Thursday, August 30, 2007

Purpose in Progress

I am often asked about my painting process. I will take you through one example of how I work. Of course, every painting develops in it's own way, but this is a typical series of events in the studio life of emilyc. So, let's get technical...
I usually start with a sketch. These are drawings from my sketchbooks. I have a couple, one for church, the other I carry around in my diaper bag. You never know when inspiration might hit... or when things might get a little boring ( I inherited, from my father, the inability to listen without busy hands). For this piece I did a drawing in each sketchbook, and some notes, as I worked out the idea. When I'm ready to go for it, I gather some "scrap". In this example, I set up the objects and took some pictures. Then I make a drawing, combining my scrap, fidgeting and fussing on tracing paper till I have it just right. I then transfer the drawing onto my gessoed, masonite panel. And paint!Voila!

Sunday, August 26, 2007


I have explained the symbolism of the bird and the baby in my art in a previous post. To simplify, both are symbolic of the inbetweeness of heaven and earth. This is a piece I did years ago, I think early 2004. I like how she's hanging onto the baby/bird as if to say, "Don't go yet! Just let me hold and contain you a little longer before you become your own person." It's a little awkward, as if we are not supposed to do this.
I just found this watercolor which is the drawing I used for the painting. The watercolor was the first time I combined the baby and the bird.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


This is a watercolor I did on our trip last week. My dad, sister Cass, and I are doing a show called Trio in Connecticut this October. We are supposed to have at least one piece that goes along with the trio theme. I think this is what I will do, something about budding wings. Stay tuned to see what becomes of it...

Monday, August 20, 2007


My husband and I returned from the most relaxing, wonderful anniversary trip on Saturday. We were so excited to see our babies! About an hour after we got home, I was ready to go back. What was supposed to make me rejuvenated and really appreciate my role as a mother actually served to exaggerate how much dang work goes into the job. I was thinking, if every day I could prepare meals for five, for example, considering all the varying tastes, willingness, and nutritional needs - and acutally enjoy it! Even the clean up afterwards. Then, my life would reach perfection! I happened read an article called 'Strengthening Future Mothers" by Susan W. Tanner last night, and it gave me inspiration:

"My best and most consistent example in learning the joys of homemaking and mothering was my own mother. She told me many times every day how much she treasured being a mother and homemaker, and then she lived those words in every action. She sang as she folded laundry; she exulted over the clean smell in a freshly scrubbed bathroom; she taught me how to read and write, sew and cook, love and serve. Because she emanated the Spirit and the fruits of love, joy, peace, meekness, longsuffering, and temperance, I felt it, and I knew I wanted the same things in my life."

So, that's the ticket, sing as you fold the laundry! And talk about how much you love it, all the time. Which leads us to aprons, how you ask? Let me see if I can explain. I want to do a series on the subject. Beautiful aprons symbolizing joy in the tasks. I have some lovely images in my mind. And some exquisite apron designs to work from. My sister Cass, who not only attends to her tasks in funky aprons but heels as well, gave me a neat apron last spring. I'll try and get a picture of it on this post. It will make a good leaping off point. This might be a good one, expecially for you closet bloggers, to comment on. I need to know that I am not the only one thinking these things!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Joyous Crackle Moment

Ahh, the magic of crackle. What a treat! Of course, the photos don't do it justice, but these wacky paintings just went from drab to fab, ode to the joys of crackle!

Monday, August 13, 2007


Just before I took this piece up to my gallery (Terzian Galleries in Park City), I showed it to my dad. He looked at it for a good half a minute then said, "I don't get it." And on to the next. A day or two later we were in his studio. I was holding my baby and had a little girl hanging on each leg. He wanted to show me a piece he was working on, so we headed around to the far side of his drafting table. As I tried to move with clingy one two and three, dragging them across the floor, I exclaimed, "This. This is what that piece is about. They are always there!" It also has a tender side, they are a part of me. Even when they are not physically next to me, they are still with me. The sweetness has a titch of exasperation, but mostly love.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Sheep Farm/Des Moines

I've posted a blog on this piece before - giving my take on it. A bit later, I got an email from the gal who bought the piece. Here is what she wrote about her painting:

Its nickname is “Des Moines” because whenever I get weary of the shenanigans of southern California (the crowds, nice but “plastic fantastic” people who carry mini doggies in their purses that cost more than my college education, surf culture, etc.) I tell my husband, “That’s it! We’re moving to Des Moines to a farm where we will home school, start a family band and a modern dance troupe, and I’ll write books while animals and kids run amuck. Des Moines!!!” I threaten this bi-monthly. The girl in the painting even looks like me—crazy huge hair and blue eyes that look focused, determined, or peeved depending on what’s immediately happening in my vicinity. When I look at it, I imagine the frame enlarging to show what is happening below and next to her (Disneyland Haunted Mansion style—you’ll know what I mean if you’ve been on the ride); children tugging on her skirt, chaos in general but she is standing firm, in control, dreaming of Des Moines. Who else could have loved this painting as much as me?!?

Of course, I gave her full permission to change the title to Des Moines. I also told her that this is why I sell the paintings I paint. The magic of putting art out there. I send out a piece of my soul and someone identifies with it and makes it their own. I love it!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Thinking of a Snail's Pace

This piece is about kids growing up so dang fast. Sometimes I wish I could just slow them down for a minute. Especially my baby who cuddles and plays with the back of my hair when she gets sleepy. I don't know how long that will last, but I can't get enough.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

School Days

My sweet little girl is off to school again. (We start pretty early, something to do with Arizona heat). I did this little painting after her first day of kindergarten. It's so hard to let them go! She is so stinkin' cute, I about cry watching her walk away from the car every morning. On the flip side, the structure and getting some of those kids out of the house is helping me get to work! It was hard to let this painting go as well. I couldn't sell it, so I gave it to my mother-in-law for Christmas.