select * from apigoogleposts where googleid = '106237697616959334118' order by replies desc limit 0,100
Stolen art found on DeviantArt!0 plusses - 59 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
Ironically enough, for use in an image of "a scene from Stolen" (whatever that is).
Check it out: the background image here is from one of my paintings. No one asked permission to use it. But at least they gave me credit and a link!
I only found it by doing a reverse lookup on my domain name at Deviant Art (which showed up in my Google Analytics): http://lynnkieu.deviantart.com/art/Wildly-Beautiful-280508423
Cost of a broken leg (so far) = $52,000! Thank gawd we have insurance...don't know yet what we'll have to pony up, or if my husband's medicare will fill in the gaps. Geez...5 plusses - 58 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
Hmmm....27 plusses - 57 comments - 3 shares | Read in G+
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. :\
Question for Acrylic Painters3 plusses - 56 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
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!
Artists' Palettes - What kind of palette do you prefer?10 plusses - 39 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
I love looking at artists' palettes. You can see the colors of their paintings' preserved on the palettes, and the state of array (or disarray) in which they worked.
Here are great pictures of some famous painters' palettes: http://www.retronaut.co/2011/01/pallettes-of-famous-painters/
From the painters among you, I'd love to hear your thoughts on what makes your best palette.
Below are four of mine, the 1st 3 retired, due to too much gouging of the wood--which happened when I would scrape down the dried paint in my attempts to obtain a smoother surface for new paint--plus they're just too small!
The 4th is a large (18x24") plastic palette I used for years a while back, then sanded down. I may use it again, because I love having a large palette, but in the end I really prefer a glass palette. It's so much easier to obtain a clean surface to begin anew every day.
I'm thinking of ordering the glass cutting board shown below in the 5th picture, it's a little smaller than I'd like, but so is my studio and my painting table that it needs to fit on. But it would work in my space very well, I think.More Artists' Palettes
And if you're on Facebook, artist +Farrell Brickhouse has shared this awesome and extensive collection of photos of contemporary artists' tables, shelves, and palettes: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1062923943362.11491.1533881901&type=3
This is really a fascinating peek into the working worlds of many artists!
Hmmm...30 plusses - 34 comments - 3 shares | Read in G+
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. :)
Ooops -- forgot the info:
"This is Not an Italian Tile"
Watercolor on heavy Raffine sketch paper
6" x 5.75"
© 2013 Marilyn Fenn
9 plusses - 34 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
For +Friday Art Critique
-- I hope I'm not too late; it's not yet midnight here.
This is the counterpart to the piece I posted last week, and I was actually pretty happy with it, after 3 days of excruciating
struggles, and several wipe-off/scrape-offs and start-overs...and I thought
I was done.
Then an artist friend came by and made quite a few unasked-for suggestions for how she'd like to see it be different. So, I guess I'll see if you guys think there's something wrong with it. :\
Squeeee!30 plusses - 33 comments - 3 shares | Read in G+
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!).
Oil on canvas
24" x 36"
© 2012 Marilyn Fenn#googie #populuxe #haveilostmymind
Another New Painting: “Taco and Feud in Asia Minor”39 plusses - 33 comments - 10 shares | Read in G+
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...
“Taco and Feud in Asia Minor”
Oil on canvas
18″ x 18″
© 2012 Marilyn Fenn
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.13 plusses - 33 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
Thanks in advance!
What Paint Does10 plusses - 32 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
I'm really enjoying the essays of Robin Greenwood. This one has awaken something in my brain that I think has been asleep since art school! Not sure if I agree with it all, but it's exciting (to me) to contemplate these thoughts, as well as the rest of the essay and subsequent comments.
"What’s missing from this, what makes it a defective raison-d’être of painting, is the recognition that paint can carry more potency and meaning through its use as a designator and articulator of form and space than it can by any literal demonstration of its real-world properties. To suggest that the literal ‘materiality’ of paint – or indeed the process of applying it as a performance – is truer to painting than the fullest, richest fulfilment of its potential as an illusionistic medium is to belittle and falsify it. Such a philosophy of painting (for such it is) exhibits a failure to recognise that the meaning in abstract art is not what it is, but what it does. Herein is both enigma and illusion, since what abstract art precisely does cannot be easily described verbally (if at all, and there would be little point to it if it were otherwise), and all painting contains illusion; all good painting contains a convincing matrix of illusion. Every mark on a two-dimensional surface creates an illusionistic (re)presentation of space. With figurative painting, no problem; but how do we reconcile illusion with being abstract?"
Help Me Choose11 plusses - 32 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
I am finished with this painting which has taken me so frigging long
and gone through so
many changes, but it's one of those rare times when the painting may work from any of the 4 orientations, so...
I'd love anyone who's game to tell me which of these 4 orientations you like best. If you can say why, also, that would be very helpful. (And thanks in advance!). :)
Maybe later this week, I'll post some progress shots to show you how much it changed!
"Mollycoddling the Collywobbles"
Oil on canvas
18" x 18"
© 2012 Marilyn Fenn#whatamonth
Another Failure17 plusses - 32 comments - 3 shares | Read in G+
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!).+Friday Art Critique
Artist Communities on Google Plus3 plusses - 31 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
Is anyone enamored by any of the artist communities here? I belong to a gazillion of them, moderate one, and am a co-moderator of another, but have gotten into never visiting any of them, except those I moderate, and never posting in those.
For me, so far, the best part has been getting introduced to artists I might never have discovered otherwise, but there's not a lot of discussion happening. I guess we're not a chatty lot.
Artists, what say you?
<Rant> My Website Hosting Company Ruined My Birthday6 plusses - 30 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
Or most of it, anyway. I don't normally like to whine in public, but I feel like I need to get this on the record, so stop reading here, if you're not into 1st-world problem style whining. ;)
I do have a question at the end.
