|Sisters in Spirit watercolor 21.5 x 13|
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
|Sequined Skirt conte crayon/pastel 20.5 x 12|
In looking back over the past works, I see that most of my work has been a welcome exchange between the seated model and myself...a quieter, more serious kind of contemplation.
I think that when our sessions begin again in January, I will try to make more creative and dynamic works from the gesture poses.....a bit daunting....but very exciting....I love giving myself new challenges.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
|Mexican Sunflowers watercolor 13 x 10|
Fluorescent? Lucky me. Last birthday I received some watercolor pans from Case for Making, a San Francisco-based storefront that carries handmade pigments. The ones used here (as well as several other autumn projects): fluorescent orange light and fluorescent flame red.
In the working of this painting, the entangling of the blooms got to be too much, just too tedious. That is when I used a blue-tinted gouache to separate the top. This break almost reads as sky, and the design benefits greatly.
Color me fluorescently happy.
Saturday, November 2, 2019
|Doe, A Dear|
In looking at the work, and trying to understand a few of the major decisions that made this work personal, I found:
- The value of the deep woods in the background was maintained, while eliminating the texture.
- Some shapes were simplified and made two-dimensional, to further simplify
- the largest major shape (deer torso) has been broken into, primarily because I wanted more interest in the face and head
- and, as always, values were slightly pushed to a blackish-violet in some areas to further rhythmic viewing and focal point description
These decisions were made intuitively....it is only when finished, that I try to understand why things happened as they did.
Although my final work reveals more than just a glimpse, I am happier.
Thursday, October 17, 2019
|One Day oil/canvas 30 x 30 x 1.5|
I have painted day lilies before. They don't work that well singularly, but are dynamic as a group. And, yes, each blossom blooms for only one day.
While there were areas that offered up problems to be solved, the work was mostly simple in resolution. My own cemented sense of design required a dark on the left edge....my preference always being to solve with value shifts. And, yet, a heavy dark shape would have destroyed the feeling of lightness that day. So my resolution, while a bit ambiguous, is satisfactory. It definitely recalls the feeling that I had....that day....that hour...that moment.
Thursday, October 10, 2019
|Coneflowers 12 x 4 x 1.5|
In this case, this very small canvas was toned with what I would call "navy blue", a neutralized dark blue that was probably mixed with French ultramarine and burnt sienna. The background leaves and pods are closer in value to the toned ground so they fade to the background. The pink leaves were intentionally scraped and pulled back to allow that blue toned ground to become a major player.
I am pleased.
Thursday, September 26, 2019
|Bread, Wine and Turnips oil/canvas 15 x 12 x .5|
I have a belief that the power of the work is somehow divided between all of the objects in the plane....so, it follows, for me, that the fewer the things, the more power that each one holds. Big and little things arranged pleasingly on the page.
The reference for this simple still life came from a series of photos taken on my patio many years back....it was a veritable feast, a banquet. The long horizontal painting was sold, but I have so many reference photos that I can now produce several smaller works from the original, and quite painstakingly arranged, feast. This work pleases me as it has the feel that I was going for...a few simple ingredients can make a painting that I enjoy.......and, also, I think that a few simple ingredients can produce an exquisite meal. We live in complex times. I crave simplicity for balance.
Thursday, September 12, 2019
|Rorschach oil/canvas 24 x 30 x 1.5|
The most exciting part of figurative painting, to me, is the shape of the core, the limbs, and, subsequently, the diminishing of the facial features to create intriguing lines....an overall visual that is greater than the sum of the parts....gestalt!!!
This was an exciting painting to work on...I feel that it mirrors that which their young bodies were trained to do. Thank you.
Wednesday, August 28, 2019
This young dancer was the epitome of intensity...of discipline.
While the sequins on her costume were fun to paint....small specks of retained white paper amidst the color to imply the multidimensional reflection of the light...sequins are just gravy here.
