Front Row Girl

Keeping A Promise, 18″ x 20″, mixed media

So 2019 is upon us, and it is time to make those changes, those new year resolutions. And I have decided to occasionally be a “front row girl.” Now this is a term I heard in yoga class, when I teased another woman about moving up to the front row. She replied, “I’m not a front row girl. I don’t like the attention.” (I go to the front row because I can’t see.)

Wearing A Hoodie Through Life

Now, if you look up “front row girl,” you will get blogs and stories about a Milwaukee Brewer’s fan named Amy Williams who comes to most of their home games and sits…well on the front row. That’s not the front row I’m talking about. I’m talking about a different type of “front row,” one that includes taking more risks and being more involved in the things that matter to me (or to you) whether it is art, education, affordable housing, or fighting those who insist on speeding and running red lights.

Too often I find myself not doing things because it makes me uncomfortable— even though I realize that it’s something that could make a difference in my life or someone else’s.  If it is a problem, I complain, but still take a back seat because I’m an introvert and don’t like making a fuss. And sometimes even when I believe I have a good solution to a problem, I don’t speak up for fear that it can’t really be that good or someone else would have proposed it, or even for fear of rejection. A hoodie is nice when you’re cold, but it may feel good to throw it off once in a while.

Peaking Through

But this is the year. At least once a week I will be doing something I haven’t done on a regular basis—whether it is as simple as introducing myself and talking to someone I haven’t met (but should have), or speaking in a more public forum. Already I am pushing myself to change my paintings, adding more contrast, more color. I am also pushing myself to write more, about art and about life.

While winter is just beginning, I’m going to pretend it’s spring and that I’m always a “front row girl.” Some of us are late bloomers, admittedly very late bloomers. But our flowers are just as beautiful.

Vegetable Melody

“Vegetable Melody”

The challenge for the last couple of days was more collage on color, expressing temperature and mood. This one is all warm colors, a tropical explosion, but it looks more like my garden in August. See the peppers and tomatoes? Maybe there is even a sweet potato and a few squash.

I also continue to work with automatic or expressive drawing using various tools for marking. This one uses regular crayons, water soluble pastels, and charcoal.

“Vegetable Melody,” 10” x 10”, collage with charcoal, crayon, and pastels

Collage Detour


How many shades of yellow are there? No it is not a trick question. And what about blues? You see I got distracted from the 30-in-30 paintings this week. The initial idea was to test out some of the on-line classes and glean a few good teaching techniques. I have to admit I was a bit amazed at the variety and the quality. But it was one on color that got me into trouble this past week.

That very question about yellows is where it started. I found I didn’t own a primary yellow except in craft paint. And the only primary blue was in student grade. My head is hanging…almost to my toes.

To start with, I was happy no one had me pull out my color wheel. We made one. Well, several. And then several more collages. That’s when things began to get blurry—at about 5 or 6 collages. Yes, everything from analogous colors (which I admit I love) to developing contrast with hues and intensity.

I certainly picked an excellent online course to review. I felt at home with her teaching process and came away with several ideas for my own classes. It was also an excellent review of color and made me wonder why I don’t collage as much as I use to.

And then there’s the purchase. One online art supply store is very happy. And primary yellow and blue are among the paints I ordered. While I won’t bore you with my color wheels or the six collages I did, I will share two and try to get back on track.