Tuesday, September 28, 2010

self portrait

Back in the day, when I suffered from migraines, this would have been an apt self-portrait.  I was held hostage by  fierce, grinding, ice-pick in the eye headaches for 30 years.  They came every eight days, lasted three days.  I tried every known cure.  I even wrote a novel about it (Hell's Bells).  It was supposed to be funny.

I could not be the person I am today, sitting in a brightly lit studio, were it not for Dr. Stuart Stark.  I had been painting a few years, mostly crippled efforts, until Dr. Stark liberated me.  The cure he proposed, which I think of as the Elvis Presley regimen, won't work for everyone.  I take Ritalin three times a day and a sleeping pill at night.  I have been migraine free for nine years.  I don't ever want to go back to those dark days.http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/cindy-packard-richmond/137919006225893?ref=sgm

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mother's Little Helpers

Sometimes, I do paint from my imagination.  These two pieces feature bottles labeled "Hissy Fits", "Delusions of Grandeur", "Blue Funk", "Cotton Mouth", and "Foot in Mouth."

Like they say, "paint what you know."

Monday, September 20, 2010

Back to the Barn

  This is a painting of the "Sisyphus"  porch on the Vineyard.  I thought it was finished until Carol Dupre dropped by my studio and told me the perspective was all wrong.  She was, as always, right.
   So I reworked perspective.  But the piece still didn't work.  My imagination was at fault.
   It's hard to admit as an artist (and former novelist), that my imagination is limited.  Or at least, does not translate.  I have to see something to paint it.  My friends, Susan Makara, Sheep Jones and others paint from their imaginations ALL the time.  I could not even invent a plausible chair and table.
   I paint what I see.   It is,  I hope, different from what others would see looking at the same object.  Otherwise, why bother?
  One of my strengths as an artist is a willingness to rip a piece apart and start over.
  The table and chair are now gone.  Kicked back to the paltry recesses of my imagination.http://www.facebook.com/pages/cindy-packard-richmond/137919006225893?ref=sgm

Thursday, September 16, 2010

finite joy

   My brother Vance, remarking on the paucity of sharp knives in the family house on Martha's Vineyard, said, there has to be some incentive to leave.
And he's right.
   The kitchen is periodically stocked with good tools, but after a season of rentals, everything is dulled, broken or missing.
   Maybe the tenants are doing us a favor.
  There has to be some lure to leave the Vineyard for the real world.  For Vance, it's decent cutlery.  For me, it is my oils. I purposely didn't take them with me, the better to soak in all that the Vineyard offers.  I'm gestating now.  Tomorrow, I'm back in the studio.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Far from the tree..

This is my mother, Virginia Packard.  She was an accomplished artist, known for her ability to capture the essence of Martha's Vineyard.  She showed regularly at The Granary Gallery and the Field Gallery.
I did not start painting until she died, and only then to feel closer to her.  I avoided Vineyard landscapes for a long time.  She was much better at them than I will ever be.  But I'm better at still lifes. Go figure...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Who said Sisyphus was a myth?

This is the house my parents bought in 1953 on Martha's Vineyard.  It's the heart and soul of our extended family.  Upkeep is a challenge, to put it mildly.  The original owner (1905) aptly named her "the house of winds".  Doors slam suddenly and without provocation.  She's survived many a hurricane, but the salt sea air digs at her.  For as long as I can remember, I have spent my vacation scraping the four sets of stairs and porch trim. (Someone else paints) Every year.  For 50 weeks a year I paint in my studio at home or in Studio 3 of the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia.  For two weeks a year, I scrape.

Why am I not at the beach?

I should be at the beach. Family and guests are at the beach.  Here I sit with a sheath of papers trying to create a blog.  I am told this is necessary if I am to be a modern artist.  Go viral.