Sunday, March 16, 2014


Through the process of working on a grant application and writing about my work I became more interested in the surrealists. When I first started my Silent Voices series I didn't think about what 'ism' that work would fit into. It wasn't a case of intentionally setting out to create surrealist work, it was a case of putting a very personal and emotional part of my life on canvas. In fact I don't generally care about any 'isms' when I'm working. It's not something I think about.

Frida Kahlo
What the Water Gave Me

Frida Kahlo was a painter who didn't separate her life from her art. I always admired her courage and the openness with which she shared herself. I wanted to create like that - with the freedom to say something with the work and be comfortable doing it.

Rene Magritte
Son of Man

It's been a very long time since art history class in college so I went to the book store and picked up a book on the surrealists to refresh my memory of some of the other painters. One of them jumped out at me.... Rene Magritte. Of course we're familiar with the one above - Son of Man but it was interesting to see other of Magritte's pieces.

Rene Magritte

I could really relate to his imagery and style, especially in his piece Georgette. Can you tell why? I had never seen that particular painting of his before last week.The way he blocked off the elements in the picture, the candle, the envelope, the 2 faces, the egg (a theme in some of my pieces) - interesting. It's also interesting to me that he uses the bird nest in some of his other work. Makes me wonder if I really had seen much more of his work way back when and it was just buried in my subconscious, waiting to bubble up and appear as an influence. Something to think about....

Friday, March 7, 2014

Yes, I still do colored pencil

I know I've posted a lot of stuff about acrylic painting but I do still paint with colored pencil on occasion. I do portraits in colored pencil using the tonal layering technique that gives such a smooth finish to children's skin. This is one I did some years ago but it's new to the portrait page here. I just added it recently. This is my niece Kayla (she's now 22 yrs old!) and it was one of my favorites to do along with the one of her playing with bubbles - click the portrait tab above and scroll down to see that one.

I also added the portrait of Kayla's brother Grant....

The background on this one is a lot looser. I like the scribbly pencil stroke look sometimes plus it's faster to do and is a nice contrast to the smooth layers on the figure.

Then there is the super fast way to work with colored pencil and that's what I'm doing now on an abstract piece. I use mineral spirits with the pencils to turn the dry pigment into paint. I LOVE working this way. Yesterday I turned the camera on to show you a few minutes of how I paint with a pencil.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Goings on

What the heck happened to February? It was a busy month and looks like March is going to be even busier! Lots of projects to work on. Getting started on the project for this month's Friday Painting Party.....

We're going abstract this time. Some of the ladies want to loosen up and try something different so I'm having them play with tissue paper to texture their canvas and then we'll play with color and design.

This past weekend I went back to Macon to pick up the work from my show. While there I met with the gallery director at the Macon Arts Alliance Gallery, Heatherly Wakefield. She checked out the show before we took it down and made a selection of pieces for me to take to her gallery so she'll be carrying my work there. How cool - I now have a gallery rep in Georgia! Since I brought some work back to the studio I had to rearrange, of course. I did a new arrangement on the studio wall...

So what else is happening this month? Working on my entry for the CPSA International Exhibition which is coming up this summer right here in FL. The convention activities will be in Daytona Beach and the exhibition itself will be in Ormond Beach at the Ormond Art Museum. I'm so excited! This is the first time the CPSA show and convention will be in Florida. The deadline for entries is March 31st so if you're one of my colored pencil followers, get coloring.

And...... I'm teaching a 2 day workshop down in the Villages the first week of April so I need to get busy prepping for that. It's all about painting landscapes in acrylic. It'll be a fun time. There are some very enthusiastic painters down there. :)

So, that's what's going on in my studio.... what's happening in yours?