Further Notes On Juneteenth in OTown

Continuing with the theme of my last post about having been asked to showcase my art at a local Juneteenth event, I managed to get two other paintings done in time to show along with the first, “Beautiful Son”. It’s always gratifying to be acknowledged as an artist, and this is especially so.

The second painting I did, I simply call, “Story Time”. It depicts a young father reading to his baby. Here are some photos of it, and the process of creating this piece. As you can see in the second photo, I drew up a sketch of what I had in mind. In the second, I filled in the background shape of a map of the USA, and began working on the figures. I continued from there, adding color and finishing up the figures to my liking. Once the painting was dry, I gave it a thin coat of acrylic gloss medium. This serves two purposes, it helps to protect the painting, as well as to highlight and maintain the bright colors. This is quite a bit smaller than the first painting, “Beautiful Boy”, for a few reasons, mostly concerning time constraints and having to use what I had on hand. It’s still a good size at 16″x 12″.

“Story Time”

The last piece I call, “Grace Under Pressure”. I didn’t get as many photos of the process of this as I was short on time, but I used basically the same process. I did a few quick sketches, (sorry they’re very light, but you get the idea.) From there, I then drew up an approximate sketch on the canvas, arranging, and changing features as I worked on it.

“Grace Under Pressure”

I hope it doesn’t sound egotistical, or worse, silly ( heheh), but I tend to fall in love with my paintings and these are no exception. I think I have even more so, because I feel that I have gotten to a place with my work where I feel more confident about it, as well as am able to create what I envision at a quicker pace. Not that that is important in and of itself. But for me as an artist, it is, as I feel these representations wanting out of my cranium, and am compelled to create them, to get them on the canvas. And now being at a point where I can do so more readily, makes it more of a joy and less tedious. I’m thinking that, in my next post, I may go over some of the tools I use, and give some pointers on my own process. Let me know if any of you think that you might like that, or not. (I’ll still probably do it. 😉

I wish everyone joy, and to stay safe, and I hope you join me next time!

Juneteenth 2020 In Otown

This is a short post to catch up a bit and let you know what I’ve been working on, and here it is!

I have been asked to showcase a recent painting I have done at a Juneteenth celebration event in my town. I awoke with the idea for this painting, and felt almost compelled to do it. To have someone feel that it should be included in such an important event, is exciting and flattering. I am very happy with how it came out. There are times when I paint that I get lost in the process, and it almost feels as if I am being guided, and this is how working on this piece felt. It’s an incredible experience.

Below I have included some of the steps to the completion of this piece.

It is my objective to show my process whenever I can, but sometimes getting caught up in actually creating a piece, I don’t always get a chance to take photos. I did manage to get these few taken. I’ll try to get a few more for the next one!

Care for one another, and stay safe. I hope you join me next time!

Today’s pOp or Public Opinion Poll

I say ‘Today’s pOp’ even though I’m pretty sure this won’t be a daily thing, but it sounds good, heheh. It will probably more of a weekly or by-weekly thing. OK, in my quest to figure out where my art, and therefore this blog is heading, I have decided that one thing I’d like to do is to expand this blog into making it interactive. So I give you the “pOp”.

Ready here we go: In your opinion, which of my blog posts here on oMordah, the Art of Susan M.L.Moore, have you found to be the most enjoyable, interesting, or meaningful?

This is an informal poll but in the future, for each pOp, I will send a small piece of my artwork to a random person for providing an email and participating in the pOp. (I have to figure out the logistics on this.) But I think it will be a way to better get to know each other and have some fun.

“Table Rocks Brilliance”
I did a quick pOp on a name for the above abstract painting, I combined two to the choices I received; “Table Rocks Meditation” from Michael D, and “Brilliance” from Mary Ellen S-D. Thanks guys!

I also hope to begin working on some short tutorials in regards to different art styles and an art challenge.

OK, Go!

Moving Forward

As I continue with my plan to basically see where my art takes me, I am finding that it is slowly coalescing into a “thing”. Even though I’m not really admitting it to myself consciously, or at least as loudly in my own mind speak as other topics. I know that, for me to stick with one idea, form, or subject for my art, is nearly impossible. I’m too easily swayed by the bright lights and excitement of a new idea. I tell myself, that’s because I’m an Aries, heheh. Whether true or not, this fact of my nature is absolutely true. It’s a wonder that I’ve actually finished as much work as I have.

