Thursday, October 29, 2009
The drive up to the house was amazing. The bottom of the mountain was wet roads...the closer we got the more ice and snow were on the roads...scary drive even WITH snow tires! When we arrived there was too much snow on our 150' driveway so we trudged up...the stairs to the house looked like a slope...so I tried to walk up...some parts came up to my chest so I was stuck trying not to fall over!
But, at least we have power this time...so we are warming up and digging out!!
Here's hoping you all have much warmer days than Colorado right now!! Happy Painting!!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Oh boy...I'm sitting down in Denver in a Holiday Inn cuz I'm snowed out of my house! Husband had meeting EARLY with some out of town big wigs...so we came down last night to avoid what was surely going to be a day of digging out! I hear we have about a foot so far up there!! Probably be down her tonight too...aaaarrrrgggghhhh!! I just had time before it got too bad to grab my computer and camera and this painting...I'm calling it Pine Forest for now...but I think I may need to change it...any suggestions?? For all intents and purposes I'm calling it finished...BUT I reserve the right when I finally get back home to see if it needs some tweaking in darks/lights in some areas...
I was able to put the details of the background further to the back so I could lay in some branches and foliage. I do so many aspen trunks with no foliage that I was in the mood for some green boughs...BUT, I wanted to keep it more abstract in order to follow with the way I started...so no real detail here!
Now, I know we have tons of snow up at the house and I'm not there...but I wanted to give you a feeling for what it may be; which is COLD and white...so til I get up there to take some actual pics I'm sharing one I took from our last one a week or so ago...We didn't get too much then...but you get the picture...ha...get the pun!! Ok, OK...I'm still waking up!! Happy Painting to all of you who get to do that today!!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
The pine forest I'm currently working on has been calling to me with little response, but much desire the past couple of days! Big snows are coming so I've had to take time to find someone to switch my tires out...and getting ready for my brother-in-law to visit has taken me away from my work...aaahhh life!
As you can see it looks quite different than when I first began. I warned you that is how I work...For me, to cover a ground is a big step...and then I get to decide how to proceed. I just LOVE that part!! Sometimes it flows like butter from my fingers, and sometimes I fight with it. I began by turning it upside down and then proceeded to cover it quickly with background. I liked the idea of the yellow on top...however...it just peeks in here and there...FUN!
The problem with a deep forest is there is a TON of information. Real life has way too much information. I began laying in the background thinking it would be light enough to lay far enough into the background, but after laying in preliminary trees I still feel it needs to be pushed back a bit for what will be my foreground trees and branches...so I'm playing with sanding and glazing...that is the fighting part...but I'm not giving up yet!
I spotted some beautiful clouds the other day that I just HAD to share with you cloud lovers....Pretty up here...but we are in for quite a snow tomorrow for a couple of days...so I'm already nervous! Gotta get those snow tires on!! Here's to warm days for as many of you as can get em!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
WOW, I never want to feel this weak again! WHEW...it has taken a good long while to feel halfway good this time...I'm a little slow on the uptake, but I'm already in to another piece. I just wanted to play at a background this time, thus the collage beginning. The second photo shows the paper I plan to use on this as I think I'm going to do a pine tree piece.
I showed the background as a sort of joke as I usually change it so much before I'm finished. I don't know if it is the process of tearing and applying or what, but it does give me a bit of inspiration to start with. I taught a workshop on collage awhile back and my students teased me as what I started with rarely could even really be seen...but it is FUN! I'm going to apply what I learned about myself recently however, so trying to keep those words and lessons in mind as I work this piece.
The roses were just pretty. My husband's birthday was last Thursday and I bought him roses to go with his presents. Neither of us was feeling all that great, and he had to go to a dinner meeting, but at least he had something beautiful to come home to so he would know he wasn't forgotten!
So, off to nap and then on this wonderful pine tree piece...Happy Saturday to you all!!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I think I'm going to call this finished. The majority of the work had already been done before I decided to add the paper cast leaves. They didn't work, so I wiped them out, did a fair amount of sanding, and replaced damaged areas, and added just a hint of leaves. The leaves were NOT the point of this piece, so I just wanted to give a bit of an impression of them and let that stand on its own.
