Thursday, April 10, 2014

it's all good.........

I ran into a dear friend the other day as I was sitting in front of the local grocery store enjoying a scone with jam and some sun.  I had finished at the studio for the day and was taking a break before my next stop.  My friend joined me and we began that sort of quick catch up that we all do.  He is in the final week of rehearsal for 'King Lear', in which he has the title role.  We are old theatre buddies so it was fun to hear his experience mounting this Shakespearean  tragedy.  Working with some pros, including the director and some dear amateurs whose talents equal the professional actors on board.  As we were getting ready to leave he asked how I was, and 'did I miss theatre'.  I didn't even blink when I heard myself saying, I was better then I've been in years and the happiest I've been in years.  I told him how excited I was everyday to get up and know that soon I would be in my studio, earbuds in, painting the hell out of something.  I couldn't have said that 4 or 5 years ago. I hadn't really thought about it until I heard myself say it out loud.  Quite the revelation.  Shelving one passion and finding another I'm even more passionate about.  The pic below shows my two work tables and all the things I love to mix up together on a surface!!!

work tables
and the next photo is a piece I finished this week.  

mixed media on panel, 36x36, 'Falling Into Tuesday'

Hope all of you are finding as much joy in your work!  See you all back here very soon!

Friday, April 4, 2014

back home......

We have been on vacation for almost two weeks and it was glorious!! We went to the land of sun and tropical breezes and warm, warm beaches.  As wonderful as it was, coming home is just as wonderful.  I love my life and am always ready to get back to it.  Have been in the studio the last two days working, or trying to get back into the work - just painting was so, so wonderful.  That's when I know I'm really home.  The photo below is a piece I've worked on for some time and finally finished today.

mixed media on panel,36x24, Spring Wore A Bridal Veil
Weekend rolling in!! Will be back here next week.  Until then,

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Time.  That's what it takes most of the time to truly finish a piece.  Or maybe I should say I don't mind how long it takes to finish a work.  I've had them come together in a matter of one afternoon, but most times days, weeks and months are the norm.  I've been working on one particular painting for over 1/2 year.  It has had its manifestations several times, but I tired of those almost immediately.  This is the painting:  I finished it yet again today.

mixed media on panel, 24x24, 'Falling Off The Edge'
I've been using dry pigment more and more lately.  I've been laying the painting flat, pouring a bit of walnut oil on the surface and then sprinkling dry pigment on.  Then with my fabulous garden gloves I've been working this into the surface of cold wax and oil paint.  It's all very textural and a delicious way to work.  This painting shows how that can manifest.  I truly believe there is no end to the way we can work our materials. 

Hope you are all enjoying the beginnings of spring.  The birds are back, the frogs have returned to the ponds, blossoms are falling to the ground already and the light is staying longer.  Yes, thank you, I'll take it!!  Be back here again soon.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

a progression.......

As I continue this amazing art journey, I continue to find new ways to work.  Most of these new ways come by accident.  When I bought the garden gloves a few months ago, little did I know then that they would become an important new tool.  I got the garden gloves because I hated the idea of throwing away plastic gloves everyday.  After adjusting to their awkwardness (clumsy and heavy)  I began to accidentally find things they would do without the aide of brushes, brayers, knives, palette knives or any other tool.  AND they clean up extremely well because they are rubber!!  Basically I use one small palette knife, a brayer and my rubber gloves.  Who knew!??  So on that note I thought I would share a painting progression.  The first pic is how all my paintings start.  A thick layer of paint with cold wax.  I use all my five colors.  I have learned that if I let this set up for a couple of days I have a much more interesting under painting to cut back into.  Stronger colors etc......

under painting started
the next photo shows the work when I go back into it for the first time.    I start the process of letting the shapes, and connections come to the surface.  I call this 'laying down the bones'.  It gives me an early road map.  Before the paint starts to get too muddy, I stop to let it sit for another day or so.  

laying down the bones

Then I start the real work.  The photo below is the finished piece.  This final stage is the place where I have to pay attention to the work.  It starts to tell me what it wants to say.  This stage can take one painting session or many.  There is no hurry - if I'm paying attention and willing to risk all my fav places, the painting will pretty much finish itself.  When I don't pay attention or think I know better then it folds into itself until I'm ready to listen!!

oil and cold wax on panel, 30x40, 'Far From Her Monday Morning'

That willingness to let go and let the work speak is such a freeing experience.  By trusting this I have never been disappointed.  Trying to reign it all in around some parts that I truly love, suffocates all the energy.  I don't have to relearn this each time as much as I use to.  I can even go a couple of paintings before I have to relearn it again.  Progress is slow, but so rewarding.  

