In the Winter

Meredith's poetry, watercolor

In the winter

It is quiet and cold outside

But in the winter

We burn fires and wear layers

We sing songs

And drink hot cider and wine

The winter is really the warmest time of the year

It is the time that we are all together

In the winter the trees look dead

But we have green holly and evergreens

We have bright red cardinals

In the winter the night comes early

But we stay up late and have grand dinners

or we snuggle under blankets and read books

In the winter our hearts are big

In the winter we watch our breath

In the winter we roar at the freezing cold

 

I hope you all like my original poem.  I just wanted to mention that the characters I used for my illustration were borrowed from the book The Selfish Giant.  Kudos to anyone who knows who Lisbeth Zwerger is.

Coffee

doodle, ink, Meredith's poetry, sketch book

I stare into my coffee in the morning

Black, then creamy brown

Milky, like a baby’s skin

And all I see is nothing

Not the day before me or the night behind me, but nothing

I sip and taste the slight bitterness and acidity

It heats my chest

It spreads

that warm nothing

A lazy morning feeling

languid and slow

I take a longer drink and then let the liquid settle

Enjoying the peace and quiet

A song comes on breaking the silence but not ending my quiet feeling

It makes me think of people I love and home

I feel safe

Another sip of coffee

My dog rubs against my leg

I thaw

I move

I wake up

I finish my coffee and start the day

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Permanent Record

sketch book

I started a new sketch book recently and decided that I needed to get back in the swing of drawing more often.  So I’ve been going places that I can sit and draw.  I started with one of my favorite coffee shops in Silver Spring, Zed’s Cafe.  However I felt a bit conspicuous since it’s a small place.  So I went to Union Station where there are more people and I could blend in more.

I did several sketches in Union Station and showed them to a friend of mine to see what she thought.  Her response was “Why are you doing it with pens?”. She thought it would be better to do it with pencil so I could erase.  Maybe I will use a more forgiving medium in the future but I like pen.  If I work in pen I have to get everything down fast and overlap things and there’s a record of all my marks.  I find that useful for generating confidence and having a good time with sketching.

Dance Place Gala

art show, watercolor

My friend, Ben Levine, is putting together the Dance Place Gala at Dance Place in DC.  He invited me to be a part of it by contributing to an installation piece that he designed.  There will be music, there will be windows, there will be cool lighting, and there will be me painting in the foreground.  I have met up with him and the manager for this project, Sarah Chapin, a few times and we have one more meeting to go before the show.  I’d be happy to see some familiar faces after the performance and happy if people I knew could enjoy the show.  So if anyone is interested in attending it is on the weekend of October 21st.  You can buy tickets through Dance Place.

 

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From left to right:  Meredith Osterman, Ben Levine, and Sarah Chapin

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This is me playing with some ideas for the show at our second rehearsal.  We will be working with projections of what I am painting during the show.

I was sitting outside

Meredith's poetry

Last weekend, I was up in Pennsylvania visiting family.  They live in the woods next to a lake.  I was sitting on their dock after going kayaking and I was contemplating the water and the trees and the insects.  What I got out of it is the following poem.  Unfortunately I did not take any pictures of the place I was at but maybe you can apply what you read to somewhere you have been.  Enjoy!

Nothing is still

I feel underlying currents

I see fractals playing on the surface

A heart beat, the breeze

A slight rocking

A life force moving through the trees

Moving underneath the surface…of your eyelids

Bright colors in nature

A vibration, a dragonfly

Nothing is still

These seemingly static surfaces

I feel their pulses

So alive

They move unseen

My Elephant

acrylic painting

IMG_0353Recently, when I got back from Santa Fe I felt the urge to get back into painting.  So I did about 7 fast paintings.  Most of them were not great but I was excited that the trip got me going again because I mostly work in my sketch books.  The first three paintings were still lives, then I did a couple portraits for my cousin’s engagement/wedding and I also did this depiction of a stuffed animal that I have.  I think out of everything this was the most fun to paint because it was the simplest.  I actually have repeatedly drawn or painted this elephant since college.

My painting spurt is over now, but I’m hoping that I will do more since I have some free time coming up.  Maybe I’ll do something else with my elephant or portraiture.

Santa Fe all the Way

doodle, scrap book, sketch book, travel

Hey!  Just got back from a great trip to Santa Fe.  I saw the currents new media main exhibit, meow wolf, a band that I really like and was not expecting to see, and tried a number of coffee shops and bars with my friend Ben.  Santa Fe was definitely worth the trip.  I’ve only included a few images from my sketch book here, a photo of the concert my friend and I were at, and then some photos of installations from Meow Wolf. I’ve got to say that airports are great places to draw in.  Enjoy!

 

Tree

commissions, ink

So in the past year it has become apparent to me that depictions of the tree of life are very popular.  I see jewelry and t-shirts.  One of my friends is using it as a logo for her business.  And now, I’ve been commissioned to paint it for one of my students.  She’s allowing me to interpret it and do my own version while giving me one image as a guideline.  I’ve also done a couple practice sketches in my sketch book and on some scrap paper.  This has all lead to a 20″x 16″ work.

Below I have some practice works and the final.  I wanted to do something simple.  Sort of going back to when I was practicing sumi-e painting, being able to work with the beauty of the ink as it spread on the paper.

It’s another study of process I think.

 

 

 

 

Color Studies

acrylic painting

I started working with watercolor studies about a month ago.  It’s a pretty simple concept of letting watercolors mix and using washes as well as concentrated blobs of color.  The challenge has been to take these studies and blow them up into acrylic paintings.  In some cases I got the flow of imagery and in others I didn’t.  Part of the fun is the transformation that switching mediums has on a concept though.  In any case, I hope to find a place to display the work and in the meantime am happy to share the work here online.

 

Explorations in Watercolor and Acrylic

acrylic painting, watercolor

Since abrupt flowers I’ve been working on exploring more about what acrylic can do.  I’m mostly interested in layering colors and blending them.  The painting with the flowers below was started the same week as the last post and helped me to get out some extra energy while exploring those ideas.  If I’m able to have a show I’ll explore it more with the studies I started in watercolor…or maybe I’ll go ahead and do a series without a show.  In any case I’m having fun working with bright colors and learning new techniques.