Background: I spent all of last week doing all kinds of physical tasks so that I could spend my birthday doing my favorite thing: painting. Three afternoons of yard work -- mowed and edged the front and back yards, trimmed all the bushes, pulled tons of weeds. Nothing had been done in 6-7 months, since my husband broke his leg, so there was a lot to do. We filled 6 bags with yard waste, and hauled two huge loads of grass clippings to the compost pile. I did most of it, as my husband's leg is still healing from last fall's break.
Then, we cleaned the house from top to bottom. My arms and legs were still aching like a sumbitch Sunday night.
So, yeehaw, finally, everything is done, and I'm all ready for good night's sleep and a full day of painting!
However, the phone rang at 7:30 am on Sunday morning (my birthday), and a long message was left. I was ignoring it, but my husband got up and heard the message from our hosting company that they had taken down our websites -- ALL of them! And sent him a note which said:
"Unfortunately, we were forced to disable the script [the index page] as it was causing high loading issues on the server. Due to this affecting all of the other accounts on the system, we had to take immediate action for the health of the server. "
This is at least the 4th or 5th time in 5 or 6 years that they've taken this drastic action before contacting me to fix the issue. One problem with 1 site, and they take them all down (we've got dozens). oO
And then they withdrew my access to my sites, my ftp access, and emptied out our file directory, leaving me NO WAY to fix the supposed problem! Except to get into at least a 30-minute chat with tech support, who was as bewildered by all this as I am. Grrrrr! From past experience, I dreaded getting into this, as their demands to make certain changes have cost me days to weeks to months of work in the past, and sometimes, the problem wasn't even on my end!
But after trying to paint while being truly P.O.'d, I realized I'd better go ahead and deal with it. Just what I wanted to do on my birthday (not)!
So after getting access and doing the "fixes" they requested (deleting 2 plugins and installing a different caching plugin), I checked the activity on the site in question for the preceding 24 hours. The index page was exactly as it had been 4 months ago, there were no signs of any hacking, no questionable scripts, and the site got only 17 page visits, total, on Saturday, and 1 on Sunday. I gotta say, if my dinky little 18-page visits caused their servers to bog down enough to affect their 400,000 other clients, they're doing something wrong!
Worse than that is that I cannot get them to contact me before pulling everything down! Double-grrr!
So, I guess I am looking for a new website hosting company, with great sadness, actually, because other than this issue of treating their customers like this, they've been the best web hosting company I've ever dealt with (and as a website designer for over a decade, I've dealt with quite a few). Sigh. So if you know of a GREAT web host with excellent tech support, for multiple WordPress sites, who won't pull all my websites down at the drop of a hat, I'm all ears. </rant>
Thanks for reading, if you did. Promise, I won't do this often. :\
Need Advice on Color Correction!10 plusses - 29 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
I've been busy doing a bunch of color studies lately, and plan to blog about them soon, but I'm having a great deal of trouble getting the color correction right. Is there anyone out there who knows how to address the issue I'm having?
Below are 3 images of the same color wheel:
1. Scanned in, color corrected using selective color
2. Scanned in, no color color correction
3. Photographed, no color color correction.
The problem is that in both of the unretouched versions, the yellow appears darker than it is on paper, and the blues appear much lighter. I tried (in v1), to correct by removing black in the yellow channel and adding black to the blue channel, and this gets closer to reality, but not as intense as on paper. Also the greens and purples are not as intense in either the scanned or photographed version as on paper, and no amount of dial fiddling seems to address that.
IOW, I can't seem to get an accurate digital replica of my paper color wheels, no matter what I try. I'm also surprised that the blues are so dramatically altered in value whether I scan this in or photograph it. The same is true across all of my color studies, whether using watercolor, oil or acrylic.
Can anyone help? :-\
Would I Buy My Own Painting (if I hadn't made it)?4 plusses - 29 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
I had a dream last night in which I had a "revelation" that, if I created a painting that I wouldn't want to buy, then why would anyone else want to buy it?
I've been thinking about this all day, trying to figure out if there is actually a message worth paying attention to here. On the one hand, it might be a good tool for determining if a painting is really quite there. On the other hand, people have bought many paintings I almost didn't even show, proving that everyone's taste is different.
And finally, on the other other hand, I don't want thoughts of what might sell to interfere with my creative process. It would so taint the process of exploration, creation, discovery.
What do you all think? Any message in this dream that you would pay attention to?
In a Split Second, Life Can Change Dramatically4 plusses - 29 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
No one is exempt.
It's been a week since my husband's fall from his bike that broke his femur clean in two. One minute, he was very active and healthy, and the next, not.
Thank goodness we have insurance! _(Though I really dread seeing the hospital bill)._
And we are luckier than many others whose life changes in an instant. My husband will probably fully recover; not everyone does. I've lost an aunt, a former boyfriend, and several other friends to fatal car accidents. One brother has had his back broken twice in accidents (luckily, not in a disabling way), both brothers have been injured in head-on collisions. My father lost a leg when a doctor cut an artery instead of a vein. A great-grandfather lost several fingers in a work accident. I'm sure all of you have experienced similar events or worse even!
I often worried a bit when my husband was riding his bicycle or former electric scooter to the store or elsewhere. Car people in Austin can be crazy and many of them hate cyclists; we've been yelled at for riding legally in the road; cyclists have been killed by car drivers here, whether intentionally or not. So, it was kind of ironic he had his accident in the driveway upon returning home from the store.
And luckily he had his cell phone on him, so he could call me from 10 feet away on the other side of the house wall, and let me know what happened. I probably wouldn't have gone out to look for him at all, and I certainly never would have thought to look for him in the dark part of the driveway where he fell.
This one instant of time has changed life dramatically for my husband (for now), and somewhat for me, too.
