Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Paper plate lithography - The Hair Series

This is still a work in progress but it is close to completion. I still need to add the red chop mark. This is a series of paper plate lithographs that I first started experimenting with during my spring residency. Over the summer I researched women's hair styles through the decades/ages. Here are the results of that research. Each pieces is 6 x 8 inches.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


These are two more photographic experiments that I conducted this summer. My daughter, Bella, was my collaborator in this project, she took the photograph. In these images, I'm investigating the concept of distortion and how I can distort my face. I used two different types of panty hoses (one shear and the other opaque) and pulled them over my head. I chose the black sweater because of the collar, so that it would hide the extra fabric of the hoses. The photographs were taken with my iPhone rather than my expensive digital camera, the intent also being to create art with non-precious materials. Both photographs have received positive reviews during my residency. I plan on continuing this investigation AND collaboration with my daughter and perhaps turn the work into a series.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Shower Drawings

After posting the in-process atmospheric painting I thought perhaps  I should back up and explain where that idea came from. These are two photographs that I presented at my fall residency. Both were well received by my professors and classmates. 

 I call them Shower Drawings 1 and 2, yes original titles I know. The concept behind the images is the idea of using non-precious materials to make art. In this case, I used steam and water to draw and documented the drawings by photographing them. I discovered two things (so far) from this experiment. #1 I'm going to return to my roots of photograph and incorporate that into my art making practice, and #2 that perhaps I'm over thinking my concepts and should consider simplifying my ideas, thus giving more room for creativity to breath. 

I think these photographs are way more interesting than the pictures I first took when studying photography at Purdue, so that tells me my painting practice has influenced and strengthened my skills as a photographer. With that idea, I believe by embracing photography and bring it back into my creative practice that it will influence my painting conceptually and will elevate it to a higher level thus bringing me into the world of Contemporary painting. I don't feel I am there yet but on the verge.... I am an emerging artist.

I am also continuing the investigation of Shower Drawings. My goal is to turn it into a series of photographs that I can then exhibit at Kanon Gallery  in Denver along with my paintings, and prints!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Shower Drawing (underpainting)

This is an experiment in atmospheric painting. My reference, which I consider a finished work of art itself, is a photograph I took this summer of a shower drawing and me captured in the act of photographing the drawing. To push my painting skills further my professor suggested I now try and paint the atmospheric photograph, and likened the process to Gerhard Richter's paintings (

Thus starts a new investigation. Although pleased with my start, the values are off (as you can see in this picture) ... I worked to correct that on Thursday only to screw up the painting! While waiting for the glazes to dry (really that is what this experiment will teach me is how to master glazing), I went back into it yesterday with a blue pastel and mapped out the large shapes of 'atmosphere'. Once the glaze is dry I will begin again, hopefully with a better (closer) range of values. I like the color palette and ambiguity of the figure and the drawing. If I succeed, not if - when, at mastering the glazes, it should be a nice looking painting!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hand Crafted Artists Sketchbooks

In our graduate seminar this week, we learned how to make our own sketchbooks. What an absolutely brilliant idea! Thank you Jim and Katie. For years I've been carrying around heavy, cumbersome sketchbooks, always too big to fit in my satchel, so many pages, and then once I've used up all the pages I can't remember which sketchbook had which ideas.... that is why this is so brilliant! I can make it to the size of my choice, use quality paper of my choosing. I can determine the number of pages and it is light weight! Also... I can make a sketchbook for each concept I am working on which then translates into a painting or series of paintings. I can catalogue the sketchbooks easily, thus allowing me to find my reference sketches, notes etc.... quicker.

Here you see my first three sketchbooks I've made thus far. Yes I am an over achiever! The assignment was to make one sketchbook and fill it with sketches by Sunday.... not a problem! I'm currently thinking about how I can develop these even further, taking into consideration how I use my sketchbook, for example, making notes to myself, gluing  inspirational images, in which case I would not need to write or glue on quality paper so the sketchbook could include different kinds of paper. And then there is the cover or what the paper is encased in... this can be personalized, thus an expression of my personality (I think sketchbooks are very personal things to artists, or at least to me), but it also has to function on a practical level. The cover needs to be of stronger material, but yet light weight, somewhat resistant to moisture so that the paper is protected and sometimes a pocket could be useful so that if I find something that is inspirational but am not able to glue it in at the time, I have a way of keeping it with the sketchbook without it falling out.... These are just some initial ideas, as I continue to develop my sketchbook I'm sure more will come to mind. What a useful and practical thing to learn in graduate school!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ready for Residency!

