor can anyone else I've shown them to. Although I can certainly enjoy them without knowing whose work this is, I'd really, really like to know who created them.

Here's a closeup of the artist's signature:



And here are the four works that he or she created:

This one bears the notation "Quebec - Petit Champlein."



This scene is identified as "Porte St. Louis -- Quebec."



This one is marked  "Notre Dame -- Quebec." I used the signature from this one to make the large image of it at the beginning of this post.  Unfortunately the scanner couldn't capture the entire image, causing the top of the steeple to get cut off. Ooops!



This one is titled "Rue du Forte -- Quebec."

The drawings were done on 16x11 inch heavy watercolor paper. There are small paint smudges on the backs of two of them, and one still bears what looks like a round price label with ".25" on it. The other three appear to have had similar labels at one time but they have been removed. I can't imagine original works this lovely and this large being offered at a quarter apiece at some yard sale, but that may be what happened. I suspect the ridiculously low price convinced people they were reproductions and buyers passed them over. They probably ended up being donated to the church thrift store at the end of the yard sale, along with any other items that failed to sell.

But there are additional questions surrounding these pieces. Two of the drawings remain untinted, though clearly they're part of a set or a series. Did the artist lose interest halfway through the project and failed to see it through? Perhaps the pieces lost their appeal to him or her for some reason. Maybe the artist became dissatisfied with them or hit a creative block and tossed them into a "to be donated" pile. Or maybe he or she passed away before they could be completed. Many questions, but no answers....!

If you recognize the work or signature or know anything about these pieces, please contact me. I'll be so appreciative if you can help solve the mystery. I'm hoping someone out there knows something and is willing to share what they know. Any information, however insignificant you might think it to be, is gratefully welcomed!

Text and images ©2017 Lynn Edwards

Sunday, June 4, 2017

A Thought for Sunday, June 4, 2017

"Things do change. The only question is that since things are deteriorating so quickly, will society and man's habits change quickly enough?" -- Isaac Asimov

Monday, May 29, 2017

A Hearfelt Thank You to America's Veterans

When I count my blessings, at the top of my list is the freedom we enjoy as Americans. Think about it: we get in our cars and drive across town or across the country without having to obtain some government agency's permission. We're free to listen to or read or watch anything we want to, however bizarre, outrageous or provocative it may be. We the people elect our politicians, and we are free to cast our votes without coercion. We can live wherever we want, aspire to any profession we want...in short, we can pretty much do whatever we want as long as it's legal.

Artists and other creatives in America enjoy extraordinary freedom of expression. If I want to create art with a scathing political message, I can do so without fear of being hauled out of my house in the middle of the night and executed because my message runs contrary to that of some despot who has been thrust into power by a military junta rather than elected by the people. If I want to create art with a religious theme or gay art or socially offensive art I can do all of those things without being censured. My art may not be appreciated, nor embraced by the public, nor receive anything but scorn and derision from critics, but in America I won't be imprisoned or tortured for having made it.

Freedoms like these are, unfortunately, not universal. In too many countries, to express a negative view or opinion about the current regime is enough to get a person killed. Just ask Cuban-Americans who fled to the U.S. to escape Fidel Castro. At Castro's orders, his henchmen rounded up and summarily executed thousands of "dissidents" -- ordinary citizens, many artists included -- who dared to criticize Castro and his policies. Ask South America's's museum curators and administrators who were forced to display only art that supported the policies of a despotic regime. If they refused, they were  replaced and punished. Ask Salmin Rushdie what it's like to be hunted down by religious zealots with a stone age mentality trying to assassinate him -- all because he wrote a book they didn't like.

Atrocities and injustices like these are all too common in countries that continue to deny their people freedom. Enjoying the freedom we know here in the U.S., it's hard for us to truly comprehend what it must be like to live under such conditions. We may think we know, or try to imagine it, but the harshness of having to live under oppression of that magnitude is simply beyond our comprehension.

