Friday, September 30, 2011

Solo show and, yes, of course you are invited!

WHAT: Origins and Derivations, a solo show of paintings
WHO: by Virginia Parker 

WHEN: Artist reception next FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7, 6-8pm
WHERE: OCAF Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation
34 School Road, Watkinsville, Ga, 30677

THIRSTY  20x20” oil/canvas
Conceived during Georgia’s drought, the meretricious beauty of disposable plastic water bottles. South of Eden series

This week before the show, I'll be posting images of the paintings and a sentence or two about them.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Candle 1, beginning of Candle 2

Added another layer to Candle 1. Lots of scumbling and a little bit of adjusting angles. Picking up a pair of red stilettos on Wednesday to photograph. Planning to add one teetering on the edge of the step, and one lying on its side in the aisle.

Here's the raw start of Candle 2, affectionate working title Twirly. You can see it's related to the other, but the perspective and color palette make it very different. The candle holder tilts slightly left. I'm going for a slightly off-kilter, the world could slide out from underneath you at any moment feel. In my experience that's when grace happens.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

OCAF space and light

Unloaded paintings at the old school house which houses the OCAF galleries. Fantastic light, high ceilings, old wooden floors - just a great space.
Leaned the work against the wall in the order we carried it in and it looked as random as confetti after a parade.

Since this show combines previous series with new works, it has the look of cousins at a family reunion - each person is an individual, yet you can definitely see the family resemblance.

Half an hour later, the remarkable Charles Warnock had placed the paintings in juxtapositions that made gorgeous visual sense. It was like watching a magician pull a rabbit out of your own hat.
I'll take photos on the night of the reception of each wall. What a transformation! It was like handing the man apples and a a bag of flour and getting back a Tarte Tatin.
I'm writing brief captions for each painting this weekend. Thrilled all over again that I was asked to do this. Thank you, OCAF!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Some assembly required

Taking the paintings to OCAF, an hour and a half away, for my solo show. This is the whole shebang on the garage floor. I ended up packing it twice, using cardboard, towels and sheets in between layers.

Then I mixed paint for Candle 2, which I call Twirly in my head, and started in. When it's a wee bit further along, I'll post an in progress photo.

Between the packing, getting a flu shot, and starting a new painting, I am whupped. Getting a pedicure. What? Don't look so shocked. You know Raphael would totally go for a spa day.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Candle I

Another layer - deepening values, scumbling the tile and stone shadows, starting to delineate the delicate wrought iron.


Pretty sure I want to put shoes in this one. One near the front and another farther down the nave, as if she was running away, like Cinderella.

One of the things I loved about this image were the doors in the distance, and the shadowy aquarium green light coming in from the upper right. Also the contrast of the substantial marble and stone with the twirly wrought iron.

Robert, bless him, wired all the solo show paintings last night. Varnished Thirsty and the Macpherson sgian dubh this afternoon. My Mason Murer paintings are heading over at 4. Delivery to OCAF is Friday.

Genus Loci underway

Here's the source photo and the top of the drawing I worked on this week. It's a basilica in Trasteverre in Rome. That's mosaics on the walls behind the columns and candles. Intricate as all get out and my idea of bliss.

And this is the beginning of the first candle painting (working title: candle 1). The burnt sienna I used to tone the canvas about blinded me. I'm using burnt umber to tone the rest.
Once I decide whether I'm adding a banjo, keyboard, or pair of high heeled shoes, it will get a more specific title.

I toned three more canvases, placed the white background on a new tomato painting and worked on the candles above. hotographed bells, a keyboard, banjo and a harmonium in various positions and angles out in the garage, using a white wall and open door to stand in for the stone church steps. I started another tomato painting with heirloom tomatoes by filling in the white marble background. I sanded down a failed painting on a nice 30x40 canvas. I'm going to re-gesso it and use it for one of this candle series.

I've got four paintings in the drying box. :biggrin: All's right with the world.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

edicole sacre

I won't have much to show for a while, but I started on a new series this week. Every surface in my studio has photographs on it. I'm mixing and matching elements from photos I took in Florence, Rome and Venice. This series is about what communication between the material world and the divine looks like.

There are large candle stands for tall tapers, and shorter ones with tiers that look like miniature stadium seating and hold votive candles. Some of my favorites are electrical: you put a Euro in the slot and twist on a red glass cylinder and it lights up. In each of these I had lit five candles one for each member of my family. Lighting them was a form of visible prayer, a wish made with fire, wax and thread, that rises like smoke. In some of the source photos the architecture is an important element, in others its mostly shadowed shapes and glow.

I plan to combine the candles with  elements I associate with my family - a painted banjo, or child's accordion for Emily, various bells and a bird for Robin, climbing gear for Parker, C-stand and apple box for Robert, hourglass, quill, tube of paint for me. I'm also toying with the notion of painting a drape across the top and down one side of a few of them. A sort of framing device, but mostly because I adore the look of drapery in still life painting.

I am painting them in two sizes, 16x20 and 18x24. I'll do one 30x40. As of today I've drawn two, and started painting one. I'll be gessoing more canvas today.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sgian Dubh #2

Finishing this one up. Worked on the stone and crumbling stucco yesterday and the tomatoes today.
Leaves need a bit more paint, along with a push of the darks and the final highlights. Then I'll go to the other version and move it along. Maybe mix the paint for the first of the candle series. Thinking of titles for the new series. Wish I could remember the name of those little shrines on street corners in Italy, the niche overhead with an icon or a statue, and always a candle or fresh flowers.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sheath, blade, and scumbling over stone

Back to the second of the sgian dubhs. Worked on the wall, the handle, sheath, and blade then scumbled over the stone. Like a holiday after struggling with the faces in the Tornado. Stopped before I blew past something acceptable and stuffed it in the drying box.

Here's a photo of my lovely new racks, with the drying box perched on the top.  Labor and ingenuity contributed by my spouse. Finally, storage for canvases. New unused canvas on the left; finished, in progress and on hold works on the right.

Now to wash my brushes, then a book and a bit of a read.