Painting of a different sort

My easel and I are ships that pass in the night just now.  We stare longingly and lustfully at each other and mutter about getting a chance to hang out together soon.  It will happen.  I think it’s a ways away but I’m going to surprise it with three —  maybe even four — weekdays of painting in a row!  A second honeymoon!

But for now I thought I’d post the other type of painting that has been filling my days.

photo (1)

In my other life  — one of the thousand or so — I design needlepoint canvases under the name of Pippin.  I think up a design and figure out the details and then it gets painted onto canvas which someone buys and stitches on top of.  It’s such a  different type of work than I do with the painting you usually see here, and I like that contrast.  Bright solid colours and areas, tight designs, more whimsical subjects.  For the one above I’m trying to decide whether that expression is still nice or has taken on an ominous tone.

I also get chances to do other creative things. These are some little watercolour-y paintings I did to put on bookmarks I put in with the canvases.

photo (7)

Lately I’ve been a bit scundered with some orders, which is actually good news right? I’m gradually getting it organized so that I don’t do much of the painting of actual orders and can concentrate on designing and other stuff, but it’s not quite there yet so I’ve been busy painting!

Years ago when the kids were little I used to do all of the needlepoint painting after they had gone to bed for the night.  I’d start at about 8 and paint late into the night, later and later as I gradually became semi-nocturnal.  I’d have the TV on to listen to and David Letterman would turn into Conan, and then that would turn into the show which came after that which I’ve blessedly forgotten.  It used to be a very sobering moment when that show ended and the channel either went off the air or to commercials.  When the Nagano Olympics were taking place there was about an hour when the North American programming had finished but the next day’s events hadn’t started yet in Japan.  A live shot of the Olympic flame would be up for that hour, and it was strangely compelling, possibly mostly because it was 3 in the morning and I was a little slaphappy.  I live in sort of a slaphappy reality at the best of times!  I was tempted to stay up and watch the new events as they happened live, which would spell trouble for my next day.  There were already only a couple of hours between me slipping into bed, freezing and wanting so badly to slide my cold feet over towards my husband’s warm ones (akin to a declaration of war), and the time he’d get up to go to work.  And then another hour or so after that it would be time to get kids up and start the day.  Those were sleepy, sleepy days.  I perfected the knack of napping  standing in my kitchen with my eyes open.  But I liked having this little creative world that was just mine.

photo (2)

Eventually I got burnt out, and then sick, and if I thought I might still end up back at nocturnal painting this was packed away for good when I had another baby, and one who slept badly to boot.

But now the kids are all in school or out the other end and I can be a daytime painter.  David Letterman has been replaced with Canadian public radio, and I can talk to you a little bit about a lot of things because of that!

And yay for daytime painting because now I’m old.  Well, middle aged I guess.  I don’t feel old but, other than the odd magical night when it all comes together for the other type of painting, I don’t have the stamina or willpower to get through a busy day and then sit and paint at night, and there’s also a chance… just a chance… that I need glasses. Feels very squinty concentrating on little things after dark.

So that’s what’s filling my painting time these days.  Back to a balance of both soon.


6 Responses to “Painting of a different sort”

  1. artinstructor

    I love your flow from one art project to another. Yes some are more crafty but it is the artist drive non-the-less. I apply art to everything – time permitting. Nice needle-point pieces.

    • jennifertan47

      That is such a nice thing to say, and such nice wording. Thank you so much. I agree that once you let it it comes out in everything that you do.

  2. kellisamson

    I love this! I never thought about the people who made these before — what a fun job! My daughter loves you (just getting into cross stitch). Isn’t it funny how we can’t fathom staying up like that anymore? In reading our book right now, I am trying to imagine going all night to that circus. I don’t know that I could do it! So glad you don’t have to shove your creative time to the wee hours anymore.

    • jennifertan47

      I love cross stitch! I haven’t done any for a while but I loved not having to do every darned stitch! Good for your daughter!
      My eldest was telling me about a night club that doesn’t OPEN until 4 in the morning and stays open until noon the next day. That raises so many questions! Why would anyone want to be in a night club at 8 in the morning? And you’d have to just stay up until it opened, there’s no way you’d want to set your alarm and then wake up to go clubbing at 4 is there?? Oh dear, probably showing my age and stage of life. Glad to read my book in bed.


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