Finally! I think she is ready for residency. I completed the finishing touches today and feel this painting is resolved. Or... at least to a point that I'm comfortable showing it at residency. No signature yet... I will wait for feedback from my professors before I sign the painting which will then signify the work is done! Now the only things I have left to do school wise before I leave is finish my sound piece and video! Oh and of course all the writing for my on-line art history class! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Ritual (progress update)

Today I focused on completing the towel, specifically rendering it so that it reads textural. I feel the end is near for this piece. I think some more work on the neck is in order as well as a light glaze on the tiles, perhaps a few more wisps of hair, otherwise I think she will be ready to go to residency very soon. Good thing too because I leave in 2 and a half weeks! I think too I need to reconsider the title. The current title "Ritual" just isn't doing it for me. Perhaps "The Bather"? Or something related to the expression in the eyes... I need to think on this...

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Manifesto of Femininity Scroll

I haven't decided if I want to add any pictorial elements that would related to what the text says so here is the manifesto as it was originally envisioned... Is it resolved completely? I haven't decided... I need to think on it some more, see if I can take it further thus allowing the audience to be able to experience it's meaning more fully. The rolling pins that act as the support for the scroll are interesting to me because they are both vintage, the top one is pretty worn and shows definite signs of age and much use. The bottom one is also old and has the name "Helen carved and inked into it with the date 1934. I purposely chose to have the more beaten up pin at the top and the one with the date on the bottom to signify the worn out view and dated philosophy that is the crux of the manifesto. I'm currently working on a performance piece that focuses on or perhaps responds to... this antiquated view of femininity. The length of the scroll spans the length of my studio and then some. I haven't yet figured out how I would display this work.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ritual (status update 7.31.13)

Status update on the 'Ritual' painting. Today I worked on the hair and the towel. Still need more work on defining the towel and interior swirl of the main curl in my hair, perhaps a few other hair details as well. I also still need to do a little more work on the nose and a few other minor details around the face. Then its back to the tiles. Overall, I think she is coming along nicely and I hope to have her done in time for my fall residency... in less than 4 weeks!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Ritual (more updates)

Today I primarily worked on the face with some touches to the neck. Wednesday I will work on the hair and towel. I still have more work on the eyes and nose along with the neck, perhaps that will be on Friday. Tomorrow I will continue working on the Femininity Manifesto. I found some beautiful vintage rolling pins at the Stapleton Sweet William Market this past weekend that will be perfect on which to attach the scroll! One even has a woman's name carved and inked on it with the date 1934!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Ritual (progress update)

Finally, I've been able to get back to painting the figure! And man did it feel good! I love painting! I spent the majority of today working on the collar bones, shoulders and arms with some work on the neck. I'm happy to say, I'm please with the results. Monday I will continue working on the center of the neck and start working on the face. After that the hair and the towel and then back to the tiles....

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Constant Interruptions (extra thought bubbles)

Here is "Constant Interruptions" with the extra thought bubbles, I think it completes the composition. The next decision is, do I paint them like the larger one above or the ones behind it... I'm thinking like the larger one above but will do a test with the ones I've taped on to see for sure, that way I'm testing it out without making an unwanted mark. So the experimentation continues...

Friday, July 19, 2013

Femininity Manifesto (in progress)

"Femininity Manifesto" is a work in progress. The manifesto was created by pulling out sentences from an article I found titled The Basics of Femininity. The writing was so outrageously absurd that I had to do something with it and thus was born the Femininity Manifesto. What you see here is a floor to ceiling roll of rice paper. I am creating the manifesto in a scroll like fashion using India ink and stencils. Attached to the scroll at either end will be two rolling pins, the kind you would find in a kitchen. As I continue down the paper I will eventually have to start rolling the paper as the text will be longer than the wall itself. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

'Constant Interruptions' (work in progress)

"Constant Interruptions" is a little over 6 ft x 3 1/2 feet, India ink and oil paint on mylar. It is an experiment using tweets that I recorded of all the questions my girls ask me on a daily bases and random thoughts that pop into my head as I paint. I haven't decided if it is finished yet as I'm thinking I might need one or two more bubble thoughts from the girls strategically placed in front of my big freak out thought. Compositionally I think that might unite the environment around the figure with the figure. I think by doing that it also might further emphasize the concept of interruptions. I'm giving it a day to dry and then may come back in with the additions. It was a fun experiment because I had no idea where I was going with it... well I had a slight idea, but nothing drawn out or pre-envisioned, as Steve Locke once advised, I developed it as I went....

