Monday, June 16, 2014

"the jenkins county blues"

"the jenkins county blues"
18" x 24" oil on canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

I worked on this painting yesterday from the study I did last week.  Although it seems like a fairly straightforward landscape, I was surprised how long it took me to complete it.  I felt like I was making a lot of decisions along the way.  What to play down, what to build up.  It has a lot of texture in it and a lot of palette knife work as well. I am happy with the way it turned out.

It does appear a little greener in this photograph than what it actually is.  Photographing greens is such a pain!



Friday, June 13, 2014

"jenkins county blues" study

study for "jenkins county blues" 
11" x 14" oil on panel
©2014dottietleatherwood

I've been painting big streetscapes lately and needed a change of pace.  This time of year with Father's Day coming up, I am always reflecting on my dad.  He died almost 13 years ago. But as with every dad, he was such a strong presence in my life... all of my memories of him are still so very clear.

My dad was born and raised in a very rural community in southern Georgia. Except for funerals, which seem to be coming more often now, I don't get back there much anymore.  I drove back earlier this spring for my aunt's funeral and had a chance to take a lot of pictures on the way to and from.  Such is the reward for traveling by yourself.

Spring was just breathing it's energy into the fields and trees by the roadside and I remember thinking that just as in life, one season is always ending as another is beginning.  My dad loved this land, "God's country" he called it.  Growing up, I don't remember my dad ever being truly happy unless he was here.  He longed to be back in the country and when he retired, it was this little community that he headed back to. Thinking about it now, I'm guessing all that time that he spent living somewhere else, he had the Jenkins County blues.

It's funny how you don't ever understand your parents until you are grown and you miss them the most when they are gone.  Even the parts that weren't so lovable.  I read a quote this week about "edges".    "You will always be too much of something for someone: too big, too loud, too soft, too edgy. If you round out your edges, you lose your edge."~ Danielle LaPorte

We talk so much about edges as artists...losing them, finding them.  But it applies in life as well.  We are who we are.  In this middle part of my life, I am realizing that all too well, about my parents and my children and even myself.  Acceptance of things you cannot change is such a large part of life.  And I admit, I am not very good at it.  But I am working on getting better.... in art, in life and with the people I love.

I wish all the dads out there, even the prickly ones with lots of edges, a most wonderful Father's Day and I hope on Sunday, you are right where you want to be.... even if it's only for the day.