Friday, April 30, 2010

New Roots

Following the dormancy of winter, I often feel a burst of "energy" in spring (as mentioned in previous posts); a rush of ideas, creativity, and need to set "roots" (and "sprout") in new directions. One such "root"...
This month I am joining the family of artists at the Art First Gallery, 824 Caroline Street in downtown Fredericksburg.

I look forward to the new directions this step will take me in art, insight into the gallery operations, teaching opportunities, and not to mention, exhibiting with an amazing group of artists.

Join me this "First Friday," May 7th, for the All Member's Show.
Opening Reception from 6-9Pm

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Energy of Spring and "The Patron's Show"

I love the energy in spring, something in the air that calls us to rearrange, clean our spaces, and take on new projects (more on this later). The green fog of pollen must work in a similar way to the oxygen pumped into the casinos in Vegas, alerting our senses. So with this "energy", this week I gave in to urge to rearrange the furniture in my studio at Liberty Town.
Above is a photo of Studio #3 at Liberty Town Arts in downtown space, my solace, where some of my work gets done, and I teach a few workshops throughout the year. Over the past few years, I attribute my success and growth as an artist, in no small way, to the support, camaraderie and creative energy of the artists and mentors at Liberty Town. In May, Dan Finnegan, the founder is hosting Liberty Town's Annual "Patron's Show". Local artists come together to donate paintings in support of the arts and vision of LibertyTown, and to celebrate it's anniversary. The concept for the "Patron's Show", simple: buy a ticket, take home an amazing piece of art... and enjoy the company of the colorful community of artists and patrons in Fredericksburg. Tickets for the event go on sale "First Friday" May 7th. Visit the website for more information.

Another love to share this week...watercolor sketching (long overdue)... simplified, loose, and rich in color. Doing small sketches, I can explore a concept, test a composition, plan a color scheme and structure without having to commit. If a design doesn't "work" as a sketch, it won't work when enlarged to a finished painting. Only, I won't have invested so much time to the idea and therefore feel compelled to persist. I also avoid that uncomfortable middle ground in a painting, full of self-dought, when I am not sure if I can pull it all together. "Energy" takes on many forms.
A few sketches, soon to become paintings.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Secret Places, So Close

I chose the title for this painting about a third of the way through; thinking the dark spaces hidden in the painting lended themselves as "secrets" stored away, piled up, buried underneath the surface...small treasures waiting to be found. However, as the painting developed those dark spaces and shadow shapes became much more. Often a photograph, or even the exacts of life studies, do not translate well to a painting. So about half-way through a painting, I will put the reference away and let the painting lead me through the description. The shapes that evolved in the shadows and the rich, dark textures seemed to take on another level to the painting I had not expected (or planned).
Secret Places
(almost finished)
Watercolor on Aquabord

A little more "push and pull," tightening up lines, and glazing the urns and shadows and then done! I can see the light.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

No "small" paintings

A few weeks ago I was invited to teach a watercolor workshop at a local high school. The students chose subjects for a painting from their "concentrations", a body of work related to their chosen concepts. The assignment was to find an interesting perspective for subject placement that would feature cast shadow shapes within the composition. Since watercolor by nature is a transparent medium, the paint works well to describe the transparency of shadows. We worked on Ampersand Aquabord, a textured clay surface that has many "forgiving" properties for beginning watercolor painters (most notably, the ability to life out and subtract paint and correct errors).
The class jumped right in without fear, worked hard, and created some amazing work.

Katie's man walking

Kayleigh's cleat

Jaclyn's cups

Victoria's self portrait

Vaisha's easel

Vitor's tire

Thank you all for welcoming me into your class, keeping open minds, and allowing me to share my love for painting and watercolor.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

No Two Alike

Even if I tried...really, really hard, I could not do the same painting twice. Something is always different the second time. This I love when creating...a painting is after all, original to that moment; how the paints mix and dry, how the water is moving that day, how the brush is manipulated, the mood of the creator, etc. All the factors that work to pull it together, will never be exactly the same. Sometimes I like the first version better than the second, but liking the end product is much less important than enjoying the process of doing, developing an idea, and following the direction the painting takes along the way.
The Space Between
Watercolor on Aquabord

my chair study
Watercolor on Aquabord