This is the second of two paintings made from sketches based on the sculptural works of Lee Bontecou. For this one, I decided I needed more room to move on the canvas, so I moved up from a 24″ x 24″ canvas for the first one — “Energy Renewal” — to a 36″ x 36″ canvas for this one. I initially intended to stick much closer to the sketch and the colors from the sketch on this painting as well. However, the demands of the painting as I worked on it led to a much more simplified image and an overall cooler palette.
I also decided to work with a palette knife using cold wax medium. I’ve probably only done less than half-a-dozen previous studies and paintings working that way, so it felt like a learning process all over again. This is a very fun way to work, as due to the wax medium, I can push the paint around, scratch through it, add to it endlessly, and work on every day without running into that tacky state where you have to let it dry before tackling the canvas again.
I spent about three or four weeks working on this, off and on (while other stuff was tearing me away), which gave me some extra time for reflection while engaged with this painting. I think, in this case, the time spent staring at and contemplating this work while doing other (non-painting) work was beneficial to the overall process and result.
If you’re interested in viewing the transformation of this painting from sketch through all the interim stages to completion, I have documented the process in an album on G+: Sun Rose, from concept to completion. There are also a few detail shots of the beautiful pound of paint I used in this painting.
I am so pleased, also, that this painting sold the minute it was completed — and to another very talented artist, which is a great compliment!
I didn’t paint this to be about fracking, but I had just read an article about it, and the title seemed to fit this piece. I try to keep politics out of my paintings, but they seem to creep into my titles.
Or I could have called it something about “pressure.” Whatever.
This is, for all practical purposes, my first red painting (I have one other in progress, and I did two small ones in acrylic on paper — just sketches — over the years, but those hardly seem to count). When I take a look at most of the art I have done, a few have red in them, but most do not.
On Friday, I started out with images from Hundertwasser in my head, an idea about concentric circles, and a desire to paint a primarily red painting. This one was really quite a struggle! I scraped and wiped it down entirely twice; two whole days of work obliterated and scraped and wiped down 3/4 of the painting one final time before it started to come together.
And now I love it and am thinking of extending it into a four-panel piece (in a square).
A delightful Valentine’s dinner conversation with my sweetie produced the title: “Flamingo Mallets.” 😀 I’ve always loved Lewis Carroll! (I used to copy Tenniel’s Alice in Wonderland illustrations in pen and ink as a teenager).
So, Happy Valentine’s Day — without further ado, here is my first red painting.
I wanted to do one more new painting before hanging the show at Austin Art Space. I started this one with the intention of creating a 4th more geometric style work like the ones that started me off on my latest series of abstracts: “It’s Awash,” “Paradigms Lost,” and “High-Risk Pool.” A few rectangles into the painting and I couldn’t restrain myself any longer…I had to make this one more fluid and free. Then, my husband brought home 4 brownies for me from a meeting with our neighborhood organic gardeners, no less. I ate them all over the course of the evening/night, and stayed up into the wee hours to finish this piece! Wheeee!
P.S. I will take a better picture of this soon. Until March 3, the painting is hanging at Austin Art Space on my wall for the “For Love of Art” show.
I haven’t lost my mind, really. But, this is not quite like anything I’ve done before, except for maybe one or two very old crazy abstract works…but not really even like those.
I finished this last week. This was one of the first few paintings that I did in the process of heading towards my new direction last fall, but I never really felt it worked all that well. I just kept working on it and working on it, painting out what I didn’t like, until I got to here. After so many working sessions, it now has a lot of surface history, and I finally like it a lot. I hope to do more work along these lines.
It’s kind of amazing to me what can happen in the studio of an abstract painter. If you let the painting talk to you, you can discover what it wants to be.
I started working on this canvas last fall. Then, I was just doodling around on it, trying out different brushstrokes and experimenting with techniques. I achieved some very cool results, but not what I would call a painting, as all the little parts didn’t hang together.
I started working on it again the other night. I kept trying to add loops in the big space; I painted them in and then out again at least half a dozen times. I was planning to repaint the entire surface, even though there were bits from the previous work on it that I hated to lose. I painted over most of those bits more than once and then wiped it out again.
I wasn’t planning for the palette to come out like this, either. But painting this way is one stroke and then the next, and then a response to that and then another, until you end up with something that does hang together.
