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Saturday, January 30, 2010

#001 Mortimer

I’m Elva Paulson and I’m excited to be joining Laure Ferlita’s 100 Paintings Challenge. Already I know it will good for me because I got me thinking about just what I would like to accomplish in the coming year--now that I am painting again. Laure’s advice to paint a lot and not worry about quality is just what I need. I need to learn to just go for it and not get hung up on everything turning out right. I have a history of painting carefully, with a goal in mind, rather than exploring. Just letting loose and giving myself permission to paint without judging is a significant challenge for me. I want to try new paper, new pens, new techniques. I already started on that path this past month, but joining this group is making it a commitment.

So maybe you need a little history about me to understand those thoughts. As a child I did a fair amount of drawing and painting. Enough that when I went to college I was excited at the prospect of being able to take an art class. Yech! We ‘expressed’ ourselves by drawing pieces of a junked car. I finished college, but never dared sign up for another college art class. Now, many years later, I have a better appreciation of what the instructor was trying to do … but I sure didn’t then.

When I was a young mother I got serious about my art and even took the Famous Artist’s correspondence course … which taught me a lot more than those junked car pieces. I have always been close to nature and, as a result, focused on wildlife art. I hung in several galleries, and considered myself a serious painter until about 13 years ago. At that time my husband, Dale, retired early and I assumed I would continue at least some gallery painting, but only a year later he developed severe mobility problems and my life become more crowed.

The past ten years have been good to us. … lots of nature photography from the car for Dale, and lots of sketching and photography in and near the car for me. I did tackle one big project, illustrating “The Birds of Oregon: A General Reference” for Oregon State University Press (about 100 black and white illustrations and a full color cover). I believe that cover is the only serious painting I did in the last ten years, that is until last November when I finally started a ‘real’ painting.

Life has taken a good turn for us. Two new hips and Dale is walking again … and I feel free to disappear into my art again. I’m in the process of figuring out just where I want to go. I know I want to enjoy art, not worry about it as a business, and to grow it along a path which expresses my connection with nature. Perhaps I’ll combine it with some writing.

My introductory painting is of ‘Mortimer,’ a barred owl raised by my mother. When Mortimer was old enough he was allowed to fly free and softly become part of the wild. An old screen door is a strange perch for a barred owl, but it is a memory from the heart for me.


Krista Meister said...

Elva, it is so nice to meet you, and welcome to the group! It sounds like we have a lot in common as far as picking up art again after many years. I like your goal of trying new techniques and materials. And Mortimer is just a doll. Looking forward to seeing more!

Laure Ferlita said...

Welcome Elva! You've come to the right place as I think you'll find several of those on the journey with very correlating pasts and that will totally relate to you.

Your painting of "Morimer" has a wonderful old world feel to it - the color of "memory" perhaps?

kslaughter said...

Welcome to the group, Elva! I would say with Krista and Laure that you are definitely among kindred spirits ; ). What gorgeous work you do! Mortimer is beautiful and I think you've captured his stately presence perfectly. Thanks, also, for sharing your story--a real inspiration. Can't wait to see what you do next!~~Kathy

Teri C said...

Welcome Elva, SO good to see you here taking this journey with us! Such an interesting bio.
Mortimer is absolutely gorgeous!! I thought it was a photo it is so photo-realistic.
Now the fun begins with discovery of, well, art supplies, techniques and yourself.

Elva Paulson said...

I'm glad you all like Mortimer. The colors are quite true to life. One could paint a barred owl with burnt umber and just a touch of yellow. The house looked unpainted in 1949, but if you look carefully under the eaves and under each board, there is a very faint blush of yellow.

Claire M said...

Welcome to our journey this year! I am another one of those trying to restart my artistic pursuits after having raised 3 children - although I am still anchored with a fulltime job, husband, and the last child at home for another year and a half. It is helpful to share with one another as we try to make art more a part of our days.

I am really in awe of your owl. When I first saw it posted I thought it was surely a photo, but now after spending time on your intro I can see that you painting it. The painting is amazing to me and I can't wait to see more of your work this year.

Welcome aboard!!

Kelly said...

Oh my gosh. You've totally stole my heart. My challenge is birds, and when I saw your owl I about fell over. I love owls and your representation is exquisite. I can't wait to see more of your wildlife paintings. I hope to have a painting to post tonight......