Thursday, August 9, 2018

back to the field

Certain places compel us to paint. They simply stop us in our tracks when we see the siren calling us to the rocks. You see the poetry of color her words soft and sweet. The fields on Whidbey Island do that for me. Her rhythms and shapes make my heart beat just a little bit stronger. This are all plein air.
Next stop, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

making of a painting

finished painting
step 1

step 2

step 3

step 4

step 5
step 6

Last week I was on the Island of Ocracoke, off the coast of North Carolina. It has a small harbor they call Silver Lake. This small body of water has always obsessed me but this time I arrived in Ocracoke with the simple idea that I would color study it over and over.
I mostly used memory although some have been started by some plain air, like this one. Once I could separate and begin to work the following day I was free from what i saw and eager to simply play with color.

Friday, June 29, 2018

sanibel thoughts

 Maybe because it's summer and I am thinking of the beach.... that's why I have taken out my Sanibel smalls and sketches from my trip this spring. Normally I only work with the places I know inside out. I am going to make an exception since I see Sanibel in my head when I am here in my studio. I am fascinated by the way palm trees have a kind of lace work that my Mid Atlantic trees lack.
More sketches and studies will evolve and I will see where it takes me.

Advice to self:

Follow organic developments.
Veer away from the obvious.
Look to yourself.
Avoid falling into stylistic rote.
Hone your tendencies and allow your flare to show.
Don’t worry about finishing uninteresting things,
but bring promising stuff to completion.
Hang your best work in your studio for a second look.
Make the work you’ve always fantasized about.

Postpone extensive external feedback.

I read something like this once. I wrote it down and adapted in my words. i wish i could remember where I found it so I could give credit.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

soul journey

pastel 20x20
As I continue working with the many ideas from Josef Albers, it feels like my eyes have been opened to possibilities I never thought possible. I feel more sensitive to the interaction between adjoining colors. Therefore I decided to add a painted frame. It allows me to do more with less. My favorite locations figure strongly in my new studies. Since when they are the muse there is no unnecessary thinking about making a place- it simply is, without effort. All the effort can go into the color vibration and melting.

 Below please see the before painting... simply not exciting.
Homage to the square glow, Josef Albers
Now more about Josef Albers:

Josef Albers investigation into color was done by using minimal means -paint straight from the tube. He applied it meticulously with a palette knife. His focused selection of colors took him through a journey, a serial investigation into rhythm, mood and spatial movement.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

albers and me

20x20 pastel
Ok, so now I begin processing the information I learned at Cynthia Dantzic's workshop.
This was how the painting looked first (below.) At the top is the painting in its new form. I added a frame in pastel so that I could play the colors off of each other. I moved back and forth, trying to make a new relationship between the two. It's just the beginning.

Monday, June 11, 2018

PSA, Josef Albers, and master teacher, Cynthia Dantzic

the class

I was fortunate to be part of a wonderful experience at the PSA in NYC, Hands on Albers Color Workshop with Cynthia Dantzic. Ms. Dantzic was a student of Josef Albers, the color genius. She is a gifted teacher, and a wonderful person, who knows her material inside- out. She really challenged the class in every way. I left completely each day, fried and continuously thinking about the new information I experienced.
We learned about push and pull color space, transparencies, vibration, melted edge, and color reversals, to name a few!
As I process the information I will blog more about it. Look for a new post this week.

PS Thank you to Susan M Story for making this workshop happen.

Friday, June 1, 2018

the lake and the lock

The lake has always been my muse. I return to her each time I want to move away from comfort. By choosing her I have enough comfort of place that the rest is up to me. I know her shapes inside out and can paint her blindfolded. So I play. And play more...just trying to open something up that is under a lock. Soon I will figure out the combination, again,  and  step inside.
plein air

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

springtime on the river

Thinking about color.
Josef Albers:  
In visual perception a color is almost never seen as it really is — as it physically is. This fact makes color the most relative medium in art.In order to use color effectively it is necessary to recognize that color deceives continually. To this end, the beginning is not a study of color systems.First, it should be learned that one and the same color evokes innumerable readings. Instead of mechanically applying or merely implying laws and rules of color harmony, distinct color effects are produced-through recognition of the interaction of color-by making, for instance, two very different colors look alike, or nearly alike.

I am fortunate to be part of a workshop, Hands on Albers Color Workshop with Cynthia Dantzic. Ms. Dantzic was a student of Josef Albers, the color genius.
I work color intuitively. So to think about it in  a whole new way is exciting. The workshop is in NYC, this weekend. Cool, eh?
More later.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Prince Edward Island and Lab Girl

"Being able to drive happiness from discovery is a recipe for a beautiful life."

Quote from the book Lab Girl, which is a book by Hope Jahren. Essentially it is a memoir by American geochemist, geobiologist, and professor. But more than that it is an atlas of discovery. For Jahren it is about plant life but it also pertains fully to the artistic exploration. I guess it's all the same. ;-)

This painting was begun last year when I was in prince Edward Island. It took a year to finally come to its fruition.

