Wednesday, September 14, 2011
As a child hollyhocks were one of my favorite flowers. They grew in our yard in Portland and I played with the petals and the seed pods. I made lots of things from them but mostly I remember making lovely ladies with gracious skirts out of the petals and necklaces with the seeds. As it happens there is a magnificent stand of hollyhocks just outside Studio 106. This Summer I have gazed at them, photographed them dozens of times, made a few lovely ladies, and now I have painted them. This painting is on a 2" deep cradled board, so the sides are also painted. They just called for a tall skinny painting. I have another started on my easel. The Ray for the Day is "Lovely Ladies".
Monday, September 12, 2011
I know. I know. It's been forever since I posted. But I have not been slacking. After all, I moved my studio and my residence in July. That took quite a lot of energy and thought. I have been working though. Both with the acrylics and the oils. This posting is another in the series of acrylic paintings that seem to be reflecting things that are going on in my emotional life. I love doing them, and they always surprise me. I think I'm pretty good at getting feeling into my oils and watercolors. That is, the feeling of the day, the moment or the place. But the acrylics seem to be a direct link to my most inner world. The Ray for the Day is "The Blind Leading the Blind".
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
So this is #12 of the Langley Series. Again, a fun painting to paint. I am working on establishing a clear foreground, midground, and background. This scene is again from a morning walk. The view is across Saratoga Passage to Camano Island from upper 2nd St. Of course the angles of the foreground architecture is what mainly captured my imagination. Again, a little Thibaud crept in here with some bold lines of color. This painting really came to life in the last hour of painting. I brightened some colors, grayed some, and had fun with orange, turquoise and lime green. Yum. The Ray for the Day is "Another Langley Morning".
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Dear Sweet Patient Blogsters, Even while being in the middle of moving I have eked out some small bits of time to paint. I guess it helps to preserve my sanity. I have 3 pieces to share with you over the next few days. This one is number 11 of the Langley Series. There is also a number 12, which means I will produce a calendar of Langley scenes that I have painted over the past year. This one is another scene from my walk from our condo to Studio 106. These homes are called Brookhaven and are very sweet low income housing. I'm so proud of Langley that these homes are right next door to downtown! I seem to be channeling Wayne Thibaud with these paintings. It is very fun at the end of the painting to add a bit of color here and there. The Ray for the Day is "Brookhaven Morning".
Thursday, April 28, 2011
So back to the acrylic, playful work. This image just delighted me as it emerged. Each of these images seem to show me parts of my subconscious, personality, I'm not sure what. I just know that it feels sometimes like I have a tiger by the tail. These paintings seem to be telling me something about myself. Or maybe they are telling the viewer about me. Or both. At any rate, this is fun. The Ray for the Day is "Reach for the Moon".
Monday, April 18, 2011
Though I totally enjoyed painting this oil painting of lovely Langley, I am eager to get back to the acrylics tomorrow and get my hands in them. These two types of paintings I am doing right now tap into totally different parts of my psyche. The oil paintings appeal to my orderly, logical self. The acrylics tap straight into my whimsical part that likes to surprise myself. Both appeal to the sensual me. When I walk to my dear Studio 106 from our Langley condo I walk through the back of Langley into the front of it. This is a scene I see on one of the several routes I take. I always enjoy looking at these buildings. The Ray for the Day is "Backstreets of Langley".
Saturday, April 16, 2011
I spent the day in my Kirkland studio and worked with the concepts I learned from Jesse Reno. Trying to make it my own. Beginning to find my personal iconography. Everything in this painting has personal meaning to me......and yet I "found" it in the painting. Well, the basic shapes are found. I added the symbols that mean new growth, home, change to me. Our house is on the market and so I suppose it is not surprising that this house is on wheels. It is hard to know if this piece is finished. I worked on 3 pieces today. I made some changes to Remember, painted out an entire composition that I haven't yet posted and worked on "Move" which changed many times today and may continue to do so. I am loving this way of working and find myself totally engaged and really curious about what will emerge. It was very hard to leave the studio today. I also love to paint pictures of things I see and making them look and feel like what I am looking at. I have one of those on the easel as well. I'll eventually post that one. The Ray for the Day is "Move".
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
It's another Artfest creation! I think I forgot to mention that these paintings were started by painting with our hands. Jesse had huge pump bottles of acrylic medium body paints. The first few layers of paint are applied with our hands. All the formal elements of art are being employed at all times: thick/thin, dark/light, warm/cool, large/small etc. So once the first smear of paint is on the canvas we need to stay engaged with the piece, always asking ourselves if we like the way it is looking and is there balance and does it feel right. "If you don't like it get rid of it!". We keep working until we feel pleased with what is there. Then next layers are done with brushes, oil pastels, big black pencil or whatever will help us say what we want to say. We look at the hand painted surface and begin to find what is there.....like looking at cloud formations. We save what we like by painting around it. Paint out what we don't like. Always engaged. Always present to the piece. Just the way any art is made. I don't feel this piece is quite finished. I see areas that want to be changed. I will keep working on it. I have two more that need much more work. They will show up here later. Meanwhile, yesterday when I went back to work on a Langley street scene that I had on my easel before Artfest I felt much more fearless, much more certain, much more engaged. I'm still high from Artfest! Hope it lasts a long, long time. The Ray for the Day (fittingly) is "Remember".