He cannot walk on his own for now; he must use a walker for a while and keep 50% of his weight off that leg (yikes, a walker! That alone makes us feel old!). It will be about 5-6 weeks before his bone knits, and maybe 6 months before he's back to his old active self (we hope!). I think the stitches (staples) will come out next week, thank goodness. Now we have to wrap his leg in cling-wrap so that he can take sort-of a shower. I'm changing his dressings daily or as needed, and we will have home healthcare nurses and physical therapists coming in for awhile. (again, thank gawd we have insurance!).
Emotionally, we're both handling this as best as I believe we possibly can. Time-wise, though, suddenly I find a lot of my time taken up with being a caretaker. All the cleaning, most of the cooking, the yardwork, and shopping is all falling on me right now. I had to postpone a client meeting, and I cancelled another upcoming design gig. I'm not used to not sharing the living duties, plus now I'm a nursemaid as well. Not being a mom, this is mostly new territory for me.
I am, of course, only too happy to do all this, as I want my husband to heal as best as possible, and I know he would do the same for me. But I feel about ready to kill someone if I don't get back in the studio tonight or tomorrow. Argh!!!
Anyway, this one little event has altered the pattern of our lives -- for now -- though we will be fine, I'm fairly sure. I know thousands or probably millions of folks in America and around the world are not so lucky, and my heart goes out to all of them.
So be careful out there...and kind, too, please.
(no glow-in-the-dark plastic skeletons were harmed in the making of this post)
Warning: last photo in album might be considered gore-nographic!
Miss Me?22 plusses - 29 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
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...) :)
They say it's your birthday, well, it's my birthday, too, yeah!22 plusses - 29 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
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! :)
"You Are Here" - Today's Mini-painting69 plusses - 28 comments - 14 shares | Read in G+
You Are Here
Watercolor on heavy Raffine sketch paper
5.75" x 6"
© 2013 Marilyn Fenn
This is my next canvas -- planning for it to be, anyway. I'm not sure whether I'm more excited or more intimidated. I haven't painted on anything this big in about 9 years!38 plusses - 28 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
Anyway, I'm doing sketches and color studies to prepare. Wish me luck!
The Fix is Broke3 plusses - 28 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
My husband was doing so well recovering from his broken femur...until last week. After physical therapy on Wednesday (he's been going about 3x a week), as he was doing some of his at home exercises, he felt a new intense pain above his knee.
An x-ray revealed that the bottom bolt holding the rod in place inside his bone broke from some kind of shear stress.
So he is having to back off on everything for another month. No more PT, and back to the frankenwheelie instead of the cane. Dang!
I think he is dealing with this better than I am, but really, this just delays his getting around more easily for only another month. So...at least this is just a temporary disability. My father had a wooden leg from age 19, and for a couple years, I dated a guy who had polio -- this sure beats both of those permanent situations!
Where/How Do You Sign Your Paintings?20 plusses - 28 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
I'd love to get other painters' takes on this!
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?
24 plusses - 28 comments - 5 shares | Read in G+
For #natureartthursday sponsored by +Trisha Standard
& +Dane Clingan
This was the start of my latest floral painting craze...
This painting will be on display at Austin Art Space from Feb. 9th - Mar. 3rd. during the group show "For the Love of Art." I will be the guest artist with a whole wall of my paintings!
More info here: http://marilynfenn.com/news/
OH, no, what happened to G+? Some of the fonts are kind of hard to read...8 plusses - 27 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
What's with the 3 equal columns? Where to focus?
I think I'll go do something else... :(
I dreamed I was stopped by a highway patrol car for not doing anything wrong. He said the fact I was driving perfectly was suspicious.7 plusses - 27 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
Brand new painting!19 plusses - 27 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
I just shot the photo of this painting; the paint itself is still wet, though I finished it last weekend. But I do love working with my new, oilier medium.... :)
For #NatureArtThursday™ sponsored by +Trisha Standard
and +Dane Clingan
(psst - do you both want to be notified of new paintings
More abstract flowers, from a work that I began in November which wasn't successful, and has now been almost completely reworked. Now I love it!
Number Four of the Best Twelve of Twelve26 plusses - 26 comments - 3 shares | Read in G+
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.
Oil on canvas
24" x 30"
© 2012 Marilyn Fenn #besttwelveoftwelve
Random Thought5 plusses - 26 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
If you were brainwashed, how would you know?
Food Forest30 plusses - 26 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
My first acrylic on canvas painting in almost 4 years; I've probably only done 12-14 acrylics on canvas, and I never was that comfortable with them; I'm much more at home with oils.
I did really enjoy working on this one. I started out with high-energy and quite abstract, and each subsequent day was slower and more studied...refining the image. I didn't mean to get so...representational with the artichokes (yes, the 3 flowers are 3 stages of artichokes seen and photographed together in an urban food forest-type garden several weeks ago).
I'm not sure if I'm done, but I think I might be (darn those color changes, though!). I see that this medium holds some promise for me; maybe I will finally find a way to merge abstraction and representation -- something that has been a goal for years! I can hardly wait to start the next one!
P.S. This is a studio shot; not the final photograph of this painting, which I hope to shoot tomorrow...so the colors may not be 100% accurate. :)
Energy Renewal24 plusses - 26 comments - 4 shares | Read in G+
I may (or may not) be done with this painting, started last week and based on the sketch below right. The sketch itself is based on a sculpture in tan canvas and black wire by one of my favorite sculptors, Lee Bontecou.
I haven't really developed a set way to get started with the work I've been doing for the past 6 months. I usually have a period of getting very lost while developing my composition, and then have to paint my way out. I hoped working from a sketch and a planned composition would be a good way to start my paintings, and suspected other things would occur as I was working.
I think I may have tried too hard to stay true to the original sketch in this one, though clearly, it's not 100% true to the sketch, either. I did intentionally simplify the shapes, but as I have mentioned elsewhere, the drawing exploded off the canvas a bit, and the color got very
intense. Not my fault! ;)
Yes, yes, of course it's my fault...I work rather intuitively, having spent years already thinking about every minor move. Perhaps I am relying too much on my intuition these days. I don't know.
