Thursday, April 30, 2009

Not a whole lot of painting going on!

But here's what I've been doing--hanging our Patron Show at LibertyTown. We are offering patrons a chance to buy a ticket for $100 and go home with a painting. Our whole show this month is the donated work of 50 local and regional artists. It was a fun show to hang, and the work is wonderful. I wanted to share a few pix.

Artists have donated pottery, fiber work, wood work, photos, paintings and jewelry. There is something for everyone!

I have done lots of new work, and here is the wall on which it hangs in my studio. The color is not wonderful here--my walls are a little less like cheese whiz than this looks! Or actually, maybe it's pretty accurate....

I'll have more new stuff next week!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Final of the Peacock

I added gold pen in a few more places and feathery touches to have the tail poof out and come forward in space. I think he's done.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

When Cultures Collide

Here's what I've been working on this week. I'll show a little bit of WIP. I started by toning a 24 x 36 canvas with midnight blue acrylic paint and drew a peacock in cowboy boots in watercolor pencil. Then I went looking for collage materials and using matte medium collaged them into the background of the painting.

(Note: The horse is collaged in. I did not paint it. I am going to do more work on it as I keep painting the piece.)

Next, I began developing both the foreground and background by defining the sky, middle distance and foreground.

I had originally planned to use aluminum from drink cans as feathers, but it was too much, so I kept painting the feathers with different mixtures 0f phthalo blue, cerulean blue, quinacridone red, and permanent green light and pushing and pulling on the background to make some depth. The cans got used for the head feathers, and look closely at the spurs down the way. The spurs spin because I used brads to affix them!

Here are some detail pix.

Spinning spurs!

And here is how it stands as of the time I left the studio.

Why did I paint a peacock in cowboy boots? Well, I really can't say. But if I find out, I'll be sure to let you know!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Thanks Laura!

Laura Trevey paints beautiful watercolors with luscious colors. She featured one of my cupcake cards on her site, which I so appreciate! She is running a special where she is giving a print of one of her works if you join her site and comment on her work.

She has so much enthusiasm about blogging, it can't be contained in just one blog! Check out her new blog, too.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

'Nother Birdie

Well, this guy looks as if he got lost from some traveling oompah band, or something. But he was waiting for me when I sat down to paint today.

Untitled, 5 x 5, acrylic over collage

In other news--I'm so excited! My buddy, Jeff, is going to come and paint our other room--I'm free! Jeff, you rock!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Summer on my Mind

What with the rain today and cooler temps than I am used to this late in the year (cause I'm still a Texas girl at heart!), I am longing for beach weather. And, also, because I worked hard today, but I don't have anything I can share yet, I am posting two paintings I did for a show in October last year and sold.

Under Cover, acrylic, 2008

By the Sea, acrylic, 2008

I plan to do more of these paintings where I create most of the form with my tiny block prints, and actually some of the work for my September show will have this style at least on part of the composition.

I am hoping to get back in full creative mode tomorrow. tomorrow it is my goal for the home improvement hell to be over, until we have to begin on the next room...Just when you thought it was safe to go home!

Friday, April 17, 2009

I Won!

I correctly guessed what Laura Trevey used to create the orbs in her beautiful new painting and won a set of her watercolor note cards! I love Laura's paintings, and she lives just down the road in Richmond! Here is her shop. Huge thanks to her!

Here is what I painted today! No, it is not some kind of minimalist still life. It is my #1 son's old room that #2 son is about to move into. (His color choice.) Those of you who know me, know that this kind of painting is torture for me and to be avoided at almost any cost. I so admire people who think home decorating is fun and no big deal.

This is a new painting I finished this week. The FUN kind! It is called something exciting like Pear Tree and is mixed media with oil. When I get it stretched, it will be 18 x 22. Can you find the collage elements?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Do birds see the Bird in the Moon?

Do you think I have too much time on my hands and not enough to think about? Think again! This is an escape painting. I had fun just imagining and playing this morning, and I will share the silliness with you lucky people! I hope you all got to indulge your sense of fun and creativity today.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

They Rocked the Joint!

Today's piece is one that got an overhaul this week. The background was too strong so that the "music" was lost, and since this is called Choir Practice the music is important! And, as you can see, the choir actually made the walls jump and shift!

For several summers, I taught an art component of a music camp that our downtown churches collaborated on for several years. I have such respect for the music staff at this church, so this is my tribute to them. It is also an old church, so I wanted to show the facade.

I experimented with using part of a xeroxed photo I had taken of the church and painting the rest of the image around it in oil. I started with a wildly colored patchwork under-painting, then painted over that with a mixture of cad red light/white to reveal the notes by painting negatively. I really liked the way the green and pink went together, but it was too wild and unresolved-looking. The biggest change I made in this pass at it is that I toned the walls of the church down with a greenish yellow/white. Now, I feel as if I made the musical notes and architecture more the focus of the painting, rather than just the COLOR!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I Get By 2

Since I seem to be talking a lot about the names of my pieces, this title comes from the Beatles song, I get by with a little help from my friends...

This first block print of that name is cut and printed in a single layer and then hand painted. I showed it in a previous post, but I'll put it up again for purposes of comparison.

Number 2 is a reduction cut block print in three colors--yellow, red and a green/black. Both were printed using soft blocks.

These were cut using the same drawing. I'm surprised how differently they turned out! I hadn't looked at the first print in several weeks, and it is interesting seeing them side by side.

Don't Fence Me In

I've been busy this week finishing up some pieces that I started last week. Here is another one which began with an "under painting" of collage. I wanted to save the strong diagonal element that I had placed from the right hand corner towards the center of the canvas, and it will definitely need to help inform the title! The piece is 11 x 14 and is painted with acrylic.

