Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Gone Painting

This past week I've been busy getting organized for a 3 week stretch away from home. Not only do I have to get prepared for my workshop in Taos (Intensive Studies Seminar), but I've also had to look forward to my trip/art opening/workshop in Hilo, since time will be short once I'm back from New Mexico.

On my list:
- Getting a promotional postcard made. (Actually doing this twice since the 1st had a typo and bad coloring.)
- Making posters for the Hilo events.
- Taking paintings to the giclee printer.
- Picking up my new business cards.
- Getting art supplies.
- Buying mats and framing materials.

All of the above has $$ flying out of my bank account. I was questioning the adage "you have to spend money to make money." (Just what is the limit in spending before you have just gone nuts and will never make the money back?)

Then I got a call from Mike who announced I had gotten a check from the Volcano Art Center for the sale of Night Run, the painting below. One sale won't cover all my expenses, but it made me feel more justified in the outgo.


I'll be out of touch now for the next 20 days or so, but will have plenty of blogging material when I return.
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Monday, April 21, 2008


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What month is this anyway?


This is what I saw on waking up yesterday morning. Not since 1906 has there been snow this late in the year in Oregon.
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A week ago we enjoyed an 84 degree day which encouraged the bulbs to bloom, only to go into shock again the last few days. For all my friends in Hawaii, this really is unusual!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Have I painted myself into a corner?

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As you can see, I grounded my characters from the previous post with lots of solidness--rocks.

My intention with this painting is to create that image of a family at its birth, when everything is perfect. The spheres in the tree will be the fruit carrying all the hopes, dreams and expectations parents have in the beginning, before the reality hits that the perfect little beings come with their own personalities, gifts, quirks, and limitations. I'll do some calligraphy on the fruit, giving them labeled attributes to fit this theme.

So then came the tree.

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There are not many nuances here. Everything is painted with almost childlike simplicity. This is the difficulty with painting from one's ideas and memories, rather than reference materials. So I'm at a halt, unsure of where to go. Here are my questions:

-What kind of background can I put here? Light? Dark?
My ideas so far have been 1-all black (a coward's way out),2-hilly landscape, 3-abstracted stuff

-Should the figures get more details?

-Should the fruit become round and more realistic?

The last question is one I've already asked and answered for myself.
Is this painting worth finishing? It is teaching me a whole lot, so, yes, I will complete it,

Monday, April 14, 2008

Beginning a new piece


Rather than painting, this past week I've been working on other aspects of my art responsibilities such as creating a postcard, getting business cards made, looking at my mat and frame inventory. The incentive for all this activity is getting prepared for my trip to Hilo the end of May. All decision-making, designing,ordering,etc. takes time and energy. I'm not yet practiced in the area of marketing and getting prepared to maximize exposure for an opening, so I'm reading and flying by the seat of my pants.

In the meantime, I've had another personal painting formulating in my mind. It's working title is "Birth of the Red-headed Family." Like "Holding it Together" this painting is totally out of my head and consequently much more difficult to bring to completion. This morning I got started with the figures and some scattering of colors. I put the family in front of a Tree of Life motif and will be struggling with tying it all together in my next studio time.
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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Reworking a Painting

I started this painting weeks ago with my method of blowing ink across the paper and responding to those marks after the ink has dried. I made an attempt at completing the work, but felt it fell short of the mark.

It sat on a shelf for the last month or more. Two days ago I wet and scrubbed out the middle of the painting, leaving only the sky and foreground. Today I reworked the middle parts with watercolor, added some more ink marks.

I'm much happier with the piece now.

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Award Winner!


Hawaiian Charm won 2nd place in the Hawaii Watercolor Members Show. The THE ALEXANDER & BALDWIN FOUNDATION AWARD comes with a cash award. I'm thrilled!
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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Building an Abstract Painting

Yesterday, after wrapping up my painting time in the studio, I decided to put a few pieces of stained rice paper on a sheet of watercolor paper as the start of an abstract painting.

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This morning I began to build the piece by adding wet into wet washes of warm colors: yellow ochre, quinachrodome gold and scarlet lake. I helped them move around by using my spray bottle of water.

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The next step was adding darks using burnt sienna, cobalt blue and French ultramarine.

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I used scarlet lake to create a red mountain which would become my center of interest. (Nothing is as eye-catching as red!)

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Next I tried a product I'd never used berfore--gesso. It was time to put some light back into the painting. I also chose to put in a dark sky.
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To finish this imagined landscape, I darkened the sky and lifted out a stripe to create a clear cruciform. Then I worked on adding details to imply more formations of layers and rocks.

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Now I think I'm ready for a signature and title. Any suggestions?

A Peek at Rainbow Falls


This is a new 10 x 14 painting. I'm still working on buiding a body of work to take back to Hawaii the end of May.

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