Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Muriel and Mother, 1926
10 x 8 inches, oil on archival panel

Emma S.
7 x 5 inches, oil on archival panel
Not for sale

We have a box of old (back to tintypes) black and white photos my grandfather gave us many years ago. They are of our family and friends of the family. Most have names, though I can't always place the person. Some have dates. Others have no information whatsoever. Some of these folks I remember from my childhood and as a young adult. Many I have never met. I painted a few of these years ago and have been wanting to start a series of paintings with them. Emma S. is apparently a very distant cousin, and I know that Muriel was a friend of my grandparents. 

I painted Emma S. first, but wondered why in the world would I paint a sepia painting of a sepia photograph. I know it was the family connection and the fact that she looks like certain members of our current family. Artistically, though, I was not at all satisfied. After a few more trials and failures, I painted Muriel and Mother. I have to give quite a bit of credit to the photographer - the stark background, the sun and back lighting, the women's stance and dress all tell me a story about their lives. Do you see a story? I expect to do more of these in the future. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Just Opened
6 x 5 inches, oil on archival panel

Early Rose
6 x 6 inches, oil on archival panel

Around here, we've had a relatively wet, mostly cool spring, and it seems everything has been blooming amazingly - it's beautiful! I've done several small studies of flowers from my yard. Above are a couple. Floral studies present challenges for me, mostly in the amount of detail included. However, I enjoy the colors, finding the shadows, even watching them open, turn, and droop as I am painting them. I really enjoy having a garden and even enjoy the work of it - at least in the spring and fall when it's not really hot. This seems an extension of my work in the yard and gardens. Later on, look for some of my vegetables! 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Playing for-ever after
8 x 8 inches, oil on archival panel

Garden Peas with Doll 
10 x 8 inches, oil on archival panel

Here are a couple of recent paintings of Ever After High dolls. These and the Monster High dolls are the Barbies of this generation. I enjoy cobbling together and painting these quirky still life setups. Sometimes my granddaughter helps by not picking up her dolls, toys, toothbrushes, and other stuff. My brain then starts seeing an image develop, and here are a couple of examples. More in my mind...

More recently, I've been taking advantage of all the blooming flowers - what a spring! However, I find them a challenge. I'll post a couple of those soon. 

Please check out my website at rebeccahelton.com.

This Blog - Art and Life

Thanks for looking... 

I do love art - the main subject of this blog. But I also have a great life: a wonderful, 4-generation family, friends, faith, and at least 4 careers in my past. Finally I'm back where I started - back to art again. I've painted intermittently for years, and finally, I'm able to do this nearly daily.  

What excites me is my connection to and finding the beauty in the commonplace stuff. In the past 10-15 years, there has been a burst of daily painters, painting their everyday world in countless ways. But artists have been describing this ordinary stuff forever. From the animals, plants, utensils, and tools in ancient art throughout all the centuries, artists have been describing what they know, what they use, what they see. Their reasons for presenting these things have been varied, from just showing the beauty or sometimes the unpleasant nature of these objects, to using them as symbolism, to making an argument, to evoking emotion, to introducing new ideas, and more. I have some really great historical and contemporary company in this endeavor. 

What humbles me is trying to express my connection and the beauty of the objects through paint. I'll probably always fall short of my goals and the images in my head, but I trust the process will lead me to different images, different goals. I'm experimenting - with ideas as well as technique. I see this practice and discipline less as a line from beginning to end; more as a branching tree. We'll see where it brings me...

Thanks again for looking, and I hope you enjoy the journey, too!