For #AbstractArtMonday , sponsored by +Charles Lupica
and me as part of the +Daily Fine Art Themes
27 plusses - 26 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
For #FigurativeArtFriday, sponsored by +Maude McDonald
and +Melodie Douglas
, part of the +Daily Fine Art Themes+ .
This was my 3rd attempt at a self-portrait, this one in oil when I was just learning to paint. I must confess that I never painted in the canvas in
the painting, so that was later added digitally.
23 plusses - 26 comments - 3 shares | Read in G+
For #SurrealArtSaturday hosted by +Mikko Tyllinen
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.
You can view the whole piece, as well as each individual panel in my web gallery here: http://marilynfenn.com/art/abstracts/succession/Succession
Oil on canvas
48" x 60" x 2.5"
© 2008 Marilyn Fenn
Three More Sketches from My Attic Discovery24 plusses - 25 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
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. :)
Study for Stargazer and Tiger Lilies
Colored Pencil sketch
9" x 12"
© 1988 Marilyn Fenn
Study for Speed Laces
Pen and Ink sketch
9" x 12"
© 1988 Marilyn Fenn
Abstract Painting in Progress
Pen and Ink sketch
12" x 9"
© 1988 Marilyn Fenn #sketches #penandink #coloredpencilsdrawing
How many times have you heard "I Could Do That!"?11 plusses - 25 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
(Or my kid could do that)...
Gotta love the good folks over at Zatista for at least briefly taking on the fallacy of that kind of statement.
Plus there's a delightful surprise in the post (at least, there was for me!).
Cheers, all, and have a great weekend.
RESHARE:You Haven't Seen These18 plusses - 25 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
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.
They are all on the sale page on on my shop site: http://marilynfenn.com/shop/artwork-on-sale/
Nexus7 Apps4 plusses - 25 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
Any recs for best apps for a Nexus7?
Paid or free, though I only have until midnight to use my $25.00 credit. (and oh, how I hate shopping!).
Inherited15 plusses - 25 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
These were my mom's. We got to use them last night for the first time in our 16 years of togetherness. Why we haven't made corn-on-the-cob before now is a mystery to me. It was so good!
Trying New Mediums8 plusses - 25 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
I know (yawn); I used a mix of linseed oil and Turpenoid or linseed oil/Turpenoid/Liquin mix for years; then last year, I discovered I could slow the drying time of my paints down quite a bit by skipping the Liquin and adding a few drops of clove oil (from Mayer's Artists Handbook).
In this hot climate and my hot studio, paintings dry too fast for my taste and how I prefer to work. At least, I guess it has something to do with the climate here, 'cuz friends in cooler, wetter climates complain that their paintings take weeks to dry!
I tried a stand oil/Turpenoid mix earlier this year on one painting, and while I really loved the body provided by the stand oil, it got tacky too fast.
So I tried it again with a bit of clove oil; still tacky too fast.
Then I tried Gamblin's Galkyd Slow Dry; it was supposed to stay workable for a few days. Not! 24 hrs. later, the paint is dry. Added a bit of Poppy Oil; didn't help.
Here's my new medium: 1/2 linseed oil, a tablespoon or two of stand oil, a few drops of clove oil and the rest is Turpenoid. We'll see how it goes.
Now Accepting Credit Cards2 plusses - 25 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
I just got my new (free) Square card reader, and the Square Register app actually seems to work nicely on the iPad; more items to input, and more testing to be done, but so far, so good.
(I won't mention that it took me hours of wrangling apps, iTunes, the new iOS, and syncing, etc., to get the Square Register app downloaded and installed, however. Grrrr. I could have been painting!)
This Square reader and app may actually make keeping
the iPad worthwhile. Though, of course, it would be even more awesome if they designed this app for the Nexus7, which I've now got the hots for, thanks to +Daniel Ibanez
's great review!
Question: Possible Fine Art America Scams???0 plusses - 25 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
Geez, I was cautiously excited yesterday when I got an email via Fine Art America from someone wanting to buy my latest (still wet!) painting, and I answered this morning, sending them to my shop.
But I just got another one now from someone else wanting to know how to buy another painting, and my scam alert radar went off.
Does anyone know of scams via Fine Art America, and do these sound like a scam? Is there any danger in sending these folks to my online shop?
Or am I really about to sell 2 paintings in 2 days to 2 different people?
Thanks in advance for any information!
26 plusses - 25 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
For #LandscapeArtTuesday sponsored by +Charles Lupica
Today, I thought I'd share a set of paintings -- a study I did on location in a beautiful village in Tuscany, and then the large work I created from it later in the studio, based on the study plus photos. I've also included a shot of the study on location. :)
I have to admit to liking the study a little more; if I could go back in time, I would tell myself to loosen up
already! Sigh!Hillside View at Giogalto
Oil on canvas
48" x 36"
© 2003 Marilyn Fenn
16 plusses - 25 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
For #FloralArtThursday sponsored by +Trisha Standard
This is the first of 4 poppy paintings I did in encaustic one very magical afternoon (I posted the 4th last week). When I paint with encaustic (hot wax), I use a hot-air gun to fuse the layers of paint together. This can move the paint around a little (as in this case) or a lot (as you will see in the other 3 paintings in the series).
“Impression of Poppies”
Encaustic on paper on cradled panel
12″ x 12″
© 2007 Marilyn Fenn
Rolled Out the Carpet31 plusses - 24 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
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.
Splat!34 plusses - 24 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
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.
Watercolor and gouache on Sennelier cold-press watercolor paper
12" x 12"
© 2013 Marilyn Fenn
No More Arguments Today3 plusses - 24 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
I do not feel like arguing with folks today. Well, I never feel like arguing with folks, though sometimes it is necessary. But if you're expecting me to engage in some argument, just know that I'm done for today.
