Just finished this, and I realize I still need to erase the pencil lines and maybe modify the color of a thing or two, but I'm pretty happy with this one...another in the sort of hippie theme. :)
I feel like I'm on a roll, and it feels great!
My husband said something the other day that has had me tickled ever since. He said basically something like, if I weren't doing these little paintings, they wouldn't exist. They could only come from my own particular take on the world. So, yay me!
I think that's true of all artists (of all flavors - painters, musicians, writers, etc.) who are following their inner need to create, rather than trying to respond to the marketplace. I think of all the painters, writers and musicians without whom the world would be a much poorer place. Too bad our society makes it so hard for artists to survive by doing their art.
So, if you are an artist, keep that in mind: you are (hopefully) adding something of beauty or importance to the world by following your true creative voice, something that would not be in the world without your endeavors. :)
Anyway, I have taken forever to find that thing inside that needs expression, and of course, it keeps developing. I'm glad I started with representation, but I'm even more glad that I've moved past that. I'm really grooving on these shapes, compositions, and color combinations that I discover by the drawing and painting of them. Something like these little painting studies will probably make it onto large canvases in oil, and I'm really looking forward to that, too, but I may not be done with this round of little studies yet.
So here is another original work from the slightly twisted mind of yours truly. :)
Another New Painting: “Taco and Feud in Asia Minor”
This is another work that started out quite differently than it ended up. It was filled from corner to corner with ovals to start with, but then I kept taking out more and more stuff. I'm much happier with it now, though still not sure I'm 100% thrilled...
Progress Photos from the Painting "Food Forest" - 2012
Several people have told me how much they like seeing progress photos of paintings. Soooooo, I thought I'd share with you all some of my progress shots from recent works, starting with "Food Forest."
The process for this painting started with a photography session at an Urban Patchwork "food forest." Several artists were preparing work for a one-night show to benefit Austin's Urban Patchwork community gardens. I took quite a few photos, and then spent days just thinking about what I wanted my first painting for this show to be. I came up with my composition with some imagery drawn from many photos.
I don't always do sketches for works, and the one here is a pretty sad example, but sometimes all you need is a compositional thumbnail and that's all this was meant to be. (I can draw much better than this, really, and if I'd known I was going to share these sketches with anyone, maybe I would have). :)
I also painted this in acrylic -- Chroma's Atelier Interactive acrylics, which is mostly what I've used when trying to paint in acrylic. You may know that I'm an oil painter at heart, and find acrylics frustrating, but I knew I didn't have time for a new oil painting to dry in time for the show, so acrylics it was to be. (yikes!)
I started on a Friday afternoon, and finished the following Monday, which is pretty fast for me to complete an entire painting this size.
These are the only photos I took of the process, so I'm guessing each photo represents one's day's work. The final photo is color-accurate, AFAICT; the others are shot with a mishmash of lights in the studio (so the color temperatures are different from the actual painting and the final shot).
I have to admit, shaking up my medium really worked in this instance. I love this painting! It now hangs in the living room, so I get to enjoy it every day. Which is not to say that I won't part with it. :)
The new G+ Profile background is huge! For my tastes, the width is fine, but the height is about 1/3 larger than it needs to be. I can't even see the whole background image in my browser, even with the browser at full size. What to do with all that space, too? I'm a bit bamboozled.
I used black in the bottom...here's a screencap of the full window (after spending way too long trying to figure out just what proportions to make my image). Probably looks different on my tablets, too, and on your devices. :\
I started 3 more small sketches for watercolor paintings in the last day or two, erased one of them, ignored the second and painted only this one. This didn't turn out quite the way I envisioned, but I like it anyway, and it is inspiring a new set of oil paintings that I hope will be rather successful, but we'll all have to wait and see on that. :)
Over a thousand in about a week! I am truly humbled, and hope that you find my almost daily (or more) posts to your liking.
As you may know, I am a painter, currently working in abstraction, but with a good background in representation. I paint in oil, watercolor, acrylic, ink or mixed media, depending on what ideas I'm interested in exploring. I post mostly my own art, sometimes the art of others, some studio pics and other snapshots from my life. I have a website of my paintings, a blog, and an online shop of my work, which you can find on my profile.
Let's engage. If you leave a comment on my posts (as long as it's not inappropriate, weird or mean), I will add you back. :)
I am presently seeking out new territory in my paintings, and it's too soon to show what I'm trying to learn now. So, for your viewing pleasure today, here is one of my favorite paintings from my encaustic period (which lasted maybe 3-4 years, and may not yet be over). This is the 4th in a series of 4 paintings of poppies - a very popular group of paintings.
The problem with working in watercolor is if you get the colors wrong, there's not a lot you can do to fix it. Initially, I got the colors wrong on this one. I had painted the webby type stuff in the background twice, ending up with a kind of burnt sienna (red-brown) color on the third layer of webbery. Not only did it clash with the more jewel like colors of the foreground imagery, but it made the whole piece very busy, and you couldn't really distinguish foreground from background.
Sooooo, I tried lifting the color with water (didn't work well), then lightly with a sponge (nope), then with a bit of light and careful scrubbing with a sponge (better), and finally, I gave up all hope of making this piece work and washed it under running water.
Yes, I washed a watercolor painting. It's on paper, you know. This is why I love the heavy Raffine "sketch" paper I'm using; it's tough! And has a lovely texture. :)
I took care not to pill the paper as I lightly helped some of the paint off of it, let it dry, and then had to repaint most of the foreground "characters," while adding a third. And now I rather like it.
