I'm done...and moving on to another painting that was half way done sitting in my studio like a lot of other canvases. This is the year to get them completed and move forward...I'm tired of the weight hanging on my neck...
I've been busy traveling so it's hard to stay in the studio and get things done....
I told myself I would do three water lillie paintings so I am now working on the third one. This is still in the building process. Some lillies towards the bottom have to be corrected. I don't always see my mistakes right away....there is only so much one can focus on at a time....and working for me is "a little here....a little there".
After this my husband is really riding me about finishing paintings that are "almost" done...but not done enough to show...so I guess like a little kid I'll reluctantly finish them. I think it's artist block....I LOVE starting them....and the tedious boring part is the technical part which I don't like. I love the excitement of the beginning....
I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Years....
Happy New Year to all! Now we are going to be entering the time of year where we hibernate up North due to freezing temperatures. This is my time of year where I hibernate mostly in the studio, painting and getting through the Winter doldrums.
I just completed 2 paintings and now working on a third of Lilly Pads. I was first inspired on a trip to Tampa, Florida with my husband on business. The hotel had a beautiful Lilly pond, and as we were leaving as the sun was setting and I took a photo. Years later I accompanied my two friends on a plein air painting exhibition in Ohio, visiting a large lake with many Lilly pads. I was seduced by their long necks and graceful flowers and once again began snapping photos.
As always I will post the finished paintings...but I usually am endlessly seeing things that need to be touched up or changed. I sometimes wonder if it's the acrylics I use...as they always seem to dry darker...or else it could be that my eyes are clouding with cataracts that need my attention!
I was asked to participate in the Michigan City LakeSide Arts Fair this year through Southern Shores ARt Gallery in Michigan City. This was something I'd looked at since I had requests to participate in the past but after looking into I determined that I would have to invest in at least $2000.00 to do it correctly. Not something I wanted to do. So when SSA asked and said they had the equipment I felt it was a great opportunity for me to tip my feet in the water!
I loved seeing everyone and talking to people at the fair. But....NO SALES! I would have somewhat expected that as my art is not 100% mainstream. But...it was a very good experience...and now I know.
In getting ready for the fair I pulled out old studies I'd done and tried to rework them...Here's one that I have never been crazy about, but started it because I'd never done anything like it. The building is a building on the grounds of the Piti Palace in Florence....I added the girl from an old masters painting...
I'll have to just give you tidbits of the year. Just recently I finished a commission piece of Ludwig. Ludwig's home is Hedgeapple Farm. This is a beautiful farm that I take my "Hollie Girl" (GoldenDoodle) to be cared for when I have to travel. The owner Susanne has a White German Shepard named "Ludwig". So here is a painting of Ludwig!
Two more cards added to the the pile. We are getting closer to being done..and that is a good thing. I have several paintings that are begging to be completed. My progress is always so slow. I need more time...or I need to have the money to hire someone to clean the house, do the chores and run the errands...and then to cut myself in half so the other half can do the traveling with my husband....
On the Owl I added cold micca chips..so in the sunlight his eyes glitter...it's kind of fun. Doing the small cards like this give me an opportunity to try out the tons of new mediums, paints, etc that I accumulate like a child in a candy store!
I accepted the challenge. 30 Artists- 30 Days. On Facebook someone threw out a challenge and the first 30 artists who accepted were in. So I went for it. We do an Artist Trading card every day for 30 days and then we will meet at the Box Factory Gallery in Michigan on Oct. 27th to trade the cards.
Unfortunately I won't be able to trade...and hopefully I can find someone to mail my cards to and swap for me.
It was challenging doing these tiny 2.5 x 3.5 cards. However I found it great for doing studies.
I took a class from a visiting artist here in our area. She was pretty well known. To make a long story short...It wasn't a real positive experience for me. Actually it was quite painful. I was left feeling like I was unable to do anything. But I'll say it was more a personal learning experience than anything.
She had these black and white photos on the table that were somewhat abstracted...(the intense contrast was zoomed)...but me....I had to find every little detail in them I could. I now know that's just how I am. I accept that. I actually have another one that I haven't even worked on yet. These, even though they were suppose to be quick and done in class quickly, came home with me for detail...I am DETERMINED THAT I WILL GET IT RIGHT! Everyone else in the class was able to finish a good looking painting quickly. I realize ...for me it's a process of layering and correcting. I don't have the ability to get it perfect the first time around.