Back from the doctors, and my husband has been sentenced to another month of the Frankenwheelie. So that's kind of disappointing. We were hoping he could graduate back to a cane, but his bones are knitting somewhat slowly, so only a little use of the cane around the house.
Which means we continue to postpone our anniversary dinner for another month. :(
Plus, it is the 14th anniversary of my mother's death today. It doesn't hurt as much as last year, but it still drains me a bit.
Plus, it's cold! And wet. And birds shit all over my car. Me no likey da cold. Really no likey da birdshit.
I'm going to go slap some oil paint on some tiny canvases in a bit and think about color and shapes of paint. :)
Have a good evening.
A Waterscape in Encaustic27 plusses - 24 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
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). ;)
Encaustic on cradled panel
12″ x 12″
© 2008 Marilyn Fenn
sponsored by +Terrill Welch
at +Waterscape Art Wednesday #painting #art #encaustic #encausticart
OK, one last thing before I buckle down and get back to painting.32 plusses - 24 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
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. :)
Woo-hoo! My First DSLR!!!16 plusses - 24 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
OK, so this may not be terribly impressive to all you photogs out there, but I'm pretty psyched. For shooting artwork this will be replacing my 4MP 2002 Canon Powershot G2, 2011 Canon Powershot 2200 (for quick snapshots mostly), and my former film camera, an ancient Canon AE1.
So far, I am quite impressed with the quality and attention to detail. I have a lot to learn, though. Guess I'll be working my way through the manual and additional helpful docs for awhile.
Much grass to my hubby for helping me move on up. :D
"It's Almost Something!"24 plusses - 24 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
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.
The year 2006 represents a turning point in my long journey as a painter. While I had been painting representationally from the beginning, I had also toyed with attempting abstraction all along. Not too many were successful, however (it's harder than you may think; some of you know!). 27 plusses - 24 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
But abstract paintings make my little heart go pitter-pat even more so than representational work, and I was determined to keep trying to find a way to paint my own good abstract paintings. This was an attempt in a series of (sadly) only two; should have done more along these lines. I had a commission for a representational Italian landscape just after doing these. This was also the year I rediscovered encaustic and started my series of paintings of tornadoes and nuclear bombs in encaustic.
Argh! Interruptions, and then I never seemed to get back to working this way.
So, here it is, a rare abstract watery piece for #Waterscapeartwednesday curated by +Terrill Welch
15 plusses - 24 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
My contribution to #abstractArtMonday , curator/sponsor +Esther Hardman
Another early piece from art school days, this one has always been one of my favorites. Done with cold wax medium and a palette knife, the figure just emerged, unbidden by me.Abstract #10
Oil on canvas
30" x 24"
© 1992 Marilyn Fenn
Several years ago, I began painting in encaustic (hot wax). I wanted to encase drawings of tornadoes in wax, but very soon moved on to painting the tornadoes directly, though, not en plein aire, as you can probably guess. :) The 1st three you see here tended a little toward abstraction; they are all painted from photographs (taken by actual storm chasers). As a studio guest once said, "Most storm chasers use a camera."7 plusses - 24 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
These were featured on the Weather Channel during tornado season in 2010.
Making Progress!25 plusses - 23 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
Starting this past week or two, I've been spending 2-3 hours every day going through boxes of who-knows-what from the attic. I just moved that pile of 24 boxes there from deep storage to an open space for sorting purposes. I think I'll start the sort tomorrow.
Then there's another pile of similar unknown stuff about the same size to sort through. :(
I think this mess happened because I had a request for an interview with the Weather Channel (regarding my tornado paintings), and they wanted to meet with me at my home studio slightly before we got all the remodeling of the attic done 3 years ago, so we scrambled and stuffed things willy-nilly everywhere, and haven't touched any of it since!
I am determined we will finish finishing out the attic this year! And I'm very excited about it, too! A place to sew, a place to read, a place to store portfolios of art on paper, a little library even...
Octopus's Garden58 plusses - 23 comments - 5 shares | Read in G+
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. :)
Watercolor on heavy Raffine sketch paper
5.75″ x 6″
© 2013 Marilyn Fenn
Progress Photos from the Painting "Food Forest" - 201244 plusses - 23 comments - 10 shares | Read in G+
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. :)
Acrylic on canvas
24" x 30"
© 2012 Marilyn Fennhttp://marilynfenn.com/shop/food-forest/
21 plusses - 23 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
More New Work: "Bloop!"
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.
Oil on canvas
12" x 12"
© 2012 Marilyn Fenn
This painting can be found here: http://marilynfenn.com/shop/bloop/
Teaser: finished my latest painting31 plusses - 23 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
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.
That said, here's the teaser, a detail.
0 plusses - 23 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
Not liking the new +Google+
changes to when someone shares a post; I'm finding it very unsatisfying that it is leaving out the content of the post shared, especially that it is leaving out the pictures! Should I click to see if give a **
what's in the original post or ignore?
What do you all think? A good move or a bad one?
22 plusses - 23 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
For #LandscapeArtTuesday, sponsored by +Christina Deubel
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."Courtyard at UT Architecture Building"
14" x 11"
© 1985 Marilyn Fenn
*New Painting: "Oops --'ScuseMe!"26 plusses - 22 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
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!
Oil on canvas
16″ x 12″
© 2012 Marilyn Fenn
A Day Off?5 plusses - 22 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
On this Labor Day, I find myself wondering, do artists ever take a day off?
It occurred to me recently how nice it would be to have a day off; to just be lazy and relax; maybe read out on the deck; go for a walk; just hang out, or do nothing. And how good it would probably be for my state of mind to take a break.
