February in Alabama is wet, cold, and grey. A perfect recipe for malaise. Will I hibernate? Will I huddle under the covers and whine? Will I crawl into bed with a pan of lasagna and try to get as fat as possible? Not this kid… not anymore at least. Let’s get back to work. And this time I think I’ll try things a little differently.
Step 1- Underpainting rub-out
Gamblin’s Solvent Free gel mixed with transparent earth orange (about 50/50).
The underpainting acts as a value study- letting me study the dark and light areas of the painting and decide if the composition is interesting enough to stand on its own without the color.
The paint/gel mixture is applied to the entire canvas (or in this case primed panel) with a large brush, then, using a t-shirt rag I rub out the lighter parts of the painting, using varying pressure to get the gradations of value.
Stay tuned for more… unless I go back into hibernation mode. Then you can find me on the couch with a pot of chili.
For about a week now I’ve been attempting to NOT multi-task. Harder than it seems but surprisingly effective. Crazy as it sounds, I feel calmer and I actually feel like I’ve gotten more done. Even on days like last Monday when my dog licked a 10″ square portion of oil paint off a painting I’d been working on for two hours (FYI in case this happens to you- feed them and give them peptobismal. This is on a vet’s recommendation. She didn’t have a recommendation for what to do about the painting). I even managed to (for the most part) not multi-task when 20+ family members came into town for my daughter’s second birthday. It’s amazing how much nicer… calmer life seems when you’re really doing one thing at a time. However, I discovered a secret hidden area where I multi-task.
That sneaky brain! Always trying to think about something else while I’m doing something entirely different. So, I’ve been working on mindfulness. Life’s too short and too precious to let moments slip away unnoticed while we’re not looking. So, several times a day I’ve tried to stop my inner narrative, my to-do lists, etc and notice where I am. Chances are it’s no place obviously special, but inevitably when I stop to notice there are special things about it. My brain is hyper. It’s hard to teach it to sit still for long. But, a little reminder several times a day, focusing for just a few scant seconds at a time, and I already notice it’s calming down.
On the subject of focusing on one thing at a time, in my latest painting I (mainly) focused on one color. White. I JUST finished it about 20 minutes ago, but I’m eager to share it.
“Dare to Dream” 12″x16″ Oil on Linen
Man I love color!!! Look at all the zillion colors you can find just in white! Sorry, like I said, hyper brain. Anyway, this was really fun to do. And clearing my mind of all distractions and just looking for that myriad of colors imbedded in white paper and a white background was a great lesson in mindfulness. Tada! This blog post has come full circle. Namaste.
It started gradually. A little piece here. A little piece there. Next thing you know I have quite a collection.
I’m referring to my “bits of nature” that I just can’t seem to leave outside. I pick up every feather I come across, every mossy bit of fallen bark, every cool and unusual stick. I actually went outside in a downpour recently to “rescue” a perfect clump of moss that I had seen earlier in the driveway and had meant (and then forgotten) to pick up after depositing the groceries in the house.
It’s ok. I’m an artist. We’re allowed these little eccentricities and I quite like them- both my eccentricities and my collection.
Here are just a few of the many paintings inspired by my outdoor finds:
#1 4″x4″ Oil on panel $75
Please contact me for purchase. If you like these, you might also like the mixed-media work found in this post.
I’m a little giddy… a little obsessed even, over something new. It’s slick, almost plasticky, and as you can see, somewhat transparent (which could lend itself to all kinds of cool tricks). Here are some of the mixed-media pieces I’ve … Continue reading →
You’ve all seen pictures of my revamped (and so pretty!!) gray and white studio, but have you noticed that it’s affected my work?
“Make a Wish” 4″x4″ $40
“Wild Strawberry” 4″x4″ $40
“Grey Feather” 4″x4″ $40
“One Lucky Family” 4″x4″ $40
“Purple Clover II” 4″x4″ $40
“Nestled” 4″x4″ $40
“Purple Clover” 4″x4″ $40
I don’t know what came first, the studio re-do or this series of paintings (they both started around the same time) but I seem, in all areas of my life, to be craving clean, white, open spaces and simplicity. Hmm… could have something to do with the zillions of brightly colored letters and other toys constantly scattered around my house.