New Painting: It’s Awash

"It's Awash" Oil on canvas 12" x 12" © 2011 Marilyn Fenn

I love how the visual ideas one entertains in the course of being an artist may lay dormant for a time, and then return as a nice surprise.  🙂

Last Wednesday night, with a head full of visual ideas, I entered the studio and started trying to get those ideas out on canvas.  This is the first of 3 paintings I did in less than 24 hours.  While this is not exactly what I envisioned I would be creating, so far, I’m very happy with the direction.

Painting abstractly, or non-objectively, is a much more intuitive process for me than the planned paintings from life.  I start with some loose ideas for shapes, colors, and composition, begin adding some patches of paint, and then follow the brushes to see where they lead.  In this case, they led back to some similar imagery I was exploring 2 years ago (see “Alien Kitchen” and “Twenty-Sixth Day Plus 100” from the Hot Hot Summer series of Works on Paper).

I don’t think these paintings would have taken shape the way they did were it not also for my 2-month excursion back into representational paintings.  I learned a lot from seriously concentrating on making brushstrokes (and I still have a lot left to learn), but I was champing at the bit to get back to abstraction.  In just over 4 days, I’ve now created seven new small abstract paintings and started a couple of others.  I’ll be posting one a day unless something (like work, illness or social life) causes me to take a break.

I intend to continue painting my new abstracts alla prima, or “all at once,” as I did with most of my recent still life paintings.  What this means is the painting is started and finished in one painting session, while the paint is still wet.  It lends a freshness to the work, in that my visual ideas of that day are transmitted to the painting in that session, but more importantly—at least when working in oil—the paints and paint strokes flow very well into, over, around, and through all the other paint strokes on the canvas.  The other main option is to work in layers (“indirect painting”), where new paint is laid down over dry paint from a previous session, rather than becoming physically integrated with the earlier applications of paint.  Plenty of artists work by painting in layers, and it’s an equally valid way of working, but alla prima is my preference.

New Painting: “I Got My Easter Egg!”

"I Got my Easter Egg!" - Organics Sketch 23 Watercolor crayons on Stonehenge paper 7.5" x 7.5" © 2011 Marilyn Fenn
“I Got my Easter Egg!” – Organics Sketch 23 Watercolor crayons on Stonehenge paper 7.5″ x 7.5″ © 2011 Marilyn Fenn

The title of this painting is from one of my favorite stories about my husband.  At his first Easter egg hunt, being quite little and new to this tradition, he found his first egg and declared, “I got my Easter egg!”  He didn’t realize he was supposed to keep looking to acquire yet more eggs.  This story is illustrative of the kind of person he is: never greedy, and always satisfied with just enough.  🙂

New Sketch: “A Gathering of Small Redheads”

"A Gathering of Small Redheads" Watermedia on Stonehenge paper 8" x 8" © Marilyn Fenn
“A Gathering of Small Redheads” Watermedia on Stonehenge paper 8″ x 8″ © Marilyn Fenn

Here’s my latest little sketch, though perhaps it is more of the germ of an idea for some future work. This one is not typical of the work I am currently doing, but I love the goofiness!

I will be posting more new work as I get the images prepared for the web, so stay tuned.

I think I will have about 40-50 of these small works on paper for sale, as well as perhaps eight new oil paintings and about a dozen mini paintings this weekend and next at our location for the East Austin Studio Tour: The Vortex, 2307 Manor Road.

The Next Body of Work

"Organics Sketch 06" Watercolor Crayons on Canvas Paper 6" x 6" © 2010 Marilyn Fenn
“Organics Sketch 06″ Watercolor Crayons on Canvas Paper 6″ x 6” © 2010 Marilyn Fenn

A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success. — E Hubbard

The day after the opening of my solo show last October, I was thrilled to stumble on a somewhat new direction while doing some sketches, a direction that it seems I’ve been searching to find for the past few years.  Too bad this didn’t quite materialize in time for my show, but I’m sure the approximately hundred pieces of art I created last year prior to the show helped lead the way.

Continue reading “The Next Body of Work”

Transformations: The Struggle to Create

"Vortex" Encaustic and Wood on Panel 12" x 12" © 2010 Marilyn Fenn
“Vortex” Encaustic and Wood on Panel 12″ x 12″ © 2010 Marilyn Fenn

Creativity is about play and a kind of willingness to go with your intuition. It’s crucial to an artist. If you know where you are going and what you are going to do, why do it? — Frank Gehry

This is a very comforting quote for me.  When I paint, I frequently have only a very vague idea or sometimes — no idea at all — of what I am searching for in the new work.  I start somewhere, and often, the finished piece is so far away from where it started, it’s unrecognizable.  One of my favorite things about working this way is that I discover things — such as shapes and images — that I just couldn’t invent.

Continue reading “Transformations: The Struggle to Create”