From November 2016

Copper Red Blue River by Bea Garth

Well some say the unthinkable just happened. It did catch many of us by surprise I have to admit. But I think The DNC and media here in the USA were playing with fire when they did not  give Bernie Sanders a fair shake and actually seemed to give Donald Trump a lot more news coverage than was his due. I think they figured who in their right mind would ever vote for The Fool?? And thus they believed Hillary Clinton would be a shoe in despite the fact she wasn’t that popular…

It was obvious that the public really wanted a change. I know I did and do. So in that sense I am not surprised Trump won in the end despite his blundering blustering  ego. Better him than politics as usual was/is the likely reason he got elected. At least as a human being he seems real and occasionally gets something right, despite his extremely inappropriate views on social and environmental issues. Plus it really does seem like he is less likely to go to war than Clinton who was often seen rattling her sabers.

Copper Red Blue River photo by Bea Garth copyright 2016
Copper Red Blue River photo by Bea Garth copyright 2016

No matter what happens I believe we have to take the future into our hands by centering ourselves in a grounded way and then take positive action within each of our abilities. The earth is here for us to appreciate and take care of. We cannot just sit by the sidelines. We must do what we can to make a positive difference and build towards making a better future.

Maybe one positive of a Trump presidency is that he will be so bad he will force many of us to take action and get involved for once.  Who knows, maybe an effective third party will grow out of this.

Black Triangle Silver River Sunset photo by Bea Garth copyright 2016
Black Triangle Silver River Sunset photo by Bea Garth copyright 2016

I believe this election really showed that the body politic will not be ramrodded over, especially in this day of the Internet where manipulations of the public are becoming much more obvious.

Tangled Black Trees in Front of Sunset photo by Bea Garth copyright 2016
Tangled Black Trees in Front of Sunset photo by Bea Garth copyright 2016

Thing is, we have got to learn how to work together despite whatever polarizations. And yes, its likely polarizations may grow despite the soothing words Trump espoused during his speech saying how he wants to work at healing America. I hope he is speaking the truth, but of course don’t really trust it given what he has espoused along the campaign trail.

Meanwhile, late this afternoon just before the sun went down Chris and I went for a walk along the Columbia River. It simply amazed both of us. These things are important. Preserving the healing beauty of Nature is no joke.

Trump still thinks climate change isn’t real. This attitude cannot stand unopposed.

No matter what happens with this new presidency, it is time  for the rest of us to breathe and make new connections and alliances. I believe it can be done. And perhaps it will finally be possible since what other alternative do we have??  We just have to give it enough consistent effort and time to grow. Certainly for once it truly seems possible.

Legs and Feet Like Vines underpainting by Bea Garth

Here it is on the eve of a very significant presidential election  in the USA. I have been feeling the energy and used it by starting the rough for a new painting today. For some reason I am feeling whimsy out of it all!! Count me as crazy or what given the issues at stake.

Right now, as I look at this underpainting, I like the pillow. It feels very Toltec or Mayan to me. Hey, is that “pillow” actually symbolic for the Mayan Calendar??  The woman in back is looking down at her partner with a quizzical look. She seems to be in a quandary expressed by one of her hands on her head. She almost seems to be  saying with her free hand and the right box like angles of her arms: “Careful! Go no further!” Whereas the man is looking confident–as if saying “I am the Man!” while he is about to tumble playfully onto the pillow. Uh, well, maybe this is about the election after all??!! And maybe the Mayan 5th Sun??

This painting may become  one of my more playful pieces. I kind of think of human appendages sometimes as being like vines and flowers, and really see that in this piece with the wave like cross hatched assemblage of legs and feet.

Legs and Feet Like Vines, underpainting by Bea Garth, copyright 2016, acrylic painting in progress
Legs and Feet Like Vines, underpainting by Bea Garth, copyright 2016, acrylic painting in progress

This is just the rough underpainting. I decided to paint the “drawing” with a brush directly on the canvas, rather than draw it in with a pencil on paper (or even on the canvas). I like the spontaneity of working like this. This is how I worked with my ceramic sculpture for years –directly on the piece.

You may not realize it, but I often try to get the body shapes and expression just right even though everything is distorted and elongated. I thus shifted the legs and feet around a few times, and  also worked similarly on the torsos and faces til I felt I got it right. I used a wet brush to erase lines when I could, and overpainted dried lines with a mixture of white and reddish brown when necessary.

I like to get the underpainting more or less right before I proceed with the rest.  Its important to me since I don’t have anything else to refer to but my imagination and the canvas I am working on when I am painting. Getting the basic composition right helps create an understructure for my imagination to work with, even if I end up changing a few more things in the end.

Question is, what kind of understructure will we have as a result of this election? No one knows right now, but all that will change in just one more day. Just be sure to participate and vote. It will make a difference in how you feel, as well as in the issues of this all important election.


My Perspective on Voting

Just voted using a paper ballot up here in Vancouver, WA. Will put it in the ballot box downtown tomorrow. Things are done differently here, but it makes sense. It was easier to figure out who and what to vote for with the voter pamphlet at my side.

These are important times to vote, hope you get to it too. Very historic election. The future of the Earth is in balance!

Perspective by Bea Garth, copyright 2014 acrylic painting on canvas
Perspective by Bea Garth, copyright 2014 acrylic painting on canvas

Here’s a painting I did almost exactly 2 years ago called “Perspective” about holding the future well-being of the planet in our hands. This work actually inspired a group show I helped curate at Studio Bongiorno in Santa Clara, CA. It was called “Healing The Earth/Healing Ourselves.”

Its what we need to do now. So, Yes, take the time to Vote!! It Counts!!


“The Fool” by Bea Garth completed at last

I finally finished “The Fool” the other night.  I worked late into the wee hours the night before Halloween and got it done just in time  for me to enter it into a local art competition   with two  of my other paintings (at Ultimum Verum Gallery in Portland), all about story and creating a world based on imagination, of which I think this piece qualifies. I’ll know by the end of the week whether I got in or not, and will let you know more when I know more.

I didn’t think finishing this painting was going to take so long, but the complexity demanded more and more attention to detail and working out the exact colors.

"The Fool" by Bea Garth, copyright 2016 acrylic painting on paper
“The Fool” by Bea Garth, copyright 2016 acrylic painting on paper

The Fool walking towards the hills in the distance for instance was buried by all that green despite having a red shirt initially. First I tried white, which worked but was not vibrant enough for a Fool.  Finally at the last minute I chose yellow. You can still see the red poking through, which I ended up liking.

I spent a lot of time just looking.

I also added blue green to the green of the hills, and put in a lot of shadow I hadn’t had  at first — including shadow on the fish.  I felt the sheer number of fish was just too busy otherwise.

I  go between really liking this piece and thinking I should do another one that is a lot more simplified.

Part of it is that I am not used to  putting so much into one painting that is as small as it is ( 11 1/2 inches by 17 inches tall) and has narrow borders like this.  So it has been a challenge.

I am considering making more of the  art for the Tarot cards using pen and ink  rather than paint. The only way I can tell if that is best is to try it. However I talked with someone who has a degree in illustration, and he was telling me that there are new papers and ink out there that expand the boundaries of what one can do in that arena. I want to try since I love the direct feel of having a nib rather than a brush in  hand.

Not to get me wrong since I love to paint too. Its just a slightly different process. Pen and inks are quicker for me, and perhaps more automatic. So that is something I want to explore a bit more especially with the challenge of doing the art for 72 cards…

Meanwhile I am likely going to do more paintings of some of these too simply because I like to paint. But such future paintings will need to be larger next time… whereas I think this is a good size for the pen and inks.