Thursday, March 31, 2011

Postcard Friday - (a day early!)

Still on the postcard detour this week. I made this one for a friend who had moved into a new home. It's always fun to get mail at your new place!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Link of the day - Waste Land

We watched another art documentary nominated for an academy award this weekend! Waste Land is about contemporary artist Vik Muniz who creates his imagery out of unconventional materials. (chocolate, cotton, sugar, etc..) The film documents his journey to return to his home in Brazil and work with the garbage pickers of one of the worlds largest landfills, in Rio de Janeiro. With their help, he creates their portraits out of the garbage they collect, and inexorably they change one anothers lives.

I really wanted to enjoy this movie more than I did. The work he does is interesting, the story of these workers is compelling, and the relationships they create can be really touching at times - that said, the whole movie can felt a little flat and the pace is rather slow.

I still recommend it, but I wish I hadn't had "academy" level expectations when I watched it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Art giveaway!

The Secret Keeper
This is a mixed media piece measuring roughly 2" x 1.5" x .5"
A whimsical matchbox collaged and painted. Open the box and you find a mini treasure trove of found objects encased in resin.

I'm having my first giveaway! This fun little matchbox could be yours - just pop on over to Giveaway Blogdom to enter. All current and new followers are eligible!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Receiving is available in the shop

15.5 x 8 inches
Acrylic on stretched canvas

This is a study that I did, as an exercise to triumph over the nuance of hands. I think that this piece came out beautifully, exhibiting an almost spiritual presence.

It's now available for purchase in my shop

(Tomorrow I'm holding my first giveaway!)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Last chance for Seed Pods

Seed Pods
6 x 8 inches
Acrylic on canvas panel

The auction for Seed Pods ends today. The price is still a real bargain - so if you were considering owning an original of mine, this is the time to snap it up. :)

Buy it here on Ebay

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Beware the twine!

Just wanted to share the set piece that I finished for my daughter's musical. They gave me the frame and I cut and tied all the sticks together with twine!

She's in a local production of Seussical the Musical, and this is Horton's jail! :) It looks simple enough, but it took me two full days and I had some pretty raw hands afterward. (twine will rub your skin off if you aren't careful!)

Spring break is over come Monday, so normally I would be able to go back to working on my Dreams painting - but my mom is having foot surgery and will be staying with us for a week while she recovers. I have some small projects to work on and a whole lot of web work, so stay tuned!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Postcard Friday

Taking a different direction this week. I sent out this postcard to a friend who is working hard to be healthy again. I hope it brightened her day!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring break zebra fever

Its spring break for my kids this week, and I have been caught up in their activities. We've been watching movies together (started Twin Peaks with them!), spring cleaning the house, and enjoying each others company. Its a nice realization to discover how much I like my kids. :)

My daughter is in a park district musical and needed a zebra costume for one of her scenes. So this week I painted on a thrift store jacket to make it all zebra-y. I'm rather pleased with how it turned out.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Link of the day - Chris Sauter

Chris Sauter from Mark & Angela Walley on Vimeo.

I skipped across this feature of Chris Sauter's work and was entranced. I so empathize about the pain he goes through during creation! Sometimes its only the promise of the result that keeps me going.

His juxtapositions are also sublime - the patterns of our universe from the tiny to the expansive being made of the same stuff, the literal framework of our world. I love it!

This feature was gorgeously created by filmmakers Mark & Angela Walley. Be sure to check out the rest of the art films on their channel, sooo worth watching.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Nora Chipaumire - Welcome to Zimbabwe

I feel very lucky to live where I do. We have a thriving arts community here, and there are so many free public events to keep me inspired and invested.

Last week we got the chance to see Nora Chipaumire. Shes a dancer from Zimbabwe who blends traditional steps with modern choreography. Her work draws from current affairs, feminism, and cultural heritage.

We were first treated to a screening of the art film based on her life. It was visually brilliant, the story was touching, and I enjoyed the pace and texture of the movie.

For me, the real prize was watching Nora dance. We saw selections from three of her works; Chimurenga, Welcome to Zimbabwe, and Black Swan. I found her style very powerful and seemed to draw from breath, dirt, and a guttural desire.

(you can see her in action, as well as some clips from the movie here)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Art for 99 cents!

Seed Pods
6 x 8 inches
Acrylic on canvas panel

There is an exotic tone to this painting, like the air is rich with spices. "Seed pods" evokes an otherworldly place that invites you to imagine how you would fit within its atmosphere.

Buy it here on Ebay - starting at 99 cents!

I'm participating in Nibblefest again! Every month, on the 20th, all the participants list their work - according to the chosen theme. (this month was Abstract)

If you ever wanted something from me, for a song, this is your chance!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Living loss

A year ago today our full term baby was stillborn. It's been a year of profound loss for us and we're doing our best to find our feet and our new futures.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Postcard Friday

My son goes to school out of state, and I send him these postcards every week. Its really my way of sharing pieces of who I am with him.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Life imitates art - the Up balloon house

I loved the fantasy and heart found in Pixar's movie Up. What a treat it was to see that a team from National Geographic engineered a way to make the fantasy reality.