So to have given myself permission to simply see where it goes, following each whim, seems to be having the opposite effect. Yes, I am enjoying the process in a more relaxed way than normal. As I usually have a goal, or a deadline. But it does seem to be heading toward something. I do tend to be slightly superstitious so won’t say much more about that lest I stop it in it’s tracks. Just saying that much gives me a feeling like; ‘oh no, will this cause me to falter?’. Is this how other creative types, artists, or craftspeople feel?

Unless you are an artist, or writer, etc., you may not know the hellish amount of pressure we put upon ourselves. Pressure to produce, create, invent. To come up with a new version of something. Then to bring it to life, to be satisfied, no excited about the finished work. It’s exhausting. And the competition to find a following is astronomical. To some who don’t live this lifestyle, and make no mistake that’s what it is, it may seem like it must be all joy and colors. And it can be. But it’s also tedious, frustrating, sometimes disappointing, and often maddening. Why do it then? You may ask. For me, it has been more than an obsession, it has been part of who I am my entire life. And it’s not always easy, not for me, or those I love. At times it could be stressful for everyone if it’s not going well. And there are those who feel you should always be making money with it. Which of course we’d all like, but when not, I will still be painting, or sketching. And those same people do not get it. And at the end of the day, what they get or don’t get, doesn’t matter.

Some may say, “well, do it for yourself, that’s what matters”. And as much as I do agree with this, it is important for me to sell my art. Art needs to be seen, to be loved and shared. It’s not meant for the dark. And there’s nothing more heartening than knowing that someone likes your work enough to buy it. I try very hard not to compare myself to others, but I do remind myself that there were many many (now referred to) as “great artists” who during their lifetime, were never able to sell any of their work. Not that I consider myself at their level in any way, but it is heartening that I have sold many pieces, and for a while had a following of repeat customers. Although recently this has not been the case, due to many factors. I am not exactly at ground zero, yet it does sometimes feel like starting over.

This brings me to what my next post might be, maybe something about my feelings about pieces that I have not sold. Well something to that effect or other. I guess I’ll have to see how it goes. 😉

Thank you for following my blog, I hope you and yours are safe and well. See you next time!

Mother’s Day On Lock-down

Happy Mother’s Day everyone! What can I say? I’m sure we’ve all heard most of the ways to describe life during a pandemic. “It’s trying, it’s boring, it’s lonely, and many are out of work, it’s sad, it’s maybe not so bad”, (for some). For others, pretty bad. But in a lot of ways, it’s just weird. It’s weird that instead of meeting family and or friends for Mother’s day for brunch at a favorite restaurant, (mine being The BlueBee Cafe in Delhi NY.) Or bringing flowers to the moms in our lives, then going on a family hike, we’re “visiting” through online platforms. And really, that’s a lot better than people had it during the last pandemic, or how it’s depicted in most apocalyptic shows or movies.

But, it’s still weird. And again, that’s how it is for some, and for others, so much worse.

For the most part, I have been doing OK, I am blessed to have my youngest and her boyfriend living with me. We get along well, and look out for each other. We’ve continued our daily walks and that has been a big part of keeping our sanity. But after one really nice warm day in our area, we got hit with cold and three inches of snow. And although the snow didn’t last, it was a crappy day, and left behind the vicious cold. It only took that one day for my body to decide it was going to acclimate to the warm weather, so now, this feels worse than before, and I crave warm, sunny days. (Although , I tend to get more work done when it’s not so nice out.)

Now, to be honest there is a general feeling of malaise. None of us have slept well, and we’re all feeling really lazy, and disinclined to brave the windy cold. I think we may all bundle up and face it, but right now, the prevailing feeling is almost as bleak as the vista. Or just the opposite the need to “get out” is stronger, just not a pleasant thought. The kids have decided to go to the little town where he grew up, to wander around in the blustery cold. I look forward to warmer days and long hikes in balmy winds. Days when we can all venture out safely again. And even days when we will still be wearing masks. But for today, I am left here to my devises, thinking about those days that I know will come, and I’m good with that, I can wait.

