Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Getting started on new work of the Spring Arts Fest April 7 and 8

 I had never really heard the term "Process Art" even though i I have been firmly planted in that camp for some time. It started way back in the 40's after WW2 around the time of the abstract expressionist movement
 "Process art emphasizes the “process” of making art (rather than any predetermined composition or plan) and the concepts of change and transience," and the process shows in the finished piece. In many cases ,the process is the subject.
 I''m not a "pure" process painter because my work usually does have a composition and a subject but I love the process of making and let that process show in the art and often the process determines the out come. Aleatoric art is art made by, or started by chance and that is very often how I begin my abstract pieces.  I let the process show the way.  I don't stick to one method of painting or one medium. Each idea has it's own solution and maybe several solutions. Sometimes watercolor sometimes acrylic, or oil, or wax, or collage is the way I want to work to express the idea. Experimentation is a big part of it for me.  Some people think it shows a lack of a style but I feel it IS the style. Express the idea. Play with the materials.  There is never only one way.
  The trip to Santa Fe was very inspiring. Not only because of all the art we saw and the artists we met but the landscape.
 The Aspen trees are particularly interesting to me.  In New England, we had birch trees and they were always fascinating with their white bark against the brown background of winter.  The aspens have a similar look and I have been interested in painting them since my trip to Colorado several years ago. So I started a series based on them.
  These are part of the on going series about trees. There are still some ideas to pursue but so far these are all acrylic. A lot the paintings I've done so far, for the show, April 7 and 8 are all small  8 x6 canvas or 8 x 6 paper matted to 8 x 10. Bigger ones are coming but I almost always start small. It gives me a chance to get a feel for what I want to say and once the idea gels the process can take over.  I'm about to stop working this series after one or 2 bigger ones, even knowing there is much more to paint and explore, I'm working toward filling a booth for the show and have 3 other series to work on. The Water, The Sky, and The Land.  I've tried a couple of different processes switching between an additive and subtractive and combining the two. These can be seen at the Spring Arts Festival April 7 and 8 and after that, what doesn't sell will on my websites some time soon, to be announced on the social media and newsletter




(This one sold at the show)

Sunday, April 01, 2018

New Paintings

The pressure is on!  I need to get some new work made for the show NEXT WEEKEND!  My plan was to have a whole booth full of new work based on a bunch of new ideas from our trip out west. I have managed to get several works on paper done and a few on canvas bu not all are of the west.  Some are local scenes. I have been so busy with the jewelry I haven't had a chance to get in the painting studio. But I finally got around to making some art! So far I have about 10 new works completed. I just finished an 11 x 14 oil titled "The Back Window". It's part of the on going series "Out The Window ".   All the paintings and drawings so far has been done from life looking out the various windows around the house. But this one is from a photo that I snapped at just the right moment when the light on the trees created a shadow and light pattern that was a series of light against dark shapes.  I had about 5 minutes to capture it and it was way too complicated to to try to draw it on location. The light would have changed, never to be seen the same way again. Instead of trying to copy a photo (which I hate to do )  I altered the photo to be more of a negative of the scene and reduced the colors to 2 and painted from that.
 Here is the result.  I have changed it a bit since this photo but it's pretty close
"The Back Window" 11 x 14 oil and cold wax on canvas panel.

Below is one of the first of the series of canyons and cliffs called "erosion"
Based on a photo taken in Northern New Mexico.
"Above The River"  8 x 10  Acrylic on canvas panel


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Art Trip To Santa Fe

We spent six days in Santa Fe in February and every day was packed with things to do, places to go, and people to see. This is just a brief summery and pictures of some of what we saw.  Future post will be more about the people we had the good fortune to meet and eat with and stories of the 5 studios we were invited into. Amazing art and wonderful people but it's too much for one post so here are the highlights
 Santa Fe is high desert.  Some mountains but more like mesas. It's at 7000 ft.
So Thursday we walked some of downtown Santa Fe and went into the Georgia O'Keeffe museum.
 I have never been a huge fan of hers, but most of what I have seen is in books is of her flowers series. However, after seeing some of her other work and some of her process, I'm now a much bigger fan.
The building , like most of the building in the old part of town, is adobe style architecture. 

The rounded corners and thick walls make for beautiful edges and shadows.  This is the entrance to the museum.

One of the downtown streets. The clouds seem to come tight to the ground.  Being a flat lander from sea level, clouds at 10,000 feet are 10,00 feet away.  Here, clouds at 10,000 ft are only 3,000 feet away.

The Santa Fe river as it goes through down town. February is one of the dry months but the water here usually comes in flash floods.
 After a day exploring town we went up to 10,000 waves spa for a soak in the hot springs and dinner. It felt great but this is where the altitude started to get to me.  The 96 steps up from the parking lot was hard.  It was only a few hundred feet above town but when you start at 7000 it doesn't take much to get into thin air. I got winded and light headed and couldn't think straight.  Of course, some people think I'm always like that. 
 Tent rocks park is about 75 miles west of town and is made up of volcanic ash that has been eroded away over the centuries leaving harder granite rocks balancing on top of spires of softer rock. We spent about 3 hours there and walked 1.2 miles! So much to shoot and sketch!




This is one of my favorite views from this short hike .