Hope I don't get myself into this predicament again, but if I do, I know what to do now.
Not sure what to think of this one. I had one thing in mind when I started drawing out my sketch, but something completely different happened.
Then I decided to switch to pure watercolors; not a medium I consider myself to be terribly proficient at, but one that I do want to explore more at the moment.
Then I discovered that some of the colors I wanted to use were dried in the tube (they're probably from about 1988!), but then I discovered you can slit the tube open and apply a wet brush to the dried paint and so use what's in there more or less like pan watercolors. So that's a bit of a money-saver while I'm experimenting. Otherwise, there's a $100 set of paints I want to buy, and I'm not sure I can justify that right now.
Plus, I painted the background far too dark, so I sponged some of it off, but there's still a disappointing lack of contrast here.
Finally, this one just didn't give me that little thrill of creation as much as the previous 3 little paintings did, so I arrive at...hmmm.
Hoping the next one will be pretty groovy, though. I love the sketch. Now if I can just get the paints to behave. :)
Haven't posted much work yet this year, as I am trying to stretch myself beyond my comfort zone -- and I have stretched -- but I'm not comfortable enough to share those pieces with you yet.
Here is one I started last night and just now finished that I am comfortable with: just a small watercolor pencil painting on paper. I started from the point of continuing my thoughts/impressions of Bontecou, but decided to aim for a simpler design and a slightly subdued (for me) palette. Not sure I was successful on either of those counts, but I do like this piece!
I do find doing these little studies to be very calming. And after 2 weeks of not having our usual daily life routine, and a few days of a visit from my old college roommate, I was more than ready for some calming! ;)
This is the painting I was working on before my husband's accident, the one that was giving me fits. I abandoned my original idea soon after starting work on it, then decided my next idea wasn't a big enough idea to fill this rather bigger canvas (24" x 36"); then tried at least half a dozen other ideas before discovering I needed to finish the painting more or less the way I'd started it -- my second idea after all!
So I think I am done. This is a studio shot; will take a better picture someday when it's not raining (yay, rain!).
Sold my last remaining matted print of this painting of Enchanted Rock, from my early representational days of painting. I still have 2 unmatted small prints left, and I imagine those will sell eventually, too.
This has been my most popular image for selling prints. And I still have the original. :)
I am considering whether I will resume printing giclees of any of my work, as my office space is likely to be completed within the month, and I'll have access to my good printer again.
If I choose to make any more of my images available as prints, I prefer printing them in small editions only on good fine art paper, and signing and numbering them, rather than offering unlimited, unsigned prints that can be printed on any old kind of surface through any online printing shops. I really can't imagine any of my work on metal or plastic, for example, and FAA (for example) doesn't give the artist the right to veto any media.
Thought I'd try out the Sennelier watercolor block I discovered the other day buried in my studio. Watercolor is a medium I'm not super familiar with. I did maybe 10-12 large watercolor still lifes back in the late 80's, but otherwise, I have mostly avoided it -- except for small watercolor pencil drawings (paintings?) over the last few years -- until just a few weeks ago.
This time, I soaked the paper pretty thoroughly, taped it down and started to paint. Hours later, the paper was still mostly wet, and the colors were still bleeding(!). So, this is more messy than I'm completely comfortable with, but there it is, fwiw. I added a bit of gouache to tame things a bit, and had already made quite a mess with drops of alcohol that got out of control. It's a hard-sized paper, too, and I don't think I like that "feature."
Good thing, too, because to buy this watercolor block today would cost $75.00 for 20 sheets. I guaran-damn-tee you I wouldn't have paid more than $20-30 at the most. I think.
Returning to another sketch in my heavy paper sketchbook, and continuing to explore more watercolor techniques a bit -- I used masking fluid on the plant-like parts of this one, so that I could make a delightful mess on the background without worrying about messing up the plant bits. This technique may be a keeper as I begin to work larger in watercolor. It's not so dramatic on these tiny pieces as I imagine it could be on larger ones.
I'm not super-thrilled with this one, but that's O.K. At least it's done, and out of my sketchbook. What I could paint over and improve if I were working in oil, I have to learn to get right the first time in watercolor. Or live with the less-than-stellar results.
Another bit of painting zen. I usually prefer to just be done when I arrive at that moment where I feel I have "finished" a work, and not go back to fix older works, letting each painting be a record of a small (or large) stretch of time. And then move on to a new chance to do better. :)
Another old photo recently discovered; I think I was 19 or 20 at the time, or maybe 18. I recognize the location, White Rock Lake; my boyfriend of that time took the picture. We had a sort of on-again, off-again kind of relationship. He rented a house on the lake later in our relationship, so that's why I think it was later. FWIW, which ain't much. ;)
For #AbstractArtMonday. Many, many thanks to +Esther Hardman for doing such a great job for the past ~month, and we will miss you as curator. Thanks also to +Dawn Ellen Miller for taking over today curator duties today. I very much appreciate it!
I've been primarily an oil painter, and then added encaustics to the mix in 2006. In 2008, I decided to give acrylics another try, using the interactive acrylics that are supposed to behave more like oils. Well, they are better, but are still not like painting in oil (and they still smell like plastic--nothing like the lovely smell of linseed oil and turps in the morning ;-) ) .
I did 10 large paintings in almost as few days, working very very fast.
