Friday, October 14, 2016

North Country Studio Workshops 6"x6" @ $66

Check out all the fabulous work available online now, created by North Country Studio Workshops Participants and Faculty.  Each piece is 6"x6", and is available for $66.
I donated four pieces to this fundraiser, one of which is still available.  There are pieces in many media, including ink on Yupo, ceramics, wood, textiles, painting, collage, and more.  This is a fabulous and affordable way to add to your art collection or buy a gift.  Or just ogle the eye candy.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Hey, Check This Out

One of the participants in my workshop last week at Omega, Heather Dubreuil, has done a lovely post on her blog about the workshop.  Heather is a practiced textile artist and painter, and you can see her work here on her web site.  She has been in a number of my online classes, and this was the first time I met her in person.  It was such a pleasure to get to know her a bit and work with her at Omega.

Here are a few of Heather's textile pieces from her web site:

Thanks, Heather, for coming to the workshop and blogging about it.  Thanks to everyone for visiting my blog.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Workshop At OMEGA

Last week I was teaching at OMEGA, and had a fabulous group of students.  Do I say that about every workshop?  Maybe.  Guess I've just been lucky to get such great people participating in workshops.  Here is a little eye-candy from the week.  I took mostly group shots, as the lighting was not right for getting head-on shots of individual pieces.  THIS IS ALL STUDENT WORK.
Five-Minute Paintings

A Series In Progress

The Drama of Black

Shapes, Lines, Patterns, Colors, YAY!

The beginnings of a Floating Shapes exercise

The gorgeous space at Omega

Shapes, lines, patterns

A little gem that turned up on the last day

Observing and taking photos
Spare and Graphic Collage

Gorgeous shapes!
Omega has a beautiful, tranquil, campus in Rhinebeck, NY.  It's like a luxurious summer camp for grown-ups, with lots of different housing options, great food, trails through the woods, a lake with boats you can use, gardens, a sanctuary for meditation, yoga classes open to everybody, plus wi-fi and cell service.  I love teaching there, and have also been a student.

Next year I will be teaching Intuitive Painting, June 4 - 9 at Omega.  This is open to all levels. 

I will also be teaching Visual Improvisation at Hudson River Valley Art Workshops, May 7 - 13. This is appropriate for "advanced beginner through intermediat" painters, meaning that you need to have some experience to get the most out of it.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Awkward Stages of Paintings

I feel a bit scattered in the studio lately, which is not unusual for me in general, but especially when I am between workshops.  Still, I feel it's important to go there and do something, even if it is just playing around or wrecking a few works in progress.  I have been futzing with these "train wrecks" on and off for a while, taking the opportunity to see how much contrast and variety I can get, usually at the expense of any kind of unity or wholeness.  The benefit is that they surprise me.  I intentionally go into awkward and unknown territory.

Whether any of them become finished pieces or not (and some do!), they all go through really awkward, even ugly, stages.  So I thought I would share a few of those awkward stages with you.  I think most paintings (of mine, anyway) go though awkward stages, like adolescents.  So these are my thirteen-year-old girls, or fourteen-year-old boys of paintings.  They are all 19"x25" on paper:

One thing that works for me about the paintings being "ugly" at this stage, or awkward, is that they compel me to DO something.  I am not afraid to "wreck" them, because they are so obviously in need of major renovation.  It is freeing.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Why Buy Art? Why Not Just Make Your Own?

Here is a really interesting article on Artsy that addresses this question.  The author discusses the different motivations for buying art, and also some of the reasons you should also make your own.
I should put a picture here, just for fun, though I don't have one related to the article.

This is a painting I think I've finished.  Not quite sure yet.  It is 18"x24" on canvas.
Artsy is a terrific resource for research and education, as well as information and articles about current ideas and events in the art world.  Check out information on galleries, auctions, art fairs, museums, and more.  [I am not connected in any way, just passing on what I see as useful content].

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Work In Progress

I've been working on these 20"x20" wood panels, playing with color and pattern, in between teaching sessions.  Here is a video:

For me, the key to not getting stuck (or getting un-stuck when I am stuck), is to:
  • Work on at least several pieces at a time.  This depends on size: the smaller the pieces, the more I have in the works at once.
  • Do only a few things to each piece before moving on to the next.  I try to stop before I get stuck, and let the pieces remain in process for as long as it take.  
This approach helps keep up the momentum, but of course nothing can totally eliminate the occasional frustrations of making art.  

Still in Process

Still in Process

Might be Done

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, August 15, 2016


Lorraine Bell's new book, The Art of the Crayon, has just been released, an my art is on the cover!  I'm so excited about this.  I don't have my copy yet (should be here any day), but I am quite looking forward to seeing what other artists do with crayons.  You can check out Lorraine's blog post about it, and see who else contributed to the book.  Looks like I am in good company.

You can see previous posts I have done, including video, on using crayons and oil pastels here and here.  I am teaching a one-day workshop at Art and Soul called Beyond Crayons: Mark-Making at its Finest" in April, 2017.  It is full, but you can get on the wait list, or just show up and beg Glenny, the Queen, for a spot in the class, if you like.  Or just take out your crayons, get Lorraine's book, and GO!

My favorite crayons are Caran d'Ache Neocolor II.  They are pigment-rich, and are a little more friendly with acrylic paints than oil pastels are.  If working in oil media, no acrylic, I love using Sennelier oil pastels for their buttery quality, and Holbein's for a stiffer consistency but with the same pigment density.  The Caran d'Ache Neopastels are great too.  I think the Cray Pas and other very inexpensive oil pastels are like the Crayola of the oil pastel world.  The professional quality oil pastels and crayons are well worth the money.  Just my opinion.

