Monday, September 14, 2015

10 small paintings 9.14.15 (The "Weird" Ones)

These are the paintings I mentioned in a Facebook post as being "weird". I realize now they probably aren't any more "weird" than many of my other paintings. 

The response on Facebook to the concept of weirdness, at least in the context of creativity, was overwhelming. People like weirdness. It's a good thing. I love my friend Sherrye's comment that "we all know that weird is just another way to go home".

I looked up the definition of "weird", it having been brought to my attention by another friend as a word that she didn't particularly like.

Weird is a complex idea, and old. It has to do with fate and destiny and is of, or related to, witchcraft and the supernatural. 

The "Weird Sisters" is another name for the Fates.

Weird is magical, of strange and extraordinary character, fantastic.

It is unnatural, preternatural, eerie, unearthly, *uncanny. 

*Uncanny - as in, "mysterious because of its apparent defiance of the laws established by experience". I think that is how I was using the word 'weird', not "suggestive of the fateful intervention of supernatural influences in human affairs" or "by suggesting the ghostly, makes one's flesh creep" or "belonging to another world"... although, that's not too far off.

So, these sweet little (5" X 7") weird paintings, which do not abide to the laws established by experience, were all done by first smearing colors onto paper with a scraper, then finding things in the smears to enhance. 

They were done with acrylic, charcoal, oil pastel and they were hard. I don't know why, but they were giving me a lot of trouble coming into being. Tom Waits talks about his songs as each having a personality that presents itself individually for him to decipher just how they want to be, essentially, born into the world. I tried that approach with these, and like I said, they were not easy births. 

It's interesting to me how much there seems to be a nautical/water theme that comes up in my imagery. Not sure why that is so. I was born under the sign of Aquarius. Maybe that's it.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

10 small paintings 9.3.15

These are all 5" X 7". I used acrylic and charcoal on each, with some ink, oil pastel and paper collage on a few.

Monday, August 17, 2015

12 small paintings 8.17.15

In anticipation of some shows I have coming up I'm doing series of small paintings. The twelve on this post are all 5"X 7". They are acrylic, charcoal, chalk and oil pastel and some have ink.

First, here is how they were started with swooshes of black gesso with a big, round brush. I used letter forms to get me going with some composition idea. 

I worked on 6 at a time on two panels.

This is the start of laying in color with acrylics, the underpaintings...

And the finished pieces. Not a lot of the letter forms remain.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

2 paintings (set of twins) 8.11.15

Oh my goodness I struggled to make these work. Spent so much time just staring at them, waiting for some inspiration/indication of what to do next. They both went through many stages. 

This is the first time I've thought that the reproduction on the computer actually looks better than the original. That's for this first one, which really gave me a lot of trouble. Small, the dimensional character (thank-you for that word, Fran) stands out.

Both paintings are 14"X 20", worked on at the same time, side-by-side (twins), done with acrylic, black and white charcoal, chalk and oil pastel, some collage.

Part of the struggle may have been the challenge I gave myself to focus on texture and not rely too much on the landscape. These architectural forms have been showing up. Can't say why, exactly. May be, still, my reliance on something tangible, afraid of going into pure, amorphous texture. But I like those forms, so it's okay for now.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

5 paintings 8.5.15

Each painting is more or less 8" X 12". All done with acrylic, charcoal and some pastel. Worked with lots of layers and surface buildup. Many other paintings semi-hidden under each one!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Two paintings 8 3 15

A set of twins, worked on side-by-side. Both 14"X 20". Acrylic, charcoal, ink and some collage with different papers and leaves. 

The stripes are from pieces of tape applied over a painted and then re-gessoed surface. I scraped paint over the tape with a plaster spreader, black on the top one and gold on the bottom one, making an interesting texture.  

I took the tape off to reveal the previous colors and added more details with charcoal and paint. There are pieces of leaves on both, but you can see that detail better in this one, upper left corner.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

5 paintings - Experimenting with Composition and Technique

I saw some quilts by Paula Kovarik on the American Craft Council's website and I liked the way she divided and composed her space, and the kinds of detail she stitched into her designs. It reminded me of my own work, particularly the use of nature imagery and repeated geometric shapes. These 5 small paintings (each 5"X 8") were all worked on at the same time as a group while I kept in mind what I wanted to do with shape and detail, contrast and texture.

I started by painting a flat color on each gessoed surface. (My paintings are usually done on gessoed watercolor paper). Each one started with a different background color.

Before the paint dried I scored the surface with a spatula, creating horizontal and vertical lines. When that dried I followed some of the lines in charcoal to determine a composition. Then I chose 5 or 6 colored pencils + a black pencil and colored in the areas.

I painted over all of the pencil except the black areas with white acrylic. In the painting above, the red pencil I had used bled through the paint. I didn't mind that, but toned down what was a hot pink shade with some gold.

Then I added details with charcoal and more paint, some pastel. In some areas, like the trees, when I drew in the lines the paint came away and revealed the colored pencil underneath.