Sunday, January 26, 2014

New Paintings and Changing Direction

Moving to an urban area from a more rural one has brought about more changes in my art than I expected! It really brought home that my artist self is very much connected to what I see and experience everyday. When I moved to the rural area, my art evolved to almost completely landscapes, without a conscious decision to do so. When I moved up here I kept seeking out those natural areas to paint, but I'm not surrounded by them here, and the need to paint that has been fading. But it has taken quite a few months of feeling frustrated and blocked. I used to shy away from figures and man made things. But now I find myself feeling more drawn to them. What a fun adventure! So here are a couple of my most recent.
This one is called "Repose". It is 9"x12" and was done at a figure drawing session. I love this group at Studio 30 at Cathedral Park in St. John's. They costume their model in interesting ways and some wonderful artists attend. I love fabric and texture and color, so for me this is more interesting than the nude figure. Looking forward to the next session! Available in my Etsy Shop

"Heading Home" is an 18"x24" acrylic on canvas. I love the St. John's bridge. I came across this late afternoon scene and was enchanted with the airy lightness of the bridge in this light. I'm also really enjoying the contrast and harmony of the urban elements with nature. I've been playing with repetition of shapes as well. I like the way the evergreen tree on the right mimics the cut out shapes in the bridge. I tried to follow that general shape in the other trees as well for a subtle sense of the harmony of man and nature. Available in My Etsy Shop

These two will be on display at Anna Bananas Cafe in St. John's in March and April, along with a bunch more (if they don't sell first!) It's a sweet little cafe with great food, espresso drinks, beer & wine and a really comfy atmosphere. A favorite!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Winter in the Studio

Once the outdoor painting season fades, the holidays are soon upon us. With all their wonderful distractions of family, friends, parties, shopping, cooking, and a bit of stressing! But once that settles down I can focus my full attention on art once more. The days are short, dark and cold and I am not very tough when it comes to venturing out in those conditions. So I find myself scrolling back through all the hundreds of photos I took last year, and the years before. Sometimes I will break out a photo that I have previously attempted and give it another try. It's always fun to (hopefully) see the improvement. This year I broke out this photo:

I took this one about 4 years ago, just across the street from our old house in Sutherlin. It was an amazing year for wild daisies, they were everywhere :)
So that winter I used this photo, painted a 10"x 20" and called it Daisy Dance. It was, I think, my best painting to date at that time. I still like it very much, though it lives in Colorado now!

So a couple of weeks ago, I was looking for a warm summer scene to take me out of the dark winter. And one I could use to demonstrate painting flowers in the landscape for my teaching website. I ran across this one again and thought it would be perfect! Here's how the painting turned out this time. It is a 9" x 12". You can watch me painting it here if you are interested! 

Kind of fun to see the changes in my technique over time....

This winter I've started going down another path as well. I have so many photos of beautiful places and sometimes on the dark days of winter, I escape into my imagination as I am scrolling through them. The first of these to appear was this one "Hermit Birdman". I found myself in a pretty blue mood, feeling isolated. So I started painting this imaginary scene, and then this bird/man creature came out of my brush. I had a lot of fun, and it totally lifted my mood as well! :) Original is available here

 Revisiting this thought, I found a photo that I took last summer and decided to do another in my fledgling "Creatures of the Forest" series...

And I ended up with this one "A Chance Encounter with Mossman". 9x12. I often feel a living presence when I'm out in nature and I'm really enjoying exploring these ideas on a cold winter day. This one is available here

So, that's what I've been up to lately! Happy 2014 to you all, may this be our best year yet :)