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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

tidings of comfort and joy

i've been struggling yet again to find inspiration. i see so much beauty in everyday things, yet little desire to put it down on paper. I try not to let old voices creep in to my head about what i should or shouldnt paint. i get inspired when i see others' work, but something stops me. I've been told repeatedly by artist friends i admire, that this is a good thing, it means im on the edge, im breaking thru, im ready to go somewhere else...(bermuda sounds good),,,

so i am still doing my little still lifes. i do see beauty in an apple, a stem of a tomato, the sheer luminosity of an onions skin. so i continue to work, and to work it out. and my fruits and veggies are bringing me joy.

and in my own twisted twist on "comfort zone", i painted just that, the comfy corner of a comfy couch in a comfy room shared with comfy friends painting.
glad tidings all.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Still Life (for real)

i havent updated this blog in forever, ive been wanting to paint, but sooo uninspired. 
wanted to get out of my comfort zone, antsy, itchy, but nada on paper.
got a new set of holbeins, ordered oodles of antracite pastelmat....
still nada. 
talked to lots of artists and creative people i trust, they all said "been there, done that". --just try playing with a new color, abstract, sketching, moving,,,hmmmmm all doable. 
but then again, no..

what have i never wanted to do? still lifes...booooring, not alive like people or seas or trees or skies.  But a friend nudged me to try something new. After al,l i reasoned, aren't i spending a king's ransom trying to find serenity. isnt that what i perpetually seek, a Still Life? yep.

so for the past three weeks i decided i will paint for the sake of painting. i will see for the sake of seeing, i will look at inanimate objects as if they were alive. and see what, if anything happens.

i mean, i already give my art supplies souls and grieve when a marker dries out as if a relative died. so here are a few of my attempts. and im actually happy with them. look at me, serene with still lifes.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

side by side by analagous color

been a while since last post, struggling with a small painting that came from a day of plein air at the arboretum. Hot, tired, cranky because i hoped to "learn" why i cant figure out these dang greens (i can see them just fine, but why do they look like crap on my paper?) So out came that four letter word - Analagous....next to each other, not fighting each other, BUT supporting each other...(working on this with the people in my life, now with the pastels too???) It made sense in my head but my eye to hand coordination was shall we say, uh, somewhat lacking.........
Thanks to the patience of better painters than i, i went back to the drawing board (ouch) and did color theory 101 yet again (are you still out there Kas Zapkus???). Finally in baby steps i started learning a new language (again? for the first time?) and found that the opposite of making mud is making colors sing...and that green isnt necessarily green....LOL
A sweet person wanted to buy the first attempt but that didnt sit right with me, so i reworked it into something i could be proud to sign and kiss goodbye to a new home across the pond...(coincidence that its Independence Day?)

Friday, May 20, 2011

driven to abstraction

all creative people suffer their own version of stuck. writers block, un-inspiration. What to do with an itchy trigger/sketching finger and nothing speaks to you?

You listen to the silence i guess. perhaps thats why i hauled myself back to yoga. Silence is golden to a person with noise in the head... but i digress,

so ive been standing at the easel listening to the colors in my head. Using a viewfinder (real and not) to capture teeny snippets of the world around me, since its the colors or photos i shot that inspire me, not to "copy" them but to use them as a springboard forward. Whats this all about? Where will it lead? who the heck knows. who cares anyway? The come fast and furious and may be the catalyst to somewhere, someone, something else...

stay tuned.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mothers Day Blog Hop

well first, thanks to Claudia for her invite and intro into blog hopping... I said "count me in" and THEN realized i had to come up with a way to intertwine my artist self blog with Mothers Day Me. Hmmmm but then i realized that the mother part of me is so deeply ingrained that it has only enhanced my love of art, color and all all things emotional and pleasurable..

But very rarely does the line between my paintings and my sons blur. Yes, Ive sketched and painted my kids when they were little, cute and cuddly. I painted murals in their nurseries, Denim jackets with Thomas The Train for little Jake, Sweatshirts and T-shirts and toy boxes and furniture for every little kid in NJ and beyond when it was my business, I even did a painting of Sam with his true love, a football, years ago. But that was about it. I dont do kids cutesy stuff. At this stage of the game, i am so over cutesy. Sorry, but true.
Then it occurred to me how my art and my older son recently connected. He's all big and grown and a manly-man now, but when i see him i still see the buzz cut and gap toothed smile and huge blue eyes of Jake at 6. I still have a landline phone only because the recording is his 6 year old voice saying "we are not home now, pweese leave a message"...he turns red when he hears it to this day.

