Monday, October 27, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Have you heard of Around the World Blog Hop? I hadn't until artist Sunny Avocado invited me to participate by answering four questions about my work. I love Sunny's art, especially her self-portrait and gooey peanut butter and jelly sandwiches paintings.

1. What am I working on?
No artwork these days. We are building a new home and my time is spent on the millions of decisions necessary. It took a whole day to verify window sill heights in the house and garage. Last night, instead of sleeping, I spent several hours in the middle of the night weighing the pros and cons of white paint colors for our trim, inside and out. It is as if I am creating this huge (expensive) painting. My color choices must be correct but all I have now is little color chips. I look forward to the sheetrock stage (probably around Christmas) so I can see the rooms and how they relate to one another and the available natural light.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? I change my genre every decade or so. It isn't some grand plan, I think I just get bored when I start to feel really comfortable with a medium.

In my twenties I was a fashion illustrator working in pen and ink, then a twenty year sabbatical to raise children. When I returned to art in my 50's, I created colored pencil still life drawings. The pastel landscape was the genre of my 60's. Now, in my 70's I am experimenting with oil paint, landscapes and still life. So, I don't really have an answer to the question. When I come across beautiful work of others, rather than compare my work to theirs and how it might be the same or different, I am more interested in their handling of the medium. When I get back to painting, I will probably continue abstracting my subject and letting go of detail.

My twenties
My fifties
My sixties
My seventies
My seventies

3. Why do I create what I do?
I guess I've already answered this question in terms of subject and medium so perhaps another question might be Why do I paint? I have asked myself this question many times. I guess the bottom line is that I need a creative outlet and for the past 25 years that has been art. I paint to fill gallery commitments.  Each time I try a new medium, it has been helpful to me to enter competitions to get feedback from Jurors and Judges. But, as I focus on our building project in the coming year(s) I suspect the reason I create art will change. When I have time to paint, it might be more exploratory -  to satisfy my curiosity. Oil bar and encaustic look interesting!

4. How does my creating process work?
A clean studio a must, I can't work amid chaos. Good light, something I'm still experimenting with. I like the routine of painting weekday mornings. I usually have only one or two paintings in progress at a time, otherwise I feel like my attention is spread too thin. I used to work exclusively from reference photos but painting from life or memory gives me a fresher look. And, knowing when to quit on a painting is a big challenge for me as it may be for other artists.

And finally, here are the three very talented artists I have invited to blog next Monday, November 3.

1. Kay Dewar is my long time friend; we met through colored pencil. Kay is a kind and thoughtful person - we cheer each other on in life and art.

Kay Dewar

2. Marilyn Webberley is an oil painter I met through Women Painters of Washington. She is generous with her time and knowledge, even walking me through putting oil paint on my new Open Box M.

Marilyn Webberley

3. Carol Flatt is from my distant past - we went to school together.  It was a surprise and pleasure to  reconnect a couple years ago through Daily Paintworks and see her work.

Carol Flatt

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

another rework

Bejeweled becomes Bejeweled Woodland
Another rework. I unframed Bejeweled (framed but never shown) to work the upper left corner but "way leads unto way" (Robert Frost) and I saw more and more that needed changing. I'm happy with all of it now. Back into the frame and renamed Bejeweled Woodland.

Monday, October 6, 2014

fall rework

Signature of All Things reworked to Wild Lilac
Early in 2014 I painted "The Signature of All Things." Today, as I prepare for a November show at Scott Milo Gallery, Anacortes, I came across the painting, still unframed. I've been working in oil since last spring but I couldn't resist uncovering my pastels for a little rework. Now, it is "Wild Lilac."

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Of Time and Treasures

My show, Of Time and Treasures, opens tomorrow and runs through November 4 at State of the Arts Gallery, Olympia, Washington. Join us at Artwalk tomorrow night, Oct. 3, 2014, 5-7 PM. My thanks to gallery owner, Deb Martz Moody for showing this new body of work.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

update on studio

I am excited to post that our new home with new studio is finally underway. The studio won't face the lake but will open onto a courtyard/flower garden.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

a most unusual day

When All is Said and Done, oil, 16x20 inches
Farewell to Summer, oil, 16 x 20 inches

Yesterdays, oil, 16 x 20 inches
Today was framing day for the three oil paintings for my upcoming show at The State of the Arts Gallery. When I got all three framed, I realized I had failed to photograph them first.

And, when photographing them and naming the files, I realized I had failed to ponder their titles - something that usually happens during the painting process.  So, one by one I named them.

And, now as I post them here, I am surprised that all together, they tell today's story: When all is said and done, farewell to summer yesterdays. I am amused and awed by this message that has come to me in this surprising way. I'm thinking about that message and will write about it on my life blog.

Note: several hours after I posted the images and text above, we learned that the building permit we have waited for all summer is ready to issue. Yay!

