Thursday, March 29, 2007

spring's influence

A work in progress here in the studio... Now that the weather's changing and the days are longer I can't keep my hands off all that wild color. Last week I even went out and bought a tube of magenta?!?!?

The more I paint the more I learn, every piece is a step closer to the next one. I always seem to look back at my sketchbooks for inspiration. Even if it's just the starting point. The marks in this painting look like they could have come directly out of my sketchbook. This month's issue of Cloth Paper Scissors has a few articles on keeping a sketchbook. Check it out, it's great inspiration from a few different perspectives. Next month I'm scheduled to have images of my sketchbooks and an article published in the May/June issue. More to come on that once it hits the newsstands.

My article dives deeper into why I keep a sketchbook and the different approaches I employ. Many of these points are covered in my sketchbook class that I'm currently teaching at the Corcoran this semester. That class kicked off last week with a very talented group of new students. I can't wait to see what they'll create this semester. I also lead a mini book workshop last Monday at the Art League in Alexandria - I always learn something new from my students and am amazed at what they come up with in such a short amount of time. It's a sketch-book-think-tank!


Saturday, March 24, 2007

keep moving

Here's another larger scale painting I've been working on the past few weeks - it's 40" x 52". Whooooeeee. I can't wait to get it stretched and see what it looks like. My plan is to show it at the upcoming artomatic show this spring in crystal city opening April 13th. And to do another three or four of this size before spring is through.

I feel like I continue to fine tune my process with every new piece. Starting with a spine of an idea and being ready to abandon it the minute I need to (sometimes within the first 15 minutes). I've also learned that for this medium I need to keep moving. I stop to look and see what's happening from a distance, but the moment I start to really slow down and noodle around I know it's time to put it aside and start another one. At least that's what I think this week...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bigger is better

Here's a painting I finished up last week. Little by little my paintings are getting larger. It feels good to have the room to spread out on that page and make larger marks. Although I'm finding that requires a heck of a lot more paint and bigger brushes. I'm up to the challenge, I used a house painting brush from home depot on this one.

I experimented with a technique called scrafitto which essentially is scratching out the thick wet paint before it has a chance to dry. You can see it here in the dark brown areas. I love the texture it leaves behind so I took a whack at another one. Still in progress. I could test out this approach for weeks. This painting was inspired by one of my favorite cities Barcelona, Spain. Vibrant colors, endless energy and quirky. I wonder when I'll get back there...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Mod Squad

Last night my husband and I hit the faculty opening reception for the new Modernism show at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. It was a house full of see and be seen people all decked out in their mod gear - white boots, huge plastic jewelry, fabulous fashion and they served fondue and rice crispy treats?!?!? The bar was stocked with Baily's Irish cream out of cool glasses. The entrance was painted bright red with a hot car in the center. It was fun fun fun and good chance to see some of the faculty and students that I so admire.

I spent more time checking out the scene than the show, I admit - but I know I'll go back and see it again. What I did see of the exhibit included a room lined with metal panels to show off the architecture concepts, a kitchen recreated, cups, paintings, jewelry, clothing, and a wall filled with chairs. It's an amazing group of modern objects that shaped our culture. After seeing what was created in the 20' and 30's, I feel like we've gone backwards (reverting to more traditional trends) instead of moving forward (other than Ikea). Where are my gogo boots? Check out this show - it's sensational.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

What will happen next?

Here's another experimental painting I worked on recently. It started off as three images of one still life on one sheet of paper - then that image was cut up taped back together in a new orientation and painted over again. It was a good exercise to loosen up - I'm not sure what will happen to it next... Collage?

It wasn't my year to be welcomed with open arms into the Torpedo Factory. Maybe next year. I heard they only accepted 5 new residents this year (or maybe they're just telling me that to make me feel better?!?!?) Either way - I'm reminded that failure is an important part of the road to learning and success. Time to move on to the next application.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Painting the winter away

When is winter going to end?!?!? While the view outside my window is void of color my paintings are not! As a matter of fact I think I may be over compensating. Here's a painting I finished today. The base layer was created using a random assortment of collage glued down to paper and then applying acrylic paint over it. I love this one, it was loose, fun and carefree to create, the way it should be. I hope to do a series based on this approach, it felt so good this time that I want to explore what else is out there. Beverly Ryan introduced me to a new tool that I used on this piece, a line brush. Who knew there was a brush I had overlooked to add to my tool box? It's a wonderful little long haired brush that holds lots of paint and makes a nice long organic line. It was just the thing I needed on this painting. Thank you Beverly!

Monday I submitted a small sample of my artwork to the Torpedo Factory for review, I believe the jury has already made their decisions but I won't get the final word until tomorrow afternoon. My fingers and toes are crossed. It would be dreamy to have a studio there someday. I love the idea of being surrounded by so many talented people and having a dedicated place to create among them. An ideal blend of solitude and brainstorming buddies. Not to mention an on location art supply store and many restaurants walking distance to choose from. But I have to get in first...