These days he is a sous chef at a fancy shmancy restaurant in NYC, spending the hours before dawn at the market getting the days menu purchased, and the hours after midnight testing new recipes. He has the typical busy single guy NY life, with a text here and there to the mom, who thinks of him often (um, sorta 24/7) and misses his presence palpably.  The last time he was home he said," I really love some of these little paintings you did of oranges, lemons," and whatever i had around when i was in a "IM BLOCKED but want to paint" mood.
"Can i have this one, I'd love to hang it in the restaurant?" what? really? i said........Yes, I love it, can i have the little one of the oranges to keep at my apartment over my desk?..."sure" i replied, shocked but thrilled.
This from the person who says "hows the doodling business going?" when he wants to get a reaction from me.
Anyway, this mothers day i will be spending part of my day at a course on the business of the art world, learning some more "tricks" to help me handle the business aspect of art. But what I get from my sons, and their appreciation of me and my work, while not paying the bills, is truly priceless. I keep this picture of my boys over my desk, because now that the older one is 6'1 and his baby brother is 6'3 they dont do the "cuddly thing" with me much...Usually its try not to break a rib while squeezing mother.....And it makes me feel like ive done something wonderful by putting these two totally different young men into our world.
Happy mothers day to the ladies of the blog hop and everyone else who shares our love of Art  :-)

Mother's Day Blog Hop 2011Yeah for the Mother’s Day Blog Hop!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

storm clouds on the horizon

i started this a few days ago, my mood may have actually matched this palette then. Too many unfinished threads lying around in my head. But as per usual, the only place i found solace was in my studio with my supplies calling me to come play. We were teased with one day of warm weather, and then the rains came down again, BUT my mood has changed for a few reasons. I got good news about both sons, and except for this damn head cold all is relatively calm..For me that is. For most people my life seems full of drama, but i guess its all i know. The good news is little by little we learn how much we dont know, and how glorious learning something new can be.

and like my pastels nestling in their corn meal bed right now, i feel surrounded by good, and will come out shinier in the long run.....

Thursday, March 31, 2011

are figures my first love? i dunno

this friday an exhibit called "The Strength of Women" is opening in Berkeley Heights, NJ and i am honored to be one of the artists selected to show their stuff. Even tho i have spent most of the past two years learning and enjoying the landscape, it was my figures that they wanted. Each artist will show her own vision of/for women but here are some of my paintings that will be hanging in the lobby of the Summit Medical Group Complex for the next few months. come and visit if you can....

Saturday, March 19, 2011

time to change up the ole palette?

i knew things were hovering around boring and safe, when i spied my laundry pile on the chair, and realized it was the same color as most of my recent paintings...lots of lavendery blues, a few citron-y greens and a pink thrown in for good measure....
add into the mix the arrival of a 74 degree day, and out with the old, in with the new.
just to really test myself i pulled together a dozen colors i dont use, aka orange, coral, yellow, ochre, salmon, pink, and put away everything else. At this point i think im on pastelmat and not wallis, but who knows.

so heres my pink palette (adios snow scenes) even tho the pic is way orange--- its really  a tad tamer.

Monday, March 14, 2011

my 100 list, thank you maryann, stefanie and of course, casey

My friend Maryann, a prolific artist in her own right, posted about this exercise on Casey Klahns Blog, The Colorist...so, as per usual, I took up the challenge too. Maybe its another way of avoiding painting, or paperwork, or cleaning, or...but hey, it got me thinking, so its all good. Heres my list, in no order except for the way they fell out of my brain. You should do your own.

100 Things I Love About Art

1.        Boxes of Broken Pastels
2.       The smell of pantone markers
3.       My Synaestesia reactions to color
4.       Museums
5.       Art books
6.       Learning from other artists
7.       Talking to other artists
8.       Framing
9.       Gallery visits
10.    Old masters
11.      New masters
12.     Photoshop
13.     Complimentary colors
14.    Learning a new technique
15.     Wolf Khan
16.     Stan Sperlak
17.     Degas’ ballerinas
18.     The desire to learn a new medium
19.    Hands on learning
20.   Listening to the silence while painting
21.     Plein air experiences
22.    Color theory
23.    Warm colors
24.   Cool colors
25.    Memories of sold paintings
26.    A new box of crayola crayons
27.    Answering questions about my art
28.    Feeling proud of artists, myself included
29.   New pastels
30.   Glassine
31.     Pastel mat
32.    Wallis
33.    Mentors
34.   Flowers
35.    Faces
36.    Drawing hands
37.    Learning about sky colors
38.    Breathe
39.   Graphic art
40.   Loutrec
41.    The Frick Museum
42.   The Temple of Dendur atrium
43.   Traveling art shows
44.   Artist discounts
45.   Joining art organizations
46.   The way colors smell
47.   Egon Schiele
48.   Underpainting
49.   Large canvasses
50.   Thumbnail sketches
51.     Value studies
52.    Owning the complete set of grey pantones in HS
53.    Lunch breaks
54.   Painting upside down
55.    “blocks of color only!!”
56.    Sepia series
57.    Ribbons
58.    Karen Appleton
59.   Cleaning my boxes
60.   Fruit studies
61.     Postcards
62.    Exhibit booklets
63.    Egyptian cuneiform art
64.   Micrography
65.    Seashore paintings
66.    Scale
67.    Fabric folds
68.    Hard edges
69.   Mist over the water
70.   Quotes posted by MD
71.     Clear glass
72.    Museum glass
73.    Perspective
74.   Traveling sets of paints
75.    Light as shadow
76.    Negative spaces
77.    Photographing my artwork
78.    Re-thinking
79.   John Singer Sargeant
80.   Helen Frankenthaler
81.     Moonlight colors
82.    Discovering marshes
83.    Sketching
84.   New sketchbooks
85.    Art supply stores
86.    My new studio space
87.    Being serious
88.    Dealing with the business side correctly
89.   Blogging
90.   Edward Hopper
91.    Changing palettes
92.   Seeing brush strokes
93.   Texture
94.   Realism
95.   Pointelism
96.   Seurat
97.   Business cards
98.   Wooden sturdy easels
99.   The smell of paint
100.Working daily, or at least wanting to

