Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Sunday, May 21, 2017
I have been working on another mixed media piece - this one is a little angel resting from her music. These pieces take so much time and effort but I enjoy the look of the burlap and modeling paste and the experience.
At the same time I am completing this angel series in mixed media, I am reading a book by Dan McCaw. Everything this artist says resonates with me. One quote I particularly love is; "Art is not something we learn to do but instead is a search to uncover and express that which already exists within all of us. We are the art. What we are searching for is our inner voice. I believe that that most of us protect, deny or under-value this intrinsic voice, but we all have one. It's that part of us that, when touched, moves our emotions and tugs at our hearts. It's that part of us that responds to a painting, a piece of music, a beautiful scene. these things do not contain emotions, but only bring to the surface that which we already posses, both as the artist and as the art appreciator."
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
The connection these two have is so evident in this painting. The reference photo was given to me by the man who said that it was one of his favorite pictures of him and his wife. Even though his wife has died, I can just imagine that the connection between them lives on in his heart. I found one definition of true love and that is "True Love" can be defined as how you act in a relationship with someone. It was also said that when you are in a relationship with someone you truly love, you value that person enough to see things from their perspective. These two make me want to make an effort to do that and cherish every day.
Monday, May 15, 2017
I love trying new things and trying to expand as an artist. Recently I attended a demo at the Mountain Brook Art Association meeting where Rik Lazenby gave a demonstration. Rik is an accomplished and inspired mixed media artist. The process he taught was very time consuming to someone like me who usually paints wet on wet. First you take burlap and paint it with plaster of paris then once it is dried you fold and crease to create wrinkles that are transformed into an old looking piece of cloth after you add a coat of polyurethane and finish off with a stain. THEN you are ready to create the magic of what you will do with this canvas or surface you have created. I could not wait to try the process because while I watched him I had an image in my mind that i wanted to create and that is where this angel creating music came about. I have music playing in my studio every day when I paint and many times I feel like angels are all around. (So does Max, he sleeps the minute I turn on the music).
I recently came across a quote by Dan McCaw, "Art is a collaboration between the heart and mind in an effort to expose a piece of the artist's soul". I so believe.
Saturday, May 6, 2017
I sometimes feel compelled to paint. I have been studying about color theory so I am experimenting and creating a lot of items using color schemes that I would have never used. With this painting I also tried to use limited strokes and no going back over strokes. It is easy to get caught in doing that and mixing some great mud on your paintings.
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
I was recently given the honor of being one of the Alabama artists to paint one of the historic Marshall County locations to commemorate Alabama's Bicentennial and the year of Exploring Our Places. My location was the Old Red Mill in Albertville, Alabama. The mill was used for grinding corn about 100 years ago. It is now about to fall down but definitely holds a lot of history for this area.
I went last Saturday to paint the site en plein air. It was a very hot day with few clouds in the sky but no bugs which was a wonderful thing as every artist who paints outside knows what a challenge the bugs can be. Not only do they bite but they land on your painting and get stuck. I had almost completed my block in when I returned to my car to grab some more paint. I walked back to my easel and remembered I needed another brush from my car. When I returned to the car I found it had locked with my keys and my phone inside!! Now, this bridge is located in a very secluded, unfamiliar area. I wanted to cry, loud slobbering cries BUT I knew that would not help. I put my painting under my car, bundled up my expensive easel to carry with me and started out walking up a very steep hill to try and find civilization again. I came to the highway. I crossed the road, dripping wet with sweat, I walked up to the first house I came to. A very nice man let me use his phone to call a locksmith (who told me he would need to charge weekend rates, as if I cared!) The man then drove me back to my car and stayed with me until the locksmith arrived. the locksmith was very interested in my painting and he told me that he enjoys drawing. We had a nice conversation about that. I hope he will continue to draw as he seemed someone who loves art and would do well. The man
who helped me told me about the history of the the mill and how he remembers an old store was located nearby years ago. All in all it was a very good day but I will tell you I questioned my future as a plein air artist.
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Mother's Day is quickly approaching and I could not pass up painting this little painting depicting a mother and child having a "Girls Day Out".
6" x 6" on gessobord
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
There are times I feel so conflicted with my art. I love to paint from photos and real life references but i also love to paint intuitively, meaning just laying down paint and following it to create the painting. The real truth about my painting is that I am never satisfied with anything I paint. I am constantly rethinking and my daughter says I am too critical of my skills. So yesterday I simply took time to meditate on that and this idea came to me to paint the lovely, larger than life sunflowers I took photos of in Colorado last year. I decided to just paint for me....what would I really like to paint without a critical voice in my head and guess what? I love this painting. When I had to get down on my knees to sign it because it was still on the easel, I thought, "how appropriate".
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
The reference photo from Anita Johnston caught my eye. I am never quite sure what reaches out to my heart to make me want to paint a particular thing but in this particular picture I liked the way the couple is strolling along. The lady has her purse on her shoulder and her arm in his. I also like the way the man seems to be engaged and listening. (Always good and sometimes unusual) I am also planning a trip to Italy in August to paint with Trisha Adams and this scene is actually from Italy.
I love Trisha's work. Check her out, you can find your website at https://trishaadams.com
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
I am honored when asked to paint for someone. Someone asked me to paint the children of a friend as a gift to their friend. The thoughtfulness of this gift touches me. I usually send my first drafts of my paintings to my daughter for her critique. When I sent these her response was, "cutest kids ever!"
Sunday, April 2, 2017
Whitney, my 10 year old granddaughter and I were walking Max around the small lake near my home and we came upon a lovely dogwood tree. I asked Whitney if she had ever heard the story of the dogwood tree and she said no. I told her I had always heard that at one time the dogwood tree was very large and the wood was actually used to create the cross that Jesus was crucified on. After that time, the dogwood near grew large again. We picked one of the flowers and I told her to notice how there were 4 petals in the shape of a cross and the little middle section looks like a crown of thorns. There are even small areas at the end of each petal that signify where the nails were. In child-like wonder she said, "Isn't it just amazing how even a tree knows to do that!"
There is really no Biblical truth in this story that I know of but I like the story and I LOVED sharing it with Whitney. She helps me see that faith is very simple.
Friday, March 31, 2017
I have been painting every day in an attempt to complete several commissions. Today I decided to take a break and paint something different. This is a reworked piece. One that I could not get happy with but today I did. I tried to say what I wanted to say with less. A lesson I need to learn when speaking as well.
Acrylic 14" x 14" on gallery wrapped canvas $175
Friday, March 17, 2017
Recently a friend and I visited the Botanical Gardens gift shop and found the cutest Easter little cuties. This little egg caught the attention of both of us. He has these cute wire feet and a feather sticking out of his head. I have him on my desk in my studio and for some reason, he makes me smile.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Sunday, March 12, 2017
My good friend Deb and I met for lunch and a trip to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens with a visit to the gift shop. The shop has the most unusual gifts and little treasures. I found the cutest little rabbit, duck and other unknown little creature. I had fun painting the little rabbit today and named him in honor of another friend who calls her husband, "Honey Bunny" on occasion.
Friday, March 10, 2017
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
This is a close up of a cow that I painted earlier from a photo reference provided by Bonnie Sitter. I love the look on this cow's face. There are two other cows on each side of her but she seems to be looking into the camera lens. I read a little about cows and I probably just sealed my fate as a vegetarian. I found that in laboratory studies, young cattle are able to memorize the locations of several food sources and retain this memory for at least 8 hours. Fifteen-month-old heifers learn more quickly than adult cows which have had either one or two calvings, but their longer-term memory is less stable. (I can identify with the the calves that do not learn as well after having children (calvings).) Then I read that they are also able to discriminate between familiar individuals and among humans!!! I will have green beans for dinner.
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Sunday, February 19, 2017
Friday, February 17, 2017
Every morning I walk Max, my assistant Bolognese, and while he spends his time sniffing around, I listen to tapes on my phone. This week I have been listening to Peter Yancy's book on Prayer. I have often had questions about prayer....for instance why pray if God already knows our needs and requests? Yet, prayer seemed to be very important to Christ, who was God's Son ...sometimes his prayers even being in anguish. For instance, in the Garden of Gethsemane found in Matthew 26:36-56. One point brought out in Mr. Yancy's book was that we pray very fervently when our needs are great and we persevere in prayer during those times. We also develop a relationship with the One we are praying to. When I call my closest friends on the telephone and they answer and I say, "Hi"....they know it is me. We talk so often we do not have to spend time trying to establish a relationship as our relationship is so close that I can say one small word, "Hi" and they know my voice. Maybe when I spend time talking to God, His voice becomes more familiar to me.