I'm trying to remember the last time I took a day off. I'm not saying I haven't had days off; I'm sure I have. When we go visit relatives (which is the only kind of "vacation" we have had for 10 years), I make sure to work in as many visits to art museums and galleries as possible, and usually one day to visit the ocean. These probably count as days off. :)
But in my daily non-visiting-relatives life, I never schedule a day off from art. I try to paint (or draw) every day, and have for years. It doesn't always happen; depends on my other careers' workloads (though I don't work on any of my other 3 part-time freelance careers on holidays or weekends, unless absolutely necessary).
I'm jealous of the time my paid work takes, of any time scheduled for socializing, of time spent to visit relatives. It doesn't mean I don't enjoy all those things; I do! But I always feel I need to be in the studio working. Always!
What about you? How often do you intentionally take days off?
I'll be in the studio, working on my latest WIP. Check back with you all later. :)
The paintings are hung25 plusses - 22 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
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
We cut the cord!13 plusses - 22 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
No more cable, no more broadcast, no more TV (except via internet)!
And tripled our internet speed, and we'll be saving $80.00+ a month! W00t!
I admit, I might miss endless repeats of CSI, and Flo and the Gecko, but we can get anything we want (almost) via the intertubes. :D
Free at last! (no offense intended by use of that term)
16 plusses - 22 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
For #LandscapeArtTuesday hosted by +Christina Deubel
In 2002, I was incredibly lucky to spend about a month in Italy with my husband. For 10 of those days, we shared a villa on a mountaintop in Tuscany with a small group of mostly other artists in an art "workshop." I had moved on to a kind of abstraction before this, but how can you spend 10 days painting in the Italian landscape and not
paint the landscape?
This was my final of the 4 paintings I did there--hanging out on the balcony of our villa as we were threatened by rain.
26 plusses - 22 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
For #WaterscapeArtWednesday sponsored by +Terrill Welch
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.River and Trees at the Ethnographic Museum, Rumsiskes, Lithuania
Watercolor pencil on paper
10" x 7"
© 2005 Marilyn Fenn
28 plusses - 22 comments - 8 shares | Read in G+
This is my contribution to #FigurativeArtFriday
, sponsored by +Maude McDonald
I haven't done much figurative work in the last two decades, but I did begin my serious study as an artist with 4-5 life drawing classes and 2-3 figurative painting classes. I also went to life drawing sessions around town for awhile.
This was maybe a 45-minute pose, and I was working in colored pencil (!), so I still didn't quite complete it. But after the pose was over, a small crowd gathered 'round to ooh and ahh. :)
Maybe the best figurative piece you will see from me. It will all be downhill from here! Ha!
"Nude at Vanishing Point"
17 x 14 inches
© 1989 Marilyn Fenn
Recovered a Watercolor Painting - "Dunk"44 plusses - 21 comments - 3 shares | Read in G+
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.
Washed watercolor on heavy Raffine sketch paper
6" x 5.75"
© 2013 Marilyn Fenn
This! So much...this!9 plusses - 21 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
My Mind's Got a Mind of Its Own46 plusses - 21 comments - 5 shares | Read in G+
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. :)
Watercolor on heavy Raffine sketch paper
5.75" x 6"
© 2013 Marilyn Fenn
Hippie Nouveau40 plusses - 21 comments - 3 shares | Read in G+
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! ;)
Ink and watercolor pencils on heavy Raffine sketch paper
6" x 6"
© 2013 Marilyn Fenn
P.S. This is a scan -- my scanner does weird things to layers of color, so it actually looks a bit brighter/prettier in person: yellower greens/purpler purples.
The canvas I started working on last weekend was larger than my idea for it.12 plusses - 21 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
With 2 down days, I have new, and thankfully, bigger ideas for what will happen there. Hope I can pull it off. Wish me luck. :)
Am I Being Petty?0 plusses - 21 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
So, to celebrate my finishing my 20+ hours of work on my shop site (since yesterday morning), we grabbed up a $50 gift certificate I got for my birthday over 4 months ago to a great little Mexican food joint that I haven't been to in years, and headed down to South Congress.
Parked, walked over to the address; it's no longer that restaurant, but we're told they'd moved downtown, so we head up to 6th Street and find a place only 4 blocks away from the restaurant.
Have a wonderful meal of chicken mole with a huge guacamole salad, and a couple of Margaritas each. Wonderful food, great service. So far, so good.
Hand over our gift certificate. The owner comes over and explains to us why it can't possibly be a real gift certificate...and she's not going to honor my $50.00 birthday present. No offer to give us a bit of a break, not even an "I'm sorry." :(
There's no way my friends didn't pay this place $50.00 for this gift certificate. There's no way they would try to pawn a bogus gift certificate off on us. No way; they are not that kind of people, and have no money problems.
Kind of took the shine off an otherwise nice evening.
Then as we're heading back to the car, I realize my favorite newish tennis shoes are still not broken in, and now I'm sporting 2 new blisters.
Sigh! At least, tomorrow, I can get back to painting. :)
My Top 1009 plusses - 21 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
Just sharing the top 100 people with whom I interact (or who interact with me; not sure which way it goes). I left out pages, and oops - accidentally deleted some pages from my permanent mega circle. Did I lose you?
And should you be here? ;)
Nature Studies for the Grow Forth show18 plusses - 21 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
A couple weeks ago, the artists in the Grow Forth show (see previous post for show info: http://goo.gl/82RAu
) met at an Urban Patchwork garden in the style of a "food forest" to sketch or take pictures as inspiration for work for the show.
I found at least 4 types of plants that inspired me, and hope to create some work involving 3-4 of the plant forms.
I've started with a series of small representational drawings to serve as inspiration for larger abstracted paintings. I'm doing the set of drawings as a quadriptych (aka tetraptych, if you prefer the Greek); no hinges, though. Here is the first one (leftmost panel), done in Prismacolor pencil (which, btw, I haven't used in years, but used to be pretty good at, she said humbly).
