Time Benders...

Archetype: Perfect Mother. Metal and petrified wood

Archetype: Perfect Mother. Metal and petrified wood

I favor the sleep when you’re tired, eat when you’re hungry and draw on the walls of the cave lifestyle. However, some overachiever invented a sundial for their back yard and before the rest of us could blink, we have a Simon Says attached to our wrist, reminding us to stand up and live longer. Some artifacts suggest timekeeping is as old as the 30 thousand years old petrified base of the sculpture above. Humans came out of the primordial soup stuffing their planners with appointments as a way to establish productive superiority over their neighbors.

While we may have a craving for techno candy, our body and brain hasn't evolved much past the raise crops and tend flocks stage. Our soul short circuits when an artificial intelligence badgers us about everything from our bad mood to the room temperature. We struggle for balance while the gadgets run right over us. Until we make the space to be alone with our thoughts and feelings, sans the ever present devices, we won’t figure out where we want to go, let alone set a resolution to get us there. We lose confidence in our ability to determine our individual tempo and rely on external tools to manage our creative lives.

Circadian rhythms, the internal chronometer of our ancient ancestors, timed to the moon tides and sunrise, are functional in our 21st century bodies if we learn to hear them. The myth of the creative hedonist is giving way to healthy lifestyles. Research shows humans function better and are more productive when their activities are based in ritual and routine. Most humans share approximate rhythms, however, we need to pay attention to our discrete body and how we feel, then support our unique artistic tempo through the days, weeks and months of the calendar. We know our schedule works when we feel animated and able to pay attention to what totally rocks our socks.

At this juncture, Einstein would point out linear time is a false construct because everything and every plane exists concurrently. Past and Future is a simultaneous existence where time is no longer the absolute Newton proposed. I love Einstein. Time is flexible. We can bend whatever the Universe uses to pass the time to longer or shorter stretches than we logically think we have. As a result of recent experiments with neural connections and eye movement, scientists are on the way to confirming Einstein’s hypothesis and suggest we will succeed in bending time. In some ways, we already have when the past exists in our memory and the future captures our imagination while we sit here with our feet up in the present.

Next we’ll consider how to make the most of time. We’ll explore the rhythms of creative work, check out why our resolutions might be slipping and consider alternatives.

I did this?

Manzanita Sunset, Pastel, 20x12”

Manzanita Sunset, Pastel, 20x12”

Do you ever look at a painting and say, “I did this?” as if you’re coming around from total amnesia? Manzanita Sunset is one of the pieces that does it for me. Sometimes, my art amazes me and other times I think I should have been a plumber. Good friend and great abstract artist, Marilyn Woods https://woodshillstudio.com gave me a gracious kick in the sitdown place by telling me to get out of my own way. I totally appreciate the honest people who grace my life and her counsel was good for all of us who sometimes trip over our own self absorption. I was making art making too hard. I was making painting ~ Work! Too much pressure is a joy killer and most of our pain is self-inflicted. If art is an avocation or our day job, the minute the process stops taking us to our happy place we need to take a breath and re-evaluate. The number one reason I go off the rails is not honoring what I feel called to make and chasing after what seems to be popular or what will sell or what will get the mosts likes on social media. Here’s to a great 2019, getting out of our own way and making ourselves happy! The side effect of that will be performing amazing art!

Kids today...

ChristmasKidLetter.jpg

On my walk today found this stapled to a pallet empty of firewood. The world weary adult part of me wonders if this is really the handwriting of a “kid.” The rest of me doesn’t care who wrote it. Exactly what I needed to hear.

Lightening up...

Winter sketching kit…

Winter sketching kit…

The winter painting kit is much smaller and easier to carry than the warmer weather “haul the whole studio if you can fit it all in the back of a Mini with the back seats down” effort. At the top is a water cartridge paintbrush and Pitt indelible marker. I usually pick one paint kit - the smaller Altoids box of gouache primaries or the watercolor kit with more colors. The cut-off sock cuff slips onto the paint container and fastens down with the rubber band. On site, I pull the sock onto the wrist to serve as a “paint rag.” Completing the winter kit a 3.5x8.25” Handbook. An even more compact choice is a 4.25x3” Pentalic Travelers book, or for real winter luxury, a Handbook 7x10.25.” Everything fits in the secret phone compartment everyone has in a coat or a hip pocket. Add a headband to warm the ears, fingerless foldaway mittens and you’re all set.

Still sifting through...

Aeons ago. 17 x 14 inches. Pencil and charcoal on paper.

Aeons ago. 17 x 14 inches. Pencil and charcoal on paper.

Still sifting through layers of work from forever ago. Actually, was looking for sketch paper this particular size for a new experiment and found a few clear pages in the back of the book. Of course, spent several minutes side-tracking through the older drawings. I liked this one. People have asked me how I manage the “unusual” technique I use. Simply comes out the end of the pencil.

Siuslaw River Bridge...

