Monday, June 28, 2010

Floating Bliss

Floating Bliss - Mixed media on 6" x 8" canvas

Floating Bliss framed.

Hand stamped paper on back of Floating Bliss.

This piece was a lot of fun. Every element of it has the artist's touch. I painted the frame, I did the framing installation with the added bonus of hand stamped paper on the back. I want every element of my work to exude the handmade philosophy mixed with a quirky artist's approach. This piece certainly has it all! Making something out of what I've got around has been a thrill and this piece is an example of that. I've had this frame hanging around now for a couple of years. It took really looking at it and re-visioning it's purpose the other day that took it to this new level. Can you tell by my tone that I'm pumped? I'm pumped. Tomorrow is another day to make art. I'm going to work my buns off. That's the plan at least.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Dancing Meadow

Dancing Meadow - Acrylic on 20" x 24" canvas, framed

Thursday, June 24, 2010

New painting

I took these pictures tonight after finishing this new, as of yet untitled, painting. I love it! It was one of those paintings that starts with an idea that demands that you to go paint it now and then follows through effortlessly, like all you have to do is hold the brush and the whims of the Muse will take care of the rest. No wrestling, no doubts, just one lovely surprise after the next. I wish every painting could happen like this. I understand that's not possible, but when it happens it just feels so good.

The sides of the canvas have staples so I've got it set in this ornate gold frame. I'll properly frame it and photograph it tomorrow to list on Etsy.

Things are alive and thriving this summer - I'm feeling it! I'm feeling free and happy to engage the Muse in any direction she pulls me.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Teapot 1 - Mixed media on 5" x 7" canvas panel

Teapot 2 - Mixed media on 5" x 7" canvas panel.

These are my first two attempts with photo transfers onto canvas panels. I worked over a set of two acrylic paintings of circles. There are layers of acrylic paint over the transfer as well (clearly more so in the first one). They were interesting and informative to make but I'm liking this other technique (used in next post) of painting watercolor on raw canvas and then layering the transfer over that. I've got four 5" x 5"'s ready to go but I want to mount them onto wood first. Hopefully they will be complete with others like them next week.

Week in Progress


Having a blog that's all about the process of making art (well, at least 90% of it) inspires me to keep my camera by my side or think about what I'm doing as if in front of an audience.


Other times, a lot of times, it needs to be personal. Undocumented.

So instead of giving my normal post in ridiculously full detail, here's my week of impressions (pun intended).

* Week started with a dream "seeing" new art I wanted to make/explore.
* Continued research I started months ago about photo transfers.
* Had test runs - many fails, lessons learned.
* Made lists, sketched ideas, spent a lot of time thinking out the process to achieve desired effect.
* More testing, better results, lack of materials (for now) to take the next step.
* Other art stuff.
* Celebrated four years of being married to the love of my life. :)

I'm finding patience in art making, I'm allowing my ideas to fully flourish in the time that they need. I'm also trying to let my initial inspiration flow into the next evolution of that idea. Keep flowing, keep moving with an idea or the thread of an idea.

Allowing creativity to happen organically sure fights against everything else my culture tells me. The whispers of the muse say I'm right on.

Go figure.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Summer Showers

Summer Showers - 12" x 15.75" canvas

Today I finished this canvas I bought in Ireland last fall. It had been going in another direction so I decided to work over it with this technique, taken an extra step further by "whiting out" the negative space around circles instead of circle chains, as I've been doing. (See previous posts and the Connections series). I feel really free right now in the studio - able to take chances and go against what's familiar. I'm listening to those thoughts that inquire "what if I did this?" and answering, "I don't know, let's find out!". I'm working a little slower, more conscious and detailed. Of course, the effect I want is something dreamy and loose so the marks are more impressionist than hard lined - not sure if detailed is the right word, but that's how it feels.

I think this piece conveys the atmosphere I've been surrounded by all week - wet and misty, damp, heavy air, vivid greens and sparkles of dew drops. Of course I love a hot, blue sky summer day like the next girl, but these moody, rainy days have their own energy that is quietly comforting.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Paint it out

Not Quite Chaos - Acrylic on 16" x 20" canvas

Joyful in June - Acrylic on 16" x 20" canvas

I felt a little blue this morning. I know it's the slow time of the year, but just a nibble would do wonders for my confidence right now. Knowing that wallowing or starting to think/act desperately would be futile, I pushed myself into the studio where paint would (and did) take me away.

