Happy Summer! / Beach Day with Elders

Beach Day with Elders, “Watercolors Celebrating the Sea,” Anonymous Artists © 2017

Painting, like reading, transports us to another place.  In celebration of Summer’s beginning, Nancy Wormwood and I traveled to the beach with our elder art students.  With watercolor painting as our vehicle, we savored the experiences and feelings of the shore.

Pictured here is the array of paintings created by students in the afternoon workshop. Thank you Nancy for helping with the morning class. 

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Jane’s Garden in June

                “Jane’s Garden in June,” Pastel, 9″ x 12″ © 2017, Wamala

What a treat to paint in Jane’s garden today. We had the pleasure of enjoying her glorious yard while creating pastel paintings together. It was a spectacular morning. Jane’s creativity, expressed through her gardening, was an inspiration. I saw a dozen vantage points to paint from, and had a challenge selecting this one.

After a tour around her yard we each selected a place to set up and paint for a few hours. Pictured here is my demonstration painting. Focusing on one small section, which included two colorful flower beds, I aimed to capture the essence of the scene. The bright pinks, yellow greens, deep purples juxtaposed to the lush greens and burgundies was what drew me in.  I was pleased.

Summer – oh how glorious! 

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Floral Reflections

“Hydrangea” study, acrylic on canvas, 10″ x 8″ © 2017, Wamala

Floral design was my career for many years during college and while my children were young.  It was a great way to earn a living until I turned my focus to creating and teaching art.

I have just started working on a suite of floral studies that celebrate the life and joy that flowers provide.  Spending time with flowers again is a happy homecoming indeed.

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In this house …

Last week I was with my guy Kevin in Albuquerque, New Mexico, visiting his daughter Andrea. We had a great time with her and grand doggie Jasper.  We helped spruce up the yard for the upcoming summer season.  I forgot how much I liked gardening, as I’ve been an apartment dweller my entire adult life.  

About this sign – these signs are posted on the lawns of many of the homes in Andrea’s neighborhood.  It warmed me to see this support for fellow humans, as we navigate a very challenging and divisive time in our political history.  I believe it is important to let our neighbors know we care, no matter the differences between us.

Thanks for the great visit Andrea!

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Playtime / The importance of experimenting

                        “Squares at Play / No. 4,” 8″ sq., mixed media collage, © 2017, Wamala

“Squares at Play / No. 4” is one of several mixed media collages I’ve recently created in my California studio.  This piece, made for the simple pleasures of exploring textural mediums, yummy papers, and the challenge of balancing an asymmetrical abstract composition, may one day be a study for a larger work.  While creating we just never know where a thread of an idea, experiment or line of questioning may lead.  I find that process of discovery and innovating most thrilling. 

Happy Playtime to You!

 

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Transitions

“Colors by the Bay: No. 5,” 10 1/2″ sq., mixed media collage, © 2017, Wamala

Transitions

Collage work is one creative process that helps me find my way between larger projects. 

“Colors by the Bay: No. 5,” from a recent suite of 17 pieces, incorporates papers I have been making for years.  Encaustic wax papers, hand made papers and hand painted papers each found their places in this new work.

What practices see you through transitions?

Book Note: I found Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, “The Big Magic” – https://www.elizabethgilbert.com/ to be a supportive reading experience regarding transitions and the creative process.

 

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A gift for you …

 

There is a growing body of science showing that time spent in nature heals, soothes and restores humans.  Taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of nature prompts us to be in the moment.  Clearing our minds in this way helps make space to work out solutions to challenges we may be facing and helps us restore energetically.

Yesterday I enjoyed a 5 mile walk through my neighborhood.  Accompanying me was the purpose of gathering images to share with you.  This slideshow https://www.facebook.com/pamela.wamala captures the colors and textures of trees, flowers, bees!, foliage, rocks, moss and, near the end, an art treat by Jane Kim. 

Music Credit: “Drown in Pale Light” by Andreas Vollenweider

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Celebrating Spring with Elders

                   “Spring Still Life with Forsythia & Lemons,” anonymous artist / shared with permission © 2017 

                      Celebrating Spring with Elders

“In psychology, meaning-making is the process of how persons construe, understand, or make sense of life events, relationships, and the self.” (google search definition)

This is an apt description of the calling I feel regarding making art with senior citizens. I am fortunate to serve several elder communities by providing various art activities.  Thanks to friends Nancy Wormwood and Carol Boileau who often join us.

Yesterday we celebrated Spring with nature inspired watercolor painting.  I so appreciate knowing these beautiful people and facilitating their art experiences.

Happy Spring!

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California Studio / “City by the Bay”

“City by the Bay,” 10″ sq., mixed media collage, © 2017, Wamala

California Studio / “City by the Bay”

“City by the Bay,” from a suite of several collages I’ve been working on in my California studio, is the only piece (so far) that asked to be a cityscape.  Yes, as many creatives of all stripes (musicians, writers, visual artists, etc) will tell you, we feel, hear, sense, our muse leading us, often times, away from an intended direction.

With “type A” personality tendencies, it’s one of the more challenging aspects of being a creative.  The outcome of my work is not all about what my mind originally conjured to accomplish.  I find the process magical and captivating, with a dash of the elusive, and a smidge of vexation to keep me on my toes!

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What Simple Things Cheer You?

What Simple Things Cheer You?

    Painting: “West Coast Joy,” oil on canvas, 24″ sq., © Wamala, 2015

When spending money on things I am fairly frugal.  I reserve larger expenditures for travel and quality art materials.  My favorite things of daily life are found at grocery, thrift and art supply stores.  I discovered two dear, “new to me” authors, May Sarton and Caroline Knapp, at the local used book shops.  Yellow polka dotted glasses and white china coffee cups from second hand shops make me smile.  Spring daffodils and fragrant citrus soap were made even sweeter by the treat of my sweetheart purchasing them for me.  And, the previously loved blouse from Savers is a comfy new favorite.

What Simple Things Cheer You?

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