Saturday, March 20, 2010


This is my submission for the Calypso Moon Artist Movement challenge. Because who doesn't want a challenge? I also like the idea of communing with other painters on the internet, and this group sounded new and fresh and small and (I hope) accepting. The assignment was to paint only two things I collect.

Now I collect a lot of things. Besides small totem poles and vintage jewel-toned pottery bud vases, I collect wind-up toys, bottle openers, vintage table linens, fossils, postcards, books and art. I don't have really huge numbers of anything; for instance, I have three totem poles and five of the art deco style bud vases. They are subsets of larger collections of all sorts of vintage pottery and native american arts and crafts. When I have something I'm fond of, it opens my eyes to other similar things; they practically jump off thrift store shelves. Things like to group together; it's a law of nature or something.

So my biggest challenge was picking which two things to paint. I gathered a pile likely candidates on my dining room, and tried many possible pairings. I liked these two things together. As I painted them, I figured out why. Their colors are pleasingly complementary. Their sizes are similar but not to much the same. They share a vertical orientation. Best of all, they both have marvelous curves. Another big decision was not overlapping them. I think they look more natural standing apart, because each thing is set out for display. I think the painting has a kind of vintage look itself, perhaps because of the subject or perhaps the colors. The totem pole, which is the only one I got from the northwest, is signed by Patrick Seale. I thought about him when I painted the same designs he had painted.


  1. Barbara, I enjoyed reading your set up selection process. The earthy tones are very comforting. Who doesn't love pottery and totem poles? I also smiled at what you have to say about comments in the top right hand corner of your blog. I hope your brave and adventurous and visit your fellow artists for this challenge and tell them "hello", they may say nothing back but at least you'll be content knowing "good things will happen".

  2. Thank you Alice. I'm working on being brave and adventurous, which is a good thing all on its own. I also won't send you such a big image the next time.

  3. Hi Barbara. I came over from the comment you made on my blog and found that you had also contributed to the Calypso Moon challenge. I like what you've chosen to paint here and the way you've rendered them. The totem pole is totally cool. BTW, I forgot to mention in my posting that the birds on the top of the sake set whistles when you pour.

  4. Hello Barbara!
    Nice to meet you!
    The totem pole and vase are great, I enjoyed hearing your reasons.

    And your garden!!
    Those are amazing pictures.

  5. Barbara I found out I have a big collection too - but for painting purposes. So unless you're an artist, one would just take me for another junk collector! What are the dimensions of your painting and what medium? I'm impressed with the detail you got on the totem pole. Very peaceful piece!

  6. Welcome Lokelani, Euarthula, and Erika, my new internet artist friends. Thank you for your comments. I look forward to following your painting adventures too. My collectors painting is a 9x12 watercolor on hot press.