Friday, July 22, 2016

No excuses, inspiration and summertime

No excuses. I saw this video on Facebook this morning and I thought- what an inspiration! I've had some issues lately with my hands due to a long time living with Rhuematoid Disease and of course the first thing that goes through my mind is.... what will happen if I'm not able to use my hands anymore? What if I can't hold a paint brush or colored pencil? Then I saw that and thought- hell, I'll just strap the brush to my arm if I have to. If you want to create or NEED to create like so many of us do, you'll find a way.

"Do not let the fact that things are not made for you, that conditions are not as they should be, stop you. Go on anyway. Everything depends on those who go on anyway." ~Robert Henri

So.... on to painting. Remember the bird's nest from the last post? Airborne is done- 12x12, mixed media on canvas. These are fun and a challenge to do. You know how much I love texture but I can't decide if I like it with these particular paintings. I think the nest itself might be easier to paint if the canvas were smooth but I do prefer the texture behind the gold leaf. Putting the gold directly on the canvas without texture tends to show off the weave of the canvas too much for my taste. I'll do the third one with the texture but maybe I'll play with something different for future pieces.

In the meantime I received a request for a portrait from someone who loves the gold leaf that I use in the landscapes but wants it done for a baby's portrait. Here's my first foray into gold and people painting. I have 7 grandchildren so I'm never without subjects to test techniques on. This one is Mila Blaze.

I think this will take some experimenting with surfaces. I love using Canson Mi-Teintes for portraits because I love to work on colored paper but the adhesive size for the gold does make the paper buckle. You can tell in the photo- especially on the left side. I did this one pretty small because I had a feeling that would be the case. The paper size here is 8.25x11. Maybe it would buckle less if the paper were larger? I don't know. The Canson also absorbs the size so it took 2 coats of the adhesive in order for it to work and get tacky. We'll see how the next one goes....

In the "catching up" post I shared some new landscapes. Since then I've shipped them off to the Signature Art Gallery in Tallahassee FL. and my wonderful rep Vera emailed me the photo of how they have my work displayed there- you can see the brand new ones on the left. I love this gallery and am so happy to be included with the fabulous artists they have there. Check out their website, or better yet, visit them if you can.

What's next? NOTHING! I'm not painting a single thing for the next week because tomorrow I head to the beach. I thought about taking some art supplies with me but then I thought about the hundreds of books on my kindle and decided to make a dent in that list instead and this will be my view for the next 7 days. Ahhhhh.......

Here's to creativity, inspiration, summertime, relaxation, peacefulness, and sunrises over the Atlantic. I hope you're getting your own time to rest this summer. See you when I get back.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Shiny gold and a bird's nest

Birds have always fascinated me. If I believed in reincarnation I think I'd like to come back as a bird. The thought of being able to fly, soaring on the currents, looking down at earth, seems so amazing to me! I first started using the bird's nest image in my Silent Voices series about infant adoption. As a thematic element it works to represent the position of the first mother, the place where life begins. And because of my love of birds it just made sense for me to use the imagery of their handiwork. 

Since then I've been lucky enough to have wrens visit my home and build theirs inside my mailbox. So far I've collected 3 nests and keep them in my studio for inspiration and painting reference.

Here they are sitting on my big drawing table. 

When I paint my landscapes I frequently use gold leaf and texture- I love shiny, and I love the way a painting with gold changes when the light in a room changes. Lately I've been focused on some new gold sky paintings and decided I wanted to change things up a bit. A bird's nest is part of the landscape so why not? Why not combine the nest idea with the gold sky idea and do something a little bit different. So here's the first one......

And the second one (below) is in progress, still lots to do. I've noticed that when I painted the nests in the Silent Voices series they were more stylized. It just seemed better suited to the paintings that way. Now with these new ones I'm getting more realistic with them. They're not quite so neat- more messy and real. It just seems to work better with the texture and the looseness of the gold application.

I'm enjoying this little crossover in painting subjects between 2 different groups of work. Who knows where else it'll lead. 

Let me know what you think. I'd love to hear your thoughts- it would be a nice break from the chatter in my head. :)

Friday, July 1, 2016

The "catching up" post- painting, portraits, coloring books and censorship

Wow, almost a year to the day since the last post! That is way too long!
So what have I been up to- let's see.....

Painting, painting and more painting.
Did multiple portrait commissions.
Designed and published the Masterpeace Mandala coloring books- yes, my husband and I put our skills together and jumped on that bandwagon.
Had a solo exhibition at the 567 Center for Renewal in Macon GA.
Changed a few things around on the Etsy shop
Spent a week at the beach.
Spent a week in Ohio with daughter and grandkids.
Spent the holidays in Texas with my other daughter and grandson.
Spent 3 more weeks in Texas helping my daughter when she had baby #2.
In between those trips there was more painting and working on my website.
Teaching art classes on Mondays.

I think that's it. I don't think I left out anything major. And I think the traveling will slow down this year. Of course it would be a huge help if my daughters would just move to FL!

Ok, back to the work.....

The landscapes

Golden Edge

Gold Sky Woodland

Spring Pink

These are some of the newest paintings from my studio. I'm having fun with the gold leaf again- can you tell? :) Sales at the Signature Gallery in Tallahassee and the Macon Arts Alliance in GA have been picking up- yay! My next step will be to add another gallery to the list. I'm not sure which area I want to approach so if you have any ideas about where my work would fit in, feel free to share.

The solo exhibition


This is one of the pieces from the Silent Voices series. I have 16 paintings in this series so far, all the same size. This was the group of work for my solo exhibit in GA. It caused quite a commotion and 3 of the paintings were censored from the show!! Every weekend for the duration of the show the paintings had to come down and were rehung on Mondays- not kidding! If you want to see the pieces that were censored and why, check out the post I did on my other blog. To see the rest of the pieces in the show, go to the Symbolic page on my site. 

The portraits

I've done several portrait commissions but this one I did for myself. My granddaughter was hanging out at the house with us one night. She had wrapped a blanket around herself and was just being goofy and making faces. I grabbed the camera and took a lot of shots and decided to compile some of them into the 6 Faces of Maxine. It's colored pencil on red Canson MiTeintes and let me tell you.... skin tones on red paper is a challenge!

The coloring books

Coloring books?! Yep, we made coloring books. There are actually 3 coloring books and 3 coloring journals. We thought it would be fun to make mandala designs and patterns inspired by line drawings of the masters. So far we have Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Mucha. In the journals we have pages that are lined and some unlined and some that have coloring designs or edges. Since this kind of work is not something I normally do it was quite the learning curve for me. Getting to know the programs required to do the designs took some time but once I got it down it was a lot of fun.

I think this catches us up and hopefully I can get back to posting here on a regular basis now that life is getting a little more regular again. So in the meantime, check out the links, leave comments here or there.... let me know what you think. And Happy 4th of July! Hope it's a great weekend.