Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Phew!

Ta da—the Thirty-Paintings-in-Thirty-Days Challenge is over! Awesome experience, awesome accomplishment. Loved it.

But now—free time!

Or not.

Wha?

How can I feel so busy and overloaded when today is the first day in January that I haven't painted, posted, commented on a dozen or so blogs, and replied to multiple comments at my own blog?

Oh.

While I was painting, posting, commenting, and replying, evidently there were a number of other tasks I was neglecting.

Today: a few quick minutes in my studio. Grabbed a painting I completed in November 2015.


Turned it on end. Looked for shapes that might interest me. Sketched in some lines.



Did some quick stenciling, painted negative space with neutrals, inked in a few lines.

More soon.

work in progress

Monday, January 30, 2017

Jan 2017 30in30, Day 30

Ta da!

Just finished painting and photographing my final piece for Leslie Saeta's January 2017 Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days Challenge.

AWESOME MONTH of friendship, art, experimentation, learning, candor, sharing, laughter, stretching, and discovery.

Awesome.

Wearing My Glasses with the Trifocal Art Lenses
4x5"; acrylic, ink, torn-tissue collage, and oil pastels on canvas paper
abstract
2017
$45
detail
detail
detail




Saturday, January 28, 2017

Jan 2017 30in30, Day 28

Virginia Cobb writes, in Discovering the Inner Eye, Experiments in Water Media:

I had been working on a painting that seemed to get prettier by the moment. It had so many lovely areas that I was almost too scared to work on it, for fear that I might ruin something. Yet despite these strong areas, the overall effect was weak and uninteresting. Finally, in complete frustration, I scrubbed some India ink over a large area of the paper, blocking out some of the more pleasing areas, 
but creating a problem that demanded I resolve it (emphasis mine)

I had no lovely areas to worry about as I picked up work in progress from a few days ago, but I was so grateful to Cobb for having articulated the idea of creating a problem that demanded I resolve it.

today's starting point

Today's goal in the studio was easy to fulfill: create a problem. Or two.

I slapped a bunch of white torn-tissue collage over most of the painting, forgetting, of course, my recent experience with matte medium. Once again, underlayer colors bled through to the surface. Problem #1!

Then, I got the impulse to make a strip of checkerboard black and white. Why? Couldn't tell ya.

Tomorrow I'll enter my studio knowing my task is resolution.

5x8" work in progress with problems to resolve!



Friday, January 27, 2017

Jan 2017 30in30, Day 27

Following the recent death at age 82 of Apollo Astronaut Eugene Cernan, "last man to walk on the moon," I heard a tribute to him on NPR. What stood out to me was an audio clip of his expressing awe at the tremendously compelling view of planet earth from way out in space. Cernan said he just couldn't stop looking at it, that he kept feeling awe at the strikingly colorful sight of it.

Interestingly, Cernan went through several aeronautical disasters before that experience and awe entered his life.

On a much smaller scale, this little painting went through a few disasters of its own before it found a place in the universe. I've reinterpreted a motif here that has popped up more than once in my art. I think I just can't stop looking in wonder and awe at the world and the life it supports.

That said, the jumping off points for this painting had no discernible connection whatsoever to the painting that eventually emerged. I was not thinking moon walk, or outer space, or planet earth. I was not thinking awe, I was not thinking wonder. I was thinking very muted monochrome, layering techniques, brayers, plastic wrap.

What in the World?
4x5"; acrylic, ink, and wax and oil pastels on canvas paper
abstract
2017
$45

detail
detail













Thursday, January 26, 2017

Jan 2017 30in30, Day 26

As I painted, a drenching January nor'easter blew like crazy outdoors, but no rain fell on my painting parade indoors.

We woke to several chilly dark hours without power before light and heat were restored, after which my day eventually moseyed along to some cozy afternoon time in my studio. The near constant wind outside and the rain pelting on our skylights were background music, white noise. My internal radar was tuned to sunshine.

No Rain Falling on My Painting Parade
4x5"; acrylic, ink, and wax pastels on canvas paper
abstract
2017
$45

detail
detail



Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Jan 2017 30in30, Day 25

Karolyn Alexander and I had a discussion the other day, in the comments section of one of her blog posts, about titling our work.

Please see the working title for today's work in progress.