Monday, September 15, 2014

september song progression

September Song plein air study and beginning of studio piece

September Song, pastel, 16 x 20 inches
I have a prospectus for an interesting exhibition. Each artist may submit a plein study and its corresponding studio painting. The theme is water so the obvious choice for me is our garden pond. It was recently restocked with gold fish after the Great Blue Heron ate all the previous ones. On a sunny day the orange/red fish are a spectacular color combination against the sun-drenched green/gold pond water. Our pond is rimmed on the shady backside with bamboo, bending and swaying in September breezes.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

etsy store update

I'm catching up on a few things. Today's project was updating my etsy shop. Right now it is small original art and fine art prints.

Friday, September 12, 2014

still life oil paintings

I'm finishing up the last painting for my upcoming show at The State of the Arts Gallery, Olympia, WA. All oil paintings, still life scenes, 6 x 6 inches to 16 x 20 inches. Opening reception is Friday, Oct 3. If you are in the area, please stop by.

This blog focuses on my art but lately most of my time has been spent on other things. Not everyone wants to read about that but if you do, here is a link to my Artist's Life Journal blog.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

good news for fond memories

"Fond Memories," pastel, 7.5 x 7.5 inches
Today I received the good news that my painting, "Fond Memories" received the HK Holbein Award from juror Diana Sanford in the Northwest Pastel Society 2014 NPS Members' Exhibition at the Allied Arts Association, Richland, WA.

Last February, this painting was offered on Daily Paintworks but it didn't sell. Now, of course I'm very glad it didn't.

Monday, September 1, 2014

a turning point?

"Turning Point: Color Study for Pond Painting"
painted August 29, 2014
Each painting we create is a separate experience but together all our paintings make us the painters we are at the moment.

I wondered what would happen when I went back to pastel after the series of small still life oil paintings I began last spring. I painted orange cups, red cherries, and most of the small paintings had a lot of saturated color.  This is a pastel plein air study of our garden pond, a subject I have painted many times before but never quite as brightly as this one.

A long title for a small painting (6 x 7.25 inches), "Turning Point: Color Study for Pond Painting," is available for purchase on Daily Paintworks.

Friday, August 29, 2014

back to work with Pastel Porter

Back to "work" after no painting for many weeks. Here I am painting our pond using the Pastel Porter I received as an award last year. I have to say I love it! Mine is sparsely populated with a variety of pastel brands - this is the Jumbo Jr. model with 360 pastel slots. It can attach to a tripod but here it is sitting atop my Soltek easel.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

forgotten path was really forgotten

Forgotten Path, oil, 14 x 10 inches
Today I found this oil painting in my studio. That makes it sound like my studio is really isn't. I carefully put things away and then can't find them or forget about them. I honestly don't know when I painted this one. It must have been earlier this year. Anyway, I found it and it is definitely dry and ready to move to a new home, hopefully not mine. Purchase

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

pastel packaging for shipment

Summer's End II, protective packaging
Three days to go on the auction for Summer's End II. I am packaging it for shipping by USPS Medium Flat Rate Box.

Your pastel painting
Crystal Clear bag
double sided adhesive tape
removable "Scotch" tape
Archival (or not) foam core 3/8"
craft knife
Artist's tape

1. Measure your painting and cut two pieces of 3/8"  thick foam core 1" larger on all sides. Set one piece of foam aside - this will your cover. For the base piece of foam core, apply a small piece of dbl sided tape where each of the corners of your painting will be. Carefully center your painting and gently press each corner to attach it to the base foam. (Use a slip-sheet between your fingers and the pastel surface when pressing.)

2. Cut four  3/4" wide foam core strips (one for each side of the painting). I cut the side pieces slightly shorter than the length of the side to leave a "gutter" for any pastel dust or expansion. Now  cut additional 3/4" inch wide strips to stack the strips so they are a minimum of 1/4" higher than the painting surface all the way around. In this case I needed only two 3/8" thick pieces on each side because the painting is Wallis Belgium Mist on 4-ply board.

3. With dbl sided tape, attach 4 of the strips snug against the painting edges.

4. With dbl sided tape, attach another foam core strip on top of the existing strip on each of the two sides of the painting.

5. With dbl sided tape, attach another foam core strip on top of the existing foam core strips at the top and bottom of the painting carefully overlapping the edge of the painting by 1/16". This will hold the painting in place if your small adhesive tabs in each corner fail.

6. To apply the Crystal Clear Bag: Apply small tabs of dbl sided tape to top and bottom foam core strips to attach a Crystal Clear bag stretched taunt over the painting. The bad does not touch the painting surface. Apply removable "Scotch" tape courtesy tabs to each side to hold the taunt bag in place.

7. To ship, cover with the other piece of foam core, tape with courtesy tabs on each side, wrap in bubble wrap, then into a box containing additional cushioning (foam, packing peanuts, etc.). Voila! Pastel is packaged for safe shipment.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

wild meadow

Wild Meadow, pastel, 10 x 8 inches
Another Studio clean-up sale painting.  sold

To read yesterday's thoughts about retirement and hobbies, and a link to a wonderful clay artist, click here.

Click here to see one of my favorite things.