Thursday, December 10, 2015

New paintings!  Thank you Rhea Crenshaw for continuing to find homes for my work!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Looks like I post every two years.

At least I'm consistent.  Late 2009 then 2012 and now 2014.  How does that happen?  Time is simply plowing over me, leaving me in a state of "Did that year really just happen?".

My creative endeavors have been consumed by my blue jean company, Thigh High Jeans.  I will speak to that at another time.  Good stuff, but worthy of a bit more time in writing. For now I'm just posting a couple of paintings I did this year.

It was great getting back to the hot wax.  I hope you enjoy viewing as much as I enjoyed creating.

The first is an encaustic I did for Pentecost.  The second is painted in a wooden cigar box.  It was hung in a Glitch show.  50 artists were given Cigar boxes to create with.  Mine called out to become a swimming pool.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Been a long time...

So, last post 2009.  My apologies.  Life is rolling on;  Jacob is 15 - He graduated from the Maria Montessori School and is looking forward to St. Georges High School -We've taken up part time residence in Pangurn Ark (an amazing fishing spot on the Little Red River, just 120 miles from Memphis) - Jason  I were a part of an amazing church plant, Jacob's Well - I've started a new business!  Life is indeed full & rich.  I am grateful.

Over the past three years, Ann Smithwick & I have been building a blue jean company.  Thigh High Jeans is an amazing venture into creative recycling & fashion philanthropy.  I have many amazing stories of growth, grace & joy.  I will speak more of Thigh High in future blogs, in the meantime, please check out our site.
Memphis Original Thigh High Jeans

This spring I was able to step away from the sewing machine and back behind my easel to prepare for the Unveil Downtown Art show.  I was one of twenty artist chosen to exhibit for twenty days in twenty separate locations.  Clever huh?  Twenty Artists - Twenty Days - Twenty Locations.  All paintings are encaustic on panels.  It was great to feel the wax flowing.   Hope you enjoy the images as much as I enjoyed creating them.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A poem for Margarite from Megan McKenna's MARRO of MYSTERY

I was introduced to Megan Mckenna this past spring at a Lenten service held at Calvary Episcapol Church in Memphis. She is a wonderful storyteller and writer. I love the following poem. I am posting it in memory of a Margarite McKeithen. She had the most beautiful "crinkles" around her beautiful smiling eyes. Happy memories for sure.

September Blues

procelain vase against the cream wall

old bruises fading on fair skin

herons dusky in late afteroon heat

small flowers part white, part puple

fluttering against dry green leaves.

Eyes of a robin's egg though more lasting;

blurs of memories, faces long and newly dead

silk brushing and sliding liquid against skin

and a feather found in wet grass---a jay's discarded shirt.

Lilies letting go. The line between night and day

veils around the moon on an evening of thunderstorms.

Water in deep caverns leaning heavily towards the luster of ebony.

Obsidian wings flashing in bright light while raven and crow

bicker and clamor for attention.

Iris petals light on the fringes of violet.

Lavender and thistle, corn and bells wild in fields and old veins

rich in the arms of a widow

tears on a face allowed to fall

bones of a deer picked coyote-clean

fur on the paws of wolf in a trap

held in steel dull and deadly.

Just blues.

I want to write a hopeful poem

beak open the egg shells with gleaming whites and thick suns of courage

and make a cake of brownies rich and chewy.

I want my plants to flower now.

I want to take my finger and touch ever so gently the lined faces of friends

and honor the many wrinkles in the old, turning the creases

into crinkles of laughter.

I want the hate, the rape, the fighting on huge and small scales to stop. And

I want peace to be taken up as international pastimes,

obsessions and addiction.

I want earth and my hearth and community to feel like it's

home, a dwelling place

secure where the poor can't wait to open the door after the long day.

I want hope to roll up her sleeves, stand and resist and cuss

and sing

and catch everyone off guard. Make it be so.

I want this fall to be one of harvest and hope. Amen.

--Megan McKenna

Monday, April 20, 2009

Still deciding

This is taken from An Oregon Message by William Stafford


One mine the Indians worked had gold so good they left it there for God to keep.

At night sometimes you think your way that far, that deep, or almost.