Ink Applicator that Clogged Up and Got Ink All Over My Hands
So I Went to Wash Up 

and Then Got Black Ink All Over the White Porcelain Sink
Which Led to My Getting Out a Sponge and Ajax
to Scrub Up the Sink and Then
—In for a Penny In for a Pound—
Also Cleaned the Bathroom Floor,
Before I Got Out Some Crayons
to Add Color
to What I Originally Thought
Was Going to Be a Black and White Painting

---
5x8" work in progress

Don't you just love this painting's ability to say so much with so little?

detail from 5x8" work in progress
detail from 5x8" work in progress


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Jan 2017 30in30, Day 24

You know how sometimes you have an idea about where you want to go with a painting, but it doesn't go there?

Well, last night in a dream I worked out where I wanted to go with today's painting, but it didn't go there either!

Here's what I had as my starting point:

work in progress

Here's where it took me:

8x10" work in progress on canvas paper

detail
detail



Monday, January 23, 2017

Jan 2017 30in30, Day 23

Younger sibling to yesterday's piece has a less gritty delivery and a different presence.

A more tranquil temperament.

Mother and baby are doing fine.

Brother and sister are getting along with each other pretty well.

Woo hoo!

Within Hollerin' Distance
4x5"; acrylic, ink, and water soluble crayons on canvas paper
abstract
2017
$45

detail from Within Hollerin' Distance
detail from Within Hollerin' Distance





Sunday, January 22, 2017

Jan 2017 30in30, Day 22

Scritches, scratches, unlikely colors.

Ink pens, tissue paper, oil pastels.

Fat paint marker, plugged-up ink applicator, metal skewer.

Fingernail, finger pad, pencil.

More scritches.

More scratches.

Fixative,

camera,

done.

If the Creek Don't Rise
4x5"; acrylic, ink, pencil, torn-tissue collage,
and oil pastel on canvas paper
abstract
2017
$45

detail from If the Creek Don't Rise
detail from If the Creek Don't Rise
detail from If the Creek Don't Rise




Saturday, January 21, 2017

Jan 2017 30in30, Day 21

I back up again to where I left off a few days ago:

5x8" work in progress

I take my 5x8 to class.

But not to just any class.

This class is held in my studio, and it's run apprentice style—a student-mentor arrangement.

Here's the twist: I'm the only student in a studio full of mentors!

I follow Janet Bradish's lead and look for shapes in the paint I've previously spread on the page.

With Sheila Delgado's Mingus Mountains' making repeat appearances this month, I see Mingus Mountain shapes.

Carol Edan comments that black marker scares her out of her wits; I take her statement as a call to arms.

Laurie Mueller reminds me of the delight of using negative space.

Courtesy of Judy Jacobs, I have the impact of neutrals in mind.

And Ophelia Staton gives me the staying power to just keep showing up. As she says, "Welp, right back here tomorrow!"

'discovered' Mingus Mountain shapes delineated with black paint marker
neutrals in negative space to create Mingus range
detail of work in progress
detail of work in progress

Friday, January 20, 2017

Jan 2017 30in30, Day 20

Today I think, what the heck, I'll knowingly throw some acrylic glazing medium on this other 4x5" piece and let it have its way.

And have its way it does.

from this
to this (ouch)

But then I have my way.

Hiding in Seeds Underground
4x5"; acrylic, ink, oil pastel, and gauze on canvas paper
abstract
2017
$45
closeup from Hiding in Seeds Underground

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Jan 2017 30in30, Day 19

I leave off yesterday with All very unpredictable. All unplanned. All very satisfying.

I chop my 5x8" in two, take one half, and drip some acrylic glazing medium down its length, thinking it will create texture but not add color …

… hahahahahahahahaha!

The glazing medium reacts to what's already on the page, and colors in an underlayer rise up to the surface and dominate. And the medium barely any creates texture. What the heck?

What happened to All very satisfying?

I growl for a moment, but then genuine laughter bubbles up.

It's all just call and response, call and response.

I dive back in. Where will this lead?

It leads to a piece of gauze from some long-forgotten doctor appointment and takes off from there.

today's starting point

colors change in response to glazing medium;
I add gauze

Scratch My Back
4x5"; acrylic, ink, and gauze on canvas paper
abstract
2017
$45

closeup from Scratch My Back

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Jan 2017 30in30, Day 18

You know the crisp satisfying sound of a ping pong ball meeting a rigid surface? I have a light-as-air ping pong ball ricocheting inside my head this morning.

