More New Work: “Here We Go Again, August 29, 2012”

"Here We Go Again, August 29, 2012" Oil on canvas 16″ x 12″ © 2012 Marilyn Fenn
“Here We Go Again, August 29, 2012” Oil on canvas 16″ x 12″ © 2012 Marilyn Fenn

Here’s another new painting that started out quite differently than it ended up.  This one took about a week to resolve; and I was working on it during the time Hurricane Isaac was building in the Gulf Coast, so I guess you could say that became an influence.  😉

Even though I scraped lots of paint off of this several times while in the process of creation, it still has lots of wonderfully gooey paint on it (dry to the touch now, of course).

Another Recent Work: “Sun Rose”

"Sun Rose" Oil on canvas 36" x 36" © 2012 Marilyn Fenn
“Sun Rose” Oil on canvas 36″ x 36″ © 2012 Marilyn Fenn

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!

New Painting: Frack This!

"Frack This!" Oil on canvas 12" x 12" © 2012 Marilyn Fenn
“Frack This!” Oil on canvas 12″ x 12″ © 2012 Marilyn Fenn

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.

New Painting: Flamingo Mallets

"Flamingo Mallets" Oil on canvas 12" x 12" © 2012 Marilyn Fenn
“Flamingo Mallets” Oil on canvas 12″ x 12″ © 2012 Marilyn Fenn

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.

New Painting: Sugar Max

"Sugar Max" Oil on canvas 12" x 12" © 2012 Marilyn Fenn
“Sugar Max” Oil on canvas 12″ x 12″ © 2012 Marilyn Fenn

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.

It's Awash-Oil-on-canvas-12x12-inches-copyright-2011-Marilyn-Fenn
It’s Awash
Paradigms-Lost-Oil-on-canvas-12x2-inches-copyright-2011-Marilyn-Fenn
Paradigms Lost
High-Risk-Pool-Oil-on-canvas-12x12-inches-copyright-2011-Marilyn-Fenn
High Risk Pool

 

New Painting: Talk About Art!

"Talk About Art!" Oil on canvas 12" x 12" © 2012 Marilyn Fenn
“Talk About Art!” Oil on canvas 12″ x 12″ © 2012 Marilyn Fenn

And now for something completely different…

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.

New Painting: The Valley of O

"The Valley of O" Oil on canvas 12" x 12" © 2012 Marilyn Fenn
“The Valley of O” Oil on canvas 12″ x 12″ © 2012 Marilyn Fenn

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!

“For the Love of Art” Exhibition at Austin Art Space

Love Of Art evite

I will be the guest artist at Austin Art Space during the “For the Love of Art” exhibition, which will be on view for most of the month of February.  🙂  I will be showing ten of my latest abstract paintings—all new work that has been created since late last fall.

I invite you to come out for the opening.  I will be there on Feb. 9th, 6-8pm, Austin Art Space.  If you’d like to meet me there during gallery hours on another day, just let me know.

 

 

New Painting: Ovation in Pinks

Ovation in Pinks - Oil on canvas - 12 x 12 inches - copyright 2012 Marilyn Fenn
“Ovation in Pinks” Oil on canvas 12″ x 12″ © 2012 Marilyn Fenn

Here is the first painting I have completed this year.  It started as something even more abstract back in November, but I couldn’t quite resolve it into a painting that worked back then, so I repainted it, and now it has become an abstract floral work.  I really love how it came out.

Here is how it looked after a few days of work back in November and what it is now:

A Real Slow Trip - Oil on Canvas - 12x12 inches - copyright 2011 Marilyn Fenn
Original
Ovation in Pinks - Oil on canvas - 12 x 12 inches - copyright 2012 Marilyn Fenn
Final version
As you can see, there are a few parts that remained more or less intact and a lot of additions and modulations.  That groovy shape in the top center just didn’t work here, but three calla lily-type flowers have taken its place rather nicely.

I didn’t want to lose that wonderful diamond-shaped bit of fuchsia towards the upper right, and I think it came out really well being made into a “flower.”  She’s kind of queenly, I think, and seems to be engaged in a dialogue with the fuchsia flower in the center, or maybe they form a trio of fuchsia flowers with the one below both of them.

Scream - detail
Scream – detail

The other part I was quite attached to was the little blue “mouth “engaged in a scream in the green flower on the upper left (when the painting was turned 90 degrees):

Some brushstrokes just can’t be duplicated (well not mine; not yet, at any rate), so this little guy remains even if it’s no longer so clear that it was a mouth screaming.

“Ovation in Pinks” is available from my new shop site, here: “Ovation in Pinks.”

New Painting: Hortical Mambo

"Hortical Mambo" Oil on canvas 16" x 20" © 2011 Marilyn Fenn
“Hortical Mambo” Oil on canvas 16″ x 20″ © 2011 Marilyn Fenn

Another little breakthrough!

I worked on this until 2am one night last week, then evaluated and made more changes the next day.  I ventured way out of my comfort zone in this painting, color-wise and otherwise, but in general, I like the direction.

Ostensibly, this is a painting of flowers, but the idea of flowers is really just something to give a bit of shape to the stuff of the painting–the paint, the colors, the shapes, the interactions.

What I love about working abstractly like this is that I cannot know what my painting will look like when I finish.  There’s no way I could make this painting happen except by painting it! I can make a few plans, but something in the work takes over and demands adjustments.  In this case, the adjustments were major. I love all the beautiful little moments and the unexpected, unplanned color mixes that happen when I work this way.

Maybe it’s just because I tend to be so literal when I work representationally.  When I begin a representational work, my aim is to make what I paint look like what I’m painting from. So I sort of know when I start what I expect my finished work to look like, and I know when I’m done.

This, on the other hand, is a journey into an unknown universe for me, and I love it!  Onward and upward in 2012!

*no actual flowers were harmed in the making of this painting