I suspect that is how a lot of people are feeling today. Despite all the adds telling us to “stay connected”, there are times when we’re just not feeling it when it comes to “popping in” online. On top of that, I had just written some (what I considered) golden prose, only to have it all disappear on me. I use a laptop, and I type in the style of back in the day, having been taught in school on clumsy old school typewriters. Picture huge white typewriters, all in varying degrees of disrepair. (Which I don’t miss.) The problem is that typing in this way on a laptop, I don’t know, it seems that my thumbs hover, and wham, out of nowhere, everything will vanish. Just when I was cruising along like a virtual writing dervish. Maybe it’s for the best, as it was veering toward the melancholy, and I had only planned to post some photos of art that I’ve done over the last week or so. A little cheer for everyone. Very random stuff. Like say, a gorilla.

I am at a cross roads with my art, so am just doing whatever I happen to feel like at the moment. Waiting, and hoping that I’ll land on some one thing that I would like to do exclusively for a while. We’ll see.

I am contemplating ways for you folks to become more engaged, and to better build up my art business as right now, it’s harder than ever for artists, and we’re all looking for different ways to continue in our craft. In the meantime, 🙂 enjoy. And thanks for checking out my blog!

Stay home, stay safe, be patient.

Thoughts On Isolation, Social Distancing And Quitting My Job

In mid March as things were just starting to really come out about what was happening around the world, and how we should all be taking precautions, I had just taken two weeks off due to feeling over worked, and completely fed up with my job. It’s the kind of job that can wear you to the bone, both physically and emotionally, as well as possibly dangerous in “normal” times. We were hearing things more and more every day. As I was not getting any cooperation from those I worked for, and as a matter of fact, various situations with clients were becoming more and more stressful, and dangerous, I felt it was best that I took some time off to reassess my own situation. There was also a part of me that could read the writing on the wall, and knew that this virus was going to get worse before it got better. Where I worked, as I alluded to, on a good day, was unhealthy in every way. On the day before my “vacation”, in the community home and apartments where I worked, not only were we completely out of any kind of sanitizing cleaners, we had little cleaning supplies overall. We were expected to not only be there for the clients as counselors and emotional support people, but we were expected to clean up after them. Many extremely hazardous, and disgusting things were expected of us by our supervisor. Although the higher ups had told us that the “object was for people to do for themselves”, our immediate supervisor in no uncertain terms, yet in a very ambiguous way, (so as not to implicate herself), made it clear on a daily basis that if we did not do it, there “would be no job, and we could find another down the road.” One of her favorite things to say. As I am older, that left me with little choice. But it also left me at higher risk.

When it came time for me to return, my supervisor tried to be nice, and to placate me, saying that “it isn’t that bad.” That I was blowing it out of proportion. She actually asked me on the phone, as she chuckled, “Do you want to be sick, Susan?” It was a ridiculous question. (I had not felt well, and my doctor at that point, said that I “could not return until a week after my last day of any symptoms.) My boss was implying that it was all in my head. I asked fellow co workers later that day, what the situation was regarding supplies, and rules. The folks we worked with all know their rights, and again in “normal” times, refuse to wash, are abusive to employees, and hang out in less than ideal places, getting drugs, etc. My co worker informed me that nothing had changed. (There was also a death of a client who although he had had some physical illnesses was generally fine. But from the time I went on sick leave, about ten days later, he had become increasingly ill, to the point where he had stopped eating or drinking, and then passed.) I was told that it was from his other illnesses, but I feel he may have had covid19. But of course have no proof, and this was right before anyone in our area started testing people for it.

A week later, when I phoned to have an interview with my doctor to “clear me”, I had become worried that considering everything, along with my age, and family history, as well as some health issues, that it would be best if I took an extended leave of absence. Unfortunately, my doctor had called in for her own leave. I was transferred to another doctor, who was arrogant, and also dismissive. He said that he “didn’t feel that legally he could give me a doctor’s note for leave.” I explained the situation, and he said that he would “look into it, and get back to me”. He never did. My leave was up and I was suppose to return to work. My family knew what I had gone through with this job, and understood that it was dangerous for me to return, and urged me not to do so. And I agreed. I quit my job, and have not looked back. Unfortunately I am the main source of income in my immediate family. I do have a small income otherwise, but it isn’t enough for all of the bills. My family are doing what they can, and we are holding on.

I do not regret quitting. I believe in my heart that I was in danger, and am good with my decision. We will get by, it won’t be easy, but I’m alive.

I have been using my time probably like most, “visiting” family online, fixing things around the house, doing what is in my power to help, and working on my art.

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I’ve done a few things recently, including a quick self portrait, (where I feel I may have been a bit too intense, heheh), and a portrait of Andrea Bocelli, as I was so moved by his performance in the empty Duomo in Milan Italy that I started on it soon after.

Do what you believe is best for you, your family, community, and the world. Stay safe, stay home, and flatten the curve for all of us. But also do something to feel better, for yourself and everyone else. I’ll catch you next time, because I’m still here and intend to be for as long as I can 🙂 .

Taking A Breather

I’ve taken a bit of a breather, as the title of this so aptly says. After Inktober, and now through some other things in life going on, as well as some overall stagnation, I need some time to think on where my art will lead now. I’m not sure how it is with other people, but I generally find that I need real down time to recharge my creative flow so to speak. And unfortunately my “other” job has been exhausting of late. Today is the first time I’ve done anything somewhat substantial, art wise in a few weeks. I’m posting it here today to show I’m still around, heheh.

Last year my grand daughter learned how to properly walk our dog Kota, who can be a handful. She did a great job, and Kota showed her respect. I’ve done a painting of a moment in that interaction. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing next. I do have a few ideas, but need some time to work them out. For now I hope you enjoyed seeing this little painting. See you next time!

Inktober In Review; Week Two, “Sixty’s Style, Giants and Legends”.

For those of you who are following along, I won’t go into the whole description of Inktober again. I will just mention for those who don’t know about it, to please visit my last two blog posts, or head on over to Inktober on Twitter. So I’ll jump right in here about my first ink drawing for week two. The prompt word for the day, was “frail”. As I do, I didn’t want to go with anything cliche’, and unfortunately this led me to procrastinate until I basically had no time, energy or desire to draw anything. But not wanting to skip a day, I did a very quick drawing of earth. Yes, I know it is not accurate in any way, which further on in this post, you’ll see was humorously pointed out to me. However I do feel it gives an OK representation. My idea here was to point out the fragility of our one and only earth. I hoped that people would pick up on that, otherwise, my “frail” image, is mostly a “fail”. Ah well, such is the exciting and dangerous world of art.

For day nine of our little adventure, the prompt word is “Swing”. Thinking out of the box and into the dark of Halloween, I thought an image of a child in a red cape, (wink), who decided to swing her lantern into the dark of night in search of, ahem, her grandmother as a large unfriendly, (though he came out looking more wise then “bad”) wolf followed her would be appropriate. I had a little more time to play with this, and I was happy with the shadowing, and how the composition generally came out.

Day ten, the prompt was “pattern”. I wanted to get an elephant or two into the mix this week, so playing around a bit, while also watching TV and “chill”, this is what I came up with. This whole thing was just an exercise in doodling. But it’s not too bad. My older brother, pointed out that it reminded him of 1960’s art. So there you go. This was a much better reaction than his about my “earth” drawing, where-in he inquired as to if “Australia, (where he mostly resides), was in the mix?”

The prompt word for day eleven, is “snow”. I decided to go with an image I had from a ride “up the road” out of our little college town, to a Christmas tree farm. The day we went it was bitterly cold, but very beautiful. There had been a fresh coat of fallen snow, and the trees and fields through the woods, were pristine, and just wonderfully quiet.

Finding that day twelve was “Dragon”, was fun. For a few years, in between jobs, I took a part time position at what was known as a “head shop”. It was actually two separate stores owned by one person. I worked on the side that sold a lot of hippie style clothing, rings, incense and things along that line. The owner also graciously “allowed” me to sell some of my hand made crochet bags, and other things I made, for the low low price of 40% ! (I have never since, worked with anyone who expected to make more than 10% off of my work. and neither should you.) Anyway, for some reason I got into drawing dragons, (I may have had it in mind to do a kid’s book.) In any case, it brought back some funny and sometimes odd memories (perhaps a story for another day), as I worked on this drawing.

I have to confess that I was actually at work when I did this quick sketch for the day 13 prompt, “Ash”. So I was interrupted a lot, and tried to get it done as fast as I could. This is why it may not be the best for a number of reasons. (I won’t point them out, as I learned a long time ago, with one’s looks, and art, it’s best not to point out what you perceive as problem areas, because most of the time no one notices anyway.) Where was I, oh, yes, I think depicting Ash from “Ash vs Evil Dead” probably fits the prompt and the whole Halloween vibe perfectly.

This last little drawing is for both the day fourteen and fifteen prompts; “Overgrown” and “Legend”. I pictured a story about a young boy, completely overgrown to giant proportions, who was the object of ridicule by his peers, until one day a great tsunami hit their seaside village. He saved them all, and was then a hero. I literally wrote a sort of sing song-y story to draw this picture for, which turns out, was for me anyway, a good way to make the picture evolve. So there you have it, week two of Inktober in review. I hope you enjoyed this post, and have maybe been inspired to try an art challenge. Thank you for reading my blog! see you next time!

Cats, Work, and Changing Seasons

So I’m not sure if anyone’s noticed, but I haven’t been around as much of late. Truth be told, I just haven’t had the energy. Due to the changing seasons, some problems at the “other” job, i.e. people being out ill, and a general lack of employees, I’ve been filling in quite a bit. Thankfully, some awesome people have been hired, and things are easing up a bit. Time to stretch, aaahh.

With everything that has been going on, I haven’t really had time to even think about what to write. But as it’s always fun to see pictures of cats, (I know I can never get enough of them), I decided to share some kitty pics I’ve done.

When our cat gets this look on his face, well… heheh

I did this portrait some time ago, of a beloved cat named Bic. That was the name he came with when we adopted him from a shelter at the age of two. We actually thought about changing his name, but it seemed to suit him so we kept it. Bic was a very special cat, and was a legend amongst family and friends. Even people who didn’t particularly like cats, (I know, what?!) loved Bic. There was just something about him. He was smart, sweet, and playful. Years after he was gone, people would talk about him, and reminisce. So here’s to you Bicy-bear, we’ll always remember you.

Just a sketch I did of a pretty fluffers.

“Murray In Repose”

I think these ladies are going home to take care of their cats, heheh. Bye for now, hope you enjoyed this post. See you next time!

Autumn In O Town And There Abouts

As I reluctantly say goodbye to summer, I do enjoy welcoming Autumn and all the colors that come along with it. We start preparing for Fall with red and yellow mums, bunches of golden tipped wheat, and a few last fun things before the cold sweeps down from the north. Recently, we did something I’d wanted to do for some time, go on an interactive Train Robbery! Just like in the old West, Yay!

Despite the fact that I happen to live in an area that is either cold, wet, windy, snowing, or blisteringly hot, we do have some interesting things to do nearby. Heading north of us, in the little town of Milford, is a treasure called the Cooperstown and Charlotte Valley Railroad. This little gem offers rides including the Train Robbery, and Blues Express, which serves up drinks and food while you listen to some of the best Blues players around. Or so I’ve heard, I’ve yet to take this one.

What, you might ask, has this got to do with art? Well I’ll tell ‘ya ‘all. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, doing something different gets the wheels turning. And throwing in some really cool bad guys, doesn’t hurt, heheh. Also, it’s just fun. And fun should be a part of creating, in my humble opinion, at least some of the time.

Autumn bursts with bright colors, almost like nature is giving us something to burn into our retinas and store away for the graying of winter.

I’ll be heading out to ‘store some more colors’ today. I hope you get a chance to do the same. Thanks for reading my blog, see you next time!

Just a little note, I have no connection to the CCVR, or any other places I might mention on my blog, just sharing the fun. Bye-ee