Here's another painting that is a bit of a departure for me - one that I feel will move my work forward in some ways, eventually. This was done in acrylic, due to time constraints, and that change in mediums shook up my usual process quite a bit. I usually work in oil, and like it to dry as slowly as possible, so that I can keep working into wet paint for days.
Also, this was a composition based on a number of photographs taken in an urban food forest for a show to benefit the food growers community. I don't usually work either from life or from photographs so much anymore. I did not intend for the flower heads of the artichoke plants to become so representational, but I must say that I am actually quite thrilled with this whole painting, and I look forward to seeing how it will influence my work in the future.
I got a bit bolder with the colors on this painting. This was intended to be a continuation of the same visual idea from the painting I posted yesterday. The fact that it isn't quite seems to be proof of something, but what exactly, I'm not sure. Another goofy composition, but I love it!
OK, one last thing before I buckle down and get back to painting.
I don't post many photos of me, because I am 100% the opposite of photogenic, and most photos of me don't look like me (my husband agrees, and he has the same issue -- he's much, much cuter than the camera makes him look).
All that said, some time back, a good friend took this photo in black and white and hand-colored it. Today, I scanned it in without removing it from the frame, so I think the streaks are due to the glass. This is one of the few pictures of me I do like. :)
I'm posting only another detail, though. My last 4-5 larger paintings have each taken me through some creative changes and ended up in a different place than the preceding work...and the same is happening with this one.
I'm beginning to suspect I need to work out these changes without benefit or hindrance of comments or lack of comments. It's going to be hard for me not to share these as I finish them with the excitement that I always feel after resolving some new painting issues, but I have many more issues to resolve, and I think I must keep primarily my own counsel for the next 5-10 paintings.
I made some minor edits to this piece that I posted earlier today, based on responses to my question from that post. You can see the previous version as the next piece in this album, which now needs a different title, as the last 3 paintings were not really inspired by Bontecou anymore.
Isn't it amazing you can ask your fellow G+-ers a question at 3:22 and 20 minutes have several helpful answers?
I think I am finished with this now. Off to start one more in this not-so-series series. ;)
For today's FirstFridayArtWalk, here is the first oil painting I've completed this year that I'm happy with. :)
It's also my first attempt to interpret my recent watercolor mini-painting series into an oil painting, and I've pushed myself in several other ways with this one, too. Perhaps a bit too much pushing for one painting, but I do like it and I'm ready to try another, having learned a few things though this work.
Forgive the slight sheen on this one. I will need to try and take a better photo later.
It was exactly 6 months ago today that my husband fell off his bike and broke his leg. Yesterday, he woke up feeling like walking again.
We did our grocery shopping yesterday with him using only his cane, and today we rolled the living room carpet back out again, and even danced a tiny jig (no moving of feet, in his case -- I just danced around him). :D
It feels good, having him feeling more or less better again. Yep, just like the doc said, 6 months is pretty much about how long it takes to get to that mostly-healed-bone plateau. Progress, progress. It's great.
Since I'm trying not to post new work for awhile, I thought I'd post one of my favorite older series. These are from 2007, when I was working exclusively in encaustic (hot pigmented wax). I did all 4 of these in one short afternoon painting session, inspired by a glimpse of poppy plants I had spied in a BBC story about opium in Afghanistan. Mine are more colorful and benign. ;)
Here are a couple more watercolor and ink paintings from Friday night. I like the sprites in a forest kind of vibe in the one on the left, and the one on the right I think could be the beginning of a nice composition for a larger oil painting. :)
This year (so far), I am experimenting with lots of ways of finding images and lots of ways of painting them. So I thought I would share them all in one album, since as a group, they look a little wild, and I look a little unfocused. Gotta try stuff, though, or else how will you learn new ways to paint?
I got up before the sun hit the yardarm this morning, so I was able to shoot photos of quite a few small oil paintings, and finally, I think I have the color close to accurate on this one.
This is the first of my "Fragments" series -- favorite snippets from larger works repainted on smaller canvases. I think I prefer this in the horizontal orientation. They look like snuggling friends to me (I see lots of characters in my abstract paintings. Do you?). What I was exploring here was painting in very thick paint over previous layers of thick paint in different colors. I still like it better in the larger painting this was drawn from ("Comin' Through!" - http://marilynfenn.com/art/abstract/?titleid=490), as I think some even cooler brush accidents happened in that one, but this one is sweet, too.
Numero uno: +Terry Dyke (best husband ever, super nice guy, smartest man I've ever met, and awesomely talented thinker, writer, and a whole, whole bunch of groovy other things). Follow him; you won't be sorry (probably; standard disclaimers apply). ;)
Here are some of my other favorite G+ people, (in no particular order):
This work is a large painting made up of twenty 12″x12″ panels attached to a 4′ x 6′ sheet of cradled plywood. The first panel, “The Seed,” was the spark for the whole series, with each subsequent panel unfolding from an edge of the previous panel, yet with the freedom for each new panel to go in a different direction than the one before. (I only had one or two panels on my easel at a time (small space) ).
The idea behind this series was inspired by ecological succession, a natural sequential process in which there is a gradual supplanting of one community of life forms by another, each stage building upon the previous stage.
Some of the imagery in this piece is based on images from life, such as aerial images of river courses, pancake ice, and mud flats. You'll recognize some Hubble space images: a spiral galaxy, the Pleides, a quasar. Some of the panels are straight out of my imagination, and I'll leave the rest for you to decide.
