Monday, October 5, 2009

Untitled, 2009

The photo came out a bit blurry. Completed painting (I think) as of October 1.

Enthroned- New and Improved

Thank you for your votes!!! Here is the painting with the changes- a majority said that a golden decorative border would be the best improvement. I love the result. Thank you for voting. Be sure to vote in the newest poll.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Yello Woman: Compare these two...

The image above is the painting as it exists today. The one below is a darkened and shaded version created in Photoshop. Please use this post for your voting at right.

Thank you for your helpful votes, the results of which will be put into practice.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Drawing with wet media class

I am taking a Drawing II class at the undergraduate level at my university. This is my first experience drawing in "wet media." He is encouraging us to sketch and practice a lot, which I must say has definitely been lacking in my artistic practice. I instantly want to treat every time I put pencil, ink, paint to paper or canvas as a final project to be feared and labored over. I think this class will have a good influence on me.

This is bamboo pen and sumi ink on paper, and I really enjoy this new-to-me medium.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

When In Our Sleep We Make the Elixir

First completed painting of 2009!
I had been working on a tight highly planned and rigid painting before this and got tired of working in that manner, so this was breaking out and painting with real enjoyment. I was craving getting back to a more primitive style of painting, and this went successfully.

This is from a sketch I made from a dream, around 2002. The original idea (the dream, really) was filled with more earth tones and smells (the latter of which is hard to communicate in a painting :) ). The color amber was dominant, and the sketch included some incense and also some notches etched on her leg- I have not included them because I was not certain that I wanted to imply any type of self-harm, which is not in the spirit of the image.

Here I have added a vibrant yellow for her body; yellow for me is the color of spirituality. The blue background came about from my desire to have this image resemble a stained glass window.

Friday, May 22, 2009

First paintings, circa 2000-2001

Basic Student Acrylic on found wood and cardboard. Aren't starving artists romantic?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Artist's book in progress

Another work in progress (a long time in coming) is an artist's book on the subject of divination by appearances of animals as related to the dissolution of my marriage. Sound interesting?

I am in the process of acquiring and reviewing all of the edits good friends have made to the text and deciding what the binding and papers will be like. There are so many choices! I think I am going to make two versions.

Anyone curious about artist's books can check out this great breakdown by Angela Lorenz:

Monday, April 6, 2009

New project... 2009

I started this painting yesterday, the first warm sunny day that I could paint outdoors this year. And thank goodness that day has come- I have no studio and no space in my apartment to paint.

This is from a sketch I did about 7 years ago. I am going to try to make it resemble a stained glass window. I am trying to get back in touch with my primitive style of painting, so I chose a sketch from that time period to work with.

I have also been finding that my normal exacting measured highly-planned method of painting is starting to limit my ability to be expressive. So this is stepping away from that.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Untitled, 2008

This was an experimental piece. I became more interested in abstraction, and thought about the process of abstracting from nature. I chose the biggest solid element- white snow, and wanted to emphasize it as a shape.

Many people like it right away when they see it, but then hesitate when their brain catches up. To me, this means that it is attractive visually, but the non-nonsensical nature of it disallows them to continue to enjoy it after wondering why the ground/ snow is red. Almost no one says anything about it.

I used a photo I took while on a winter hike in New Hampshire for this image.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hawthorne, 2008

Nate is an important figure for me, as a early New Englander, a writer of novels with dark elements, and as a sensitive almost-hermit who seems to be able to describe the passing moods of humanity like no one else I know of.

Many images of him show an attractive vivacious young man, and for kicks I looked for more photos of him and found a badly deteriorated one online where he appeared as a scowling complex old man. I used that photo as a study for the painting.

This was an unusual painting for me: created in one evening, painterly and expressive brush strokes (I am usually much more precise) and, well, I consider it almost perfect for what it is. My best friend in the world explained to me that there are pieces to every painting I do that could use improvement. I treasure her honesty. But we both think this a solid piece. I particularly like the zombie-like effect of the eyes and the monochromatic blue palette.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Digna, 2005

This is the largest painting I have ever done. I wanted to capture the simplicity and beauty of a new apartment and the woman who lived there with me. The yellow walls against the plain bed with purple sheets was so striking I chose them as a secondary subject.

