Tuesday, August 26, 2014

positive experience

People are amazing!!  It was the open studio tour here in our small town this past weekend.  WOW!  I was totally blessed meeting incredible people.  I do very little tidying up, just a quick floor sweep, and one quick garbage detail and then putting all wet and drippy pieces under tables so people aren't walking out with paint smears and bits and pieces of whatever is lying on the floor stuck to their shoes.  It's a working studio and so I leave it that way.

When a stranger walks into your personal work space, you never know what to expect.   Negative, positive, indifference,  or someone looking for a public restroom or directions to a good restaurant!! However?, on Saturday?, it was amazing.  In one day I talked with other working artists, writers, photographers, sculptors  in both wood and clay, designers, and people new to the world of visual art!! It was an exceptional day full of experiences I will never forget.  Lucky me!

There is change in the air - our light is starting to leave and the sun is getting a bit lower in the sky each day.  I have started some new work moving in a bit of a new direction.  Nothing to show yet, but stay tuned.  I only had a short time to work today so I finished the piece I was using for demos during the studio tour.

Mixed media on panel, 24x24, 'A Slab of Consideration'

Summer speeding away, so will be here more often!  See you soon!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

light and dark.....

I've heard people say to me for years, "Oh, you must have been in a bad place when you painted that, the dark colors.", or "wow! things must really be going great for you right now, your colors are so light!"  Actually, neither one of those statements are true.  I paint dark paintings and I paint lighter paintings and paintings in between light and dark.  I paint them because at that particular moment I like the contrast of dark colors, or the softness of lighter colors.  And other times, I like a balance of light and dark.  It's a choice.  I adore the richness of a dark palette and the softness of a light palette.  They both give me pleasure.  Personally?  I believe the person looking at the painting is truly speaking about their response to the work.  I'm never more happy then when I'm painting.  I mean I wear a ton of black, but not because I'm depressed - I just like black!!  Here are two paintings I just finished recently, one dark, one light.  They both give me pleasure.

mixed media on panel, 30x30, 'A Sip Of Dawn'

mixed media on panel, 24x24, 'It's Plural For Raspberry'
And another interesting thing.....today I tried to paint with just the cold wax and oil paint like I did all last year, but I couldn't.  It wasn't enough for me.  I wanted to do an oil pour, plus the cold wax, dry pigments and paint.  So I did.  It's all become my process now.  It takes way longer and even longer yet to dry, but I love the delicious cocktail of those products worked together. 

I also have been experimenting with just pours of walnut oil and paint on surfaces.  It will be a miracle if they ever dry, but oh they are really really interesting.

We summer on and enjoy each minute of it!  Blackberries warm from the sun at twilight.  See you all again soon.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

It is an art..........

It is an art - painting our truth, or what may not be 'popular'.  There are so many ways to stray from our own personal voice.  It took me years to separate what I was attracted to and what was actually 'me'.  Sometimes there is a real separation - I worked very hard for a long time to paint an aesthetic I was attracted to - It was something I enjoyed looking at, but I was never able to get there.  The work was always 10 beats behind - the painting was overworked, had no energy, and I was always disappointed.  Or someone would comment on a piece in a positive way and that was then the way I directed my work....because someone else said it was a good piece.  Again, I was always 10 beats behind and disappointed.  Then I switched to oil paint and completely forgot about what people said or an aesthetic I was attracted to.  I just wanted to paint.  Those paints changed the way I came to my work.  I was no longer trying, I was just there with the paint and reacting to what was happening on the surface in front of me.......then along came 'cold wax medium' and the other shoe dropped.  I was home. These were the right tools for me.

Don't get me wrong, those years of being 10 beats behind?, gave me a very strong base - I developed my color palette, learned glazing techniques, spent two years just working on patinas, learned about surfaces and a boat load of other stuff.  So when the right tools fell into my hands, I was ready to go.  Funny that something as simple as an oil paint instead of acrylic and a medium freed me to start using my personal voice.    Of course I still make huge messes, fall 10 beats behind and continue to create disappointments, but now I know that I can take a huge mess and move it forward, put the 10 beats behind and move forward 5 beats and any initial disappointment becomes a challenge.  The piece I'm sharing today is a case in point -

mixed media on panel, 36x36, 'Deeply Cut'
this piece hasn't garnered attention from other people nor do the colors (aesthetic) appeal to a large population, yet this painting thrills me.  It is one of my favorites and I never tire of looking at it and that has become more then enough for me.    This completed something in me - it's more to me then good technique, proper balance, popular colors, or just a popular thing right now.....it feels like home.  That's a very good thing.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

that moment.......

