A look into the mind of one artist, Paisley O'Farrell. Her thoughts about art, creativity, philosophy, home life, pets, food, movies, music - basically whatever she's thinking about. A chance to get to know her better as she examines her own life through writing.
| 15 March, 2014 12:32
While I am getting better, I've been feeling simply awful for weeks, since mid-December actually. For days I have thought about whether I want to write about this. With the Eye Inside project, I allow myself total freedom of topics but with no obligation to lay out every detail of my life. This hesitation to reveal comes from several thought processes - common misunderstandings about this condition, quantum ideas about how talking about one's illness can perpetuate the symptoms, and strange though it may sound, how uncomfortable it can be to endure people's sympathy. It's just easier if they don't know. I've decided to leave out the details for now, I may feel freer once I have fully recovered.
I feel frustrated about my art. I feel the need to create but I get too tired from the emotional drama of my day job. I feel a bit sad and a little down in general and that makes the creative ideas come more slowly and less frequently than usual. My imagination varies with my moods. When I feel sort of down, as I do now, I see more abstracted color forms. When I'm in a lighter, happier frame of mind I easily imagine wonderful, fantastical landscapes. It seems my mind correlates happiness with order and nature and unhappiness with disorder and chaos.
The relationship wants to come out in my art but so far I haven't really let it. The summer before last I felt rather gloomy and played at making some abstract paintings. I think many of them are quite good and a few are truly beautiful. I haven't shown any of them or further developed the technique. People expect me to paint the landscapes.
I think I should work on the abstracts when the mood is right and paint the landscapes when the mood suits creating them. It would help me to be more productive, and I have been wanting to break out of the cage of other people's expectations.
It can be scary to show something different when a certain style has been accepted and is in demand. The Big One, Seattle's largest art walk is coming in May and I expect to be invited to show again this year. Usually, I showcase 5 or 6 larger paintings and take a stack of 6 inchers which nearly always sell out. If I show abstracts this time will anyone be interested? There's only one way to find out. We'll see if I find the courage to do it this year or chicken out and fall back on the landscapes. Maybe I'll show both. Whatever I decide, I need to get busy.
Thanks for your patience during my absence,
| 08 December, 2013 18:20
Hello from The Eye Inside.
Thanksgiving was fun. We weren't able to get together with family this year but we had a lovely, relaxing time. No traditional feast for us, my sweetie made his amazing veggie gumbo for our lunch and we made a huge pot of home made black bean tamales with a delicious spicy sauce and big salad for dinner. Super yum!
December 1st marked the return of the Winter Formal, a house party given by our friend, a delightful french woman with a huge, beautiful home. It's always so much fun, a very eclectic crowd with a high proportion of artists in attendance. Great food and interesting people in fancy dress. I wore a pewter velvet empire dress, short full skirt and extra long sleeves with beautiful but uncomfortable metallic victorian boots. My Sweetheart dressed in black slacks, white tuxedo shirt and a gold brocade Chinese jacket. We looked marvelous. I know because we were told so.
Last year on Winter party day, our water heater broke and flooded our basement. We worked like crazy people to clean up the water and then went to the party tired, but with a story to tell. This year our basement was flooded again, but from the kitchen sink. The pipe was clogged low down, outside the house backing up into the sump. Again, frantic water clean up followed by a night of partying. I hope next year is free of plumbing mishaps.
The weather had been strangely dry and unseasonably cold for the Puget Sound area. Normally, November is quite rainy, continual rain seven days at a time with dramatic wind storms to spice it up. December rolled in with a spell of very cold, sunny days, lows in the teens and 20s and highs below freezing. This is what climate change looks like in the Pacific Northwest. I hear people talking about how beautiful it is and how great it is that we're having dry weather. It upsets me, the short sightedness and the shallow sun worship. Dry fall weather gives us low snow pack, which gives us summer drought and all its complications. I wish more people would look at the big picture, not just climate, but all areas of life.
When the mercury drops, our home is cold, cold, cold. This 1908 craftsman was originally a lake house, used for summer vacations. The walls are hollow, the doors and wood framed windows drafty. Only the bath and library have proper electric heat, the main room and kitchen heated by a woodstove in the cold season. Boy, do I love that woodstove.
Until next time, enjoy my public diary.
| 19 November, 2013 21:09
I'm working on a new painting, another twilight sky - sort of geometric clouds with city lights below. I haven't yet decided what the foreground will be but it will be silhouetted. The sky is finished and I have begun the lights, zillions of tiny, yellow dots.