Monday, April 30, 2018

more from Sanibel

Since I am back from beautiful Sanibel I am now living in my memory. Ahhh.

My memory allows for total freedom. When I was there I recorded only the written information about the colors in my sketchbook. This series of paintings have no solid physical basis. I am only concerned with air. Sometimes land shapes come forward but I am not as interested in making them...simply trying to paint air.
As I work on these air studies I am finding that using texture is exciting. Since these are all pastel I started with texture. Not being satisfied I kept adding more as I  worked. 
Does anyone have a suggestions for a new place to go where the air is colored? I so far like Sanibel, Washington State, and Prince Edward Island. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Sanibel Island and Blogger app

I have spent the last week on Sanibel Island. Love that place! Did many small paintings and now I am back in the studio working from them.
Apologies for my lack of posts. It seems that when I updated my iphone to ios 11 it no longer will work with my blogger app! Blogger has not, till this point, fixed this. For the past years I have been doing all of my posts on my phone, but now I am back to the computer and it is slowing me down.
I have many more ideas to share.... till later. Now back to the studio.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Febraury passion challenge days 14-22

Baltimore sunrise, 30x40, oil

We had serious wind storms which closed down the city. At one point when I went to a doctor's appointment I heard two transformers blow and the fire came next! Therefore I spent more time in studio than out. The top one is the large oil I've been working on and the others are some of the plein airs before and after the storm.
field near needwood
memory twilight needwood

field at entrance

Monday, February 26, 2018

Days 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 Passion challenge

 I keep going to the same place...seeing what I can do to create a painting. Sometimes I rework it in the studio and it then I change the season.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Day 5&6 passion challenge

pastel 8x8, day 6
After today I will be posting once a week. In that post I will include the 7 paintings from the week. It's been so freeing to simply go to the same place and just play with the possibilities. I have the small paintings up on the wall and love the differences. It brings me back to the two years of one pot of mums!
pastel 6x8, day 5

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Friday, February 16, 2018

february 16 2018 passion challenge, day 3

day 3 pastel 8x8
I return to my favorite place, between the rains. When I paint here, with my muse, I simply sit with my love and communicate. People have asked why do I paint the same thing? My face probably screws up a little (I can't help it). I wonder, the same thing? The muse is the same... but it's not the same thing. It's not about her, it's about the air and the color vibration, she simply provides it. Did Rodin sculpt the same thing with Camille? Did Andrew Wyeth paint the same thing in his Helga series? Staying with a muse frees me. She inspires me and allows me the dialogue with the painting rather than painting her.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

valentine's passion and one month

Hi Everyone!

pastel about 5"x6"
I'm back!!!! The explanation for my absence is below. I just wanted to announce that in honor of Valentine's Day I will be posting a daily passion post for one month (February 14-March 14.) Most posts will be that day's plein air painting. If it is my long teaching day you will see a small studio piece. What better way to celebrate passion! Happy Valentine's Day!

PS I am happy to say I am back blogging. Not to make excuses... but Apple has caused me many problems. When I updated to High Sierra it caused me more problems. It stopped access to my photo editing software (which was is Cs5)and made it so I couldn't open Aperture. They call them "legacy programs". They are trying to phase these programs out because you only have to buy them once. Their replacements are programs you continually have to subscription. Arghhhhhh! With help from Artur, friend and tech specialist, I am up and running again, but for who knows how long. If you know answers to these issues please comment or email me. Iphoto is not as good as Aperture that's why I left. It looks like Lightroom is the only answer. Help...if you know!

Monday, January 8, 2018

2018 only one resolution

If I was to say one thing to do this year...if there was a resolution to make, it would be this..... Build pockets of silence into your life. Put away the phone and allow boredom and silence to reign. It is in those moments that creativity pushes her little finger deeper into your mind and pulls out nuggets of gold. Enjoy it.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

winter fog and brush creek

Winter solstice is near. Light will return. Till then I continue to paint more light to give solace. This is super large.... oil, marble dust and pastel.
Today, I will tell you the story of the mountain lion. 

the slough

after the snow

early morning brush creek

It was what happened next that made me know it was a mountain lion/cougar. After the big cat crossed the field it sat a a large rock outcropping. It's majestic chest puffed out, the mountain lion just watched.
When we first came to the residency we were given instructions about dealing with each type of animal encounter. An encounter with a mountain lion is extremely rare. But since the ranch is empty at this time and I was alone, making no sounds, I was fortunate to see one.
My training told me that when you spot a mountain lion you are never to bend down or run. 'Look big." I carried a walking stick and wore a large melon colored scarf. I attached the scarf to the stick- extending my width and opened my coat wide. Then I started singing. That alone would scare him! Carefully I began walking backwards while keeping one eye on the amazing big cat.
Here is a photo of me dressed to walk.
The lion kept his/her post the entire time I was in view. After this encounter, when I traveled alone, early morning or at dusk, I made a habit of singing. That way I always announced my presence. Once was enough for me.  ;-)

Right now I have a show at Gallery B in Bethesda MD. Many of my residency paintings are there. Come if you can. It ends December 30th.