Sunday, November 21, 2010

painting from paintings

I'm convinced that painting from paintings is good. The hardest part at the moment is that I seem to have to finish a pretty realistic painting on a panel before I can really get at the abstraction that I want. I'd like to figure out how to have that process involve two paintings at least. The plein air versions of the paintings, and then the abstractions. Separate rather than on top of each other!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday, Oct 20

It's hard not to be seduced by the drama of nature. I'm stuck on that today.

Or then I'm disappointed by the lack of drama when I need it.

A day of looking, and some drawing....

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Notes, October 19

I had a great couple of hours of drawing time yesterday afternoon, the light was so dramatic. I was drawing in a very familiar location, but I very much tried to just respond to what I was looking at, rather than make it conform to some pre-conceived notion I might have of what the drawing should look like. I still think I was holding on to expectations a bit, but it will take practice.
I'm thinking about roadways, pathways, driving in a car, stuff moving into the distance and the distance coming at me. Red and green and orange, about drawing marks…how might I start to better translate some of the drawing marks, the excavating that happens, into my paintings?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Painting notes | October 18
I have been meaning to write more about my painting/process/thoughts, and figured that maybe by posting to my blog, I'd have more motivation to keep it going. Here's what I'm thinking about today, really me talking to myself, but then again not...

These ideas keep popping to the surface: layers, excavation, revealing secrets, but also to hide information. To make it more work to get at the heart of the matter, less obvious, to obscure, be elusive. Sometimes I feel that my paintings have become too obvious. And the landscape isn't obvious. Or when it is, it can hardly be painted. A sunset. Flaming fall color... a rainbow. Right, not so much.... It's the subtle that is really fabulous. Might be that summer is past and that landscape can be over the top in as far as color and just general brilliance goes. I'm ready for the fall color to move on.....

I need to both engage my eye and imagination, but also my hand. Brain, heart, hand? Can i abstract paintings from the plein air paintings/sketches? There are definitely recurring elements in the paintings to consider: horizontal bands. treelike in distance. sky. roads/pathways. clouds.

Drawing: must draw today. Must draw every day. Richard Serra said so.

Monday, April 19, 2010

What inspires me.....

An acquaintance asked me to write something about what inspires me, for her blog. So thought I'd share it here too. Here goes:

"As a little kid, when asked what I wanted to be, I always replied, 'an artist.' But then there was that question of what to paint or what to draw. I remember asking my mom this question many times. I suppose she offered suggestions, but somehow the void was never filled.

"I went to college to study art, and still was asking the same question….what should I paint? I earned my BFA in painting, and made a lot of paintings in the process. I explored color and pattern, the still life and interiors, and the general moving around of paint. But something was always missing--I was still searching for THE answer.

A few years after graduating, after marrying and having my first daughter, our family moved to northern Michigan. I don't know what my exact feelings about landscape paintings was, but it wasn't necessarily something I ever thought I'd strive for.

But there it was. The landscape. Staring me in the face all day every day. It is spectacularly beautiful in northern Michigan, in any time of the year. After a few months I finally started to paint it. And the more I paint it the more I see. My eye then and now is just drawn into places in the landscape. Light playing across a meadow, huge clouds towering over the lake, it's always captivating to me. Sometimes I wonder how many times I can paint a cloud over a lake, but so far it's new to me every time. And I think that it is through this subject matter that my work is starting to move away from the literal,...expressing more of the emotion of what I'm looking at, not just the imagery. Go figure. ; )

Friday, February 19, 2010

Field Pattern Series
A new series of encaustics. These are 12" x 12" on panel. I've been working on a series of plein air paintings done on the back of Bicycle playing cards for a few years now. The delicate pattern on the back of the cards has become an integral element of that work. This new series is pushing that idea further.

The delicate details of the background patterns play against the broad movements and geometric compositions of this series. The medium of encaustic lends itself well to this layering process. You can see the complete series at

Friday, January 08, 2010

I had forgotten how many issues there are surrounding a diptych. In actuality, there are two paintings, but they have to function as one painting. I feel strongly that each painting must stand alone, be successful without its companion. I originally started this new series thinking of convenience. How much easier to haul around two paintings that add up to 80" wide as opposed to one huge panel? But it is so much harder to paint. This is oil on canvas, each panel is 40 x 30.