Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Short Walk

Went to a local open-studios event on Saturday. Talked with a guy whose art he calls painterly abstraction. Asked tons of questions.

His process? Like going for a walk, he said, I don't think about my feet—they just keep moving while my thoughts keep moving.

I took a short walk with paintbrush in hand Sunday.  Caught a glimpse of the Jonesport barn en route.

What in Barnation!
6x6", acrylic on gessobord
abstract
2015
[not for sale]

Monday, June 29, 2015

Scotch™ Magic®

One of my favorite parts of painting on watercolor paper is pulling the tape off at the end.

No matter how good or bad a painting looks with tape holding it in place, it always looks better once the tape yields to a clean, crisp border.

Magic!

That Darn Barn!
3.5x5", acrylic on 4.5x6" watercolor paper folded card
architecture
2105
$18

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Ongoing Investigation

Conducted an out-of-control experiment in my studio yesterday with one constant—the barn—and multiple competing variables:

• canvas instead of gessobord
• close-up view instead of farther back
• different palette of colors
• a reference photo with appealing brushstrokes (the likes of which never found expression in my painting).

Then I put a brush in my hand and wondered with it.

Barn Again
6x6", acrylic on canvas
architecture
2015
$36


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Illiteral

Does an abstract painting have a light source and shadows?

Don't know.

How do I paint the feeling of what I see with my eyes?

Don't know.

How do I create a focal point?

Don't know.

For now.

Secrets of a Bayside Barn
6x6", acrylic on gessobord
abstract
2015
$36

Friday, June 26, 2015

Foot off the Brake

What if that barn—the one nestled in a little hollow overlooking Englishman Bay in Jonesport—said, two days ago, Just kidding about slowing down.  What kinda juice ya got?

What if I went for just a quick impression? Maybe only 30 big ol' brushstrokes—or, at least fewer than 1000?

What if I had no idea how to have no idea?

Well … I'd put paint on gessobord and see what I discovered.

Same as every other day.

Gosh Barn It!
6x6, acrylic on gessobord
architecture
2015
$36



Thursday, June 25, 2015

Messing About

Isn't there a line in The Wind in the Willows about nothing's being half so much worth doing as messing about in boats?

… or is it messing about in paints?

I messed about yesterday. Without a care in the world. Three reference photos of pears on my laptop. Ideas in my head. Brush in my hand. Paints on my palette. Summer air dancing through the open window. Sunshine lighting the room.

If I hadn't jumped into doing a painting a day I would never have experimented nor played nor messed so freely, if at all.

I think I would never have started this painting—this painting which looks nothing like what I had in mind when I started.

I would have missed the fun of messing about with pear juice dripping down my chin.

Good Morning!
6x6", acrylic on gessobord
still life
2015
$36


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

In and Out the Window

Some days I paint with large loose strokes, some days I fuss with details. In and out the window, I tell ya.

I started this painting making quick, impulsive choices. Then, that barn—a barn nestled in a little hollow overlooking Englishman Bay in Jonesport—asked me to slow down a little. So I did.

All such an adventure, all so engaging. All part of a much bigger picture than any one painting.

Evening Barn
6x6", acrylic on gessobord
architecture
2015
$36

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Switched Gears

Switched gears and painted on stretched canvas today, gallery wrap. Noticed that I felt a little nervous after six weeks of gessobord and watercolor paper. Noticed that I relaxed as soon as I started painting.

All I want to do today is paint.

From Whence Cometh
5x7", acrylic on canvas
landscape
2015
SOLD

1.5" gallery wrap detail



Monday, June 22, 2015

More Bookmarks!

Wanted to play with brushstrokes again. Just brushstrokes.

Grabbed watercolor paper and taped a few strips in place.

Discovery:  brushstrokes captivate me not solely because of their texture and movement but also because of their interplay and juxtaposition with color, value, edges, and composition.

So … I didn't stick to just brushstrokes.

And now, more bookmarks!  Wonder what books they'll mark.


Paper Prayer 6
2x6", acrylic on watercolor paper
2015
[not for sale]

Paper Prayer 7
2x6", acrylic on watercolor paper
2015
[not for sale]

Paper Prayer 8
2x6", acrylic on watercolor paper
2015
[not for sale]






Sunday, June 21, 2015

Nothing Better

A few weeks ago I wanted to use up paints in my stay-wet palette and not paint any thing, so I painted nothing on scraps of watercolor paper.

