Posts

Upon this rock...

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In last week's post I said that I would speak about my thoughts on how and why I've progressed through 4 different mediums during  my art career. Each stage was a deliberate not arbitrary change. My path changed because there came a pivotal moment when I chose to follow a different direction. 
Today we will begin with my work in Watercolor.


I was surprised, while looking back through my photos of my earlier work that I found very few examples of purely watercolor paintings. Those that I did find were quite revealing!  I think that my first attempts definitely pointed out the simple fact that this was not to be my forever medium. Yes, they all sold, and yes, they were of professional quality but I could see that I was using it as a way to explore my skills.
Let's be clear... watercolor is not for the faint hearted!
It will quickly inform you of your strengths and weaknesses in your studies. It will frustrate you into acknowledging that your need to understand value is param…

It all began...

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I began my art career as a graphic designer. My father wanted me to have the possibility of earning a paycheck if I chose to be an artist! Lol.. loved that man. He didn't know nor did I that computers, a marriage and three children would redirect that dream to take a different path and to this day I am forever grateful it all happened. 
Many artists will begin in a medium and happily stay with it perfecting all of its nuances and never questioning their choice. Others will flail about with a brush always searching for that magical tool that will bring success.  For 25 years ink and brush were used in many illustrative, commercial ways yet I knew it was not the right fit for me but then what was? I joined an art guild, resurrecting my figure drawing skills and habits of study from my college days, met like minded artists and continued to explore.
 Watercolor was my first brushstroke. It seemed a natural step after commercial work. It was a safe medium to have in the house around grow…

Soaring...redux

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Today is Father's Day... "Soaring" is a mixed media collage that I painted in 2009, 1 year after my father had passed. At that time I wrote:
" My father passed away one year ago today on April 1st. It is said that a parent can give two important things in life to a child ...roots and the wings to fly. For my father............SOARING"

The original is in the collection of an art collector that I know appreciated the art as well as the motivating sentiment and to this day I remember all of the nuances of its structure.

I have asked my readers to send me their questions about my work and I thought that this example would answer one of those questions about composition.
Q: How do you avoid the natural tendency to divide a painting in half either vertically or horizontally?
A: The simple  answer is... I don't, I work with it.

I came across a sub heading  in a book "Design & Composition Secrets of Professional Artists" a North Light Book, 2001, that …

#WIP

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This week, I began again.
Walked away, cleaned the palette, washed out the brushes and  doodled in my sketchbook...playtime.
I know the answer seems simplistic, but really it works. Take away the "should " and "ought to" and just let "what is" take over.
Good news, I sold two paintings, made progress on a commissioned work that had stalled and began another painting.  You see, it doesn't take much to put some zing back into my daily painting.The important take away here is that over the years of working I've  come to understand how I work. It is probably very different for another artist, but it suits me. I have a library full of books, I watch plenty of Youtube art videos but nothing has taught me more than getting to know, understand and accept who I am as a painter. My likes and dislikes, my comfort zones and my risk taking show up every time I pick up a brush. I may have some traditional approaches to a painting but I know that there is a mom…

Cranky...

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It's been one of those weeks. You  know the kind. I wandered in and out of my studio or sat down with a sketchbook and ....nothing. Not that I didn't do anything this week, in fact I did everything... but paint!  Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am in constant motion. My partner and I have been rebuilding a house, really it's the second home that we have rebuilt. It seems I have this need to knock down walls and redesign any room that I walk into. Fortunately, together, we have acquired the know how and tools to accomplish our vision.
Weeks like this come and go and I declare at least a half dozen times that "I'll never paint again...!"
I'm out of step out, out of rhythm. My paint brush might as well be a 2 x 4. Colors muddy together, images get obscured and I get cranky.
I've learned to walk away and choose to do something else. Believe it or not I have found that to be the healthiest way to cope. Just like a toddler about to grow, the awkwa…

Sea Escapes...

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Living by the shore changes one's heartbeat. The sound of the surf, the warmth of the sands, the smell of the breeze, have contributed to many paintings over the years. I'm a lake kid from upstate New York. Oceans came later in life. Much to my surprise, I currently have five seascapes in process in my studio. Obviously, I need to get away!
As a painter this setting is a wealth of studies of rock, sand, grasses, birds, water and sky. Watercolor, mixed media, acrylic and oils. I've worked in all media for seascapes creating stormy seas crashing into rock and calm shoreline ripples against hot sands. Other than the work that is on my easel, they are all gone, connecting with the heartbeats of many of my collectors now. I do miss some of these paintings. Each was a moment in time in my life that was important enough to record. In an instant I recall that brush stroke, the choice of color to blend or torn paper to collage.
After months of lock down in this pandemic, a walk al…

A Moment in Time...

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Some paintings are simply moments caught in time. Seemingly unimportant and the image may not be grand but note the time spent with someone special in that location and gives that painting a story to hold in my heart.
"The Culvert" was such a painting. I packed up a small kit and met my daughter, Jessie, for a morning walk near a lake. This was a rare opportunity for it was for us, alone, no children to walk or entertain, no spouses to divert attention. We walked the perimeter of this well worn path talking and finally stopped where we found our comfort, both verbally and with each others presence. Mother and daughter our roles of past, now adjusting to grandmother and mother. We talked of the children and spouses. I talked of shadows and light, of lines and perspective, of pencils and paint. Jessie, though she brought a sketch pad, let her poetry rise up and paint her thoughts and words. This casual walk along the lake, a painting and poem... pre pandemic, before our knowi…