Friday, September 24, 2010

The curious world of Iris

There have been many "starts and stops" to this painting over the past few months. Each time returning to work, I find myself re-evaluating my intention..what is it I see here?...what is it about this painting that keeps me returning? After all, a new day, brings new perspective (both in life and in art) interpretations, new insights.

So I have to ask myself...can my intention be the same each time I return..what I see in the image be the same...when I have changed from day to day? I don't believe it can..exactly; the mood, aesthetic, and way of seeing have changed. I notice these subtle difference in the way I have approached different areas each time following a pause in work. The challenge is in finding harmony among the various "intentions" within the painting and exploring the curiosity that attracted me in the beginning.

So, what is the intention here? Of course, most will see "flowers"; the iris a symbol for hope, faith and wisdom. But today I see energy, curious wonder in the flow of line, lost and found shapes, and the statement of color.
The curious world of Iris
Pastel on Ampersand Pastelbord, 16X20

On Exhibit October 4th-November 8th
The Workhouse Arts Center, Gallery 16
Lorton Arts Foundation

Friday, September 10, 2010

Life has taken hold

Has it really been 3 weeks since my last post? Graduate school, coordinating preschool and elementary school schedules, children's social calendar, responsibilities at work, at home, etc, etc. have consumed my time... (sigh) leaving little room for conceptualizing art and painting...and therefore, little time or fuel for blogging.
Struggling for balance, I find myself retreating from the unnecessary... "stuff" that I often feel compelled to do relating to art... the exhibits, juried competitions, gallery responsibilities...and even teaching and blogging. Allowing time for the doing...allowing myself the time to clear the chatter in my mind and paint. Art is good for that, not only in the doing, but also the viewing...quieting chatter...calming the spirit.

This is a painting in progress I began a few weeks ago. Pastel (18X24) on an Ampersand Pastelbord. Most pastelist will agree I have an odd method for approaching the compartmentalize and work a section to completion. Having never taken a pastel class, this process feels natural for me. Much of my work is grounded in realism and therefore, requires a degree of spatial believability. That is...for me to create the feeling of perspective necessary to make this object (a stem) appear in front of that object (a blossoming bud for example), I must work that shape in the order as it occurs in space (from back to front). Since I have tested the composition and design as either a thumbnail value study (or after so many, in my mind), I have a mental picture of what the completed painting needs to be, the placement of lines, shapes, values to make the painting work and maintain a sense of harmony. For me, pastel is a precise medium, every stroke deliberately placed. If I have plan and know where I am going from the beginning, I can work one shape at a time. Sure, I probably don't have to work each shape to completion...but I just can't help myself...each shape is beautiful in itself.