Another story struck me from the book and that was of a pastor building some stone steps at his home. The stones were very heavy and the work was hard. His little 3 year old girl wanted to help him and even though he knew the stones were too heavy for her, she kept insisting. He gave in and let her "help" him with tasks that were safe for her to help with. He said the building took a lot longer with her "help" but after the steps were completed, she happily told everyone "Me and Daddy built steps". Her part in the project was so special to her. Maybe the act of prayer is more for us to be a part of a collaboration than to change God's original plan or mind, for when prayers are answered so specifically we feel that we had a part in the outcome.
When Mother Theresa was asked, "How do we learn to pray?" she answered, "By Praying". Even though there are times when I wonder why I pray and my mind wonders during prayers I know that perseverance in trying to become better as an artist pays off. The more I paint, the better I get at it. I learn something with each painting. Maybe with perseverance I learn more about praying as well.
Saturday, February 11, 2017
There have been times when I viewed an abstract painting and had the thought that the artist just “threw some paint” on the canvas. Never again will I think that. I have recently taken a course with Mindy Lacefield that encouraged a more intuitive way of painting. Placing colors on your canvas, covering it actually and then looking for the painting to emerge. She also encourages using your hands to apply the paint, actually feeling the medium, the canvas and creating different textures. I have been amazed at this process and have been impressed with the fact that the image that appeared seemed in some way to just want to be created. I have also found that someone will just "know" that the painting is for them personally. I know that sounds crazy but I can only say it is the hardest way to paint I have ever tried but it is the most fulfilling. I spent days on this painting, much more time than I usually spend but I saw things come about that I would never have done on my own. I have a tendency to use the same brush strokes and even, some of the same colors but this painting I found new colors and nuances.
An angel appeared and then I started thinking about angels. What or who are they? The Bible points out that angels are beings who have greater power and ability than humans. (2 Peter 2:11). There also appears to be many of them. For an example, a vision given to the apostle John included a glimpse of hundreds of millions of angels. (Revelation 5:11) I could not find a verse that states each person has a personal angel but it does seem that children do. In Matthew 18:10 Jesus said, “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven."
I did find some very encouraging verses regarding how angels seem to be involved in our lives. The Bible says, “the angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.” (Psalm 34:7) and in Psalm 91:11, “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways." They seem to be kind of secretive or at least they do not announce their presence. We also see in Hebrews that “some have unwittingly entertained angels”. That is very interesting. I have met some angels along the way.
Monday, February 6, 2017
I live in a city but there is a house somewhere nearby that has roosters because I hear this guy crowing every morning when I am out walking my dog Max. Research on why roosters crow done by Takashi Yoshimura found that roosters settled into a 23.8 hour day and would begin crowing the same time every day, just before dawn and the lighting did not seem to factor in. It was concluded that the birds must have an internal body clock that tells them when to crow. Another interesting observation was that the most dominate rooster was the one who start the crowing off, lending credence to the idea that crowing is about marking territory and asserting dominance. the researcher said, "Our preliminary data suggest that the highest ranked rooster has priority in breaking the dawn and lower ranking roosters are patient enough to wait and follow the highest ranked rooster each morning."
Sunday, February 5, 2017
I loved the simplicity of these roses in a mason jar with all the light and shadows bouncing around. I will say I do not like painting with red paint though.....I still have not mastered it and found a way to keep it off everything I come in contact with. This would be a good Valentine gift for some sweet guy....flowers that do not die.
Saturday, February 4, 2017
I am excited about being a part of the Jerry Brown Art Festival in Hamilton, Alabama on March 4 and 5. The Jerry Brown Arts Festival is a juried arts festival headlined and named in honor of a Hamilton resident and Smithsonian potter, Jerry Brown. Artists from throughout the Southeastern United Sates participate in this festival celebrating the festival's theme, "Reflections of the South".