On this Memorial Day weekend, I am grateful beyond words to the men and women of America's military who've sacrificed their lives so that we can continue to live in unparalleled freedom. Without their service and dedication, we'd be dreaming of freedom but certainly not living in freedom. History is rife with tragic examples of how very difficult freedom is to secure, and how easily it can be lost. It's good to remind ourselves that we are not immune to the latter. We must not subscribe to the notion that this amazing freedom we've been granted by the Constitution is "too big to fail."

Our service members are acutely aware of this, exposed as they are to other cultures and countries around the world. Most of us civilians, however, aren't privy to the same degree of exposure our service members have to cultures that deny human beings their freedom. Going about our lives here at home, few of us know what it's truly like to live under brutal oppression.

But our military service members do know, serving as they do in areas where people often suffer oppression. It's why America's defenders -- all of whom volunteer to serve -- willingly give their lives, when necessary, to keep that fate from happening to us. They're what stands between us and the unthinkable. So as I enter my studio to begin today's work, I am profoundly grateful to these selfless heroes. And I am reminded that as a citizen enjoying freedom's benefits, I, too, have a responsibility to help extend it to everyone and to oppose freedom's suppression wherever that suppression is encountered. This quote by Earl Riney sums it up best: "Freedom without obligation is anarchy; freedom with obligation is democracy."

©2017 Lynn Edwards









Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Thought for Sunday, May 28, 2017

"We owe a lot to Thomas Edison -- if it wasn't for him, we'd be watching television by candlelight." -- Milton Berle

Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Week to Remember

Wow, last week was incredibly exciting, with three opening receptions for juried shows coming on the heels of my participation in ARTucker! I was able to attend only two of the openings where my work is on display - those at the Booth Western Art Museum and the Downtown Gallery in Cartersville. Unfortunately I wasn't able to make the opening for the "Hands" show at Roswell United Methodist Church's Charis Gallery. I had planned to go, but then found attending just wasn't do-able so, sadly, I had to miss that one.

The opening reception for the exhibition at the Booth was wonderful -- truly a first class affair. It was made even better by the presence of my dear artist friends Baba' and Kathy Woodworth, and a surprise visit from my cousin Rick and his wife Patty, who detoured on their drive from New York to Florida just to attend the show!

Dust Bowl Series: Cimarron County on display at the Booth Western Art Museum


Artist Michael Goettee and I discuss the process I used to achieve the look of aged painted wood on Dust Bowl Series: Abandoned
Conversing with friends Kathy Woodworth and Baba' and family member Patty Murphy
The Dust Bowl Series was inspired by a very special lady named Hazel Mills, who is a native of Oklahoma. Now in her late 90s, Hazel lived through the Dust Bowl, a series of horrific dust storms that struck widespread areas of Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Kansas during the 1930s. These storms took a terrible toll on human and animal life, turning once-thriving communities into ghost towns and prompting mass migrations as crops failed and farms were foreclosed upon in the midst of the Great Depression.

Unlike many of their neighbors, Hazel and her family chose to stay put on their farm and tough it out. The determination and persistence it took to do this is beyond my imagination, but persist they did. Hazel and others like her who didn't give up in the face of nearly insurmountable hardship show us what the human spirit is capable of achieving. Hazel, who is related to my sister-in-law, was very much on my mind as I worked on Cimarron County (the first piece in the series). I plan to expand the series further, and hope I get an opportunity to talk with her while visiting family in Oklahoma this summer. Having been witness to one of the greatest natural disasters in America's history, Hazel's experiences and memories will continue to inspire and inform all future Dust Bowl works.

Text and images ©2017 Lynn Edwards

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Thought for Sunday, May 21, 2017

"I wish the government would put a tax on pianos for the incompetent." -- Dame Edith Sitwell

Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Thought for Sunday, May 14, 2017

"Only mothers can think of the future, because they gave birth to it in their children." -- Maxim Gorky

Monday, May 8, 2017

You Meet the Nicest People at an Arts and Crafts Show

If you're fed up with the climate of anger and hostility that seems to permeate our world today, and want to retreat from it all, may I suggest you attend an arts and crafts show? It has been said more than once that artsy people are exceptionally nice people...and I couldn't agree more!