Finally finished getting our taxes ready for the accountant to work his magic, and I am now also almost finished reading an excellent book on colors (which ones are fugitive and so to be avoided and which are recommended to use)...just 4 more chapters. I'm taking notes, and plan to search through my tubes of paint and mark the not-to-be-used for serious work tubes. Dang! :(
I have been painting; some small oil paintings are in various states of not-quite-doneness, one 24" x 24" oil painting is coming along quite nicely, but surprisingly, and will take several more days, I think, and I have 3 sketches ready to paint as watercolors.
So, I thought I'd go ahead and finally share my 3rd painting from this year, which I haven't shown before. It's a bit busy, a combo of 2 things I've been exploring recently. I finally decided I like it after all. :)
Still not ready to post new work, so here is a large painting I did in the studio after returning home from my 2002 Italy trip, based on the small study I showed yesterday. Unfortunately, there's a bit of glare in the photo below, and the painting has been sold, so this is the best shot I have of it.
A small sketch from a few years ago; this is based on a photo I took while touring the Ethnographic Museum in Rumšiškės, Lithuania, the town where my grandfather emigrated from, and where some of my family still live on a small farm.
I never met my grandfather, as he died from black lung when my mom was 13. He was a coal miner and had also been gassed fighting for the US in WWI. During my trip in 1993, I met his still surviving sister who lived on that farm in Rumšiškės. She became ill during my two-month stay in Lithuania, and died the day after I left. :(
It was so awesome to have met her, and my other relatives, though. This is just one of the many beautiful images from that trip, and so far, the only one I have painted.
Personally, I think this painting is a mess. I've painted it 3 or 4 different times, each time almost completely obliterating what was there before. I repainted it quickly for that art show in February (the show that is still continuing until who knows when?), but when my paintings do finally come home, this one is going in the rework pile.
Here's what I like: the colors, the thickness of the paint, some of the flow-y kind of shapes. There's a smidge of white paint applied with a palette knife in a previous incarnation kind of in the lower mid section that I've been attached to, but I may have to not worry about keeping that.
Here's what I don't like: the overall composition, the feeling of the painting. It never really became something. I'm sure I either didn't push it far enough, or I pushed it too far. I think the big flower in the middle on the right is demanding almost all of the attention, so I'm considering wiping it out. OTOH, I could just keep piling on the paint and pushing it around until it works, but it'd probably be helpful if I had a clear sense of a strong composition.
So let me have it; hit me with your best shot. Really, this painting embarrasses me so much, I almost didn't post it even for critique. (and wouldn't you know, a lot of people say they love it! Argh!).
This is one of the few encaustic paintings of mine that still has a place hanging on one of my walls. It's full of beautiful little moments, if I do say so myself, and I take great pleasure nightly in looking at those little moments -- moments that can almost only be made with hot pigmented wax.
I'll probably get back to encaustics again after the weather cools down some around here (presently, we are still in the mid to upper 80's F). ;)
They say it's your birthday, well, it's my birthday, too, yeah!
I was born on Queen Elizabeth's birthday. Happy Birthday to the Queen! And me! And a whole bunch of other cool folks. :)
I enter a new decade of life today. Auspicious.
The year I entered the last new decade, I bought my first and current house with my then-boyfriend, now-husband, left the corporate world forever (buh-bye!), spent almost a month in Italy, painting and looking at art, and at the end of the year, I started showing my art professionally and selling it. It was an extremely happy year!
Ten years before that, I graduated from art school, right at the end of the year. Another fabulous year that brought with it also a 2-month long trip to Russia and Lithuania -- the land of my ancestors, where I got to meet many cousins and my grandfather's sister. After that, I moved back to Austin again to get on with the business of paying for my education, and continuing to figure out where I was headed as a painter.
When I was 20, I left my parents' house and moved to Austin for the first time, entered the University of Texas, fell in love with this city, and with a few different guys (serially, though none "took").
My horoscope for today says: "You are at a significant turning point and you must...wipe the slate clean to free you from previous plans...[and] commit to giving one hundred percent until you reach your goals."
OTOH, my fortune cookie fortune says "Success is a journey, not a destination."
So, here's what I'm going to do. Eat breakfast, finish my coffee, and then head to my studio to spend the day painting. Party tonight with many good friends.
Continue to commit to becoming the best painter I can be. Try to work less as a web designer, but get paid more for the work I do.
And enjoy the ride. I think it's going to be a great decade! :)
Oh, I'm so glad I found these; I really was wondering what happened to the first one, which was a colored pencil study for a color woodcut that I never made. The second sketch was an ink study for a single-color (B/W) woodcut that I did make, which came out well. The third image was just an ink sketch of an in-progress painting in my tiny studio setup in the tiny house I shared with a roommate in 1988. I did complete two paintings like that in the sketch -- very colorful ones. :)
While I'm working on some new studies that I'm not yet ready to show you, I thought I'd share one of my first abstract landscapes, from 2006, the year I decided to move away from representation. Not that I have been completely able to stay away from representation -- in 2006-07, I did about 20 paintings of tornadoes and 5 of nuclear bombs, and in 2011, I did 17 still lifes of toys, and in 2012, some drawings of vines, and well...the need to represent just seems to pop up every now and again.
But that said, this was one of 2 paintings in this series, which miraculously almost, but still quite haven't sold. They're hanging in one of our bathrooms, so I still get to enjoy them daily. Oddly enough, 7 years later, I'm still trying to figure out how I want to paint abstractly. :)
I want to learn to love acrylics. I am primarily an oil painter -- I love the thickness of oil, the blendability, the beauty of the colors, and especially the open working time.
