Monday, August 9, 2010

An infrequent Visitor....

I return here....head hanging....with swirling thoughts on approaches and influences. I am reminded and surprised about how all things connect.
I am on a bit of a hiatus as I am recuperating from knee surgery. So I am not painting really....just thinking about it.
Knowing that the hiatus was coming and knowing that my group wanted to do a show themed around local produce I created this painting. I was thinking about former influences when I decided to include the DEL MONTE logo. My background is in graphics, which was called ADVERTISING AND ILLUSTRATION when I was in college. It required actually rendering type and logos, which I gained some facility towards and used to work them into my paintings.
Maybe it was a nostalgic stroll....? It did, however, include the boldness that I assigned for myself after the last painting.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Approaches and Influences

I crawl back to the keyboard after doing battle with demons. They are the creative sentinels of the ART GODS. They are the ones that block your entry if the ART GODS deems your offering too puny or too infrequently offered to consider.
I had not been offering watercolor in some time, as I have mentioned and I noticed a few things upon returning to the medium (besides the fact that I was doing it BADLY)
I noticed that my approach to watercolor was now influenced by how I had been approaching oil and pastel. Both of those require a kind of "blocking in" of subjects matter and building from there. Watercolor requires a purer approach. One needs a clear vision of where one is going as the medium is not tolerant to reworkings. Mostly, one has to get it "RIGHT" (what ever THAT means) the first time or the paper deadens.
This is the violets painting that I mentioned a bit ago. I started to get the hang of how to do it again but I am not really happy with the strength of it. SO. This weeks challenge? Find my balls! I am almost ready for those nasty demons now...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Under Seige!

Perhaps I should call this "Mission Creep". We had a little problem with our kitchen floor about 2 months ago....NO problem, we think. Call the tile guy and fix it. Well, the tile guys comes ( after a week and a half of calling different people) and informs us that ALL of tile has to be replaced. *sigh* That somehow lead to new cabinets and new counter tops and re-painting the walls and new curtains and, and, AND!!!!! So every day for years now ( Could it really have been only 2 months???????! I think maybe in dog years), I have a group of guys in my home. doing stuff!!! While I AM grateful, don't get me wrong! I am just starting to wear a bit around the edges. I think I may be Murphy Brown with my own crew of Eldon's. Dear God, no. please let it end and end well. amen.
Ok. We have a little pastel beach. The scene is from Topsail, NC. I am still working towards an art show but these renovations have really caused trouble with my painting schedule. It will be fine tho. As they say, "This too shall pass". .....they just never say when.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spilled Milk

They say you should not cry over spilled milk. Giving that I am more than a tad lactose intolerant, I tend to agree. My question is, "that does that advise extend to coffee?" What if the coffee is extra bold, extra delicious Starbucks Sumatra coffee with just THE right amount of 1/2 & 1/2 and a magical amount of sugar? Still no crying? Well, as I wiped this liquid libation of the GODS off of my floor, I must admit to shedding a just a few tears...
I am posting the other sky that I did actually from the same scene. It was near the end of the day and the sun was going down. It created such spectacular streaks of orange across the sky that I felt the scene was all for me!!!! I had to stop and do a few quick sketches and to take a couple of quick photos.
This one is a small and very rectangular pastel while the other was acrylic and while still a rectangle, not as extremely so.
Anyway, I am on my way up to the attic to paint. I am working on a boat scene that I started a bit ago but got to a sticking point that I could not see past. I think I MAY see it now. That, remains to be seen! *groan* sorry. Could not help it!!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bliss and Joy!!

I realize that I am very lucky in that I do not sweat the small stuff very long. I do what I can and if it is not enough today , I am sure it will be tomorrow. I take pleasure in simple things like the afore mentioned daisies and the dance of the water and art in the clouds! Good Stuff, clouds! I do sketches of them often though I seldom do a completed painting of them.
This is a variation of a sky that I saw near Wilmington a few weeks ago. This one is painted with acrylics. I have done a variation of the same thought in a small pastel painting. They look completely different even though the "inspiration," if you will, was the same for both. This image making is GOOD stuff and I am glad to be a part of it!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Question of Significance.....

So I am in my studio in the attic of our house. Sweating bullets. I am working on the watercolor painting that I mentioned, but since the Watercolor GODS still are not speaking to me, this is slooow going. I am at in between spots with a couple abstract acrylics and my question is, "now what?" I look through sketches for what I had tentative thoughts about and came across a few sketches of sea gulls.
We live near the coast so these beach birds abound! I frequently collect old cereal and chips and go out to feed them. While doing this I often sketch and photograph the the birds. I marvel at how they just seem to HANG in the air and think, "This is surely what sparked the Wright brothers!" So I sketch and photograph them and go on with my life. So now. In the studio and in between things, I think. "I know!!!!" I will do one of the sea gull sketches in a decent size pastel!!!! Good Idea! So I take out that new pastel surface that I mentioned earlier and go to work. I get a few more layers on the abstracts, coax and beckoned the Watercolor GODS (to no avail, if you are wondering) and I work on the sea gulls.
So I finish the gulls (I sure say "so" alot. I'll work on that in a different blog) and wonder what is the point?!
What constitutes significant work? While I have NO IDEA of the answer to that question and even wonder if there is any reason to ask....I think the sea gulls may not make it. Oh well. Kittens?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

BF and the Watercolor GODS....

