Liz Zorn Studio 608


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.

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.


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...

Updates, Studio News

I have added some of the new small landscapes to the website. They are available as both prints and originals. Some that have been sold are available as prints only.

SHIPPING - These options have been updated. There is a flat rate for US and most International orders. It has also been brought to my attention that locals might want to purchase online and puck up at the studio, so I have added a free ship option for studio pick ups and local delivery.

LARGER PRINTS - Most of the newer art will be available in a larger format soon. I am experimenting with a new paper and may change from the Epson Photo Luster to the Metallic Photo Luster. The matt option will stay the same.

We can print up to 17" wide, so the largest print size that we can create as a signed and dated print is 16". This would leave a half inch white border. Plenty enough for matting and framing. For a matted and framed piece of artwork with an 3" matt the ready to hang artwork would be 22-24" square, depending on the size of the frame.

I am not currently cutting matt board for the prints, but will in the future have some of them matted and framed, and available for in studio sales during the Final Friday art walks.

PRINTER FOR HIRE - As it is now, all of my images are stored on my laptop. I am looking to purchase a new desktop for the studio. As in the past I will once again offer printing services for others who wish to have small run prints made of their images. We have an Epson  Stylus Pro printer that uses Ultra Chrome Inks. The combination of the quality inks and these new exceptional papers it is possible to get a print with well over a 100 years of fade resistance. Add on the fact they we also use an archival UV coating on our prints, the years of print quality can double.

But enough with all the print speak. I will post again when I have a plan in place for this small scale printing service.

FOOTNOTE - Thanks to all who came out to the art reception last night for my group show at the YWCA Women's Gallery. By evenings end I had sold five paintings, with a lot of interest shown for other works in the show.

It is always such great validation of ones work when people buy it. It's one thing to receive compliments, but when people actually want it on their walls and invite the work into the space where they see it every day. It's beyond words the feeling that I get to know that the energies that I expend in creating, can carry on into other spaces, taking on new life and new energy.

Looking Ahead

This is already shaping up to be a key year in my quest to return to full time painting. Yesterday I was at the studio bright and early to show my work for a possibly show in the summer. The meeting went well but it is a committee decision so I will have to wait a few weeks to find out if I am going to be included.

I have also been contacted by three different groups looking for large corporate pieces. I wish I had some of the new oil paintings finished to show them. Luckily two of the projects are just in the looking phase and I have time to get some big pieces finished before they come around again to actually select art for the spaces. One space isn't even built yet and this is always a strange situation to be in. I have never created a piece that fits architecturally into a specific space. Would love to do this someday. A project usually reserved for sculptors and stone workers.

IN THE STUDIO - I had been working with pre stretched canvas and now will be doing my own once again as I need some odd sizes not available in pre stretched.  Also need the more sturdy backing to handle the weight of the texture that I apply to my canvases. The larger they are the heavier they are. No brainer, but this really makes a difference when things start getting big.

I have switched up my medium to include oil and cold wax and have been painting with this for the past few weeks. I have finished one piece and have several more in progress. It is nice to finish with the oils as I can take more time to work on each piece.

This painting is the mixed media: begins with an acrylic textured surface and under painting and finished with oil and cold wax. Very similar to the style I have been working in for the past year with the layering and taking off of paint. With the oils I get more bang for my buck and really love how the colors pop. This piece: Sequester: is 36x36 on stretched gallery warp canvas. I can use the canvas (instead of board) for the oil and wax because of the rigid textured surface. I have been building surface on canvas like this for many years and it is very durable.

This painting is the mixed media: begins with an acrylic textured surface and under painting and finished with oil and cold wax. Very similar to the style I have been working in for the past year with the layering and taking off of paint. With the oils I get more bang for my buck and really love how the colors pop. This piece: Sequester: is 36x36 on stretched gallery warp canvas. I can use the canvas (instead of board) for the oil and wax because of the rigid textured surface. I have been building surface on canvas like this for many years and it is very durable.

My space is starting to shrink (it feels smaller) as I have so many things in progress. Looking for a larger studio now. Will also be spending some time this summer getting my home studio back in working order. This is where I do my big constructed pieces. A lot of power sanding involved so ventilation is an important factor. Not able to do this in the rented space in the city. Each has it's own perks though.

PORTFOLIO - I have not done a good job of keeping up with my portfolio. Online or otherwise. This will become a priority for me as things progress. Starting with my next trips to the studio. I have decided not to have a purchase page here on this website, at least not anytime soon. Instead if you follow the links you will be led to two online websites where you may purchase my work. Saatchi art and Zatista. Both are reputable companies and have been very professional with sales and representation.

OPENINGS - I have been out of the studio for the past two Final Friday events at the art center but hope to get back into the swing of things for the February opening on the 27th.  This is really (aside from private appointments) the only time I open my studio. Will post more on openings as the dates get closer.

New Work Fall 2014

IN the studio today to clean up and get ready for the art walk on Friday. Hopefully I will be able to attend this month. I have every intention, so that is a start.

I have been lax in my ability to get things accomplished lately. but did manage to get these pieces photographed today. As you can see the palette has shifted from the cheerful sea blues and powder skies to a darker more industrial palette. I like it and it seems to suit me and where I am at the moment.

I am also enjoying the idea of expanding details to cover larger areas of the canvas.  Aside from the palette and the lack of an intentional horizon line in much of the work, the technique, texture and layering is exactly the same. I am much more comfortable with my new way of working than when I started this two years ago.

