I’ve exhausted the idea of continuing the Pink Houses for now. I am sure it will return and I did create two acrylic paintings that are located at the Serendiptiy Gallery in Pequot Lakes, MN. Over the summer months, I explored that and then managed to cross off a bucket list item, which was to enter the Crop Art competition at the Minnesota State Fair. I won the blue ribbon for the Novice category and now will I continue? Good question. I have an idea, but will have to start laying it out if I want to enter again.

The subject matter for the crop art was a beautiful white pine tree that is located between Menahga and Park Rapids along Highway 71 in Minnesota. I took a photo of the stately beauty a few years back and during the course of my adventures with the crop art, I found that is a favorite landmark among many locals and tourists of the area. It’s notable because it stands out as the sole pine in that section and has such a beautiful shape. Unfortunately, the top portion of the tree is stressed or diseased and may have completely died off.

The tree continues to be the subject matter of the various media I am playing with which includes acrylic, oil, and some printmaking methods. What I am finding interesting is the media and my hand respond so differently with each different ink or paint I explore that I am embracing the higher power of letting things emerge on their own. I am reminded that I too am always learning just like my students who teach me more than I will ever teach them.

Yesterday, was a prime example. I have students blog and draw weekly sketchbook assignments. As I was working with a student, I used his sketchbook to render a small sample of how they might approach the work. I noticed that they had two of the recent assignments completed in the sketchbook, but failed to turn them in. When I asked about that, they replied with, “I didn’t think they were good enough.” We had a long conversation related to that and I finally said, “if it’s your drawing it will always be good enough.” Now to heed my own words. The top image is an etching on a handmade paper using Akua inks, followed by an acrylic painting on paper. The rest are beginning stages of two oil paintings.