Posts Tagged ‘painting’

Back to the Real

November 4, 2011

After my solo show of assemblages and mixed media works a year ago, I felt tired of the mess and bother, the glue and little bitsy pieces of stuff, and decided to return to painting and drawing, focusing on technique and simple subject matter.  The decision was aided by the fact that it was winter, and my “mess” studio, a closed-in garage, gets very cold…and is expensive to heat.  I set up a working space in my “clean” studio (which isn’t all that clean but at least doesn’t have paint on the floor) – the “family room” of my house.  And I started taking classes with Manhattan/Woodstock artist Chris Gallego, whose work I have greatly admired since first seeing it at his solo show at the WAAM.  (See his art at http://www.chrisgallego.com). I painted still lifes, something I’ve never done before, and found it completely engrossing, especially under his expert tutelage.  After an arduous painting of a plastic bag, pencil and paper called to me and I’ve now started a series of drawings…below is the first one, the subject of which is a rack of old clothes in a vintage shop in Virginia.  I’m obsessed now, seeing drawings in everything.  This coming weekend I’ll be doing an intensive 2-day workshop in Chris’s Woodstock studio, and I can’t wait.  It’s always surprising to me how very much more there is to learn about even the “simplest” art techniques, and how much I don’t know.

A few of my new paintings follow the drawing. I’ve sold two, and one will be in NAWA’s “Vernissage des Femmes Artistes” show in Miami during Art Basel week.

 

 

Tough decision

July 7, 2011

I never thought I would turn down an opportunity for a gallery show, but after wrestling with my conscience and my reasoning, I just did that very thing.  I was offered a show this coming September, at the lovely Doghouse Gallery on Phillips Road, between Saugerties and Woodstock. Tom Wright does a wonderful job with this place…it’s an old barn behind the Wrights’ home, cozy and rustic, where summers offer a series of beautiful exhibits by local artists.  Back in March it seemed like an easy prospect, such a long time away.  Well, it’s not a long time away now, and the past few months have been so crowded with activities, travel, and obligations that I haven’t had the studio time I need.  I’m currently working on a series of small still lifes and trompe l’oeil paintings, and studying with Chris Gallego…I was worn out by the messiness of assemblages and collages, and felt a need to return to basics.  And there’s a lot I never learned in college or my MFA program about painting.  I’m not sure if I learned anything at all there, actually.  I’m enjoying the process, studying and learning and working slowly, but unless I speed up and “crank out” work, I won’t have enough new pieces for a show.  I could easily show some photos instead, or old work, or drawings…but that just doesn’t feel right to me.  It feels like cheating, like just throwing stuff on walls for the thrill and attention (and possibly sales) associated with having my name on a postcard and a flashy opening.  I feel like I’m learning more than just painting; I’m learning to focus, to let work develop as it wants to without my rushing it, and that there’s a time for showing…and a time for working.

The next show at the Doghouse will feature the work of painter and sculptor Fay Wood, opening July 30.  I just created her postcard (my little job for the Doghouse)…do see the show, it’s sure to be wonderful. 4-7 PM, 429 Phillips Road.

Here’s a little sampling of my new work….

pocket Buddha

December 13, 2008

This past week’s ice storm kept me indoors, so I heated up the studio and got to work.  We didn’t get many problems around here…it was very wet, but the streets didn’t freeze and the trees didn’t fall; it was another story on the other side of the river.  My eye exam got cancelled because the optometrist had a tree across her cul-de-sac, and my son and daughter-in-law just informed me they’ve been without power in Elizaville since Thursday night.  They’re coming over tonight with their cat Liam to warm up.

Back to the studio–with no biggish projects in mind, I busied myself working on some ACEO’s…(Artists’ Cards, Editions and Originals–same thing as ATC’s –artists’ trading cards–except they’re to sell rather than trade.) I want some for gifts, and I do hope to sell some.  With no illustration work, finances are tight, and I figure a bit of income here and there from little things might help keep me afloat for awhile.  And they’re so much fun.  I pulled up images and quotes from Buddha, and I’m making the cards with pockets, into which I insert a smaller card with an image on one side and a quote on the other.  Here’s the first completed one:

buddha-aceos

Now the studio’s heater is going, and pretty soon I’ll be able to head in there with scissors and glue.  Meanwhile, a word about some art hereabouts that’s worth checking out: I’m in a great little holiday show with about a dozen artists at Michael Nelson’s gallery on Partition Street here in Saugerties.  We had a great crowd at the opening, and it’s a lovely show.  My friend Patti Gibbons has work in a nice show at the Donskoj Gallery in Kingston–I haven’t been yet, but I know it’s worth seeing.  Last Saturday we went up to Hudson where my friend Anique Taylor is showing some of her recent gorgeous work at Deborah Davis Fine Art.  The gallery is beautiful, and Anique’s work is stunning.  Don’t miss it if you live around here!  img_55291

Another Saturday event was a crafts fair in Tivoli, where  my son Alex and his wife Faith displayed their wares: Faith’s wonderful ceramics, and Alex’s hand-built amps.  Here he is with a small sampling:

alex-craft-fairI was impressed by the sculptural beauty of the amps, and I continue to be amazed that he knows how to put these complicated things together.  Here’s the card he designed, just in case anybody out there needs an amp!

alex-card-finalOkay, that’s enough for today…back to my Buddha pockets!

Edna, Emma, and Lois

November 25, 2008

This is the fifth of this series derived from my visit to my home state; the girls are my mom, on the left, and her sisters.  The scene is one we passed by, shot from the car window…an abandoned limestone farmhouse, and the other characters are scans of toys.  I’ve run out of the little 4 x 4 canvases, so this one stands alone, at 8 x 8 inches.  emmaednalois-copy-3

Another photo-collage

November 23, 2008

This one was particular agony…the first of the series just “happened,” seemingly without any effort on my part, the second one emerged with some struggle from my memories, the third…a lucky accident.  But this one…I guess I’m trying too hard now, wanting to have this little series and make a piece that matches the others, but I’m not sure if the four parts really work with each other.  I’m having a lot of trouble with my printers; neither one matches the richness and color I see on my screen.  Well, I’ll proceed with the thing tomorrow and try not to judge in until it’s in its little box, and on the wall.sunset-swing

On the road…

November 16, 2008

This may be the last in my little series of 4-panel pieces for now, not sure; I had a hell of a time getting my printer, papers, lazertran, etc. to cooperate on this one.  It’s also composed of pictures I took on the long drive to and from Kansas.  No memory pieces added this time…I tried to steer it in that direction, but it really wanted to remain simple, just the wide lonely spaces and the long road stretching through them.  I saw the beauty of the Great Plains on this trip, something I didn’t notice when I was a kid and just wanted to get out of there, get where things were happening.  Beautiful in its way, but I’m happy to be in the Catskills.

roads-copy

artwork progress

November 12, 2008

Upon returning from my trip to Kansas, I wanted to make some art about the feelings evoked by reconnecting with the place of my childhood, and leaving it behind.  I gathered some images; these are some old toy animals I found at a yard sale, which I scanned….animals

…an image of crows pulled from the internet (google image search)…

421626969_0d015b31f1_b…some shots taken on the road….kansas-backgrounds1And more.  I layered them, photoshopped them, and came up with this image:

leaving-kansas

I printed it onto Lazertran, a transfer paper, cut it into 4 4-inch images, and adhered them to small canvases.  Lesson learned: Paint the edges BEFORE applying.  It took forever to carefully paint the edges…!

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When all were dried, I varnished them and glued them into the box I’d prepared by texturing with paper and medium, and this is the final product:

img_5449