I got into a bit of a debate with a friend today. We have very different views and opinions politically. With my dyslexia I have trouble getting my thoughts out of my head. I see the big picture, the entirety of the topic but can't separate the issues into smaller bits, individual points and counter points. Feeling the responsibility of defending my views makes me feel a little nervous and that makes the dyslexia worse. I get quietly frustrated, I misspeak and I remember events out of sequence. I'm a poor debater, all around. Anyway, if politics comes up again I may have to invoke the rules of polite conversation - Never discuss sex, politics or religion.
Until next time, Peace, from The Eye Inside
| 12 November, 2013 18:54
This evening gave me a most inspiring sky. Looking down the street, framed on both sides by leafless branches and below by evergreens was a layered cloud with long tails, accented above by a crescent moon. Gorgeous, delicate blues and silvery greys with dark sillhouettes. I stood and stared. I whispered, "This will become a painting."
Last night I picked up my guitar for the first time in six weeks. I strummed a few chords for the sheer joy of the sound, then knocked out Children of the Revolution. That song sounds great on acoustic. My chord fingers are so tender, all callous long since healed. Ouch.
Until next time, love from the Eye Inside.
| 04 November, 2013 14:47
Greetings from The Eye Inside,
Yesterday I woke with a mild headache which amped up during the day into a full blown, nauseated migraine the likes of which I haven't experienced in at least a year, only to evaporate quickly in the evening as migraines so often do.
I was feeling only slightly unwell when it was my scheduled time to de-install my paintings from the gallery show. I already knew that I hadn't made a sale, but was surprised to find that no one had sold anything. How odd, I thought the art in this show was good. I know the gallery wasn't able to advertise this show as well as previous shows but still, that no one bought anything is puzzling.
My newest painting is still waiting to be photographed, but the weather just isn't co-operating. My house is too dark to shoot inside so I like to set up an easel outside and snap a few pics at different settings so I can get a usable shot for the web. All my paintings still need to be professionally imaged for reproduction.
I spent the morning in the garden trying to maintain some sort of pathway system, including the sidewalk. Everything in my garden grows twice as big as the neighbors' twice as fast so that means more trimming than I like. Trimming might be an understatement, bushwhacking may be more accurate. The front garden was left on its own most of the summer while I toiled away at the full time day job and tried to keep the back garden from engulfing the house, greenhouse and studio. My cats like to "help" when I'm gardening - running in circles around me, swatting at twigs and leaves, or just supervising from the large stump. They're so cute.
Happy November, from An Artist's Public Diary.
| 28 October, 2013 14:20
I've been thinking about why I can't seem to write very often. I came to the conclusion that I've been trying to write the blog entries like articles, trying to sound professional, limiting my topics, thinking too hard about what might be interesting to others and what might be too personal to tell.
I had very enlightening conversation with someone I hadn't spoken with for quite a while and this dear wise woman told me something I wish I had figured out on my own a year ago - that other people's lives are interesting and many people will want to know what goes on inside an artist's head.
This sparked an idea, a public diary of sorts in which I can write about whatever is in my mind at the moment, be it art, tech issues, home life, philosophy, pets, food, books, music...anything. Total freedom of topics with a few simple guidelines to protect my friends' and family's privacy.
The resulting writings could be great or boring, I don't yet know. This may, however be the solution to my blogging frustration.
Be prepared to get to know me better, and welcome to The Eye Inside, An Artist's Public Diary.
| 14 October, 2013 11:16
The "Nightmares and Dreamscapes" opening night reception was beyond my expectations. A great turnout of interesting and interested people made the event very exciting. The most unusual comment I received was that I have the hand control of a computer, that's a pretty good one. I had a few tantalizing nibbles at some of my paintings and we'll see if anything comes of them...
I just looked at the photos from the night on Avanti's Facebook page and they are great. The panoramic view images tickle my eyes, the way they make the space look as if it has Escher-like curves and dimensions. They are very fun indeed.
I'm a bit tired after the weeks of preparation for the show, working long and late to finish the new painting I wanted for the gallery opening. I still need to photograph it for the website and I probably can't do it until November. I thought of taking the picture during the installation but I think the position of the painting would give it a large light flare. I better wait, so please have patience.
| 04 October, 2013 20:19
Long time no see, so to speak.
I feel a little nervous about my upcoming gallery show, Nightmares and Dreamscapes. Not nervous to show my work, more about the social side. I often feel a bit awkward around so many strangers, I feel like I don't know what to say.
I just had a particularly encouraging phone conversation with a dear, wise friend who told me that the awkwardness is rarely perceptible to other people, you just feel it inside. I'll keep this close to my heart on opening night.