I will be putting this in my website when I'm totally convinced I'm finished with the sky. I had wanted to show a lighter area like the photo showed from yesterday with the flash, but in life it looked rather forced, so I've rethought that. I may play some more, but not sure...so for all practical purposes I feel it is time to move on to other things.
It was a good transition piece from SICK to almost back to normal, so I'm happy in that.
I so appreciate all your comments and well wishes...I'm hoping nothing gets me that out of sorts again! So, onward and upward!! Next...hmmm...I think trees! :)
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
So, today I feel a little better, but still a draggin...WHEW...all I can say is DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO UNDER THE GUN THAT YOU END UP ON YOUR BACK!! :)
I am in process of reconstructing parts of the painting that were taken away when I was sanding off all the paper cast glue...This may be the most I do today, but we get snow tomorrow which makes for a perfect day to sit in the studio and continue to reconstruct and THEN add whatever elements I feel with enhance this particular composition.
If you look closely you can see sections of tree that I've replaced and areas I had to go back into the sky to cover over the "damage" done during demo. (to use an HGTV term...:)) I also noticed an interesting thing when I photographed this piece...it is SO dark here I had to use my ott light to light the piece enough...see the lighter area in top left...hmmm...thinking of making it so...sort of find that interesting...of course not so much that I eliminate detail...but a small change...maybe...:)
Welcome to my newest follower. I'm already thinking about our next give-away...of course it will be to celebrate 100 followers...hmmm what will it be??
Happy day to you all!!
Monday, October 19, 2009
Some may remember my foray into trying to mix my paper cast leaves with paint...didn't work like I wanted, so I decided to scrape off and then sand down the paper cast leaves and then look at it with fresh eyes and see where it will take me. This is already in line with my latest conclusion to my small quest into finding my recognizable style and words to us to speak about it...etc, etc...
This one has a LOT of texture...it built up color with modeling paste and collaged and of course my handmade paper for the aspen trunks...:)
Here it is in its mess of a beginning...I've only begun to try to get the leaves off...In the process of trying to get them off I found a FUN happy accident...that gave me some ideas for the future...:) (tune in for that at another time...tee hee) (great marketing strategy taken from the tv industry...teaser...ha) I don't know how well you can see...but the leaf left an impression...fun!!
So, still weak, but doin some baby steps to get back...Let's see what I can do with it!!
Happy Painting to you all and THANK you for all your well wishes...being so isolated it was GREAT to not feel alone in my misery!!
Welcome to my newest follower by the way!!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I doubt I will finish this collage. For me, the answer to my second question came clear through the process of this piece, and thankfully with the thoughts, advice of other artists and friends. It was like a little village, or a big one, all helping. Those of you who shared, thank you! I think I DO have a style, I am still finding words to talk about it; my process; which is much of what this blog has been about. I think I also have a love of so many different things, and I find that I work in a similar way whether I use collage, just paint, batik, etc. I look at the emotion the visual I see pulls from me and work to describe that emotion with what comes from my fingers. I enjoy seeing a slice of nature, or objects. I love contrast; light against dark. I love showing some detail amidst areas that are left a bit more abstract so that the viewer can finish it with their imagination. I love nature. I love things that give meaning to me or the one it is intended for if that be the case. NOW, I must put those words in a coherent way so that I can come up with a decent artist statement, and if I'm lucky even a brand that means something to me...something I will stick to.
I feel (at this time...we ALWAYS have the right to amend our thoughts) that if I so choose to use collage because it makes more sense, AND I can do it without messing up the integrity of the body of my work I will do so. Like I did with the collage forest in my last post. I've been looking deeper than I have in awhile at what I produce whether it be collage or straight paint. Look at the sunflower quad...the background is similar...the shapes of the flowers very similar...so, it would appear that my approach, or style is similar no matter the medium I use. (AND YES...I created a pattern because I didn't want the composition to be the issue...I was looking merely at technique)...but still...it applies!!
