Sunday, August 19, 2018

Thinking of Shapes, Lines and Patterns

If you follow my blog and view my art, you know that my paintings are usually content driven: women's issues, the future of children, exploring world problems, or the natural world. But every once in awhile, I head to the studio with no big idea, just the desire to play with shapes, lines and patterns.

I started these 2 small pieces (8 1/2 inches square) as I often do, blocking out an interesting shape with tape, film, contact paper or something similar.

The next step: add texture using a mouth atomizer.

At this point I start to think about what the shapes imply--clown faces? I apply paint, building shapes and strong design. The radiant design was easy to emphasize with some collage materials. Why the tweezers? When working with collage on a small piece, tweezers really help getting each collage piece to the right place.

Here are the two pieces with some metallic gold as a last touch to bring forth an elegance. Somewhere in the process they seem to have developed a bit of an Asian feel and I like it!

I had two similar gold frames to put the art into. The last decision to be made was what orientation made the strongest presentation. Below are the two framed paintings.

Radiation I
Mixed Medium
8.5" x 8.5"

Radiation II
Mixed Medium
8.5" x 8.5"

They are now ready to hang on a wall. Contact me if you have the perfect spot.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Does an Artist Have to Commit to a Style?

I know I am not alone in questioning my dedication to painting in one voice or style. Over 20 plus years of painting I've gone down paths that came to a dead end, yet others branched out to something related, but broader and more fulfilling.

After my trip to Paris this spring, I saw the work of many famous artists whose work evolved over many years. And last week I visited the Portland Art Museum featuring the early work of Richard Diebenkorn. Best known for his Ocean Park Series and figurative work, this exhibit was titled "Beginnings."

So from these early abstracts came these later works:

I am not trying to compare my own work with this artist, but it has given me permission to let my paintings take sashays here and there. I feel relieved in a way.

I am calling my current artwork "Margaret's Careful Period." It seems that my path toward simplification has also led me to a more exact painting style. I don't feel I have to justify it in any way. I will just accept it as a part of my journey.

Both of these new pieces are simplified and carefully painted. Both are related to my recent subject matter of feminine issues (although the tree climber is a stretch.) Perhaps it relates to women being the gatherers. And the art tells a story. I guess I am still on track!

Comments are always welcome.

Women's Work
Transparent Watercolor
22" x 22"

Tree Climber (working title)
Transparent Watercolor
22" x 22"