Artists tend to be gentle-natured souls who strive in their own ways to make our planet a more beautiful, peaceful, happier place. (Sure, there are some whose temperaments and work are abrasive, but you rarely encounter them in this type of venue.) If surrounding yourself with upbeat people in a fun environment sounds better than watching talking heads duke it out on TV, hang out with artists. You'll come away feeling like there might be hope for humanity after all.

The artists I met this past Saturday at ARTucker exemplified the warmth, caring and generosity that characterizes the creative community. I didn't have a whole lot of time to make the rounds and meet everyone (setting up my display was more time consuming than I had anticipated) but those I did meet were truly delightful. One of these was Louanna Petti, whose booth was across the aisle from mine. We had a nice chat and found we had much in common. 

Just before the show closed, Louanna presented me with this adorable little watercolor painting she had made during the show of my jewelry display:

©2017 Louanna Petti

How sweet is that?!! I was so surpised and touched and appreciative of her thoughtfulness!

Throughout the process of setting up and taking down and everything in between, I couldn't help but notice how everyone went out of their way to help one another, holding doors open for those lugging gridwalls and boxes, and offering to carry stuff for others when they appeared to be struggling.

Paul Bamford, the pastel artist whose booth was adjacent to mine, had brought in a large cloth backdrop the morning of the show to conceal the unattractive wall behind our booths. He was so polite in asking if this was okay with me and of course it was, as the solid color backdrop he'd brought made my display really "pop." I was more than glad for the fine job it did concealing the wall, and gladder still that he didn't break any bones while climbing up to install it. 

I didn't get a chance to thank him before he departed (his display was a much faster take down than mine, and he was out the door in a flash at the show's end) so I offer my thanks here: Paul Bamford, you're a prince!

But it wasn't just artists helping fellow artists. Many visitors to my booth were equally helpful by sharing their opinions and observations about fashion trends and what they did or didn't find useful in choosing wardrobe accessories. One lady gave me a great idea for future necklace designs that I never would have thought of -- a priceless gift I can't wait to act upon. It's interactions like these that make all the trouble, work and effort of doing a show so worthwhile. And they reinforce my belief that artists and people who enjoy art are the very nicest people in the world!

©2017 Lynn Edwards

  











Sunday, May 7, 2017

A Thought for Sunday, May 7, 2017

"Art is the fulfillment of things dreamed." -- Gerald Mills

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Thought for Sunday, April 30, 2017

"When we know how to be at peace, we find that art is a wonderful way to share our peacefulness."-- Thich Nhat Hanh

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Now Showing....

This month has been a whirlwind of activity, including the honor of having two of my new "Dust Bowl Series" pieces accepted into the Booth Western Art Museum's annual Guild Juried Exhibition!
Both are mixed media works on gallery wrap canvas:

"Dust Bowl Series: Cimarron County" mixed media on 30x24" canvas ©2017 Lynn Edwards

"Dust Bowl Series: Abandoned" mixed media on 36x12" canvas ©2017 Lynn Edwards
The exhibition opens May 16 and runs through August 20, with the opening reception on May 18 from 5 to 7 p.m. At 120,000 square feet, the Booth Western Art Museum is the largest museum in the U.S. dedicated to Western art and is also a Smithsonian affiliate. It's located just north of Atlanta at 501 Museum Dr, Cartersville GA 30120. For info call 770-387-1300.

Also, I'll be one of 50 artists participating in next month's ARTucker, a marketplace celebrating local artists and their hand made creations on Saturday, May 6. This twice-yearly event is held indoors at the Tucker (GA) Recreation Center. Hours are 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. and admission is free. I'll be showing my hand painted jewelry and original art greeting cards. I'll also be debuting my new line of clip on earrings at ARTucker. (These are NOT your grandma's clip ons! They're fun and funky with a Boho twist. Each pair is one-of-a-kind and just right for pairing with casual wear. I've included a photo of one pair below.) So if you're in the metro Atlanta area, come to ARTucker on May 6 and join in the fun! Tucker Recreation Center, 4898 LaVista Rd., Tucker GA 30084.

