Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Namaste

Having a yoga practice helps me bow to myself when I paint, helps me tap the divine spark located in my heart chakra.

Gathered up a little prana today and finished the piece I worked on yesterday, part of my inquiry into painting negative space. I think this piece is the seventh in my series.

---

Before, during, after:

from this 8x10" start,



to this 4x5" quadrant, 




to this coverup, 




to a completed painting.

Holding Vrksasana, Finding My Edge
4x5"; acrylic, ink, collage, and pastels on paper
abstract
2017
$25

Monday, September 18, 2017

Mise en Place

You know the term mise en place, the French culinary phrase that means 'put in place' or 'everything in its place'?

Well, everything is in a place in my studio today, but it certainly isn't in its place.

Dave is installing a new door in an old house. Yup, our old house. Yup, my studio. Nothing about the undertaking is straightforward. There are tools, nails, wood shavings, installation instructions, work gloves, a whisk broom, and hardware scattered in the vicinity of the door.

I am short on time and painting quickly this afternoon. My mess includes matte medium, a tooling stylus, paintbrushes, tubes of paint, a wet rag, scraps of torn paper, and a paint palette, each of which gets put down with no thought as I reach for the next item to move forward the creative idea of the moment.

Where door installation ends and painting begins? Hard to tell, hard to tell.

Great fun, though.

Tomorrow I will mise a few finishing touches en place in this painting and call it complete.

Oh, and maybe set my studio to rights, too.

work in progress
4x5"

Friday, September 15, 2017

Shaping Up

I went to my studio with a sense that free canvas #1 might be in the market for some left brain refinement.

And my left brain did get a little studio time today.

But not as much as expected.

Something in me was still hankering to go bold, go experimental, go exploratory.

I'm all shaped up for tomorrow's adventures.

free canvas #1
16x20"
work in progress



Thursday, September 14, 2017

An Embarrassment of Riches

Late summer sunshine,

radiant warm weather,

cloudless azure skies,

terrific tutorial students at my back door,

two engaging editing jobs in my lap,

wedding details' falling into place,

a beach picnic,

day's-end campfires night after night,

three good books in progress,

a painting knife in my hand,

and gratitude every which way.

free canvas #1
16x20"
work in progress
detail
detail





Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A River Runs Through It

Never saw A River Runs Through It but the title came to mind this afternoon as I painted.

Looked up the IMDb single-sentence summary of the movie:

A story about two sons of a stern minister—one reserved, one rebellious—growing up in rural Montana while devoted to fly fishing.

Yeah, something like that going on here today with this painting!

free canvas #1
16x20"
work in progress
detail
detail

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Left Foot Left Foot

Years ago at Takodah one of the guys working during family camp used to do a great vocal routine with a few other staff members called Left Foot Left Foot.

Person one chanted:

Left foot, left foot 
Left foot, left foot 
Left foot, left foot 
(long pause) 
Left foot, left foot 
Left foot, left foot 
Left foot, left foot

and then person two punctuated that sequence by adding

Right right foot.

The routine went on from there, with entertaining repetitions and additions as well as a terrific, catchy beat.

That's the background ditty playing through my mind as I work on this painting, except the words transpose to

Left brain, left brain
Left brain, left brain 
Left brain, left brain 
(long pause) 
Left brain, left brain 
Left brain, left brain 
Left brain, left brain

Right right brain!

I've given my more logical, analytical, and objective left brain instructions to hang out other than in my studio, and I'm encouraging my more intuitive, thoughtful, and subjective right brain to play to her heart's content without supervision.

Left brain forgets periodically, showing up and interrupting, but I send her off again.

free canvas #1
16x20"
work in progress
detail
detail
detail

 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Another Day of Bigger

As I head to my studio, I notice what impels me today—a day when my focus is scattered and my studio time will be short; what calls to me is another day of bigger, another day of impulsive rather than measured.

