A textured, chunky little abstract that I am somewhat pleased with, "Epistle".
Merry Christmas and thank you to all that visit this blog, all the love and help from all my artists's friends, all the love and encouragement from all my other friends and a special thanks to everyone that bought paintings making it possible for me to continue painting.
I was inspired by the all the portraits I have seen lately and decided to take one more shot at a self-portrait. Working from photos is always a challenge because there is never enough information but it beats holding a mirror in one hand.
Annelein Beukenkamp made this portrait of me for "Different Strokes from Different Strokes" last year. It keeps me company in my studio! Check out her lovely paintings and her great book at: http://abwatercolors.blogspot.com/
The response to the DSDF portrait was amazing and I am having a great time checking out other people's blog. But, I need to get some painting done today and walk the dog, bring in wood, etc. I will have to check out more websites tonight.
If anyone knows of any other sites that allow people to post paintings to them (like DSDF) I would like to hear about them. Has anyone turned their blog into a book?
This is a detail of a self-portrait collage I made when I was just getting started in '05.
Karin Jurick sent the call out for her portrait exchange for the Different Strokes from Different Folks site and this is the painting I am returning. Please check out the website, there are some terrific portraits. This is such a cool event to take part in and I have met some wonderful artists through it. I love the photo I had to work from, very "Wuthering Heights", hence the title "Could be Kathy".
I spent more time than I probably should have overhauling these old cut-outs, but Bruce was happy to put them out in the yard.
I am experimenting with Nova color paints. They have a bit of a thin consistency but they are cheap like Borsch. They carry a flesh tone that I use to paint skin. It saves me a lot of mixing and I can alter it until I get what I want.
Using photoshop, I removed all the color until the image was just black and white and I flipped it so that it viewed the opposite way (head facing left instead of right) and discovered that part of the problem was that her head was too wide...so I went back in and narrowed her face down. Then, I toned down some of the oranges...I think I'm done with this one. I need a better title, however.
Well, really more like frustrated. I was very happy with my initial dancer painting, but when I attempted a second one, it looked like a dog's breakfast ( sorry Ralphie). I slaved on that stupid thing for a couple of days. I am going to move on and try something else. Normally, I would paint over the darn thing, but I am holding off to see if I learn anything about what is making it fail so miserably. Onward and upward. There is lots of Christmas social occasions to contend with.
I received two flu shots yesterday and feel a little sore but hopefully bullet-proof against nasty flu bugs!
The dog was just a cute fellow I met in my summer travels. Oh, for warm weather.
This is the abstract I started some time ago. More experimentation is necessary in future abstracts. I was disappointed that the gesso ground and crackle didn't add more texture. Will play some more on future paintings.
Yup, it's that time of year. I normally don't get too excited by decorating for Christmas (Halloween being my favorite holiday) but Bruce has been busy putting up lights and threatening to put up Santa and the reindeer that we inherited with the property. They are looking so sad that I am giving them a face lift and it's a job. Why do there have to be eight reindeer? Quick, can you rattle off their names (Did you grow up with Gene Autrey's "32 Feet and 8 Little tails, one of my favorite Christmas songs and infinitely superior to Rudolph the Red-nosed reindeer?) Now that will date you!!
This is a painting based on a photo of one of the lovely ballerinas that modeled for us during the Wiltzen workshop. I rather like the color blocking and want to pursue that effect in some of the other paintings that I hope will become a dancer series. Wish I could stay home and paint today instead of dragging into town for supplies. Still, better to shop on a thursday than enter the madhouse Christmas shopping on the weekend.
This little painting evolved in the Burridge workshops. I laid down a layer of juicy blue paint then pressed a paper towel into it and immediately lifted it up creating an interesting lacy pattern. The three figures seemed to appear like magic. I just colored in their outlines. I did a lot of folk dancing in college and the whirling energetic troika was one of my favorite dances. I like the look of the word "troika" so I put it in at the bottom.
After the pressure of accomplishing a couple of commissions, I am determined to loosen up and play. Honestly, I came to this conclusion after spending several hours yesterday trying to make a few paintings for an upcoming sale but all I achieved was crap, crap, crap.! Time to play. I find I choke up if I try to paint to sell (most times) It's better if I just paint and not worry so much about the outcome.
I am reading "the Creative Edge" by Mary Todd Beam. Love her work. Inspires me to try more abstracts.
This is a substrate composed of texturized molding paste, applied charcoal, and then a thin glaze of burnt umber rubbed on and off, to draw up the texture. I am happy with all the groovey bits, now I just have to develop this into something.
I made this painting a couple of years ago and have become more and more fond of it, so I think it will no longer be for sale. It reminds me of my Mom, not that it looks like her but there is something in her expression that makes me smile.
If anyone out there has prayers to spare, My cousin Charlene is gravely in need of them. She is not recovering from heart surgery as well as expected and we still need he, if possible.
