Friday, February 26, 2010

Culvert St 11

Feb 26, .10

We're in the middle of a large storm.  I think it's been worse on other places than it has been in Torrington.  When I started this painting, about an hour ago, the sky was bare but now snow if falling.  I don't know if I'll be able to portray it in the painting but it sure makes a pretty pattern with the house and tree.  I had a good time putting in the branches of the tree.  I lettered them in with a brush, as if calligraphy.  Then I went over those marks with frisket using the chisel end of my Walnut Drawing Stick.  What appealed to me was the dull red of the buds on the tree, the dull yellow of the house and the pattern of the branches.  I'll have to use a fine point dip pen to get those in.  Well, it's going to be a long afternoon of watching the snow fall, so maybe....

I started the sky with the palest tint of YO, used YO and GGB for the house.  Then I added more frisket with the drawing stick on the places on the roof where the old snow hasn't melted.   I'll be glazing in more color as the afternoon wears on.

Saturday Feb 27, '10
Today is the steady sound of snowblowers, clearing sidewalks and driveways.  It's a leisurely sound; the storm is as good as abated, with little or no damage left behind in my vicinity in NW CT.

Because of the nature of the storm; steady snow that turns to slush, temp over 32 degrees, etc, I have the feeling in my heart that spring may be closer than we thought even a few days ago.   The buds on the snow covered limbs of the tree outside my window (hereinafater known as my Window Tree, which alludes to a Robert Frost poem I love...) aren't closed tight and haven't been throughout the entire storm.  They opened to any available light there was and all together, added cheerful dots and small clusters of red that added a pale rosy tone to the low color of the day.

I thought to attempt putting in the buds with a fine nib pen, and thought to use white paint to add in more snow, but couldn't easily find the pen and nib I wanted, can't find the white paint.  Albert?  I bet he knows where the white paint may be....  I did a few branches with a
small chisel pointed nib but wasn't happy with that, so stopped and looked at the painting again.  I decided it delivered the message quite sufficiently and that it was a far better thing to move on than to overwork the painting. Culver St 022610 is finis.  

Yesterday was Albert's 11month birthday.  My little kitten is growing up....

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Culvert St Feb 24, '10


 Feb 24, '10

I started this painting yesterday, when snow was falling.  I finished it this afternoon when there was no snow or rain in the air.  We're expecting more snow tonight, so perhaps I'll get another chance to do a snow painting.

I've been in a reflective frame of mind these days and I think this painting will serve me as a good reminder.  This winter has been dark and cold; I'm thinking eagerly toward spring.

I'm pleased with the tone of this painting; it's something I've been looking for, somehow.  I think I mixed enough of this gray tone to last me through the spring; it'll be interesting to see how it  works, how I like it -- or not. 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Spring Drawing I


Spring Drawing 1-- Charcoal pencil on
6"x8" Strathmore Drawing paper, Medium weight

February 22, '10

I feel a need to take a little break from painting so I've set up this very simple still life and am committed to doing some drawing.   I chose to work with very hard charcoal in pencil form, a Kohinoor 'Gioconda.'  My goal for this work is to keep it simple so I have my simple setup, drawing paper, pencil, razor blade for sharpening pencil, and knead-able eraser.  I'm working in my bedroom, away from the TV.  I'm listening to the radio, WPKN.  The sun is shining and I have the curtains pulled back to get as full a benefit as possible.  Albert is sleeping on the end of the bed, in a large pool of warm sunshine.  With a big kitty smile on his face.

The items in my still life are:  a muslin dishtowel draped over a cardboard box and part of a red end table I like to use; a post-card size copy of an Audubon print, a Crow; a small stone I took from Dan's driveway many years ago because the shape caught my eye; a small child's small book written and illustrated by Lois Lensky, an artist and writer I met when I was a child.  The title of the book is Spring is Here.  The cover illustration is little children dancing around in a circle around the title.  I bought this book on eBay.  I remember having this book when I was a child.  Before I began this setup, it was my goal to use the book on the muslin with  2 other things.  I'd recently found the copy of the crow and decided to use it in something soon.  The stone seemed to be the right size and shape for the 3rd item....  I'm longing for spring; that's why I selected the book.  That's the sense of this whole thing, for now, anyhow....

I love using BIC mechanical pencils on this kind of Strathmore drawing paper but decided that I also love using the charcoal pencils.  So, because of the size of the paper, went for the charcoal pencil as it would fill in the space more quickly than the BIC.

