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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

prints and nature

I am mesmerized by the patterns of nature and especially loved doing this dress against the background of the garden with all of its radiance.  Nature gives to us the perfect backdrop for our figures and our intense colors of costume.  The background nature serves up is always low key with lots of neutrals and warms and cools.  No color in nature is ever  pure yet the ornamentation of our clothing, hair and table always suggests purity and's kind of a

choices of frame

slam dunk...light vs. dark, dull vs. bright, soft vs, hard, know the drill

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Precious Imagination

I have a painting right now sitting in my studio against the wall completely dry that I laboriously and lovingly and meditatively underpainted with a verdaccio palette last week that is ready to be finished. It's 30 x 40, my favorite size. It has so much life in my imagination because the possibilities are limitless. It thrills me to think of getting to it and yet each day I choose to start or finish another because once I begin the first step I eliminate the boundless possibilities and a part of my imagination has to close the door to the others... It's like watching the price is right and choosing door number 2 which is wonderful but means that door number 1 and 3 never get opened.. I have to admit that it's a wonderfully buoyant feeling to carry that richness of bounty around in my imagination all day long. I have many many doors waiting to be opened and all are eager to take a form. I walk through my tasks and errands of the day consciously aware of the treasure I hold...It's a wall of fortitude around the assailing problems of real life and it gives me courage and promise.

The process of painting is full of choices. A choice is made during every second of the painting process whether it's the color you choose to dip your brush into or how you choose to drag or lay or smooth in the paint. The brush I reach for each time is a factor in the mix as well. If I start on the background first the harmonies in the face will be effected. If I deal with the flesh or figure first it changes the power and impact the figure will have. Using a lot of medium or using a little will set a mood or alter a mood. I like comparing the process of painting to dancing with a partner....or playing chess. I'm only a part of the process. After I lay something down I have to follow the lead or base my next move on what just happened. Unlike many descriptions of the creative process I do not always know where I will end up. I respect the fact that "my vision" doesn't always become the finished product...It's a wedding of myself and the constraints of the physical organic world. Some call it the muse. I like that and it's real. There is a muse and I always hope and pray she's in the room with me because it takes two to make a painting. I'm alert and present all the while but I have to make decisions all the time that affect the next fork in the road. It requires a fortitude of energy much like getting ready to run a race. Do I have the ingredients with me today to run the course? Sometimes I encounter people who work a "job" and tell me they always dream of painting...the first thing out of my mouth is that you have to give it your best energy, not your left over, end of the day tired and whipped energy. It has to be top of morning...thrilled to be allowed the opportunity to work with color, form and line energy...........grateful thankful energy.
Like most choices in our life once we've committed to a direction the possibilities still continue and we begin the process anew....there's a dream stage, a cultivation period, a foundation, and a finished product and the finished product is often the stepping stone to the NEXT WORK...
You gotta love this art life!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mixing it up

16 x 20 Purple

Always looking for new inspiration.  This is from a painting (photograph) I took years ago. Technology allows me to see in the shadows where I could not see before and I feel that 10 years later I have some new skills I can throw in the mix.  I used to reach for color and bat it around and always be in a conundrum of trying something...if it didn't work, fixing it. 
I'm loving approaching life (painting) with a plan.  It's the whole thing about not having to invent the wheel every time....that really really gets old after a few decades.
Turns out there are some great tried and true methods to approach things, mix it up with a little personality and still have a unique work of art.