I bounce first to Laurie Bishop Bogue whose January 12th 30 Days Challenge entry is a diptych with lots of texture and subtle touches of color. Hmm, a diptych. And yum, that texture, those subtle colors. Ping!

I bounce next to Kari Melen who started her Day 12 painting with a very light wash of warm gray around the edges. I never think to start with a very light wash of gray. Or any gray. Or even a light wash. Ping!

Then I land lightly on a blog post by Nicholas Wilton in which he explores thoughts about offering up both sides of ourselves—the controlling part as well as an attempt at losing this control, being spontaneous, flying by the seat of our pants. He goes on to say that this offering up of not-in-control is particularly generous, risky on the part of the artist. Ping!

I bounce right into my studio to yesterday's 5x8" work in progress and think I might let the final cut of this piece result in a diptych after I paint today. I mix up titanium white, bright aqua green, dioxazine purple, hooker's green deep hue, and some gloss medium to make me a light gray(ish) wash. I spread it around with a matte knife, my fingers, and a piece of that woodstaining pad I mentioned the other day. Some things happen that are out of my control—bleeding through of yesterday's black paint marker, for example. I respond, trying this and that. Then I grab a piece of mesh dry wall tape and a baby washcloth and use them together to create a subtle grid texture.

All very unpredictable. All unplanned. All very satisfying.

Ping, ping, ping!

January 2017 30in30 Challenge, Day 18
5x8"; acrylic and ink on canvas paper
abstract
2017

work in progress

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Jan 2017 30in30, Day 17

Work in progress = push and drag a broad-tipped black paint marker around my paper, scrape bright aqua green acrylic and white gesso onto the page with an expired credit card.

January 2017 30in30 Challenge, Day 17
8x10"; acrylic and ink on canvas paper
abstract
2017

work in progress

Monday, January 16, 2017

Jan 2017 30in30, Day 16

OK, rewind almost back to the beginning, to January 2nd.

For two weeks I've been working on cut-ups from the bottom half of the 16x20" start I painted on January 1. Now I've picked up the top half and will begin journeying with it.

Here's the top half as I left it a fortnight ago:


Today, I get out a small 50¢ "oops!" can of Home Depot interior house paint, a Starbucks oatmeal spoon, a metal stylus, and a wallpaper paste brush from Aubuchon Hardware and make myself a little mess to use as a starting point for tomorrow's playtime in my studio.

January 2017 30in30 Challenge, Day 16
10x16"; acrylic and ink on canvas paper
abstract
2017

work in progress


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Jan 2017 30in30, Day 15

I do love discovering an unplanned composition.

Since January first, I've painted and cut and painted and cut and painted and cut, and today I work on another 4x5" piece that greets me with layers of acrylic, ink, torn-tissue collage, and torn hand-painted collage. Where will I go with it? Where will it take me?

Yesterday I see the transcript of an interview Brené Brown had with artist Nicholas Wilton (I've followed both with no prior awareness that they had a connection!) and this bit resonates:

There just seems to be so much dizzying beauty and stupendous design that exists in nature that it just makes me want to, in a small way, try my hand in making something too. However, none make me want to paint these actual things but they do make me want to taste again some small miniscule aspect of what I had seen or more importantly what I felt. Can I make a painting feel, and that is the operative word, like the spiral of a perfect white shell?

I also rediscover Carol Nelson, to whom I was first directed when I got absorbed in painting abstractions of rocks.

And now, look at this fun piece, finished on the front steps in warm warm January-thaw sunshine!

Salt of the Earth
4x5"; acrylic, ink, torn-tissue and hand-painted collage,
and oil pastels on canvas paper
abstract
2017
$45




Saturday, January 14, 2017

Jan 2017 30in30, Day 14

I cut yesterday's piece in half.

My pastels call out to me.

She Sells Sea Shells
4x5"; acrylic, ink, torn-tissue and hand-painted collage,
and pastels on canvas paper
abstract
2017
$45

Friday, January 13, 2017

Jan 2017 30in30, Day 13

I breathe into simplicity again today.

I take such pleasure in sifting through bunches of my hand-painted collage papers, selecting a few, tearing irregular shapes, and then affixing them on a start that has circulated through to my easel a few times since the beginning of January.

Here's what it looks like with today's additions:

January 2017 30in30 Challenge, Day 13
5x8"; acrylic, ink, torn-tissue and hand-painted collage on canvas paper
abstract
2017

work in progress