Friday, June 26, 2009

all the balls in the air

My life as a painter is blend of old tools and new technology, big projects and small experiments. I like that.
Lots of paintings and drawings in progress -
•B&K hot is nearly complete.
•I revisited the Tarot card painting and sharpened up some edges of card and reflections, plus another layer of color and texture on the rug.
•Gridded a new linen canvas gessoed with clear gesso (!) for the Periodical Blues.
•Picked up the photos of magnolias, hydrangeas and mimosas I shot this week. They look simple and fun to experiment with. I have to decide what size to make them and whether to paint them on canvas or board. I am thinking of them as little vacations from the big Metamorphosis project.
*I'm excited to be part of Cecelia Kane's Hand to Hand project.
My task is to pick a news story about Iraq a day from any source (radio, online, newspapers) and create one glove or hand art in response for Monday July 13 through Saturday July 18. I'm to use my normal media (oil) and preferably come at the war issues from the angle of the imagery that I am already using in my art. I'm supposed to date the gloves and can be literal or abstract with the headlines. Being me, my images with be representational and in oil on board. Robert cut six (plus two for back up) glove shapes out of wood for me. Somehow I will have to find a way to make the imagery I choose personal as well as about the war.
•Tomorrow I gesso the cut outs and work on the drawing of Blues.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

today's art brought to you by the letter A.

B&K Cold: worked on both letters A, the number 8 and the top third of the cat. Also did more on the front right hand side of the silver tray and some interesting orangish reflections along the lip of the tray.

B&K Hot: Worked on both letter A's, letter P, numbers 7 & 8, the candle, and the business end of the hammer.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

progress on B&K Hot and Cold

Worked on B&K Cold yesterday - mostly went over the background adding another layer of color and beginning to add texture and details.

Today, after a morning of ferocious weeding, I worked on B&K Hot building up the colors on the dresser and the candlestick, some more of the bottom book pages and added to the darks here and there. I am going to add a burnt kitchen match below the candlestick.

Saving the detail work on the metal plates for dessert.
We started setting up my little portable studio on wheels in the dining room. I have a new still life set up I want to photograph. And I have an idea about adding a background to the objects that goes a little bit in the direction of magical realism. instead of the wall, maybe a cloud scape, but ghostly, like a double exposure. I am just thinking about it.

third time is a charm

Friday an email confirmed my acceptance to the Hambidge Residency Program (insert celebratory cartwheel and handstand here). That means for three weeks in October I'll be up in Rabun Gap with room and board, zero distractions, and a studio of my own.

I fished it out of my spam folder the other night, after I got home from the Local Color show. When I saw the subject header (Hambidge Residency) I actually groaned. I just knew it was a form email rejection. Well, au contraire, as the French say. :)
Just being accepted is inspirational. My amphibian artist/writer brain (after a moment of blankness, followed by oh my God, what can I do that's worthy of with all that time?) is teeming with ideas. Something ambitious in terms of complexity and scale. Or something exploratory in terms of story and execution.
Art math: the act of researching the options, plus the thrill of anticipation, equals fizzy creative carbonation.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Falcon, revisited

The peregrine falcon was driving me crazy. I had grown to hate it. I thought about sanding it off, painting it over, cutting it off and re-stretching the canvas. Last night I had decided to paint another painting entirely and retire this to a closet. Thus I had nothing to lose. That is a dangerous and exhilerating place to be, artist-wise.
First, I had to give up on the source photo - it looked just like it, and it failed dismally. I started by deepening some of the shading around the wings and tail, then started trying to re-pattern the center of the breast. I made three or four attempts that didn't work. I decided to blank it out and try for another layer of pattern tomorrow. I ended up with a curve of light I may leave as it is, with a few changes at the edges to blend, a touch more shadow on the left side.


I am light years happier with it. Looking at the whole image, there's a blaze of light bounced off the top of the magazines, the crystal ball and the newspapers. I think the falcon is better integrated into the image with a blaze of light of her own. Or that's my theory.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hot & Cold

More on B&K Cold.
Everything has one layer of paint except the eponymous plate. I worked on the music plate, the letter balanced on top of it, the two letters balanced beside it, the silver tray, the 8, Y, and two letter As.

Then I worked on B&K Hot.
Did the candle, the books and all of the letters, plus the business end of the hammer.
They work best together, like a pair of fraternal twins.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Blood & Knavery, Cold

I've started a new painting. I have two version of these same elements, one very warm in tone, the other - this one - very cool. It's another in the Metamorphosis series.
I worked on the top book, roughed in one of the metal printing plates, did the wooden corners of two other plates and part of the pages of the bottom book. Worked on two wooden printing blocks, the number eight and the letter p.
This painting, named for one of the plates, is relatively subtle in color. It will go slowly because the detail is exacting. The background - one of my favorite parts on this one - is going to get a lot more texture and detail. The shifts of color and pattern on the piece of sheet metal that's the background are the result of it being tempered and colored by frequent exposure to heat.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

taking care of art business

Last Friday I painted like a woman possessed. I took photographs that failed from weird light glares, until I hung the painting upside down. So wet I risked a smear or smudge every time I came near it. Photoshopped the jpgs to each shows' specifications, filled out the forms, wrote the entry fee checks, burned the CDs, included the SASEs and there they were, two tidy bubblewrap mailers addressed to two more juried shows. I was fretting over what to send where, and whether the tarot was done enough to submit. It's a big relief to just make the decision and be done.
Sunday was the last day of the Decatur show and I picked up that painting at the show closing soiree. It's always interesting to meet the other artists and see the wide range of age, sensibility and temperament represented.
Yesterday I mailed the two show applications, picked up two paintings from Huff Harrington and drove to Gainesville, about an hour away, to deliver them to the Quinlan Art Center. A very fine building - those Quinlan folks must have bequeathed the city a busload of money to build it. Art was well lit and thoughtfully hung in large, spacious rooms. As I was leaving, they gave me a packet of invitations to mail or give away. Heavy card, glossy high end stock, and behold, my painting (Vermeer, Recyled) was one of five on the front.