She could, in my opinion, be just as distinctive in a simple leotard. INTENSITY.
|Sequins Optional watercolor 20 x 12|
Monday, August 5, 2019
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
|Budded watercolor 18.5 x 7|
Final word: this is the best I could do with a difficult challenge....This small painting makes me happy.
Sunday, July 14, 2019
|Clownfish mixed/paper 19.5 x 12|
THESE DANCERS WERE AMAZING!
And...as for the highly developed sensitivity to the movements of the other....
I sometimes think that the world would be so much more pleasant if we all learned this sensitivity...we all learned to dance.
And....just maybe...we would be better drivers.
Sunday, July 7, 2019
|M as Shark mixed/paper 20 x 13|
Dabbs Greer, a bit actor, once said, "Every character actor, in their own little sphere, is the lead".
Friday, June 28, 2019
|Easy Livin' conte crayon on toned pastel paper 15.5 x 11.5|
I like this drawing very much. It was fun to do and provides the feeling that I wished to convey in a minimal way. Less is more
Thursday, June 13, 2019
|Bunch watercolor 16.75 x 9.5|
This bunch was plucked from our yard. I am basically happy with the work, but, in retrospect, wish that I had included some other varieties.
There is always next spring.
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
That being said, travelling presents a problem for a person like me. It is simply not possible to drag along armloads of art supplies. And so I have devised a solution that keeps me content at the same time I am able to visit without too much offense. The latest venture was a visit for a week in North Carolina. Three very small watercolors were made on a deck providing afternoon sun. But my favorite activity is to make small drawings from life while the family is gathered around, in discussion, or in front of TV. Nothing posed. Just several drawings begun at once and keeping an eye out for the model to resume a particular pose. This trip I ended up with two small drawings that pleased me. This one took a couple of hours, but I was content to pick away. Kept my attention up. Feels good to produce something worthwhile.
And.....keeps the ants out of my pants...temporarily.
Saturday, May 18, 2019
|Majorette oil/canvas 24 x 8 x .5|
My own experience with baton twirling was short-lived. I guess I just didn't "have it". It may have been limited coordination, or, perhaps, interest.
This work of a drum majorette was inspired by a vintage photo of my husband's aunt....probably taken in the late 40's.
Figurative work is my favorite. For me, it has evolved into a sublimation of the facial features along with the placement of several focal points, established by choice, to lead the eye around the entire figure and its posture. The regimentation of the twirler is reflected in her posed stance. Discipline.
And the....there are those boots.
Some time ago, another astute artist picked up on my method at a local critique. He was quick to point out the use of the multiple focal points. We seem to love and to need a focal area in the work....why not several? They actually create their own rhythm.
Thursday, May 9, 2019
|Intensity- L. oil/canvas 16 x 12 x .5|
This painting was made at a final class session where the assignment was to create a painting by simply watching and observing someone else at work....an artist who is in constant motion while observing the subject of his/her own painting.
This assignment is tough, but allows one to get at the "nitty gritty"...the important stuff...big shapes and simplified forms. I did take a photo and did a few minor corrections at home, but was careful not to overwork the simplicity that had been achieved during the session.
I have found, over years of observing and drawing people at work, that a person will resume one of two or three positions continually, which helps with clarification, if only you are patient.
Ah, yes.......INTENSITY and PATIENCE.
Saturday, April 27, 2019
|When Sheep are Golden oil/canvas 16 x 20 x 1.5|
The biggest challenge for me was to create the chaotic texture of that marvelous wool.....as a knitter of many years, I wanted to honor the glory of the sheep's contribution to our well being. A bit of time was spent on hard and soft edges. The background was kept simple.
I can honestly say that I truly love this work.
What's not to love when talking sheep?
Thursday, April 4, 2019
|Union watercolor 20 x 11|
Vintage photos are wonderful to use as painting references! The photos can be interpreted without fear of achieving exact likenesses or making Aunt Maude look 10 pounds too heavy. I like to use them monochromatically as a study of value. By subtracting color from the mix, one is able to fully understand the great power of value in description.
