Wednesday, October 30, 2013

How Life Influences My Art--River Tapestry #4

In this new series of paintings, I wanted to find a way to incorporate all the fabric of the rivers I love into art. The water is the most obvious piece of the experience, but the river canyons are carved in rock. Plants and animals soften the harsh edges of the rocky canyons. On many of the Northwest rivers, we find petroglyphs and pictographs—the art and history of the Native people.
River Tapestry #4
14 x 20
These paintings are a combination of those threads of the river canyons creating a tapestry. The stamped patterns come from stamps I’ve made using Native American images I’ve seen on the canyon walls. I use many media including paints, pencils, collage, ink and gesso. By painting, stamping, and mark making; I intertwine the river with the other pieces of the canyon to create the whole.

I now realize these paintings also could be an analogy of my upbringing. My father was an outdoorsman, exposing me to the rivers, lakes and mountains of Oregon. My mother was a homemaker and seamstress. I can’t remember a time in my childhood that didn’t include fabrics, patterns and sewing. I can’t remember a time in my childhood that didn’t include camping, fishing and boating. I celebrate the weaving of my life into my art.

This painting and others in this series will be hanging in the Pearl Street Cafe, 842 Pearl Street, Eugene, Oregon November 4 through December 8.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Busy Week in the Studio

I finally ordered more cradles (wood panels) for framing my River Tapestry Series. I think this clean and contemporary style of framing really suits these paintings.

So some of the first part of this week has been spent finishing the sides by staining and top-coating with water based polyurethane.

Because I will be hanging art at Pearl Street Cafe (Full City Coffee) soon, I've put effort into some small creations. I have used these pieces to try out some techniques and ideas I might not use in larger paintings, but appeal to me as a way to connect to a critter and make an interesting backdrop. Learning to use acrylics with more skill is a benefit, too.

These varnished paintings will be framed in 7x7 inch traditional frames, no need for glass.

The script in the background is taken from a little poem about a frog jumping into a cup of tea.

Behind the bear are translations of many names given to bears by other cultures, including Native American tribes. The outer area is decorated with my take on a NA petroglyph bear paw symbol.

I love using stamps, so used my Man/Woman stamp which fits very nicely in the 7x7 inch frame.

I wanted to create something that speaks to my large paintings, but is more whimsical. I'd love to hear thoughts from my readers.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

New Painting--Stamping and Enhancing the Stamps

In my search for new paths of sharing my river experiences in my art, I've created a number of stamps based on the many petroglyphs and pictographs I've seen along our travels. This Man/Woman stamp is inspired by the pictographs we saw this summer on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho.

I had originally thought I would use it in the background of other pieces, but it turned out to be too demanding of attention. That led me to feature it as the centerpiece of a piece of art.

This image to the right shows the piece in it's middle stage. I've stamped a frame with another petroglyph inspired stamp, and used a similar stamp to create texture and interest in the background.

To finish this piece, I looked for the most interesting areas of the background to enhance with color and play with creating other areas of interest. To connect this piece to my River Tapestry series, I added threads to weave the painting together, top to bottom.

Rather than a traditional mat and frame, this painting will be mounted on a wooden cradle. How to Mount a Painting to a Cradle

River Tapestry #3 Man/Woman
11 x 14 inches

Monday, October 7, 2013

Awards--A Message to Continue On

As an artist, I am often looking for signs that I am on the right path in my own art journey. I am susceptible to self-doubt. I see another artist's beautiful work and achievements and wonder if I should be doing something different. Could I, should I change direction in my art and go faster and farther?

You would think it would be a simpler task to follow my instincts and paint what I know and love . . . but it isn't. Like all art forms, a painting is part of the artist, a child if you will; and the acceptance or rejection of that painting is, in a way, interpreted as an acceptance or rejection of me, the artist.

One way I can get indications that I am on the right path is getting awards in competitions. This past week-end my work was recognized in two large competitions. Blue Moon Heron II was given second place in the Watercolor Society of Oregon's Fall Exhibition--a representation of the best aqua-media artists in the state of Oregon. And Yosemite Trickster was given first place in watercolor at the Springfield Mayor's Art Show. My thanks to Juror Linda Doll at the WSO Show, and Ruth Armitage and Beth Verheyden who juried the Mayor's Art Show.

Blue Moon Heron II
23 x 18 inches

Yosemite Trickster
21 x 18

So for now, I have been given a "go ahead." What I am creating is personal, well painted and strong enough to stand out in a crowd. The Universe is not against me!