Thursday, December 9, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Before & After, the New Digs

Before: Chaos
Current: Room to breathe

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happening Now or Wrangled into Artprize

August 31, 2010 - Beginning the 7'x5" painting

August 31, 2010 - End of the Day

Sept 1, 2010 End of a LONG day

At the beginning of May 2010, I really had no intention of entering into the Artprize fray. But at my nephew's graduation party, fueled along by a couple of glasses of wine served with a tiny bit of arm twisting, I somehow heard the words "yeah sure I'll do it, but I'm going to do a big canvas -7'x 5'. What? Did I truly just commit to doing the event, let alone a 7'x5' painting? Yep, thats what drinking can get you into. Seriously after 40, nothing good happens after 10 p.m.

So I've had this desire to make some bigger paintings for quite some time. Pretty much most of my illustration career has been small format, under 16x20". Its really not feasible to make art much bigger than that when you need to consider that it generally needs to be reproduced and usually you have tight deadlines, small is just more efficient when you work for hire. But painting......thats a whole 'notha thing.

But this big canvas, it opened up a whole new set of problems - like getting them. Cheaper in the long run to buy 2 - 7'x5' canvases rather than one, but more expensive to have it shipped to a residence. Had to ship them to a business address and strap them to the top of the car to get them home. Once home, I realized that the canvas was almost bigger than the space I had to paint them in. Hello new studio space downtown, sweet location!!! Canvases back on to the top of the car to go to their new space. Once at the studio I realized that my easel was not up to the job and Craig came up with this great 2x4 rack system for holding large canvases, that can double as a drying rack. Meanwhile, the pressure of the big white canvas vs the clock has started to set in. The thing needs to be dry, (well mostly) and installed by September 21. 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

August, Already?

Back in December when the summer schedule was confirmed, I remember thinking "I've got all the time in the world." But once May rolled around it seemed like the continuum of time started to contract at an increasingly accelerated pace. First there was the 11 day painting trip to Glen Arbor, followed by 5 days in Cross Village/Harbor Springs partly spent with my painting mentor Stuart Shils. (See The 4th of July came and went with a quick trip to Harbor Springs Tvedten Fine Art for painting delivery. And the middle of the month was consumed by framing/photographing/cataloging work for my solo exhibition at the Center Gallery in Glen Arbor. The week long show was capped with another quick trip to Cross Village where I taught a Gouache Workshop at Three Pines Studio. Then immediately back to Grand Rapids for delivery of new works to the Water Street Gallery in Douglas for a Group exhibition which opened last night. Throw a move of the painting studio into the mix and suddenly I find its the middle of August. Wow. Times flies when you are having FUN! No sarcasm intended. To paraphrase Professor Douglas Brooks, scholar of tantric philosophy "I got the lucky" right now. In all seriousness I find myself very grateful to be able to follow this path. Even while all the stress of pulling work together for 3 separate shows within about a 2 week time span seemed a little daunting and chaotic, in retrospect I wouldn't have it any other way. Perhaps my husband, family and friends see it differently, but you'd really have to take that up with them.

So now am ready to settle back into the space of making the work. Have painted for 2 days now in the new space. And even though its downtown, its quiet. Interestingly enough, while the city is buzzing and vibrant around me, its calm and even somewhat serene within the context of the new space. No distraction from the phone, the email, the laundry, the furry beings and all the other little things that disturb the flow of concentration.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Small Works

Where the County Road Ends


Platte River
Ice Shanties

Its been some time since I've posted anything. A thundery morning seems like a good time to do a little blogging before I get into the space of the studio. It was my intention to be a much better blogger but.....well life gets busy you know?

Over the winter I started teaching Yoga at Expressions of Grace Yoga Studio. Its been such a great experience - I love our students and we have a really great community of teachers. The practice of Yoga is such a complement to making art. For me, it helps to get me "out of my head" so to speak and move past any judgement of the work while its in progress. The whole negative self-talk, second-guessing, doubt thing really puts a damper on things when you trying to make any kind of art (yoga or painting for that matter!).

Have also been spending time out in the world painting. Eleven days in Glen Arbor in May without TV, radio and Craig yielded
21 small studies, 1 med painting, a small painting, a novel read, and the entire back of a sweater knitted. Thanks to my friend Cre for getting me right with that sweater. I now know that just because something has a lot of holes in it, that it won't be a fast or easy knit.

Last but not least, just returned from 6 days in Harbor Springs/Cross Village where I spent 3 days with the man who I've really come to regard as my painting teacher/mentor, Stuart Shils. The best way to describe a workshop with Stuart is that its a boot camp for painters. Its full-on. Its really an immersion in making art, looking at art, talking about art. Long days that begin around 8ish for breakfast/discussion of the day ahead, paintings, demo, more discussion, dinner and slide lectures. I come back exhausted, head spinning, but somehow recharged. More on the workshop later.

The works I'm posting this morning are all little plein aire pieces. All were completed in a half an hour or less. Just little studies that help to develop visual musculature, color sensibility, and accurate drawing. All foundation work for larger paintings.