VERY OBVIOUS...when I collage flowers it takes so much time BECAUSE of my style or approach that it wouldn't be cost effective...and the answer to question #2 in this sense is it doesn't work. I am like most who have responded...I like the painted version much better. For me I was able to work at the speed I needed so that the emotional response I had stayed with me throughout. And, I hope there is an emotional response to it and the rest. That would be yippee!!
So, onward...paint, paint, paint...sneaking in a bit of the other now and then when it says to...:) (It being the visual before me :))
Thank you my blogger family!
Happy Birthday my most excellent son. You are loved more than I could ever express! And, I'm most proud of you...still as always your biggest fan! LOVE MOM
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
QUESTION #2: Because I have a need to work quickly, how can I work in collage while feeding the need for speed? (This is a very personal question that is based upon a very specific need I have as an artist). In answering this question I have two examples. The first is a painting I did of aspen that is specifically acrylic. The second is a collage I did a couple of years ago in a workshop. I was able to accomplish the speed as I worked a bit more in the abstract, and laid papers down for the background very quickly. I then painted more background right over the papers. I had some homemade papers for the trees already so I applied them. Then, more quick strokes to give shadows to the tree trunks.
The part of the pure acrylic painting I enjoyed the most was doing the background...the darks and the quick impression of leaves. I was a bit frustrated with the trees because it took longer than I wished it would to paint them from beginning to end.
The part I enjoyed about the collage was larger...laying in all the background papers...quickly painting the background, and adapting the homemade papers to the trunks. The part I liked least was applying the detail to the trees...but that wasn't all that frustrating. Hmmm...I think over-all I enjoyed the freedom the collage work afforded me...with a little of the unknown thrown in for good measure...made it exciting. I didn't know where it was going from moment to moment. All of a sudden I looked up and it was finished...FUN. That reinforces to me that even though I like the end result of both paintings, the collage was more fun for me.
I didn't enjoy the process of collage version of the Sunflower Quad as much because it was too much work to cut each petal...it went too long...it didn't give the effect of the free look the collage tree painting gave me...INTERESTING discovery! The end result will be merely a different “look” than the purely painted one, which went quickly and I felt that freedom of expression while painting it...I will finish the collage version, but have been delayed the past couple of days with life stuff...:)
After these ponderings I have almost put myself closer to a conclusion....(can you see the words I used...still seeking safety of the decision being out there) but at the same time...am back where I started...(though with more knowledge about how to talk about my work; thanks to friends comments) Closer because I have isolated the fact that I like a bit of the unknown during process. I have also isolated and confirmed that I like to work quickly. It enhances the unknown and freedom I seem to crave in my work. Back where I started because I have examples of work that I like equally...one collage method, one painted...I like my collage tree paintings more...I like my painted flowers more...hmmm...is my answer tied into subject matter? Is it a style in itself, born from my very specific needs? I enjoy flowers...and am not as familiar with subject matter as I am familiar with trees...loving this process although it is a bit scary at moments.
Do you now see how identifying a problem or goal or issue you have with your style or work and then beginning by asking yourself questions bring you to further questions...and some answers? Very successful process I have found...so far anyway! Did I answer my question? I think in part. I can work more quickly with collage in backgrounds and on trees...for flowers, not so much...Hmmm...background for flowers perhaps...we shall see.
I spent a lovely couple of hours over the weekend visiting Jane Hunt's studio and picking my next piece to come home with me. Jane is a wonderful artist and has become a very important friend to me. I admire her determination, her talent, and her straightforward way of saying things that helps to bring clarity. Yes, we talked about my current process. She was very helpful! Thank you Jane!
So, back to the studio to finish the collage, consider my next question to ask myself, and to mail James Parker's choice for the latest follower contest. He chose the “Snow Bunnies” as he calls them; I love the name...
Happy Painting to you all!
Saturday, October 10, 2009
When I decided to post my personal dilemma and challenge to find answers to my problem of finding unity with my body of work without making me feel I'm giving something up I knew there would be ups and downs. Yes, I will continue to work and post my end results, but I know it will be a certain amount of showing process and other things I go through to find my answer.