I started a new acrylic on canvas painting last night, and I'm pretty excited about trying this medium again. It seems to be going well, but we'll see how today's session fares.
So, to all my acrylic painter friends (especially you who have switched from oil), what is the one big tip you could give me to help me be successful this time? I should note, I am using Chroma Interactive acrylics on this painting, so I have a little more blending time than with regular acrylics...
Thanks in advance for your favorite tip! I'll be in the studio working, but will check in from time to time, so I hope some of you see this and can give me a pointer or two. Have a great Saturday!
In 1991, I was lucky enough to get a work scholarship to SAIC's Oxbow summer art camp, near the resort town of Saugatuck, Michigan -- where I cleaned all the toilets and showers in the camp before breakfast, and then got to spend the rest of the day in painting classes, and the evenings hanging around the campfires on the beach shooting the sh*t with other art students...and tossing back a few brews.
One day for a landscape painting class, I climbed up on top of the highest hill, set my easel up in the sand and started painting the lagoon which threaded through little tree-covered hills on its way to Lake Michigan.
A strong gust of wind tossed my painting into the sand, and there was nothing for it but to incorporate the now embedded sand into the painting, because there no way that sand was going to be released from the wet oil paint.
Turns out it makes a really cool surface on which to paint (though it sucks up the paint something fierce!). I wasn't happy with my initial results, though, so I completed this painting several years later, stylizing it with a bit of whimsy.
That's lake Michigan at the top of the picture, and a few times we canoed up the lagoon to watch the sunset and swim in the lake. It was a terrific experience!
So, today I saw a tiny notification on my browser bar from a dear G+ artist friend who noticed that I haven't been around much the past 2 weeks, so to dear +Lena Levin and anyone else who may care -- my apologies for disappearing without notice!
Here's what happened (It's not that interesting, but in case you were wondering...):
Two weeks ago, in an inexplicable panic over my husband's impending retirement, I perversely decided to begin to complete a couple of website projects that have been on the back burner for what seems like forever! _Really,_ I was only going to fix one thing! A couple of hours at the most! I thought...
Silly rabbit! I forgot about my Attention Surplus Disorder! Anyone else have that? Where, once you start a thing, you can't stop until you're done, or until you pass out from exhaustion? Coupled with my resistance to state change, and an overwhelming case of get-it-done-itis, I then proceeded to become totally absorbed for something like 12-14 hours/day in rethinking, redesigning and rebuilding an entire suite of websites.
I kept thinking of checking in here, but knowing that G+ can totally distract me for hours a day, I thought I'd just put it off until I got "done."
Well, one thing led to another and another and another...and now I wonder if I will ever get "done?" Or by the time I get to "the end" will it be time to start over? :\
Anyway, I have done a few things besides geekery during the past 2 weeks. The proof is in the attached photo album. (A friend's birthday party, my sweetie's retirement party, some pics of downtown Austin, flowers on the way to go vote last week, sunflowers, bugs, and lizards in the backyard, plus a couple of the many great dinners).
Whazzup with y'all? Did I miss anything important? I have missed you all, and hope to start catching up with everybody once my ASD lets me out to play. (Oh, look! A pretty flower picture just below this post!!! Ack! And so it begins...) :)
A day late for the Easter bunny, here is a white on white painting I did during a spate of small still lifes of toys last fall. This was lit with a warm light casting cool shadows to the left, and a cool light casting warm shadows to the right. My husband is responsible for the title. ;)
For my 3rd Best Twelve of Twelve, I present my very next painting, "Sun Rose." This was also developed from a sketch (inspired by Lee Bontecou's sculptures) and at 36" x 36" is the largest painting I have done in a few years! I used a palette knife with oil paint and cold wax medium, a process I haven't done in a long, long time. And the colors kept changing, trying to achieve just the right balance.
Anyway, I love this painting, and I didn't get to live with it for long, as it sold almost immediately. And just for the record, as I've heard that many people like to know how long it takes to paint a painting, this one took a rather long time for me: an entire month (though I have no idea how many hours. I should have kept track!).
While I've disappeared into the world of web work during the day, I am still painting nights and weekends, and my latest painting is just taking forever! Two weeks of bits and pieces of time working in a mostly new technique for me on a 36" x 36" canvas (palette knife with Dorland's cold wax medium). I'm hoping it will come together before Friday Art Critique...
This was apparently my 9th (not) daily drawing from 2011, which was also not 100% successful -- a little doodle in ink, watercolor and possibly acrylic on cold press watercolor paper. I don't like cold-press paper; it's too textured for these little paintings. I was searching for forms and visual language at a very small scale.
I realize I've been working so hard working on the space pictured, that I've been ignoring G+ for awhile. So, here's a little progress shot on my office space. Still need to build my desktop (that's just an old door in partial place for now -- the new desktop will go wall to wall). :) I need to either put a clear finish on the cabinets or paint them; haven't decided yet. I think I'll paint the knobs black, and there will be a 1.5" black apron under the birch ply desktop.
Also need to add the baseboards and finish the window trim (backband) and paint that; and hang shades, and get a new little rug for under the chair. Who knew this vinyl flooring would be so dentable by casters? :\
Oh, yeah, and get my computer fixed, because of course, now that the office is almost ready after 7 years in the making, my old computer has died (first my laptop, now my desktop, all in a month!). Ai!