Thursday, February 24, 2011

this must be why they are called WORKshops....

so i hauled my phobic self to Cape May CH this past weekend, thinking "you can do this"...and trying to figure out what was more anxiety provoking, painting in a "Master Class" or making the three hour drive myself...uh the drive it turned out..
Would my 10 year old car that pulls to the left make it there? Would my lack of directional skills get me lost even tho the GSP is a straight road? Would i psyche myself out, stop at a rest stop and "rest"?...
yes, no, and no.

Stan Sperlak was extremely generous in his talent, time, patience, and food. My tour of the 37 acre farm was the AHA moment of how he can be inspired by the same views day in and day out. His sense of humour about all things personal and professional put me at ease. Well, my version of ease anyway. The other painters all brought their own talents and fears. For the most part it was a nice group of people. It was an intense 48 hours, painting and/or learning from 8am to 8pm with occasional breaks. It will take quite a while to absorb the weekend, and get what i learned from brain to hand.

Above is the 20 minute pastel of Rose, a beautiful woman; Im trying to get more comfortable with my Terry Ludwigs.
This is my landscape of Terry Ludwigs, then sprayed with alcohol and reworked.

I also did a scene with a barn in it, realizing i never did structures before, that was weird.
so i worked really hard and learned a lot.  Hopefully my next workshop will be soon

Friday, February 4, 2011

still much to figure out

this study has been annoying me since i did it, thought it was that i was tired after all day of painting, but then i did what ive been doing lately,,, i thought about the painting in my mind while i was falling asleep and then i start to see it the way i want to change it. i realized that even tho i saw both her shoulders while painting, it visually was wrong. and that even tho i saw her ears and earrings while she sat, it still felt wrong, so i went back and reworked that whole right side of "her", and it makes more sense, and should it ever become a painting, at least i know that the shoulders are where i want them now...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

figuring it out

i've been straddling too many worlds these days. Since i could hold a pencil (or was that a crayon with a perfectly sharpened point nestled next to those that were its color-family members--yes i rearranged that box of 64 to MY liking) , wait, where was I?... oh yeah since forever ago, all i can remember is drawing people, clothing, FASHION dahling, never animals or street scenes, always people. So this has always been my comfort zone. When the world around me was crumbling down, i had my art work. When money's tight, the sons are aggravating me with a capital A, theres always drawing...So, as those of you may know, the last year or two it was time to cliff dive and do something DIFFERENT.

i started taking classes and workshops of landscapes, and gulp, i liked it..i especially loved my forays to the shore (beach) and taking photo after photo of the waves crashing and then studying them on paper. how many colors of blue and green and white are there, holy crap, a lot. But then i got itchy again. Wanting to draw people but afraid my women would come out looking like oceans. So i just started again,  and it WAS like riding a horse or a bike (BAD analogy as i hate riding both of those things).
I am about to hang 5 portraits in a show come April 1st and last Sunday took a 6 hr workshop with Alex Piccarillo, and old teacher and friend of mine.

I am still loving oceans, clouds, crazy sky colors and assorted flowers and marshes, but nothing is more fun that the ladies........ this is from that workshop

Friday, January 28, 2011

strength in numbers

today i went to a networking meeting of women artists, and it helped a great deal. not only because i am so techno challenged, but because it is so extremely helpful to hear that other working artists have the same struggles, questions, fears, and dont always feel motivated or inspired to paint 24/7 (like i keep thinking i am supposed to be). It helps to see women who's work i admire, also have self doubts sometimes. Why are we harder on ourselves than anyone else? we cut other people slack, why not ourselves? Thats for smarter people to figure out,

Anyway being that i am SICK to death of shoveling snow, painting snow, looking at snow, and trying to find more colors in snow, i found these coral gerber daisies at Shoprite (my new muse) and the warmth of the sun flooded into my soul...i love this color now. Unfortunately by day 2, they had pretty much died (reminding me that yes, it is still winter) but the photos I took and the paintings that are coming out, make me think,,10 more weeks and Spring will be here...so there old man winter................

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

snow is so overrated.

i, like most of you, are so sick of the snow..im not a skier, dont like cold weather and have zero patience these days for shoveling, delayed openings, and being cooped up. I go into my studio looking for inspiration and find freedom, peace and comfort...but what to paint? where are my muses? hiding under the comforter no doubt.

so i took to blogging in the hopes that pouring out my feelings and hopes and thoughts would be cheaper than therapy and maybe a tad more productive...who knows?