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  • Writer's pictureApril Gavin

Early Spring - Weathering the Storm

Updated: Jun 27, 2023

I feel like I have someone else's weather. I'm not sure whose though. It's been a cold and wet spring. Many folks in my neighborhood are dealing with fallen trees, rotten fences, and flooded basements. We tell ourselves this is the last storm of the year, but then more shows up.

The birds have been extra active in my backyard. I can see these tiny birds dive-bombing an aloof crow and imagine what their issue might be. This imagining became Early Spring. I took some risks on this painting and let myself evolve as an artist. One of the things this painting taught me is that careful thought in the beginning prevents failure down the road. This work got to a point where I couldn't go wrong. Anything I added could only enhance the work. This allowed me to play with light and shadow - something I'm new at.

One way in which I evolve as an artist (and it will be different for you) is by creating a challenge for myself. Weathering the Storm gave me that challenge. The initial sketch of the above happened over a year ago. Often, my sketches are a reflection of my work day. What on earth was I feeling that day? When I think of the planet tucked safely under a cat who sits on a bear's lap, I feel blessed to have had such a thought. Maybe, just maybe something else is possible other than the storm outside. The challenge came in rendering it. Again, I allowed myself to evolve and learn something scary - sheer curtains! I really had to psych myself up for that. I don't think I did too badly.

Again, an evolution, but I'm not sure what it will be yet. I'm sharing it here because it's funny and you might need a laugh. All I know is that I needed to draw a dragon or two or three. The one on the left arrived first. She looked so enchanted by something amusing that I had to draw her companion. The little one in the middle showed up last. They are discussing politics and the larger one says, "No kidding, he lost three times!!!"

Nighttime in the Hills came from a day of printmaking on the gelatin plate. I had a lot of failure with prints that didn't work out or looked too neat and kind of boring. I took a chance and let some spontaneity guide me. The evolution of this technique happens by doing. There will be failure and yeah, you'll waste some paper (make it the cheap kind).

AND then because there is always a pick-up print from the gelatin plate - An East Bay Kind of Day emerged. This print was exciting for me when I pulled it. There are some more excellent prints from that session and I'll be sharing them in coming posts.

Now for the News.....

She Waltzed with a Blue Bottle Fly will be included in the 2024 Women Artist's Datebook. YES! I got in again. AND YES! For those of you who receive a copy every year come what may, will get one. Thank you Edward Lear and the Castle in the Air group for inspiring this work. This work hangs on the wall next to my desk so I can enjoy it every day.

****************** O P E N S T U D I O S **************

May 13-14 and May 20-21

11am - 5pm

I'm a few blocks from North Berkeley BART if you don't want to drive. Street parking is available. Follow the signs down the driveway, through the back gate, down the garden path. As always, studio is open by appointment. Please come by if you can.


I keep saying and one day it'll be true. Scout and the Space Cats is in full production. All the photos are edited. Some tools in Photoshop became my very best friends. The layout for the book is in In Design and I'm fussing with the results. I'm not done fussing yet, but one day this book will be available. Please stay tuned.


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