Much more to do, and I'm aching and sore and banged and bruised from all the sorting, packing, unpacking and moving stuff around, but it sure is exciting to start getting all my office stuff together in one place and organized.
And when this (and the rest of the space) is done, back to the studio for me. Finally! It's been so long, my night dreams are all about painting.
Plus, I've missed y'all and all your lovely posts!
I hate not having my name on my painting, in case someone notices it somewhere and wants to know who painted it. But, my signature, which I usually reduce to just M. Fenn, always feels like it ruins the painting. And I find it really hard to paint in a way that is not too obtrusive, and not too clumsy. A friend mentioned "oil pens" that she said you can get at Jerry's, but I've never seen such a thing, and can't find them online.
What do y'all do?
I may have just finished this painting, maybe. Only a little tweakage since last posting it: a bit more paint, a few less objects. Now I need to sign it, but where, and how?
My favorite quote of the night, about one of my paintings (currently titled "Bonnard's Boudoir;" may have to change it)! It was meant as a compliment, and I took it as one. I love it! That's exactly what I want to paint: almost something!
Our opening was tonight, and it was so much fun! Why don't I do this more often? I always have such a good time, and there was a great and interesting crowd there tonight; artists, authors, musicians, old and young and in-between.
Saw old friends, made new ones. Even got a couple more artists who want websites from me (though that was the furthest thing from my mind tonight)!
But best of all, there seemed to be quite a bit of genuinely positive interest in my work. Very gratifying! :)
I was having so much fun, I almost forgot to take pictures, so these are all I got.
Here's an obsessive little painting that got out of control.
After the crazy looseness and unpredictability of the Fraccidental series, my fingers itched for a bit of tightness, and this is what happened. Named after the earworm running through my head during the entire creation of this piece.
This painting is actually almost a month old by now, and is almost the next painting in my most recent series of works. This one was inspired by the one just before this that I haven't shown yet (which I'm saving for this week's Friday Art Critique) but I can tell you that the initial inspiration for the previous one was water reflections. This one has traveled a bit beyond that.
For me, this is sort of an experiment in soft and broken colors, and I do love the palette. I hope to do more in soft tones like this in the future.
I was going to start posting my new work, but I had one setting wrong during my photo session yesterday, and the colors came out too blue, so I will re-do hopefully tomorrow and begin showing you my latest crazy series of abstract paintings soon (but not today).
In the meantime, here's another favorite from my 2002 trip to Italy.
I don't know why I thought this wall was 10' wide, so these are much closer together than in my well-planned little diagram. But at any rate, all ready for Thursday's opening, and I am thoroughly wrung out! So glad I have a few days to recover.
For those of you who helped me with my little panic attack the other night, as you can see, I decided to include all the paintings except two. If I find out that some are chosen for the other show, I can switch out a few after this opening. Oh, I guess I'd better get some more painted then. :0
Another early still life. This is probably the most meticulous still life watercolor I have ever done (or likely will ever do), full of all kinds of pretty, girly things, and a porcelain bowl that I had also made (I even made the porcelain clay from dry ingredients -- woo-hoo!).
As promised, finally, here is the first of my new series of abstracts that I have been working on since July and haven't shared...yet.
I began this one inspired by passion flowers (we have a huge vine of small passion flowers in our yard). I started this in acrylic, as my previous painting, "Food Forest," was done in acrylic and I was so happy (eventually) with both the process and the end result.
With this one, however, I found working in acrylic as frustrating as is usually the case for me. So I repainted the whole thing in oil, and then ended up painting out much of what had been part of the original composition. I finally abandoned the idea of a passion flower, and let the painting tell me what it wanted to be. And this is the result.
Kind of goofy, kind of beautiful, and I find myself loving the parts but wondering about the whole. It remained very juicy as I simplified, simplified, simplified.
This was one of a very few palette knife paintings I have ever done, and it was so much fun to do! The image is based on a sketch that was based on another sculpture by Lee Bontecou. This image demanded to be further and further removed from the original sketch....and I complied. ;)
Crowdsourcing a decision I have to make: which 4 or 5 of these paintings do you think are strongest and/or make the strongest statement together? I'll be submitting them to a show before midnight tonight.
I usually consider that spring has arrived when our neighbor's gorgeous saucer magnolia tree blooms, and that happened about February 7th this year -- a bit early, I think. That's also usually the same time that the redbuds start to bloom, and they bloomed beautifully, but now the blooms are gone. I didn't even take any pictures of those this year, for no good reason(!).
But it has seemed to be cooler this spring than other years of late, and I know some of you have still been getting some snow!
Anyway, wishing for warm spring days for all my friends the world over (or fall, if you're down under). Cheers.
This was my first landscape drawing in perspective--well, the first successful one, anyway. I did this during my first semester of art classes at the local community college. I had an awesome teacher. I couldn't draw well at all when the semester started, and this was one of several pieces I was very happy with 3 months later.
You know how flat surfaces become storage spaces over time? Well, I had practically run out of working space (again!) on my temp. makeshift drawing table, so I spent quite a bit of time going through about 1/4 of everything in my studio to find more working space. And this is the result.
I love my studio, even if it's a bit crowded with stuff, and I really love my work table now that I've got more room to work.
In these pics you can see my current watercolor setup as well as my current WIP, more of my recent tiny watercolors, my rolling watercolor cart (formerly known as a mini-coffee table), Picasso's nose, a sculpture (torso) I did in art school, parts of more recent WIPs and nearly finished works, one of +Lena Levin 's beautiful still life paintings, a glow-in-the-dark skeleton, Bugs Bunny (one of dozens of little toys that keep me company), and various tools and supplies.
