Friday, December 30, 2011

Long Shadows

From tangerines in the dark to oranges in the light! If I'm going to
get on with moving toward where I want to go (wherever that is) it
seems a good thing to practice trying to be inventive. I had photo-
graphed these on a cedar bench outside so the actual background
was a bleached cedar color and the shadows almost black. I wanted
to paint the high contrast and the feeling of sunshine so what if . . . ?
I played around with a background color and took a lot of liberty with
the shadows, adding color and scraping it off. I feel pretty pleased with
this but still have to put it in different spots in my house and come upon
it as though I've never seen it before to see if my reaction stays positive.
I see a few areas that could use some work but on the whole, yes.
I never really know until I get other people's reactions.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Stocking Stuffers

I really enjoyed painting this . . . didn't worry much about
accuracy. Just decided to try to capture the spirit of these glowing
tangerines. The neighbor who owns this tree grew up in England
and told me he doesn't pick any until Christmas Eve following his
own traditions growing up. I hope you'll find your own stockings
filled with love. Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tangerine Tree 2

Another pose from the tree. I'm learning a lot from working on a
subject that has a sort of overall pattern. There's so much information
that I can't focus on individual objects but instead, be more aware
of the entire surface. I'm still trying to stifle my overactive left-
brain tendency to put in everything I see. My intention for a long time
now, has been to flip my brain so that my painting is more about
mark-making, color relationships and light patterns than about rendering
individual objects. I've not yet been successful with that and part of it, I've
realized recently, is that I don't always work with an awareness of that
intention. I seem to slip, unaware, back into unconsciousness and trying
much too hard to render again and again. Still engaged in that dialog with
myself about "paint what you see." Remembered a picture book I'd
bought for my daughter many years ago—there was an apparent scene
that everyone seemed to see immediately, but if you altered your focus,
crossed your eyes and concentrated on different elements in the pattern,
the scene would shift to something entirely different. An apparent forest
could shift completely to a school of fish or something like that. This is
such an intriguing concept and makes me wonder what I'm missing in
what I'm seeing with my "regular" eyes. A new intention to add: when
looking at anything, to try to see beyond the objects and actually focus
on color relationships and light patterns. This is probably so obvious
but I can be so slow to get stuff, even stuff I know intellectually. Terry
Miura writes about his process with representation and how he tries
to go beyond the actual:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tangerine Tree

The best thing about South Texas is that after a hellacious summer
of drought and sauna-like temperatures, we're rewarded with trees
bearing fruit! And rain, finally! Happy Holidays y'all and all the
best in the new year!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Oranges/Hydrangea 2

This is the last of the surviving oranges pose. I've been working
on several panels and a canvas, revisiting whatever is dry and
whenever I have some inkling of what to try, mostly color-wise.

Friday, December 2, 2011


This is another of the few survivors from the 3-weeks of painting oranges
binge, an early one when the hydrangea was still alive. I don't mind
reworking a painting but have learned to let them dry for a few days
before painting on them again. If the surface is not really dry, the new
layer of paint sinks in to the previous and dries "murky." It's satisfying
to try to salvage a painting that's not working—I feel much freer to try
something different, push and experiment a little more on a panel I already
consider a loss. And, I've accepted that I'm not really an alla prima painter.
Feel more comfortable layering and building a surface, letting previous
layers show through.

A few people commented on how great it was that Abend Gallery chose
my painting for the invitation. For a split second my heart leapt to my
throat when I saw it, but I think they created an individual digital invitation
for each artist . . . quite a lot of work and really nice of them!

And now I'm off to struggle with . . . tangerines!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Invite to Holiday Show in Denver

I've been invited to participate
in a holiday show of small works
at the Abend Gallery in Denver.
It's a great roster of artists and
I'm honored to be included.

Anyone in the Denver area
on Friday December 2nd, the
opening is from 5 - 9. With all
these fabulous artists, it's going
to be an outstanding event and
I wish I could be there!

The exhibit will be up until
January 7th.