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ritual (progress update)

I know Its been a while since I've posted but these tiles have taken a bloody long time to paint!  However, at long last... here is a progress update. The next steps will  be to touch up the grout and add some glazes to the tile to create more depth. Then its back to the figure! When the painting is complete I will explain the symbolism behind the tiles and the motif. I've also started two new investigations... more like experiments and hope to post some progress updates on those works as well. Otherwise, graduates studies have been keeping me extremely busy! Oh I've also been making short (10 minute) documentaries discussing the "weight of femininity". All kinds of fun experiments going on in the studio! 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Empty Nest Investigation #3: A Mother's Worst Fear

I found this perfect yet sad little baby on the sidewalk outside our Inn in Palisade. For some strange reason I'm fascinated with dead baby birds. Whenever I come across one on my walks or travels I photograph it. This is the best image I've come across to date, so much so that I've included it in my Empty Nest investigations. I've titled this photography "Empty Nest Investigation #3: A Mother's Worst Fear". No other explanation I think is needed.

Carving Out Time: Random Experiment

As part of my overall investigation into the meaning of "The Weight of Femininity", I have started a project that I call my "60 day 10 minute Documentary" series. The concept of the series is to make 60 video documentaries of myself talking about the various aspects of femininity and how collectively they create a great weight... This morning when I was making my video I said something that pertained to having to carve out time... to take care of myself, to study, to paint ect... This painting is a visual experiment of that concept. It is 6 x 8 inches and the image is carved out in oil, literally. I first layered the canvas with an 1/8 inch of paint, then I preceded to carve out my head with a towel and a partial shoulder. The towel eludes to the personal time. For me a brief period of quiet time in the morning to get myself together for the day. The paint that I used to further define the figure and towel was remnants of paint that I had on my palette that I had to scrape off and on to the canvas because it was almost completely dried out. The green paint that makes up the environment around the head is 'disrupted' with questions my girls asking me in any given day, usually while I'm painting. I used a stick to carve out the words in the paint. Not my most successful experiment, but a good exercise all the same. At the very least, an exercise in not worrying about creating a 'precious' image. The questions came from my twitter account that I created to document the verbal disruptions, thoughts etc... that I experience every day. The account is closed to the public and is used as a tool to figure investigate my ideas regarding "The Weight of Femininity."

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Weight of the Monetary Provider

I call this photograph 'The Weight of the Monetary Provider". I noticed this image this morning while doing yoga. What caught my attention was the way the heal is worn out as well as the toes of the shoe. It reminded me that women in the 21st century are not the only ones who carry a large weight of responsibility. So do the monetary providers within the family unit. Granted some providers are women, while others are not. In our family my husband bares the larger financial burden. This too should be recognized.

Empty Nest Investigation #2: My Daughters' Rooms

So  this is 'Empty Nest Investigation #2: My Daughters' Rooms. Like #1 it is mixed media including oil paint and found objects from my daughters' rooms and play area in the basement. The idea behind this experiment is that technically if I were to build a nest it would be made out of objects that relate to my children as the 'nest' concept has to do with building a home. So I gathered materials/objects that I found on the floors of my girls rooms and their play area and attempted to create a nest out of them. The environment around the figure and the nest is representative of the girls rooms, i.e. the walls in their rooms. Tess' favorite color is purple, while Bella's is pink. I'm not as keen on the painting quality of this experiment (I think #1 was a better painting) but the concept of using materials from my house specific to my girls is interesting and worth investigating further. This exploration continues to fall under the over arching umbrella of "The Weight of Femininity."

Monday, June 24, 2013

Empty Nest #1: Angry Bird

"Empty Nest"#1: Angry Bird is a preliminary study for a larger painting. This painting is 6 x 8 inches and is mixed media including: oil paint, sticks, straw from an actual birds nest, moss, leaves, feathers and dog hair. This is a continuation of my investigation regarding the 'weight of femininity'. This image symbolizes the time in a woman's life when her children have grown and moved away. The nest on the head represents this thought weighing on the mother's mind. Although the nest appears empty what remains is an image of 'Angy Bird' a computer game that is played by my girls whenever boredom occurs, usually when required to do something with an adult, aka their parents that is not of interest to them. The Children are gone but the bird remains, a memory of their youth and the time spent together as a family. The environment surround the figure is white. Multifaceted in meaning, white represents purity, as well as death and a sterile environment. In this case, white is used to show the sterility of home after the chaos of childhood has moved on. It is also a visual metaphor showing emptiness. The figure's facial expression is one of recognition and sad comprehension that her children are gone as is the energy force that was theirs is no longer present.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tile studies for the 'Evening Ritual' painting

I finished drawing out my Turkish tile patterns today. I'm deciding between two different patterns. Tomorrow I will paint them and hopefully be able to decide which to go with. I'm thinking about painting them in glazes so it might take a few days before they are completely finished but once I have the studies completed I should be able to start working on the big painting again.