I am a sucker for flowering plants, but I do not know what type of pink flowering vine this is. I will try to find out tomorrow.
Question about Online Art Portfolio/Sales Sites3 plusses - 21 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
I am so tired of updating all the various art portfolio sites I have signed up for in the past. I have 3 left to update, but I'm wondering, is it worth the time?
Do any of you other artists find any of these 3 sites worth keeping up with, for whatever reason (and what is the reason?):
3. Rtist (which looks like it may have lost whatever life it once had)
Also, likely to go on the chopping block next go-round is AbsoluteArts.com, but I did just update it, so will keep for awhile: http://www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/m/marilynfenn/
Thanks in advance!
RESHARE:10 plusses - 21 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
Forgot to post to "public," again!
Reshared text:Sun Rose
For +Friday Art Critique
: I may be done; I may not. I could tweak this endlessly (really!), but I'm raring to start some new work, and this is feeling close to done. It's covered in about a pound of paint, which is a lot
for me! I'm going to do the math soon and see how many actual tubes that represents.
I welcome all comments, positive or negative.
I've posted progress shots all along, and should have details pics in a bit in the attached album. The difference in the warmer and cooler views of this are simply whether they were shot indoors at night under artificial light or outdoors during the day (in bright shade). Version 9 was shot this a.m. outdoors.
A Watery Doodle with Jellyfish23 plusses - 21 comments - 3 shares | Read in G+
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.
For #waterscapeartwednesday sponsored by +Terrill Welch +Waterscape Art Wednesday
Thought I'd go ahead and post all my art from 2011, including sketches, ideas, and unfinished works, except the ones that really, really suck. ;)12 plusses - 21 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
Looking back at all this work, here's my assessment of my year in art: I started out not really knowing where I wanted to go, so there is a lot of experimentation with ideas and media, and that continues for almost half the year. Might have gone a lot faster, but I had a lot of design work that took up most of my time.
Then I spent a month working on one painting. I couldn't make it work, and kept painting over and over it, and once I'd ruined it completely, I had the freedom to do anything to it. I learned a lot from everything that I did do to it, but abandoned the painting in the end. It's the 29th piece of the year, and it's called "Untitled (swirl)." Unfortunately, I wasn't documenting the progression of this painting, and the image I have of it isn't too good.
What I decided from working on this exercise-in-frustration piece, was that I'd forgotten how to paint in oil! So, I decided to go back to basics, and started painting the little still lifes of toys. This went quite well for awhile, and then I got bored.
After that, my interest in fractal-type art got re-ignited and I tried to do some more work like the first piece of the year, but the new ones mostly didn't turn out well. I tried doing some interpretations of Janet Parke's amazing fractal art so that I could understand how fractals look and work. This was while the terrible fires were breaking out all around us here in Central Texas, and the fractal work helped calm me down. (It was a very frightening time).
Then I started the painting "Bastrop is Burning," which I still haven't finished, but I think it holds promise, and hope to complete it soon.
After this, I returned to abstract painting with renewed excitement, and for the most part, that's what I'm still up to. These are all, in some sense, experiments, and not all are completely successful, but something is learned in every work.
So, 2011 may not have been the best year of my art, but what work I did last year will hopefully make 2012 an excellent year for my art! That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!
Just a quick note; I progressed from lack of focus yesterday afternoon to pretty focussed within the hour; I've painted 9 new small abstract watercolor or watercolor and ink paintings and done 2 small charcoal sketches, and I'm in the studio working on who knows how many more? Oh, yeah, and I've got 5 oil paintings in various states of dishevelment. Whee! Pics tomorrow. Have a great evening, folks. :)17 plusses - 20 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
SOLD!15 plusses - 20 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
Oil on canvas
24" x 24"
© 2012 Marilyn Fenn
19 plusses - 20 comments - 5 shares | Read in G+
For #FigurativeArtFriday , sponsored by +Maude McDonald
and +Melodie Douglas
Well, I promised +Emily Rose
a story from art school, and since this is the first day I am participating in +Friday Art Critique
, I thought the following tidbit might be kind of fun to read.
In the summer of 1991, I was lucky enough to get to go to SAIC's Oxbow Art Camp near Saugatuck, Michigan on a work scholarship (my job was to clean all
the bathrooms daily).
One of the classes I took there was "Figure in the Landscape" with the wonderful, but gruff, figure painting teacher, Dan Gustin. Susannah Coffey was supposed to be co-teaching it, but didn't (curses!), but we had a few prestigious guest artists attend.
So, after a morning session painting models in the gorgeous landscape, we gathered for a critique with Professor Gustin and a guest artist from Yale, I think it was. I presented my morning's work, including the following painting, which I hadn't had time to finish.
Before I had much of a chance to say anything about this work, the two teachers got into quite an animated and lengthy
discussion about the brilliance of the way I had painted the scarf on the model's head as a flat yellow triangle, thus introducing abstraction into an otherwise representational painting, and referring to the whole art history of the 20th century, or some other such high-falutin interpretation.
I couldn't get a word in edgewise to tell them I just hadn't finished painting her scarf!
However, it made for a lively debate between these two brilliant men (I'll refrain from mentioning what this practice is sometimes otherwise known as). ;)
P.S. +bb blacha
posted a link yesterday to a review on Two Coats of Paint about an entire book on art critiques written by another SAIC professor, James Elkins (I always seem to be reading one of his delightful books) -- particularly art critiques at SAIC, so it should be an entertaining read: http://goo.gl/Rz047
7 plusses - 20 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
Pics for show next week, including the 3 I'm not happy with. I hope this isn't even worse than it feels! Oh, why did I agree to this show?
This is how the ones that are "ready" would look on the wall space I'll have (more or less).
I'm happy with the other 3 floral paintings (2 center, and pinkish one to the top left beside them), I'm OK with with more geometric ones on the right, though not thrilled. I love the little guys in the upper left corner, though the painting surface has got a lot of "history."