I have been painting without music lately. I'm so used to years of painting with some other distraction be it listening to the radio or even playing a movie in the background. Somehow it took my attention away just enough to keep things loose and fluid. These days I'm just enjoying the sounds of the forest. An extra bonus has been the daily visit (yesterday and today) from turkeys making their way through the woods behind the studio. They forage on bugs on low growing plants right out back. If I'm really slow and still I can get a really close view of them feeding just feet away. The wonderful thing about it is... there's babies!!! Lots and lots of them! By my estimation today I think there are anywhere from 15-20 in that little tribe led by three adults, perhaps even more. They are too cute for words as they cheap and tweet and bounce up to grab especially tasty bugs.

A tasty meal, a hot shower and a hug from my husband later and I feel just fine. Being productive is my salvation, it really is. I can't just sit and feel sorry for myself or let my mind wander into fear territory. It's never helped me in the past, it certainly won't now. I've just got to keep working and believe that things will work out as they always do. Faith in the future. Comfortable and confident in the present. That's the name of the game.

New diptych

Jazz - Acrylic on two 6" x 12" canvases

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Connections 4

Connections 4 - Mixed media on canvas

New studies

Study 7-9 - mixed media on canvas

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Painting on a rainy day

Taped off unstretched primed canvas on board. Ready to rock it!

Initial sketch with orange water soluble crayon.
Bottom left shows just the sketch, the other two have a layer of acrylic varnish that has smeared some of the color.

Tools of the moment.

Outlining with a dark gray to see how that looks.

Everything could have ended right here.

Using a rag to wipe away brights.

Decide after filling in negative space that things are too controlled.
Get a little loose in the bottom right painting.

Now they're all moving in a more free form direction that makes me happy.
It began to not be fun. I decided fun must be included in the process.

Bringing in some sgraffito techniques as well.

Palette, techniques and lessons learned are brought into the larger piece.

Many layers of varnish, paint, water soluble crayon and oil pastel later...

I really enjoyed this way of working today. A mix between small studies and one larger panel that was informed by the lessons and techniques learned in the sketches. In this moment I'm feeling the wonderful relief that there are limitless paintings to create and not enough time on Earth to paint them all. I've experienced a little bit of I've done this before, this isn't anything new lately that didn't sit well with me at all. The "limitless paintings" mantra has served me well through the last decade plus, so when a voice of doubt snickered Maybe that's so, but maybe you can dry up too I think it snapped me awake with fear and desperate acts to prove myself wrong. It's working for me.

I've been embracing the unique atmosphere of our current weather pattern. The frequency of sudden and powerful thunderstorms has been intense and it looks like we should get used to it for the rest of the week. We lost power for over 8 hours on Saturday night and it led to a great evening hanging out with friends by candle light in the porch of the studio as well as a faux camping experience sleeping out there for the night. Summer is alive and well in New England and the wet, heavy, humid or pouring rain (as it was today) condition affects my painting by creating more wet on wet conditions. Acrylics can dry in a heart beat in dry heat, but in this weather, things are different - I'm relating back to my days of oils with this weather and it's fun, it's a different kind of challenge.

The three study paintings are finished after some final layers of drawing and I'll share them soon.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

New painting studies

Today I worked on small studies on unstretched canvas. 

Friday, June 04, 2010

Connections 3

Connections 3 - Mixed media on 20" x 32.5" canvas

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Connections 2

Connections 2 - Mixed media on 30" x 40" canvas


Connections - Acrylic on 25" x 42" unstretched canvas

So, I looked at this today and realized it is indeed finished so here it is! 

Work in progress?

This is a large unstretched canvas I'm working on right now that could very well be done - I'll have to take a long, hard look tomorrow to be sure. If it's truly a complete statement, I'll call it finis and get to work on another. I like the various stages and levels in this piece. All sort of their own thing from the dripped underpainting first, to the automatic drawing in water soluble crayons, to the impressionist dashes of color to the final negative space white out.

The problem is - I could do more. Yet when I think about it, when I've been here with a painting before, I take it just that one step further and it becomes too complicated and everything about that painting that could have been finished is now painted over and going in a totally new direction. I think it's that I found a technique I like and I want to max out on it with this one canvas when I really need to move on. Let this be and take the ideas and inspiration I've got to the next and the next surface. So... I will be careful with this tomorrow, really study it and refrain from painting unless absolutely necessary. My husband says it's done and I tend to trust his judgment in the cases when he says "oo!" with that extra umph. (It's a hard job being the partner of a rabid painter). I'll let you know what the verdict is tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Green Dream

Green Dream - Acrylic on 16" x 20" canvas