I've enjoyed the first hour or so since I started this work.  My mind has been busy working out all the angles and the value pattern.  I've been enjoying using the charcoal.  My mind is in a more peaceful place than it was when I began.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Vanitas III

Setup Photo


Drawing and some outlining

I started this painting yesterday on a quarter sheet of Watercolor paper – Winsor Newton Acquarelle, I believe....  I wasn't feeling too great, not exactly in a state of Ennui, more like a bad mood, or Not in the Mood at all.  I think I’m experiencing a bit of Cabin Fever, SADD,  along with an overall feeling of crankiness.  The wind was howling and rattling window panes all day yesterday which also probably had something to do with my state of un-ease.  I planned to start this painting in the morning but due to the ways of procrastination, never got around to it until late afternoon.

Setting up for this painting took forever; I wanted to fill the bowl with cherries and could only find the one.  I looked for quite awhile....  (I’m sure Albert has played with and hidden the other 2 fake cherries I own.)  So, I filled the bowl with fake strawberries.  

Life is just a bowl of cher–er–strawberries....

I started out the drawing using the Prussian Blue watercolor pencil and switched to using a BIC mechanical graphite pencil when I couldn’t find the watercolor pencil – I think that Albert had something to do with that, too....  When I was done with the drawing, I wasn’t happy, but since I wasn’t happy about much anyhow, I kept on with the painting.

After I did the drawing is when I made the decision to work on a toned ground, which didn’t make much sense because the drawing was already established.  I decided to tone the ground anyhow, so went over everything with a very thin layer of Raw Sienna.  I’ve never used  raw sienna, found the tube in my paintbox and decided to experiment with it.  RS seems to me to be in the Yellow Ochre category but a shade darker.  Having the RS on the paper made me somewhat happier not to be dealing with the glare of the white.  Applying the thin & watery wash of RS wiped out a lot of the original drawing so I tried working around the lines, tried to leave some trace.

I've started adding some color but in very thin washes

Something that somewhat startled me about this composition when I stepped back to look at it from a distance.  For a quarter sheet, I have a lot of stuff in the composition.  The objects are drawn to a smaller scale than I generally draw.  I think that I ‘normally,’ for this size paper,  would have used less objet and what I did choose to depict would have been larger.  So, this feels like something ‘new’ already.

I’d planned on leaving the painting for the day but a couple of hours later, thought about this painting and what I’d like to do next.  At the time I was thinking about what to do next, I was reading in bed, listening to a radio program from Cape Cod on my computer.  I hated the book I was reading, so tossed it, then got up and moved everything into the living room so I could listen to the radio program and work on the painting.  The thoughts about what I’d like to do next had to do with outlining everything with a fine brush using GGBlack.  In a former life, I loved to do pen and ink drawings; the outlining everything in ink – and then erasing all pencil lines –  was one of my favorite parts.  I also liked the way the 2 studies went last week – with the tulips and the outlining everything – and decided to try that method on this painting.  

I’m in a somewhat better mood today – the winds aren’t quite as fearsome as they were yesterday and the sun is shining.  My mind is quieter, too.  I think that one of the things I’ve enjoyed so far in this painting has to do with my quieter mind.  Working on this painting feels as it did when I was a kid, peacefully absorbed in coloring in my coloring book.  This may not be the compositon I ‘saw’ in my mind’s eye when I thought of this painting, but I’ve accepted it for what it turned out to be, is turning out to be and will probably stick with it for awhile longer.

 Late Monday night....

Tues Feb 15, '10

Today is a snow day.  Snow has been falling almost constantly since sometime early this morning.  It's not heavy or deep, just constant.  I have no good reason to go out in it, so am home for the day.

I've been working on this painting for the past hour or more.  Hard to tell how much actual time painting, how much time dealing with Albert and other domestic issues;  I've been up and down a number of times....  The best part for me in the past hour of painting was work on the flowers in the vase.  I worked this area wet into wet and enjoyed dumping paint from a brush into the wetness, watching it disperse, pushing it around with the brush....  I started with thin washes and the dark, working to the light with increasingly thicker amounts of paint as I went along.   After that, the tulips, then the strawberries, also wet into wet.  I stopped this session leaving the tulips and strawberries needing more work.  I'll probably wet each area again and work in thicker amounts of paint.  I'm overall pleased with the red added to the general compositon which helps to balance out the amount of blue I've been using.

