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!