Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Portrait of the Young Lady

This is not the young lady; It's a painting selfie:)  The proportions are a little off, but honestly my proportions change pretty regularly so it doesn't matter.  I am not a portrait artist, I do however want to capture the essence of the moment, or memories, etc.  All I really cared about on these two was getting the eyes the way I wanted them, and mine look old.  I love the texture and of course there's a lot of symbolism.  I'm not quite sure yet how to finish these two off; I want to keep them matte I think, so I'll apply a few coats of matte polyurethane and we'll call it good.

 This, of course, is the young lady.

 She'll be turning 14 next month and the texture was an important element as I tried to describe the peaks and valleys of adolescence.

This is what she looks like when she thinks no one is watching, which is just what I wanted.  She says she's ok with the painting but hates her nose, and hates that the painting captured the way her nose actually looks.  Cue adolescent valley.  But really, how can you hide the light in her eyes?

The photo doesn't look nearly as pleasant as the actual piece here.  It's actually very vibrant (there are even some metallic paints in there) and it has a pleasing texture.  It's been varnished so it's shiny and bright.  I didn't think that I could deal with the dark space in the bottom right, but in the end I felt like it would be ok to leave it.  This is my first spontaneous, without a photograph, flower painting.

This is called "Winter Reflections".  For the past several years I have really not looked forward to winter.  I painted this on a dreary day and actually found myself reflecting on the the things that I used to love about this time of year.  I grew up in an area where we received a lot of snow and ice and I remember playing well into the night outside.  I love the purples and blues that come out with winter lighting; the shadows are gorgeous and everything gets so quiet at night.  Quiet and crisp.  I'm actually enjoying things a bit more since exploring my thoughts, and this is one of my favorite pieces.

I'm not sure if I'll continue to post pieces that I'm not quite sure about yet; this might be the last.  It's HEAVY because it's painted over something that was painted over that was painted over..and on and on back through the ages.  I do like the texture, I wish the colors were more bold and that it didn't look so "crayon-y" to me.

Again, the picture doesn't do the flourescent colors justice here.  But I shined it up and painted the edges and it's a done deal.

Last but not least: the aspens.  This is a huge piece (for me anyway).  It's 40x70in and is going to be taking a trip to MT as soon as I can figure out how to ship it.  I should have started this post by saying that my wonderful husband got me a a laptop for Christmas!!, which is w am able to sit in my sunny kitchen/ studio and type this post.  I should also mention that we have some wonderful friends who came to visit and played with the kids, cooked, sewed, and cleaned so that I could put some manic energy into this piece.  Also, the husband was VERY patient as he taught me how to use the new laptop. Thank you:)  So, this piece: at first it was looking a little 1990's winter Olympic ski uniform, but as I lost myself in the work some beautiful things happened.  I love love the metallics! This piece was the perfect example of tension that a friend talked with me about.  The doubt that one can complete the task and the knowledge in the back of the mind that it will turn out.  I have done several pieces for this particular client and I love that she knows what she wants and also gives me freedom when I work.

I've found that one of the keys to surviving winter for me, is to have work to do, so it's back to the grind for me:)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Finished and Un-

It's been a busy week over here.  These first two were sold and shipped out.  "City Garden" and "Going The Distance" .  Cake song stuck in my head:)

 I think I'm done with this one.  It was painted with a kitchen spatula and a sponge; fun times.
 Ta Da!  Up in the restaurant these big paintings look like babies.
 My first commission of this kind.  This is in Palmyra New York, and the client wanted a lot of autumn colors peeking through.  I think the reason I was finally able to finish this (I had started and then repainted over three surfaces) is because my friend gave me wings to used my own style.
 This one was fun and it's all varnished and glossy.  Would love to see this on a large scale (this one's 8x10).
 Um, almost finished except that I'll have to repaint the whole thing.  Unless you're a fan of authenticity in which case the real flecks of barn wood that are trapped in the glaze might just be your thing:)  Just kidding, this was a commission as well.
 Done, but a little wild for me.  It's a 6x6 panel Gerratt....
 I'm liking the concept of this one, but the dark areas overwhelm it.  This one will end up being a collaboration.
 I like the colors and drips and movement in this one, but the white areas are out of balance...still working on it.
 I don't mind the colors on this, but the piece needs texture in a bad way.  I might try to fix what I have or I might just texture the whole canvas and start fresh.
 this one is interesting, especially when it's placed different directions; will need some help here.
Ugh.  I was gifted a painting that had already been textured and then I kind of ruined it:(  Paint -over pile for you.  I wanted to end on a positive, so next week I'll upload a painting that I thought was finished, but I'll be adding some metallics to it, should be great:)  Also, I'll start working on a much larger scale...much larger, so look forward to some more finished and unfinished pieces next week.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Combining forces (because I can't spell collaborate without looking it up;))