Wed. night, after 3 or 4 more hours....

Wed Feb 17, '10

This painting is growing on me; I thought for a long time that if nothing else, working on it would be a good experiment.  The weather wasn't great today and after a lot of delays, I decided to stay in and work on inside things and go out tomorrow to do a lot of outside things.  The weather is supposed to be less wintry with a predicted temp in the low 40's.  I've been holed-up for the past few days, mostly because of wintry weather as well as yesterday's snow.  Sometimes,  that can be fun, but after a few days, I've had enough.  I'm starting to feel some Cabin Fever setting in....  C'mon Mud Season..., C'mon Spring!

Feb 19, '10

While I was out yesterday Albert semi-dismantled my still life setup.  The fake strawberries, cherry and sunflower were strewed about the room.  I have yet to find most of the strawberries; I imagine they're under the baseboard and I'll look for them later when I vacuum the rug.  For now, this painting is Finis.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ninety eight percent Perspiration....

Drawing; Pot of Tulips, Saturday morning Feb 13, '10

Desaturated version

Saturday morning, Feb. 13, ‘10

I did this drawing as an exercise.  

I decided to use the Prussian Blue watercolor pencil and push it as far as I could in the space of an hour.  The tulips are in front of me; I’ve been enjoying watching them grow through different stages all week, so selection of subject matter wasn’t a problem....

My mind, before I made the time to do this drawing, was racing and unsettled.  I felt as if I were in a state of what I call ‘Ennui’ – listless distraction bordering on boredom.    I felt as if I were stuck in my chair, drinking too much coffee, watching one cooking show on tv after another.  When I made up my mind to rise from my chair, do something –  Julia Child and Martha Stewart were making & decorating a wedding cake.  I felt I could’ve remained glued to my chair watching them all day.

I got up early this morning to go to work on a painting only to discover an hour or so later, that work on distracting my mind from lingering in a state of boredom tinged with self-pity and self-denigration was the first order of business for today.  I’ve discovered through the years that a good way to distract my mind from this state is to offer it a challenge  – a quick fix – which is why I designated the boundary of an hour to do a drawing of a pot full of Tulips on inexpensive notebook drawing paper using a Prussian Blue watercolor pencil.  Set the timer (cell phone) for an hour, Let’s see where this goes....

Using a watercolor pencil for drawing is relatively new to me, so an instant challenge to my unfocused, negative-thinking brain.  Watercolor pencil is relatively unfamiliar, therefore highly interesting.  Focusing on the leaves, bud, blossoms and the spatial relationship between each, the negative space between/ surrounding each,  the entire pot of tulips, the beautiful lines of the leaves, joining lines and shapes to other lines and shapes, designating spatial differences with different cross-hatching and scribbling techniques –  all helped take my mind off the other stuff, the ‘shoulds,’  the ‘but firsts.’ the ‘why bother?’ stuff that added up into the negative thinking that opens up into a place of restless dissatisfaction bordering on boredom –  ennui.  

Not great art, but art that in the doing made me feel a lot better than the not doing.  Art that in the making added to my visual and visceral knowledge of watercolor pencil and how it can be incorporated into future paintings.  Exercise for my disinterested mind.  A sense within, as if having completed a meditation, for a little while, my mind and heart were part of the Process and are feeling more settled and balanced from having gone there and been there....

After I worked on this drawing for awhile, I felt an inclination to paint, to smooth out the surface that was looking ‘too close’, too textured.  (So that’s where this was going....)  I used a 3.0 Sennelier Quill, a  brush that I love for drawing and just doodling.  I filled it with water and used it to  smooth-out all the pencil marks that were in the background.  I also filled in some parts of the background with more pencil while the paper was wet and then worked in the new marks.  

‘Creativity is 2% Inspiration, 98% Perspiration.’  I think that in the ‘perspiration’ part – the conscious mental work, the action taken to realize a creation – I  learn new skills & strengthen technique and mental focus which knowledge and experience adds up to feeling that it’s coming naturally, that only enhances the 2% Inspiration part of my creative endeavor.   

Monday, February 8, 2010

I pulled open the curtain that covers the window yesterday to see how things looked outside in the intense sunlight were enjoying and made up my mind that a similar scene would be the subject in my next Culvert St painting.  Today is just as sunny as yesterday, so I decided to take the time, see what I could do.  What impressed me yesterday and today was the yellow of the house against the sky and that the yellow made me think of arrows, pointing upward.

