Saturday, December 28, 2013

Dogwood abstract series, # 7

This is about as loose as I can manage.  Still a lot of hard edges, and it was the crisp patterns added at the end that I enjoyed doing most.  But I'm trying another just as watery and loose, just to see what happens.

This series that I KNOW is not for framing or selling or entering in shows is being extremely freeing for me: I'm normally not much for "play", and this is helping a lot.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Instead of decorations . . . .

Maybe we'll get around to indoor holiday decorations soon. But maybe not  .. . we're going to everyone else's homes for holiday gatherings this year, so we only need put up what we want for ourselves. Michael has put up his Christmas Village, I got out my very silly electric Hallmark snowman.  Maybe we'll decide to do a tree. If not, I'll use the time to paint!

Dogwood Abstract # 6
So, here's the latest in the series.  For this one I decided I wanted to emphasize line, so I did a freehand light pencil sketch, then dipped my brush into a new orange, and started to paint, outlining all the shapes you see here.  A very different way to tackle the image, but I enjoyed it.  I'm glad I was able to simplify from the previous versions. The painting is not "finished" to my satisfaction: if I wanted to enter it in a competition or frame it I'd want to work on all those awkward edges. But I think I'll let that go and move on. I've already started the next one.

I'm not sure how others do this series thing, but I've not been back to my original source for a while. I'm working from the previous paintings only.  Is that what I'm supposed to do? Does it matter?!  Anyway,  the consistently hard edges in these past paintings have made me think about that element of line, and the next one is starting out (oh the challenge!) wet-in-wet and loosey-goosey!

The red-orange line here has crept into my consciousness from another artist:  Kathy Wirth was in the same Mike Bailey workshop at Kanuga. She started her series much sooner than I did last spring or summer.  She's such a talented artist. See her blog and her very interesting series by clicking on her name.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Wine and Watercolor Redux - Sisters of the Brush are back in Rochester

I do love that word, "redux".  I hope it means what I think it means. Anyway, my solo exhibit at Fieldstone Winery came down Monday morning. Wednesday we heard from Fieldstone's management that they'd like the Sisters of the Brush (my painting and critique group) to step up to the plate and fill in for December.  Pat, his son Ryan, and the rest of the Fieldstone crew are such a nice group of people, we were glad to help out in a crunch.

So we've all seven scrambled for a few days to pull together and deliver appropriate work to display at the winery - not that easy, given that EVERYONE is in the midst of holiday events.  Bu I think the works will get hung today or tomorrow, and our reception (yes AND wine tasting!) will be this Thursday, December 12th.  See Fieldstone's Facebook page more information about various events - click  HERE.

And, of COURSE, glad to have an opportunity to show our work together, and taste good wine. What's not to like?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

When is it a "series", when is it a rut?

Dogwood Abstract # 5
These are being SOOO much fun to paint, but also getting more and more cluttered.  Maybe because I'm only investing a half-sheet, and still wanting all the same forms and patterns crammed in.

Besides simplifying, though, I want to explore, not repeat.   So,  I stepped back to really think  about it.  First, I brainstormed, and wrote down a  list of  things I could change to move forward.  Then I pulled out my notes from my Mike Bailey workshop at Kanuga last spring. And I went back to the very useful article he had written even before that about his series work (you can find it here).

I was not amazed to find that Mike's advice was to look to the seven elements of design: Line, Size, Shape, Direction, Color, Value, and Texture. What did amaze me was that when I reviewed my ideas, underlining the key word in each one, I had covered six of the seven (missed Texture).

So, I guess I know where I need to do next. Back to the drawing board, as they say!