So, as I have mentioned, I have been spending a lot of time working in pastels and LOVING life! I have also been doing some abstracts in acrylics that I have been finding pretty interesting. What I have NOT been doing, however, is watercolor. Not because I don't like watercolor. I LOVE watercolor. I just have been spending my time else where. That is all! Really! Am I sounding a little defensive? Perhaps. I have been thinking about doing some watercolor for a while now....I have worked up a few sketches that would lend themselves well to watercolor....but I hesitate. Why?, you might ask. Well, I'll tell you. I have not been making offerings to the WATERCOLOR GODS and I know they will NOT favor me with a reasonable outcome.
I mentioned earlier that I taught art in high school for many years...During that time, I often spoke to my students about the ART GODS. That we, as would be artist, have to show up and make offerings in the way of attempts at art to get the GODS attention (as the students said, You are a little strange, Mrs. Reed. Yeah, yeah, yeah.). With each offering you gather more and more of the GODS attention. With enough offerings they will EVENTUALLY deem you worthy and grant you a decent work of art.
I have not made offerings in a long while. I do not have the WATERCOLOR GODS favor (sad face). I must, therefore, accept the poohy paintings that I am making (sad. real sad) right now until the WATERCOLOR GODS deem me worthy.
No pic with this one as they are poohy! All in good time though. I do have faith in the WATERCOLOR GODS.
Wait! I will put in another abstract! Yes!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Song OF Gladness

At Bell choir practice we began a new song Called " Song Of Gladness". It seemed aptly names as melody and tempo indeed conveyed a sense of joy.
In this I thought I'd share my joy.
This is yet another pastel. My daughter gave me an orange gerber daisy. Two of my favs!!! I love the color orange, I may have mentioned that, and I totally heart daisies!!!!
I wanted to paint it but the simplicity of the daisy made it seem trite. This view of the budding daisy with the open flower in the background seemed a less usual view.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sheer Force of Will

So I've come to the page with nothing new to say. Starting this blog started a commitment, right? Life is all about honoring commitments in the long run, isn't it?
So, one could argue, is this whole pursuit of art thing. You show up. You make your mark even when you feel you have nothing to say. And especially when you are sure what you have to say is insignificant. You make you offering to the ART GODS and maybe in the offering an image will come. You wet the brush sometimes through sheer force of will.
This painting, titled "Sheer Force OF Will", is a layered acrylic abstract. You've seen a few of things thatI have done and now think you know what I do, right. I do a lot of different things in different media that pull from different subject matter. I really like the abstracts, however, because I feel they are closer to who I am. They show the dichotomy between opposing conflicting elements through the juxtposion between organic and geometric shapes. These works struggle to hold diametric components in one piece of art at a the balancing act of life.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Full Monty

While this isn't a good photo of the orange modified triptych, you can get the gist of it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

For the Love of Orange...

I was going to do a "themed" exhibition a bit ago that consisted of fruits sitting on glasses. "Why?" you ask? "Indeed", I answer.
I did the first one absolutely LOVING life!!!! Just me, the pastels and plenty of excuses to use orange! Ahh.. hard to ask for more than this out of life.
This is an 18" x 24" panel of a 3 part grouping of oranges in glasses. It juxtaposed the cool background and the coolness of the glass with the extremely warm orange! The spherical quality of the orange itself stands as direct contrast to the very even background.
After this triptych, and a few other fruit on glasses, I was back to abstracts and seascapes and skyscapes and all the other images that clutter my mind.
I had an exhibition of varied works instead as I am going to do this May 2010 at Art Exposure in Hampstead, NC. You should come out to see what comes out of this cluttered mind! lol!

Friday, March 19, 2010

...on new loves.

I taught high school art for years. Every semester, with a brand new group of would be artists, I'd do a demo of a portrait in pastels. For years. Then one fated day, a student who was frustrated with her progress requested additional insights. While using the pastels at her table I made suggestions while working on the extra paper that I kept available for these moments.
I had the pastel in hand saying things like, "...consider holding the pastel like this..." while working at her desk. And then it happened. Cupid, who was apparently hiding among the pastels, fashioned an arrow from an orange (it HAD to be!) pastel and aimed it at my heart!!! I was instantly smittened with pastels!!!! I said to the student, "Man! Don't you LOVE how these feel?!" Her response was, "You are just a bit strange, Mrs. Reed" . I said, "Yes, yes! We've known that but what about these pastels?"
She was not that impressed but I instantly purchased some professional grade pastels and have been in love ever since.
Which!!!! Leads me to the new love!!!!
I was talking to Betsy, an artist friend of mine, who told me she was giving up pastels to work exclusively in watercolor and wanted to give me all of her pastels. She asked if I had ever worked with Unisom pastels. I told her that I had not and she said I would really like feel of them and she was going to give me hers. I told her that I used Sennelier (which are like the CADILLAC of pastels) and just she just shrugged repeating that I would like the feel. Well, another one of our friends ended up with Betsy's Unisom's but I was intrigued....So I bought a box and it came with a sample of a NEW PASTEL SURFACE!!!!
OMG!!! I was in love all over a again!!!!
The plant that is included here is the what I did to try out the new surface and cupid was zinging around with hearts and orange arrows again! love! Nothing like it!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

They say I must....

They say that in this day all those who consider themselves "serious" artist MUST have blogs...
Just the statement is ripe for ALL kinds of discussions. I will resist that...for now.

The debate that is currently raging in my head is, "What color are violets?" Sure, Sure. I've heard the poem, "Roses are red, and Violets are blue...." blah blah. But am I tied to that? Just because it is in a poem? I am going with, er.. no. I think my violets will be ORANGE because in OZ, violets are orange.

AND this, boys and girls is EXACTLY why I didn't think a blog was a good idea for me because odd thoughts circle in here...probably better kept to myself ....but they say I must.

These are sketches for a watercolor painting that I am working on. I am seriously trying to decide what color to make the flowers. The redder one has more visual punch but since the background is already green, I fear an unintentional Christmas tie it. The purple works but seems too...usual. I like the orange. You will learn that I ALWAYS like the orange. :)