Monday, November 6, 2017
So much of the work we do happens in our heads, before even picking up a paint brush. This painting (above) is one I did about 6 years ago. I liked it but was never truly satisfied. It has lived in my brain since. This summer, when ideas started to brew, I took it downstairs from the loft and looked, drew and thought. Pastel sketches happened (middle photo) and then I knew what to do. It's almost finished now. Some finessing with the temperatures in the larger masses and the small light mass in the distance, but I am close.
I leave for the residency in moments. The super shuttle should be here soon. In Wyoming they are expecting 1-2 feet of snow when I arrive! Wow! Winter here I come! (At home today the temperature will be 70 degrees!)
Monday, October 30, 2017
|pastel from memory, a place I have painted 500+ times|
I was fortunate to be awarded a residency by Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts. They have an amazing ranch in Wyoming where they offers time and space for artistic exploration through immersion in the extraordinary beauty of the West.
Writers, visual artists, performance artists, musicians and composers are the residents who are at liberty to structure their own time and activity while on a creative retreat.
I will be there in November till right before Thanksgiving. Right now I am packing my boxes and readying my boards. When I return I will post photos and stories so stay tuned.
BTW I have a solo show coming up at Gallery B in Bethesda Maryland. Mark your calendar. The opening is December 8th, Friday 6-8 pm. It runs from December 5-30th. Hope to see you there. Toodles for now.
Monday, October 23, 2017
|3x8 on copper|
First is the "instant check list." That is a list of the 6 major contrasts to consider in a painting.
1 Light and Dark
2. Cool and Warm
3. Shape- large and small
4. line and mass
5. Saturated and muted
6. Edges -sharp and soft
Place this list near your painting and think about how you check them off. When you run into problems it's usually one of the six offenders.
Nothing beats making a small black and white sketch in your sketchbook before making a painting stroke. Light and dark and shape will be addressed right there. While doing that take the time to write some notes about color and feeling.
|4x6 on gold leaf|
Enjoy your own personal journey.
Friday, October 13, 2017
|11x11 pastel, from Bath County Plein Air|
So here it is my ten year blogger anniversary...yay!
Time to think about my relationship with my blog. It began as a a tool. I was finally beginning the journey as a full time artist. I was super excited and scared. I didn't want to fritter away my precious time. So many artists had warned me that you need to prioritize. Now that I am not reporting for a "job" it can be difficult for family members to realize that it is a job and no I'm not free to use my time freely. ( I still do do some part time teaching.)
To help me I did two things, first I set a work schedule. Next, I decided that I would no long rely on photos, instead my work would be done on location or from my memory.
Thus the blog was born. For many years I blogged very single day, without fail. I painted everyday, including Christmas, rain and snow. Finally, after 6th year (I think) I decided I needed more time to work conceptually on the works and not worry about blogging each day.
That is when my work took an new leap.
Now I still love painting and blogging my small works outdoor and from memory. I still have a schedule that I adhere to. But it is through dedication and the ability to have my work on the brain all the time that I think it has grown the most. It's like wearing a hat on my head all the time. Sometimes it feels just right. Sometimes it's too hot. The hat never comes off.
Things that help that I had no idea would help.:
1. reading poetry
2. meditation practice
3. walks to SEE
4. plein air competitions (now that's a love/hate relationship but it's always a benefit in the end.)
5. friends, especially my art friend Christine Troyer
6. remembering the creating is about constant play and not knowing.
7. creating from my heart and not worrying about how different and out of place my work can seem at a plein air competition.
8. my husband's undying support
Thank you to all of my loyal supporter and blog followers. A special thank you to Marking a Mark super blogger - Katherine Tyrrell. She noticed and displayed my work to a wider audience through her book and blog. Thanks Katherine!
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Monday, September 18, 2017
We can't be creative if we refuse to be confused. Change always begins with confusion; cherished interpretations must dissolve to make way for the new. Of course it's scary to give up what you know, but the abyss is where newness lives. great ideas and inventions miraculously appear in the space of not knowing. We must move thru that space that is bathed in fear. On the other side is the reward...beauty reinvented.
I was reading an article by Margaret J Wheatley titled, Turning to One:Simple Conversations to Restore Hope for the Future. This is basically what she said, but interpreted to art/painting. It has stayed with me for the past year. Think about it and tell me what you think.
Monday, September 11, 2017
I once read that a great painting has secrets that the viewer wants to know.
Now I think about that. I see George Inness. I see his Home of the Heron than makes me want to be absorbed by it, like a sponge.
Monday, September 4, 2017
I will paraphrase,
"Scratches on the old record, this is what life is made of. It's life's imperfections that make it beautiful."
I find myself thinking about that when I create. This particular pastel made the idea tangible.
Friday, August 18, 2017
2. lI ook for the same concept over and over- fields or water with large masses
This year my obsession with fields extended to working with the horizontals and verticals that break the monotony of simply horizontal planes. Chincoteague and Washington State seem to rule. The bottom line is I paint what I love and know intimately. I am not searching for the next big thing. I am not painting postcards to "remember my trip."
The concept is already here, in my head.
|Prince Edward Island|
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Monday, July 17, 2017
I have learned that the reason why I paint is truly to fall in love with wonder, over and over. Each time I am at the easel I begin with an intention, yet I allow the painting to truly lead the way. This way painting is more like a good conversation. You can't plan it...you can plant seeds, but you need to listen and respond.
My painting falls somewhere between realism and abstract. I constantly construct my landscape and in the next turn deconstruct the whole piece. Oftentimes, when I I leave the easel for the day my painting is unreadable. When I come back I find my way thru again.
These particular paintings are pastel on top of oil.
