Friday, May 20, 2011

The Journey Sold

I thought this was finished a few days ago but every time I looked at
it, it seemed too tidy and neat, no excitement factor. I think I need
my heart rate to accelerate while painting so it feels like I'm taking
a risk and any moment, I could ruin the good parts. Loads of paint later . . .
finally beginning to understand the beauty of not defining the boundaries.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

At the Beach

I needed to see how my foray into working larger translated back to
a 6 x 6-inch. I've learned a lot lately and it seems I've got multiple
personalities driving the paint but essentially, they are all me. I read
a quote on someone's blog attributed to Agnes Martin that she worked
toward seeing herself in her canvas. Maybe art is psychology . . . or
at least a mirror. I still can't judge whether the work is good or bad but
the great thing is that I'm excited every moment I'm in the studio. Right
now, I'm so grateful for that but know that soon, I'll have to tackle more
complex subjects and compositions . . . (deep breath)

Friday, May 13, 2011


It's so exciting to see different ways to work with the same subject
and the infinite ways there are to use paint!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rift Sold

These past few days painting these pears has been pure joy . . .

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Arnolfini and His Wife Sold

Closer still . . .
I've been enjoying the process but still have to constantly remind myself
that I'm not painting pears but concerned with the entire picture. Thinking
pictorially has been hard to regain while I've tried to learn form. Still have
to ask myself if the color, mark, value I'm about to put down will add
excitement or interest, make the surface come alive. It requires stopping
and deciding which strokes to not cover so thin initial strokes show, it's
about looking for texture and effects, color interactions and choosing
which tool: brushes or knife in specific areas. This is a very informal way
to work and not for everyone but it suits me. The same rules apply---still
need to pay attention to value and grays and space in order to convey the
subject/idea. The title is from the cover of an art history textbook: a Flemish
painting of a nobleman and his very pregnant wife.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


This is the closest I've come to making a painting that feels like my
outsides are beginning to match my insides . . .

Monday, May 2, 2011

Two Lemons with Blue

Jean Townsend wrote on Saturday that working toward reducing detail
and losing edges feels hazardous, like everything will result in chaos if
allowed. That perfectly describes my inner state as I keep plodding. What
causes this fearfulness? It's just paint! It may have to do with a fear that I
may not be able to live up to my dream or shouldn't really trust my belief
that I really am an artist. Hence the trying too hard and the need for control
kicks in and before I'm aware of it, I'm painting from a conflicted place.
These past few months of using photos, images from TV and looking for
different ways to paint the same subject has eased the need to get things
"right." My little voice isn't scolding me for not quite matching that color.
More often, it now asks, "what if you put a splotch of red in that green
area, would it liven things up?"

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Two Lemons

I'm actually thrilled with this little painting! I painted the lemons last,
mapped in their location hoping to keep my mind on making a painting
rather than on painting lemons. I thoroughly enjoyed making messy and
non-sensical strokes and blotches for everything non-lemon so when it
came time for the lemons, it felt easier to not over-think. I've been working
toward putting down marks, strokes, colors that would serve the picture
plane rather than the subject for quite awhile. It seems it's so much harder
to do when working figuratively. I've also been looking at "messy" painters
like Alex Kanevsky, Quang Ho, Robert Spooner, Kim English, Jordan
Wolfson, Thai Shan Schierenberg. This painting isn't much but it feels like
a milestone. It's another step . . . forward, I hope!