A pair of clip on earrings from my new clip on collection  ©2017 Lynn Edwards  

Text and images ©2017 Lynn Edwards

A Thought for Sunday, April 23, 2017

"The test of a vocation is the love of the drudgery it involves." -- Logan Pearsall Smith

Monday, April 17, 2017

A Piercing Question

Do you wear clip on earrings? If so, which fastener type do you prefer -- the ones that have a screw on the back so you can adjust them? Or the hinged kind that snaps onto the earlobe? Do you have a hard time finding clip ons that don't look like your grandmother's? Or would you be deliriously happy if you could find a source -- any source -- for clip ons, even if they do look like your grandmother's??



I know several women who wear clip ons, but I'm not one of them. I had my ears pierced many years ago and have never regretted it. Before I opted for piercing, though, I remember being utterly miserable whenever I had to wear earrings because back then, if your ears weren't pierced, you had two choices. You either wore clip ons, or you went around with "nekked ears." In my case, the clip ons caused painful cysts in my earlobes, making wearing them akin to torture. But at that age (late teens) going about bare-eared wasn't an option, either. 

My friends tell me since then, clip ons have become harder to come by. Apparently the majority of women in the U.S. have pierced ears, and the clip on crowd is in the minority. So many stores no longer carry clip ons, or have cut inventory down to just a handful of styles.

I'm curious: if you wear clip ons, where do you buy them? At retail department stores or discount stores? Antique stores? Flea markets? Or from that shadowy figure under the streetlight who used to sell watches? (Forgive the last one...just kidding!) If/when you do buy them, how do their prices compare to pierced earrings? This isn't a Gallup poll or anything, just curiosity on my part as to whether I should add this type of jewelry to my product line. If you'd kindly share your thoughts with me, I'd be very grateful for your input. And to the person whose input I find most helpful I'll send a complimentary pair of hand crafted clip on earrings as a thank you!

©2017 Lynn Edwards

Sunday, April 16, 2017

An Easter Surprise

Two years ago, we called in the pros to turn our lackluster front yard into a nicer looking landscape. One of the plants they installed was a rhododendron, sited in a corner to eventually grow tall and conceal the ugly box where the phone line comes into the house. (Can't someone design these boxes so they're not such eyesores?)

Anyway, for the past two years our rhodie has grown but didn't put out any buds. While it was getting established, I was getting antsy to see what those promised blooms were going to look like. This spring it formed buds (yay!), then, over the last three or four days, they s-l-o-w-l-y started to open.

And this morning, Easter Sunday, here's what we woke up to:


The blooms are as big as saucers! I don't know how long they'll last, but Hubs and I will certainly enjoy them as we eat our meals on the sun porch just a couple of feet away. What a lovely start to our day this was! Here's wishing you and yours equally beautiful Easter joys!

Text and image ©2017 Lynn Edwards

A Thought for Sunday, April 16, 2017

"In school you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson." -- Tom Bodett

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

New Mixed Media Cards!

I love working large, but sometimes it's fun to downsize to projects that don't need vast amounts of wall space or huge brushes to complete. I really enjoy working on art that's small enough to travel in a tote bag, or work on using a lap desk.

Mixed media greeting cards fit those criteria nicely. Lately I've been stealing moments here and there to create a number of them. Below are a few I've made over the past few weeks. Some feature removable pendants that a recipient can wear on a chain, ribbon or cord necklace. Others don't have jewelry. All, though, can be slipped into a store bought mat and standard size frame, and hung on the wall as a colorful, original piece of art. These one-of-a-kind cards are now available for purchase through playingwithcolors, my Etsy shop.