My answer may bring me back to my beginning point, or it may push me further towards the visual unity...or both?? HMMM...interesting.
I was reading in the paper this morning an article about Van Gogh, and found it a tiny bit applicable to my situation, only in the one statement that he had perhaps more method than madness...and the point that he wrote a lot. It sort of reinforces to me that writing about the process is important...so on I go.
On a side note...we woke up to snow and as usual I found something that nature created for us to inspire us...Look how the snow highlighted the work of one of our very busy spiders...based upon the very creative result I'm thinking even spiders get a bit confused from time to time...I'm right on track...cuz today, today...I'm confused...which leads me to this photo of the two works side by side. True the collage is not finished...but I think it is important to view them together...to find the qualities in each that are exciting...or may not work...Let's view each separately.
The painted version is exciting to me because of it's painterly effect. I also enjoy working quickly as it brings a lack of detail in places which allows me to show a bit of detail on my focal area. Plus...a very important part for me is I get bored with work very quickly...so working quickly is a good thing for me...IMPORTANT INFO FOR MY OVER ALL QUESTION...I like the contrasts of colors...the darks and lights next to each other. I like that parts are left for the viewer to complete in their own way...the leaves underneath. This piece came together in about 40 minutes.
The collage version is exciting because I still have contrast...right now in it's process there is even MORE contrast. (I may paint over some to tone it, or leave it...that is to be decided later). I like that I can still leave a bit to be discovered in the mind of the viewer. The under leaves... I like using different papers, textures to get an effect. BUT, I do NOT like that it takes a bit longer...it gives some sharp edges that I may not be after...not sure yet...I also realize that it will be a more expensive piece due to the extra materials and the extra time. So far I've put about 3 hours into this piece.
Another interesting thing to note is that I woke up a bit depressed that I might have to give up just painting to be recognizable. This is my thought process mainly because I answered my first question that I didn't think I could give up the collage element to my work.
So, today, I paint myself like our little spider...confused...but I realize that I am just beginning, so I will put that in a box and continue.
I'm so happy that we have another winner for my latest give-away. James Parker. As soon as I hear back from him I will share what he chose with you.
Happy Painting to you all! Here's to our journey!
Friday, October 9, 2009
Congratulations to James Parker for being the latest contest winner for my followers. Tune in to see which piece he chose. When we reach 100 followers we will have another give-away. Stay tuned for the details in coming days!!
I taught again today so had only limited time to work on my second challenge. I have just begun to lay in background colors and flowers...What is exciting about all of this is it is all a process that I get to decide where to go from here as I go along...I LOVE that!.
I have mixed this will acrylic paint...as I'm painting and collaging I'm deciding what I want to do to bring unity between my collage work and my acrylic paintings...hmmm...I'm curious to see how that will work...stay tuned!
I'm off to nap...Happy Day to you all!!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Well...here is my experiment number 1. The flag was fun to do. "America in Collage" is a 7x5" collage on clay board. It is available on my website. Just click on the title to take you there! Using collage, and some of my painterly effects I found this to be a good example for me. I COULD have just painted it. That would have been MUCH faster...but I might not have gotten such definition. You may not be able to see it but the depth the tiny extra bit of paper gave it helped I believe.
I taught today...took my Sunflower Quad challenge with me...got some done, but not enough to post. It is a busy school...and I'm back there tomorrow, but I'm thinking hard as I work this collage...mixing it with the painting parts as well...As I was working it I realized I like the loose look of my paintings, so I was considering how I could incorporate that into this collage. We shall see...
I got an e-mail from a friend of mine who was wondering if I am going to give up just painting all together...I don't think so! I love it...but if I play with things I might just make a recognizable situation with both...hmmm...part of my questioning process...
I'm a bit tired, so I'll talk about other questions at a later date...but, for now...I had fun, and am in process of answering my first question for myself.
YIPEE...we hit 75 followers. I will draw a name this evening and post the result tomorrow when I return from school!