On a different note, I have an idea for a new, non-visual project brewing in my mind. I'll write about it in more detail, after opening my gallery show.
Until then, wish me luck.
| 21 July, 2013 10:47
Like many artists I keep a day job. I prefer to work part time, maybe two days a week but I often find myself talked into taking a full time assignment and have accepted one again. This leaves me too busy or too tired for much painting. It makes me feel a bit sad.
I wanted a way to make art during my public transit commute time and a little during the quiet moments at work. I've been playing with some digital art, drawing apps and such and some of the images look beautiful - surprisingly so. Some of the apps allow saving high resolution files, printable at about 9"X13" judging py pixel count, but others save in pitifully low res printable at 2"X3". I'll offer the high res as prints but the low res will need serious tweeking first. I'll try to get some of the imaged up today. I'm so happy to have found a way to keep the clock wound, so to speak, while the demands of the day to day keep my studio time at a minimum.
I have been recommended a local printer who will scan/photograph large artworks at high resolution for reasonable prices. You may know I've had the craziest time trying to find this service, I don't know why. I'm just happy I will soon have the large paintings available as reproductions.
| 12 May, 2013 09:52
It's over, "The Big One", Seattle's huge annual art walk, my favorite event of the year. It was so much fun, such a community feel, getting together with so many other artists and, of course, the wonderful visitors without whom the art walk would be pointless.
I find it fascinating to watch people looking at art, to observe the different reactions. I see a gamut of reactions to my paintings, from wide-eyed, hand-over-open-mouth awe to cursory glance. Art is so subjective, I might even say entirely subjective and that is one of the things I like best about it. Whatever an artist likes to create, there is likely an audience for it, whatever a person thinks is beautiful or interesting, there is likely an artist creating it.
Thank you to all who came out to see our works, who made comments, who lavished praise, who criticized, who said nothing.
Thank you to those who made purchases, you are supporting creativity, you are the ones who make it possible.
Thanks to those special few who freely gave me business advice, your generosity will be remembered and passed on.
| 27 April, 2013 16:34
I find it challenging to write this blog. I just don't know what to write. I admire those who know what to share, who want to write often. I sit before my 'puter and try to think of something interesting to type. I ask myself if I've done anything new and different with my art...not really. Has something noteworthy yet not too personal happened in my life? Nope, just the day to day. Well, I'll keep trying. Maybe it's a skill that can be learned.
| 15 September, 2012 18:16
I have been experimenting with abstract paintings, wanting to develop a style that is all my own. I think it is coming along nicely, I'm really figuring out what I like as an abstracted color form. I've so enjoyed the process of moving away from objective images, it's very freeing.
I'm working out the technique on small canvases and will progress to larger canveses. I can imagine these paintings in very large sizes. I want to make them three feet by five feet or larger, but possibly will focus on square canvases.
I have more computer issues and I've been through the seven stages of grief with my ancient and venerable laptop which has finally completely died. This has rendered me unable to work on new pics for the website until I can get a new one. I'm happy I can use my sweetheart's computer for essential tasks such as keeping communication with you. :)
| 29 August, 2012 15:00
I have imported the photo disc and will begin polishing raw images of the paintings. A few of them have some serious light flare and three have tint problems because even after using a white card to adjust the white balance my camera still can't seem to tell the difference between blue and purple.
Last night I opened GIMP for the first time to play around a little bit to see what it does and how it functions. It looks pretty cool.
| 19 August, 2012 14:51
Happy Birthday to me and happy birthday to my new art blog.
A lot has happened since I began building this website. Here is an update...
Three weeks after I got a rudimentary website running, the hard drive in my computer died leaving me 'puterless while a friend replaced the drive.
Another week later my printer printed its last page, may it rest in pieces. I've found a new printer which has great scanning ability. That should be very useful for uploading images of new small paintings to the website.
I have yet to import the photo discs of my paintings to tweak the images as promised on my home page. I'll be using GIMP to work with the images...another thing to learn.
On a more personal note, it is my birthday. I will be opening gifts and eating gingerbread with vanilla ice cream this evening.
| 19 August, 2012 14:20
Hello everyone. I asked myself, would anybody be interested in reading anything I wrote in a blog? My answer was, I have no idea. At my last art show I asked many visitors whether they read blogs and whether they might read mine if I wrote one. Nearly everyone answered yes to both questions.
So here I am.
I wasn't sure what to write about, so again I asked around. Most people said they would be interested in reading about my personal thoughts as well as my art.
Therein lies the challenge, I will do my best.
Thanks to all the helpful people who put up with my questions about blogs. You are the greatest.