Sunday, March 30, 2008


I wonder if I am, at heart, a folk artist. I have never been fully trained, I have never "fit" into the type of art that required intellectual discourse. When I began to think through my hands, I drew/painted what I felt and saw....mostly emotional. I think I can say with confidence that figurative narrative painting had STOP DON'T written all over it. I was not an action painter, a hard edge painter, an abstract painter and above all not a minimalist or a conceptual painter.

The better idea is to blast all labels. We all just do what feels right. In my drawings lately, I am able to quickly explore more of my imagination. Pen and ink are very freeing. And I'm able to stinky fumes. Not to say I won't be back in the studio as soon as my little bronchials are happy.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Drawing is taking up most of my creative time these days. A break from the fumes in the studio. I'll post a few drawings that are new.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Wow, where did the week go? The balmy weather in Houston is seductive. We took the heater out of the fish pond today. There are 5 big fat goldfish in there and they are swiftly outgrowing our tiny pond. During the winter they parked themselves like little piglets at moma's teats at the heater.....all lined up. The elephant ears have crept into the pond unable to resist a source of constant water.

And I saw my first mosquito yesterday. They have awakened and are a bit lazy yet but already out for blood. My drawings in pen and ink continue but with some hesitation. Its been such a long time since I drew all the time. Painting has been my constant. But there is something so intimate about that black line moving on the good paper.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

We have chugged the 8+ hours back from Fairhope, the bay, and the river. It was beautiful and fun and I must post some photos. A couple are from a very very funky BBQ place. It looks unsanitary but I was maybe ok. Had good food. Also a shrimp place and a church.

The Spanish moss was hanging from the oaks, the pecan trees were a ghostly silver among the outrageous green grass and the river was well populated with osprey, cardinals, buzzards, pelicans, ibis, and my favorite, the great blue heron.

Also had a jog through the Fairhope art and craft fair. The usual proportion of really good, ok, and really awful offerings. I found a jeweler there, Barbara Foley from Joplin Mo, who was fantastic. Her tent was packed with people like me wanting to give her our money. Great work. Also bought a fine trigger fish made of stone and carved and sanded (many many hours) by Peter and Stephanie Haddow from Madison, Mississippi.

Perhaps the most interesting is the cement round house in Fairhope, built by Henry Stuart, "the Poet of Tolstoy Park" (the book of the same name is by Sonny Brewer....good read) He was a barefoot and eccentric poet with utopian ideas, and inspired by Tolstoy.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I hate to leave my computer and Flickr, but its time to travel. We are off to Fairhope AL, a rather interesting place. There is a great book called The Poet of Tolstoy Park by Sonny Brewster that I recommend highly. The subject of the book was an intellectual and an eccentric who lived in a cement round house that he built. He usually went barefoot and bathed in the cold spring fed water all year.
True story, great read.

Fairhope was founded by folks from up east a long time ago. They were planning a community where all could be educated and live equally. The town was named by a woman doctor who said it had a fair hope of surviving.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Started digging through some of my flat files today, just curious what the layers held. A lot.
Old sketches, show invitations and photos mostly, with the old sketches being the most interesting.
I guess I always thought: when in doubt draw it out.

It feels fine to do a nasty satirical drawing of your crumby boss or the ignorant political situations and of personal dramas. I once did a drawing and also a gouache of my parents in Viking helmets screaming and pointing fingers at me huddled on the floor. I mean, please, they weren't THAT bad. There are plenty of drawings and paintings of the obstinate person I'm married to.....ignoring what I am saying. So, there are also paintings and drawings of me threatening him with a knife or a bonk on the head. Honestly, he's no worse than any other man....and ok I love him anyway.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I'm in such big trouble. I've found Flickr. A new way to waste time. But how wonderful to find photos of other's art, gardens, collections. To see the texture of the lives of others of like mind. I'm sure the novelty will wear off in a few days, but I have been glued!!

Also finished the book City of Glory by Beverley Swerling. It's an historic novel, extremely well researched about the beginnings of Manhattan. I loved it. Am now starting another of hers, City of Dreams.....about an even earlier Manhattan.

And even made it out to the studio for a couple of hours. Had to still use oil as I forgot to order the acrylic white to switch.

swamp, 55" x 29"

in progress

flying fish, 55" x 29"

eye with a view

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About Me

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I am living and painting in the little town of Houston. A far way from my San Francisco beginnings. I paint what I see of the human condition, be it human, animal or object. The glimmer of humor, pathos, and spirit in so much of what I see is the basis of what I paint.


All content here is under copyright: Gail Siptak. Please ask for permission if you wish to use them. Thanks.

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