I'm hoping this will be the year when I finish organizing my studio, but really, is anyone ever finished organizing their space in which to create?
Drawing the Figure in Space, Lesson One: Project Yourself into the Picture Plane
Two weeks ago, I posted the 1st of these "figures in space," with the promise of posting more, along with some of the lessons about working this way. Just so you know, I have 18 of these drawings, but fewer notes, and so the lessons will unfold a bit slowly.
These are from a class I took with one of my favorite teachers at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Elizabeth Rupprecht. I learned so much from her classes. An awesome teacher!
For the first few weeks, we interpreted the model's figure as boxes representing the major and minor parts of the body, as below. But first, we drew the space the figure occupied, separating it into the X-, Y- and Z-axes: the large planes in the drawing (semi-erased. We worked quickly with vine charcoal to draw, and chamois cloths, kneaded erasers and the sides of our fists to erase. We drew and then erased several drawings on the same piece of paper). We also drew a little fly-eye's view from the ceiling (a "top" view), seen below in the little box at the upper right.
We were trying to really get a sense of where the parts of the figure are within that 3-dimensional space. It's a little different than drawing just what you see. It's really a different way of thinking about drawing; less about drawing a flat, pictorial or almost photographic representation, and more about finding a way to make art based on what is actually there.
If this is a little hard to grasp, stay tuned in coming weeks; I hope I can convey what I think I learned. And if you already know what I'm talking about, I would love to hear how you talk about it and what your understanding is. It's making me mental trying to put this in words.
Here are some of the notes I took from this class:
"When drawing the figure in space, use empathy – project yourself into the picture plane. Move yourself to the center of the picture plane."
"In Cezanne’s landscapes, things get bigger as they go back in space – he’s projected himself into the landscape."
"What's behind you is as important as the rest."
We looked a lot at the work of such artists as Cezanne, Michelangelo, Picasso, Henry Moore and Hans Hoffman, among others.
Anyway, let me know if this is at all interesting to you. It changed the way I thought about drawing and painting, and I am enjoying revisiting these lessons. :)
Did any of you study drawing in a similar way? I would love to hear about it!
For the record, I've been posting these chronologically, not by any kind of countdown.
Still working small, still experimenting, this painting was sort of an experiment in soft and broken colors. I do quite love the palette. Don't even know what to say about those forms...more unexpected goofiness!
OK, so most of them are small or very small little watercolors on paper. I am trying to do one every day, but sometimes, the larger works (and life, too) consume me completely. Still, I find doing one of these almost every day to be a very good exercise. I have to keep finding new images, new arrangements, new palette choices to put on paper. Invention happens. :)
I haven't thought of a clever title for this one, so it is currently known as:
More New Work: "Here We Go Again, August 29, 2012"
Here's another new painting that started out quite differently than it ended up. This one took about a week to resolve; and I was working on it during the time Hurricane Isaac was building in the Gulf Coast, so I guess you could say that became an influence. ;)
Even though I scraped lots of paint off of this several times while in the process of creation, it still has lots of wonderfully gooey paint on it (dry to the touch now, of course).
Too much left brain lately, and I think I've done my last new website project for anyone else (pretty please, let it be so!).
My neighborhood website project is mostly done (well, are they ever really done?), so finally I can get back in the studio, finish #'s 1, 4, 6 & 8 and start some new ones.
This one is from about 3-4 weeks ago...whenever that was that I was more of a full-time painter. It seems so long ago now. I still have much to learn about using acrylics. I'll probably end up back in oils, but this is opening up some new possibilities, too, and it's kind of fun, actually. :)
This painting started out inspired by a sea anemone, but didn't seem to want to remain that image. I worked on this for about a week, which is kind of long, considering it's only 16" x 12"!
I love working in really gooey paint, and have been experimenting recently with various medium mixes. I think I had switched to a medium of only poppy oil by the time I was working on this one. The paint remained so deliciously squooshy for days at a time, that it lent itself very well to creating these hurricane swirls.
I was working on it during the time Hurricane Isaac was building in the Gulf Coast, so this image was influenced by that sad event. The title refers to the fact that Hurricane Isaac hit New Orleans exactly 7 years to the day that Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.
At least, as far as I know. I'm sharing them because you probably haven't seen them (I've never posted them before on G+, except in an album), but these 3 paintings are from an earlier excursion into attempting abstraction. I think I did about a dozen paintings exploring this style before I ran out of steam for continuing. The two drummer painters are two of my very favorites from that series. I wish I'd been looser with the piano player, but there are some other parts I really like in the middle painting.
Reshared text: December Sale, Day Thirteen: Musician Paintings as Prints
I probably should have posted these yesterday...1-2, 1-2, 1-2. ;-) My musician paintings, or rather prints made from my musician paintings:
· One Flight Down · Chris & Brad at Donn’s · Surprise, Surprise
These are the last three paintings done in this style -- a style a friend of mine called "prismism." Actually, it turns out that Lyonel Feininger "developed “Prism-ism,” a distinctive style with broken geometric planes that was linked formally to Orphism (developed by Robert Delaunay) and Italian Futurism, yet retained a characteristic lyricism." (from The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts page on Feininger).
Well, I'm not sure that mine are so lyrical, but they represent the culmination of working in this style for me — at least, intentionally.