The photo of the valiant soldier at the right was labelled on the back as "Pas Eisenhour", from my husband's family, who fought for the Union in the Civil War from Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
|Couple oil/canvas board 12 x 12|
One of my passions is to eliminate the unnecessary edges which represent fences that block the movement of the pieces/parts. Because all of these operations are so subjective and so personal, I spent a good deal of time on a sketch that solved (hopefully) potential errors and helped to convey my feelings. In the past, I have found that the division of space in square formats to be a challenge. In this case, it worked out......
There is much that pleases me here...right down to the simple limited palette.
In addition, the opposition of the quintessentially beautiful roses with the aluminum can completes me.
Monday, March 11, 2019
|Heartland II - Winter Cows (A Sense of Calm Given the Situation) oil on canvas 16 x 20|
The one huge thrill in all of the labor: the introduction of Gamblin's Cold Was Medium, that was mixed into paint in both the back- and fore-ground. It produced an impasto effect that was much lighter than using gobs of paint, and even more effective, I think. Used in a 1/3:2/3 ratio with paint) My first use....terrific!
Ah.....if I had only labored over a sketch. That would have been time well spent.
Sunday, February 24, 2019
|Heartland oil/canvas 30 x 48 x 1.5|
Painting a cornfield is always a challenge as it is comprised of so very much chaos.
While painted using local color, I may not be averse to glazing with transparent yellow....will need to think about it.
This work is comforting to me.....it feels like home.
Friday, February 15, 2019
|Opinions watercolor 12 x 9|
My husband and I are in the process of a kitchen makeover. We love each other beyond measure. But our opinions on so many small details differ: on the materials to be used, on the placement of components, and, yes, on the cupboard handles as well.
What better metaphor for a home improvement?
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
|Winterberries and Bells oil 12 x 9|
I try to have no expectations whatsoever in such an exercise. All in all, the background white, a gray green, pleased me.
2019 is gonna be a great year!
Sunday, January 27, 2019
|For the Road oil 12 x 12|
I have a family of coffee-lovers and, during the holidays, these beans abound: those who prefer a winter spice from Trader Joe's, those who love a cup of McCafe, and those who relish grinding their own beans, the darker the roast, the better. OK. There are a few tea-lovers as well.
And, yes, we certainly do need a cuppa for the road.
Sunday, December 23, 2018
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
|Bat Marian watercolor 13.5 x 10|
Thinking sculpturally is a great advantage here where a knowledge of how a light source affects the landscape of a face helps it to read three-dimensionally. Without this knowledge, which I like to call "understanding the nature of things", any work from life without a particular light source can become flattened. Likewise working with a photo source.
Marian's mask was cast from metal....quite unusual. I am pleased with this work. I feel that it captures many of the effects which I constantly pursue.
Saturday, October 27, 2018
|Harvest Chair watercolor 20 x 13|
I am somewhat satisfied.
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
|Birdman - L oil/canvas 14 x 11|
My recollection of the model was his discomfort from the overheating that it caused...imagine a hot summer day wearing a bird costume.....and more difficult yet....imagine dancing in it!
Saturday, September 15, 2018
|Nightshade conte crayon 19.5 x 12.5|
The costume for this young dancer is that of a nightshade, a dark dancer that is a kind of minion for the queen, as I was told...a nightshade plant being that which is poisonous.
Darks. Lights. Makes for a good drawing.
Friday, September 7, 2018
|Tutu watercolor pencil and walnut ink 19.75 x 12|
I started with a half-sheet of Strathmore Aquarius II watercolor paper. This sheet has many uses in that it is partially synthetic, thin and will not buckle. During the entire 2 1/2 session, I used Derwent watercolor sketching pencils in light wash, medium and dark, alternating drawing with broad washes of water during the breaks. At home, some washes of walnut ink completed the work. For me, the challenge involved the pushing and pulling of strokes to reveal what is more important to the pose; and, conversely the less important. For this reason, I have always had such a difficulty with chairs and stools, as I realize the importance of having a support for the pose, yet despise the weight given to it.