So satisfying!

I love having just the right bookmark when I read.




Saturday, June 20, 2015

On a Tear

A torn-paper landscape on display at the Peabody Memorial Library in Jonesport grabbed me. Loved the basic torn shapes, the gift of the paper's playful refusal to blend seamlessly. Could I translate that collage effect into acrylics?

Not so much, as it turned out. Not this time.

But I could play with similar colors and impressionism.

Brightened my day!

Lighten Up
5x7", acrylic on gessobord
seascape
2015
$35

Friday, June 19, 2015

Starting with Nothing

Big, bold, loose brush strokes.  That's what I've been working on for three days, using an apple as a random object to paint because I wanted a shape and edges to play with.

Today I started from more of a place of no-thing.  I thought about colors and value first, imagined a light source, dialed my object back to an apple-ish shape.  Left apple colors behind to help me leave my left hemisphere behind.

Used a new brush, a Princeton 12 Bright.

Totally fun.  Remembered to stop!

Appletizing
6x6", acrylic on gessobord
still life
2015
$36

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sinking

You heard me yesterday, right? I played with brush strokes and said, "Want to do it again and stop sooner."

Do it again? √

Stop sooner? Not so much.

Playing Hard
6x6", acrylic on gessobord
still life
$36

bathtime!

all scrubbed up and ready to play again

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Brushing Up

Winsor & Newton Phthalo Blue Red Shade, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Lemon Yellow. Blick Titanium White.

#8 Princeton Bright brush.

A  torn-paper collage reference photo to spark me.  Never referenced it.

Wanted to play with simple brush strokes.

Want to do it again and stop sooner.

Crisp
6x6", acrylic on gessobord
still life
2015
$36

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Taking the Plunge

On the first anniversary of taking up painting, I took a deep breath, dove impulsively into the practice of doing a painting a day, and started a blog. 

For nearly four weeks it has been my grand fun to post daily and tap out a message to my followers.


Oh. Wait.  


I don't have any followers.


Today's the day. I'm taking the plunge.


Please join me!


---


Used the same reference photo as yesterday but—look!


Zoomed in closer. Applied red primer instead of yellow ochre. Started with flower blossoms, not background. Created undefined purple backdrop rather than weathered board-and-batten building. Used thicker paint. Different brush strokes. A touch of scumbling.


Now Playing
5x7", acrylic on gessobord
floral
2015
$35






Monday, June 15, 2015

Stop and Go Traffic

My attention to my surroundings has increased exponentially now that I am doing a painting a day. When I head out in the car, even for the closest destination, I have to add considerable time to any travel estimate to account for my new method of navigating.

Stop for a photo here. 

Go. 

Wait, stop again there. Click.

Go.

Stop.

Go.

Here's one place I stopped yesterday.

Roadside Popsicle Stand
5x7", acrylic on gessobord
floral
$35

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Likin' Lichen

I'm liking gessobord again.  Trying different techniques, figuring out how paints behave on it.

While away we took advantage of the extreme tides and hiked out to a little island in Englishman Bay that's accessible by foot at lowest ebb.  Much of the rock there is covered with lichen, some of which dazzles like sunshine.

Rock-Solid Sunshine
6x6", acrylic on gessobord
nature
2015
$36

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Wanderlust

Set up my studio one last time in our vacation cottage at about 500a today, shortly before we headed home. How could I be other than gestural and impressionistic in my final few wild minutes?

Grabbed a photo reference.

Told my left hemisphere to take a hike.

Used only my 1 1/2" brush.

I have traveled to so many new places this week.

Wanderlust
6x6", gessobord
abstract
2015
$36





Friday, June 12, 2015

Loose as a Goose!

Permanent Alizarin Crimson
Lemon Yellow
Ultramarine Blue
Titanium White
Payne's Gray

1 1/2" Princeton Flat
#6 Silver Bristol Bright

I used the 1 1/2" brush for everything but the house.  A 1 1/2" brush!

Quick, bold, and LOOSE!  I did it!