I should have a nice body of work ready to show within the next few months, and I will start adding more things to my online portfolios. I will also post the full end of year schedule here by the end of the week.

Untitled II: acrylic on canvas (small) 10x10"

Untitled: acrylic on canvas (small) 10x10"

Web of Desire: acrylic on canvas 36x36

Intended: acrylic on canvas 12x30

When I Was Alive

I have been doing shorter days in the studio this month, but going more often. I was not sure I would get anything finished this month but it looks like this piece will squeeze through. I call it When I Was Alive. I have had a lot of ups and downs the past few weeks and in it all I am sometimes left wondering if it is all real. Feeling like all of the energies are drained out of me and at the same time hopeful that good things will come. I am enjoying my work so much these days. Creating work that speaks to the present. Living and painting simultaneously.

When I Was Alive: 36x24 acrylic on canvas, almost finished.. From the studio today.

I really do like this piece. I had some moments with it where I scraped off a lot of paint and redid a few areas. Each time leaving an added element of distress. I figure that it is supposed to go this way. Something within me putting on the brakes, making me stop and pay attention to what I am doing, even if I am not quite sure what that is. At least in the end it all eventually comes together and I DO appear to know what I am doing. A save I guess. Keeping my secrets and allowing me to continue down the dark path following that glimmer of light, just out of reach at the end of my road. 

I also had a bit of good news this week. Three more of my small landscapes were chosen for a showcase. The last time we did this all of the work sold. Hoping for a repeat.

I started out this year with the hopes of building a nice body of work, but so many of them have sold that I still do not enough work to show to a gallery. Maybe this is a good thing, that I am doing it on my own.

Full Circle again...

Life seems to be a series of full circle moments; Those times when we find ourselves wiser but back at square one. I am going through one of those cycles at the moment as I observe my work from years past and the work I am doing now. The work I am doing now is more in line with what I did 35 years ago than what I did 15 or 20 years ago.. I am happy with that, and happy to be at a place in life where I can appreciate it more.

We had our monthly art walk at the PAC last night and I was really happy to be there. Sometimes the thought of being in that position with so many people observing and evaluating my work can be overwhelming and in the past I have had to excuse myself from the festivities on numerous occasions because of it. Now I am happy with the whole thing. I feel different and that is a good thing.

I am also reminded at this juncture of the phrase "absence makes the heart grow fonder" and it truly does. I guess it was meant to be that I had some time away from my art. It has made me appreciate it even more. I also realize that in all of the things I have done, I really love art people the best. They are so engaging and have a genuine interest. There is a truth and honesty in the experience of being around such folks that I have not found in any other endeavor.

Here are a couple of pictures of the studio from last nights art walk. It will only be clean and organized like this until Monday morning..

I have a lot of ideas rolling around in my head and about fifteen in progress canvases. I feel fortunate that I have sold almost all of the small square landscape paintings and I am not sure I want to start work on new ones right now. I am drawn to the horizontal plane, but lately have been working without any distinct dividing lines in the work. It always comes and goes, so I will just wait it out.

Today we lay to rest my nephew Sonny. He was one of my favorite people. Soft spoken, kind and a pleasure to be around. He too was an artist, but never really realized his dream. I hope wherever his spirit lands, he is able to spread his artistic wings and fly to the highest peak. I will miss him.

Process In Pictures

How do you do that. Is the question people most ask about this technique of working with a textured surface. How is it created, how do you paint on it, how do you get it so smooth, etc.. Lots of questions in this vein last Friday night at the Open Studio. I also have several of my older works on display so the contrast from those works and the new style were evident. Particularly where color is concerned. 

Here is a progression of a piece that I started yesterday. You can see that things move along quickly. The initial layer is the one with the texture. After it dries overnight I sand down the rough spots before applying additional layers of paint. With this piece I am using earth tones. Two different shades of Ochre, a Buff Titanium, Ivory Black, Burnt Umber. Yellow Oxide and Titanium White. The colors in the texture base are Raw and Burnt Umber and Burnt Sienna and Black.

Process #1 - sanding the base layer before applying more paint.

process #2 adding more layers of paint to the canvas

process #3 - adding more layers of paint and beginning to scrape through to reveal some of the deeper layers.

process #4 detail of the scraping process of  the 'SKIN"  

I missed a couple of the layering stages in the photos, but you get the idea. Now that I am about seven or so layers into the piece I am beginning to scrape through the layers to reveal the initial composition that I laid in with black and ochre paint, as well as cutting into some of the texture layer. The grid element has been part of my work for as long as I can remember and still have no idea why it appeals to me. It just does and I am ok with that being enough. Do not like to over think it.. 

This canvas is 24x18 so not very big at all. Easy to work on a flat surface. People say they see industrial decay in these works as well as ships on the ocean. I do not generally have anything like this in mind, but can see that some of the work does contain structural elements of those things. I am mostly working intuitively and in the moment, so I try not to make it about any particular thing. It isn't until I am well into the work or even finished before I title or not title the piece. Sometimes as with the Vignette paintings of landscapes I just title it with the date finished such as Vignette 4-20. with the new series being called "SKINS" perhaps there will be a lot of Skins: 8-15, etc... 

FOLLOW UP - the painting is now finished and on the website. Titled: Prussian Blue, 24x18.