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Archive for the ‘Art and Poetry’ Category

Wisconsin Winter Dogwood 2

All the years (nearly ten!) that I’ve been making art have been satisfying, but without a doubt 2015 has been the most productive for me so far.  I’ve done more experimenting, begun to work larger (20″ x 24″), and enjoyed the privilege of exhibition opportunities including changing and hanging art four times a year at a restaurant, bank, chiropractic clinic, and hospice, and currently displaying twenty-nine watercolor and gouache paintings at a fun and trendy local restaurant.

I’m in awe of this, because it has simply “happened”.  I never dreamed of being able to display my work, and never pushed in that direction.  When we moved to the Lake Country Northwest of Milwaukee six plus years ago, I joined a group which features all artistic disciplines—mainly to get acquainted with writers and poets and find opportunities for poetry readings.

For one meeting of the group (the Pewaukee Area Arts Council) we were asked to bring visual art for a kind of “show and tell”.  I really stressed out about this.  Should I or should I not even dare to bring a few paintings to share?

For several years I’d studied via books and DVD tutorials.  I’d absorbed some basics.  I’d spent countless hours every week playing with my paints and brushes, because making art had become an overwhelming passion for me—as it continues to be today, ever-green and ever-growing.  I had consistently challenged myself with goals for trying new ideas and a variety of different methods and materials.  I’d embarked on a study of art history and past artists—an ongoing, fascinating research of which I never tire.

But no, I hadn’t considered that I’d ever share my work beyond a circle of family members and friends who would encourage whatever I do simply because they love me.  I was making art because it brought joy to my heart, beyond my ability to express.

With misgivings and absolutely no positive expectations, I did decide to bring three framed paintings to that meeting.  In retrospect, I was something like Hans Christian Andersen’s UGLY DUCKLING.  I saw the swans and they were so beautiful that I was inexplicably drawn to them, even though, in a metaphorical duckling’s motif they might “kill” me.

Well, my fellow artists did not “kill” me; they responded with enthusiasm and encouragement.  Suddenly I realized that even though inexperienced and limited, I might also be some kind of a swan.

While ever mindful that these new and exciting opportunities are Heaven sent—pure grace to a lady of advanced years—I can definitely say that 2015 has been a very good year for art.  In retrospect, all of my years have been good in one way or another—dating back to 1933.

MC 3Meanwhile:  Happy New Year to you from Joe, Margaret, and the sweetest corgi imaginable—Dylan Been.

Margaret L. Been — December 29. 2015

NOTE:  The above painting is titled “Wisconsin Winter Dogwood”.

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Traces 1

What a glorious time of year!  For a glimpse into how I experience our Northern springtime, you can access my Northern Reflections Blog.

Every vernal equinox floods my being with a freshly renewed appetite for poetry, and now for art as well.  I want to view art, immerse myself in art, and make art—so decidedly that I’d much rather make than bake!  (That is a good thing, as my husband is diabetic!)

At the moment I’m painting between intervals of getting acquainted with my new laptop.  It’s kind of like moving into a new-to-me house.  Now you may say, “Yes, but blogging on the internet is the same no matter which computer you use.”  That is partially true.  In fact, last week while I was computer-less I produced a blog entry on my I-Pad.  That was hilarious!

But blogging is becoming a challenge, rather than a relaxing piece of cake.  The WordPress geniuses (bless their hearts) have come up with what they think is an easier and more efficient format.  Quite frankly, it is HORRIBLE!  (Please, if any of you techies are reading this, consider keeping your original layout for bloggers!)

Today the original layout is available, but there are times when only the “new and approved” work page comes up.  Sitting at a computer for three hours when I’d rather be painting or sitting outdoors in the sun is simply the limit—not to mention (although I am mentioning) a dickey spine and other orthopedic issues which demand frequent variety of body motion.

But enough of computer talk, which to me is the epitome of boring conversation.  Let’s talk about the sounds, sights, and colors of Spring.  After producing a plethora of paintings throughout January and February, it dawned on me that my palette was getting darker and darker.  Like winter in my soul—which I never desire to have!

So I cleaned out the remnants of dark, and created a palette of light:  the colors of Spring.  Leaving segments of white paper as I paint assures me of a bright outlook.  But where darkness threatens to take over, there is always gouache.  Gouache is the watercolorist’s “911”—ever handy in most any art emergency.

What an apt metaphor—the 911 of gouache.  As you will see when you read my Northern Reflections Blog, poetry prevails in Spring.  Forever as I wrote poems over the years, I endeavored to make them “painterly” with colorful visuals via words.  Now I’m striving to make my paintings poetic, encouraging ideas and figurative language to leap out from the colors on my palette.

Spring in Wisconsin!  For this passionately headlong, invigorating, and mindlessly blithery moment I ask to be absolved of having to make sense!  🙂

Margaret L. Been, Spring 2015

Traces 2

And as the world spins, “Cats” will flourish in our beautiful Wisconsin swamps. ↓

The Cats Are Out!

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