The top one after working on it more at home I came to the realization it was just plain boring...who cares if a girl is standing there staring into space...looking beyond a painting at the museum...so I changed it up and tried to make it "odd". I'm hoping you ask yourself if she's leaving an office and that is a window with someone working...or ...is it a painting...is it a doorway...or a mirror...why is the room off kilter???? The painting may not ever work...but it was a personal challenge to do what I could with it.
The other one is the same way...these are things that will never ever sell...but I'm determined to do the best I can with them. The second one is a group from out west..Aaron Kayce...Goldest Egg...I'm still working on getting the faces right. I want this to be very contemporary in the end. I see music notes with the hands and feet...and when I'm done I hope that comes through....I'll post it when I'm closer to being done....
O.K., So I get a request for a commission. Sounds good!?????
It'll be fairly easy....they have a photo they want me to do...but just change the colors to very bright colors to make it more contemporary...no problem!
So....I do it...but it needs to be more abstract they say....so I try to simplify it and abstract the forms...then I get a totally different picture to do. Also sent examples of what they wanted which wasn't my style at all. All this after I ordered a $65.00 frame to put this on. Needless to say I had no contract because I knew this individual.
Long story short....I now have this painting on a $65.00 wrap around canvas that I will probably need to just paint over.
During all this I started another Bird Of Paradise that I liked...and did it MY way....and I have had a way better response to it. So....it was not all bad.
The painting on the left is the one I did during the time I was working on the commissioned piece on the right. I have since made a few changes to this photo.
Went to life drawing at the Art Barn last week. I thoroughly enjoy the process. Still need to practice getting it right the first time. At home I have the luxury of working on a drawing..whereas at Life Drawing you have 5minuets-10min.-15min.-30min.and an hour for each drawing and you'd better get it right or it's just forever wrong. I'm not use to working that fast...I'm not aiming for a pretty picture..I do it for study..When I get home and look at these I see things wrong..that I couldn't see at the time I'm trying to capture what I'm looking at. At the Palette and Chisel in Chicago it's nice because you have the model for several hours..so you can walk away and come back to get a better perspective as to where you are with it. I like posting things that aren't perfect..because I think it helps people that are just starting out. I've seen quick sketches by the masters that weren't perfect...and when I see that...it makes me feel better. Like...it's alright to make mistakes. It's all a journey....
I am an artist that feels passionately about art. Therefor I not only paint but I also purchase other artists work. I have several large paintings I have paid a pretty penny for...and I have some smaller pieces around 14 that I have purchased on line. This article is for artists that ship out their work from the perspective of the buyer.
So this past week end I purchased two more small pieces. They both arrived at the same time. The first one was from a male artist who sent his work with a brochure on his work. No personal note. When I purchased his painting I had asked that he send me his bio with the painting. His reply was simply "go to my website and print it out".
The second painting I received with the most gracious note thanking me for supporting her and her work. She eagerly with no questions complied with inserting her bio with the painting. This artist has sold over 1000 paintings on line ...more are hanging in major institutions and collections...and yet she humbles herself realizing that if it weren't for people purchasing her art...she would not be able to continue painting. I am seriously considering buyer her larger pieces now!
The male artist had his accolades of being printed up in this magazine and having his awards which was pretty substantial...but he left me feeling like I should be so thankful to have bought one of his pieces....so I am not inclined to purchase any of his big works.
Lesson to be learned here: Be gracious and humble and appreciate who keeps you in business...and if you are gracious....the buyer is more inclined to purchase your bigger works. The buyer wants to like the artist as much as love the painting.
My daughter who has moved and is now involved with her local parish is throwing a fund raiser..a silent auction. So of course she called me and asked me to do a painting of Saint Francis for the auction. So I say...of course. I went online to photos of old paintings that were marked alright to copy. I chose this one. However it is changed from the original quite a bit. I'm thinking "Oh no big deal...a piece I won't have to worry about...well..I started slapping paint thinking it's a small canvas...no big deal. I normally do a good drawing at first...with this I carelessly started without a drawing and it was CRAZY!!! I can't begin to tell you the layers of mistakes under all this paint. The simple painting turned out to be a nightmare. The face still isn't quite right..but close enough for an auction. I plan to lighten the top a little..add a border (that's why the tape is on the bottom)...paint the sides and be done with it...other than going through the shadows with some low lights...and now I see lightening the hair in spots.