With the help of volunteers they built a lightweight house, attached a bunch of ginormous helium balloons, and let two brave souls fly their creation 10,000 feet into the air!

I find so much hope in this project. You really can imagine anything and with the right resources and determination, make it happen. That's a wonderful message to carry with me to my studio today.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Last call for Wallflower artist proofs

Today is the last day you can purchase artist proofs of my Wallflower painting! It was a grand experiment, but I want to keep the store simple and provide just my finished work.

If you were considering buying a proof, now is the time!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Of Palettes and Public Art

Renoir's palette

I have really been enjoying the palette meme that has been traveling the interwebs! This time I'm sharing an article from the Telegraph about the virtues of preserving the palettes of old masters. They show the palettes of Renior, Seurat, Degas, Van Gogh and more!

Oh my gosh - Aaron Zenz and his kids are the cutest family ever! After watching Exit Through the Gift Shop, they decided to participate in their own public art show.

Zenz and his 4 amazing children painted 48 rocks and deposited them throughout their community. He took the most delithgful photos of the pet rocks in their new habitats. You really must go see them!

This has me thinking. I've got to think up something to art bomb my city with. Any suggestions?!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Postcard Friday

My son is goes to school out of state, and I send him postcards every week. Its really my way of sharing pieces of who I am with him.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It's finally starting to come together

I'm nearly there now, its all just down to the glazing. This phase is frustratingly slow, because I make such subtle changes and they need a good long time to dry before I can work over them again.

This painting has been a real challenge for me, and I will be so glad when its done! I really think its just around the corner.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Link of the day - Mark Ryden in time lapse

I have always felt that you can learn *so much* from watching people create their art. There is nothing I'd like to do more than travel the country and just sit in peoples studios and watch them work. I just know I would be a better artist as a result!

Thank goodness for youtube and time lapse video. Here we get to peek in on Mark Ryden at work, creating a large and luscious painting from his 2010 series The Gay 90'S: Old Tyme Art Show.

I don't know about you, but seeing masters at work like this makes painting seem achievable. I can't wait to reach that level of ability.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

In the studio

I love seeing inside artist studios. I think it reveals so much about the personality of the artist, which is then reflected in the work they create. It also gives a peek into the process the artist uses as well. How cool is that?

So I was thrilled when I fell upon this link via Twitter this morning! The Huffington Post has two articles sharing artists' palettes and their work - one showcasing New York and one highlighting California.

I thought I would jump on the bandwagon, and share my own palette! I paint with acrylic and LOVE lots of color. I use a cut piece of plexiglass for the palette itself, and always keep old towels nearby. My water dish is a bit gamey, but has served me well all of these years.

So what does your palette look like?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Postcard Friday

My son goes to school out of state, and I send him these postcards every week. Its really my way of sharing pieces of who I am with him.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Inspiration of the Month!

I stumbled across David Carmack Lewis's paintings a while back, and immediately fell in love with their luminescence. There is something entirely seductive in the narratives he weaves, and I find myself easily lost within them.

What are your main inspirations in art?

My inspiration now is primarily the night. It's about how different kinds of light completely change the world. My work is a kind of story telling. For me it's all about the mystery.

If you mean what other artists influence me... well, Ray Bradbury once said about writing that style is something one developed gradually by trying to copy other people's styles. I suspect this is true of me. I've tried to emulate so many at one time or another over the past 30+ years that it would be impossible to pick out the ones whose influence has really stuck. I can give you a big fat list if you want.

What is your art background? (education, experience, etc)

I studied illustration and design in Virginia. My main goal originally was to write and illustrate children's books. I never got very far with that. I did freelance illustration for a number of years and was a staff artist at a newspaper for a while. Then a friend introduced me to a gallery for artists who were just getting started in their careers. I sold my first couple of paintings. They were pretty awful actually. But the idea that I could make money drawing what I wanted... well, that was that.

What is your process for creating your work?

I staple a canvas directly to the plywood wall of my studio, prime it and then just start drawing. I almost never begin with sketches or studies (although I do sometimes photograph a place that I think would make a good setting like under a bridge or something). I work and rework the idea and image directly on the canvas changing things all the way through.

I stretch the painting on canvas later wrapping some of the image around the sides so that it will look good without a frame.

What is the single most important thing you want to communicate with your work?

What I'm always trying to capture is something pretty ephemeral and hard to put into words. Which is why I paint. but it has something to do with lying in my bed at night when I was 12 and staring at the shadows of tree branches waving across my window and thinking how unfair it was that we had to sleep at night.

What are your career goals?

Like a lot of artists I have a job to make ends meet. My only real goal is to lose the job and be able to support my family with my art (without sacrificing the integrity of making images that I honestly care about). But no matter what, it's my intention to make those images until I can no longer hold a brush.

What one object has been the most instrumental in helping you achieve what you have so far?

Stubbornness. It's not an object, I know, but it's the truth.

Tell me three random things about you.
  • I work full time and paint in the evenings.
  • I have a two year old daughter.
  • Fortunately, I'm a hermit.
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