Wednesday, August 27, 2014

All I Need...

All I Need
acrylic on canvas

Hey, it's been a while.  I hope all is well.  Around here, we are busy squeezing the last bit of summer goodness out of this oh so gorgeous season.  The kids here don't go back to school until next Tuesday and so while friends far and wide are settling into the school year groove we are enjoying the gift of an extra week to hang out, eat picnic lunches and play games after dinner.  Since I wrote last we've visited Saugatuck and Evanston, taken another child to camp for a week and brought them home, had a house guest, visited the Chelsea Fair and brought home a new bunny.  I find myself looking longingly at the studio at least once each day but am really working to be present with the kids, the house and these last few unstructured days together.  Soon, I will have quiet days to start implementing the new ideas, dreams and sketches I have been scribbling down in my notebook :) .
 But, for now,  I thought I would share one of the pieces I created in the abstract painting class that I took a few weeks ago.  It started as a much softer lighter piece with a creamy white background  and a pale blue square surrounding the pile of color.  But, in a flurry of last minute painting before sharing my piece with the class I covered the white with black, scraped it back, etched in the text and suddenly the painting said exactly what I wanted it to say.  I knew what I wanted the piece  to say all along it just took me a while to figure out how to show it and have it feel real and true. Does that make sense?  I had a central idea that filled my head with words and phrases and as the image continued to transform itself on the canvas the ideas became clearer until they condensed themselves down to the very essence of the 
idea and it all came together on the canvas. I would like to re-work a larger version of this with oil paint and wax and have a few other ideas that would play nicely with this one....soon, very soon :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Exploring shape and color...

1st painting in progress::palette from 2nd painting

Loving the abstract painting class.  The teacher is really great and I am learning lots and trying to push myself out of my comfort zone while still painting from a place I recognize.  The piece with the pink and blue (shown above) is still in progress and while I really like where it's going it is much more similar to something I would have done on my own than it should be. Instead of opening up and exploring the entire 30" square board, I divvied up the canvas and made it more manageable (not pushing myself enough). That night's class was about color and emotion and putting something on the board that we connected to emotionally.  I really like the color and feel of the piece and I have it on easel at home and will definitely be working on it over the next few weeks.  The color palette shown is for the 2nd painting I started and that piece is much more abstract in nature and it really resonates with me. I will be bringing that one home to finish up too and look forward to sharing it with you once it's finished and talking through the process of creating it.  We still have two more nights of class and all I know is that we will be exploring color and form.  This class is totally filling the creative well and I really feel like I want to paint something crazy big after it's over.  Today I was pricing 5'x7' canvases...that could be a bit overwhelming but maybe I could try something more like 3'x5'.  Have you worked on a really large painting?  What do you love (or not love) about working crazy big?

ps:  to counter working big in class I needed to work tiny so I created a mini version of 'A Place To Just Be' is titled 'The Getaway':)

Monday, August 11, 2014

A Place To Just Be (and other new work)...

A Place To Just Be

I See You

Cloud Study No.7 (edge of night)

In Cahoots

Hello again.  I have been back from the beach for a week and have been busy unpacking, doing laundry, tending the garden and filling our bellies with all the good stuff we've grown this year and I've been busy painting.  In between all the catch up involved in coming back from 10 days away I have managed to fit in quite a bit of studio time.  In addition to finishing up these four pieces, over the weekend I prepped two 24x24" boards for an abstract painting class I'll be attending this week.  I haven't taken in a class in awhile and I'm excited and a bit nervous about letting go and painting big with others.  I have a feeling the beach trip and/or the idea of water will find it's way into whatever I create in class.  I really miss being close to the water and truly enjoyed every minute of our trip to Charleston and the beautiful beach on Isle of Palm.  There is something about being near the water that opens me up, helps me make sense of things and that is calming and reassuring.  For me, being near the water almost always means slowing down and reconnecting with nature, myself and people I love...I carried that feeling home and unpacked it in 'A Place To Just Be'.   With the last weeks of summer upon us I am savoring the long days, fresh veggies and flowers and the company of my three kiddos.  What about you...where are you finding your bliss this summer?

Friday, July 25, 2014

In the land of plenty (or too much?)

Happy Friday peeps!  We are heading to Charleston, SC tomorrow for a much anticipated visit with Chucks family.  There will lots of time at the beach spent exploring, collecting and reading. And at the house we will all share there is sure to be lots of playing board games, bananagrams, knitting and of course eating.  It's been about 8 years since we last visited Charleston and the food scene there has really many great options for going out when we're not up to cooking.  The garden is going crazy and I am a little intimidated by the amount of produce I harvested today considering I am leaving in less than 24 hours.  So my plan is a batch of Annri's chocolate chip zucchini muffins to take with us, zucchini gratin for dinner with roasted garlic green beans and cherry tomatoes and then I think I will still have 3 or 4 of these monsters to give away.  I have a list of things to get done so I'm going to get going but I wanted to be sure and wish you a beautiful end of July!  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

All kinds of making going on...

I really should be packing for our upcoming road trip to Charleston, SC but instead I am making (and re-making) things to look at, eat and wear.  Most of Monday was spent in the was spent in the studio and I worked on a few new pieces all at the same time.  I went to my scrap source for wood when we were in Chicago a few weeks back and all the block shapes and sizes are inspiring lots of new work. Most of yesterday was spent in the kitchen pickling and dyeing.  There were quite a few pickling cucumbers ready in the garden and while I wasn't quite up for canning I didn't want them to go to waste so I did a quick batch of refrigerator pickles.  I cross referenced 4 or 5 different recipes in an attempt to try and replicate Rick's Picks 'Hotties' and I think I was able to get pretty close but we'll see on Friday when they are ready for tasting.  And then after allowing these three old favorites to sit in a pile in the back of my closet for months I decided it was finally time to re-make them.  All three pieces had been white about 8 and 10 years ago when they were purchased.  At one point all three were dyed brown but I was tired of that color and so now they are all a perfect jet black. And now that they are dry I guess I really should start packing :)


Monday, July 21, 2014

She's done (!)

Home And Garden
18" x 30"

::up close::

This is one of the largest pieces I've done and it took lots of time, patience and arm strength. A massive amount of heat fusing needs to be done layer after layer on a piece this size and so over the past few weeks I've fused and tweaked my way to this finished painting.  I have a fusing iron that probably would have done the job much more quickly but it would have yielded a much smoother surface and that just wouldn't do.  I love to see the texture and bubbles and depth of the wax and so I just took my time and worked on this a bit each day in between other smaller pieces.  The closer I got to finishing the faster I wanted to work but there truly are physical limitations to working this big.  Home And Garden is a reflection on summer, place, time and change and I really like the overall feel of the work and the idea that it is a visual story.  Thanks for reading...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Lion's Heart

A Lion's Heart
4" x 9"

They had always told her she had 'a lion's heart'. As she found her way in the world she embraced that phrase and bit by bit discovered the courage, strength and bravery she possessed.  It is such a gift to have others see things in you.  That is something to celebrate.