Monday, December 10, 2007
Just a quick sketch in oils. This was done from a photo earlier this year.
Prior to my Artist in Residency, I'd been primarily a studio artist. For me, illustration pretty much happens alone in my studio. Its a pretty solitary gig, unless you count the four-legged supervisors. So I had sort of naturally gravitated towards working in the studio when doing fine art as well. The temperature, the lighting, music, its all consistent. But having the opportunity to spend a large chunk of time outdoors working in nature is well, amazing. It really makes you focus on the essence of the subject, as your subject matter is constantly in a state of change. It becomes very apparent that nothing remains the same, unlike working from a photograph.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
A good portion of my Residency was spent sketching and painting in the Port Oneida Historic District. This little oil, I do mean little (5x7) is a portion of the farmhouse and one of the outbuildings. For about the first week I was there I thought the name of this particular farm was Burfield, but as it turns out its Burfiend.
This particular sketch and subsequent painting were done on the same day on location at the public beach in Empire. One of the things I "rediscovered" during my AIR was the importance of keeping a sketchbook. My sketchbook became one of my greatest assets during my time away. I love working in a sketchbook form: its easily portable when hiking, it's more lively than a photograph, and the time investment is much less than dragging all your painting gear out. I hate to admit it but its been years since I've kept a sketchbook of any consequence. Am not really sure how I got out of the habit, but I suspect that it was more of a time issue than anything else. (Too much time devoted to other things.) Anyway, with this particular scene I used the sketch book to block out my composition and to solidify my knowledge of correct value.
During the 2 weeks of my Artist in Residency, I spent a significant amount of time at North Bar Lake, just a shade north of Empire. Its a beautiful area; dunes, shoreline, and a small lake that connects to Lake Michigan. Usually. Not this year. In the many years that I've been going up to North Bar this is the first year that I've ever seen the lake levels so low that that the Big Lake and the "little" lake are separate.
The day this particular peice was painted was one of the very few cloudy/rainy days of my Residency. I love a moody day, so I was excited by this development, especially after days on end of sunny, 85 degree, windy, and bitey-fly days. (There's nothing like standing on a beach in hot windy weather with jeans on, plus a towel around your legs to keep from being biten! And thats after you've hiked carrying all your gear to just the right spot.) Anyway, this day was ideal for painting. I schlepped my gear to the spot, got set up, started painting and it started to rain. Then it started to rain a little harder. The water was beading up pretty good on the canvas. I quickly packed it all in and marched back up to my car, only to have it quit raining. So I did what any painter worth their muster would do.....I marched back down to the lakeside and resumed painting. Quickly, as I could see yet another wall of rain heading across the lake straight for me. Between migrating my gear between the lake and the car, I managed to complete this painting in about 45 minutes.
Monday, October 8, 2007
Since I've posted anything. Since January to be exact. Its not that nothing happened between now and January, its more like much has happened. Life got in the way of all my good intentions. Since January I have: embarked on a 108 Anuasara Yoga Immersion which is now leading to a 100 hour teacher training, taken a painting workshop with Richard Kooyman, spent a week on Beaver Island with Craig and the Beastie, spent a weekend in Port Onieda doing plein air painting, got approved to draw Dora the Explorer thru Nickelodeon, and the coup de gras.....a two week artist in residency in Glen Arbor through the Glen Arbor Arts Association. During this time somehow I still managed to maintain a fairly full illustration schedule. Whew, it makes me tired just reviewing it.
Posting here a couple of pcs. from my Residency, which I'll go into with a little more detail later this week. Promise.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Am thinking about changing my blog title to: Margo Burian Fine Art and Beasties.
Sunshine; a rare commodity in Michigan in January. The only consistently sunny spot here in the house is precisely where the dog bed is at the top of the stairs. In a rare moment, it appears that for once Bodie got to the dog bed first.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Don't even ask. All I have to say is:
Dog walk, dark out, new construction, when did they remove that sidewalk?, 2 days rain, Merrill gortex shoes completely dry....that would be on the inside.
B-easter bath 11pm.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
I laid the underpainting down on this one yesterday. Its a little larger than I typically work. (note previous post) Whenever the illustration world is slow and I start a large scale painting, its almost guaranteed that a new illustration project will pop up. Usually with a tight deadline. :) Not that I'm complaining....it sure beats working for the man and sellin' my soul. Plus with a little creative time management I can still sleep in.
Another image from the Glen Arbor Area. This painting was completed just before Christmas. Its fairly small, in the neighborhood of 6x10. I've found that with my illustration schedule I don't always have the time to work on large images. Plus having unfinished work on my easel drives me crazy; I think its a momentum thing. The small works can be started and finished in a session or two, depending on how often Bodie comes into the studio looking for a walk or tug-of-war!
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
This particular piece was completed in July at a Plein Air workshop I took at Thorson Farm in Glen Arbor. The visiting artist was Jerry Powers; a wonderful teacher and exceptional artist. It was a great experience all around, plus I spent 4 days in my favorite place - Sleeping Bear National Forest.
Monday, January 8, 2007
The first image here is of Reeds Lake at sunrise. Though I can't imagine why I ever would have gotten up early enough to be dressed and mobile to even see the sunrise over the lake! The proof lies in the entire roll of film I shot that morning.
This stately pine resides along M22 between Glen Arbor and Leland.
Welcome to my blog and my first post!
"Sentinals" is one of my most recent paintings, completed in December. Currently, most of the paintings I am working on are in pastel or water-based oils. The images I am posting today are pastels done on sanded paper. I love the immediacy of the color with pastels, another big bonus for me is that there is little dry time, with the exception of the underpainting, which I am using Gamsol and a stiff brush to complete.