Friday, July 14, 2017
Both of these paintings began with a fluid acrylic underpainting. Then I took notes to describe what the landscape felt like.
Later, back in the studio, I added clear gesso and marble dust, then pastel. The buildings are simply found in the paint, not drawn. It just appears like magic.... a conversation with the painting.
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
So many people dread summer just because it is GREEN. Here are a few tips I use for working with greens.
1. Find the possibilities. I do many smalls before beginning a painting.
2. Try using different colors underneath for your under painting. What happens if you use only neutrals? Or just complements or analogous colors. Stretch!
3. Make a tiny hole with your hand. Look through it to isolate the color. It's not really green, right? Most of the greens out there are layers that make an interesting warm or a cool and many are neutral.
4. Push it. Sometimes you need drama. Exaggerate.
Here are three in summer...all green and all different times of day. All three were painted within 5 miles of my home.
Here are three in summer...all green and all different times of day. All three were painted within 5 miles of my home.
Friday, June 23, 2017
My recent workshop artists in Cincinnati embraced the challenge of creating "smalls." That means that each member is creating a small 3x3" or 4x4" painting a day. The point is simply to be there and respond. Easy, eh? Unfortunately I can not show you their work since it is on a private Facebook page, but I will show you two of yesterday's smalls.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
|study from Sanibel Island|
Ruskin was too ill to attend, but several artists, including Burne-Jones, took the stand to defend Ruskin’s position, though the defense of Ruskin was more of an attack on Whistler. Under questioning from Charles Synge Christopher Bowen, counsel for the defendant, Burne-Jones characterized Whistler’s work as “incomplete . . . an admirable beginning,” “deficient in form,” and without composition.
Oh, to be as deficient in form as Whistler!
Monday, April 24, 2017
Monday, April 17, 2017
I have been painting by the red buds since their arrival this spring. The silvery beauty of the naked trees contrast to the golden greens of the bud leaves...and then you add the pow! of the red buds and wowza!!!! Fun! I just can't stop.
Friday, March 31, 2017
Remember how you see is different than what you see.
I'm on Sanibel Island enjoying the warmth. The feel is so obviously sultry and yet exciting.
Monday, March 13, 2017
That said- as one surfs the slippery tide of color vibration one can easily get lost. My solution is to also spent time making large value pastels. It's one of those catch 22s. The abstract of the painting is always the mos important..if that doesn't work it will never work. We want to be free to answer to the painting rather than impose the "scene." Therefore I make these and then put them aside.
Monday, February 20, 2017
Be still and alone. In your silence the world will offer itself up to you.
This painting had to sit for two years. I had to learn to listen to what it needed rather than force my agenda.
Monday, February 6, 2017
If one wants to be active, one mustn’t be afraid to do something wrong sometimes, not afraid to lapse into some mistakes. To be good — many people think that they’ll achieve it by doing no harm — and that’s a lie… That leads to stagnation, to mediocrity. Just slap something on it when you see a blank canvas staring at you with a sort of imbecility.Think about it. Working on old pieces that you long ago gave up on is a great way to feel some freedom. You no longer have the inspiration in front of you. If you began from a photo you hopefully no longer have that...and bingo you are completely free to make a beautiful song with the painting.
You don’t know how paralyzing it is, that stare from a blank canvas that says to the painter you can’t do anything. The canvas has an idiotic stare, and mesmerizes some painters so that they turn into idiots themselves.
Many painters are afraid of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas IS AFRAID of the truly passionate painter who dares — and who has once broken the spell of “you can’t.”
Life itself likewise always turns towards one an infinitely meaningless, discouraging, dispiriting blank side on which there is nothing, any more than on a blank canvas.
But however meaningless and vain, however dead life appears, the man of faith, of energy, of warmth, and who knows something, doesn’t let himself be fobbed off like that. He steps in and does something, and hangs on to that, in short, breaks, “violates”…
Ever since I have been in my walking boot (8 weeks and counting) it has been difficult to stand for a long time to work on my super large paintings. During these weeks I have taken time to review my plethora of unfinished or unloved works stored in my tracing pads. This was one I did in plein air (last summer) and later gamsoled down in places. I had that reduced piece on my shelf for weeks. Looking to see the secrets that lay inside. When I finally returned to work on it, it was easy.
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Here are four small paintings done by the roadside. They are done quickly, without thought. I simply respond.
It's funny how if you just allow yourself to react without making a color plan, the light even feels better. I love these little Haikus!
Try it sometime and let me know how it goes. I think you will love the spontaneity.
BTW I will exhibit some of these little jewels in the Waverly Street Gallery's show -Process and Inspiration. Here is a link to the show.
Monday, January 16, 2017
Friday, January 13, 2017
Monday, January 9, 2017
A big thank you to Jeanne Blackburn for noticing my work.
Because you are my blogger friends I will give you a small story from the interview process. My interviewer and writer, Jeanne Blackburn, and I spoke often by phone. One day she came to my studio and we talked a long time. You may not know this but my studio assistant, Miss Poochers, was left in the house to attend to duties there. She was extremely unhappy about this situation and began to sing an aria to bring the attention back to her. Jeanne suggested that I allow Miss Poochers to join us.
Miss Poochers is an extreme extrovert and athlete...or should I say cathlete? Jeanne was very polite. She pet and oohed and ahhed over Miss Poochers, but in time our attention faded to the talk of art. Needless to say Miss Poochers was dismayed at this new situation. She decided to regain control.
She proceeded to climb the french door screens to the top of the doors. then she jumped 4 more feet to the sill of the arched window. From there she began to sing.
|Miss Poochers walks the door, a normal activity|
Here is the link to the article.
|Miss Poochers since that day she likes to be up in the window.|