And the 5 I submitted to the other show (my 5 favorites) are in this album, if you care to look: http://goo.gl/RnVsr+Lena Levin +Nina Kuriloff +james kalin
Thanks for any thoughts you guys (or anyone who cares to chime in) may have! Gah!
Digital Painting 101 with Daniel Ibanez - First homework assignment11 plusses - 20 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
I attended my first ever Google hangout last night with the awesome Daniel Ibanez, painter extraordinaire and awesome digital artist, too. He is introducing folks to a wonderful digital painting tool called ArtRage.
I tried ArtRage a few weeks ago on the iPad, and found it was taking me much longer to paint digitally than it would to paint traditionally, and I wouldn't even have a painting to hang on my walls when I was done, so I was a little disenchanted with my $5.00 purchase.
But when Daniel (whose paintings and skills I really, really
love) offered to do an ArtRage hangout, I decided to try again...this time with the $20 version of ArtRage on my laptop using a Wacom Bamboo tablet and pen. Much better experience!
This is my first homework assignment and my first digital painting using ArtRage. My digital painting is on the left; the source photo is on the right. The digital photo was used only for reference, and no pixels were shared between it and my digital painting (I tell you this only because it's a question I always have when someone posts digital artwork). I did sample colors from the reference photo, though; clearly not quite perfectly (let's call it artistic license). :)
You can find out more about this and join in, if you'd like. Info is here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/106445486315230745362/posts/SwDS3koTVYj
34 plusses - 20 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
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.
My favorite of the bunch is this one:"Soaring"
Acrylic on canvas
36" x 36"
© 2008 Marilyn Fenn
Sun Rose19 plusses - 19 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
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!).
Oil on canvas
36″ x 36″
© 2012 Marilyn Fenn #besttwelveoftwelve
More New Work: "Here We Go Again, August 29, 2012"21 plusses - 19 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
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).
"Here We Go Again, August 29, 2012"
Oil on canvas
16″ x 12″
© 2012 Marilyn Fenn
New Work: The Cosmos Made Conscious27 plusses - 19 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
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.
"The Cosmos Made Conscious"
Oil on canvas
24" x 30"
© 2012 Marilyn Fenn
Ack! Allergy eyes! Makes it painful to have my eyes open, which in turn makes it harder to paint. Nevertheless, I will attempt to persevere...4 plusses - 19 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
Oooh, boy. I'm not great with change. I see some things in the new layout that are kind of cool, but this left alignment is going to be hard on my neck, and sooooo many extensions are broken! And what's with all that wasted space? :(5 plusses - 19 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
Texas Tornadoes31 plusses - 19 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
We had some pretty fierce storms here in Austin and throughout Texas last night. A tornado touched down near San Antonio, damaging 6 homes, though thankfully, no one was hurt.
I was in the edge of a tornado touchdown once in Dallas that was kind of scary. We think that a small tornado may have been involved in a very fierce storm that hit our central Austin neighborhood a few years ago, complete with very high winds that were twisting all the large trees around in the most amazing way and terrifying hail that sounded like gunfire as it broke house and car windows all around us. The next day, the whole neighborhood looked like all the trees had exploded, and many large trees were uprooted.
So to recognize the power of tornadoes that often affect those of us in Texas and the midwest, here's a painting of a tornado that took place in Dallas in 2006. It's kind of pretty, though; don't you agree?
For #landscapearttuesday sponsored by +Christina Deubel
Bonus track: One of my favorite Texas bands, The Texas Tornadoes, performing "Is Anybody Going to San Antone," which has one of my favorite lines:
"Sleeping under a table in a roadside park, a man could wake up dead." ;)http://youtu.be/A6MdYSSjpkk
Sleeping Roomie20 plusses - 19 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
At one time, I had 3 adult cats, and two of them had kittens at the same time, then someone dropped another kitten off at my place, so for a little while, it was me and 12 cats in my small apartment. Sheee-yoo! Smelly. (the cats; I hope, not me).
Some years later, I discovered I was allergic to cats; not horribly, but stuffy nose kind of allergies, so I quit living with cats.
Then I got a roommate who had a cat. This cat. He was a great cat. One afternoon, he napped long enough for me to make this little sketch in ink. What a cat!
EDIT: Oops: forgot the tags: For #NatureArtThursday sponsored by +Trisha Standard
and +Dane Clingan
10 plusses - 19 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
For #NatureArtThursday sponsored by +Trisha Standard
and +Dane Clingan
These two prints I made in my first printmaking class, a few years after the death of my awesome dog, Buster. He was my first dog, and best friend for 10.5 years. I buried him 29 years ago yesterday on a cold February day in very hard dirt over caliche with all the neighborhood pets in awed attendance.
Buster was such a terrific dog, and I miss him still.
Did anybody else feel that the cosmic weather this weekend was extremely weird?8 plusses - 19 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
A lot of emotional drama, and it exhausted
me, but for a delightful pick-me-up, I went to a couple of gallery shows with a good artist friend that I've known since Drawing II class, way back when.
One exhibit featured Paul Beck and two other painters at the Gray Duck Gallery. Beck paints with found or donated house paint, so I've been told. I especially loved the images below from him, including a bird painting that I rather like: "A Bird Watcher" (check out that head!). His website: http://paulbeckproductions.com/index.html
You can view the whole exhibition online at the Gray Duck Gallery: http://www.grayduckgallery.com/true_story.html
We also went to the Mono y Mono show at the Gallery at the J: monotypes and monoprints sponsored by Women Printmakers of Austin. Wonderful work, some right up my alley, except I'm not in love with the process
of printmaking enough to do more myself (at this moment in time), but they are luscious to look at.
That whole exhibition is also available online: http://womenprintmakers.com/events.asp?v=gallery&eventID=88