October

This is turning out to be a productive month for me. Not that I have a lot of finished work, but I know better where I am going. It's always hard to shift from one thing to another and start down a different path.  It appears that I have circled back around...again... to a place where my paper works and my canvas paintings are back in synch. I don't show a lot of paper, mostly because it is such a pain to photograph and format everything. Paper is often a study, as are the small canvases that I paint over and over until they are useless.. When something does feel worth keeping I am often more in love with all of the layers and incarnations on the canvas than the finished painting.

new in progress 30x3010-15

new in progress 30x3010-15

new in progress 18x14 10-15

new in progress 18x14 10-15

Watermark: mixed media on paper Feb. 2015

Watermark: mixed media on paper Feb. 2015

 

Having (for the past two years) escaped my palette of earth tones, I am finding my way back to them. Again with the paper, but I always go to this palette for works on paper. For the new canvas pieces I am finding a happy medium for some and embracing my gray and sienna self with others.

I spent a couple of days earlier this month rearranging the furniture in my studio. Moving my big shelving unit to the front of the room and opening up my work area, giving me more room to roll the easel around to catch the great northern light that I get from my windows. Even abstract painters love natural light for painting. The whole room feels different and I am really enjoying this new burst of energy I get when I come into the building and open my door. Can't wait to have my first open studio with this new layout. More wall space for hanging art, particularly larger works.

I will be back with the fall schedule for the art center in a few weeks. Still not sure of all the dates.

Connecting The Dots

We were just remarking the other day at our good fortune in repairing the roof on my home studio. I had discovered a lot of water damage last spring after a heavy rain, and many things were damaged. Some salvageable and some not.

I knew that I had a lot of paper out there, Watercolor paper, printmaking paper, etc.. So I was thinking why not use it. I ended up getting about ten sheets of hot press watercolor to work with. Every sheet had water stains and rusty looking edges. Nothing that a couple of coats of gesso couldn't fix. So I started priming the sheets to use for the series of paintings that I was working on.

in progress: acrylic on distressed hot press paper..

in progress: acrylic on distressed hot press paper..

It was spooky how similar the water stains were to my current color palette and how easy it would be to incorporate them into a painting. It was like the past had reached through the fabric of time and pulled me back to the days when I was working on those same papers, with that same palette, in that same studio fifteen years before. I spent the rest of the day mulling over time space continuum theories, back to the future theories and how even if we have no religion or follow no mythology, the synchronicity of life and the time loop of familiarity can create it's own dogma in each of our lives. So I look at this paper and see an entire chunk of my life and I wonder about the meaning of it being here now, again. Perhaps there is no meaning, and the meaning is in what I make from the paper. How I react to it once the paper has all been used.

Connecting the dots... I think about these things, not because I am looking for some kind of singularity to merge and make it all make sense; and surely not because I want to find some sort of art speak meaning to it all. That is just a myth. More than anything I like the way things drop into my life. I like how even the smallest thing will spur me to deeper thought. I think that I just like to think...

No Plans

Looks like we will get a nice break in the weather tomorrow and be out of the snowy woods by this time next week. It will be good to get back in my studio in the city to finish up some of the larger canvases. Working from home and on paper for the past week have me in a strange mood. With no desire to plan out my days or think about what I will do next, the work has been more to my liking. I also feel like I have worked through some things, and the chaos in some of the work from last year has played itself out. I am very happy for this because it is exhausting to keep that kind of energy going. The unfinished work in the studio is somewhat like the paper work I am doing, and I think that I can finally get everything on the same page, thought and execution wise. Not that I am going to plot a course..As the title of this post says. NO PLANS... No goals, no agenda, no thoughts about where I am going. The last thing I want to do now is get all artsy about my painting. If I could care any less about the psychology and protocol of fine art, I would. It just doesn't mean anything to me anymore.

Untitled; acrylic on paper 2015

Untitled; acrylic on paper 2015


Snow Days

Made it down to the studio on Saturday to pick up some supplies and water my orchids. After being teased with potential blizzards over the past weeks we finally got our boat load of the stuff and as a result I opted for setting up a makeshift studio in the sunroom (at home). There isn't a lot I can do in this space so I have opted to do some works on paper. Moving from palette knives and masonry trowels to essentially finger painting is a bit of a curve, and I am always surprised at what comes out of me when I switch from textured canvas to paper. But with this work I must be channeling my palette switch from last summer when I went from the bright colors and lots of blue to this limited earthy palette.

I don't really have a plan other than just painting, and this is fine with me. In the past I did a lot of paper studies that I would transfer (style wise) to canvas. Not sure where this will go or if I will even continue it once I am back in the studio on a regular basis.

New: acrylic on gesso textured paper. 12.5x19.5

New: acrylic on gesso textured paper. 12.5x19.5

New: acrylic on gesso textured paper. 12.5x19.5

New: acrylic on gesso textured paper. 12.5x19.5

Occasionally I will sneak a landscape in there (hehe..)  but for the most part I am still where I left off with the acrylics on canvas last year. Even the new in progress works in oil and cold wax I have going at the studio are in this limited earthy palette. Funny how consistent color can make a mish mash of half baked ideas look like a cohesive body of work...

