29 December, 2013

Short Stories

Oil on Canvas 11x14

Recently I was inspired by a friend of mine who is also an artist to work in a smaller format.   This was an important moment for me because until I saw the body of work he had produced, I was giving up painting and being an artist.   In the past few months since my last post, painting represented to me not a labor of love but labor to prove my value and worthiness to call myself an artist.  Without any new inspiration, I closed the door to future work. 

Oil on Canvas  11x14

It has been refreshing for me to work again in these small canvas's.  It's a quiet passion.  A smaller work that does not come with the rewards of seeing a large canvas come to life, but gives me the satisfaction of moving forward. I am still passionate about my Lake Scenes, or now they have become just "Water Scenes".  This format lets me continue to work with my mind's eye freely and without justification. 

22 September, 2013

Calm Lake- Verison 2

Calm Lake- Rough Waters     Oil on Canvas 48" x 60"
 This is the second version of the Calm Lake painting that I posted earlier.   There were many tears shed, much anxiety, and confusion felt while I labored on this canvas.   When it was finally completed I felt relief that I still know that I can move forward.  I may be slow to move, but at least there is advancement.  

I have been planning a trip over seas again, to Italy and Nice.  It has been almost 1 1/2 years since my last trip.  I am ready for a new adventure.  

17 August, 2013

Looking at the Past

Water Color on paper 9"x12" 2003
I have had a version of writer's block, "painter's block" since May.  I have a painting that I am working on, and I am very excited for the work I want to do with it, but it has been very tough for me to focus and concentrate.   I feel very distracted.  
There are things happening in my personal social, work, love life that have me reflecting back to other times, comparing my life now to then.  All of it has been wearing down on my spirit.  A feeling of being overwhelmed by life, and not enough stregnth in my dreams to carry me forward.   
The painting above is a water color that I worked on in 2003, another time in my life that I was without oil painting.   I did this water color as quick attempt to explore other medium in my own style.  When I worked on this, it too was an emotionally trying time in my life.  I was feeling out of sync with life, and continuing on the daily path.  I was not expressing myself enough then, and now, I feel maybe in some ways, I have felt my expression stifled? 
Water Color on paper 9"x12" 2003

Whether the reasons for feeling this way are reasonable or of my own fabrication, the end result is that I am still feeling stifled, or closed in. Life feels like it is going backward, but at the same time it has moved forward in small ways.  
I am still painting but one step at a time. 


11 May, 2013

Calm Lake

52"x64" Oil on Canvas

This is the oil painting version of a charcoal referenced as "Calm Lake Scene".    I am  working on a second version of this that appears to be more of a "Stormy" lake scene.   

This painting references a trip that I made to Northern Michigan, staying in a cottage on a small secluded lake late August 2012.  In some respects,  this lake was and is still a part of my home.   I made my first understanding with water and the peace that it gives me today at a very young age in this location.  

When I was young I would look out over the water of Lake Michigan and imagine the vastness and history of the storms, the waves, and the travelers who in perilous journeys crossed the icy deep lake waters .  Even though it is not visible to the eye,  I knew somewhere there was land on the other side.   

When looking out at the Sea, I feel the same feelings of the immensity of its water and the dangerous journeys that many explorers must have made.   They were seeking land and civilizations they could not see just on the other side of the horizon.  

07 April, 2013

Blues by the Sea

Pastel on paper- 8 x 11
These are pastel drawings that I did in Nice France,  December 2011.    When I arrived in Nice during this voyage, I had discovered that my studio/gallery 6 Place Vieille had been closed for me to use.  I was not going to be able to have the long awaited retreat spending 7-10 days relaxing and painting, and being an artist in Vieux-Nice.  

Desperately needing a creative outlet for myself, I went to an art store and purchased a small sketch book, pastels, and a few brushes.  I had an idea that inspired me to try a different technique that I had not used before.    I was able to use the brushes with the pastels to get the same feeling as if I was painting.   It was not the same, but it was something new... and I was completely mobile to "paint" in any location without a lot of equipment to carry with me.   