It was interesting to read the comments from everyone about naming your work. I'm glad I'm not alone in finding it difficult sometimes. I'm not sure that Don't Fence Me In is the final title, but it made me smile, so that's what I titled today's post. I agree that living with a work for awhile helps the title float to the surface. I'm always in so much of a hurry to get on to the next piece that I sometimes rush that part of the project. Percolation is important in coffee and in other things in life!

Thanks for looking and commenting. It is much appreciated!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Little Piece

Here's my little piece about new life and rebirth. It measures 5 x 5 and is collaged over canvas with acrylic painting on top.

My heart is full today thinking of all the good things in my life. Thanks to all of you for your support and interest.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Stick a Fork in it...

I have finished my giraffe for now--thinking of calling it something humorous like My Other Car is a Jaguar or What??!!

Actually I have to live with these guys for a while before I decide the title. Titles are important, don't you all find? Just the right one can evoke a whole new level of understanding in or communication with the viewer. The wrong one (or one that, perhaps, is too personal to the artist, can make an otherwise appreciative viewer, say, HUH?--completely taking them off the track of enjoying your work.

How do YOU come up with your titles?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

More Work on the St. George's Church Block

I made ten more prints today, or so, and really found some fun techniques to bring variety and depth to the sky. I also did a more conventional print using both black and blue which gave me a print with nice blue in the night sky.

My favorites were made by wiping some of the ink away in swirls with a wet towel, or inking only the lower half of the block and the steeple, leaving just traces of ink to print in the sky. My very favorite print started like the one I just described, but I also added ink from small blocks cut into spiral shapes. I printed all over the sky in black and gray and white. It really gives a dramatic look to what is otherwise a large static space.

All in all, a very fun, productive day. I think I'm back to more collage work tomorrow--after going bird-watching in the early morning for the first time in a long time!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New Print--St. George's Church

I have been wanting to work on relief prints on a larger scale. I have a commission of a painting on slate of this same subject, so I wanted to explore it in this form first. Sometimes, I begin a slate painting with a relief print and hand paint the image.

Here is the drawing transferred onto the block, which is 7 3/8 x 9 1/8.

The prints were not coming out as consistent as I wanted (not sure why, that's a problem for another day) but I liked this one.

Since I was having such trouble getting good ink coverage, I decided to play with the inking and modify the block before printing. It looks a bit like an homage to Vincent Van Gogh.

I love the depth in the sky and the good dark tones I got in the foreground.

I will continue to experiment with different ink colors and texture in the sky--maybe even some hand-coloring.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Annie nominated my blog for the lemonade award for great Gratitude and/or Attitude. I am so pleased and honored. Now I get to nominate other blogs to receive the award. The directions for award recipients are below.

1. Put the logo on your blog or post
2. Nominate 10 blogs that show great Gratitude and/or Attitude.
3. Be sure to list and link your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know they have received this award by leaving a comment on their blog.
5. Nominate your favorites and link to your post.

Here are my terrific nominees:

Dan Finnegan
Ariel Freeman
Elizabeth Woodford
Sandy Mastroni
Holly Zemak
Tracey Clarke
Vania's Art

Thanks for all your support, comments and creativity!

Again with the Giraffe!

Last shot of the giraffe from yesterday in which I refined the face and head a bit. Still needs brightening and the birdie needs some color.

And in other news, Annie, a wonderful artist from Belgium has awarded me the lemonade award! Check out her blog. I need to find time to post my picks, but I wanted to say a huge thank you to Annie as soon as I could! You really made my day!

Monday, April 6, 2009

More on Giraffe

First layer

Next layer

I got brave and just jumped in this morning working on the giraffe. I got to my studio at 7:15 and in the quiet, I could work and cuss and take deep breaths and talk to myself...that's a good thing! Here is the result. Understand it still is a ways from being finished, and the photos are not all that great.

By the way, have I said this is 24 x 36? That's a big painting for me.

Small Progress

I have been working on some commissioned stuff and teaching, which I love, but that means my own work has been slow to progress this week.

...and lots of rejection this week from shows I had entered...bleh! All part of getting out there, but not the most fun part of my life as an artist...but I digress.

I added a bit of collage to my giraffe from some very old catalog pages, and I may go on to begin something else today as I wait for further inspiration for how to finish this guy out.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Art at the Mill

Mallard, oil, 8 x 10

Lily Blossoms, oil, 8 x 10

Hibiscus Blossoms, oil, 24 x 30

Today I am going to the northwest corner of Virginia to deliver this artwork that was accepted into the spring show at the mill in Millwood. It is a beautiful drive, and the little hamlet of Millwood is just charming. The Clarke Co. Historical Association is the sponsor, and the two art shows per year, spring and fall, raise money to help support the upkeep of the mill.

The very best part of it is that I get to go with a good friend, so there will be lots of talk about art and life on the way!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wild Flowers, etc

Wild Flowers, oil, 8 x 10

This is a little painting I have been working on here and there for a while. It morphed quite a bit in the process, but here it is--an ode to joy that spring has sprung--yippee!

At LibertyTown, Beth, Aline, Dan and I have just put up Feast for the Eyes, the third annual show all about food. Dan will also be featuring some of his wonderful pots fresh from his latest firing.

This is the front wall of the gallery just on the right as you enter from the street.

3 of a Kind, 7 x 7

The piece in the middle is my little one,
a hand colored block print which was juried into the show.

This show is paired with a food art component during the opening (tomorrow night) where foodies compete for the best dishes which look like art or create art in their assembly. Last year's first place winner created a beach landscape with all kinds of edibles, and the second place winner, Stephanie, melted and slumped hundreds of jolly rancher candies to make beautiful bowls which looked like glass. The evening is tons of fun--and then we eat! What can be better than that?

A wonderful weekend to all!