There is that 'Moment' - for me, it comes unexpectedly.  I'm adding another layer of cold wax, paint and walnut oil - the painting is starting to take form and then from nowhere, the 'moment' - a mark, a scraping back, a corner addition of paint - I just never know.  I'm paying attention, waiting, working, layering and then, bam! that 'moment' - the painting speaks back and I get that feeling in my stomach that says, 'whoa, follow me!' and I do -  the painting below - the moment came when I pulled the palette knife through the wet paint and the delicious color from below said, 'follow me!"  I don't know how to put that feeling into words very well, but I recognize that 'moment' on an internal level.  I've learned to pay attention when it pokes it head up!  I have a physical reaction in that moment and then the real work begins - it has never failed me. Even though I've been working hard, listening, following the forms and color, it's that moment that resolves the work.  My new work has taken me deeper into that moment - the path is a little longer, more intense and I am more aware............the photo below is a painting I finished last week, or maybe the week before......time has sort of been on fast forward for awhile and easy to lose track of!

mixed media on panel, 36x36, 'The Moon Sliced In Fours'

Hope you are all experiencing 'that moment'!!  Be back soon!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

summer and a bunch of other stuff!

IT'S HERE!! SUMMER! I woke up smiling this morning.  My favorite season.  Heat, light, slowing down the pace, friends, family, and alot of nothingness.  Totally on board for this ride!!

The last few weeks have been jammed packed.  My mother's husband passed away after weeks in hospital and nursing home care.  She continues her journey with her own cancer and hospice.  As you can imagine, this has been a huge focus in my life right now and we are maneuvering through this new landscape being ever grateful for each day.  (Please don't think you have to comment on this portion of my life, it's just a barometer of where I am right now)  Along with the daily commitment to this side of things, my art is ever more important when I can manage time in the studio - I can spend a few hours working and my balance in the world is back.  I'm so grateful for my art.  And on that front, one of my pieces from about five years ago has been included in 'Small Print Magazine' with a story about a returning veteran and his attempt to share what happened to him during his tour of duty with his parents.  When it goes live, I will share the link.  A very nice surprise.

I was invited by a wonderful woman who bought one of my works last year to visit her for a few days on a nearby Island.  The car trip takes all day with two ferry rides included.  My dear husband arranged with a friend to fly me over and back on his small plane!!  We have a small airport about 10 minutes away that he keeps his plane at.  A twenty minute flight!! What a gift!  The pic below shows me getting ready to board.

Three days in her guest house, working in her studio with her and her friends.  So much fun and a very much needed break!! Thank you BJ!!

I have signed up for the Open Studio Tour here in August.  I decided to only be open one of the days, as last year, Sunday, was very slow.  I would much rather be working or at home enjoying SUMMER!!  Here is a link to their website.  The day is August 23rd.  If any of you are in the area, please come by and say hello.  Would love to meet you in person!!

The painting below I finished yesterday.  It has been receiving layer upon layer of oil and cold wax because that was all the time I had, and yesterday I was able to start pouring walnut oil and dry pigment and doing the final work. 

mixed media on panel, 30x30, ' A Chorus Of One'
The sun is out and so am I!!  Be back here soon!

Sunday, June 1, 2014


I received a gift this last month - the editor of combustus.com, Deanna Piowaty, profiled my work in her extremely savvy Art/Literary Magazine.  It's truly an honor to be in her online magazine.  Definitely one of the art highlights this year!! Please go check it out here and then spend some time to peruse the other artists, writers, dancer, etc.  A true treasure trove of the art world.

As always, have been busy painting......the pic below is one I finished last week.

Crushed Blue Ice, 30x40 mixed media on panel

June starts it count down to the beginning of summer this month, although, this weekend feels like summer's inaugural debut!!  My favorite time of the year coming my way, and extremely welcome!! Warm sunny days lingering on until 9pm - open windows - sitting, just sitting outside - slowing down - friends, family and a bunch of nothingness.......see you back here soon.

Monday, May 12, 2014

not a cliche in sight!

When I looked at the date on my last post, I promised myself I would not use any of the cliches about time passing, i.e., where did the time go?, how did that happen?, can't be May blah, blah, already!, and on and on and on.  However, I was a bit startled!! it's been awhile.  That should pretty much tell you I've been dug in and working, working, working, but all that working has been 'reworking'!  I have finally run that course except one that is back on the easel for some tweaking!!  It was such a fun thing to do and I learned a  boat load!!  What did I learn?, well, maybe not learned, but reaffirmed the whole idea of going further because we are always changing and the work truly will reflect that.  I have also been working with dry pigments that I am finding extremely yummy.  They are so intense.  I have begun new work again and the pic below is one I finished this afternoon.

mixed media on panel, 36x36, 'The Easy Way Home'

And for my birthday I got the coolest 2x's telephoto lens for my iphone.  It's an Olliclip and does just what it says.  It clips onto the the corner of the phone.  It's small enough to tuck in my bag and have with me in case I want to get a bit closer.  Below is a pic of what it looks like when it is mounted on the phone.  I like the idea that it's an optical zoom and not a digital zoom.  The pic above was taken with the lens on my phone this afternoon.  

We have a week of gorgeous spring weather the rest of the week!  Our yard is looking so pastel with lilacs, dogwood, rosemary, new green ferns and peony well on their way!!  Until the next time!!