I "painted" these "au bord le mer", on the beach by the sea.   It was very peaceful and healing despite the disappointments of when I had arrived.   A few days later, I was offered the use of the gallery for me to use to oil paint, but the magic had already departed from the dream of the gallery.   I was content with the new rhythm I had found, and I wanted to stay the rest of my voyage in my quiet comfort, leaving the drama from the past behind me. 

One of my friends commented to me that these drawings had the character of stormy seas.  I think she was right.  While I did the work, I was calm and relaxed and did not see it. But some of the stormy waters that I tried to hide were there on the paper revealing themselves to me.   As the Spring approaches for 2013, I see that this period in my life was truly the end of a Winter and the beginning of a new Spring.  


28 February, 2013

Hyperbola of Nice

"Hyperbola of Nice" - Oil on Canvas

I completed this painting in spring of 2009, after my first trip to Nice, France.   I only stayed for a long weekend.  I call this painting the Hyperbola of Nice because after I returned, I felt worlds had collided, and something new had opened up inside of me.   A new energy in my life, an awakening of the spirit.   I did not know then the adventure and future that would unfold and develop for me.      

It has been almost a year since my last trip to Nice, returning with the remainder of my paintings.   I made a new years resolution to not dream or reflect back too much on the past;  to not live in the past and compare the past with the present.   In doing so, I have been able to feel a new sense of belonging in my home in Indiana, and l have not felt the restlessness that used to call me to a life far away.    I have truly found calm.  One of my friends noted that I am very "centered".   

My life here does not have all the architecture, culture, and food that I still love and miss.  Sometimes when I am walking I can feel in my world around me a dullness, and the environment (the city) is wrapped in a cold rainy grey.   But inside of me I feel a Light.   A joy inside of me that makes everything worthwhile.   A feeling of home.

I am working on a new painting.  I want it to reflect all the centeredness that I am feeling.  I am hoping to produce several of the same subject to study different textures, colors, and techniques of overlay.   It's been a slow process, but a bright spot in my life for grey winter days.

In the last week, I found myself reflecting again to all I miss overseas.   Indiana has had a few sunny days that felt like the Spring that I remembered in France and Italy.   I remembered my New Year's resolution.  I'm not ready to return yet.  I will return when I no longer anticipate how I am going to navigate through drama.   

06 January, 2013

Mixed Media

Charcoal, Water Color, Pastel, on paper.
 (More information and more photos from this series to be added later)
This drawing is a combination of watercolor, charcoal, and pastels    I am waiting for the arrival of my new roll of canvas so that I can start a new oil painting.   I thought I would explore an unrestricted use of texture and technique.  I am feeling a new and  liberated creative energy. 

Charcoal, Water Color, Pastel, on paper.
Someone brought to my attention once that my work always moves from Left to Right.   For this drawing, I did the work vertically, so when it is rotated to horizontal, it would move Right to Left.  I tried working Right to Left  in my last painting, but I was continually rotating it to get the right "Feel".  I was never able to get comfortable with the "flow".  I finished the painting knowing that the result reflected the confusion, impatience, and unrest I feel in my personal life. 
In these two drawings, I had the confidence to work with the grid again.   In the drawing above I gave more attention to the grid in "taking away" color instead of adding color.   Although you can't see it very well in this image,  this effect is predominately used in the upper right "sky" area of the drawing.   

I'm not sure I will bring the grid back into my next painting.  I received my new roll of canvas so I am able to begin work immediately.  I have visions of painting something more calm and serene, similar to my previous painting in the post  "VilleFranche" (which included the grid in it's composition) and "Calm Lake"

Maybe the grid appears as an attempt to cover up what I think is unsuccessful?  or only to add interest where I see unresolved ideas?  While I am working with the grid, I feel as if I am covering the composition with a translucent fabric.  Or sometimes it feels like I am creating the appearance that everything is under water.