©2017 Lynn Edwards Art





©2017 Lynn Edwards Art







©2017 Lynn Edwards Art




©2017 Lynn Edwards Art


©2017 Lynn Edwards Art

Text, images and card designs ©2017 Lynn Edwards Art

Saturday, April 1, 2017

A Thought for Sunday, April 2, 2017

"If you can't do what you long to do, go do something else." -- Elizabeth Gilbert

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Thought for Sunday, March 26, 2017

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." -- Mark Twain

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Having Fun with Color Cards

It started innocently enough. I had dozens of ultra fine point Sharpie markers and a cute little pad of 4x6 watercolor sheets. So naturally, I just had to see what I could make with them! Below are some of the results.

I made these with the idea of trying out different color combinations just to see how well different colors worked together. My thought was to use them as color reference cards for future works.

©2017 Lynn Edwards

©2017 Lynn Edwards

©2017 Lynn Edwards

©2017 Lynn Edwards
©2017 Lynn Edwards

This little exercise yielded some pleasant surprises. For example, the last card had colors in it that bore no relation to the other colors whatsoever. It's the only card in the bunch where I used some new gel pens in addition to the Sharpies. I was trying out these gel pens for the first time, pulling colors from the pack of 24 willy nilly just to see how they looked and performed on paper.

Normally I wouldn't use pale yellow, copper, ultramarine blue, purple, baby blue, orange, dark teal, peach and mint green together in a million years. But when these unlikely hues were thrown together, as shown here, this offbeat "soup"somehow worked. Now I'm thinking I might try choosing colors blindfolded just to see how many more weird but viable pairings I can come up with. If they look good together in a 4x6 inch format, it will be fun to try them out on a much larger scale. So stay tuned, more adventure lies ahead! And if you've experimented with unusual color combinations, I'd love to hear what you did and what the results were.

Text and images ©2017 Lynn Edwards





Friday, March 10, 2017

Where am I??

Well, I admit I have not been posting much the past few weeks. It's because I'm working like crazy trying to finish pieces for several upcoming juried shows, and re-arranging my studio to accommodate my huge wooden easel which has, up until now, gotten very little use because it takes up so much floor space. I'm also working on a project for a local non-profit, and preparing to return to teaching some workshops this summer, along with developing a new series of paintings I'm really excited about. In between these things I'm continuing to plug away at increasing my Etsy listings. These are advancing at a snail's pace because I find doing the photography (5 shots of each item, with just 83 items to go) maddeningly tedious. So. Contrary to rumors, I have not relocated to Monaco, nor have I run away to join the circus. Nope, right now I'm just up to my neck in alligators. But the upside is that when I do come up for air, I'll have LOTS of photos and info to share. So please don't send out the bloodhounds...at least, not yet!

©2017 Lynn Edwards

A Thought for Sunday, March 12, 2017

"Only he who can see the invisible can do the impossible." -- Frank L. Gaines

Sunday, March 5, 2017

A Thought for Sunday, March 5, 2017

"Nothing is harder to topple than than a fact that supports a deeply held prejudice denied by its holder." -- Russell Ackoff

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Use Your Artwork to Make Bookmarks

Do you love to doodle? Sketch? Paint? Collage? Don't hide your artwork in a drawer or leave it in a sketchbook. Turn it into bookmarks!
 
Bookmarks make great gifts for anyone who loves to read. Electronic devices have wide appeal, but there are millions of us who still prefer the satisfaction of holding a real book in our hands. (Though I'd be lost without my Kindle.) Bookmarks are an especially nice add-on when you're giving a book to someone as a gift. Bookmarks make good gifts for students, teachers, tutors and librarians......and the more appealing and distinctive they are, the more they're appreciated. 

Here are some of the bookmarks I've made recently, which are offered for sale in my Etsy shop.

 


I create the artwork on 140# watercolor paper, which I then adhere to one or two layers of heavy card stock in colors that complement and enhance the art. Using a hole punch, I make an opening at one end and insert either a length of waxed linen thread or narrow ribbon. I tie a knot in the threads, slip beads onto the threads in colors that repeat those in the artwork, and tie another knot to keep the beads in place. Done!

A few hints:


Use acid free card stock rather than construction paper, which deteriorates quickly and fades even faster.