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Now for something a little different! I just returned from an amazing event called Artfest. It was a 3 day workshop that is held annually at Fort Warden in Port Townsend WA. My artner (new word we coined this weekend) Joanne and I got excited about an outsider painter named Jesse Reno. We discovered he was teaching at Artfest and decided to go if we could get into his class for at least 2 days. We did, so we went. I could say a LOT about this experience, but let me just say that I knew my creative juices needed a little kick in the pants....and had a feeling Jesse Reno might be instrumental. I was not prepared for how powerful this whole experience turned out to be. I feel old parts of me have been re-awakened and new rooms have been opened. We worked hard all day long, were lost in the flow, and everything felt all new and shiny again. I'm not sure how this experience will integrate itself into my current work, but I am sure it will. A Reno quote: "It's just a piece of paper. If you can't take a risk with that what will you do with your life?" I thought I had finished this painting and I almost loved it. People were coming around taking pictures of it and telling me how much they loved it. I told Jesse I almost loved it. He said "paint it out and see what else you can find there that you will love more." and I did it! and what I found I liked better! And people were saying they couldn't believe I did it. It's only a piece of paper, but it took a lot of courage. Something else I heard over the weekend that tickles and describes me: "I didn't come to save the world, I came to decorate it!" I am challenged to discover my own personal iconography that describes my passions. More to come. The Ray for the Day is "Be Free!" SOLD
Monday, March 28, 2011
Well, I said I was going to paint flowers. Actually, I started this painting several months ago. I took a long time to get the drawing just right, and I laid in the underpainting, getting some idea about values. The original inspiration came from a photo of a garden party birthday I attended last year. For some reason I didn't get back to it until this weekend. I took it to Studio 106 in Langley, invited my friend Faye to paint with me and we had a super delicious day painting and listening to wonderful music. This painting makes me smile. The Ray for the Day is "Spring! and Little Sandwiches".
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
This is a different view of Langley. On an early morning walk I was struck by the fabulous long shadows and the wonderful shapes of the buildings. Not to mention the water and the mountains and the sky. This was a complicated painting to draw and to paint, and I love it. I tried to just make shapes, alternating cools and warms, different textures and sizes and still have them read as the buildings that are there. It was interesting to make the street appear to dip down and then up again. All on a flat little board. I do so love this little town! Hey! All the Spring flowers that are popping out are making my heart glad. And making me want to paint flowers. Which I will probably do! I hope you know you can click on the painting and see it larger. The Ray for the Day is "Looking Down Second Street". SOLD
Saturday, March 19, 2011
So for all you whiners out there who feel I haven't fulfilled my promise of A Ray a Day.....well....dang...I haven't. My excuse is this: I was in Mexico for nearly a month and I didn't paint while I was there. I did, however, do a sketch a day and I posted them on www.whidbeyislandsketchers.blogspot.com. We sketch all Wednesday afternoons and well into the evening, complete with food and wine. It is a blast. If you want to see my Mexico sketches you can go to that site, where you will see tons of other really fabulous sketches. I may try to figure out how to put a slide show of them on this site as well. In the meantime, I've decided to do an Easter Bonnet thing for my Langley Open Studio event on April 2, and this is the painting I made to advertise that event. I wanted to paint something playful and I really had fun making this painting. And I'm back. There's another painting on the easel that is nearly finished so look for that later. Meanwhile, the Ray for the Day is "In Her Easter Bonnet...."
Sunday, February 13, 2011
So I did get the companion to Mystery Dress finished this weekend. I invited 4 painter friends to join me in Langley and Studio 106 for the weekend. We came and went at different times, painted watercolors and oils and sketched. We ate fabulous food, drank good wine and talked art and other important things to our lives. During all of that I finished this piece, did a number of sketches (look at www.whidbeyislandsketchers.blogspot.com to see those and other wonderful sketches by Whidbey artists), and worked on a Langley scene I hope to finish before I leave for Mexico. My challenge in this piece was to make it as evocative as the Mystery Dress painting. The Ray for the Day is "Twins". SOLD
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Paintings seem to be taking longer to finish these days. I seem to be working on several at a time. Something new for me. It helps to know I have something started to go back to. I think about them all the time. I am also sketching again, and posting on the www.whidbeyislandsketchers.blogspot.com as well as this one. Open Hearted, the February Langly Art Walk at Studio 106 was hugely successful! Many lovely people came for art, chocolate, red roses, red wine, and schmoozing. I was high for days from it. Every Spring I get a hankering to paint tulips, so here is my first of what I think will be several long, tall flower paintings. I really can't help myself. I also have a companion to Mystery Dress in the works and another scene in Langley. I'm also leaving for Mexico for three weeks, so it may be awhile before you see those. I'll be posting sketches though on the sketchers blog. The Ray for the Day is "Tall Tulips".