This is yet another work that is a bit different for me, both in composition and color palette…and I must say, I really, really like it!
On Google+, a very vibrant community of artists has been growing all summer and fall. A challenge was proposed to do a study after Picasso or an interpretation of one or more of his works. While most of the other artists did an interpretation, I chose to copy this delightful painting of Picasso’s. Perhaps I am trying to make up for two copies I never completed in art school.
When I first found this work online, I thought it looked like a cartoon version of a Picasso painting, or what Picasso would paint if he were painting a cartoon version of his own work. It is such a fun image, I couldn’t resist!
I couldn’t find this painting in any of my books on Picasso. Online, there are many copies of this painting, but they are all different in how the colors are displayed. I finally found what I can only guess to be a fairly accurate version, which I found at this website, at the far end of row 7: Picasso paintings. This image seems less manipulated to me than many of the others online (for instance, you can see the cracks in the paint very clearly) and the colors strike me as being more representative of what colors would have been available to Picasso at that time. However, I’m no expert, so don’t take what I say as definitive.
Even though this painting displays practically the whole spectrum of the color palette, I think Picasso used only 8 or 9 colors to mix that whole spectrum. These are the colors I decided to use to attempt to replicate this Picasso work:
cadmium yellow lemon
cadmium yellow medium
cadmium red medium
I also used a smidge of cadmium green to green up the shape in the lower right-hand corner, though now I think he may have gotten that brighter green mix with cerulean blue instead.
I did try to mix my colors to match his exactly, and now that I am able to view a photo of my painting next to the work I was using for reference, I see some differences; but overall, I think it’s pretty close.
I also tried to match the way he applied paint, though as I painted this whole thing in two days, and my paint was wet throughout the whole process, I wasn’t really able to replicate what I think he did. For example, I think he may have begun with the black lines and then painted the colored areas afterward, as you can see quite a few areas where the colors are painted over the black lines, leaving just a tiny bit of black peeking out from under the edges. I painted the colored areas in first, as I knew it would cause a terrible mess if the colored paint ran into the still wet black lines.
There are areas, though, where he very clearly painted white lines to cover black lines. I think he probably did this for the purposes of the design of this canvas, as once the white lines are applied, it really changes how the whole image reads, plus they help pull your eye around the canvas, from the head down what I think is an arm, around the–are they breasts?–then a hop to the white lines through the blue areas down to the bottom left and center of the canvas.
Has copying this Picasso helped me understand him? I don’t know; I do feel like I understood his process of painting this painting, though I still cannot figure out what all the parts of this painting are and what they belong to. Wall, floor, chair rail and baseboard, pitcher, head and eyes, I get; the rest is a mystery to me. If anyone knows more about what Picasso did in this work, what he meant, or how to read his image, I would be delighted to hear.
If you’d like to see all the other artists’ interpretations of Picasso, you can find them here on Google+.
It’s been at least a decade since I painted any representational still life paintings. I thought I had perhaps gotten past painting still lifes in favor of abstraction, but have recently found myself wanting to work perceptually again, only this time, with any luck (or should I say, with the development of skill), in a looser, more painterly way.
Here are the first three perceptual still life paintings I’ve done this century: Spongebob Squarepants was the first and is still a bit tight, then I painted Patrick Star and Squidward Tentacles. I think they came out pretty well. These are, of course, based on small plastic figurines of these characters.
I’m really enjoying working this way again, and hope to do more or less daily paintings if I can. The intervening decade of pushing myself further toward abstraction has been a very interesting journey so far. I plan to continue working abstractly as well doing the small still lifes; I don’t know yet if I will be doing both simultaneously or if I will do the still lifes for a while and then pick back up with the abstracts. Stay tuned.
Last weekend, we finally made it out to Wally Workman Gallery to see the group show “Rivers.” So much excellent work! I was particularly interested in seeing two paintings by Ryan Coover, which were whimsical abstractions that seemed to contain microscopic life seen up a little closer. His two larger paintings were both beautiful and fascinating.
I also really enjoyed the wonderful luminous colors in the large and small abstract oil paintings by Joyce Howell, and the lovely large worlds created by Saliha Staib. Neighbor Jennifer Balkan’s paintings are always a delight to view; I love her hunky application of paint!
Well, instead of reading my blatherings about how much I enjoyed all of the work in the show, why don’t you check out these photos I took of some of the paintings there: