Monday, February 28, 2011

Oh well . . .

- another tumblr image I found -

Right now I'm saying, "oh well". Spent a lot of time working on the 3rd piece (HA! . . there's that word . . three!) of a series connected to the number three (mind, body, spirit). The first two I've posted here. I made a "mistake" about a week ago to the final "touch". Somehow I retrieved something I liked. Again . . it was almost done . . and added another one of those "touches" and . . bong! . . the gong went off . . WRONG!!!! Think I'll give myself some time and space before I do that again. So I need to read this quote over and over and over. . . . . . and over . . and . . This little 9" square watercolor paper I've been painting on . . thought it wouldn't feel as "precious" as a canvas or cradled panel. Who knew?!?

I don't work fast. I know what I like. I don't mind redoing, if it's in the fairly early stages, but putting a lot of time into a piece . . . oh well. I think that's why I worked in oil. I can do well to retrieve something in oil or encaustic but acrylic ... ! So this series will have to wait. Glad I can put oil on acrylic. Unfortunately I can't glue tissue. At least I've never read what oil medium could do that. I have a lot of cradled panels that I made and bought for future encaustic paintings. I think I'll go to oil and cold wax. I had hoped to take a class from Rebecca Crowell, as she isn't too far away from me; maybe one on one. When I work with acrylic, I get this kind of "tedious" feeling in my body, knowing that unless I spray with water after putting a mark or brushed area on, it's on there for good. With oil I can come in with solvent. Rebecca Crowell writes about her frustrations on her blog. I know this is a part of creating. Somehow it seemed easier (as I remember) when I was creating prior to my dry spell.

Feels good to blow off steam here!! Below is a "treasure" I found along the curb. Plowtrucks and their salt created an "oh, wow!" piece. Wonder what an onlooker might have thought had they seen my excitement. Have been looking at flickr photos of the wonderful job nature does creating abstraction, and the artists who spot them.

It's pretty flat. Actually the photo doesn't do it justice. I can see my son's face if he were to have seen me putting it in my car!  :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

This quote by Neale Donald Walsch is a nice reminder to me . . .

from Tumblr

I was working on two paintings . . . spent a LOT of time on both . . and they didn't work for me. Nice to know this is just a part of creating . . the "error" . . the "mistake." Everything is working, lots of layers, then another addition on top and . . gong! . . wrong . . part of the ying/yang of life. It also enters  into creating art, even though I would rather it not. Being "out of my comfort" zone means taking a little time away from it, a break from hours of intensity, to come back in balance.

This photograph was taken for my photography class (one photo of many). I played the piano for a number of years, and I have a beautiful Steinway grand (bought in the late 70's). Haven't played it in years, and I most likely will sell it at some point . . wonderful instrument. I found a couple of vintage trumpets a number of years ago, and this one rests on a ledge in my living room. I like how the horizontal/vertical/diagonal planes interact (blinds, shadows, and the trumpet).

Monday, February 14, 2011

A heart for Valentine's Day

I don't usually think much about Valentine's day. (The people I love, I love every day of the year, and I always try to show that). But as I'm seeing a lot of hearts in blogland, I thought I would post this pic. I just love it! Leslie is very talented in many art mediums. This cloth just makes me want to do some wabi-sabi stitching with cloth . . . and the hand stitching! . . yummy! But I don't want to put my hands into too many "pots" right now. Tumblr is a kind of fuel for my artistic eye . . so MANY techniques (wood, cloth, metal . . with so many non-traditional and innovative ways to create using them) out there that are so seductive!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

9 x 9 acrylic, monotype, collage on Arches & other mixed medium . .


Our first assignment in my photography class was to take photos of what the number three represented to us. I thought about that, and this is the painting that resulted. The script is Corpus, Animus, Spiritus (Body, Mind, Spirit) and "trois" is three in French (my mother was French, and there are many artists from this French side). As I'm getting used to using acrylic and it's advantages, and exploring abstract images, I'm using watercolor paper . . . 9 x 9 . . . very small for me. Seems less "precious" than canvas or cradled wood. Although it doesn't shorten the amount of time I spend speculating as to what to add or subtract, I'm finding the small size is easier. This is the first time I have used script in a painting. Some glare that shows in this photo (I discovered this last night in my photography class) can be eliminated with a polarized filter. However, my new $500 camera doesn't take one. I would have had to have spent more money to get a camera where the lens can be changed  . . . sigh! I think I'll do an 8 part series in this color palate (greys & tans) and this size.

