Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What gets me started....

"Circumventing Obstacles" (work in progress)
15 x 15
mixed media on watercolor paper

So where do you start when you are going to make a painting?
Well for me, it sort of goes like this....

I start usually with an idea. And then I keep the idea in my head as I sketch and doodle either right on the paper with pastel pencil or in my sketch book. I try to remember to write the idea or title on the back of the painting. I'm working on so many paintings at a time that I might forget what my intent was if it takes me a while to get back to it.

"Circumventing Obstacles" has started pretty much that way... With one slight difference... On my walk yesterday morning, I found this gorgeous lichen (see photo below) growing on a branch that fell into the driveway. I just loved the colors of it and decided that those colors would suit my intent for this painting... So my palette was chosen by nature.... so far.

I try to never box myself in with these early impulsive decisions.... If the painting works within this palette, great! But if I decide to go in a different color direction, that's ok too....The main thing is to just start somewhere! Put that brush to paper and GO!

Monday, August 24, 2009

How exciting!

"Distractions and Diversions 2"
12 x 12
Acrylic on canvas (sold)

I was really thrilled to find out that this painting won the "Peoples Choice" award at the Artcenter Traverse City's juried show last month! How about that! I was REALLY tickled because I know nobody in the area...strangers voted me in! (Other than you, Judy)

The really strange thing is that no one from the ArtCenter let me know that I'd won...LOL (My husband just happened to read it on their website.) We all need these little boosts.... so I'm sure glad he happened to see it.

Last week was chemo week with my mom... So I wasn't able to paint. Hopefully tomorrow...
It's really hard on us artists when we can't eek out our painting time.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Gwen Frostic...

Gwen Frostic 1906-2001

I have been visiting Platte Lake, in Honor Michigan since 1978... (my college roommate had a cottage). My parents bought a lot on the lake in the early 80's and built, first a cottage...and then their home....And now I'm living in the cottage as I help my mom recover from a stroke....I've been in this area a lot...

And now the "hang my artistic head in shame" part of the story......

Gwen Frostic's woodland studio, about 20 minutes from my parent's house, has been a popular tourist destination for all that time, and I had never (horrified and embarrassed gasp) made the effort to go and visit. On Tuesday I rectified that situation. Gwen's wood block prints are delightful and you can watch the printing presses in action from the shop balcony. Now that I've finally been there, I can highly recommend it.

I found this interview with Gwen when searching for more information about her... an interesting lady.

This Way Is Up......

"This Way Is Up"
15 x 15 inches
Acrylic on Watercolor paper (300#)
$400 unframed

Detail images below....

Again with the wonky ladder and 2 support imagery.... I can't seem to stop. :)

And on a completely unrelated note.....

I had written to Polly Hammett, (she has a great video from CCP called "Design with the Figure") asking her where she purchased the moldable foam stamps. I was delighted to get a very kind response from her today.

This material is a sort of foam product that when heated becomes soft. You can then press any number of things (fern, mesh, lace, leaves, your face...well, not really sure about that last one) ...then the foam cools and wha-la! A nifty stamp to add texture to any painting that needs "a little something there." Polly demonstrates this technique brilliantly in her video.

Polly said in her email:
"I heat mine on a hot coffee pot burner untill it gives just a little, then quickly push it on a raised surface....Lace, leaves ect.
It is like making magic!"

I'm going to get some of this foam so I can make some magic too!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Measured Progress....

"Measured Progress"
12 x 12
Acrylic on Acrylic paper
$230 (unframed)

This one is really different... Sort of spiritual. The design might make an interesting quilt... I might just try it again in fabric.... (in my spare time.... LOL)

Happy Birthday Donny!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Measured Progress...WIP

"Measured Progress"... WIP (Work In Progress)
12 x 12 inches
Acrylic on Acrylic paper (so far)

Preliminary shapes and values blocked in with Daniel Smith Gesso... Black, White and Venetian Red

Taking it a bit further...and now I want to stop and think a bit...

We are going to the Crystal Lake Art Center's fund raiser tonight... From what I hear it is an active group... and only about 20 minutes away. Looking forward to seeing all the goodies they'll have in the auction.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Celebrating Achievement

"Celebrate Achievement"
11 x 11
Acrylic and pencil on watercolor paper
$220 unframed

I had a friend express interest in "Support System", and since it's not available, I decided to try to complete a larger version of it that I had started some time ago.

And this is what I learned about that....

I have to just stick with the idea... and forget what I've done before...
I found myself glancing at "Support System" trying too hard to recreate it.
I'll continue on with the idea of the wonky ladder with the 2 supports....And even keep the title in mind as I paint... But there will never be another "Support System".

There will be more paintings with that idea behind them... some of the paintings will be worse... some might even be better.... (I can hope) But never the same.
I think that's great.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Transparent Ambition...

"Transparent Ambition"
6 x 6
Acrylic and pencil on collage paper

The word "ambition" has some interesting and sometimes conflicting connotations. I consider myself to be ambitious... but probably not in the traditional sense of the word. I am an ambitious learner... and experimenter with my painting... I'm rarely afraid to try something new, and to play around with the "what ifs" that pop into my head. I guess I consider that ambitious.

And what I mean by "Transparent Ambition" is simply be who you are...if you are excited about something... show it! Don't try to manipulate people or have some hidden agenda. Be authentically transparent.

I probably shouldn't have attempted to explain this cryptic title... it was quite ambitious of me. :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bubble Bubble Toil and Trouble

"Bubble Bubble Toil and Trouble"
6 x 6 inches
Acrylic on Acrylic Paper
$60 unframed

Today was another good day....

  • It was spent painting and listening to a good book tape (The Piano Teacher by Janice Y.K. Lee)....
  • I sold a painting and went to the Honor post office to ship it (A very neighborly place)....
  • Finally (after months) called Sears to come and fix my mom's dehumidifier (she bought a 5 year in home service warranty...who does that?)
  • Got a really good walk in before I even picked up a brush...
  • Got in doodle mode with this painting... but I ended up liking it! (which doesn't often happen for me when I'm in doodle mode)
  • Have another small painitng almost completed...and I sort of like that one too so far...

All in all.... a red letter day! Who knows where that phrase comes from... anybody? ...anybody?
Answer here! :)


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