If desired, you can laminate the bookmarks before inserting the thread and beads.

Not counting the threads, my bookmarks range in size from roughly 6 3/4 x 1 3/4 to 7 x 2 1/4 inches but you can make them any size you want.

Caution! Do NOT give bookmarks with beads to children! Beads pose a choking hazard to young kids. For safety's sake, if you're making bookmarks for youngsters, eliminate the threads and beads altogether.

Text and images ©2017 Lynn Edwards

Sunday, February 26, 2017

A Thought for Sunday, February 26, 2017

"I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me." -- Fred Allen

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Image Transfers the Easy Way

Image transfers add so much to a work of art. Many of the collages and mixed media works I create have at least one, sometimes more. I've always made them the conventional way: print out the image using a laser printer, and apply several coats of gloss medium to the back, allowing each to dry completely before adding another coat over it. Then moisten the back of the image with water and rub...and rub...and rub....until all the little paper crumbles are removed.

Like Watching the Barn Roof Rust

What makes this process so time consuming and boring is the need to let each layer of medium dry in between applications. In my humid climate that can take most of an afternoon.

Newsflash: There is a better way! I stumbled upon it while re-reading Patti Brady's excellent book, Rethinking Acrylics:Radical Solutions for Exploiting the World's Most Versatile Medium (North Light Books).  Her method seriously reduces the amount of time it takes to obtain an image that's ready to use.

It's So Simple

Patti's secret? Use Clear Tar Gel to coat the back of the image. Just ONE coat is all you need! Make sure every part of the back is covered with the Tar Gel and that it's TOTALLY dry before you immerse the paper in clean water for a minute or two. Then proceed to rubbing...and rubbing....and rubbing...

Just to be safe, I let my Tar Gel-coated image dry overnight.

Why, oh why, did I not notice this gem of a tip earlier? (Like, years ago.) It really accelerates a tedious process and produces a nice, clear transfer. Thanks to Patti Brady, the time it takes to make an image transfer has been cut in half. Now, that's something to celebrate!

©2017 Lynn Edwards

Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Thought for Sunday February 19, 2017

"A newspaper reported that I spent $30,000 a year buying Paris clothes and that women hate me for it. I couldn't spend that much unless I wore sable underwear." -- Jacqueline Kennedy

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Don't Miss This! The Art of Merrill Mahaffey at the Booth

My husband knows how much I love art museums, so he made sure one of my Valentine's Day presents was a trip to the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville. When we arrived, I headed straight for the special exhibition of Merrill Mahaffey's fabulous art on the museum's second floor.

    © 2017 Merrill Mahaffey 
If you've never seen Mr. Mahaffey's large scale landscapes, you're in for a treat IF you can get to the Booth by closing time on Sunday, Feb. 19. That's when the temporary exhibition of his work, "65 Years of Chasing Sunlight," ends. 

Mahaffey works primarily in acrylics, and so do I, so I was most interested in how he achieves such amazing textural effects in his paintings. The terrain of the American Southwest with its cliffs and canyons is what Mahaffey captures so eloquently. Each work is infused with light and is so atmospheric that to stand before any one of his paintings is like standing in the actual location depicted. These photos, taken at the museum by Hubs, don't even start to do these paintings justice.

©2017 Merrill Mahaffey

What fascinated me was how Mahaffey was able to paint rock and stone so adeptly and depict them so compellingly that the temptation to reach out and touch the paintings is darned near overwhelming. It may be hard to imagine being transfixed by a painting of rocks, but that was the effect works like "Silver Plume Granite" had on me. I could only stand there staring at its colors and shapes and the exquisite play of light and shadow along its planes and cracks. This is what great art does: it draws you in and allows you to see and experience something in an entirely new way.


But closeup views of rocks are just part of this collection. Works like "Los Alamos Cliffs," "Cliff Faces," "Glen Canyon Dam" and "Cerillos Sky" depict the grandeur and vast scale of a landscape totally unlike what we have here in the Southeast. Mahaffey's paintings transport the viewer to places most of us will never see in person, namely because he's been an avid outdoorsman since he was a child, ferreting out backcountry locations miles off the beaten path. Now nearing 80, Merrill Mahaffey remains an icon and an inspiration for would-be landscape painters.