So I respond.

free canvas #1
16x20"
work in progress

detail
detail


Friday, September 8, 2017

Counter Stretch

I have worked on a small scale with a bunch of detail and a heap of deliberation for several days. Fun, engaging work that stretched me as an artist. Very satisfying.

But, whew, did I ever need a counter stretch today.

Pulled out that free 16x20" canvas again and followed whatever impulses made themselves known—slapped on some wrinkly orange collage paper, painted some mars black, veiled some of the black with titanium white, and scribbled with Krink white ink. Down and dirty, maybe 15 minutes total.

Felt terrific!

free canvas #1
16x20"
work in progress

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Grand Fun of Asking Questions

I prepared colorful painting starts to take to camp with me a few weeks ago, along with an inquiry: What does it mean to paint negative space?

The inquiry has become the ongoing and limitless grand fun of asking questions:

• what happens if I do this?
• what next?
• how will I fix this mess?
• what is this piece still missing?
• how will I create contrast?
• it took me how long to go from coverup to completed (4x5"!) painting???

Today I finished the 6th in my series. If you look carefully in the lefthand towel hanging on the line, you'll find the partially obscured word camp.

---

Before, during, after:

from this 8x10" start,



to this 4x5" quadrant,



to this coverup,



to a completed painting.

When I Had the Washing Hung Out, I Took a Nap
4x5"; acrylic, pencils, ink, collage, and pastels on paper,
mounted on manila stock
abstract
2017
$25

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Scratching a Living Out of the Earth

The way I've been painting of late feels like scratching a living out of the earth.

I stake a claim and then give myself over to the pure concentrated wholehearted all-in satisfying rhythms of making shelter, working the ground to yield nourishment, pausing every now and then to take long deep drinks of cold water, and sleeping like the earth itself at night.

---

Before, during, after:

from this 8x10" start,



to this 4x5" quadrant,



to this coverup,



to a completed painting.

A Simplicity of Sun and Earth and Lake and Pine
4x5"; acrylic, ink, china marker, collage, and pastels on paper
abstract
2017

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Geologic Gestures

The natural world deposits layers, scrapes topsoil away, presses down sediment, tosses pebbles to the wind, grows giants up out of the earth, moves mountains, whispers clouds, offers insights into beyond, teaches me how to paint.

The Great Consoling Immensity of the World
4x5", acrylic, collage, ink, pencil, and pastels on paper
abstract
2017

Monday, September 4, 2017

Uncle Dotty

In the early stages of acquiring language, and relationship terminology in particular, my nephew Bud referred to all aunts and uncles as uncles, and I became Uncle Dotty.

Awesome!

I'm still Uncle Dotty to my now adult nephews Bud and younger brother Stuart.

Awesome!

They recently flew to the east coast from Colorado and Ohio respectively and popped in for a brief visit which included their being in the car with me as I lived up to the quirkiness of my name by screeching to a halt to investigate a bunch of canvases set outside in a neighbor's yard with a cardboard sign—FREE.

The canvases were already painted, and ugly.

PERFECT.

Bud and Stuart helped me load up the car.

I have no attachment whatsoever to what's on those canvases.

What could be better for practicing veiling and layering and obscuring and revealing and transforming?

Pulled one out and started playing today.

free canvas #1
16x20"
work in progress




Friday, September 1, 2017

Apps

I never know if or when an app will come into play with any given painting.

By app I mean application of something I practiced in a class lesson, or learned in a book, or noticed in someone else's art.

Today I 'downloaded' all sorts of 'apps' and pressed them into service:

• the contrast app
• the variety app
• the complementary colors app
• the transparency/opacity app
• the lines app
• the veiling app
• the neutrals app
• the negative space app, and
• the sunny, blue-skied, late summer day app.

Before, during, after:

from this 8x10" start,



to this 4x5" quadrant,



to this coverup,



to a completed painting.

Those Hours Spent in the Resplendent Light of the Outer Orchard
4x5"; acrylic, ink, pencil, and soluble pastels on paper,
mounted on manila stock
abstract
2017
sold