Works in progress in the studio this week – all are acrylics and texture on cradled panels, 8x8x2″ each. These are just the beginning of many layers of paint and texture.
And four more with just a base coat of gesso and added impasto
It’s at this point that I wake up in the middle of the night thinking of ways to resolve certain ones, and color combinations, and textures, and imagine a whole world of possibilities.
We’ve been back from vacation for a couple of weeks, with several things demanding our immediate attention on our return. Our most urgent concern has been our little senior Whippet, Abby. The day before we left, she had come down with a severe case of pancreatitis. I panicked and almost decided against leaving her, but our vet was the one who was already scheduled to board her and our other dog Angie anyway, so I finally was reassured she would be in good hands. In fact, she was in great hands. He called me every day to update me on her progress, and once even went out to buy her more of her favorite food. But she was still shaky on her feet when we got back, and has needed help getting back in when she goes outside. Abby is getting stronger every day now, and the cooler weather has lifted her mood. The world is made up of two kinds of people — those who see their pets as family, and the rest. We definitely count ourselves part of the first group. So when they hurt, I hurt. When they’re happy, I’m happy.
Before we left, I had ordered and received another box of a dozen 8″ square panels to work on, and put them under a table unopened. Last night I finally got out to the studio and unpacked them, taped off the edges, and applied a generous coat of gesso. Nice way to start a Monday.
Meanwhile, here are some closeups of some of the most recent ones I sent:
I’m hoping to get in some collage time this week as well. It’s nice to switch gears between collage and painting, especially since the paintings require a lot of drying time and waiting.
And finally, I wanted to share a video I just watched this morning. I love to get a little inspiration before heading out to the studio, so this is what I typically do until the spirit moves me to get up out of my chair, or until the second cup of coffee kicks in – whichever comes first. This one is great, because it has little germs of ideas for my own work, and is a fantastic kids’ art project. While you’re there, you might like to click on a couple more of the Blick videos.
Today we leave for a week with our youngest son and his family at the beach. We mostly see them once a year, and some years twice at best. It’s not easy when the little ones are growing and changing so fast. So we make the most of it when we can be together.
Last year they picked giant lima beans from my garden . . .
. . . and went on a river cruise, and splashed in the local splash pad. Just a normal family vacation at our place.
This time we will both drive for several hours to meet at a central beach location, which turns out to be Wilmington, North Carolina. Jim and I have been there before, and it’s a beautiful place. Should be fun. The two of us like road trips and finding little treasures along the way.
The paintings I was working on are sent off to the gallery, which is always bittersweet for me. I know I’ll likely never see them again. The gallery had recently sold more than these, so I need to start more of them when I get back. It’s always nice to have a “reason” to paint. Although, one never really needs a reason.
Here is a grouping of the complete collection that I sent this time. I’ll show you individual closeups in future posts. You’ve already seen the one with the black spatters, bottom row, second from left, in my previous post. If you click on this grouping and then click again to magnify, you can get a pretty good closeup of these.
Have a wonderful and creative upcoming week. See you at the end of the month.
Something new is slowly percolating. I don’t know whether to just sit back and wait for more signs of forward movement, or to go rushing into the studio and do things with my hands until I figure out what’s going on. But there is a kind of excitement and anticipation of a shift in my art making. It’s starting to keep me awake at night.
I don’t want to bore you, but I need to explain a little bit about how this has all come about. After all, if you’re reading this, you are probably an artist and can relate to it all. So here goes.
For several years, I have been working along two tracks — one in collage . . .
and the other in painting.
The painting side has mostly been very predictable, making pieces for a specific gallery. These paintings are unique and each stands on its own, but they work well together because of the uniformity of size and shape. So far, so good.
The collage half of it is fulfilling, because it involves instant gratification. It even gives me new perspectives and insights about painting. Collage is a great place to start the creative juices flowing.
But a third “way” is intruding into my thoughts. Larger scale paintings have been fewer and farther between, and the existing ones in my studio have felt like a burden due to the physical space that they occupy in my life. I have come so close (yes, that close) to destroying a number of them, but haven’t. They have no homes, and no one has stepped up to adopt them. So there they sit. These are just a few of them.
So I think this is what’s happening: I feel the familiar urge to paint large again. If you’ve been with me for a long time, you’ve heard this before. A possible solution to this is to paint over some of my least favorite big paintings. I’ve already collected them in their own special corner for possible re-purposing. There is absolutely no need to buy new canvases. And in the end, it’s just for me anyway. I have no plans to take that show on the road. There is something very freeing in that.
That is the what. Here is the why . . .
I have declared this the last summer of my big garden. Just saying that out loud has opened up all kinds of new possibilities. Reclaimed time for new directions in art!
This week I decided it was time to create some new collage papers, with the gelli plate as part of my plan. It was a fun morning in the studio, and some interesting collages resulted.
In between collage sessions, I always try to do some work on the panels that I’m getting ready for the gallery. I will add some paint strokes or texture and then they have to dry between coats, giving me time to work on collage.
Waiting is the hardest part of painting. I still tend to want instant gratification, which is possible with collage. Combining the two activities is a good way of working.
Here is one of the finished paintings.