If you make the effort to see this exhibit before it comes down tonight, you will not be disappointed. It's an amazing experience. It would be a shame if you missed it.

Text  ©2017 Lynn Edwards


Saturday, February 11, 2017

A Thought for Sunday, February 12, 2017

"Genius is childhood recalled at will." -- Charles Baudelaire

Sunday, February 5, 2017

A Thought for Sunday, February 5, 2017

“Color is all. When color is right, form is right. Color is everything, color is vibration like music; everything is vibration.”-- Marc Chagall

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Using Glazing Medium to Achieve Perfect Color Blends and Soft Edges with Acrylics

Blending edges and colors when using acrylics can be a challenge, particularly when the humidity is low and warm temperatures prevail. Acrylic paint seems to dry faster than the speed of light under these conditions, causing many a beginning painter to hurl their canvas against a wall in frustration. This is especially true when using fluid acrylics, which dry more rapidly than the heavy body and soft body types. Acrylics' tendency to dry in the blink of an eye can make painting with them outdoors a true exercise in crazy-making.

A number of remedies for slowing drying time exist, including adding retarder, open medium, and soft gel. While all of these can indeed buy you more working time, I've become especially fond of using acrylic glazing medium for this purpose. A drop or so added to each puddle of paint makes it possible  to achieve beautifully soft color blends that stay workable long enough to apply the paint, move it around, step back to assess progress and add more paint -- without needing to work at warp speed. True to it's name, it's also the base product for creating beautifully rich color glazes.

Glazing liquid comes in different sheens. My favorites are the gloss and semi-gloss, both of which lend themselves well to the type of work I do. The only "drawback" to using glazing medium is that paints mixed with it must be allowed sufficient time to dry, once applied, before you try to use a glaze or other technique over them. If you don't allow enough drying time, whatever you apply will simply pull up whatever is beneath it. To test, barely touch the surface as lightly as you can with a fingertip. If the surface feels sticky, go have a cup of coffee and come back to it later.

Using glazing medium forces you to slow down and savor the process of creation. It encourages a more Zen-like painting experience. (On a more mundane level, it grants you enough time to go put another load of clothes in the washer.) Either way, you'll find blending colors to be so much more fun. And irony of ironies, if you're the impatient type, you might even find yourself wishing your acrylics would dry just a little bit faster!

 ©2017 Lynn Edwards

Sunday, January 29, 2017

A Thought for Sunday, January 29, 2017

"We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about." -- Charles Kingsley

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Finding Abstract Inspirations on TV

Artists can find inspiration for future paintings in almost everything. Whenever there are bad thunderstorms in my area, or even a particularly hard rain, television pictures freeze into pixillated images that can become the inspiration for non-objective abstract paintings. So next time thunder and lightning threaten, grab your camera to capture these elusive images while you have the chance.

Here are three from my own files:


Don't try to paint exactly what you see. Instead, use the distorted shapes and colors as jumping off points for your own interpretations. If you have a photo editing program, you can further alter these "frozen" images in countless ways. For example, changing the colors, converting them to black and white, isolating or "framing" an interesting area within the image, and on and on. In fact, just one pixillated screen shot, altered using a program like Photoshop Elements, could become the basis for an entire series of paintings!

Text and images ©2017 Lynn Edwards

A Thought for Sunday, January 22, 2017

"What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents." -- Robert F. Kennedy

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Thought for Sunday, January 15, 2017

"The painter has the Universe in his mind and hands." -- Leonardo da Vinci

Sunday, January 8, 2017

A Thought for Sunday, January 8, 2017

"Color is a power which directly influences the soul." -- Wassily Kandinsky

Sunday, January 1, 2017

A Thought for Sunday, January 1, 2017

"I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure in the landscape -- the loneliness of it -- the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it -- the whole story doesn't show." -- Andrew Wyeth