I also started my additional investigations into my concept of "the weight of femininity", starting a closed twitter account, creating audio conversations and making mini videos. Collectively these should inspire new ways of thinking about my paintings and add additional content to the image thus making the works even more interesting for my audience.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Evening Ritual (working title)

Finally a solid studio day! 'Evening Ritual' is a working title as I'm not sure if this will be part of a diptych or the start of a series. It is approximately 4 ft x 5 ft. Today I spent making adjustments to the shoulders, and mapping out the turkish tile grid. The smaller canvas' to the right with the grids are what I'm going to use to experiment on while exploring different tile motifs. I also identified enough space around the image so that I can actually stretch this painting on bars! 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

These are pictures taken by my classmate Joan Cox (a second year due to graduate this fall). They are images from my final crit of the May Residency. I'm thrilled to say, the crit went really well! The crit took place in my FAWC studio in Provincetown, MA.

Fleur de Lis (resolved)

When Fleur arrived at residency, I thought she was finished. However after really helpful feedback from my professors at the beginning of residency, I decided to revisit Fleur and make some revisions to the areas surrounding her head so that the painting would read as more resolved.  Here she is in her retuned and newly resolved state. I'm pleased with the outcome as were my professors. Unfortunately when I took this photo there was a glare on the left side of the painting. I will have to reshoot her once she returns to Colorado.

Kandy (completed)

Here is "Kandy" finished! She is 6 ft x 6 ft, oil on canvas. Her name comes from the combination of Kim and Andy. She received rave reviews at my final crit in residency and signals a turning point in my work. Currently she is rolled up and waiting to be shipped home. Once back in Colorado I will need to figure out how to get her on bars and ready to be exhibited (somewhere!)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Portrait of Madame V (drawing in progress)

This is a Portrait of Madame V, a drawing in progress. It is approximately 5 to 6 feet in height (I have to stand on a stepping stool to draw in the upper areas. Once finished this will be a preliminary drawing for a large scale painting of the same title. Myself and Sargent's Madame X are the models. Instead of resting her hand on a table, Madame V will be holding a vacuum cleaner, more specifically a pink Hello Kitty vacuum cleaner, however in the drawing you will not be able to tell it is pink. As with my other residency paintings this too is working under or within the concept of the "weight of femininity", a commentary on among other things the expectations of women. For those of you who know art history, it also displays a bit of humor as well as irony.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wall of Experimentation

This is the wall of experiments in my FAWC studio. Many of the experiments were the result of our graduate seminar drawing assignment, others were explorations in the print room and the ink on mylar drawings all of which influenced my drawing assignment experiments. It has been a fun assignment. Our professor gave each of us a specific set of magazine clippings (9 clippings in total) that we were then suppose to create 10 drawings from (she used the term drawing loosely and left it open to any media of our choice.) In the process of this exercise, I've learned how to use photoshop (I'm on a need to know learning path with the photoshop software program... meaning I learn what I need to know at the time I need to use it. I'm slowly building up my knowledge base.)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Graduate Seminar assignment (drawing 2 and 3 of 10)

We were given a drawing assignment in my Graduate Seminar. Our professor gave us a packet of images (pictures and text cut out from magazines - 9 images in all) and we were given the task of creating drawings from the images. She left the criteria open so that it could actually include painting, collage, print making, drawing etc... just as long as we create 10 pieces of art from the 9 cut out images. These are pieces 2 and 3. I forgot to take a picture of image 1 and images 4 is still a work in progress. After that... I have 6 more to go. All due by the last seminar on May 27th.  My goal is to create 10 different images in 10 different ways. Right now I have a graphite drawing, this ink wash drawing and this sharpe and paint rendering, and a paper plate lithography.

