Wednesday, July 25, 2018

and a few lilies blow

I have desired to go 
Where springs not fail,
 To fields where flies no sharp and sided hail
 And a few lilies blow
 And I have asked to be
 Where no storms come,
 Where the green swell is in the havens dumb,
 And out of the swing of the sea.
Gerard Manley Hopkins

— 1864  'Heaven-Haven'.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

lilies three weeks later and quite a bit older

"The petals droop sadly, curl into the stem, and give up their first pearly luster. Days go by, I continue looking and discover that the curling shapes are even more interesting. The aging lilies have acquired a patina, a different sheen, and far better lines to draw."
Janice Skivington

Saturday, July 21, 2018


Pawikan means sea turtle in Tagalog. I saw and swam near these giant sea turtles when I went scuba diving in the Philippines. Here are two of my paintings made after I came back to the hotel, dried off, sat on the veranda with a drink and watched the changing water over the bay. The second painting here I tore out of my sketchbook and presented as a thank you to the owners of the diving resort.

Friday, July 20, 2018

sunset three times

Anthias a tropical fish seen in a coral reef in the Philippines.

Sunset hibiscus Janice Skivington 2018
Sunset over Aniloa, Philippines. Janice Skivington 2018

Monday, July 16, 2018

seen and not seen

In the New Testament of the Bible, Paul the Apostle states: “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Saturday, July 14, 2018

meadow in the mountains

More roving reports from this artist's sketchbook. A long visit to the mountains in Colorado included viewing lots of high altitude wildflowers at a peak blooming time last week. We hiked up Snodgrass peak and I rested in a mountain meadow impossibly crowded with flowers. While others hiked a bit further I stayed behind surrounded by color and scent. I didn't have my big sketchbook but made these little notebook drawings for the pleasure of it all.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

alive in the open air

All the students have shown more advance in two months of summer study than they have in a year of ordinary instruction, largely due to their free and wholesome life in the open air.
- Howard Pyle

Saturday, July 7, 2018

in memorium

To the best dog ever.

Many artists and writers have studio companions. Pets, but more than that, comfort creatures, muses or faithful mood-improvement-enhancers. Hemingway had his many-toed cats, Frida Kahlo had her monkey, Salvadore Dali had two pet ocelots, Picasso had a dachshund called Lump, and Rene and Georgette Magritte had their dog after the war.

My faithful companion was this dog, an Australian Shepherd. He was also my mood-enhancer, guide dog for the directionally-challenged, and running buddy.
His doggy bed was underneath my art table right by my feet which is where he preferred to be most of the time.
He died of old age a few months ago and I continue to miss him greatly.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

transmission of feeling

Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.
by Leo Tolstoy (September 9, 1828 – November 20, 1910)
from his essay What is Art?, 1899
at home in Batangas Philippines Janice Skivington 2018
Community at home in Batangas Philippines. Janice Skivington 2018

Walking about the neighborhood in Batangas, enjoying the way people enjoy their home life. Pigs, dogs, chickens, noisy roosters, kittens, children, papaya trees, banana trees, bugs, lizards, the smell of roasting corn on a charcoal grill, families gathering together, it is all so evocative and inspiring for my art life.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

a treasure of memory

“And the memories of all we have loved stay and come back to us in the evening of our life. They are not dead but sleep, and it is well to gather a treasure of them.” 
Vincent van GoghThe Letters of Vincent van Gogh

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

paint with the hand

"If we could but paint with the hand what we see with the eye" Honore de Balzac
I spent several peaceful evenings on the broad veranda in Batangas looking over the sea as the sun went down. I had this sketchbook and watercolor set and I recorded all the experiences and emotions as they happened. Some of these sketches are just for play, some for sentiment, all so that I never forget.

Monday, July 2, 2018

green mango

Imagine that you are a 10 year-old girl reading one of the Chronicles of Narnia books in the shade of a huge mango tree in your backyard in the Philippines. The occasional red ant or mosquito might bother you but this book is the best one you have ever read. You are reading with such concentration that you almost don't hear someone calling you to merienda on the porch. Merienda is usually a glass of chilled kalamansi juice but today they have slices of green mango with rock salt. You take your plate back into the shade of the mango tree and resume reading with the taste slowly savored of salt and sour green mango. So sour that it makes my mouth pucker and fill with saliva to think of the memory.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

what we see with the eye

"If we could but paint with the hand what we see with the eye"
Honore de Balzac
Hawksbill Sea turtle with myself and my son, Sam observing.

The sublime highlight moment of my trip to the Philippines was my day spent scuba diving in Aniloa.
I had been snorkeling many times, enjoying the warm water and colorful tropical fish.
But this was different. My son and I spent a day receiving instruction and being educated about this protected coral reef. Then we dove and dove and dove. I could have stayed down below for days. When we finally came up and I took off the equipment I was surprised to find myself exhausted. It was so peaceful, this other-world experience. The giant turtle we saw was majestic and thrilling. When I returned to the dive resort and dried off I immediately wanted to get out my watercolor paints and make a record of my experience.