I did some research on how to do portraits and the take-away I got is to start with a warm dark color and then layer the lighter skin tones on top. Also, my goal was to create a flat image that looked more like abstract color fields than objects (but I enjoyed creating shadows and lights on the body). I also wanted to step outside the boundary of academic perspective, so the walls and floor do not line up "properly." I am immensely pleased with this work.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Crone Studies, 2001

This is a good example of my early art at about age 24. I was praised in high school for being able to copy anything well in drawing, but I eventually learned that this is not art, this is technical skill. So I got intimidated and stopped. I wish someone had told me this was a perfectly good beginning.

Typical of this period was painting with acrylics on found planks of wood. Color mixing was rather foreign to me, and the result was usually a surprise. I also frequently used colors directly out of the bottle, and there was usually only one layer of paint in each color area.

This has a rather morbid subject: it's about female genital mutilation. I have female parts raining from clouds/ mountains resembling breasts. They are being collected as precious objects by an odd-looking crone. Why she is collecting is a mystery that I still have not figured out. Feminist themes are also very typical of this time period for me.

I used found wood not simply for thrifty reasons, but because I had a strict idea of how much material I could consume and "waste." I was almost pathological about it. Years later I can consent to not applying these strict rules to art, which is widely held as a higher cause, so while I do sometimes use second-hand objects for creating art, I also do not limit my buying and use of art materials... within reason.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Early Spring, 2006

Here are two preparations for what I think is a final (below) although I frequently try to come up with ways to improve it. (The first is done in the Windows Paint program, which I like for it's inflexibility and challenge) This is a good example of an idea that was very hard for me to translate onto the canvas. I saw a scene: a squirrel hurriedly jumping all around a stack of tree branches looking for food. It was moving so fast that I could only see the tail- and that is what I wanted to portray. I wanted to suggest the movement of time (multiple tails) and motion and the impression on my human eye. I researched Futurism to see how they depicted motion. Clever, perhaps, but not expertly executed I am afraid. Still, I do like it for what it is. I may experiment more with it someday.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Goldfinch; after Fabritius, 2002

One of my first large-picture art books had an image of a goldfinch tethered to a box on a wall. In this copy-cat version, I used an American Goldfinch and tried to tread the line between it being a female in summer or a male in winter. Also, this is anthropomorphized- I wanted to explore the idea of a person who felt safer being in a restrained position. The bird is actually wearing a pair of black shiny shorts.

I was very pleased with everything except the actual bird- especially the very oil-like effect I was able to create with my cheap acrylic paints. I do, however, like the wings.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Enthroned, 2008

A portrait of a sleeping Brian. He sleeps a lot, and I once noticed that he looked like a dead Jesus when he was sleeping on his back like that with his mouth wide open and skin dull and pale due to a deep slumber. I was able to take half a dozen photos of him without him noticing.

Photos, that is a good topic. I frequently paint from photos, which is of course far from the natural ideal of painting in the moment. In the moment you are subject to the lighting and emotion of the very situation that caught your attention. But from a practical standpoint, who gets to do that? I suppose only if you have set up an experience, i.e. a sitter or brought all your materials to find a landscape, can this ideal be reached. While I can see that as a good way to make studies, I don't look for a painting. I don't decide to paint and then look for a subject. The image is pushed into my consciousness as a whole, and then I try my best to replicate it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Inheritance, 2007

This is a painting I am very fond of. It is about the heart problems that exist in my immediate family. The hearts are partially derived from medical drawings and partially from my own interpretation/ imagination.

It has been described as everything from an uplifting image to a disturbing image. To me it looks like a shipwreck with hearts in a current. This sort of just happened; all I really knew when I started painting is that I wanted it to focus on three hearts and for it to be a kind of family portrait (hence the oval canvas).