Evening Walk, Kelley Point Road
6x6", acrylic on artist panel
landscape
2015
$36

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Loosely Speaking

I'm getting spoiled, painting first thing in the morning on vacation. Exercising at the gym?—not the same.

Today I painted on a canvas-texture artist panel for the first time in weeks. I like the surface.

Painting typically and enjoyably holds a measure of tension for me.  As it did today. That church steeple.

I painted it more loosely and gesturally than I would have a year ago. But still.

I wonder how others might paint looser renderings. I'm going to poke around on line.

The trees, the shrubs, the sky? Quick, loose, fun. I want more of that.

Our Song Shall Rise
6x6", acrylic on artist panel
architecture
2015
SOLD
enlarged detail
quick, loose, fun; canvas texture


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Try Some Rhizomes

As we drove into the Jonesport area last Friday seeing barren after barren overlaid with reddish groundcover, Dave said, Blueberries. I said, No way

Alright, alright, I admit I said it dismissively but guess what? The groundcover we saw was indeed blueberries. I had to eat humble pie (no blueberry pie, sadly)!

When folks refer to blueberries as low-bush, they aren't just whistling Dixie when they say low, and I have no idea what makes them say bush.  We're talking groundcover no more than a few inches high. 

Initially established from seed, the resulting plants send out underground stems called rhizomes, spreading to cover large open areas. Vast wild blueberry barrens are endemic to the foggy coastal regions of Down East Maine and have been tended since the last ice age. Currently, Maine is the largest producer of wild blueberries in the world.  

Too bad we're vacationing here in early June and not during picking season.


Blueberry Fields Forever
6x6", acrylic on gessobord
landscape
2015
$36





Wish You Were Here

I've never painted my own postcards on vacation before but, day by day, mementos of this holiday are lining up on the serendipitous gallery shelf of a window frame in our rental. Very pleasing.

And a good thing, too, because I haven't found any art galleries whatsoever in the Jonesport area.

impromptu gallery








Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Monday Morning Frame-Up

Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote in Gift from the Sea that " … it is only framed in space that beauty blooms."  When I watched the sun rise—early! 445a!—over Englishman Bay yesterday morning I thought, yup.

The windows in the glass-fronted home where we're vacationing framed the scene, making it way more interesting to my eye than the unobstructed view outdoors from the deck.  Go figure.

I used gessobord again but the surface was different from the panels I've used the past three days. It had a matte rather than gloss surface and my paints felt more like poster paints than artist quality acrylics.

I had to figure out how to represent the walls and window frames that appeared black to my eye as I watched the sun rise, even though they are in fact white. I decided to mix Hooker Green and Payne's Gray. I wonder what effect going lighter would yield.

I've now perched my painting on one of the window frames it depicts, with the same geography behind it, although it's a day later, midafternoon, and raining as I write.  Nonetheless, the picture within the picture tickles my fancy!

Jonesport Geometry
5x7", acrylic on gessobord
seascape
2015
$35

Monday, June 8, 2015

Falling Down on the Slopes

Decades ago as a young adult I took a beginner's ski lesson on a bunny hill in New Hampshire. I never once fell down. I also didn't ski again the next day. Or ever.

Having invited painting into my life this past year I've banged myself up but good, falling every which way. Couldn't be enjoying myself more!

Today I navigated the moguls of a reference photo with minimal shadow, paints that dried darker than I wanted, and slippery gessobord—some rough terrain. However, watching my painting pop to life when I added the background tree, power wire, and texture on the walls was like sending up a spray of snow at the end of an invigorating run.

I got so into flow that it wasn't until I went to put away my makeshift studio that I realized I'd only used one brush and whatever paints happened to be on my stay-wet palette.

Mason Bay Barns
6x6", acrylic on gessobord
architecture
2015
$36



Sunday, June 7, 2015

Like Haiku

A painting a day
contains me, frees me:  dive in,
create, stop, move on.

---

After dinner yesterday we explored a snippet of coastline in our vacation neighborhood and walked in the evening's temperate breezes.

After breakfast today I explored the slipperiness of gessobord and the intrusion of sunlight's dancing bold as brass through our windows in all sorts of ways not conducive to painting. I noticed my resistance and frustration more than once.

I painted, I stopped, I let go. Tomorrow I'll dive in again.