Walk and sketch, Cloudy afternoon, charcoal pencil and conti chalk on brown gessoed paper 5 x 7





still not really finished but that is the nature of my plein air sketches.  I look at them and see what else needs to be done to make it better next time
From there I started my walk up Canyon Road toward the galleries. I went back on Sunday while Michelle was in her workshop and again on Monday with her and I still only went into about 25 of the 88 galleries JUST ON THAT STREET. This old cotton wood caught my eye.  The cotton woods have an interesting branching pattern and a really deep farrowed bark. 

Coyote fences.  They are the most prevalent type of fence there. Whole branches and sticks wired together.  They weather beautifully.  I imagine in the summer this vine is a green crown.  I want to do a painting of this fence and several others I found.


On our way up to Abiquiu we got caught in a traffic jam so we pulled off the road to get some shots of the freshly falling snow.

Camel rock
Getting into the red rocks up around Abiquiu

 I had to get out in the cold wind to try this little painting

My hands and face were starting to freeze but I couldn't stop. This is maybe a 5 minute study in gouache 5 x 7  I did 3 or 4 of these. Some were done from the back seat while Michelle was outside shooting.
In or around Ghost Ranch where Georgia O'keeffe had a small studio. Now several buildings house workshops and other events.  This particular cliff looked hand carved.

We sat parked here at Ghost Ranch for a few minutes and I tried my hand at another 5 x 7 from the comfort of the back seat.

5 x 7 gouache.  It's going to take a few more to get the right feel.
I think we both took a bunch of shots of this view. A snow storm moving in in front of the afternoon sun

This little lake gets pretty popular in the summer.

We got out and hiked around a bit up here overlooking the Chama River.

The Chama River

 Headed home on Wendsday.  Flight delays got us on a weird and weary trip from sf to Dallas to Miami to Charlotte to Gainesville total of 28 hours  (we could have driven in that time).

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Abstract paintings and Greeting Cards

On the art front.
 This is the explanation attached to the cards given this year



  The first stage of collaborative collage project is coming to completion and we have, in addition to the 21 cards, already gifted, 6 @ 8x6 works on paper that will be fixed to a stretched canvas backing and varnished for protection ready for framing or hanging. We have 6 of the 8 x 6s and we'll mount 3 and leave 3 unmounted so the buyer can have them matted and framed or we can mount it.
 These are suitable for frames or hanging as is. Each is a one of a kind but a puzzle piece of the whole.
Just getting started. This is about 3 stages in
on the second set of cards. 

The first set is just about ready to cut apart At this point we added more paint and metalic  markers.


The idea was to make a collaborative work that was neither his or hers style.  We needed to make holiday cards so we decided to start with a whole sheet and cut it up so each card was a piece of the whole.  We started with a map of the Everglades and used spattering to get started.  Then we added bits of paper and more spatter and other layers of paint and collage finishing off with metal leaf
The cards were then cut apart and trimmed to fit the card backing 
 To see the finished cards go to the page of this blog marked Cards 17
 here is a sample of what the 8 x 6 pieces look like  Of course they are all different but they are all a puzzle piece of the whole









Thursday, November 02, 2017

Harn Museum Paintings

 These 3 6 x 6 Acrylic paintings are in the Mini Art Shoiw at teh Harn Museum.  They are having a fund raiser and invited about 100 artist to do a 6 x 6 on panels they provided and will be sold at the opening reception for 40.00 each and the remaining ones will then be displayed in the Museum Shop.  So I did 3! The one above is titled "3 Sheets To The Wind" it's done with acrylic and charcoal


Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Pleinair at the beach

Th​is trip was planned months ago.

​I​t was originally going to be a full moon photo and ​painting trip in September but hurricane Irma had something to say about that.  A month later and there was another storm at the beach but we went anyway. What we found at Crescent beach was washed away dunes and black waves with coffee colored foam in the surf as squalls and wind whipped us and the beach. It was great!


Crescent beach near Matanzas inlet

looking north at what used to be board walks over sand dunes.  Now board walks in space. 

  Due to heavy cloud cover, Michelle was not able to get any moon rise shots but was able to get some good sky shots of the moon in the clouds once it was up for an hour or so.  I was able to get a small painting started before the sun went down. I was using water mixable oils so when the rain came back it forced us in. So this was a very quick 8 x 6 done with a head lamp on and one hand holding the setup from blowing away.
Painting at night requires a head lamp. Here are a few shots of me painting in the wind as fast as possible to beat the fading light while trying to capture the stormy sky. 


This is really just a start because after about 20 minutes, the rain started up again and we had to duck for cover, which meant ducking for cover under our foul weather gear with paint box and camera gear. However its a good start and it's exciting to paint this way! At some point I might go back into it and finish it but I also like it as is. It certainly reminds me of the crazy weather we were in.

The rain let up but the cloud cover prevented Michelle from getting any moon rise shots. We waited. The moon came up and the clouds broke up just enough for her to get some dramatic shots of the full moon and light on the clouds. 

 The next morning we tried again with the sunrise.  We had a beautiful morning with thick violet clouds still sitting on the horizon, but as the sun came up and broke through we had some spectacular light.

This is the painting I was able to get in about 60 mins. It still needs some work back at the studio but I captured the moment.
The water was very choppy and coffee colored.
Sunrise at St Augustine Beach. Oil on panel  8 x 10



I turned my easel up the beach to see these clouds and condos  It was starting to get hot, the sun was up. I spent about 45 mins on this oil 8 x 10.  I don't feel this one is finished either but that is the nature of plein air, capture the moment, the light, the feeling, not necessarily the details.