I am busy painting a series of birds for the show.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Monday, January 16, 2017
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Monday, January 2, 2017
This Nativity scene seemed to resonate with several people and I am so thankful for that. I am most thankful that He did come and continues to come to us and meet every need. My devotional this morning asked, "Have you been praying and believing for something that's taking longer than you thought? Many times people can miss God's best simply because they give up before the see their answer come. Don't let that be you! Be encouraged today, your answer is closer than you think. If it seems as though things are getting more difficult, remember, when the intensity heats up, that means you are closer to your victory. It always seems darkest just before the dawn appears."*
This particular version is painted for Joyce Riley, my friend. The canvas is a 10" x 10" gallery wrapped. Gallery wrapped canvases have increased depth on the sides which are painted and therefore do not require a frame unless you want to add one.
* Wake to Hope devotional by Joel and Victoria Osteen
Monday, December 26, 2016
My assistant is a wonderful dog named Max. Max is full of energy at times and he encourages me to walk. He also will just sleep at my feet while I am painting and he provides great company. Pets can make us happy. There is actually a growing body of scientific research that shows that our pets can also make us healthy, or healthier.
That helps explain the increasing use of animals - dogs and cats mostly, but also birds, fish and even horses in settings ranging from hospitals and nursing homes to schools, jails and mental institutions.
Though one might not immediately think of goats as a logical choice as a pet, these animals surprisingly exhibit many character traits that make them wonderful animal companions. They are intelligent and curious animals and having one as a pet can be a truly enriching and wonderful endeavor.
A friend provided the reference photo for this painting of her father and his pet goat. I loved the interaction, the colors, the emotion and the relationship it displayed. I hope I was able to convey that in this painting.
A friend asked me to combine two of my paintings into one. Two ladies standing beside each other on the beach, two who could actually be the same person. Back "then" (the lady on the left) might have had a little firmer body, maybe more height and darker hair. Today (now, on the right) she might look a little different but we she is still the same in many ways. Hopefully more wise, more patient and has a better understanding of what life is all about. There is nothing more peaceful than standing beside the ocean at whatever age.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Someone recently purchased my three ladies on the beach and asked me to paint another painting to go along with that one but this time consider painting men. I take a lot of pictures on the beach during the summer so I found a couple of men and created a composition that reminds me of men on the beach standing in the waves talking about????? Well, in my experience it is football.
Saturday, December 17, 2016
I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to paint for others during this Season. I have been asked to paint children, grandchildren, churches, animals and Christmas trees. I am honored. When someone tells me that my art "touches" them - well, that is the highest compliment. This painting is my gift to give back. This was a give away on my Facebook page. I give away a painting every month or so. Please visit....Marcia Hodges, Artist on FB.
The wonderful story of Christ coming to earth to save us and bring everlasting peace. What a gift!
Merry Christmas to all.
Monday, December 5, 2016
Saturday, December 3, 2016
Saturday, November 26, 2016
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Sometime I am drawn to a reference photo in such a way that I feel compelled to paint it. Even when I have several Christmas commissions to complete and I am dedicated to doing that. I saw this photo on Pixabay and really just wanted to paint it today. I wonder if any other artist feel this way ----that your painting illicits some feeling or memory from your childhood or maybe it is being painted for someone else who will react to it emotionally. Whatever the reason, it is almost mystical and it makes it even better when someone writes to me and tells me that a particular painting "touches them". I am really thankful for that.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
This little guy belongs to the cutest family! There are four boys and I have had the honor of painting each one of them. The oldest of the crew is living in Haiti and has been since his birth. Both of his biological parents died and he was adopted by the Junkin family. It has been a long, hard road to get him home. If you would be interested in making a contribution to assist with the final steps to get him home to to family, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
I am having a Thankful luncheon next week for some of the most amazing women in my life. Women I have had the pleasure of knowing for 2 - 35 years. Each one of them are special to me and have traveled along side me in my life journey. I am creating an angel for each one of them with a message on the back from their angels. A few are below. I am going to use these smaller versions as ideas for larger paintings after Christmas.
You Said You're Going to Do What?
This is Serious But We Can do it
I've Got This
I Am Waiting on Your Next Move