My goal with this painting was to show the blue and yellow, to use GGBlack, to draw with a water soluble pencil (PB), to get down the basics quickly.

Getting the basics down quickly was a challenge because my mind bogs down on  Perspective and Angles of the buildings.  I could feel it, almost.  I got out my wooden T-Square, the one that belonged to my father since he was a kid & which he used in his paintings.  I used it to make straight lines rather than try to draw them in by hand and eye.  A lot of my early knowledge and experience re: Perspective came from my father from an early age.  He also used to say that if a person can’t draw a straight line, use a ruler.  I appreciate having his old T-Square, knowledge and memories....  But still, to this day, a challenge where Perspective can help solve the problem still makes my mind feel bogged down, stuck and impedes my Process.

(Must work on this....)

Using the watercolor pencil has been a wonderful change; I’m loving how the line dissolves under the first thin wash of color or tone.  

In this painting, I started out with the tone in the building shapes using increasingly thicker washes of GGBlack until I got the general tonal pattern on paper of the scene in front of me.  When I had down the bulk of the buildings and a good idea of how the tonal pattern worked, I set to work on the yellow building, painting YO over the tone I’d established.  The brightest part of the building I left white; I put the YO on more heavily in the front and put it in more lightly at the top – to make it appear as if sunstruck in that spot.  I tried to do all this rather quickly and then got onto the sky.

 The first thing I did were the clouds; the lowest one using a thin wash of pinky/yellow , the one in the middle using a very thin wash of Cad. Yellow.  The highest cloud happened when I was applying the blues for the sky, so i left it, used it....

After I left colored marks for the two abovementioned clouds, I thoroughly wet down the entire sky area, went around the 2 cloud shapes and the chimney.  I kept adding water until the area was flooded.  Then I applied a wash of CY in the sky where it meets the rooftops and tilted the board so that the yellow clung to the horizon and the rest dispersed upward to where the bluer part of the sky was planned to be.

I started adding in the blue of the sky in the middle of the area, on the left side, where things appear to me today, right now, to be the brightest, using pure Cerulean Blue.   The entire sky area was so wet I was able to work that blue in nicely before I started adding more blue.  I added in more CB from the top of the middle and upward to the top of the painting then I went back to the bottom middle and worked that blue downward.  Then, back to the top where I started loading the area with Ultramarine Blue and working it downward.

I don’t precisely remember how I worked things after this because by now, the paper so wet and the paint so plastic, I just worked things in with my brush and had the time to arrange everything in what I felt was a pleasing manner.  After the 1st application of blue, every bit of blue I added after that was in a heavier amount than I’d used before.  I lifted the paint to be added from the pan , thinned it somewhat on the pallet and made sure it felt heavier/thicker than what was on the paper already before I put in the greater amount of blue and began to work it in.    All I can think of as a simile; it’s kind of like making gravy except adding flour to the water.  It only works if the flour is mixed into a paste with water that is slightly thicker than the water you want to add it into.  Well, best I can do....

The sky was too faint at the rooftops so I carefully mixed some pure Prussian Blue with water until felt it would be heavier than what was there, but not too heavy.  It worked pretty well and I carefully glazed over that area using the PB mixture.

And now, after working hard to come up with these words which barely describe a Process, the painting is dry and ready for me to work on it some more.      

(I forgot to mention:  I mostly use water from the tap for my watercolors but was reminded the other day, while reading a watercolor page on a website, that distilled water is better for watercolor because town water, such as mine, contains chlorine.  I looked for distilled water at the supermarket but they were out, so I'm using Spring Water from a bottle.  I'm not sure if there's much difference, but checking this out is part of what I'm looking for today in this painting.) 

--> later....

End of day.  I put in another hour or so after I left off posting the report from the 1st session.  All I did the past hour was to increase the depth, add to the bulk -- of the buildings and the immediate area where they meet the sky.  I used a lot of a mix of PB and BU.  Mainly because it felt right.  I hope that the sky is finished and that the blue of the sky and the yellow take shape, work together, feel right.  Which now, they almost do.

I'm enjoying making grays, tinted or toned.  I'm not happy with the dark area of the yellow building.  I made a lot of mistakes in Perspective and some details but OH WELL...!   Next time....

Tues, Feb 9, '10 -- 11a.m.