Big news!!  But you'll have to suffer through some paintings to get there.

 This one DID turn out, and I am really pleased with it.  I like the broken strokes that allow other colors to peek through.
 Uh. I guess you're already to the surprise: I am collaborating with a friend, Zach Lee of Urban Revival Designs, on some artistic endeavors.  Part one: he built these awesome surfaces and frames and then let me paint inside them.  Part two: he sold those paintings to a restaurant that he's designing.  Part three: you'll really have to go through a lot of paintings to get to part three.  Scroll on!
 I really love this mini for its bold colors and lines.
 A quick painting from a photo by Gerratt Reynolds.  I'm going to go back to the photo and work on some more pieces from it.
 Following are nine minis including this one.  I held a quick fb sale and shipped most these babies off.  The proceeds from the sale went to benefit a family in TX that we know of who have a very sick little girl. I really love numbers three and four.

 Ach!!! possibly my favorite painting ever:)  it's called "A Brilliant Way" and I love the colors and lines, really makes me not dread autumn so much.  It's got sentimental value as well and I hope that the recipient is pleased.
 Abstracts; I'm kind of digging blues right now.  I went through years of cadmium red flirtations and I think the blues have me now.
 I also love this one for the bold colors mixed in with a few softer ones...and the blues!
 This was an experiment with liquid acrylics.  I plan on using it to apply my very first coat of resin, with many more to follow.
 I painted over this to get ....
 This.  It's called "Roots and Branches" and it's deeply symbolic.  I slapped some varnish over the top which accentuated the colors.  It's in my kitchen now, a place of honor.
 This was another stab at abstract and I really love everything about it.  including the fact that it was painted on top of a painting I couldn't stand anymore, and on one of the last painting surfaces that my husband made for me 10 years ago.
 I painted over this: "Standing in Line in Santa Fe" to get...
 This.  I wasn't in love at first, I had liked some of the elements of the abstract piece, but I do love the barn and grass colors.  I've added some details and a thick coat of glossy gel medium, so that the colors will be enhanced.  Reference photo by David Gillette.
 This reminds me of an ink blot test.
 And this is cool because it was painted with glass paints.  It's super glossy so I couldn't get a picture without glare.
 "The Ancestors:'Lead Thou Me On'" This represents a dark and dreary place where one is enduring and pressing forward without realizing the help and strength that others are lending.  Surely many helpers and friends/family are seen, and many, many more are unseen.
 Ok. Part three: I'm not a natural with abstract painting.  Zach is.  He's got a great eye.  So when I started this today and he asked me where I was going with it, I thought it was a pretty good question.  He picked it up and sanded, scratched, sketched and stained, and kind of finished it up for me.  Next time I work on it, I plan on brightening it up with some white (his idea).  So the collaboration effort kind of goes like this: he'll build some surfaces and I will too.  I'll start paintings and he'll manipulate them (and I might steal them back for a second to work some more), basically we'll combine efforts on pieces and they will be sold under his design label.  I've never heard of anything like this before, but I think it's a great and fun idea.
 So fiesta-ish
 And I might work on this some more.  I do like the feeling of warmth rising.
And the very last of my husband's surfaces:(  This one I painted, and sanded, and scraped, and sketched, and stained, but it still needs some help.  I do love the colors though.
So my questions are these: abstract painting seems to need to come from the gut.  It takes passion and energy and attention to technique and textures etc. My passions are the Gospel, motherhood, and nature.  How do I create  abstract pieces that will speak to me, that will release pent up passions about the things I love? And how will I ever make the time to create AND stay balanced with my responsibilities? Thoughts are welcome:)