Sunday, September 27, 2015

Speak No Evil

"Speak No Evil"  (Acrylic Mixed Media, 12" x 12")  C. Eastwood, © 2015
For some time now, I've been increasingly dismayed (which might not be a strong enough word) at the level of vitriol we hear from our leaders, at the bullying we hear expressed on social media, and at the general loss of kindness in our dealings with one another.  And maybe that's why I've been so taken this week with the coverage of Pope Francis' visit to the United States.  For the last four days, we've been treated to stories centering around images of joy, acts of kindness, and people behaving well.  Whether or not you are a Catholic, there is something about this man of God -- and I believe it starts with love. He's urged us to be better versions of ourselves, and that is what's behind this painting -- Speak No Evil.

Small words, once uttered, are out there, and they grow.  As the painting came into being, and the face emerged, I realized there was no mouth -- thereby giving this painting its name.

So I offer this to you.  I hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Rose is a Rose

"A Rose is a Rose"  (Watercolor, 8"x10")  C. Eastwood, © 2015
So I've joined this watercolor painting group on Facebook that issues a challenge each month.  I haven't been painting in watercolor recently and had decided that the next painting I did would be in that medium before I forgot how to use it.  I don't paint a lot of flowers, and I don't believe I've painted roses before (if I have it's been so long that I've forgotten about them), so this was a challenge on several levels.  My initial reaction was to wait for next month, but then I heard the sound of clucking in my head and realized I was exhibiting definite "chicken" tendencies.  So it is, with a nod to Shakespeare for the title.

....And here it is...matted, framed, and at it's new home.  It's always fun to see the work when someone has purchased it and found a place for it in their hearts!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Make Lemonade

"Make Lemonade"  (Acrylic Mixed Media, 8'x10' canvas panel)    C. Eastwood  © 2015 
"Choose your own direction...when life gives you lemons."  I was experimenting with some different techniques and media, and this is the end result.  Underneath the painting, and visible through the lemons, is a recipe for making lemonade.  There are some other little surprises tucked into the painting for the viewer to discover.  Just a simple painting for a kitchen wall.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

HAMLET and FRIENDS – A Triptych for the Kitchen (and A Tale of Second-Guessing)

"Hamlet and Friends -- Cow" (Acrylic Mixed Media), C. Eastwood © 2015

"Hamlet and Friends -- Duck"  (Acrylic Mixed Media),  C. Eastwood © 2015

"Hamlet and Friends -- Pig" (Acrylic Mixed Media, C. Eastwood © 2015
I offered to paint a picture for the kitchen wall for my son and daughter-in-law.  Their condo is done in a neutral palette and they’d been making some noise about kicking it up a bit. As an artist, it was obvious to me that the easiest way was to use art work to bring some serious color splashes into the area.  I’d seen a picture of a very colorful cow in a magazine and asked Jenn if she was interested in something like that.  Embracing the idea of an oddly colored cow, her marvelous sense of humor took flight, and suddenly the project became a tongue-in-cheek tribute to beef, poultry, and pork. 

I will admit to being a bit nonplussed by the idea of painting a triptych based on “cow, duck, and pig.”  But hey – why not!  They gave me total artistic control (woo-hoo!), and then it just snowballed out of control.  I  decided that it would be fun to surprise them and make it a mixed media grouping because I really wanted to give a nod to Jenn’s profession as an English teacher.  And how better than to collage pages from “Hamlet” into the paintings!  And from there it was a logical leap that the pig would be “Hamlet” and the others his friends. 

Of course, by the time I’d finished the cow, I was second- and third-guessing myself.  This was a seriously different style and I wasn’t sure that my brilliant idea was actually any good.  I had these horrifying visions of them smiling through gritted teeth every time they looked at these “weird” paintings, but living with them rather than hurting my feelings  That wouldn’t do, so I gave up my cloak of secrecy and showed them the first painting with the demand that they be honest.  I actually tried to convince them that I should do the paintings in a different style.  But no, they liked it.  Were they sure?  Absolutely.  So at that point, I showed them the collaged pages from “Hamlet” that would be visible under the heart on each painting, and they were thrilled. 

Okay….one duck and one pig coming up!

The biggest goal (and the largest challenge) was to move away from traditional colors.  That’s easier said than done—at least for me.  But it was freeing, once I got past the oddity of it all.  I wanted to be sure that each painting was slightly different in the colors, but that there was still a sense of unity and that they looked like they belonged together. 

So that is the story behind this triptych.  I’m glad they like them.  It definitely adds color.  Now we just have to explain to my grandson that cows and ducks and pigs don’t really look like that!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Unexpected Angel

"Unexpected Angel"  (Acrylic Mixed Media)  C. Eastwood, ©2015
This is one of those paintings that was a surprise all the way around.  I was actually in the midst of painting another series when this one decided it needed to come forward.  I fought it for a couple of days, but then gave up and began the background.  Interestingly, I was intending to paint sunflowers—right up until I flipped the canvas onto a different edge and noticed that there was an angel in it.  The wings were left without an outline to represent the idea that angels are not always immediately visible or recognized as such.  

This painting made me realize that we generally don’t expect angels in our lives—even though I believe that God puts them around us.  Sometimes they’re disguised as friends, sometimes as strangers.  Upon occasion we will have the opportunity to be an angel to someone else.  I hope that each one of you meets your own Unexpected Angel from time-to-time, and that you are blessed in that encounter.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Goddess Within

"The Goddess Within"  (Acrylic Mixed Media, 16" x 20")  C. Eastwood, © 2015
Still experimenting with the new techniques I learned in my last class.  This is an absolute departure from my usual style of painting and I found myself fighting it at first.  I could see the person trying to come out, but she was so stylized and unlike my usual portrait-work.  But the painting would not be denied, and once I decided to just let it go and see where it went, she came out of hiding.

I was thinking how -- much like this painting -- we hold preconceived ideas of how we should look. As women, we are so unkind to ourselves whether it be our looks or our accomplishments (or lack thereof).  We can be terribly harsh critics.  (You should have heard my internal dialog as I was struggling with this painting at the beginning!!) So this is in tribute to each woman -- whatever her stage of life -- and the hope that she will accept and know she is precious just as she is.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Painted Pony

"Painted Pony" (Acrylic Mixed Media, 30"x 30")  C. Eastwood, © 2015
So I just had the most amazing weekend at the Paint Mojo workshop with Tracy Verdugo.  We gathered at Studio CRESCENDOh in Santa Ana (thank you Jenny Doh) and had an absolute orgy of creative painting.  No one knew what their painting would reveal (and they were all very different). I came back from lunch on the second day and discovered that there was a horse in mine!  Who knew!!  I won't go into the techniques involved because that is the journey that Tracy teaches.  But needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and look forward to pursuing this process and seeing how it relates to my own discoveries as an artist.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

I'm Listening

"I'm Listening"  (Watercolor)  C. Eastwood, © 2015
This sweet St. Bernard was painted as a gift for a friend's birthday.  She and her husband have two of these gentle giants and it seemed appropriate to try and capture this breed's sweetness in a painting.  I was having difficulty deciding on a name for the painting and another friend suggested this title.  It was perfect.  If you've ever poured your heart out to a dog when no one else is around to listen, you may well have been on the receiving end of a look like this.  May we all be blessed to have someone who will listen when we need a loving ear.