You hold all things or not, depending not on greed but whether they suit what life begins to mean.

Like those workers you study what moves, what stays. You bow, and then, like them, you know-----

Whats God, what's world, what's gold.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thorns or Berries?

This is an oil painting I did for my son Jacob several years ago. Gosh, he is now eleven; he was probably three or four when I did it. His first three words were Daddy, Momma and Bird. The title of the piece is Thorns or Berries. I am revisiting the thoughts behind this piece either because of my recent bird enamels, or perhaps my need to receive a lesson again. Most likely I need to receive the lesson again.

The idea or lesson for the painting came at a slower time in our lives. Sitting under our carport any time of the year is like sitting on the front row of a symphony orchestra only the musicians are birds. Jacob and I have always enjoyed watching and listening as the birds search for food and call out to their mates. As I watched, Jacob would sneak up on the Robins trying to get as close as he could with out disturbing them. Painting has always been my way to get closer to the subject of my intrigue. Of course the birds would quickly fly away zooming back to their nests or what they considered a safe perch. I became amazed by where the birds chose to live and perch; a holly bush laden with ridged, prickly leaves or a thorny rose bush stem. I find it amazing to watch a bird so gracefully fly into the tiniest of openings in a thorn bush. How can a bird find the smooth spot on a rose stem?

So where's my lesson? Believe me, I found many lessons in this one reflection, but I will try to keep it simple & go with what seems the obvious.

Faith is a verb.

Can I travel through the ugly, threatening, scary, hard stuff to make a soft landing where I can find comfort and security?

Day in and day out, regardless to the weather, the birds are looking for food, finding their way back home and singing! PS. 84:3 Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young.

What defines me today? Am I choosing thorns over berries? Pain over sustaining life?

Faith is a verb. I choose to do it, live it, move on knowing sustaining security, relationship and life live in me, even if I sometimes have a huge thorn bush at my doorstep.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Observation, Memory, Imagination

Beyond the Aspens three panel triptych 40"x66" encaustic by Kerry D. Peeples

Just like the painting Cement Creek Sweet Spot, Beyond the Aspens is headed to Colorado to live. I wish I were going with her. At least I could hang out with these Aspens in my studio while painting. I'm grateful. Dreaming is really wonderful.

Observation, Memory, Imagination

My painting has always been dependent upon observation, memory and imagination. However, as a landscape painter, when not in the field observation is dependent upon photographs. This often creates a dilemma. Sometimes a photo is hard to paint because it is simply too beautiful. When referring to photographs, artist Martin Poole shares this idea in the Sept. issue if American Artist, “I had to find a way to deny their picturesque quality. It’s interesting to have a photo so beautiful that it actually could make a less interesting painting.”
I have just completed an encaustic triptych. It is a landscape inspired by two of my favorite states; Colorado and Montana. Saying “I’m done, It’s finished” is often difficult, this time was no different. Battles over subject matter seemed to dominate my mind (this was pretty critical in that the painting was a commissioned landscape). I spent a lot of time questioning composition decisions. Were compositional prejudices blocking me from moving on? Other familiar questions rattled in my mind, “Did I deny the “picturesque” quality of this image enough? Is it painterly enough? Where’s the intrigue?” I do know that most often when so many questions begin to surface about a painting, the painting itself is begging for closure; begging to be critiqued so that artist can observe, reflect, learn and most importantly paint another painting, applying all that has been learned from the previous. Remember the prayer, “Dear God, I’ll take care of the quantity, you take care of the quality.” Quality is revealed and produced the more often we do.
Two ideas have taken up residence in my head since this painting. One idea is “compositional prejudices”. Landscape as subject and it being depicted so literally, there is a lot of room for compositional prejudice. The second idea borrows a bit from Martin Poole’s idea of “denying” the beauty in order to make an interesting painting. Am I over dependent on the encaustic wax and process to be the most intriguing element of my paintings? The images I create as well as the process of creating are vehicles I use to encounter God. I love God’s creation; all the magnificent beauty. Just because I am celebrating beauty does not mean the image has to be beautiful itself. Perhaps I need to dig deeper into what really is beauty? I can’t wait for the next image…what will it be.