Friday, April 24, 2015

Where do you get inspiration?

Breath of Spring
pastel on paper

Where do you get inspiration for your art?  Sometimes my inspiration comes from unexpected places.  I receive a lot of ideas while I am out for walks.  I don't think about paintings when I am walking.  I only pay attention to what is around me and what strikes me in some way.  This week I noticed this wonderful green plant sprouting beside the railroad tracks.  It is spring and different shades of green are everywhere in contrast to the surrounding dried grasses.  I let the color of this plant inspire my pastel titled Breath of Spring.  

Friday, April 10, 2015

Nature's Spirit

Nature's Spirit

getting busy, drinking coffee and listening to 70's rock - loud

New painting in Natures Spirit series

drawings and thumbnail sketch

The first painting titled Nature's Spirit was painted last week.  My main inspiration was color.  Yellow green has drawn me lately and this is probably due to spring.  This is a color I have always liked.  Right now I am playing with a lot of combinations of yellow green and other colors.  The line drawings I completed last summer have given me a lot of material to work from and I really look forward to sitting outside and drawing plants again.  I wanted to continue with the theme in Nature's Spirit so I have started a 60x36 inch canvas with similar theme.  I'm enjoying working large right now.  I've completed several large works and plan on doing many more.  Working large brings a real freedom of movement.  Add coffee and loud 70's rock and you have an "out of body" experience!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Paint Fast and Use a Big Brush

Untitled Abstraction in Gray and Yellow
40x30 acrylic on canvas

I have been fascinated with yellow and gray for quite some time.  I think it is one of the most beautiful color combinations.  I have some small pastels I have taped to my studio wall in similar colors to this painting.  Today I decided to try something a little different.  I took my largest brush and painted most of this painting.  I began with doing some charcoal drawing, acrylic washes, colored gesso to create the basic composition.  Then I got out the four inch flat brush and just went for it.  I worked very quickly which is my usual speed.  I started and finished this painting in three hours.  Lesson to be learned is work fast!  Big brushes add more gestural qualities and movement.  Big brushes also make layering much easier.  Now on to the next one!  

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Challenges of Abstract Art

One of my abstracts from several years ago.

See the article in Cloth, Paper, Scissors on my book Abstract Art Painting: Expressions in Mixed Media.  Go to the link below to read the article,

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Bouquets and Flowers

A Moment in Time
27x21 pastel

This past year I have returned to a subject from my past.  Really never thought that I would go back to flower drawing again but last winter brought out the flowers again,.  I have found new possibilities in this subject.  Yesterday I had a discussion with an art consultant who told me he thought they were beautiful and accessible to a larger population.  I suppose that is true and I'm happy about that.  Today I found my self thinking about flowers and bouquets and their significance.  Are they symbolic?  To me they are and I did some reading about the symbolism of flowers throughout history.  To me bouquets, flowers and gardens symbolize life and its impermanence.  Beautiful, fleeting and ephemeral. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Walking Into a Painting

Small pastel color study

New painting in process (not finished yet)

The past few days I have been painting on unstretched canvas on the wall.  If we ever sell this house I'm going to have to paint that wall black!  My first one was an abstract realistic horse painting and this one is more to my liking and current inclinations.  I have not painted this large before on canvas. It is a whole different world.   I found myself pondering what type of atmosphere I wanted to create and almost walk into.  I thought about yellow.  Aren't we all thinking about yellow at this time of the year.  I wanted something sunny, ethereal and organic.  Something to draw me or the viewer into it.  I used my contour drawings of plants and flowers from last summer.  They have proven to be so important.  Important to draw from observation and valuable material to mine for ideas.  I will be doing more of these paintings in the future.  My wall is only so large though so 60 inches long is my limit!  I do like the idea of walking into the atmosphere of a painting. Many ideas to explore with that thought.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Painting a Memory

After the Rain
18x18 pastel on sanded paper

Goodyear workshop

Goodyear Workshop

Goodyear Workshop

Okay so I might become an official "snow bird".   This was my second winter to go to Scottsdale, Arizona during February.  I needed a vacation but I also taught a one day workshop in Goodyear.  The workshop was like a vacation for me also.  It is so fun to be around other artists and I really do enjoy teaching.  I'm a "people person" and I enjoy the high energy of a workshop environment.  So fun to see people try new approaches and new techniques in their work.  I think I come away with as much as the artists who attend.  This workshop had both pastel artists and acrylic artists.  One day is very "fast and furious". One day is more of an introductory course in abstraction.  Get your feet wet and give it a try kind of workshop.  There were people of all backgrounds and experiences and it seemed to work very well.  This workshop was organized by an artist who took my online course through Artists Network University.  Looks like I will be going back next year for a more in depth and longer workshop in Phoenix.  More about that when plans are confirmed.  
I took a break from my own art work and visited many galleries, art expos and did all sorts of sight seeing.  I also visited Wilde Meyer gallery in Scottsdale that carries my work
The pastel at the top was created from memory.  On our way back from Sedona we drove through a rain storm.  We stopped at a rest stop and I took a few photos.  The landscape had such beautiful colors of greens, ochres and gray.  There was also a rainbow which my camera did not record.  The colors of the land made such an impression on me that when I came home I just had to put them on paper.  I'm not a landscape painter but sometimes I am struck by the beautiful colors of the land.  Instead of doing something realistic my landscapes are more impressions from my memory.