The Painting Blog

Started as a daily painting blog but this is easier to live with-
the once-in-a-while blog of a painter who also writes.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Corvus and Covid

     Corvus, the crow, has taken on the persona of Covid-19, the virus. The watercolor series  processing the 2020 viral pandemic now includes a dozen images. This series grows weekly as the social isolation and distancing continues.
Price gouging, scams and lies

Regional governors form a cohort to deal with the virus. Minnesota's governor Walz emerges as a leader.

A tribute to those lost to the virus.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

New cranes added to the flock!

There are extraordinary additions to the crane flock! I am absolutely delighted, charmed, excited by their presence!
You might wonder why I put so much time and effort into the stories of cranes. I might wonder as well. But they really do captivate me and I get immense enjoyment from seeing what that little flock does.
This weekend we hosted the annual deer hunt. Since all family members made their way home for a few days, we celebrated Thanksgiving, too. During a few free hours, Beth, my primary crane maker, set up a card table and along with other volunteers, magically transformed small pieces of paper into miniature white cranes. There were even a few butterflies, a box, and a ball of origami origin. The grandkids got involved when Beth got out the acrylic paint, pans in which to pour paint and dip cranes, and a few brushes to encourage the paint in proper directions.
Red cranes, green cranes and a few marbled cranes and butterflies gathered in a safe place where they could dry and not fly before they were ready. Beth very carefully, with a small brush, gave these cranes white eyes and yellow beaks. After that coat of paint dried, she added black pupils in the tiny eyes and then, with a single hair, added white highlights.
With the hubbub of the “holiday,” I didn’t see where the cranes went, until the next day. I went into my studio and found little flocks of two or three red cranes near the crow on the window sill above my desk; three red ones on the east window sill; four green ones behind a foam-core box; and more grouped in ones and twos on the little vases standing on the west window sill (these from a recent small flowers in small vases painting series). One bold crane landed on the shoulder of a ceramic bust of Artemis and is looking upward with adoring eyes. One is on the spout of a Grecian urn. I even found a few blue ones. Three are jostling for position on a candle holder. One red one and one blue one crowd the top of a silver vase which holds an American flag.
Boy are there new crane stories to tell in watercolor! I can hardly wait to get started!

Friday, August 16, 2019

More Chicken and Cranes

     As things often do, the Chicken Whistle and Cranes have taken on a life of their own. As the series has developed, it has come to represent much more than a mother hen and her cranes. In some ways, it seems to make no sense at all. But, in a very 2019 way, nonsense speaks the truth, when you look a little more deeply. No, that's nonsense! The messages may be a little more clear when viewed in order and right now that is only possible on Facebook. Go to Writer/Artist, Nancy Leasman and scroll down. And be sure to "Like" the page.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Chicken and Cranes

     Among my collection of chickens is a sweet little water whistle. Son # 1 and his wife brought it back from their travels. It found a home on the ledge overlooking the kitchen sink.
     Daughter # 3 has had a long time fascination with making paper cranes. Seven of them joined the water whistle chicken. To me, this little vignette represents my kids and if you take it a little further, I suppose I'm the mother hen.
     The chicken and cranes are featured in this week's work. There are currently five in the Chicken and Cranes series though that count may go up to six or seven today.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Mini vases of flowers

     I remember a floral designer objecting to putting a single flower in a vase. She said it looked like a cork in a bottle. Nothing like a comment like that to inspire a painter! Hence my recent painting of little vases with single flowers.
     I was working on about the fifth painting in the Little Vases series when Independence Day rolled around. It seemed fitting to put a flag in the background. The vase is a tiny pouring vessel my daughter the potter (Bel Pots) made. The daisy is from my flower garden.
     I like painting flags and intend to do more. I shared note cards of the image (left) with my coffee shop friends on July 4th.

The Sheep

     Many people have wondered how the sheep came to inhabit scenes in the design collection.
     Along about 18 years ago I painted a whimsical scene of a rural church. The foreground had a very horizontal layout and needed something to lead the viewer into the scene. Somehow, a few sheep seemed the perfect solution. Not long after that, I was painting another rural church that had a fence in the foreground. It needed a few sheep, too, but I had already painted in the fence. I put in a few sheep but blackened them in to effectively put them in front of the fence. Somehow black sheep and churches seemed good companions.
     Since the first sheep there have been many more, as well as a few horses, pigs, squirrels, swans (see the Swanville set), and even a ferret.
     I also add the curvy pine trees as compositional elements though I do try to use them only when there are already some conifers in the landscape (the exception is in Christmas scenes where I can haul in a Christmas tree anywhere I want).
     The heart balloons are a recent development. They're a nice way to add visual interest and color though I don't expect that you'll see them floating above random houses.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Wonderful Wadena

I grew up in the Wadena area, shopped there, graduated from high school there.
Wadena held my first sense of the world. I hovered over small purchases at the Woolworth’s store and Ben Franklin. I still have a 49 cent Christmas ornament made from a real egg shell that came from one of those stores.
Both J C Penney and Sears were catalog stores. You could order from their 2-inch thick catalogs and pick up the items at the stores or have them delivered. It may have taken 6 weeks to arrive but that only built anticipation. Their Christmas catalogs were delights to the eyes and if you were the type to sniff new books, catalogs were sniffable, too.
The jewelry stores were great for window shopping and they probably had to regularly wipe down the nose prints.
I followed my dad into the hardware and feed stores and went with him to pick up the cream check at the creamery.
I was a regular visitor at Rex McDonald photography studio since my mom worked there. I worked there, too, when I was in high school.
One place I never ventured into was the old hotel. Curiosity wasn’t a good enough reason and it was a little spooky before it was restored. I suppose the train depot was open back then but like the hotel, I couldn’t conjure up a reason to sneak in.
Kerfoot’s bookstore was a little spooky, too, and I never ventured inside until my brothers and I were old enough to go in on our own. We didn’t look for books. There were fascinating and mysterious items which included magic tricks and oddities. The proprietor was an old man who probably cultivated a little fear in young visitors just to keep his collection from disappearing.
The Cozy Theatre was a little smaller back then but what a memorable experience it was to go through the doors into another world. One of my earliest memories is of a scene of a beautiful woman floating down a river on a raft and another much scarier memory of a small boy being chased by a huge spider. The Saturday Christmas matinees were exciting and ended with the gift of a bag of peanuts from Santa.
Creating a set of Wadena images sparked lots of memories. These images are on note cards and more recently in “A Little Art” portfolios. Ask Lina at the Wadena Museum and Bookstore and she’ll show you the current supply of "Wonderful Wadena."