Kandy (progress update)

It was a very productive day today. I spent the morning in the print shop experimenting with paper plate lithography on the Motherwell press, very cool and have some fun prints. I will post those at a later date... once they dry. Then the afternoon and evening was spent working on "Kandy" Tomorrow is another session of our graduate seminar but if I have time after wards (it starts at 10:30 am and ends at 9:00 pm) I might shave off some of Kandy's dark hair on the left... it looks a little too heavy on that side. We have graduate seminar all day on Saturday too and Open Studio on Sunday and dinner at my friend Peter's house that evening so I'm not sure I will have time to work on her again until next week. 

Ink Drawings in PTown

These are part of an on-going drawing project that I have given myself. These are ink drawings on mylar, 17 x 14 inches in size (I think.) The purpose of the project is to advance my drawing skills in portraiture, learn the medium (in this case Ink), to develop my ability to draw lose and gestural with a water base medium, and to relinquish control in my art making practice. The project will be complete once I have accomplished all of the above, or once I have enough drawings to fill and entire wall (a big wall).

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Morning Ritual (Working title)

This is the second large (huge... well not as big as Kandy, but it's big) painting I'm working on while in residency. Obviously it is still a work in progress... I need to adjust the shoulders and come up with a back ground ect... but it is off to a good start. Again still focusing on the concept of the Weight of Femininity

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Kandy (progress update)

"Kandy" progress report. She is going well. I got a good studio visit review today, with positive chuckles regarding my subject matter and creative concepts. Here is the latest status update on "Kandy". I'm thinking her right pupil might me a touch too big but then again I have my eye open wider and my eye brow raised in my photo reference. Yes friends... I am the model for this lovely portrait taking inspiration from my friend Andy Warhol and the trails and tribulations of being 'feminine'. My goal is to finish "Kandy" by the end of my residency! Did I mention this painting is HUGE?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Kandy (working title)

"Kandy" is the working title of this painting... it is the first exploration into the concept of "the weight of femininity". It stands at 6 feet by 6 feet. This is one day's work, and shows both the rough sketch and under painting. I am enjoying this scale of painting although I have also been challenged to paint small again so the variety of scale I will be jumping back and forth from should prove to be interesting to say the least!

FAWC Studio

This is my studio at the Fine Arts Work Center (FAWC) in Provincetown, MA. After two long days of crits, I was finally able to start painting again! Crits were a mixed bag of commentary. One phrase did resonate with me "the weight of femininity." I'm drawn to this concept and am going to explore the visual possibilities. I have gotten great feedback from my classmates and am looking forward to "resolving" several of the paintings I bought for critique. I'm also going to try my hand at a large scale drawing as well as experimenting with "paper plate" lithography and another round of drypoint printing. Of course it is wonderful to see all my classmates again after a year of online studies and correspondence. Overall, I think I'm off to a fun and productive residency this May!

Monday, May 6, 2013

A view from Province town

Granted it's a little grainy but what do you expect from an iPhone. Well I'm officially settled in to my apartment in Ptown, awaiting the start of my residency. I pick up groceries and got LuLu (my pink cruiser) service which included a new basket (sadly the old one had a piece break off so now she is sporting a fancy little wicker basket.) With air in the tires and my breaks adjusted I am now mobile! The cool thing was, the guy at the bike shop remembered me from our open studio night at last residency. He was a MFAWC graduate! 

I must say I'm looking forward to getting back to painting, two weeks is too long to go without a paint brush in hand. As I wandered by the galleries today, it is Monday (late in the day) so many were not open, I found it interesting that the galleries I really wanted to see were the ones that sported intriguing  Contemporary work verses the traditional work that I've gravitated toward in the past. Perhaps this is a sign my tastes are changing? My work is growing? I hope so!

My goal this residency is to start two new big paintings. I say start because I'm not sure I can start and finish them and allow for enough drying time. As it is, I have to touch up the big one I finished at home because I screwed up an area by poking around to see if it was dry... bad Kim... bad, bad, bad Kim!

I also plan to continue exploring the ink on mylar drawings as well as spending more time in the printmaking studio In addition, I want to allow time to look at art... this too is an important part of art making and I need to chill and give myself permission to do that as well. Other artists' work can and have inspired ideas for my work!

That's it for today... tomorrow is move in day at the studios. I will continue to post on my blog residency status and painting updates. I hope you follow me as I embark on graduate school residency #2.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Artist for Sale Installation (detail)

Here is a detail of "Artist for Sale". I actually purchased the tags when I was in Provincetown last September at my graduate school residency. That is when the concept started to form. I've been thinking on it ever since! This is the beauty of making art... some works come to being quicker than others. This one was worth the wait!