See you all back here soon!!

Friday, February 21, 2014

'working and only working'

Basically, 'working'  is what I have been doing for the past month!!  No major breakthroughs, no major events, no major anything - just doing my art practice.  A cup of tea, a warm up, a painting session, clean up and then home.  That's it!!  How does this work for me?  EXTREMELY WELL!!  I can see the results of this 'working zone' environment in my newer work.  It feels more fully 'cooked' - I have completed all my obligations and am not lining anything else up for months!! I have one more private student and then I truly want to keep my focus on my personal development as an artist.  Life of course will continually interrupt this mindset, but that is to be expected.  I'm excited.  As I hauled my art 'demo' supplies back up to my studio this afternoon, I knew that would be the last demo/talk I do again for a very very long time.  Some of us are created to show and tell and others of us are NOT!  I'm of the 'not' variety.  I am of the 'working' type.  Just working and then doing it again, and again, and again.  And then some more!!  The painting below I finished this week -

oil and cold wax on panel, 30x30, Her Island Of Dreams
The weekend is rolling in and I hope you all have fabulous plans!!  See you back here soon!! I'll be here working, just working..........

Saturday, February 8, 2014

old practices

Since my entree into cold wax medium, I had put one of my art practices away, not on purpose, but just because I was so centered on experimenting with this new medium it got shoved aside.   Well just in the past week I brought it back.  I was feeling unsettled when I entered the studio one day last week - then I picked up a piece of paper from the floor and started messing around with it.   I use to start almost, not every, but almost every session by just messing around with the first thing I picked up when I walked into the studio.  It could be almost anything, a piece of paper on the floor, a sketch book, an art book, a new brush, a hideous painting that needed some TLC, a branch I had drug in with me and a hundred other things.  It was just a starting point.  A place to land and center myself entering the workspace.  You know, a way to empty my head of whatever I had been involved in before I walked in the door.  Before I knew it, my tea had gone cold and an hour had passed.  It felt like coming home.  So many times I had done this very thing.  Settled myself in the work.  I was then able to move on to some painting free of the mind clutter I had drug in with me.  I continued doing this everyday and and realized how much I had missed this part of my art practice.  The photo below shows a sketch I did last week on paper - just noodling around........such a good idea for me.

Another thing I have found I really love is wearing my ear buds while working.  I have always had music playing in the background but now I am next door to a dance studio and that has been a challenge to figure out how to work with the noise and music from my neighbor - we have worked out as best we can noise levels, but it was still annoying so I got the bright idea one day to put in my ear buds and BAM! The dance studio was gone and it was just me and the work and the music - lucky me!! I like it so much that I wear them almost the whole time now.  So that's what's going on here - the painting below I finished this week.... 
oil and cold wax on panel, 40x30, 'Writing Down The Wish'
Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend.  See you back here later in the week!!

Monday, January 27, 2014

mylar......and other bits

I've been wandering around in my studio working on all kinds of things - none of which are related to oil and cold wax on panels.  Mylar - all of a sudden it seemed very important to work on this plastic surface again - I messed around with it a couple of years ago and enjoyed the experience and for whatever reasons unknown to me at this time, I was compelled to drag my last pieces to the studio and paint on them for the past week.  Nothing exceptional happened, I just worked - I made prints off the wet oil paint using thin tissue paper and then pulling it off - also I layed some of them on a panel and it left really interesting etching like marks - then I tore some of them up and did some wall collaging - I layered them, pieced them together, moved them around the floor and walls in all kinds of patterns - tomorrow I'm going to mix a bit of resin and do a bit of assemblage with them, or something akin to that - They've been hanging in my windows to see how the light comes through, taped to finished oil and cold wax pieces to see what might happen and on and on it goes.  Below are a few pictures to give you a sense of some of the work.......

three pieces hung together on the wall.  to the right you can see one hanging in my window

the beginning of the wall collage

random pieces assembled together

another random assembled pieces

this will continue for a few more days and then I'll be back painting, or at least I think that's how it will go........the piece below I finished before the mylar incident.

oil and cold wax on panel, 40x30, Clocks, Clouds and Gingerbread

Will be back here later in the week.  Make a an epic one!!