Thursday, January 29, 2015

Small and Sweet

I have been leaning into the world of small works, finding much delight there. Funny thing about working small is that the marks you make are large in relation to the scale of the shapes in your subject, so they are more abstract and I think beautiful because of this. Doing a small piece everyday has kept me grounded while I continue to work on my videos.

I am learning so much and will have a whole new set of skills by the time I introduce the videos. Photoshop, Illustrator, Imovie, lighting, writing.....on and on.

Both these little pieces, 6x4 were done on leaf green colorfix paper with a really light touch of mostly hard pastels. They are little studies from a hike on Elk Rock Island last spring. It's fun to think about spring!

Speaking of Spring, I'm going to be offering a new two day workshop called Color Exploration in Pastel. This workshop will be a wonderful journey into color theory; color interaction, color orchestration, color masking, color choice in pastel, color everything. It will be May 22nd & 23rd in lovely, Milwaukie, OR! I'm really excited about this new offering. As usual, it will be packed full of info, demos, individual mentoring and critiques if we have any time!! Whew!!

Available on Daily Paintworks
Available on Daily Paintworks

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Old treasures and New Toys

One of my sons is taking a drawing class in college and asked me to go shopping with him to get supplies. It was so much fun! I tried really hard to be helpful, but now know-it-all. It was hard. The materials list brought back fond memories. They'll be working on contour, negative space, gesture and texture. I could tell just from the list. So cool. When we got back from our shopping expedition, I remembered that I still had my old art bin from my art school days. I recalled that the last time I'd opened it, it was still stocked with a good bit of drawing supplies. I didn't say anything, not sure if I really had it.

The next day, I rummaged around my storage and found it! I was delighted to pop it open and find a pretty neat and useful box. I couldn't wait to give it to Keith. When I gave it to him, I don't think he really got that it was pretty special and older than him! Quite a bit older than him! It still had my maiden name and phone number from Art Center days scrawled on the lid in Sharpie. I doesn't matter that he probably doesn't appreciate it yet. Maybe someday he will.

Today I got a new treat for myself....a still life stage. I'd admired Carol Marine's work for a long time and actually had her take a workshop from me in Eugene a few years ago. I was totally honored that she'd take my class. Anyway, I got a copy of her fabulous new book which I highly recommend and was inspired to spend some time with the still life. A few years ago, I did a project where I painted 30 objects, all of which I had friends and family choose. It was a kick, but the most difficult thing was lighting the objects and lighting the surface of my painting. The still life stage remedies this issue wonderfully. I'm also pretty excited about exploring the idea of being a daily painter; painting often and small and selling more online. This seems like a easeful and fun paradigm that dovetails nicely with doing online lessons. Don't you think?? I've been drawing simple objects and still life elements in my sketchbook, so I'm excited to try some pastel. Still in love with the landscape too! Here's an old piece I did a number of years ago. I super enjoyed doing it!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Lights, Camera, Action!

Well, sort of. I'm encountering a very steep learning curve with my video project! But I am making progress. I'm excited about sharing it with students, so I'm anxious to make progress. Maybe a little too anxious! Today, I spent many hours working on filming an exercise, thinking I'd gotten it all taped after a couple of runs, only to delete it on accident from the camera! Yikes! Then, while trying to make room on my SD card, I fragmented it,(didn't know what fragmenting was until today), and had to learn how to format it again. Thank goodness for Goggle. You can find out how to do anything on the web. Despite all these trials, I'm having fun, using my brain and managing to create a little bit of art every day, which has been my saving grace and kept me sane. Good thing I'm doing painting keeps me painting!! So, hopefully in a couple months or so, I'll have some things to share!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Remembering to Paint

Over the years, I've had this mantra; "Paint and all good things will follow". Doing small works every day reminds me of this. I am a painter. That is what I do. It just happens to be so. I don't specialize in computers, accounting, music,  or construction for example. It wasn't a path that I absolutely chose, although I did paint and draw as a young girl. The current of my life seemed to take me in this direction through a series of choices made and not made.  One might call it fate or destiny or just dumb luck.

So, I just paint and I've done it for a very long time. Some people would use the word "talent". I have a friend who would say something more like, "being slightly less limited at painting". Some people are slightly less limited than I am at math. I like that take on it, because being talented implies so many things in our culture that really don't mean much. What I think has been most important is the mileage and the persistence. Sticking with it for thirty plus years has been amazing and the funny part about it is, every time I step up to my easel, there is a moment of hesitancy, resistance and for a second or two or three, I feel like a beginner and in fact I am.

Today I ventured back into my variations again. I did three versions, all of which I like very much.  I hope you enjoy them. All three will be available on Daily Paintworks.

By the way, my online lessons are developing nicely. I'm very excited about introducing these within the next few months. I'm learning a lot more than I ever thought I would about Photoshop, film editing, and computer geeky stuff in general. It's all fun and good. Can't wait to show!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Small and Textural for the New Year!

Happy New Year!!! I wish all of you a peaceful, healthy, art filled 2015!!!
I am so grateful to be blessed with the New Year! It is always a fresh new beginning; a true wonder.

Painting large is physical, gestural, wondrous. I love doing large works. Over the past several years I'd all but abandoned the small form, seduced I suppose, by what a big canvas had to offer, both as a painter and a business person.

Doing 108 Days of Art has revived my appreciation for the small work; so quick and lively, simple and fresh. In pastel, the small work reveals more texture and gesture than I'd remembered. I'm trying to stay within 30 or 40 strokes for each of these works and trying to keep my fingers out of them, saved only for a brief softening of an edge or two.

I hope you enjoy these. I'll be continuing with them for a while. These were all done on Art Spectrum Colorfix paper with a variety of brands of pastel including Unison, Terry Ludwig, NuPastel, Mount Vision.

Some of these are available on Daily Paintworks!