For the past hour, I've been sitting at a chair near the window, working on the painting as I look out on the street on another cold but sunny, winter day.  I got to a place where I felt like I got what I wanted and have decided to call this painting Finis.  I'm happy with it.  Off it goes, into the archives.  When I begin a painting, I often think of something I once read about Cezanne and how he felt about his paintings.  As I recall, he considered each and every one as an 'experiment.'  So, for this 'experiment' of mine, I'm pleased.  And done.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Biggie Tulip Study II

Here’s another study featuring the tulips I bought a few days ago.  The buds are a little more open than yesterday.   I’ve changed the position of the tulips on the table and my viewpoint from my chair.  I’ve enjoyed a sense of spontaneity, planning, drawing, outlining, shading....  I’ve enjoyed rearranging the angles of the room and the furniture in order to accommodate  the tulips as well as the farther away window & drawn curtain with natural light filtering through.

In my last Culvert St painting I used a soluble watercolor pencil to do the initial drawing.  I liked that so much I used one in the initial drawing for this painting – the Prussian Blue.  I like the smooth way the pencil glides over the rough paper,  like the way the drawing line  dissolves/disperses as I go over it with a liner brush full of GBB,  line or wash.  I like the clean look of this drawing.

It’s cold out today; 14 degrees and windy at 11a.m.  I need to go out for awhile and I’m not looking forward to it; actually, I’m procrastinating....  Nice to have this painting to think about as I’m grocery shopping, to look forward to working on again when the outside needs of the day are met.



I had no intention of adding in so much detail --  the design painted on the table --  when I started this painting but somewhere along the line, it needed to be there so I put it in.  If nothing else, I was vastly amused at how it all worked out and how it looked to me.  The design painted on the table is my copy of Picasso's The Dreamer.  I think that the original Picasso The Dreamer was recently damaged in Las Vegas, by the person who owns the painting now and even though it's worth millions, it's worth millions less than it was before it was accidentally torn.  I've always loved that painting which is why I copied it onto my coffee table.  I'm pretty sure it was Picasso who advocated not to 'borrow' from other artists but to STEAL; so I was following his advice.   

I did a series of watercolors using some part of the design in the table as background ten or so years ago.  Getting into the design, incorporating it into this new paintng, felt so familiar as well as so new.  Or maybe I feel updated.

Part of the Process....

I had a good time with this painting, done on the next to last page in my Canson Biggie sketch pad.

I bought the little pot of tulips at the supermarket a few days ago.  I’d planned on buying flowers to cheer me up, to remind me to keep hopeful.  I was looking for sunflowers when I spotted the table with the early spring flowering bulbs in little pots and changed my mind on the sunflowers.  I bought a pot of tulips where there was more bud than flower and got this one.  I’d intended placing whatever flowers I bought on the coffee table next to my chair in the living room where I’ve been ‘camped’ all winter.  I’ve been feeling low, blue....  A touch of Cabin Fever, a lack of Vitamin D – SADD....  In a place, anyhow, where I needed to make a plan and get out of my rut.

I felt much better after I tidied up the coffee table.  I couldn’t believe the amount of clutter that accumulated in recent weeks.  I hadn’t really seen the pile growing and how bulky and un-sightly until sometime Friday afternoon.  So I allocated 15-30 minutes from my funk that were devoted to making my living space look less unsightly.  While I was organizing the coffee table,  remembered how much I used to love setting up a still life on it and do a painting, which is what I vowed to do again, even if it was just something to look at.

I had a good time with this painting even though I wasn’t having such a good time outside it.  It started off well.  I enjoyed the initial drawing; the composition had a rythym to it that was audible; as if listening to the sound of my pen moving over  a page of writing.  Everything seemed to fall into place.  I made my next decision which was to outline the drawing with a liner brush using that little container of GGBlack I made a few months ago.   I really enjoyed that, too.  The sound of the brushstrokes were as much fun as the drawing.  I used to do a lot of pen and ink drawings.  One of the thrills, laying down an ink outline over pencil on a new drawing, seeing the drawing with new eyes after the outlining is complete....  I enjoyed the feel of the nib of the pen as I outlined, making the strokes broad or narrow by changing the pressure of my fingers on the pen.  I enjoyed using the liner much the same way.

And I enjoyed the Change in my Funk.  Which is a good thing,  that hour of pleasure, because no sooner had I photographed the painting after I finished with the outlining, the phone rang, which changed the nature of my funk once again.

