Saturday, August 20, 2011

Between squawks and audible baby poops

Sometimes naps are hard to come by.  I have a nearly-3 year old and a 3 month old.  Usually I can count on the baby obliging a three-hour snooze, but when it comes to both at the same time, I usually have to wait for the gods to smile on me.  Just now I heard Thing 2 fill her diaper via the baby monitor, which now begs the question: go up there and risk disturbing the toddler and killing the baby's nap in the process, or wait and risk extra laundry?  Oh, the dilemma.

While I debate with myself, a note about what I'm up to.   Number one, I've got a small book for The Sketchbook Project that has been staring at me for weeks.  My theme is I Remember You, which I chose because...well, I am a fan of nostalgia and storytelling, didn't you know that?  Today I scrawled with charcoal pencil, oil pastel, and swiped a layer of gesso over the whole page. 

I am also in the process of two large paintings on wooden panel (a gift from the dumpster diver that I am-- these panels were formerly part of a shipping crate...I think).  I find myself exploring the horizontal in my work, sectioning off the upper third in a faux landscape.  I also have a fascination with the old Southern farmhouse, which is featured in the panel currently on my easel.  I love the asymmetric line of the roof, the stocky shape of the house.  It pulls me back to the day of my grandmother's funeral, where I visited the dilapidated shack in which her father had been born, the boards gray and rotting with age, coaxed to the ground by an overgrown wisteria vine that was bursting with purple blooms.  That was the day that permanently affected my artmaking.  All at once I plainly visualized the life cycle in a single instant, and that symbol began appearing again and again in my work.

The baby has decided to make my decision for me, isn't that usually the case?  Off I go.

New art 2011

HomeSelf-portrait with haircolorLotusEnclosureDig deeperPasture
EruptionShadow play

New art 2011, a set on Flickr.
New work on Flickr. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Way after my bedtime.

Lately I've been experiencing quite the prolific explosion in my little studio.  Something about bringing another person into this family has flipped a creative switch, and I can't stop myself from painting.  All this creative energy comes in very small spurts of time between naps or playtime or loads of laundry, but for what it's worth, I couldn't be happier.  This is my new normal.

Today I pestered my husband to help take some photographs of some new work.  A preview...
Home, 2011
© Morgan Johnson Norwood
This was one of those rare paintings that took on a life of its own, and I just held on for the ride.  I have been incorporating natural forms into my subject matter for many years, but only recently have begun playing with the lotus pod form.  I adore seed pods and will often refer back to this symbol in my work.

The clock says that it's nearly midnight, and the baby alarm sounds very early.  Good night, friends out there.