Each painting was developed from sketches on paper or bar napkins. The two drummer paintings were from a Norah Jones show at The Backyard in Austin (btw, did you know Norah Jones' father is Ravi Shankar?). The piano player and bass player are Chris Gage and Brad Fordham playing at Donn's Depot, a wonderful funky old bar made from train cars that is an Austin institution, and a great place to dance or sit while enjoying great local music over a few brewskies. The lovely chanteuse, Christina Albert, was with them, as well as the great drummer, Lisa Pankratz -- a couple of happy couples.
The prints are available matted or unmatted in various sizes, and also framed, all at 20% off.
Hung a couple of my favorite little paintings (Catfish and Catbird salt and pepper shakers), planted a bag of stuffed animals (more subjects for paintings, for when I'm in the mood for still lifes -- in case that ever happens again!), and now I've got a nice large spot on top of my flat files for an even larger self-healing mat.
I scrounged this light fixture from the garage, but originally it had been my dad's -- one of a set of two that I painted red and hung from a switched cord. I think the other one is moving to this room soon, too. It's taking forever, but this room is starting to shape up. Yay!
The last thing will be building custom bookshelves over there on the left, but we're still a long way from that!
It's been so long since I packed these away, I forgot that I'd ever drawn them.
There's nothing spectacular to be seen here, which is probably why I'd never made digital images of these before. The bedroom curtain scene was clearly left unfinished, but I am rather fond of the kitchen scene - I still have the covered cheese board, copper pepper mill, copper double boiler, and Romertopf clay cooker, and they all still get lots of use!
From rough attic storage to an office in a mere 4 years! ;)
Well, nothing much happened during most of that time -- a few months in the beginning, a few months in the end, and now, finally, I'm thrilled with my new office space. Story in pictures in the attached album, should you be interested. :)
Other areas of the attic are still in progress, but I'm going to take a break for a day or two. Maybe even get back to my easel (woo-double-hoo!).
This was my first tornado painting. I was working with oil paints mixed with encaustic medium, which (if there is an excess of oil in the oil paint) can cause some odd mixing behaviors, which definitely happened here. I love the effects that I got in this painting! It kind of abstracted itself. :)
What with rearranging my studio, it took me a few days to get this one finished. I'm really enjoying these little works. I think this one turned out to be a rather happy little painting, what do you think?
I haven't posted anything to StillLifeArtMonday in soooo long! Got kind of busy!
So, before they go on vacation, here's a still life of my taboret from way back in art school.
It is one of my favorite still life paintings. I just painted what I saw, and many years later, I noticed all the reflections I had painted: from the reflection of the coffee can in the jar of blue paint mud in the back to the more subtle reflection of the reddish jar on the styrofoam cup in the center to the reflection of the jar of linseed oil mixture on the tin can and palette cups. Sometimes, I really love painting from life!
Plus, this one brings back such great memories of that lively, bustling art studio and some of the most fun years of my life. :)
This was my 5th piece of the year, and I haven't shared it until now. I am again combining some imagery from various series of the last few years, this time in watercolor pencil (with water added, of course). I may try to fix that purple-y bit in front, though quite honestly, I'm not sure if it can be fixed. I'm not crazy about the grainy quality that I accidentally achieved there. :\
Well, I was all psyched to get back before my easel yesterday afternoon, but was stricken by a migraine (curses!), so 3 Ibupofin and a long nap later, 'twas already too late to start a new oil painting.
I picked a set of colors that were more subdued than my usual bright fare for this little piece, and I'm surprised at how bright they seem anyway.
This framed print of Enchanted Rock just sold to a couple who recently got engaged there. Enchanted Rock is a magical place, the largest pink granite monadnock in the United States, and has a history of human visitation going back at least 11,000 years.
There are numerous myths about the rock, such as it was "revered by native tribes as a holy portal to other worlds", that "anyone spending the night on the rock becomes invisible", and that there exist "many spirits in the tunnels" under the rock. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enchanted_Rock)
My favorite myth, though, is that in the 70's, hippies used to hang out there doing psychedelics (so I am told), and grooved on the eerie noises of the sun-warmed rock cooling at night. :)
I've visited several times, but as yet, I haven't wandered through the caves under the rock. Putting it on my local bucket list.
I've been sketching some studies for new paintings this week, inspired by the sculptures of Lee Bontecou, who is arguably my favorite sculptor.
I used to pass by one of her super-cool canvas and wire constructions in the Art Institute of Chicago whenever I would run over to the museum for inspiration, and...well, I could never just pass by it. I was always so drawn to that work.
I have done a few little paintings inspired by her works, and now these sketches, and I have a few others in progress. Plus I am working on a 24x24" painting from one of these sketches that I hope to finish this weekend.
I'm not sure if she would approve of my colorful interpretations. ;)
Just in case you're not familiar with her work or need a refresher, here's a link to images of her work: http://goo.gl/z2Ptq :D
I decided to change the paper on my tabletop (which is just a $28.00 hollow-core door set on top of that gorgeous walnut desk I need to sell), but the paper has been on there for 3 years and was all torn up and taped up and pretty ratty. So that led to me removing everything from on top of and underneath the desk, so I could take some good pics of the desk, so I can put it up for sale. So, 2.5 hrs. later, I'm ready to paint again, with a clean tabletop. And now I've also repurposed my old animation board for a wedge under my watercolor board, and hung some hooks, and taken out the trash, and cleaned the floor even. Whew! That sure ramified. Next -- the other 3 sides of the room!