Friday, November 20, 2009

PPASP Winter Project #2 Chinook

I had fun with this challenge. Chose to work in pastel on Canson paper and focus on the rock formations and the zigzag quality of the shapes in the photo. To see other PPASP member interpretations, go to where the photo reference is posted along with resulting images from about 20 members.

I'm happy with how I interpreted this reference and handled the pastel material. Working in pastel seems more like drawing than paiting to me; the material is held directly in the artist's hand like a pencil or a pen or charcoal is when drawing. I enjoyed this more direct contact with the support for a change. My day was good; hope yours was too.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

PPASP Winter Project Participation

Overworking paintings is one of the things I seem to do best these days. In an effort to improve my paintings, I have recently tried more irregular and unpredictable methods, colors, textures, etc. The "irregular" and "unpredictable" elements came from a John Salminen workshop I attended; I know they are tried and true elements of good design. I just haven't mastered them yet.

In a recent attempt at working from a photograph taken by a member of Portland Plein Air and Studio Painters for the group's Winter Project, my husband told me at least three times that he thought I was done. I, however, was not convinced and continued to apply paint in a less conventional way. This was an exercise first and foremost and so an opportunity to experiment. It was a fun experience and I look forward to the posting of the next image in about a week.

I wonder however if an artist should play it safe and quit while the painting has a good traditional quality or risk what's working for a chance at creating something more exciting and original. I think I'm at a stage in my art journey where I need to reach outside my comfort zone. I've posted my interpretation of Winter Project #1 here on my blog.

I had a wonderful day today. Hope you did too.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Two for the Price of One

I hope to be able to share two images on my blog tonight. I'm still not good with moving things from one area of my computer to another, so bear with me. The first image, "Movement in Lines and Circles," no longer exists as an original because it has been transformed into a second image, "Love Happens," - corny title, I know, but it feels to me like the bursting joy that occurs when love truly happens. Both were done with gouache on the same canvas, and both were fun and challenging to create. With "Movement," I got so enthralled with the caligraphy and detail work of the ink marks that I sometimes forgot about the overall look of the painting; as Kitty Wallis noted, I had "different vocabularies going on." I loved her way of describing my problem - it is almost poetic - and so I took a wad of Magic Eraser to several parts of the canvas and began my revision. I chose the circular vocabulary of "Movement" (as opposed to the high contrast or the caligraphy's ornateness vocabularies) to bring together its various parts, and tried to reevaluate its overall look as I worked my brushes back and forth and up and down across the painting. "Love" is the final result. What a difference in feeling the two images project - one more masculine, hard-edged and somewhat fractured; and the other more feminine, more cohesive, more social. I think I solved the vocabulary conflict and ended up very pleased with my creation. I had a great day today - hope you did too.

Friday, October 23, 2009

It's Friday evening and although I didn't draw or paint today I did spend time working with design, texture, scale, and color - we're remodeling a bathroom and the process can be much like the decision-making process involved in designing a painting. So much to choose from - what to include and what to leave out - what materials to work with - what feeling to I want to create - what palette will I use to create that feeling - how do I interweave different textures and surface qualities to make the space exciting yet not be overwhelming. I love the choices I made today on the major components of the project, but I know from past experience with remodeling and from creating in my studio that I should be prepared to make adjustments as needed and - just like with a painting - wait until the end to add the needed details that will give the room - painting - pizazz. I had a great day! Hope you did too.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thanks to Celeste Bergin and Karen E. Lewis, I am now a blogger. I still have lots to learn to familiarize myself with the benefits and fun of having such a communication tool, but I'm less fearful now of trying to add, edit, compose, organize, and share my feelings about art in general and my own personal art journey in this new and exciting way. I couldn't have done it on my own. Cheers to Celeste and Karen.

For my very first blog, allow me to share a favorite quote from Van Gogh, "If you hear a voice within you saying 'you are not a painter,' then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced."
Here is my website.

I am starting a new watercolor painting

Filoli Sunflowers, 12x18 Watercolor

Rocks at Chico, 3.5 x 5, Watercolor