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Enjoying a perfect moment

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A month or two ago I needed to come up with a name for my summer art show. My husband and I had an impromptu brain storming session, each of us coming up with various names hoping for something that resonated for both of us. After quite a few attempts and nothing that seemed right, we decided to sleep on it and try again another time. Then it struck me ... Moments. I said it aloud to him, and it made sense to him right away as well -- no explanation needed. I knew I had it then, one word that accurately communicates a concept of what this collection of paintings is about. For me, my paintings and my photography are intimately connected in my creative journey. I use my camera to capture moments, perfect moments frozen in time that I can pluck out of the universe and hold still so that I can examine the intricate details of form, light, shadow, and mood. I literally shoot hundreds of pictures of a subject I am interested in within the space of only a few minutes. Then I sit at my computer and review the hundreds of moments I have captured digitally in order to choose the one perfect moment that, for me, depicts the story I want to tell. In a painting, light and shadow is key to the telling of a beautiful story. What I love about using digital photography in my research and exploration of the world is that I can find one subject -- a flower, a leaf, a person, river, etc. -- and then grab hundreds of sequential moments of that subject to choose from so that I can find what is, for me, the most perfect grace of light touching here, striking there, glowing, warming, shading, etc. When you study hundreds of photos of one subject taken rapidly over a few minutes you can see that light changes in subtle and sometimes bold ways sometimes in the blink of an eye. My show opens on June 18, 2010 at Shawn's Gate Gallery and Studio. For more information, visit my fine art website. The painting you see a portion of in the postcard image here is the centerpiece of my show -- a 48" x 24" oil painting on a hardwood panel of one of the giant tree peony blossoms from our yard. I painted this peony in a khaki monotone. I had considered painting it in the true colors of the actual blossoms, but I was concerned that such a large painting in the bright colors of this flower might be overpowering. There will be ten new oil paintings in this show that have not been shown before, all pieces I have created in the past six months. With the show opening event on June 18th, I won't be showing the new paintings online until a few days later. I will send out an email when the paintings are available to view online. Now for some news about the May Sock Yarn give away ... the winner is Brenda Hellman. She gets to choose between the two lovely colorways featured in today's blog post: Rhoda (remember, I erroneously referred to the tree peony as a rhododendron and have since affectionately referred to her as Rhoda), and Jackie's Lilacs. The sock yarn is a gorgeous batik low-contrast colorway created by Kimber Baldwin (Kimber Baldwin Designs / Fiber Optic Yarn). Kimber has limited supply of each colorway available for purchase in her Etsy store now and in larger quantities at her website. I just purchased one of the Rhodas this morning which I will use to design and knit myself a pair of scrumptiously beautiful socks. It will be so good to knit again after months of no knitting while working all-out on paintings. Sometime in July I hope to have the Rhoda socks completed and a pattern available for publication. One more thing I would like to say on the subject of art. My dear friend Christine is a fine artist with a very unique approach to paintings of children. She does beautiful portrait work in both pencil and oil. Christine is a vibrant and beautiful lady, a wonderful mother, and an artist of exceptional talent. Treat yourself to this blog post of hers to see two tender paintings reflecting magic moments of childhood. She also has a lovely new website where you can find quite a few of her beautiful oil paintings. Summer is so close now, and feels as if it is already here. The world is lush and green again, farm equipment is on the move all over the country side in our area, fruit trees are already beginning to be heavy with fruit, and the warmth of the sun feels so wonderful whenever we step outside. We are busy with projects, with life, family, and friends -- many, many special and memorable moments. In a single moment of time you might see the most precious smile of a child, catch the most graceful glint of light hitting just the right spot on a piece of fruit or on a flower, find an alluring shadow inviting you to look deeper into a wooded acre, or see divinity gracing the morning sky. These perfect moments are happening all around us at all times, every day ... it is up to you and I to notice them and find at least one each and every day to thoroughly appreciate and enjoy. My wish for you today is that you find at least one spectacular moment in time to cherish and hold dear to your heart. ~firefly All Content Copyright © 2010 J. L. Fleckenstein ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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