Thursday, February 28, 2013

Contemporary Faces Exhibition at Sojourners

The Really Big Painting

Well this is what I came up with today. For lack of a title, I'm calling it "The Really Big Painting". It is 7 x 5 feet. My mentor noted at our last visit that all my paintings were of me, face on, eyes engaging the viewer. She suggested that with my next painting I show myself engaged in an activity and not looking at the viewer. So here I am, in the tense moment of making my first mark... our friend Van Gogh also making himself felt in the piece, perhaps Monet too. Whatever the case, this was not as uncomfortable as I thought it would be, in fact is it was quite fun! Still no idea where I'm going with this but... I will figure it out. In the mean time, its time to clean my brushes walk Molly, my faithful gallery companion, and head out to hang my show! Until next time...

Today's mission...

Today's mission is to embrace that which makes me feel uncomfortable! I've no idea where I want to go with this canvas, what I want to say or how to experiment and this makes me so uncomfortable. Be that as it may, I'm going for it... 'go big or go home', today I'm not going to worry about the end image I'm going to enjoy playing and experimenting and see where it takes me. As I tell my students, painting and drawing can hurt... and growth can be uncomfortable, but as an artist it is a discomfort I'm willing to take on in order to take my work to a higher level.  I hope you follow me on this painting journey... or at least as I complete this next big painting!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Homage to Van Gogh

I can't remember the last time I painted for such a long and solid block of time! Unfortunately I didn't get my grading done. I will have to do that tonight! More progress has been made on "Homage to Van Gogh but it needs to dry before I go any further. I think I made some 'go big or go home' advances today. I must have because I'm grumpy! Apparently making myself uncomfortable with my painting also makes me agitated which then leads to grumpy... my poor family! As far as what's next... I want to do some glazing on the face to bring in some more value and structural details around the eye sockets and nose. I also want to punch up the values under the chin before I bring the water up around the face on the right side. I might bring some of the lily back on the left side but I'm still undecided on that one.  I think I need to soften the hairline on the forehead too. The bamboo needs to be lighten in value  as well... and more details in the hair. Still so much to do... but first it must dry!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Homage to Van Gogh (continued progress)

More work on "Homage to Van Gogh". Today involved destroying selected areas, and was that uncomfortable! I kept telling myself 'go big or go home' and each time I said it and dragged the palette knife over the painting, I felt my body cringe... Tomorrow I will work along the top area and then I will have to put her aside until the paint dries before I can proceed any further. Wow... I'm shaking with agitation, I think its time for some meditation to take the edge off.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Homage to Van Gogh (the progress continues)

As the progress continues with this painting I can feel the resistance in myself to the idea of painting over or into the image, where the paint is no longer confined to the subject but instead starts to take over the subject.  I can feel my resistance to this which tells me that I most definitely need to do it in order to let go of the attachment of what I am creating.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Homage to Van Gogh (work progress)

Homage to Van Gogh progress', my favorite part right now is the mouth, the frog and the water lilies. Brush stroke wise, I'm trying hard to remind myself to keep them rough and break my habit of blending. Also knowing how much to paint in and paint out is a constant battle but I'm determined to "go big or go home"... I think that might be my new mantra!

Blind Contour Drawing

This was an experiment in Blind contour drawing (drawing without looking at your paper), but then I started to cheat and it turned into a blind contour drawing finger painting with charcoal. I tried several times after this one with each one getting less and less spontaneous so finally I wiped the paper clean, well as clean as gesso'd paper can get with charcoal stain on it. This is part of an ongoing experiment designed to help me free up my artistic soul and have an easier time 'going big or going home' as the saying goes.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Made in America

Made in America is 40" x 60" and is a work in progress. This is my first attempt at  political commentary. I'm not sure if I want to keep the title "Made in America" or change it to "Agony" or "Savior". It is close to being finished but I'm still working on details within the hair and around the eyes.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Self Portrait in a Pink Scarf

Self Portrait in a Pink Scarf is 18" x 24". It is my first attempt at combining drawing and painting in that you still see the under drawing. I like this painting because it has a beautiful raw quality to it. The other thing I was experimenting with is the idea of when is a painting complete? In trying to paint to the point were it still feels rough but yet complete is truly a challenge. In my mind I have achieved it in this painting but others might disagree. The painting maintains areas of unpainted canvas, charcoal marks and paint drips; there are gray areas where the charcoal merges with the paint and portions of the painting where the background is painted into the hair but not yet breaking into the face. My characteristic red beauty mark is present but the diamond nose stud is not (I had not yet gotten my nose pierced at the time of this painting). All that you see here, I am still experimenting with as I move through my artistic journey called an MFA program, some experiments are better than others. This one, I feel is a success.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Homage to Van Gogh

"Homage to Van Gogh" is a work in progress. It is 18" x 24" and continues my study or exploration into the concept of 'identity'.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Fleur de Lis: Portrait of a P2 Modernist

Fleur de Lis: Portrait of a P2 Modernist is officially done! The idea for this painting started at my fall residency in a discussion with my former classmate Jackie Feng. We were discussing different concepts regarding portraiture and the idea of historic hair styles was born. The title is a reference to both the fleur de lis symbol that you see in the background as well the country France, more specifically Marie Antoinette. The hair style is reminiscent of Marie Antoinette's time period and the Ermine fir around Fleur's shoulders references royalty. I  am the model so I take on the identity of Fleur, however I include several of the physical features that are specific to me, i.e. the blonde curls sticking out from under the elaborate hairstyle, the red beauty mark that is near my nose, and my dark eyebrows.  To develop the concept further I decided to bring Fleur into the twenty first century. I did this by incorporating 'Hello Kitty' hair ribbons. The second half of the title Portrait of a P2 Modernist, is a reference to the Post Modernist mentality and philosophy, to be truly accurate it would have to be Post Post Modernist but I thought that was over kill so I shortened it to P2 Modernist, P2 being P squared. Stylistically this painting is a new direction for me. While the background is relatively clean and smooth, reminiscent of my previous way of painting, the face is painted in a more rough style, it appears dirty and unblended. I've also included some of my charcoal under drawing, which adds to the raw quality of the image. Fleur de Lis: Portrait of a P2 Modernist is 30" x 48".

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Stone Palette

My first post as a blogger! The purpose of my blog is to post my works in progress and or finished paintings, much like what I was doing on Facebook but now I can actually write about the painting as well. I completed this piece, called "Stone Palette", shortly after my return from residency in Provincetown, MA.  It is 5" x 8". I call it "Stone Palette" because the color scheme is taken from a small collections of stones I picked up at one of the beaches in Provincetown. The day after our residency ended a few of us took a walk across the 'breaker's. It was a stone wall of broken rocks and boulders that ended onto a beach. I believe it was the farthest tip of Cape Cod.  The next day I returned on my own and collected a number of stones that made up the palette of color you see here. I am the model. One of our visiting artists at residency was Susanna Coffey. I had the great fortune to meet with her and she shared with me some of her techniques of painting. This was my experimentation with one of them. She too uses herself as the model. Often times she paints out her image and then paints it back in. That is what I did here only I liked the result and left it as is. It was a fun experiment and I am planning on experimenting with it again only on a larger scale.