Friday, December 14, 2007

Another Visit to Volcano Art Center

The Volcano Art Center is in an old historic building in the Volcano National Park here on the Big Island. It is a charming unfinished wood structure with a stone fireplace, and on a cold blustery day at that higher elevation, one can almost feel like it's Christmas-time, even in Hawaii. That is the feel of the place last Friday when I went up with some new paintings.

All the art up there is volcano related: ohi'a and other native plants, flowing lava, native birds are some of the themes of the art pieces. I had framed 4 pieces I felt confident the director there would want, based on other paintings of mine she has hung. The two large pieces are representational as is one of the smaller ones. One of the smaller is abstract.

Soaring14 x 20
Riding the Thermals

14 x 20


14 x 20

Seeing Red

10 x 14


10 x 14

Along with the framed pieces, I took several other paintings I thought might have the feel of the volcano, two of which were also abstract.

Orb Rising

14 x 20

Night Run
14 x20

Perhaps you've already guessed that I was wrong in trying to foresee which pictures would end up hanging at the Volcano Art Center. The director choose Night Run and Orb Rising because they are quite different than other art in the gallery. She also accepted the two small pieces.

So I ended my visit to the Volcano knowing I would return another day with two newly framed pieces. It's only an 1 1/2 hour round trip. All in a day's (or more) work as an artist seeking walls to hang ones art.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Before and After

Thanks to helpful comments from Ruth, I was able to make the necessary changes to improve this painting. After reading her critique, I was able to see that the cliffs in the background were competing with the birds for attention. By cooling the cliffs with a wash of cobalt blue, they moved into the distance thus pushing the birds forward. I did leave some white at the far right to bring the viewers eye up and back to the left returning to the picture. I worked on the lower wing of the bird on the left to make it understandable. Now the sky looks warmer and more inviting, I think. Scroll down to see the original post and painting.

As always, feel free to make comments. Do you think it is improved?

Riding the Thermals

14 x 22

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

When is a Painting Done?

Riding the Thermals
This is a question I have a hard time answering. For the last couple of days I've been working on this painting that is a departure from my usual subject matter. I rarely paint animals, and if I do, it's usually as an addition to the landscape, rather than the subject matter.
I've become a bit obsessed with these tropicbirds. They are very common near the water, as they are marine birds that feed on fish and the like. So it's always surprising to find them flying around the volcanic caldera, yet there they are. I am not positive, but my reading leads me to believe that they may nest on the cliffs of the craters. They pair up and keep the same partners, so you often see two together.
In this painting, I painted the pair, then created 3 more birds patrolling in the distance to lead the eye back into the painting. If you read my blog, you know I'll prop this up and gaze at it for a few days before I call it done, but I'd love to get feedback on this. Do you think it looks complete?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Wrapping up the Website content

At Play in Reeds Bay
10 x 14

I think I finally sent off the last of the content my web designer needs to finish my website. I'm surprised at how much work and how many decisions went into gathering up and writing material for it. To begin with, I chose to make this a pretty complex website, as it is representing not only my paintings, but also my work as a teacher and illustrator. The site will have a unique feature for demonstrations--a step by step image and explanation of the creation of a painting.

My hopes for the website are that it will establish my serious attitude toward my art and my instructional skills. I teach art classes because I am an educator at heart and as I teach, I grow as an artist. I want this website to be flexible enough to grow and expand as my art life does.

I'm excited to think that I can now send folks off to my website and they can see the majority of my work with the click of a button! Get ready for to come to life!