Siuslaw River Bridge. Florence, Oregon. Acrylic. 40x30"

Siuslaw River Bridge. Florence, Oregon. Acrylic. 40x30"

Wandering around Florence stumbled on this bascule bridge across the Siuslaw River. I was captivated. The camera was not and jammed after one shot. Several sketches later, I used this image for a black and white drawing, a transfer in the Living Their Memories series and this painting. The symbolism of the classic arch endures.

Happy making...

Working The River. Pier 14, Pilot House. Astoria, Oregon. Acrylic. 24 x 24"

Working The River. Pier 14, Pilot House. Astoria, Oregon. Acrylic. 24 x 24"

Everything about making this painting is happiness. Every single brushstroke, glaze, wipeout. I was born on the water and have a house close to the beach. Grew up on the working docks and played underneath them when the tide was out. The colors bring joy. The geometry soothed. E.T and Me. 

Silence is worth gold...

Close up from Siuslaw River Bridge.

Close up from Siuslaw River Bridge.

Exquisitely content when it's so quiet I can hear the paint drop into the interstices of the canvas. Pure heaven. Closeup from a new painting, Siuslaw River Bridge, Florence Oregon. 

Get. A. Job.

Crown Water Tower, Portland, Oregon.  Acrylic. 40x30"

Crown Water Tower, Portland, Oregon.  Acrylic. 40x30"

Does anyone else ever have a painting that won't grow up and leave home? This one came close to a dose of gesso. Why is totally curious to me. Could be the figure this one is painted over wasn't happy about her outcome. I was happily rambling and when I saw this quaint water tower, I was totally charmed. Then the painting became so high maintenance, I finally told it if it wanted to survive, it needed to go find a home of it's own. 

Possible painting...

Acrylic and Charcoal on paper. 24x24 ish. 

Acrylic and Charcoal on paper. 24x24 ish. 

 

Experimenting with different papers and surface treatments. May have found one I want to pursue. 24x24ish. This may grow up to be a painting one day...

There has to be a first one...

Stacks, Oil, 40x15.75"  From Working The River

Stacks, Oil, 40x15.75"  From Working The River

The first painting from Working The River series. A professor suggested to us, if we wanted to develop a "style" and loosen up, we needed to paint one substantial painting a day for a year. Spend at least three hours with a 16x20" ish canvas everyday, no matter if we were sick, just dumped by the boyfriend or the world was ending ~ we paint and at the end of the year we'll know who we are as a painter. This piece was my brave beginning of this era ~ a return to oils and to find out who I am again in the work. Completion took double the time over the course of a couple days. As a more mature artist, I learned I want to take some time with painting. I don't want a quick date, I want a whirlwind romance so when I pass my work on the street I at least know the name. 

Very. Serious. Work. ...

No Exit from Working the RIver series. Oil. 36 x 18"

No Exit from Working the RIver series. Oil. 36 x 18"

Some things crack me up and I wonder if anyone else sees the humor in life around us the way I do. This door is several stories up in the Blue Heron Paper Company. As if a few frayed ropes would stop someone who is determined to ingress or egress. Part of the series showing this fall. 

Normal is only on a washing machine...

Black and white charcoal on toned paper. 11 x 14"

Black and white charcoal on toned paper. 11 x 14"

Tried to "slow down" and "get normal" in the sketching this morning. Couldn't pull it off. It's best to move out of the way...

Subconscious choices...

Pastel on toned grey paper, approx. 10 x 12 inches.

Pastel on toned grey paper, approx. 10 x 12 inches.

I was running out the door with the old standby charcoals to a life drawing session. Passing the pastel cup I subconsciously pulled a yellow, red and blue to take along. I realized these are the colors I see reflected off skin by warm lighting. This portrait drawing was relegated to the shred pile, however, when I pulled it out a month or so later the image held a certain something I still can't identify. #roxannecolyerart #pastelpainting #drawing #makingartmyway

Some days are diamonds...

Pen and pastel, 10x12 approx

Pen and pastel, 10x12 approx

Some days are diamonds and some days are still stone... with a nod to John Denver and songwriter Dick Feller. The trick is to find the diamonds in the piles of buffalo chips. 

Fowl Abstraction...

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Fowl Abstraction. Acrylic on masa and Strathmore drawing paper.  

Having so much fun with children's styrofoam cards and an old chopstick. Acrylic colors with a pin press to transfer. Can't possibly do anything serious in July... or August... and possibly September.

Reprising the series...

"I Never Made it to Santorini" oil, 40"x30"

"I Never Made it to Santorini" oil, 40"x30"

One of the first from the Working The River series. The series was inspired by the Willamette River Falls old mill buildings. This image pays tribute to all of those who worked hard all of their lives while dreaming of a romantic getaway. 

Persistent color...

Acrylic sketch on paper. 

Acrylic sketch on paper. 

I guess my color voice is coming through loud and clear and here to stay. And why conform in the first place? This is a quick figure sketch in acrylic paint from so long ago I can't remember exactly when... seems it was 7 or 8 years ago and about 16x20 inches.