This model wore the traditional tutu, hence the title. I am pleased.
Saturday, August 25, 2018
|Little Mermaid charcoal, conte and gold leaf on toned paper 21.5 x 14|
"Little Mermaid" was drawn in charcoal and conte crayon on a toned paper. Gold leaf pieces were added later. I had actually hoped for more covering on its application, but due to the fact that the adhesive was mostly dried up, and the high humidity, a more mottled effect was the result. But I am happy.
This pose, subtle yet powerful, is, I believe the result of a strong core and a slight curving of the small of the back. I appreciate the strength and willpower of this young dancer!
Saturday, August 18, 2018
But what the beach does provide is the sense of playful painting, of painting without consequences. I usually bring only a watercolor block and some pan colors, all in a small format.
These are my more successful results from this year's bunch. There were others...not so successful.
But who cares? I am on vacation.
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
|Winter Mime oil 48 x 30 x 1.5|
The place: The Short North; High Street; Columbus, Ohio
The temperature: hovering around 1 degree F
As we exited a trendy restaurant where we had supped with our son and family, we turned right to head to our car, while they turned left. Just ahead of us, performing in the frigid conditions, was a mime, an extraordinary mime. He nodded in agreement at my request to photograph, while we were both amused and amazed at his skill.
This work is just one of what I hope will become a series dedicated to these wordless actors created from the many reference photos taken that day.
BTW....would anyone know who this is?
Thursday, July 26, 2018
|Mary Jo oil on canvas 20 x 16 x 1.5|
I am pleased with the degree of rendering and completeness as well as the color palette. I feel that it is a good likeness. This image was sent to her upon completion and she replied that it had the look of a watercolor.
I am also very very pleased when a work has the feel of both of these disparate mediums....as I feel that each one informs the other. I am thrilled by the possibilities of each.
Friday, July 20, 2018
|Honeydew oil on canvas 9 x 12 x .5|
The seed problem was handled to my satisfaction, and the color harmony pleased me as well.
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
There is the music score...and then there are the spaces between the notes, the counter spaces, that define the piece every bit as much. That which is played...and that which is not.
We were recently treated to a visit from our California dear ones. As we wanted to make this visit extra special, we participated in so many varied activities. Our grandson is only six, so we also varied the tempo of our daily doings to include some rest time....mostly to watch shows or movies. To me, this down time is invaluable. I enjoyed this down time by opening my book and observing my loved ones as they relax....a pleasure. As we don't see them as often, my sketchbook acts as a bit of a diary, a photo album, of this special time.
Truly my pleasure.
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
|OH-585 S watercolor and gouache 8 x 21|
This method provided the perfect atmosphere for a scene spotted on a beautiful spring day on OH 585-S while on a road trip to Wooster.
The brighter blue passages tickle my fancy. I am pleased.
Saturday, June 2, 2018
|The Red Bucket watercolor on Khadi 15 x 29|
What happens when we switch it up? I like to say that changing one of your variables (paper, paint or brushes) is like the adjustments one must make while driving in various weather conditions...somehow we learn to maneuver around, hopefully with ease. "The Red Bucket" is now my 4th or 5th painting on Khadi paper, a handmade, mouldmade, acid free paper from India that is said to be made from recycled tee shirts. At this time, I think that I am able to generalize the directions of works painted on Khadi: 1) the paint cannot be pushed around quite as readily, as it quickly sinks into the fibers 2) as a result of #1, the objects have harder edges than most of my work 3) the colors are stonger....I find that I am applying more layers than usual 4) the paint can be lifted, somewhat, but with greater and greater difficulty 5) the texture and vibrancy of these works is what make them stand out. A completely different experience....fun to be had! Rum raisin.