These coastal waters of Maine are cold in June.

Just sayin'.

Exploring
6x6", acrylic on gessobord
seascape
2015
$36




Saturday, June 6, 2015

New, New, New

I'm on vacation where I devised a little put-up-take-down space at a kitchen island.

I'm navigating how to paint when every element of my daily routine is on holiday. I opted for early morning today—so much light here in Washington County at 645a!

I ordered a bunch of panels before traveling and used gessobord for the first time in my makeshift downeast studio.

What wasn't new was the interplay of tension, meditation, problem solving, flow, sensory pleasure, frustration, satisfaction, surprise, and gratitude.

First Morning in Jonesport
6x6", acrylic on gessobord
seascape
2015
$36

Friday, June 5, 2015

Duking It Out

My mind and hand often don't see eye to eye. Like siblings, they love each other fiercely but seem to spend quite a bit of time squabbling with each other.

Yesterday they were arguing about how to paint a set of kitchen measuring cups.

In the end, my mind came away with the shiner.

---

I don't currently have good conditions for setting up a still life, nor do I have much experience. I painted Taking Measure from a photo shot in my kitchen under multiple ceiling spotlights. I am posting my work-in-progress; I wasn't able to get many of the complex overlapping shadows in place before other commitments forced me out of my studio. I will return to this study to finish up at least a rough draft.  I might also paint it from scratch again.

Taking Measure of Each Other Under the Lights
6x6", acrylic on canvas paper
still life
2015
$36


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Paper Prayers

This week I've struggled to find balance. I've felt scattered and stressed.

Yesterday morning, however, I experienced a moment of grace when I realized I could choose to do "background" painting if I wanted—maybe a wall, or a sky.

No more than that.

I could paint nothing. No thing.

In my studio later I taped five scraps of watercolor paper to a flat surface, opened my stay-wet palette, and used the paints I found there. I tried out a new brush. I used a painting knife. I painted on dry. I painted on a coat of wet gloss medium.

Now I have five new bookmarks to hold my place in all the books I'll read on vacation.

Paper Prayer 1
2x6", acrylic on watercolor paper
abstract
2015
[not for sale]

Paper Prayer 2
2x6", acrylic on watercolor paper
abstract
2015
[not for sale]

Paper Prayer 3
2x6", acrylic on watercolor paper
abstract
2105
[not for sale]

Paper Prayer 4
2x6", acrylic on watercolor paper
abstract
2015
[not for sale]

Paper Prayer 5
2x6", acrylic on watercolor paper
abstract
2015
[not for sale]








Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Competition

One of my favorite vacation pastimes is reading to my heart's content.  Now, though, I have painting to consider in my vacation mix.  I've borrowed over a dozen books from my local library, and new painting supplies arrived by mail yesterday.  How's a girl to fit it all in?

I'll let you know after my upcoming Down East vacation week.

As for today, I combined both pleasures quite successfully in my studio.

Vacation Plans Booked
6x6", acrylic on watercolor paper
still life
2015
$36

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Sore Muscles

I feel a little frantic.

A new idea every day?  A new idea every day and an eye open for composition and value and limited palette?

Really?

A little frantic, I tell you.

But appreciating the sore muscles coming from stretching way past comfort to my personal edges. Little time to think.  Little time to fuss.

Cuppa, Buncha
6x6", acrylic on watercolor paper
still life
2015
$36

Monday, June 1, 2015

New App … lication of Paint

Wow.  Totally different painting experience today.  

When I wake in the night, which happens frequently of late, I run through ideas that might answer painting questions and problems.  Not a bad way at all to be awake in the night, I've discovered. 

Last night:  how to paint more loosely, more freely?  how to get more glide and less tooth with my existing supplies?  how to be less literal, more impressionistic?

In my studio in the light of day, I cut a square of watercolor paper and painted it with soft gel gloss medium.  Once it dried I pushed and scraped paint onto the paper using a knife. Then I went in with a brush to move and blend.  I had available a snapshot of a poppy that opened in Dave's garden yesterday but mostly I went by feel.

Learned a bunch.  Had fun.  Felt very satisfied.

studio

Pushy, Pushy
6x6", acrylic on watercolor
floral
2015
$36