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
After several conversations with artists I admire and respect and with more self discovery and conversation with myself I am continuing to experiment and discover just WHAT I need to do to find more unity within my body of work.
For those of you who know me through this blog you will know the angst that I have gone through to find a way to satisfy both my need to have variety within my scope of creative expression and at the same time find some unity; some recognizable style so that I can appeal to potential collectors and be recognized by what I create. WHEW...long sentence for such a little girl! (I stand 5' tall at this time as I haven't started to shrink yet...thank goodness!!)
At this writing I am STILL conflicted, but moving in a direction that I hope will satisfy both ME (most important) and the world. It occurred to me that; due to the comments and e-mails I get; there are others of you out there that may be feeling similar things, so I want to continue to share my journey and discoveries with you all. This helps me on my own journey, but I hope will help others to find the path they wish to travel on as well.
The teacher in me has learned to IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM or ISSUE, and then discover questions to ask in order to come to conclusions that will lead my students and myself to an answer.
THE PROBLEM/ISSUE: Not enough unity in my body of work to show a strong recognizable style. This does not say to me that I am not a good artist, it merely says that the variety that I LOVE is not well enough balanced with UNITY. We artists all know that variety is a good thing in a painting or piece of art, but it must have a balance, a bit of unity in order to make it a quality composition. All the elements and principles are good...they just need a good balance.
After much thought and continual self discovery I have come to a very big question. FIRST QUESTION: Of all that I do what is the one thing I most definitely could NOT give up! Finding the answer to this question will bring me closer to finding that way to create that holds more unity within the whole scope (hopefully). This answer will be different and personal to each one of us. FOR ME I know that I could not give up the collage element to my work. I absolutely adore the different materials I can use to create with, so that is ONE answer! COLLAGE for me can incorporate many different materials, which will satisfy the need I have for variety. NOW, I'm going to stop there; just as I would in a class; and work that part in some way to illustrate both to myself and any students I would have just what that would look like. Demonstration for a teacher is imperative to appeal to those who are more visual and kinesthetic. The touchy part comes when the student gets to try it themselves. For me, it is immediate, as I am going to illustrate my theory(right now the answer I gave is merely a theory as I need to try it enough to see if it works for me).
THE CHALLENGE! If I am going to explore my answer to this first question I must consider the collage in a variety of pieces. I took several little clayboards to school with me the other day. The first one was just painting the little duck. Collage would be hard to do as many more materials would have to be packed up. I also started a little 5x7 piece from a picture I took of an American flag from underneath. Now, I COULD just paint it. Fun...I COULD just use heavy strokes OR I can explore my answer to my first question to find out if I could use collage to create this piece. SO, here is the photo I took. I will be working in collage. Now, acrylic paint is the medium I will use to bring this piece together like I have my other collage pieces. By staying consistent with the collage pieces I've done before will give me some familiarity. If this works then I won't be starting from scratch to build a body of work. Plus, I just plain like to add paint as well! That part of self discovery I've already attained!
Hopefully my very public discovery will help any of you out there struggling with the same thing. And, hopefully, after this first question I will discover another question to ask to bring me closer to my goal; which IS: To find unity within my body of work that makes me more recognizable WITHOUT taking away the JOY I feel in being an artist!
Wish me luck!
Monday, October 5, 2009
Today was an important day for me. I subbed at a new high school for me and it was not the best experience. I have been changing the past few years; my goals; my desires about what I want to do...can do...and I'm not sure if it is teaching kids. I'm still deciding, but every day I have a negative experience it brings me closer to a decision. I am dismayed at the way things have relaxed with the youth in so many areas. I am saddened that they seem to care less, and there seems to be few consequences that affect them or inspire them to push towards a more mature way of thinking. YES, I believe that 16 and 17 years olds can display a level of maturity for their development level...sigh...