This is a quote from Chuck Close that I found on Tumblr. To me it says that creating is work. I'm sure most artist know that creating is work. I do have that element of "struggle" involved and coming to find some acceptance that the struggle that I experience is normal and ok is good for me to remember. I experience joy when some action on the surface works, but for me, spontenaeity is difficult. As I'm re-emerging I'm re-educating and re-practicing my eye to my own work and not others, as I've done a LOT of computer and gallery looking when I wasn't doing art. He addresses this to "young" artists. For me, I use the word (re-emerging).

"The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who'll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs.The rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightening to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you sit around waiting to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you, and something else will occur to you, and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel you need this great idea, before you can get down to work, and I find that's almost never the case." . . . Chuck Close

I certainly find that is the case. I just start and something pops up, either as I work, or later as I ponder it. The direction just comes.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Finding Tumblr (evidently a blog site for posting images and quotes) has not  

                                  . . . from Tumblr . . origin unknown

only been delightful for the "cravings" my eyes have for images that draw me in, but I'm also finding that it's helping me to realize which direction to go in with my work. It's all there! I don't have to spend hours and hours searching the internet to satisfy my addiction to images that move me. Although I am spending a lot of time on Tumblr. Viewing these and seeing that others like my "taste" is inspiring and supportive for me. This image was taken from Tumblr, and I couldn't find the origin to give it credit. Not only is it a beautifully bound book, but the quote . . wonderful! I believe in synchronicity (meaningful coincidence), and that is what this quote so beautifully communicates to me. And the last sentence - - "live to the point of tears"  - - exhilarating and refreshing!

A "painting" on my drop cloth

I took this photo for a photography class I'm taking. I was looking around for 

a composition that caught my eye. There was a drop cloth on the floor that I had used to spray paint a lamp outside. I rather like this. As I walked past it before, I had thought, "I wonder if I can put some of this cloth, in pieces, on a painting." So many "visions" running around in my thoughts. Since finding Jude Hill's blog, and other fiber artists through her blog, the possibility of using cloth in a painting is enticing. But I don't want to add another medium just yet. I still have to explore MM and paper. And I want to get back to encaustic. I stopped working with hot wax, when I realized that to ship a piece out of my area, required art handler transportation. Aaahhh . . . the clicking of the clock and finding patience!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

About courage when painting . .

I found this quote from Massachusetts painter, Debi Pendall, in Nancy Reyner's book, Acrylic Revolution:

Debi Pendall in her studio

"In the process of painting, many emotions can come up, like frustration, anger and fear. If you hold back, the work shows repression and the desire to be polite, . . . . Instead, welcome all these emotions, including joy, allowing things to flow. All you have inside will then pour out and the censoring stops. Don't be afraid of the struggle."   

I'm remembering a book, Art & Fear, by David Bayles and Ted Orland,

      that I have on my bookshelf and haven't read it. Think I'll look again at it. Debi says,  "don't be afraid of the struggle" . . a welcome reminder . . as I've discovered that I'm not the only artist who struggles with "bringing up" an image that works for them.

About re-emerging

an image I found on tumblr

I've been out of the art "loop" for some time, especially here in Michigan. This is my home state (born and raised here). I lived in Louisiana and Connecticut and moved back here about 6 yrs ago. Now everything is digital. On one hand I marvel at how easy it is to access artist's work, website, and images (Tumblr blogs). At the same time I feel greatly challenged in learning how to understand the tools I need to know to make this blog what I want it to be.

My new camera came about a week and a half ago (not expensive, but more than my little one, and what I can afford). Talk about being illiterate in photography (!!!) when it comes taking pics of my work . . I only just learned how to make the pics I post of my work look more like what they are in reality in I-photo!! I have learned that when I take a photo of a painting I'm stumped on and put it on my computer, I'm able to "see" what is needs, or at least where the problem is. I took a photo of the current piece I'm working on (acrylic) and it looked NOTHING like what it is.

I'm in my second week of a ten week course on digital photography basics, and I'm wondering if I spent enough money on my camera. Learning new mediums (mixed medium, working on paper, photography) takes $$$ . . . books, DVD's, online workshops. I love encaustic and didn't mind spending that money, but when I found out that shipping paintings needs special transport and packing to galleries (e.g. climate controlled art handlers), I turned to acrylic (and acrylic on paper). I would LOVE to attend the Encaustic Conference coming up in Provincetown, MA (it's near where my son and his family live), but . . too much $$$.

So what is left . . is . . trust the Universe to guide me in the direction I need to go, and that what I need will show up, if this is what I'm meant to do . . and . . LET GO!!!