Saturday, January 29, 2011
This painting was inspired by a room we stayed in at Mosswood Hollow Retreat Center. We stayed there with our entire family and had a Mystery Dinner party. Everyone was costumed to the hilt and it was fabulously fun. I first made this painting without the red dress....just the room with the light falling on the bed. Liana Bennet looked at it and told me she "just didn't care about it". It simply didn't interest her. It made me determined to make her care....hence the red dress which evoked an even more vivid memory for me of the family costume party...and won her interest in the painting. I really like this little painting. It is evocative of...what? The title could change if anyone has any better ideas. The Ray for the Day is "Ready for the Mystery Dinner".
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
This painting is coming out a little soon for Valentine's Day, but I can't help myself. I decided to paint a satin heart to use as invitation and ad for my February Langley Art Walk which will be on Feb 5. I ran all over the place looking for just the right heart to paint (finally found this one at Walgreen's at the suggestion of an old friend). This was really a luscious painting to make. I was into the heart, the chocolates (I mean, like really into them), and those fabulous red tulips. So I wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day early. I think love, chocolates, tulips and red stuff is appropriate any old time, don't you? If you happen to be in Langley on the evening of Saturday the 5th of Feb please do drop by for a little Valentine's party. Wear red. The Ray for the Day is "Open Hearted".
Monday, January 24, 2011
Last Wednesday I had so much fun sketching with the Whidbey Island Sketchers! These dedicated sketchers meet at a different location every Wednesday to draw. There is also a lot of laughter. When the Useless Bay Coffee Co. (where we were sketching) closed some of us continued on to Studio 106. The Sketchers will be showing their delightful work there for the March Art Gallery Walk. I'm delighted to host them. We also drank a little wine, went on to a meeting at Whidbey Arts to talk about promoting art and artists on Whidbey. Four of us just couldn't give up the day, so we wound up eating pizza at the local pizza place and talking more about art. I look forward to more sketching, laughing, talking, eating, drinking with this group. To top it off they featured my sketches on their blog! Check it out at www.whidbeyislandsketchers.blogspot.com. The Ray for the Day is "Sketching in Langley".
Friday, January 14, 2011
Okay, to follow the theme here, if you are going to make and serve coffee you need someplace to sit and drink it! Ergo, this painting. Also, I find this to be quite a charming scene. It takes place in the Two Tartes Bakery where I had my last show. The painting above the table is one of mine. The one called In a Stew. I took the liberty (artistic license) of changing the color of the chairs (in life they are brown wood) in order to make a more lively painting. I find little vignettes like this that take place in bakeries or cafes to be so compelling. Comforting in fact. They evoke potential conversation, friendship, intimacy for me. Of course the anticipation of something good to eat or drink doesn't hurt. I read somewhere recently that reading the menu sometimes creates more endorphins than the actual act of eating. Anticipation of good things to come creates good feelings. Not too surprising, is it? The Ray for the Day is "Table for Two".
Thursday, January 13, 2011
So if you are going to have cappuccino and a cookie, someone has to make the coffee and have someplace to make it. Here is my rendition of an espresso machine. Once again, how does one paint stainless steel? What color is stainless steel? It's pretty much the color of whatever it is reflecting on a base of gray/white? Reflective surfaces are really interesting to look at and to paint. This was quite a lot of stuff to get onto an 8"x8" panel. I think I like to paint larger than this. I like bigger brushes and more paint better than small brushes and small spaces. It is a good exercise though. You might remember I thought small paintings would be easier? quicker? Not so. My next posting will show you where you might sit while enjoying the espresso of your choice. The Ray for the Day is "Espresso Machine".
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Well, I've been painting but I haven't been blogging. Holidays, family stuff, putting up Christmas decorations, taking down Christmas decorations, trips to Langley. Life. So I'll catch you up with my latest paintings. "Double, tall, decaf....." got me started on a small cafe series. All the paintings are 8"x8" on cradled board and reflect something about our coffee culture which is huge, especially here in the Northwest. Incidentally, I got kicked out of a couple of stores for taking photos of food. The coffee shops were pretty cool, especially when I introduced myself and told them what I was doing with the photos. Big grocery stores really don't like you taking photos of their food, though. I loved painting this little painting because I knew I couldn't paint glass so all I could do was paint the shapes and values as I saw them. Miraculously.....I ended up with glass cookie jars. The Ray for the Day is "Cookie Jars". SOLD