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Monday, May 7, 2018
Thursday, April 19, 2018
|John A. watercolor/gouache 20 x 12|
John posed for our watercolor class a few sessions ago. It was attacked quickly, yet lightly. Upon review, I discovered that the front arm took too much attention away from the face, so I began moving pieces and parts, blocks of color around. As you can see, I am no slave to reality, and quite enjoy shifting focus and values to further my goal. Background areas were painted, then washed off in my laundry tub to soften and blend. (Note: washed off, letting only water hit the surface....not scrubbed off) Eventually, I brushed and squeezed on a blue gouache mix left over from another project. My heart went pitter pat. I realized that I had come as close as possible to the version that pleased me. Granted, I never start out to take the long way around to anything(the scenic route), but meandering can be beautiful as well as teaching us a few things along the way.
I am pleased.
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
|Pink Tulips watercolor on Khadi 13 x 13|
The end result is a far cry from my original idea....a bit more formal than my usual, but more becoming, I think, to the lush pink tulips. I had been wanting to try this layering of washes for years. This painting provided the opportunity to give it a try. This is a technique used by watercolor artist Catherine Anderson whose work I explored many years ago. Nothing ventured. Nothing gained.
Friday, March 30, 2018
|Bunny Girl Watercolor 13 x 8|
For me, "Bunny Girl" has a lovely effortless quality.
I yearn to retrieve the child artist within.
Monday, March 19, 2018
|Me, Myself and I watercolor 15 x 12.5|
I am reminded of the words of Kirk Mangus who often thought about aesthetic judgment. He said, "Beauty is a figment of the imagination. It is also completely controlled by prejudices.". Soetsu Yanagi, a potter and founder of mingei, the Japanese folk craft movement, expressed similar ideas born from the philosophy of Zen writes:
A true artist is not one who chooses beauty in order to eliminate ugliness, he is not one who dwells in a world that distinguishes between the beautiful and the ugly, but rather he is one who has entered the realm where strife between the two cannot exist.
That is where I dwell...where I choose to dwell. For me, beauty lies in the process of the work itself, how we choose to spend our hours, our days.
Friday, March 9, 2018
|Haystacks oil on canvas 8 x 24 x .5|
The quest in this work was the relationship between the haystacks themselves...and the furrows...a play between the cool and the warm.
While a completed snow-covered scene can be beautiful, it can tend towards sweetness and become a bit Hallmark-y. The rural Pennsylvania scenes that feature both dead grasses along with pockets and dustings of snow a la Andrew Wyeth convey great power and mystery to me. As an Ohioan, I will attest to the fact that most of the winter scenes depict these two polar opposites. One of my current reads is The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard, a French philosopher. I am currently in my second go-through in order to absorb his thoughts that I have chosen to underline. He speaks of the poet's mind which is
touched by the attraction of opposites, which lends dynamism to the great archetypes.
This canvas was toned with orange, which became the base for the furrow. The process continued slowly, as I tippy-toed toward the amount of snow coverage that satisfied my visual. In the earlier stages, the diagonal furrows were more dominant....which lead them into distraction. I did not anticipate just how much energy this problem would require. I am also reminded of a similar horizontal landscape by the late Jack Richard.....it remains in my mind to this day....it was spot on.
Most of the bales we see today are machine-made and coiled. These stacks are the work of the Amish.
Friday, February 16, 2018
|Weight oil on canvas 48 x 36 x 1.5|
My current read is Supernormal by Meg Jay. As it turns out, the most accurate predictor of those with grit, with determination and resilience, is LOVE... loving relationship(s) is what truly turns the tide...gets us over the hump. My own personal hero is LeBron James, also an Akron-ite.
This painting was 90% complete in the winter of 2016-17. It was then propped against the wall and approached again this winter. After years of trying to get portrait-perfect faces, I have been experimenting, for several years now, with subduing the faces, in order to defer to the figure, or figures, in their gestural entities, for the purpose of more accurate story-telling.