The painting behind the auction one is changing direction as well. Now I am going in the direction of basing it on a poem my mother taught me about my name by Paul Lawrence Dunbar.
An Angel robed in spotless white,
bent down to kiss the sleeping night.
Night woke to blush,
the sprite was gone.
Men saw the blush
and called it
So, you can see it's on a journey. I plan to put the poem on a very sheer fabric I bought in a paper store...write it in a spiral and place it over the night part of the painting. Then I will paint a sleeping night that is barely visible towards the bottom.
It's been quite awhile since I've posted...So to catch you up to speed....I took the Puppet Master in to a shop to have them re-size the canvas. I kept fighting with that left side about how to handle it...and decided to lose the curtain and take off several inches. I pick that up later this week and then I can finish painting it.
I started another abstract...about dreams...my dreams. I have yearned to return to the west...and I'm afraid I'll wind up dying in Indiana...mind you Indianas a nice place but my soul belongs in the west. So you can see...I've actually changed it since this picture...but like all my paintings...they slowly evolve.
I wound up working on the Three Flower Girls "Again"...but I am done now...
Started another abstract...it turns out to be about water and as always in my abstracts organic growing things...I'm not sure I like this...so it means I'll be working on it again....
I've been going to Life Drawing at the Art Barn on Wednesdays .
As always...the ups and downs of being an artist...sometimes I look at what I do and ask my self "Why Do I Do This?" In the end it's because I like the challenge....I have to create...I see visions in my head and wonder....and have a need to express it. Simply put.... So...I don't give up...I just keep plugging away...trying to do something out of my box...a little different for me.
O.K...I'm a tortured artist...or person. Something is not right with the painting...and I just can't feel good about it. I painted out the drapes...and still unhappy, so I think I'll just have to put it aside for awhile until my thinking process improves on this.
First you see something that for some unknown reason compells you. The more you paint...the more you change trying to say something with whatever it was that compelled you.
The process is enlightening...and a growing experience on a personal level and as an artist.
The hands are ONLY BLOCKED in....they have yet to be painted...the cloud I added because I wanted to emphasize the godliness of the hands and thought I might add a ray of sunshine behind the cloud pointing to the hands....but at this point I'm not sure I need that yet.
All of this obviously has to be refined....but I am slowly finding a language with this painting.
If there's one thing about me...It may take me 20 years to get something right...but I will say.....I don't give up easily.
I get so stressed working on the Puppet Man that I started this piece. I just made the face up..started painting and the started feeling where I wanted it to go. I think at this point it will be nature...tropical. I'll keep adding elements. I'll suggest water at the top of the canvas and at the bottom...I may even add some shells...not sure.
OMG...yes, this crazy thing is still around and still not done...I started it and the composition was all wrong...I wasn't happy with it because it wasn't saying enough for me....so I'm still trying to salvage the piece. My thought is that I would add another canvas on top...and then have other hands on the top controlling the man whose controlling the puppet...kinda like we're all in the hands of a greater being....I'm not sure this will work...but that is the direction I am going in. I'm having a VERY difficult time with his face because the photo is blurry and you can't really see his face distinctly...and the other problem is I have to find some hands to paint at the top....I could do all this and wind up trashing the thing...of which I've thought about many times....the only problem is I'm hard headed and don't give up.
I think IF it does turn out...I'll have to frame it so that it's once piece but seperated...like a triptych if I'm saying it correctly.
Finally made it back to Life Drawing. With the weather being bad I need to push myself. I really do enjoy going to the Art Barn. It usually winds up being about 5-6 people there. Several of the men are sculptors. At times Gerrie and I are the only females there other than the model. It's a two hour session with the model starting at a few minuets with poses and builds up to 30 and then an hour.
Her face is all wrong...but I was more concerned with getting the pose. It's good practice...practice...practice.
I painted a little today on the Parisian Puppet Master, the three little girls and my release piece that is evolving as I put my brush to canvas. I like just painting from my head and changing things here and there until I feel alright about it. I'd like to incorporate some collage and mixed media into this if I can.