I am, as of recently, exploring R&F Paints' Pigment Sticks, which are like oil paint in stick form.  I want to make crayon-like marks, but on a larger scale, and investigating ways to do that.  These pigment sticks are GORGEOUS!!!  Unlike oil pastels, pigment sticks DO dry, over time, so they can be used like oil paint, and combined with oil paint mediums like cold wax and "Galkyd" or other alkyd resins.

Hope you enjoy a visit to Lorraine's blog, and to the web sites of the other contributors to her new book.  Thanks for the visit here!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Works in The Works

I love keeping a lot of pieces UNfinished, in the works, in process.  These ongoing pieces allow me to just play and noodle around with visual Stuff on the surface and see what happens.  Today I took out some large-ish (19"x25") 5-minute paintings.  My idea was to just play with them a bit, and then do the exercise of using a viewfinder to find little mini-compositions within.  (This was part of developing some exercises for a workshop I'm doing at Omega next year that is geared towards those who are a little newer to art).  I did not get to the viewfinder part, but here is what happened:

Here is the original 5-minute painting with some collage added.

And then some paint applied...

And more paint applied...

And then a little bit more collage.  This is where I've left it.  Might be done, might not; I'm sure it will tell me at some point.

Below are two more that are similarly in the works, started from 19"x25" 5-minute paintings:

I have no idea where these are going, or if they will finish as 19"x25" pieces, or if I will actually get to continue the exercise of finding the compositions within.  Sometimes I just have no idea what I'm doing, so I just put some paint (or collage) on paper and the put some more paint (or collage) on paper. 

I am going to take a little break (couple of weeks, maybe more) from the blog.  I need to focus on my own work and I have a rather intense period of teaching ahead of me.  All fun, all good, but something has to give.  Thanks for visiting. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Black and White Studies - a Few Finished

Thanks for your comments on my previous post.  Here are a few of the black and white studies that, to my eye, came to conclusion.  I still have many in the works, which I'll continue to play with and see what happens.  I may begin others as well.

"Storm Coming" 12"x12"

12"x12", Untitled (so far)

"A Fine Line", 12"x12"

12"x12", Untitled (so far)

10"x10", no title yet.
All of these are available as originals.  They are acrylic and graphite on paper mounted on 3/4" wood panel.  12"x12" are $395; 10"x10" is $295.  E-mail me if you are interested in owning one.  I have them up on Fine Art America for sale as prints.  Or you can PAINT YOUR OWN!!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Black and White Studies

It is always fun to narrow down the focus for a bit, return to what feels like "basics" that turn out to be not so  basic. Working in black and white is a practice I return to periodically to re-set my sensitivity to the spectrum of values (light to dark), quality of line, depth, and other aspects of painting that are more subtle than the strong language of color.  You can view previous posts on the topic here, here, and here

I was recently introduced to the video below about Hyunmee Lee, whose work I have admired on Pinterest.  She talks about working in black and white, and then introducing just one color, and working with that for several years.  My attention span is a bit shorter than that (I'm thinking:  hours, maybe), but I loved the concept.

Hyunmee Lee: Gesture and the Flow from 15 Bytes on Vimeo.

Here are some pictures of my studies.  I began fourteen pieces, all 12"x12" except for two of them, which are 10"x10"  I actually gessoed over old work-in-progress that was getting stale (I've never done that before!), so some of the previous painting comes through as texture.

Here are six after only one or two passes.

This was one that spoke to me in its simplicity.

This is after one or two passes with paint, etc....
And then I turned the above piece upside down and painted over more of it.

I think this is the 10"x10" piece that is in the bottom row, middle, of the first photo.

Will keep working on this one....

Definitely need to push back more elements on this one. 

This one may be close to done.  I'll let it rest for a while.
 I love the process of exploring the nuances of veil, gray scale, and breathing room.  I find I am generally putting stuff down on the paper, lifting with cheap drawing paper or a brayer, making marks in graphite and crayon, or scratching through paint with a nail; and then when everything is dry I paint over, paint over, paint over in thin layers of white paint (veils of fog, as I think of them).  I do only one or two things to each piece at a time, not letting myself go so far as to get stuck or even ask what happens next.  Just do one or two things, and move on to the next piece.  It's refreshing.  No pressure to finish anything.  And yet, I think that some of them will come to be finished pieces.  I just have to not rush to get there.

Some of my black and white originals are available on my gallery site.  More are available as prints here and here.  

Friday, June 24, 2016

Back in the Studio

It is often difficult to get jump-started in the studio after being away for a while.  I have numerous go-to methods of handling re-entry, and the all revolve around realistic expectations.  I expect to feel awkward and ham-handed, I expect all my inspiration from the photos I took to evaporate as soon as I put brush to paper or canvas.  Sound familiar?  I think we all develop our little tricks of the trade for getting re-energized in the studio.   The Five-Minute Painting is a good one.  As is painting to music.  These are all about process, staying in the moment, and not getting precious about the outcome.  This time I just used some starts I made in early May, which you can see here, and used familiar collage and painting techniques to take them a bit further.  Easy size (10"x10", comfortable colors, and techniques that are well within my comfort zone.

"Land Line #1";  This one is actually a knock-off of a painting I did in 2013 as part of my Fresh Paint Friday series.  See the video here.

Fog Lifting #1

High Tide #1

High and Dry #1
While doing these I was not actually looking at my reference photos, but I can see bits and pieces of them in the work.  The color or seaweed and rocks, the fog, of course, and the ladder image from the wharf at low tide.  Here are a few more reference photos not posted previously:

Fog on Bell Island

Fog lifting at Cherry Hill Beach

The color of seaweed

More seaweed