These are some of the pieces I have been working on this summer. A few were unfinished pieces, that I finally got around to completing. The three medicinal herbs, wintergreen, bridewort and foxglove are all on 5×7″ canvas board. Painted from my own photo collection. The American Catalpa is painted from a tree in my own backyard. The abstracted painting of blue and yellow and green trees started out en plein air but was abstracted in studio and is still incomplete. The black lab was a photo from camping last summer at a hunting camp on Copper Lake near Old Forge NY. And is a painting of my dog. The two recent abstractions painted on gessoed archival canvas board with a gallery frame, are inspired by the Schweinfurth’s Quilting by the Lake show.
I have not painted A lot this summer, what with babysitting my precious, bright, cheerful, and darling grand daughter. Wouldn’t change a single thing there. Would go through every trauma, struggle and heartbreak a thousand times to have her in my life. I also have been struggling with the chronic disease that reared its ugly head after a 1200 calorie diet threw my whole system off. I have lost weight but at what price? I am also taking a graduate arts administration class this summer which is super time consuming but worth it. I am also downsizing tremendously and have gotten rid of some furniture, electronics, books which I can no longer read due to my vision problems (thank the goddess for iPads), clothing, purses, shoes and household items. And of course flat water paddling is my favorite past time besides babysitting, painting and reading. (I must have read 15 books already this summer).
I am am thinking about how all my work fits together, and really having some deep meta cognitive thoughts. I want to put my love of fiber arts, my realism, my abstractions, my love of line pattern and color altogether into a coherent retrospective of my work. I guess that is my next goal to kind of weed out more chafe and sort it all into a timeline and mental gathering of my life’s work.
Thats it. 😘😘
if you aren’t following my Facebook page why the hell not?
One of the first master copies I ever did was one of the incarnations of Paul Cezanne’s Mt. Saint Victoire. During a critique the other day I was called an American Abstract artist which made me think of my inspirations throughout the years, Cezanne, the artists of The Steiglitz liniage, O’Keeffe, Hartley and Dove and how I have noticed some similarities in their paintings as shown above. Less so with the O’Keeffe but I am sure there is one out there I have to find it, that shows direct influence of Cezanne.
These are a few favorites:
I am also a big fan of Henry Moore (not an American abstract artist but a defining influence) and his flowing forms and smooth lines
And and the simplified shapes and smoothness of the paint and the flowing lines of Thomas Hart Benton
Other artists her artists whom I love and have influenced me are Wassily Kandinsky, Kathe Kollwitz and Ansel Adams:
The assignment was to make several collages and then create a painting form the collage. Because I was seeking something different with the endless tired still life, I was told to create four or five paintings based on my backyard painting. See below. I think for this reason they have a feeling of collage. The painting with the small cutout tree. And the full chickadee is my favorite.
I did both I half assed the collages, taking old images of my own work and slapping them together into something new. I have at least two good paintings out of that. I have an unfinished collage that is very intriguing and every time I walk by it I say OH. I accidentally made a discovery when I was cleaning and placed it on a piece of paper that I liked but didn’t use and it has potential.
I think I will work on those a bit today before my meeting.
These two paintings I worked on yesterday. I am quite happy with one of them. The other is in need of additional work. Especially now that I look at it online. It helps my eyes somehow to see it backlit and smaller I can focus on what it needs better.
The final weeks of work before my class ends. I have learned a lot from this class, but the most important thing that I have learned is not to take a graduate level painting class again. I really was relegated to returning to being an undergraduate, lots of review, and after the midterm (which three weeks was spent on a tired still life) with NO extra work. Yawn.) I insisted on being given a bit more free rein, which he interpreted as stay home one day a week and paint. And I interpreted as I don’t have time to work with you individually. I paid for graduate level class work and was given undergrad work. I paid for the same attention as the other grad student and got less. And I think he thinks I am a hack too. (Because now I do) because of some things he has said. One that he didn’t want me using canvas from home because he didn’t want it on cheap flimsy frames. I have been using heavy duty stretcher strips for YEARS, and the only reason I switched to canvas board, is because it is easier to store. I have now moved on to Ampersand archival gesso board, which he claims will warp, and now I looking at bass board boxes. At least my work is gallery ready.
Or is it?
No my framer who is an artist in his own right is only right for a certain market. And my reclaimed frames also not gallery ready. And if only I would find my audience.
And do a collage, six.
I did collage for two whole years, and then fabric collage.
He tosses the work to one side. Stopping to look at only one or two.
I am Amelie melting into a splash of puddle.
I wake this morning and an idea comes to me. I sketch it out. Everyone is sold out of the 11″x14″ Basswood panels.
I will paint it on my stretched canvas, on heavy duty stretcher strips that I prepared a year and a half ago.
I made some adjustments on the painting, I wanted the transition from the realism of the bridge to the abstraction of the trees behind it, to be less jarring. So I brought the shore line under the bridge to a more realistic middle ground. Next I made the color between the railings of the bridge more like the colors that were used in the background. Finally, I added more of a dark slow shore zig zagging through the right side, while stylizing the ripples of the water, and adding light to the rapid area in the more active part of the river.
In Backyard, I left the realistic fuzzy area under the tree, and at the edge of the house more or less as is. I reworked the sky so that it was more intense, choosing to ignore the large greyish brown area of trees in the background. I intensified the blue sky in the background, and adjusted the transition of sky to land behind the tree. The edges of the pine branches were stylized more with a jagged zig zag edge. I made the space in between the branches of the tree more intense, focusing on creating a kind of stylized vaginal area that if you really look at trees is so obvious in the way the branches are laid out, realistically. I tend created more of a feeling of space in the lawn by using the same technique of zig zagging backward with the color blocks.
Finally I took the bird feeders in the foreground and made completed them more realistically than the rest of the painting, with the exception of the realistic area to the left of the tree, reflecting that gorgeous Gamblim Cadmium red medium, with only a bit of Titanium White also by Gamblin and some Payne’s Grey by Williamsburg for creating value. I believe the feeders were actually painted with Cadmium because it is an exact match in color. And for the shining copper feeder I used a combination of Indian Red, Italian Red (Williamsburg) and Indian Yellow from Winsor and Newton (NOT my favorite) to create highlights and values. I was impressed by how closely those colors approximated metallic copper.
Palette Williamsburg Italian Yellow Ochre, Permanent Green, Sap Green, Payne’s Grey, Italian Black Roman Earth. Gamblin, Naples Yellow Hue, Olive Green, Cobalt Blue, Cerulean Blue, Titanium White and Burnt Umber.
Here is the first en plein air, above is the abstraction that I am experimenting with. Easy to do on this piece because I am not emotionally attached to it at all. But I love how much brighter it looks, and how cool it looks. Below, it feels like it was painted by a hack (maybe. :/) Should we call this reastraction? Abstract Realism? Realistic Abstraction?