Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Week #5 of 52 Week Challenge

I was trying to come up with a way to bypass showing this week’s painting. It is bad. As in, very bad. But since I learned a powerful lesson as a result - and it was painted this week - it deserves the slot of painting challenge week 5.

You are wondering where it is, right? That's it, on the table behind my daughter. At an angle, in the shadows, hiding. That’s about as much as I am willing to show of it.

As I sat making an awful mess on the paper I wondered where I went wrong. But it didn’t take long to figure out. First, I tried to rush through it just to get my "assignment" done. Second, and more importantly, I ignored what the image was telling me. When I have an idea in mind the image/idea/concept usually directs me how to paint it... i.e. watercolor or acrylic, loose or tight, etc. And, normally I listen.

I was so focused on finishing, that the creating and painting process was not given their proper respect. It is a lesson I won’t soon forget.

PS - she is posing with one of my jars that I hope to have available at Erin Go Paint soon.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hot & Cold

"Gluten-Free by the Sea", watercolor & ink, copyright Erin Rogers Pickering

For years I was always cold. In the winter my husband said my hands were inhumanly cold. That he didn't know how something alive could be that cold. I blamed it on my under active thyroid and learned to dress for it by layering. Winter - 4 layers, spring & fall -3 layers and summer 2. Even on the hottest days I was comfortable in 2 tops.

So cold that when our daughter was a baby, to early toddler, I took her temperature several times a week. She always felt fiery hot to me. When she started taking her dolls temps I knew I needed to break the habit.

I have since learned it had more to do with mal-absorption than anything else. The fact that my body temperature always dropped if I was overdue for a meal should have been a clue. But that was missed along with dozens of other clues all along the path. And as my body healed, I got warmer.

Now as we enter the dog days of summer in NYC (earlier than usual) I am warmer than I have been in as long as I can remember.... And, in the market for cooler clothes.

As I stand melting on street corners and subway platforms I remind myself of what it signals and I am happy. Hot and happy!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Week #4 of 52 Week Painting Challenge

"The Strutting Rainbow", watercolor & ink, 8x10, copyright Erin Rogers Pickering

Over the weekend I got gluten through cross-contamination. It was no one's fault, but accidents happen if you don't live in a bubble. Unfortunately, it brings me to a very dark place.

It goes far beyond the physical discomfort to a dark, dark place where possibility, joy and playfulness no longer exist. Where extreme fatigue and discouragement rule the day. It is a colorless place... and I have to claw my way out. Luckily, the longer I am gluten-free the quicker the rebound becomes.

I created this painting today, as part of my process of return. Originally I planned to paint this rooster in muted, vintage colors. But, when I sat down and faced him... he begged to be painted in vivid and extreme color. Color that vibrates, pulses and lives. Color that can't be missed, or ignored. Color that overflows with possibility, joy and playfulness.

He is a strutting, squawking rainbow. And, he is proof that I am back.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Week #3 of 52 Week Painting Challenge, The Studio Tour

"Sunset in Vieques", acrylic on canvas, 24x36, copyright Erin Rogers Pickering

After a 3-year hiatus I participated in our town Artist Studio Tour this past Sunday.

I spent every spare minute of the last week cleaning, clearing, hanging, framing, matting (and hiding all the toys), to make our home ready and to make space for all my work. Sunday was a great day with so many terrific people stopping by. I truly enjoyed chatting with all the visitors.

It was also exhausting and all-consuming.

The all-consuming part made me panic over creating my painting for week #3. I know, my 52-week challenge is supposed to keep me inspired, focused and connected. Not throw me into a tailspin.

So I took a deep breath, and a step back, looking at the big picture. During week #3 I created much more than just a painting. I created my art show. My piece of an incredible studio tour. A gallery in our home. Quoting my very last studio tour visitor of the day when seeing Sunset in Vieques: "Only God could create colors like that" pause "…but you came damn close, didn't you!!" Yes, the day has truly inspired me.

And not to go too long without a paintbrush in my hand, I did touch up this painting that was slightly damaged and that two visitors are interested in buying.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gluten-Free Giveaway Winner

We have a winner!

Celiac in the City is the winner of our Gluten-Free Awareness Month giveaway!
A special thanks to all who commented, tweeted and spread the word.