It's a learning process...about painting and about myself.
I find that when I do these kinds of pieces they always wind up being very earthy...they are about nature. I think it's leaning that the top will be water...the bottom-earth. I would like at this point for this painting to be Gauganish.
Wow...it's been a long time since I've written a post. I guess I'd have to blame it on "life". The daughter got married...we then made a trip to Prague, New Orleans, Tampa, Richmond, Maryland and Kentucky to help my daughter out after being in a car accident. Then I bought a dog (GoldenDoodle) since my husband got a promotion...Like I said..."LIFE"!
But I started the New Year thinking..."why do I have these paintings I don't like?" So I decided to re-do some of them..finish what I was working on and do more of the things I enjoy...like just painting from my head....instead of doing these up tight paintings that have to be so precise. See...that's the rebel in me.
In the photo..the paintins on the floor...are ones I've finished..some I'm working on and tonight I started the exotic one. I started painting from my head...so we'll see where it goes.
This year I am NOT focused on entering a bunch of shows...my focus is "produce"! And just enjoy the process.
I had to put down my three Italian girls for awhile...It get's just too tight for me...so I started something with no rules....(there really are lots if done properly) an abstract. It seems every time I try an abstract it turns organic.
It's evolved over time and it's still evolving....
Here's an update on my three flower girls in Italy...I'm slowly adding color. I thought I could just glaze over it, but am having to re-paint over it...Not sure what I want to do if anything with the background....I'll figure it out as I go. Intuit....isn't that what you call it? Feeling my way through this....
Yes, it's been awhile since I could immerse myself with painting. The wedding the adjustments, etc..
I took a plein air class that set me back..mentally (I took it after the wedding and hadn't rebounded yet)....but I got up..brushed myself off and came back to the studio to start once again another laborious painting. This one was taken by my good friends in Italy that attended a very traditional Italian wedding and sent this along to me in the event I could make a painting of it. Years later....here I am starting that painting.
For me this painting was about the color in the ribbons and the baskets...and then the personalities of the little girls...the one on the left passively looks down at the one in the middle..the one in the middle is in the middle of it, actively doing something...and the one on the right...being contrary and stepping on the ribbon of her basket. You may remember that little girl with the pig tails. She is the one I did years ago that was accepted at the Salon Show.
I started off with just umber...then umber and black...then I introduced white....just working on the values ,drawing and details. For me it's about finding shapes in the folds the hair, etc...once I find these things...then I can soften them. I know there's a better way to do this...but I never seem to follow rules....as I guess I am a rebel at heart. When I'm done getting the drawing and details and values right I'll glaze in the colors. I did this on my painting of Makenzie when I was taking a portrait class in Chicago.
Just a note...I have a new appreciation for plein air painters. The sun...shadows keep moving constantly and you have to keep readjusting your painting....I think I'll stick to a photograph that doesn't move!
I just had to take a moment and post about a shop I have encountered that I absolutely love!
Franklin Goose. It's a baby-children's store and on-line store that features very cool products that have been researched to be the best in the industry for baby/children and the environment. Safe and green! I have ordered several times with this company and have been totally delighted. I love that they have done their research to protect our children from hazards of toxic paints, varnishes that may be harmful, etc. I was able to go to the store in Richmond while there this past summer and it's adorable on the inside! They have painted murals around and all their displays are recycled items which is good for the environment! Very, very cool products. I love it!! Check it out...http://www.franklingoose.com/retail/richmond.php
So Wednesday I drove into Chicago to meet two other fellow artist friends to gallery hop. We met at the new CAC (Chicago Artist Coalition) in their new location which turns out is in quite an industrial type area. It was hard to park as close by were a lot of movie trailers getting ready for some production of something. I know Oprahs studio is close by. It was a windy day and we had several strikes against us when we found several galleries were gone! We gave up the endeavor and went to the Loop area and went throug the Columbia Univ. Photo Gallery and walked in Grant Park among Magdalena Abakanowicz forest of headless giants made of iron. It was awesome. Now I know how tiny children feel walking downtown with a bunch of adults.
The best part of the trip was sharing ideas and thoughts from each other. Exchanging ideas and learning a different perspective is always refreshing.