Untitled: 2014 acrylic on canvas 12x12

Untitled: 2014 acrylic on canvas 12x12

 

 

 

2015 Back To The Future

As good a time as any I suppose... To once again take a look back and pull those old thoughts out of the attic and revisit unfinished business.

It was almost a year ago that I had some old mixed media paintings on paper hanging in my Middletown studio. I found them while looking for something else in my home studio. They were the last pieces I painted before embarking on an olfactory adventure that pulled me into another world. Now I am teetering back and forth between these two worlds, spending about as much time with one as the other. It's a good fit for now, and then there is this unfinished business.

These paper pieces were done from late 2001 to spring of 2002. They were my last work after 9/11. My last show was in October of 2001 and as the entire country was in shock I, as an artist was trying to wrap my brain around it by pouring my feelings into the work. At the time  9/11 art was popping up everywhere and it seemed odd to me at the time how quickly galleries and art centers jumped on the bandwagon to exhibit this art and in many ways exploit a tragedy for financial gain and attention.

Mixed Media on paper: 2001-2002

Mixed Media on paper: 2001-2002

I never showed this work at the time or had it for sale, I was just working through my feelings and after I completed the last pieces, I tucked them away where they stayed for twelve years. It was a time where I felt like exploring some of the other things that I loved so I spent more time on my music and writing and I launched a small collection of natural perfumes that to my surprise became a huge success.

In the past two months I have had these paintings on paper out in my Cincinnati studio, Out where I can see them everyday and remember how much I love doing this work. Seeing them also brought into contrast the new work that I had been creating. Somewhat angry by comparison with all of the scraping and sharp lines, defiant slashes of color. If I were to analyze myself and this work I would have to wonder what all of the angst is about. Maybe I am angry at myself for not painting all those years, or maybe I am still working things through. The thing is, I like both for different reasons, and at the same time I do feel a bit exhausted and want to incorporate more of the past into the future works.

recent in progress, acrylic on canvas 2014

recent in progress, acrylic on canvas 2014

At the end of the year I was all set to get back into the studio and take the work to that new place, but just as we were saying goodbye to 2014 we were ringing in 2015 in bed, hit by the flu bug. I am the one who rarely gets a cold or flu, so it drives me nuts when I am unable to function. This past Thursday January 15th was my first day driving into the city to my studio. Mr Z. took me down last Sunday, but it was too soon and I was back in bed for another two days. All of my big plans and ideas had to be put on hold while I recovered, and... while I ran it all over and over in my head.

Now I look at the work in the studio with new eyes. My intention is the same but my feelings about this new year have changed. I am thinking about my health and my family and how quickly things can go wrong. A recent death of an acquaintance who was my age, and the recent loss of close family have put me on a path of greater awareness. I am feeling more grateful for the things I have, my health and those close to me. There is a quote by the writer Claudia Black: "Surround yourself with people who respect and treat you well"  This has always resonated with me, so much that I still have it tacked to the wall in my old home studio. The paper yellow with age, but still relevant. In the coming months I wish to honor this quote, and put the important things on the front burner and toss out anything that doesn't live up to that standard. I also feel that it is important to do the same with my work, all of it.

Wish me luck, the month is only half over and I am already working on Plan B....

Art Show Tonight

I will be in the studio tonight for the art walk at the Pendleton Art Center in downtown Cincinnati. Leaving the folks at home and heading into the city.  I spent most of the day Wednesday cleaning up the place and hanging new art on the walls. The event runs from 6-10pm. I am usually an early out for these things so maybe 6-9 for me. Unless things are really hopping and I will stick it out to the bitter end (ha)...

Pendleton Art Center, 1310 Pendleton Street (OTR Over The Rhine) Cincinnati... Studio 608..

See you there!!

Little River 12x12 acrylic on 1.5 gallery wrap canvas framed, black floater

Little River 12x12 acrylic on 1.5 gallery wrap canvas framed, black floater

Studies

Is there value in a series of studies. Small sketches or paintings that in some ways prepare one for larger more detail works. I am not so sure, but I do them anyway. Since my full on return to painting last year I have been trying to set a pace and find my voice again. After several months I am finding my way back to the textured works that filled much of the 1990's as well as a renewed interest in the horizon line and cross pattern abstraction.

I am ripping up some Stonehenge paper to create small studies in acrylic and pastel, as well as priming canvas for larger works. I wish I had some of my early works to show here, but it will have to wait until the ice and snow melt so that I can get into my storage unit. As Southern Ohio winters go, this has been a brutal one. No relief at all from ice, snow and extreme cold. I can remember not so long ago when we would get a little snow here and there, and rarely have temps. dip below the freezing mark. So we wait it out. I wait it out.

 

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