So, I had a planning period that was an hour which gave me time to do a little 4x4 painting that does quadruple duty! On Dana Marie's "Inspiration All Around Us" this pic sits this week. She asked for a photo, and I volunteered, so this is actually one I took of a duck at the Botanic Gardens last summer. It isn't (once more) my usual subject matter, but it was a nice little NON LINEAR break for me, so I painted it in acrylic. This also fits into the color scheme for Dana Marie's other challenge blog titled "Judging a Book by it's Color"...AND...I can post it on Daily Painters of Colorado...so that brings it to quadruple duty for me! YIPEE!
We are only one away from the latest goal for my next give-away. I'm looking forward to choosing from my followers!
Here is to Happy Painting Days to us all!!
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Well, I have to say this piece was quite a challenge for me! I took numerous photos of it, and had trouble with reflection on some areas no matter where I photographed it...but for the most part I'M FINISHED!! What I do with things like this is call it done, and then put it away for awhile (I have time as it is a Christmas present as you know) and then when I look at it again after a few weeks I usually see immediately areas that I want to spruce up.
I was getting quite tired of all the lines yesterday...so I opted for a bit of aerial perspective on the field which made me much happier! I initially had thought I'd put much more detail on the close crowd, but I found that when I tried it took the focus off the field; which is the obvious area for focus, so I backed off.
NOW for the Nebraska...I spent an entire day trying to letter it myself...I used linear perspective, a vanishing point...every trick I knew, but because of the angle, the distance, probably the natural distortion of the lens when the photo was taken I was coming up short every time. It was driving me crazy, and it was an important part...so, I simply blew up the photo in order to see it better, and found that it fit perfectly in the space, and it worked!! So, I collaged it on and adjusted the colors to fit with mine, and voila!! For this particular type of painting (not being my chosen subject matter, and for family, and my unfamiliarity with the subject matter) it didn't hurt my feelings at all!!
Now, will I do more to it...probably...a tiny bit here and there...like some of the crowd to the right of the field in the distance...In the photo it looks more white than in life, but I want to look at that part again...and some other minor areas...But, for today, I'm DONE!
I am very anxious to get on to other more familiar subject matter, and something that works a bit more quickly. I don't want to paint quickly just to do more...I just like the spontaneity that seems to come when I don't overthink a thing, and, well...I get bored easily so it seems to work best for me. For subject matter I am familiar with it works out fine.
I'm very happy my wonderful son-in-law asked this of me, and was honored to do it for him...but I think no more football fields for me! HA
Happy Painting to you all!!
Thursday, October 1, 2009
"September Sunrise" 4x4 Fiberboard (with easel) I accidentally painted it upside down, so the hanging slots are on the side and bottom...sorry :)
Yep, still working on the stadium between other life responsibilities. My husband gave me the perfect solution for the Nebraska that is at the end of the field after a day of disappointment with lettering. SO SIMPLE...that is for my son-in-law's painting that is...I'll explain when I unveil the finished product...That brings me to a question...Do any others of you out there find that people just naturally assume that because you are an artist that you can letter?? Now, my dear son-in-law never did...but working on this very important particular part of the painting brought that to mind. I don't mind saying "I DON'T DO LETTERING!!". I'm just not good at it...never have been...don't think I ever will be...mostly cuz I don't like all that precise stuff...:) OK..enough rant...(only for now).
SO, thought I'd include a pic of the latest challenge for "Inspiration All Around Us" hosted by our own Dana Marie. She has been sick, and yesterday asked if someone would contribute a pic for the challenge and I went into my cache of pics and pulled this one out. I encourage any of you who may be so inspired by this to pop over to the site and see if it appeals to you!
And, I also wanted to share a great graphic on the building of the High School I went to today to drop off some subbing promotional materials for the art teachers. I happen to love this school...it is my old high school, and it is a beautiful building...I saw the massive tiger outside when I pulled up and was inspired, so thought I'd pass a little of that along! Hope it made your artist senses tingle a bit!
Hey, we are only ONE follower away from the next give-away! YEA!! I have a question. One of my followers (ok, my brother) tried to follow the link to the other contest choices that is on my side bar and couldn't get there...If you read this will you do me a favor and try it and let me know if it works or not for you? I can get there from my computer, so didn't know there was a problem...Let me know if you would!