An Exciting Foray Into Watercolor

About a year ago I signed up for a watercolor class at the local Y – not being an avid watercolor fan especially, but being very eager to take a ‘formal’ class in one of the Fine Arts; to learn art technique and principles from that perspective.

Well, I was not only presented with all kinds of wonderful information, I became fascinated with using this form of paint.  I love the transparency of watercolor and the ability to subtly layer color upon color.   It is so exciting to put down a swipe of color on a wet surface and to coax it gently in the direction you want.  The color has a mind of its own and often does more interesting and exciting things than your original idea.

I’ve worked on various kinds of projects to learn different skills – most of these are still unfinished.  Some will remain unfinished – some I am still working on.  This street scene is probably my favorite completed piece thus far.

Street Scene, Downtown ChicagoWatercolor by Guila Greer, Feb 2013

Street Scene, Downtown Chicago
Watercolor by Guila Greer, Feb 2013

True Friends

 

I awaken, open my eyes and remember with a sinking feeling

that I won’t be hearing from you today.

You won’t be there to surprise me with a sweet hello.

Such a silly little thing to have been so often the highlight of an otherwise dull day filled with monotonous chores.

Such a silly little thing to miss so fiercely,

but so typical of the you I’ve come to know.

And come to count on to pick me up from the depths and kick my butt and tell me not to be so hard on myself.

Reminding me that life’s too short to be hung up on the little things.

I took it all to heart

Even if you thought I wasn’t listening.

It’s been a hard journey made easier by words like yours,

always timely, ever welcome

 

Open to hearing my woesome tales of loss, of disappointment and grief

Patient with my ranting and tolerant of misplaced anger

You’ve been a constant in a capricious world.

Demonstrating by example the courage to travel your own path

As I was embarking upon my own;

applauding my successes and dishing out heady

doses of lavish praise that stirred my creative spirit.

While I watched you as you tilled the soil of your life’s journey –

Planning your future and showing your devotion to your family.

Always feeling close

Almost a kinship

Certainly one of spirit and harmony.

 

Life is full of surprises and things change.

Inevitably and never according to our timetables

Friendships begin, evolve, and strengthen

And sometimes meet with chaotic forces

that threaten to destroy all the inherent good.

Always being tested by external stresses. we sometimes

create our own distracters unaware of potential for harm.

And when communication is lacking or unclear

or expectations not well defined

we cause hurt without rancor to those we care for most.

Utter spiteful words, throw out hasty accusations,

or fail to explain actions that could be perceived as hostile.

 

Beyond the words, despite the actions

the singular beauty of friendship

can survive or perish

determined by the value placed on it.

The repercussions of this episode will echo

endlessly for this lonely friend

unless some resolution is made possible.

There’s still a lot to do

more hurdles to overcome, more strength needed.

The support, encouragement and admiration of a true friend

Is precious and sometimes even vital.

You are that precious vital friend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phases of the Moon

The prompt word for February’s Haiku Art Challenge was “Moon.”  I thought of all the different sayings that we have to describe the moon: some quite descriptive, others turned into common expressions and a few quite fanciful.  So much folklore and romance has evolved from our common experience of viewing this orb in the night sky. called

  Blue Moon, Green Cheese Moon and Harvest Moon
Chameleon moon
many faces to delight
changing yet constant
Phases of the Moon

Phases of the Moon

 

Haiku Art – from February 2011 Faultlines of the Heart

February has rolled around once more.  This year our Haiku prompt word is ‘moon.’  When I get back to the Valley I’ll work on the challenge, writing my haiku based on the prompt and completing a piece of artwork to represent it.  In the meantime I’m jotting down some ideas – a stream of consciousness series of associations for the word ‘moon’.

Last year the February prompt word was  ‘love.’  With so many new people on board this year I decided to encore the February 2011 haiku and art work. The piece was and is one of my favorites.  My goal for the artwork was to illustrate feelings resulting from the loss of love and the subsequent attempts to hide emotions from others.


Here you have a heart that has been fractured into many pieces along the faultlines that were there all along.  And floating over the pieces of the heart are a tangle of ribbons attempting to hide the tears underneath.
letting go of love
hot salty tears flow freely
bruised battered heart cracks.

All the red “shards” combine to form one complete heart. The pieces have been attached to the background with a lot of heavy quilting. I used heavy cotton plus metallic. The ribbons are hand tacked. Under the ribbons are tear-shaped beads peeking out. I purposefully left the thread tails and frayed edges alone as they are part of the over all feeling that I wanted to generate.

Challenge for January: Exhilaration – Haiku and Art

The Haiku Art  prompt word for January was Exhilaration.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines “Exhilaration” as    “The state of being stimulated, refreshed, or elated.”
Sometimes all it takes to experience these feelings is to step outside on a sunny day.
The Haiku
scent of new mown grass
sunbeam caresses my cheek
living…feeling…aaaaah…
For the art work that I was preparing to go with this haiku – I didn’t want to be too structured.  I wanted to indicate an almost childlike feeling of exhilaration with my composition and color choices.
At the same time, as a developing art quilter, I wanted to incorporate a couple of new techniques and see “what if”?
First off I used a “blah” pastel print in lieu of plain muslin as my base. I didn’t mind that it partly “showed through” – just felt it added some interest.
I felt that color was of first importance in this piece – so before doing anything else I painted my background using acrylic paint.  In order to add some texture to the piece I used some Golden Light Molding Paste to parts of the grassy area.    
I quilted the piece extensively with heavy thread.