Above is my sixth Lenten psalm block, taken from Psalm 18. It is the last one I finished this year, although I still hope to do a block from Psalm 22 to honor Good Friday as well. With a recent trip, I just couldn't get it done in time for this year, but it will join the series soon. I already have it drawn out.
And here is Easter. I wanted color for Easter instead of the stark black and white. I mixed an orange and a yellow and tried several different ways of rolling them on top of each other, a technique I saw in progress at the venerable Hatch Show Print in Nashville when I visited there.
Here is the final version, taken from Psalm 149. It feels good to be out of a long and dark Lent and poised to celebrate Easter.
I sketched my second wedding on Saturday. It's a kind of frantic thing to do -- I worked during the preparations and the photo sessions, and everyone was moving around quite fast. I ended up doing 22 rapid watercolors in about two and a half hours. The bride and groom posed a few minutes longer for me to finish the top one, which I was quite pleased with. All the others were even quicker and more calligraphic, but it was fun to catch the changing kaleidoscope of the day. It was also very special to be right at the heart of such a joyful, momentous day, and I appreciated the family inviting me into their midst.
Above are the couple with the groom's children. His daughter again and her niece and nephew are below, along with the bride's mother fastening her into her dress and the groom waiting for his first view of his bride.
My Cape May watercolors have been featured in the Concierge Magazine printed for the Cape Resorts group for use at all their hotels. It's fun to see them in print, and I'm especially pleased with the cover. That was such a fun Victorian house to paint. It's one of several cottages they rent out.
Seeing this makes me want to go back there again. I hope I get to soon.
Huey's on a Sunday afternoon with a great band playing is one of my happy places. Less happy now that Di Anne Price is sick. She was my favorite to come out and hear, but two of her "boyfriends" played this past Sunday with the Mighty Souls Brass Band. (Click here for their website.) They're a recent band (I heard them for the first time in the fall), and they include a number of my very favorite musicians in Memphis. They totally rocked the joint at Huey's. And it was lovely to be there with longtime friends and see other friends and neighbors I care about. I love that there's great music within walking distance of my house on a regular basis and in the afternoon, instead of crazy late at night. The fact that I can get a great burger and have a glass of wine at the same time is icing on the cake.
Above are Sean Murphy on sousaphone, Tom Lonardo on drums (I was sad I didn't do better justice to him -- he's a great guy and totally cool looking as he plays), Jim Spake on sax, Jeremy Shrader on trumpet, someone I didn't know at all on trombone, and Victor on trombone as well. Victor and Jeremy also play for the Bluff City Backsliders, another one of my very favorite bands. I've seen Sean play (and sketched him) in several different venues, including the first wedding I did sketches for. Jim and Tom are two of the three Boyfriends in Di Anne's band and longtime friends. It was a great afternoon.
Below are Jeremy and Tom.
I got tentatively back to painting this week for the first time in a month or so. Regular readers will have noticed that I haven't been posting here nearly as often as I usually do. Normally I wake up every morning thinking about what art I want to make that day. I feel lucky to be a happy painter -- I don't have to cultivate or channel angst in order to make my art. That generally makes for a happy life.
However, in times of trouble and grief, it means that I hit a point where making art is very hard for me, and sometimes I just have to take some time off. I'm in the process of getting a divorce, and it's been difficult to work lately. Fortunately I don't have any shows looming, and my clients for the above commission have been very understanding.
The only thing I've been able to tackle lately is the series of lament psalm prints. They're heartfelt, relatively small, and simple in just black and white. Hopefully I can get back to more complex printmaking soon. I miss it, but it's sometimes hard to dive into a more intricate project. In the meantime, I'm trying to finish this painting (it felt great to get back into it) and also keep going with the psalms, since one is due each Sunday in Lent for use as church bulletin covers. The whole set will be available in digital form for any church that would like to use it for future occasions.
Here's the first proof for next week's psalm.
These are taking a bit longer than I bargained for, but after a lay off from art for a bit, they're a lovely way to ease back in -- not too big, one color, and heartfelt.
Here's the next one in progress. I'm back to carving this morning and hoping to finish this one today.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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