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:)

Friday, October 16, 2015


 I'm reading a new book and it's by the artist Rolina Van Vliet.  It's chalk full of great information on abstract painting, which I've learned I've never really done before.  I am a figurative painter because each of my pieces is based off of nameable, concrete subjects.  I've been trying to move away from that a bit and delve into complete abstraction, but more on that later.

 This is the first piece I ever painted.  It is 3ft by 3ft and I had named it "Anna".  We went home for a quick visit last weekend and it was fun to go through my parents' house and see how my style has changed over the years.  I had been drawing ever since I could remember, but was unable to paint until I was 15 years old and then THIS happened.  Over the next two years I felt so free to experiment.  the school paid for my supplies and I really felt no restrictions, and so I produced a lot of pieces, some of which I really still love. I was surrounded by art-loving friends:), and my mom has amassed a small gallery of my work (and one of my sister's:)).
 This is my style.  I had painted this about a month ago and just wasn't pleased with the outcome.  I hate staring at pieces and not knowing how to fix or finish them  I need to be more patient.  I added a thick layer of gloss gel and painted with liquid acrylics.  The effect that it creates for me is a sense of movement. It also adds vibrancy that I really love.
 I had originally painted this about 11 yrs ago, during a pretty dark time.  The piece looked totally different and a lot of people said that it looked scary to them.  I decided to give it one last chance and to apply some of the abstraction techniques I was studying.  I'm really pleased with the result and have named it "Origins". + There's something very satisfying about going "back in time" through years of experiences, and then changing the outcome, all with a few brush strokes.+
 My first true abstract, although I have to mention that I hate the harsh way that I chose to sign it...kind of ruins it for me.  I had fun working on this piece and like the colors I chose and um, the ABUNDANT PAINT SCRAPING!!!!!:)  I like that it has a feeling of movement.
 My second.  Not a huge fan of this (nice that it's small:)), but I think I will employ the technique again later.
 I might have to scrap this one for good.  I painted and re-painted and it's just not coming together for me.  It's from a beautiful photograph by Nathan Gillette and I will just start over again with a new canvas.  Holla if this one speaks to you, otherwise it'll meet it's end this week.
I am really excited about this one.  My two youngest and I went mule riding for the first time today.  It was a gorgeous day and we have wonderful friends.  This start is from a photograph of Terry from a few years ago.  Don't get too excited though because it might not turn out, then again it just might:) I LOVE the colors and plan to leave it loose.  I want to capture my impressions not just the photograph.
And that's it.  Still working on zentangles when I can't sleep, but I wish I already knew what I was doing.  Developing patients is so frustrating!:)  I'm also playing around with some Pebeo glass paints, but have nothing to show yet.  The moral of this post is: I like figurative painting; it's what I do.  The End.

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Secret Life of the Mom/Painter

Here's what happens when: two older kids have oral surgery, one middle kid goes to his first scout camp (thank you!!! to those who helped), one toddler gets sick, oneself gets sick, and another toddler likes to play with scissors, knives, and toxic chemicals--you take a week off from the artist gig and get your full-time mommy hat back on.
Thankfully, everyone is now well which led to a week full of painting and other artsy endeavors.

 I feel like I'm getting back into my groove,  This is and 8x10 on canvas, from a photograph by Joe VanDeGraff.  I started out paying painful attention to detail and then when it started to not feel fun anymore, I layered it with glossy gel medium and added strokes of liquid acrylics.  My goal, after all, is to use photos for reference only and to focus on capturing a mood or impression; give my interpretation.  This is for my red haired friend Julie P. if she'll have it:)  She's always so supportive of my tulip projects:)

 This piece is one of my favorites for its message.  The topmost image is the completed piece, but I'm a little conflicted as I kind of prefer the earlier version, which is on the bottom.  Please feel free to leave thoughts etc. on the blog or fb.  This is titled "Mending Broken Fences" and it is 6x6 on gessobord.  I wanted it to be a simple piece, "So simple, it's kind of hard" says my friend.  The idea is that repenting and forgiving are both simple principles, but it takes humility to be one who steps over the fence and decides that it doesn't really matter who is right and gets to work on repairing. The red symbolizes that the process can be painful, but the over-all simplicity of the piece says "it's so worth it!"
 6x6 gessobord  My very favorite part of this piece is the topmost left hand corner where all of the layers show through.  I'm trying to get my abstract on and daily painting gives me the opportunity to experiment with colors and techniques before I apply them to a bigger piece.
 This is another favorite.  6x6 on gessobord, from a very non-abstract barn photograph by David Gillette:)  No title for it yet (I may or may not have done most of these pieces in one day--today in fact.
 6x6 gessobord.  I might forever be done with canvas.  I love this surface so much!  This was a very fun and strangely relaxing piece.  It's so filled with movement and yet creating it was almost like taking a much needed rest or going for a long long run.  Loved it.

 This is another where I feel conflicted. The top is the "finished" piece, but I prefer the open simplicity of the original.  I feel that by adding so many shadows in I took away from the clean beauty of the leaves and the light.  One thing I love about acrylics; nothing is ever permanent.  Except when it is, and then I throw it away:)
Lastly, my sweet little Zentangle.  I am just barely reading about this technique, but I really enjoy it and look forward to learning more and making more complicated tangles.  These are done on 3 1/2x3 1/2 ich tiles, so they are really tiny and perfect for getting into the zone.

P.S. Every piece that I show (unless I indicate otherwise, is for sale, so if you are ever interested just contact me and we can get the ball rolling:)