Miss Gioia

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gold - Poinsettia

And the final gift was Gold: an oil painting of a poinsettia flower. I think the shimmery gold tinge makes it look like a vintage hallmark card. A little painting for my swap buddy Louise.

This was a really fun swap. It was a lot of work though. After everything was done and mailed off, I almost felt lost. After spending the last six weeks working toward finishing everything, it was hard to not be doing anything - to not have a big project goal.

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Trials and Tribulations

Small hiccup in the plans - the travel approval did not arrive over the weekend as anticipated. Odds are really good that it comes today. So I am flying out tomorrow instead (hopefully!), but Chris went ahead today. There was no way for him to get to Chongqing on a OneWorld carrier on Tuesday (no flights), so we took a chance and sent him along as planned.

To pass the time while I wait and fret, here is some crafting news.

This past Saturday, I took a two hour watercolor class at a little studio by my house. I really do not know how to paint with watercolors. I really, really love oils, but you cannot travel with oil paint. So if I ever want to paint something on vacation, I really can't. Unless I learn how to use watercolors.

As you can see from my oranges above, I am not very good. Turns out watercolors are pretty tricky. Unlike oil, which is really forgiving, you have to get the paint on the paper in a very deliberate way, with pretty calculated timing. Blending is hard. Really hard.

I must admit, my teacher was pretty flustered with me. He would look at my work and then say, "OK, let me show you again." Are a reference, you can see his apples below.

And now my apples, which honestly look more like tomatoes. The teacher goes: "Apple? That is an apple!?" All love, let me tell you.

Try, try again is my motto. I will be back!


Friday, July 13, 2007

Family Painting

Chris is working on a new idea. He has never painted before, yet got the hang of it right away. His piece already looks great.

The background is all done. It needs to dry this week and perhaps next before the final work is added. How very fun.


Monday, June 18, 2007


I finished my painting last week, the one for my friends who are running a foster home in Beijing. I actually like the way it turned out. All of the Chinese who see it, though, just don't get it.

You see, the three characters in the upper right are Pu Tao You, which mean grapefruit. This was a collaboration, actually. Chris learned how to write these particular characters from his Chinese teacher, and then he taught them to me.

I thought the abstract fruit painting matched nicely with the simple declaration of being. Chris says that I should do a series for the kitchen. You know - apple, grape, etc. The thought of that makes me smile.

I also was interested in experimenting with how Chinese characters can be used in modern art: in oil and as part of an abstract composition. Most traditional Chinese art incorporates characters too, but it is normally done in a water-based ink with very methodical brush strokes. The characters usually spell out a poem that relates to the scene. The work here is a kind of poem too - albeit a very brief and obvious poem.

When our ayi saw the painting with the characters, she said: "well, it WAS a nice painting." Chris showed it to his Chinese teacher, and she said: "Why would you do that?"

But I like it.


Monday, May 21, 2007


We have some friends here in Beijing who are helping to start a foster home. Their new home is for children who wait for adoption after surgery. It opened just this week with six children. Today after church, I asked if they needed anything. The response was: actually we need paintings for our bare walls.

Which was really weird because I had been feeling like I needed to paint something all week. On Saturday, I broke out the brushes and started on a picture FOR THEM. And it turned out it was just what they needed. I have a witness, too, because I told Chris on Saturday that it was for L&B.

The painting is not done yet, but here is a small peek.

Freaky, huh?

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