Saturday, May 07, 2011

Portrait of a Calla Lily

Painting again
I've been painting again and it sure feels good. It's been way too long since I felt the need to pick up my brush and move the paint around. What set me off was a bouquet of white calla lilies with their long stems and graceful shape. I very nearly waited too long to start... the blooms had started to turn brown on the tips before I set up at the easel. But since I don't want to worry about realism in my approach to the canvas I didn't let a few dead bits stop me.

The painting isn't finished but here's an early view to show you that I'm actually working.

And you can also see a bit of the area where I've set up my easel. It's a tight fit between a bookcase-turned-paint-storage unit and my flat files-turned-taboret. This isn't a perfect setup, mostly because the light is bad, but I'll play around here for awhile and see if it grows on me. I do like having the easel against the wall instead of in the middle of valuable floor space, and it's positioned so I can easily get a long view from across the room or even out in the hall.

Catalog as Journal
The Anthropologie catalog arrived in my mailbox a couple of days ago. Now mind you, the clothes in that store don't suit my style but whoever designs the catalog appeals to my sensibilities in a big way. The pages are spare with lots of negative space that just cries out for journaling and the beautiful scenes are perfect backdrops for more collage. Maybe Little Jo will go visit India along with Anthropologie.

My plan is to take the catalog apart by removing the staples.  Then I'll sew strips of fabric to the spine of each double page to stablize it, and add more bits of fabric and lace and collage bits here and there with machining. When I've redesigned the pages to suit myself I'll sew the pages back together and into a more sturdy cover, and I'll end up with a new daily journal for the rest of the spring.

My blog buddy Susie LaFond had a similar idea and posted about it on her blog today. Click here to read what she has to say.  I loved her encouraging words, "Go out and find a puddle to play in". Amen!


  1. Looks like you might need an enlarged studio ;-)

  2. I sure hope you post pictures of your journal remake, would love to see it.
    Great painting, loving the colours and looking forward to it's progression. a tight fit we can live with, having that long look makes such a difference in knowing how to proceed with a painting. It's always a surprise to me when I go from working up close to the view from across the room, problems become evident as do areas that are working out well :-)

  3. Me too, me too! Please do post it. I love Anthropologie's catalog and store!!

    And it's good to see you painting, such a beautiful start.

  4. I wish I could have a look at one of those catalogs, I read about them but have never seen one.

    Love the painting!

  5. I think you're on a creative roll Jo. Thanks so much for sharing, your enthusiasm is contagious! The calla painting is so great as it still has the Jo feel I love.


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