It wasn’t a pleasant phone call, I wasn’t happy to hear from the caller, the call was upsetting.  I answered the call because I’d been avoiding talking to (confronting)  this person but had also vowed – while de-cluttering the coffee table – that next time they called I’d deal with it rather than put myself through the pain of putting it off.  I was prepared to say No,  (thankyou).  I thought this person was calling me to push some kind of product they’re selling, instead it turned into a call for help which I wasn’t prepared or willing to give.   I don’t know this person well but what I do know is that I don’t want to know this person well-enough to get into my car at 9:00 a.m. on a Saturday with high winds and the temp @18 degrees and drive 25 or so miles to their house, then drive them around the neighborhood to find a person who owes them $50 then drive them to Waterbury so they can put a payment on their phone bill so they don’t lose their phone number.  My heart bleeds for this person in predicament, that they need this kind of help.  I feel sad that this person has to lay out a guilt trip with every conversation and glad I didn’t take it personally, glad I didn't allow myself to be sucked into their drama.   I’m glad for myself that I’m able to say No, even if it sometimes hurts.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Culvert St Series 10

Today is seasonally cold and gray,  characterized by snowfall.  We had a snow storm during the night which left a few inches of snow on the ground.  School openings were delayed a few hours and I have been, too.  Having so much more time before going to work,  I busied myself with some household tasks which led me into my studio.  I opened the curtain to look out and instantly decided to do this painting instead of whatever else it was I’d been doing.

Including, going to work.  I'm now late....

I drew the lines with a gray watercolor pencil.  I’d decided to try this on my next painting and today was the day.  I like the results.  I don’t mind whatever line remains and whatever doesn’t show, was dissolved and has blended in with the applications of paint.

I think I'll use these pencils more often.

When I started this painting I’d planned on using GGBlack only, but as it progressed, I felt I wanted more color so I used Yellow Ochre with the black to get the desired amount of tone/saturation.  When I finished the painting, I felt it needed a few thin washes of Prussian Blue (PB) here and there – in shadow areas, mostly.  I also used a thin wash of CY on the nearest snow-covered roof top and finished off with a darkish area in the sky using PB and GBB.  I’ve decided to be ‘done’ with this painting.  It tells me enough about today.  

I think I haven't gotten around to posting a few of my Culvert St series.  I'll get on that asap -- gotta run!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ground Hog Day

Finally, at last....  Ground Hog Day.  6 weeks from Solstice, 6 weeks to Spring!

At the beginning of winter I felt adequately prepared, accepting even, said Bring it On.  Three  weeks ago, wondered, is it over yet?  Could it please be taken away?.... (as if....)   Today, there’s a leap of hope in my heart because my part of Earth is 6 weeks away from Spring.  I’m ready.

I have to admit, this Winter hasn’t been as bad as some others I’ve remembered while riding out this winter in my chair thinking about past winters.   And for that, I’m truly grateful.  But, as relatively benign as it’s been, I’m truly tired of Winter.

I’m tired of ice, black and white.  I’m tired of the relentless cold.  I’m tired of storm-dread.  I’m tired of winter food, winter clothes, winter dirt, winter car problems, plastic over my windows....

6 weeks until Spring!  Bring it On!          

Monday, February 1, 2010

I was recently asked about people who'd influenced my art and my life.  Here's a rough draft of some of my thinking on that subject:

Kurt Vonnegut: new frontier, looking inward.  "So it goes...."

Emily Dickinson: chose to stay home, look inward, express her gift, maintain contact with the giver ....  Seeing New Englandly as result of my being in her bedroom (house tour with my mom) and aware of relating to/seeing what she saw....

Virginia Woolfe: needed a room of her own and plenty of cash so she could stay home and focus on her work without worry about making a living....

Jane Austen: stayed home AND had a career....

Paul Cezanne: was able to work and grow despite family dysfunction & dependence on his family....

Vincent van Gogh: worked despite his crazy

Georgia O’Keefe: had her love,  maintained integrity,  grew in her work, supported self....

Artemesia Gentilischi: expressed profound  rage (personal & universal)  with shocking symbols – in a mannerly way....

Giorgio Morandi: was influenced by the work of Cezanne, simplified subject matter to a few items he used consistently, explored relationship between positive & negative space....

There are more, but these are all important to me, just off the top of my head....