Paintings

The Great Divide

I seem to always be at this place. Dividing line or not. A dividing line often implies landscape, even when this is not the intention at all. I think more in terms of planes and fields. The sort of thing one is taught in beginning painting classes. Not necessarily based in representation or abstraction, but rather a gesture, a thought blip. It can be stark like a complete mood change, or subtle as in casually mulling it over. When it is all said and done, I really don't think about it. I can name it for the outside world, but the outside world usually finds the reference point all on it's own. Based on the experience and circumstance of the viewer, it is futile to put so much energy into how one might be perceived in an unknown future.

Having said all of that I find myself working on a project for mid autumn that has me back to my grid mentality and lines, dividing lines and nebulous ramblings. The kind of work that usually plays out better on paper (for me) than canvas. I am taking from my old playbook with the textures and application of paint and graphite (lots of graphite) and a precise color palette for the entire series. With the smaller ones like this one shown (there are nine). Two of them are finished and two more are in progress. Another large piece, a test run for site specific project that I may or may not get the go ahead on is also in the works. With the color palette chosen for me, I was able to work things around so that I could use the same palette for both projects. This is good because it was chosen based on some other completed works. Keeping me (mostly) in my comfort zone.

So two things: a project for a show and a project for a commercial space. Fingers crossed that it all comes out a win win.

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.

Minimalist At Heart

I have all but one of the ten studies completed and I find that, with them all in the studio next to each other, there is a clear pattern. Some of the elements, I do not care for (at all) and others just confirm what I have always known. I really love layers. Layers of color, organic shapes, subtle shapes, natural tones and values. What I do not like are the heavy handed colors.

I am thinking of this painting Bulldogs Beach, from last summer. All of the unstretched canvases that I have been painting since summer seem to be moving more in this direction and I am happy with that.

Bulldogs Beach: acrylic on stretched canvas. 30x30x1.5 - 2015

I also find that I work completely different when my surface is a stretched canvas or a canvas tacked to the wall, or when I am working with paper. I work differently when something is laying flat on a table, on an easel or hard surface like the hard board that I use for works on paper. I know this, I have always known this, yet it is the kind of thing that never really gets more than a passing thought. Right now I am thinking about it... a lot. My next move will determine the work that I do for the year. Stretched canvas or unstretched canvas. After spending some time at Fridays open studio, painting.. I have decided to take that canvas off the bars and finish it tacked to the wall. This is where I am with the work. I like what happens when I am working on a surface without resistance. Without having to straighten the canvas on the easel or tighten the cloth because I am pushing too hard into the paint. Every time I go back and forth, from easel to wall, the work changes. That was not really a problem for me before, but now it is. I even have a piece of hard board in my home studio to work on now, so everything will be consistent.

I am always talking about change. Now I can change and stay the same all at the same 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.



Shades of Black and Gray

Taking a day off from the studio today to give my body a rest.. Spent yesterday working in color on three larger canvases and finished another 36x36. With the broad swipes and all of the scraping with a large masonry trowel, my studio sessions leave me feeling (the next day) like I was in the gym lifting heavy weights. A stellar upper body workout!!

Unfortunately I do not have any photos of the new work because I have not taken my phone with me to the studio the past couple of days. Completely forgetting it on the charger.. Which is not such a big deal as I have around eight canvases laying on the floor in various stages of drying. Layered with black, white and gray with acrylic matte medium and modeling paste. These are the first new canvases that do not have preliminary layers in bright colors and impastoesque textural gestures. They are the first pieces to take the new working style into a series based on my new muse. This lovely piece of tree bark from an ancient Red Bud tree in my back yard. This image has been altered slightly. The actual bark has specks of green lichen gray, dusty mold and various shades of brown, black and white. and as I am not even thinking in minimalist terms, I do see this going in that direction more and more.

liz-zorn-art.jpg

I am also tempted to overlay with oil bars and charcoal and maybe soft pastels. The work already has an encaustic feel to it, and many people think it is encaustic when they first see it. But it is just a technique created with acrylic paints and mediums. As much as I love the look of real encaustic paintings, I also like the immediacy of acrylics and the ability to do many more things with them.

I will be back next week with some photos of the new work and works in progress. For now the bold and the colorful are on the back burner and my tree bark muse has center stage..

Open Studio Tonight

WOW!!!... this month has gone by so very fast I can hardly believe that tonight is Final Friday at the Pendleton Art Center in Cincinnati. The monthly art walk where all of the artists in the 8 floor warehouse open their studios to the public. There is live music, food and any number of special events. This is a coordinated effort with the buildings owners and community and has been going strong for more than twenty years.

This will be my first time opening Studio 608 for the art walk. I had hoped to be a bit more prepared but a leaky gas tank has my car in the shop since Tuesday and we have been juggling transportation all week. I finally got a loaner car and will get to use it for the first time today. Wish me luck. I drive like a granny in a new car until I get the hang of it.

I am taking down another ten or so paintings today and hanging the main walls gallery style, of new work. Many of these are also available on the website. A first refusal and a deposit can hold something in the online store, but only for a week. and although I understand that email inquiries can open the conversation. If something sells it sells. I am not going to hold things via the website without a deposit if someone in the studio wants to buy it. Deposits can be made via. paypal, email first for details. Thanks...

liz-zorn-paintings.jpg

This image was taken via instagram on Tuesday, as you can see I am just getting things off the floor, and not leaning against each other. I will re-hang everything today. Some of these are in progress, some need varnish etc... I will say that the light in the studio is so much better than the light in my home sun room. The sun room has trees and a lot of shade on the outside of the house, so having a bright open space really makes a difference.

Final Friday at the Pendleton runs from 6-10 tonight. Located at 1310 Pendleton Street in downtown Cincinnati, just off Reading Road at the upper edge of the Over The Rhine neighborhood.