Friday, May 17, 2013

Italian Vase V2.0

Unburied this little gem this week too. version 2 of the Italian vase. It is much closer to the original vase than the first painting was. The piece is really very light and flamboyant for its seemingly hefty feel in your hand. And the first painting just felt too heavy visually.

The GE camera has a feature that lets you photograph better through a glass which I thought I would test out today. I still see a lot of me reflected in this close up. But at least there are not huge white hot spots!

I've been staring at this for 20 minutes trying to figure out which part of this room is reflected in the class. And I finally figured it out.... roomie's CD case. I guess I better take this out of the glass if I am going to send this over to café press.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Art to Stamp


Detail of another painting. It isn't that I only like this part of the thing. I love the whole thing. Even with this camera, which is 15X better than the last camera I had, there is too much detail to capture the whole thing and make it look like it does in person.

This is one where the goal was to get messy and have fun suggesting shape and light because I was starting to get too picky. I also used this opportunity to go big, bold and take chances with hand cut rubber stamps. I scratched in gesso, scratched through wet paint, used texture paints and lots of shine to contrast the flat matte of the acrylic paint.

And I liked the layout of this block format so much I made it into a rubber stamp!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pastel on Strathmore


Circa 1985, pastel of a National Geographic cover. Since it won an honorable mention in our school's art fair, it has hung above my dad's chair or sat in my bookcase except for the last three years. For three years it has sat in storage. It was professionally framed at DeYoung's in Traverse City.

I loved the covers that year. I do no remember all of them, of course. But there were many issues pertaining to the Middle East and the desert cultures described to me by authors I loved simply because they wrote about a horse. The Black Stallion books mesmerized me. My Gramma Olive conspired with me to make sure that I finished the whole series whenever I met with opposition.

A woman wearing a serene face and playing the lute and this nomadic gent were part of my art class projects. I do not know what happened to that piece. It was not the success that this one was which is most likely the reason that I still have this. And I liked his face best anyway because he reminded me of the Bedouin from the Black Stallion and is a bit reminiscent of my cousin Patrick whom we always called "Uncle Eddie", at the time, an artist as well.

Now that I look at this again, he reminds me of Leonard Nimoy as the prophet Samuel.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Begin Again

As I said yesterday... things are on the move. So here is a little photo journaling to help me set my pace again.

This is Smokey. He is my housemate's cat. Gorgeous Norwegian
Forest cat with quite the taste for adventure. On one of the only
warm days we had last week he made an escape that would have
made Lee Marvin proud. After four days of worrying about him
we got him back last night around midnight thirty. This morning
as I was taking updated photos, I also ended up taking instruction.
Show off ;)
Brown suit and a bowtie and that would be a good Dr. Jones

This was to be my quick sketch watercolor Easter Profile pic. I
never did finish it because I was too busy being sick. I had grand
visions of dye ink layers with this. But the more I looked at what
I did finish of it, the more I liked the simplicity; the soft textures,
the complementary color scheme and its bold plainness.
I don't do enough simple work.
I like simple. It is harder to do because every stroke has to be
deliberate. But the effect in the end is really just as stunning as
it would be if I jammed tons of techniques into one work.

Like this one below.
2001 found me sans boyfriend and stuck in a job I liked but
didn't want to do forever. I'd seen him working at his easel
through the window one night on a desperate drive by. He told
me the woman he went back to wouldn't let him paint. But there
he was... living his normal art life. The life he swore he could
only have with me, another artist. And I was pining away like
Anne Shirley over gilbert Blythe!
I went home and immediately cleared the table of the remnants
of the last project before the break up... *mumblecough months
prior. Then I decided to show off. I'd only just learned to do
watercolors a couple of months before we broke up. So I set out
to make the most complicated still life of Things I Have on Hand.
This one had to be complicated even if it failed. I had to have
 something complicated to keep my mind off of him and find my way
 back to being me. I had to move forward or stagnate in a pile of misery
and unwashed sheets. So I used gum Arabic to make the fruit skins
shiny, liquid masking to keep the rind of the melon white and veiny,
and I saturated the background in my new discovery: Perylene Maroon.

I went red with anger. I went red because I wanted to draw blood from
the person who caused such a painful break to my heart and life.
I went red to say that I wasn't going to keep being afraid of being bold.
I stood back and did the right thing, I let him make up his own mind.
I did not fill his ears with ultimatums, temper tantrums; I did not guilt him.
And I thought that he would take that and run with me. I did the right thing.
And he chose poorly.
I knew he did. That did not make me feel better. What made me feel
better was making the choice to speak my mind and not take a
back seat to someone else's manipulations. In a way...
this was my Picard Ahab moment.

I drew a red line in the sand.
I drew blood. Not to maim or kill. Not as a sacrifice.
I drew blood as a talisman to my own strength.


I took a lot of photos this morning as I was evaluating the work that needs to be done to restore these things while they were in storage. It takes a while to edit them to fix my poor photographic skills. Actually it is the lighting. And there is not much at this time I can do about it since I am in the basement. But hey.... at least I am getting stuff done right?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Studio Progress

Work in the studio has started. I'm still sorting and stacking, exploring boxes caked in dust and wondering what all needs to be kept. Yes, I am contemplating parting with some supplies. It is a pain to always move it. And some of it, some rubber stamps, do not have the same meaning that they once had so I no longer need to keep them.

When I packed up the first time there were many that went away. And I though that was going to kill me. Now I think that I could let go of many without feeling the slightest bit teary. It's funny how you get attached to things as an artist. Even though I could not possibly use all of the ones that I have had in my lifetime in such a way as I once thought that I could, I think of the times that those images represent and I wish that I could keep them as mementos. I wish that I had not had to eliminate the ones that I did let go. But today, as I go through the studio and the boxes I moved in (which is only half of what was in storage) I know that I have grown beyond the stamps in many ways.

I feel like it is time to think about my own designs and a line of stamps in a new way.

That is not the only thing that is new. As I sort the canvases into the restore, finish and clean it up piles and I see the awesome work that I have done. And the works that need to be improved before they can be sold, I am thinking about new techniques and new creations. After having been shut down and doing enough art to just get by I an feel myself opening up to possibilities... expanding.

And I have found things that I have not photographed yet... pictures to follow when I get another sunny day.

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