The Fix Is In

TECH TALK - The past few weeks have me back with my mixed palette of inks, acrylics and graphite. It feels good working with these materials and I can go as abstract expressionist or minimal as I like, depending on the way the piece is moving along. I posted a piece the other day on social media, mentioning that the graphite needed to be fixed before the painting could be varnished. Someone sent me a message asking what I mean by "fix" because they had not heard that term before. I guess if one does not work on paper, use charcoals or pastels, maybe this term would never come up. But even for a painter who creates washes on canvas with watercolors or acrylics, a fix can save the layers from being smudged or compromised. A fix is when one uses a fixative to seal a layer so they can keep building more layers. I use (more often than not) a fixative designed for charcoal and pastels. I will spray a very thin layer over the canvas to set the inks and pencil markings on my painting so they do not wash away or smudge when I add more layers.  I use both aerosol and pump versions. I use Spectrafix; This fixative is non toxic and archival.

In this painting (the one that was featured in the social media post mentioned above) I have added graphite in various stages of the color washing. With some of them I want it to fade and smudge a bit, but for others I want it to remain untouched, and this is where I will give it a little spray. When I get to the final layers and when the painting is finished it will get a light overall fix before it is varnished. I usually wait a few more days to varnish it. I use a satin varnish, Liquitex. For smaller paintings I usually apply the varnish with a brush. For large paintings I use a sponge. A satin varnish will pull the colors up and even out the tones across the canvas. It has a more natural look.

playing fast and loose: acrylic and graphite on linen 48x40

THE BIG FIX - I am packing up a lot of my materials to take back to my larger studio in the city. This painting here is the last large piece painted in my home studio. I feel like the winter was a great teacher for me and I am on my way. I am feeling better overall this past week and hopeful that I will have a few good weeks ahead, or at least before another relapse or super hot weather. The heat really takes a toll, so I am hoping to get a lot of work done before I have to deal with that. It's such a game of Russian Roulette, spinning the wheel each night in hopes of having a good wake up and the ability to walk to the bathroom... I am a tough cookie, so whatever comes my way I will deal with it, and hopefully a good liar when it comes to my work, keeping it on the brighter side of reality and not plunging down into despair or ugliness. or at least most of the time.. Some things do need to be expressed and I am cool with that too.

Open Studio - New Work

The fall season at the art center will kick off this friday Oct 30 in full gear. Aside from hosting two charity events,  beer tasting and raffle, this will also be the Halloween art walk. Being an artist in the building I rarely am able to check out what is going on elsewhere at the PAC, and surrounding campus of studios and galleries because I am in my own studio greeting guests and friends throughout the night. I will likely be going solo this week, with family and the like staying home.. So getting down throughout the week to set up and hang my show before Fridays mad dash. Each of the eight floors of studios in the warehouse (my space) will have their own events and set ups. We on the 6th floor will have a treat table in the community area just off the elevator and hopefully lots of open studios for people to visit. Hours are 6-10 Pendleton Art Center OTR Cincinnati. Street parking is free and available to early arrivals, as well as a valet parking service provided by the PAC for a fee. I bought enough candy for an army so please come down and take a handful :)...

I have a new layout in the studio with more wall space and quite a few new pieces. Very excited as well to be getting so much great feedback on the new work. If I can find the time I will go through my art storage, because some of my work from many years ago is very similar to this new work. A really big circle I have been rounding. One that has an arch of well over thirty years. I don't really have a lot of old work, but at least have been able to keep a few things, dating all the way back to my first art instruction classes as a kid.

I think looking back, all those years of doing constructed works and found object art really boxed me in. It has taken me some time to get out of my head and just paint again. I also think that when we are younger we are more insecure about the work and trying to fit into a category. At this stage in my life I just want to be in the moment. If I am thinking about something, listening to certain music, hear a siren in the city, or gunshot... whatever. I am now happy to let all of that be part of the work. I am finished (at least for now) planning my art or thinking ahead. However the paint falls it how it will lay, and stay.

My Heart Belongs to Daddy: In progress 30x30. mixed media on canvas.

This piece in the photo is now finished. I have received more feedback on this than everything else I have done over the past year combined. I know artists like to play it cool and close to the vest, but I feel that if I can stay the course here I will be in good shape. Basically, screw being cool and acting like I have everything under control. I am totally owning my sixth decade on this planet. No excuses, no apologies.

That Was June

Bulldogs Beach: 30x30 acrylic on canvas

June came and went in a flash, but not before I sold three paintings from my Saatchi Art Portfolio.  Three nice sized pieces too. It leaves my studio walls a bit bare, but I will fill in the spots.. I have not been painting as much lately and really need to spend some serious time in the studio. Lots of things in progress, doodles and the like, but nothing serious or ready to go. Besides the doodling, working on new things like this. Aside from the fun little landscapes that break the flow of the larger more intense pieces, I really like this gray on gray  of Bulldogs Beach, and have one on the easel at home. I will probably go more in this direction once I am back in the studio downtown. I had been playing around with the gray with blues and greens as in the Queen City painting. As well as gray and purple, violet and other colors in that range.

Queen City: 24x24 acrylic on canvas

I missed the Final Friday at the studio this month, so next month I should have a lot of new things on the wall. Getting back to painting full time is the goal. It may take a little longer than I had anticipated as my other work is also demanding. I set myself a two year time goal and I am about six months in on that. It would be nice to come back here at the end of that time frame and say, yes I did it.


Studio News

Can't believe that it's the end of the month again. Art walk this Friday from 6-10. I plan on being there if all goes well.

