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Dancing Red

I stayed quiet this morning.  One of the artists suggested a critique. I knew I would be opting out.  My Ipod and I were headed to the studio.  Giovanni’s was closed, and the town seemed to still be sleeping. 

I scraped my palette and loaded it with fresh piles of paint.  I opened the stutter that spills light onto the mirror, shut off the bulb that hangs on a wire from the ceiling, and closed the door.  I put on Beth Orten, and took a deep breath.  I looked at myself.  I noticed the way I stand, the way hold my head, the way light hits the wattle that seems to be developing beneath my chin.  I made a very conscious and deliberate decision to delicately observe, and let it go.  I did not need a masterpiece. I needed a release.  I got it.

The painting may have some issues.  My teachers tell me my hips and shoulders are not that big. The white in my eyes is possibly one value too light, and the color of my flesh, one value too dark.  I generally have a happier appearance. None of it matters. It felt sooo good. I painted think.  I painted freely. It’s the zone we don’t always hit, but we paint everyday hoping that we will.

After lunch I went back. I set up a still life, put on Sarah McLachlan and started at it.  I tried hard to use as little white paint as possible and saturate colors. Instead of using white to lighten, I changed the color. I’ve been told this 100 times, but today I think I began to understand it.  I also did very little preliminary drawing and blocked in with the paint.  It moved along, and so did the hours. By the time my Ipod got through Sarah, I was reeling in it. I was excited with the direction and I wanted more.  I wanted to see it done. I wanted to keep doing it. I put on the Rolling Stones and spent as much time dancing as I did painting.  I waited for a break in the beat to make my next mark. My brushes beat through the air like I was Charlie Watts himself.  I pulled a few whirling dervish dance moves and thanked God for the private audience.  I’m not religious, but I got a really good dose of saturated spirituality today!

I capped my turpentine and headed to Tilio Market. We’re celebrating with an expensive bottle of wine ($9) and good smelly cheese.  Thanks for all your comments.  They keep me smiling.


9 Responses to Dancing Red

Wonderful! Fresh! Delightful! We’re dancing for you here at the studio. Maybe we should try to catch some of your fever with Beth Ordin playing.

Ginny just bought some Cranberry Nut bread so we’re about to have our lunch. I just finished a fresh little vineyard painting that I’m happy with. Sold another one off the wall here yesterday.

I love the paintings! Worth a day of black to get a day of red! Meanwhile Ginny changed her fan in lavender to candy stripes. Made me laugh when I came in.

Hope you enjoyed your good wine and stinky cheese.


Posted by Carole and Ginny · via · 139 months ago

Oh my gosh – I would soooo be dancing with you in the studio!! I can’t wait to see how Ginny’s paintings have changed! And you sold one off the wall! That’s awesome! Are you bringing work to the gallery tomorrow? Can you bring some for me? Our walls will be covered in new stuff soon. I would love to have some in Alpine for the holiday season. Let me know. Nice to hear from you. I’m so happy to know you will be there when I get back. Cheers. Kelly

Posted by kelly · via · 139 months ago

Webster defines a WATTLE as a “fleshy, wrinkled piece of skin that hangs from chin.” This can’t be true, dearest, youthful Kelly!!!! Was it not just yesterday we were trekking through woods at baptist camp, over-turning rocks for the treasured crayfish?!! Thanks for your writings. I’m enjoying this connection with you. Auntie Mary

Posted by Mary Ellen Jenkins · via · 139 months ago

Your painting just gets stronger and stronger, Kelly. My breath was taken away this morning when I saw what your accomplished. The face is what is important, not the body or even the ‘right’ shades of eyes or skin (personally, I like the intensity created by what you’ve done with both). I am mesmerized by the hunger, the questioning in her face (“Am I getting it?/What do I see?/Am I getting it??”) and can hardly look away she is so compelling, so strong and so raw. Powerful. Thank you for pushing onward…this afternoon I held you up as an example, to reassure a special friend who is a “strong woman, strongly afraid” (to quote from Marge Piercy)

Posted by Diane Pool · via · 139 months ago

that’s all I have to say…

Posted by mimi torchia boothby watercolors · via · 139 months ago

Good wine and stinky cheese – nice.

Carol and I have had a good time painting this summer. We think we will entertain the spouses for dinner at the studio some night next week. Cute huh…..We’ll take pictures.

Love your “mark making” …… soak it all in and paint like no one is watching!!! Hmmm….did I just make that up? : )


Posted by Ginny · via · 139 months ago

you are all wonderful. Aunt Mary, yes, I have a wattle. Diane, it looks like you are a strong womand too. Keep up your good work. Mimi -yaaaay is right. Ginny and Carole – dinner in the studio! I wish I could join you. Ciao.

Posted by kelly · via · 139 months ago

We’re thinking Italian theme for the dinner so you’ll be there in spirit. We are definitely keeping the mojo going in the studio, it’s alive and well with lots of painting, music, and laughter.
Now that silly Ginny is painting me at my easel. Pretty soon we’ll have both of us on the wall, getting crowded in there!!

What paintings do you want me to take to the show at the wine shop?

Posted by Carole · via · 139 months ago

what fun to read and see the men in the town as well as yourself. love love the still life w candle.. i am in Brooklyn helping with my new new grandson then on to NC for the wedding. see you soon.

Posted by philbin · via · 139 months ago


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