Resilience

acrylic painting, ink, Maryland Artist, Meredith Osterman Art, Pandemic, watercolor

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I recently sold the work above and I was asked if it had a title.  I usually don’t title my work unless I have to document it.  The result is that sometimes my titles are random and sometimes they are just descriptive.  I decided to title this work Resilience.

My friend, who owns a small business bought another work like Resilience in October last year and she was talking to me about applying for grants during the pandemic and how difficult it is.  She said she looked at the painting that she bought and felt calmer.  So understandably I was really happy that something I had made had helped my friend and I was inspired to paint another painting with the same process.

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painting bought in October 2019

The process for these paintings is somewhat random.  I take watercolor paper and I squirt concentrated watercolor onto the surface.  Sometimes I add water.  The paint falls where it wants to for the most part.  I do a little directing but I let the process dictate how things will look.  Then I paint my small watercolor into a larger acrylic painting.  So I like to think of it as finding beauty in chaos.

I hope you are all doing well and feeling resilient.

Ray Bradbury

acrylic painting, drawing, ink, Maryland Artist, Pandemic, Ray Bradbury, watercolor

“Out on the highway the last faint water colors of the sun were gone beyond the hills and whatever they were chasing was so far ahead as to be only a swift fleck now shown in lamplight now set free, running into the dark.”   -Ray Bradbury Something Wicked This Way Comes

There are so many phrases and words that beg to be illustrated in Ray Bradbury’s books.  He writes in pictures.  This quote struck me as I was reading Something Wicked.  It’s just the way he captures the past turning into the present when he describes the sunlight and the dark.

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I did not portray the exact moment in the Bradbury’s writing but it inspired different pictures having to do with boys running outside and the setting sun.  I may return to the book to find some other scenes to paint.

Contact Improv

drawing, ink, Pandemic, watercolor

Two or three years ago I went to Santa Fe with a friend who is a dancer.  We went to the Currents New Media Festival which is about new technology in art.  Interestingly there was a person exhibiting whose work had nothing to do with new technology.  They wore a jump suit covered in silver glitter and had a mirror strapped to their face.  The exhibitor interacted with passers by through movement.  He did this while staying on a small platform.  My friend walked to the glitter man and they started to move together, taking turns leaning on each other and making different shapes and poses.  This was my introduction to contact improv.

Strangely enough, I haven’t really thought about that moment until recently.  I drew some pictures of couples together and it reminded my of my friend’s dancing.  I started watching a lot of modern dance online and looking at pictures of it.  The poses are so strong and the dancers are so impressive.  

I miss hugging my friends and being close to them.  So to watch people dancing has been very uplifting.  And I have thought about different ways of people being together.  Sometimes people who are touching can be miles apart.  And sometimes people together can make such beautiful forms and show a deep amount of care towards one another.  Dance reminds me of this.  It’s a testament to the power of physical connection.

I have done some paintings of contact improv.  Some poses were borrowed from photos online and some are made up from my head.  I don’t know if I’m going to do a longer series with them.  It may be that what I have done is like a short story that I will elaborate on in the future.  

Home

acrylic painting, art show, collage, drawing, ink, print, Uncategorized, watercolor

I stopped by Strathmore to see what art show they had up a few weeks ago.  Interestingly the exhibit was about home, which I have been thinking a lot about.  There were so many artists represented and they all had different interpretations of the theme.  There were all sorts of different art media and techniques: sculpture, painting, printmaking, drawing, abstract, representational, conceptual.  It just showed how different everyone’s experience of home is.  

Some topics involved with home were immigration, natural disaster, the suburbs, family, and familiar things like coffee.  It was clear that there was a divide between artists.  Some seemed more anxious about home while others gave the impression of it being a happy place.  I think the idea of home can be complicated. There are so many things that happen when you’re growing up both inside and outside your control.  I was happy to see such a diverse representation of the subject.

 

Moving clockwise from the top left image work is titled and made by: Sea Rise by George Lorio, Old Fashioned Letter by Stefanie Stark, Marla; At Home in America by Lulu Delacre, My Heart by Kimberley Bursic, Ritual by Kelly Bell, Bird Polyptic: Thrush, Mockingbird, Nuthatch, Wren by Liz Aukamp LaGarde, Trapped Inside This House by Emily Shepardson.

 

Rainbow Squares

doodle, ink, sketch book

In the past week or two I’ve been writing a lot.  It’s sort of funny since I’ve always thought of myself as more visual than verbal.  However, as a result of all the ideas coming out of my head I’ve needed to burn off some energy.  Exercise is good for this but also painting or drawing.  Since I’ve had no ideas for drawing recently I went to my fall back, drawing squares.  Below you will see the hundreds of squares that I drew and colored in.  If you like to look at pretty colors this should be right up your alley.

The Small Things and God

doodle, ink, Meredith's poetry, sketch book

It’s the Small Things That Matter

In the end, it’s the small things that matter

They accumulate like sand on a big beach

Each grain, seemingly inconsequential on its own

but so important for the shape of the full form

You could make a ripple in the ocean with a grain of sand

It’s just like you could change the course of your life with a thought

They both are unseen with the naked eye

But if trained, you can see how one small change can lead in a whole new direction

It’s the small things that matter

Because in the end without the small things there is nothing big to look forward to

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God

God is a foreign concept to me

Yet so close

I pray and I thank the concept

What is the concept?

What is God?

A man?  A benevolent force? A creature from the New Testament if you’re christian

Someone or something responsible for everything

So not truly benevolent unless you believe that everything bad is a force called Satan

I don’t know

God is a foreign concept to me

I have not seen or touched it

I have not heard or tasted it

All I have felt is hope in my heart and bones

So I pray

I pray to stoke the fires of my joy, my like force, my optimism

I pray to something I don’t understand

And I wonder if I need to