We had repairmen in the building last week fixing the windows and as a result I had to move a lot of things away from the windows, which included my desk and printer. I still don't have everything back to normal, so I am suspending the online prints until I am back in business. Will not be long. In the meantime I have updated my often neglected page at Fine Art America, with some of the new small paintings, available as prints. I have them available as prints only, but they have several options including, gallery wrap canvas, paper prints, prints on metal, with a lot of options for framing. I am not offering any of the other items such as greeting cards, pillows, totes, phone cases etc... If you do see something in one of those items that you would like to purchase I can add it to the site. Just ask... As always the only work that I make available for prints are the small landscapes and a few works on paper.

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I am continuing to work on the small landscapes because my time at the moment is very limited. We are updating all of the Soivohle (my scent work) products and I am also tinkering around with a new Scent Art Installation. Once I have it all worked out with the formulations I will look for a venue. Possibly for something this time next year. It takes a lot of time and effort to create a scent installation....

More good news: After the initial sales from the YWCA Show opening last Friday, I shipped out three more paintings on Tuesday. Not to jinx the sale, I am just going to say a little YAY!!!.. and update if everything goes through. Should have the final word by Wednesday.

Looks like two new commissions could also be in the works, both for landscapes done in the style above. Very happy with all the good juju being tossed my way lately. Sending it backatcha Universe.... till next time...

Art Walk - Rise

Taking a cue from my recent dreams and starting a little project called Rise. Not sure where it will lead, but am kind of sure it ties in with my tree bark imagery.

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Spring

In relation to other winters ours was not all that bad, it just ended on a cold and dreary note which made it seem like it was overly cruel and lasted forever. Now we are getting the wind and rain of spring but I am not going to complain, it is warmer, enough for sandals and t-shirts, my kinda garb...

This also marks the beginning of my art season as I am inspired to create a new body of colorful paintings. I have been dividing my time between the studio in the city and the small space in my home sun room. Hopefully I will be able to get my real home studio back up and going now that we have a new roof on it. Lots to do this year. I plan on keeping the city space and have even entertained the idea of opening my own gallery (again) but this time with only my work and perhaps a few guest artists from time to time. It would be a working as well as exhibition space, and I have been thinking more along these lines since learning that several of the artists on my floor at the art center will be leaving. My space is really too small and it doesn't look like I will be able to get anything larger for awhile, even after being on the waiting list for almost a year. All of this of course will be in direct relation to how well I am able to juggle the work load of my Artisan Fragrance line against the greater demands of creating and marketing art... Not bad problems to have, but still trying to make the best decisions.

Reflecting Pool, in progress, acrylic on canvas, 24x30


More White, again...

I keep going back and forth with the white. Not that I want to change up my palette all that much, I just like how it makes me feel. It is soothing to me and white has always been a very dominant color in my world, particularly my home where all of the furniture is slip covered in white. I have never really created a white themed serieson canvas, but have done several on paper over the years.

I have been looking at a lot of white art lately. I really like the white - ish, encaustic work that I've seen online. Although I do not use encaustic, my work does have that feel to it with all the texture and cutting through the paint and layers of polymer. I do not want to change my technique to accommodate the color white, but instead am building more vibrant under color; color that I can use or not.. Here are a couple of instagram shots of works in progress. Small pieces: one 10x10 the other 6x6.  The point I think is in not going overboard with the rest of the color. This is where a good sanding will come in handy, so when I head back downtown to the studio with all of the work I have done at home this past week I will sand and finish about twelve small paintings. Sanding knocks down a lot of the high points on the texture giving it a more natural look. I like to wait until I have a working composition before sanding, so as not to take away something important. Whereas a lot of the work done this summer has been more chaotic, I am getting into the laid back groove of autumn and cooler temps. Less is more.. Something that I need to remind myself of when I am caught up in the theatrics of painting.

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Open Studio

Join me (us) tonight at the Pendleton Art Center in Cincinnati for the Final Friday Art Walk. The entire building, eight floors of artist studios will be open to the public. Outdoor entertainment, food by Tom and Chee and all the art you can see in four hours. 6-10 pm. Valet parking available.

1310 Pendleton Street, downtown Cincy.

I have rehung the entire studio with new and earlier works of art. We had great response and sales last month and already works on hold before we even open the doors tonight.  I am so thrilled with the great response to my work and have had nothing but positive feedback and love since returning to the city location in late May. This will be my first "real" open studio, as we had been getting the place all fixed up to my liking over the past few weeks. New lighting hung yesterday, a new wall of art (display wall) added. Could not be more pleased with the progress. Come join me, have a little wine and cheese, check out the art and kick off the weekend in style.

Liz Zorn Studio 608...

 

Panorama

I spent the day hanging my work for this fridays art walk. I have more of the pieces from late 90's to 2002, plus the work done over the past few months. It is arranged in a somewhat chronological order, thus the panoramic reference.  I have reached the end of the road with the larger canvas do overs (for now) and will be starting out next week with some fresh canvas prep. I don't mind painting over things. It is really a good way to NOT get overly attached to the work.  I do however have a fully formed idea of how I want to move forward, based on the last pieces. MOre of the same but less noise. More "The Long Goodbye" and this color palette of neutral tones with spots of color. Interestingly The Long Goodbye was not really a paint over as much as it was a repair and finish. I had ripped a big hole in the canvas and filled it in with modeling paste. Adding in more texture to even it all out. I really like how it turned out. 

I will also begin to use some of those panels I prepped a few months ago. I have three large ones. 32x48 that I am going to cover with a coarse linen instead of the paper I was using before. This is the same linen I used for the found object work from the 90's. It is a perfect surface for applying heavy texture. This also means that I will likely go back to stretching my own canvas again. I had been using pre stretched canvas, but it has it's limits. Not to mention the smoother surface. 

I will be in my studio on Friday July 25th from 6-10 pm. Stop by if you are in the area. Pendleton Art Center 1310 Pendleton Street, Cincinnati Ohio  - Studio 608