Tuesday, November 11, 2014
20x20 pastel Sold
This pastel will be on exhibit at the Butler Institute of American Art December 2014 to February 2015
This year I've returned to working with a flower theme. With each one I create I gather more ideas for future pastels and paintings. I'm excited to see where it all leads me. I've created a small book with some of my paintings and pastels from this past year. Click on the link and it will take you to my new Blurb book titled Back to the Garden
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
|Blue Abstraction in process|
acrylic on canvas with charcoal and gold gesso
Friday, October 31, 2014
30x22 pastel on paper
This summer I spent quite a bit of time doing one of my favorite ways of drawing. I created several "blind" contour drawings from life. I love this form of drawing. They will never be framed and are not finished artworks. I sit outside, take newsprint and charcoal and draw what I see in front of me. I put the charcoal on paper and don't lift to place very often. I overlap lines and allow my eyes and hand to follow the line of what I see. It is a slow form of drawing and brings more sensitivity as I am really looking at what I see. It also slows me down and for me it is much like a form of meditation.
It brought me to go on a search for a book that I bought many years ago called The Zen of Seeing: seeing/drawing as meditation by Frederick Franck (1973). I got it out and reread many parts that I had marked many years ago. Here is a wonderful quote from the book "I have learned that what I have not drawn I have never really seen, and that when I start drawing an ordinary thing I realize how extraordinary it is, sheer miracle: the branching of a tree, the structure of a dandelion's seed puff. "A mouse is miracle enough to stagger sextillions of infidels" says Walt Whitman. I discover that among the Ten Thousand Things there is no ordinary thing. All that is, is worthy of being seen, of being drawn." I took the book to one of my workshops and a participant took it with her overnight. She came back the next day and told me how emotional she had become reading through the book. It is a wonderful gem of a book.
Drawing continues to be the foundation and most important form of creating for me whether I am painting an abstract or drawing a flower.
Saturday, October 25, 2014
|Last Coneflower 14x14 pastel|
|Me on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC|
I looked at a lot of art while in NYC. Art in museums, commercial galleries and in open studios. I visited with artists in their studios which was really nice. A lot of ideas are developing for me right now and they are off shoots from my flower abstractions and drawings of the summer. Drawing is becoming very important to me again. Any experience becomes a part of you and you never know how it is going to come out in your art. It is the same with this trip. I was impacted by the city, people, art and the environment. I know it left its impression on my life. Looking at the works of artists long gone I realize that art really is just a series of marks and colors that represent the experience of being alive.
Sunday, October 5, 2014
Here are a few photos from two workshops that I gave this summer. I'm now getting ready to travel to NYC for a one day workshop at the Pastel Society of America. Then I take a little break from workshops. My next will be while I am on vacation in Scottsdale this winter. Next summer I have a busy schedule with workshops in Maine, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Illinois. Summer will probably be the time I give most of my workshops unless there is some warm weather place that really wants me to come visit in the winter!
I have really enjoyed teaching workshops. It is fun and energizing although I'm always surprised that I get as exhausted as I do by the end of the day. I've met some great people and have been to some wonderful spots. I look forward to teaching more in the future. I only plan on teaching six or eight at the most workshops during the year. I have to balance teaching with my own artwork. If I don't have time for my own work then I don't have anything to give to others.
I really try to give people their money's worth in my workshops. I'm really getting things down at this point. I have a set curriculum for one, two, three and four day workshops. I focus on pastel mostly but also allow people to paint with acrylics if they choose. I give everyone a detailed handout that reflects my upcoming Northlight book. I've also created PowerPoint presentations on abstraction, composition, color and abstract realism. I strive for a well paced, energetic experience with plenty of time to explore and work for extended time. I want people to learn, have fun, explore, bond with each other and find their own direction. I do not give step by step directions for people to copy.
I think everyone needs to discover their own way with abstraction. In a workshop you learn from the instructor's experience and technique but then it is up to you as to how you will apply it.
I've had very good feedback on my workshops. I wasn't able to include photos of all the people I've met this summer. Maybe you will recognize someone. Maybe yourself?