Mary Ann Laing

From The Studio

(posted on 26 Mar 2023)

Hello blogland,

 I figure since the house is empty for a bit, Gerry has gone out with a friend for a drive, cats are asleep, Mariner Spring Training game on the TV, why not post a bit of new news " from the studio ", been some months since I did this.  I won't count on my fingers how long because that will remind me how many new paintings I should have done by now.  I paint every day.  it's not a unique challenge to brag about, just my routine, midnight to 2am, paint.  Of course, when I have a deadline that I am painting to meet, cramming in other times can happen, but since I am on a less pressured lull, I am back to midnight to 2am, every night, there I am.  I prop my iPhone beside me and pretend I am performing in some amazing concerts I find on Youtube, and rather enjoy the pretending thing.  Back when I was trying to learn music works for a choir in the real world in my past life, listening had a very different vibe to it.  I miss much of those things I could do in my past life, but the deep appreciation I have now for the kind of music I learned there is a tremendous gift.

So, this is my studio, what a mess, eh.  I splurged and bought myself a new chair with wheels and adjustable seat.  I love it, the only down side is, so does Bonnie.  When I stand up to step back for a look, there's always a little battle to get back on MY chair.  Then I have to suffer her snit with her back to me.  I'm thinking of buying another chair for her, hate it when she's mad at me.


Since the new year began I've been a bit unfocused on what to paint.  I tackled a difficult piece that is now facing the wall behind a lot of stuff.  I'm trying to forget our star crossed relationship.  It was one I hoped to have for my show in November 2022.  I put it aside because, well, because it sucked like thirsty prunes.  It was of a field of wild sweet peas in a long horizontal format canvas.  Heaven knows the world has enough fields of flowers. I don't know what caught my interest in tackling this subject.  My photo reference was from my childhood place, Bamberton, so lots of stirring senses in my subconscious I suppose.  Photographically speaking, tho, not a great photo.  Strange source of light in it.  Bamberton is placed on the east side of the Malahat at sea level,  so we always lost the sun by late afternoon.  Was a big shock when we moved to Victoria and had full sun late afternoon beating on our house in Gordon Head.  I didn't really understand this revelation until more recently in life.  Anyways, as usual, I am digressing and making a short story very long winded.  Where was i?  Right, failed painting against the wall that took pretty well all of January.  It became a battle alright.  I hate losing, but then again, finally giving up and listening to my brush skim across fresh untouched canvas was a very healthy feeling for my subconscious senses.  I'm not sure what I will do with that terrible mess.  I probably could do a lumpy painting over it, lots of texture there.  I imagine Vincent had lots of paintings with arbitrary lumps from paintings underneath, didn't seem to spoil his reputation.  It isn't that the field of flowers beat me, no.  I learned from it, sure I did.  This is why, as you can see in the photo, I am painting what is very familiar of who I am.  Lanes and paths in woods.  I had to follow my senses in my recovery from the failure, like Scarlet O'Hara, I had to go back to Tara.  Ah, the walk in the woods on a sunny day, aaaah, yes.  These three are almost done.

The paintings are like this very "real" unplugged photo.  The end of the day, the start of my painting time, what will come out of my subconscious head?  I know many of us were given the chance to spend a lot of time in our own heads during that horrendous pandemic.  I'm still in mine, trying to solve and understand so many things.  The fun part of aging is being able to look back and take in different understandings with different perspectives.  I'm always able to admit regret, I have a lot of them.  Mostly my regrets are over my own stupidity.  As a person I once knew long ago said to me while I was wringing my hands over a family situation that was frustrating me, she said.. well, it's your own fault for being so stupid.  She was wrong in the context of where the comment was made.  But overall, I really was stupid a lot of the time.  I was slow and gullible and stupid.  I think there's a really good Mark Twain quote there about age and wisdom and stupidity.  It's okay, a lot of my stupidity makes me laugh.  I'm not stupid anymore, I'm a genius now, right.

I better wind this up before the boys get home.  This blog is just an update to let any interested site visitors know, yes, I am painting.  No, I haven't switched to doing collage or sculpture.  I'm still very much in tune with my life collection of senses in my subconscious.  I have to paint what makes me feel good, pretty simple rule in my living choices.  I will probably leave the fields of flowers to those who have the feel for it.  The paths and rivers and streams and glorious sunlight calls me, I must follow the call.

And, on a final note of high A, next time I grace this blog stage, I will be posting a finished painting that I feel good about.  I better mark that down.


Mary Ann