Lizzies Blog

Mapping the visual world through a nebulous lens. Varying degrees of tangibility and culpability.
 

According To Plan

When everything is going right and the stars are in alignment, my work looks something like this.

Building a history that start with a layer of modeling paste, colors and textures, usually ending with a thick layer that is left to partially dry, cut into with a razor blade or the sharp edge of a palette knife. This reveals the layers of color, color that creates a contrast,  a push and pull of energy. Although it may seem so, nothing is really planned. The colors are chosen according to my mood and the lines, pencil marks and gestural color a moment by moment act, carried out more in regards to emotion, sound and smell. Each color has a different smell, and those smells can change or become more intense depending on my ability to focus on the moment. To me it is like a vast microbiome of sensual influences. Having an synesthetic ability that runs through my visual art as well as my work in a scent lab, It is a peculiar set of circumstances that inform me in my work. I embrace it, mostly. Sometimes it drives me crazy, because the overlap and overload can be too distracting. This is why when things do turn out somewhat according to plan, I do my little happy dance and continue on, knowing that it is never, and never will be easy.

Open Studio

Every month the Pendleton Art Center in downtown Cincinnati has an open studio event. I have a studio in the building and try to be there each month if I can. Often times I am in the middle of work and just do not want to move things around and clean up the studio so I do not open. It is strictly voluntary on the part of the artists, yet most do open for the monthly event because it is well attended with crowds of up to 800 or so stopping in during the four hour window. There are eight floor of studios in the main warehouse building (where I am) and more in the annex buildings and galleries within the complex that includes buildings across the street and up the alley. They have live outdoor entertainment in the summer months and people will come from the neighborhood to sit and listen to the band. Food vendors are always on site and each artist has their own mini reception and sometimes big events where galleries in the building or complex coordinate with their own openings.

Yesterday was one of those days where I had a lot of things out and works in progress that I did not really want to move, so to take advantage of the open house, I spent some time yesterday changing out the artwork I had on my outside walls. Artists can hang work on the wall space outside their studios, and I am lucky to have a nice wall for display. If someone were to walk by my studio when I am not there they will see the current long wall with seven paintings, two more on the door and three on the area next to the door. A nice selection of my work. I have a rack with business cards next to the door, so with little effort I can be contacted and make arrangements to meet up at the studio.

This usually works out well, most people are good about keeping their appointments. /Some as I found out last week are not reliable at all, so it is a live and learn experience. Still in all it is a great way to have work on display without having to be there all the time. On several occasions works on the outside walls have been sold on days and nights when I was not there.

I do however love the interaction with the public and try to be there when I can. I am working currently on new things for a fall project and am putting a lot of my focus on the coming months and year. I have finally gotten back into a groove with my work and the only thing to do now os move forward.

Thanks to all who support my work, visit the studio and share your enthusiasm for the creative process.

Little Pistol

When I am painting in my small home studio, located in my sun room I am often surrounded by cats. One of the more ubiquitous of the clan is the Little Pistol. She lives in my office chair and never wants to move to let me sit down. She is a Calico and has very much an attitude of defiance. When I was finishing this painting she was there giving me her "I own You" look.

This is how it happens. Painting with the direction of the wind. This way and that, no mind to anything that is planned.

Working smaller makes it easier to get through a painting in a reasonable amount of time. Larger pieces are difficult because they require, either sustaining a mood or feeling, or letting it go and allowing the work to change over and over until something is achieved. Not necessarily an aesthetic but rather a sense of completion that does not have me wanting to add more paint.

What Does It Mean

At the last open studio I was feeling a bit under the weather, so what I thought was going to be a long night actually turned out to go fast and was quite nice. I sold three paintings early on and as my partner reminded me, if I had stayed home I would not have sold anything. Point taken!...

I doubt that realists get this question, or maybe not so often. "What Does It Mean".. People think that abstract art has to mean something or that there is a subtext or message in the paint. Not true, at least for me. I try to approach each painting like it is a new day, clean slate, no baggage. Sure it will take on a personality as I work it. It will take on a life that is made up of moments and sometimes powerful moments. But not always. Sometimes I just paint for the pure visual joy of it. For the love of color, texture and flow.

With the new work and the mark making, I get a lot more inquiry as to what it means. I try to be as honest as I can, but mostly I just don't really know the answer. or maybe the answer would never live up to the expectation.

Sometimes I wish I could bring more of this existential hypothesizing to the table, and then the thought of it wears me out and I need to conserve my energy.. :)

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