I don't know how Grandma Laura dealt with this, but she had a strong christian faith. My Uncle Cloyd went down with his ship in the Bay of Pigs. We were extremely lucky that three came home. Mike Cravens in Vietnam
Ray Woodbury, Canadian peacekeeper, Bosnia Ben Woodbury, Canadian civilian military support, Afghanistan
I am still wanting to play with some of the things I learned at the Burridge workshop. This is an acrylic painting on watercolor paper that has been treated with gesso. I will probably frame this like a watercolor but Burridge often mounts his paintings directly onto canvases and sells them like that--no frame. I like the approach and will experiment with it.
Bruce and I attended Juanita Rose Violini's book reading on thursday night. She has just published "The Almanac of the Infamous, the Incredible, and the Ignored" which is chockful of unusual incidents. Like Juanita, I don't have to have mysterious incidents explained, we can just marvel that they exist. You can check out the book on Amazon. Who knew the phenomenom of skyfall was so prevalent. Watch out for falling frogs!
Juanita purchased my painting "Spooky" in 2008. It seems like a very good fit.
Finally, I'm back in the studio. This is my take on one of Burrdige's "drip trees". I am having fun playing around with this. Expect some more.
This is my studio space. I found this great desk as a giveaway in somebodies yard in Victoria. It's about 8 foot by 3 foot and weighs a ton, but what a great work surface. I have spent the last couple of days cleaning and culling. Gotta make room for new stuff. What does everyone do with their old paintings? Because, it's cold and grey outside, this is the perfect time to be overhauling the house. Next, the frame room!
I am published, again. Thank you and good luck Karla Pearce!
Art of the Kootenays A collection of 56 Kootenay Artists
Artists from all over the Kootenay region have come together to create a book that defines Kootenay art. A year and a half in the making, Art of the Kootenays hits the stores this November. Full colour and hard cover, this beautiful coffee table book contains fifty-six individual Kootenay artists who have come together despite geographic and regional obstacles to showcase collectively in one reference their artistic vision. Heralding from Christina Lake, Castlegar, Nelson, Trail, Rossland, Winlaw, South Slocan, Kimberly, Cranbrook, Invermere and Fernie, the artists fill the pages with photos of their contemporary Kootenay Paintings, Ceramics, Fibre, Glass, Jewellrey, Photography and Sculpture, accompanied by the personal insights and thoughts that led to their creation and written in their own words.
The idea for the project came from Karla Pearce who over a span of ten years interviewed hundreds of artists in the area for her column/ feature The Creative Edge that ran in print, radio and television. It was through her experience and the sheer volume of work that Pearce felt that other people needed to see what she saw.
“ There is an undercurrent of similarity that exists Kootenay art. The artwork here is influenced by the beautiful natural elements and the vast geographical spaces. It comes through in the colours and the subject matter. You just don’t see many city angst paintings in the Kootenays,” says Pearce.
I took a workshop with Elizabeth Wiltzen this weekend. Liz is an accomplished and well-known mountain painter but she is branching out. Excellent teacher. I hope she will forgive me for whining and complaining ( she was pushing me to use oil, a medium I loathe). We had the most wonderful models, twin ballerinas. They were terrific and held challenging poses. No wonder Degas painted dancers. Their sense of line is exquisite. I want to hire these girls just for myself. Regarding oil paint: my lungs hurt and I managed to throw my coat in the car, right on top of the wet paintings. That is why I paint in acrylic!!
These are two sketches I made in the workshop, the rest were wiped off. These were 10 or 15 minute paintings. We were there to learn... not finish a painting. Now that I am home (with photos) I would like to do some dancer paintings and try to keep some of this freshness. IN ACRYLIC.
This is one of the paintings I am working on for the next artrageuos show. The colors are actually nicer, it is so gray today I can't get good light to photograph by. We had a couple of inches of snow this morning. SNOW! It ususally doesn't arrive until the end of October.
I think this one is nearly done. I hope to put a very thin yellow glaze over the whole works. This young woman was sitting on a bench outside of a restaurant when I was down visiting the girls in May and kindly let me take her photo. I love the glasses and her demure manner.
My understanding is that he could not read or write, but boy could he create things. Fred went to work in the lumber camps when he was 12. He homesteaded as a young man and later ran a tavern. The park is right next to where his tavern used to be. Me and a lion.
I have spent this week in a Robert Burridge workshop and I must say it is money well spent. I have learned lots of great production tips. The inspiration tips will take longer to sink in but they are of merit also. I need to be home in my studio to "compost" some of the ideas. The photo is one of his flower paintings. One thing he does every time he gets ready to paint is to run off a bunch of small quick paintings to get warmed up.
I am an acrylic painter exploring color and texture. I like horses, Canadian wildlife, old trucks, bold women, kind men, tequila and cashews. Most paintings are for sale. Contact me for prices and shipping if you are interested in purchasing a painting. And thanks for viewing my blog!