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.


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..

Changing With The Season

I am still in season flux as we have some warm days like today and cooler ones scattered about. The humidity is lower making things much more bearable in the studio. Windows opened and a fan are all I need at the moment. I am settled in to create several new paintings, some with horizon/dividing lines and some not. I am back in my blue mood this week with everything having some aspect or shade of blue in the composition. Not sure what it is but every time I get out of the blue mood something pulls at me to go back in.. Guess there is unfinished business, and that's ok. I will just ride it out.

This is one of the pieces I am working on. Not as many layers, maybe nine or ten. Using more gesso in the build up layers though. This is just a section of the painting, 36x24. The yellow is the bottom. and I am almost finished with this part. Am also leaning towards a cleaner line. Making it less about landscape and more about color.  It is called Flying Without A Net. My homage to being a free spirit in a world of crazy.

This piece is a 36x24 acrylic on canvas. titled Flying without a net.

All summer I have been working to build a cohesive body of work. Not so much a series but at least thirty or so similar works. As I look around my studio these days I am seeing this start to develop; and not because I have been devoted to the idea. I think it has just been a long settling in period for me. People ask me all the time about the work and I generally have the walls hung with earlier work on one end and newer work on the other. It's much easier to see the progression this way. For my visitors and for myself.

In other news it was a great summer for sales. From my first Art Walk in the new space in June to the open house last Friday where I sold three paintings.  I have also had some success with online sales over the summer.  With all of the sales being new and newer works, I am feeling good about the future, and moving on from other less rewarding things.

The October art walk at the art center falls on Halloween this year and I m undecided as to my plans. Nothing is set yet, but I may be taking the night off to do something else. Will keep you posted.

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.

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...



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

Step by Step

It was hot in the city today. Even with the air on my studio never seemed to cool down to a comfortable level. But much better than the community areas of the building without air. I finished up the last of the small 12x12 canvases that I had been working on and started to work in layers to the three 18x18's that I had added the first layer of texture to on Saturday. I still have three larger works in progress and add to each of them every time I go to the studio. I am about half way finished with all of them and will likely have them on the wall by the next art walk.

I started adding some additional images of the available artworks to the website. Interior shots of rooms with my art on the walls. It is a good way to evaluate the art in a space as well as the size.

I really like how Caeruleus looks on this wall. It has a Southwest vibe as does the artwork. I wish I could convey the way the light hits this painting. It has a luminous quality that I just love, and the blues and greens are just amazing.

Little Yellow: I went out with a bang on those small landscapes. This one was the lone stranger, tucked away in the corner of the room waiting to be finished. I am not usually this all over with the bold color but this was fun to finish and I really hope someone sees the amazing things going on here. That textural under painting of sky blue really pops, pulling the entire piece together. I hesitated to add any more of the darker blue and opted instead to add the cadmium red impasto at the last minute. I love how this happens sometimes with a piece. and it really is why I love spontaneous gestural decisions.

Little Yellow: 12x12 on gallery wrap canvas ready to hang. Liz Zorn 2014

SOLD: End Game, Saturday Art In Action

I will be in the studio painting today for Art In Action. The Art Center will be open to the public from 11-3 today. Stop by if you are in the neighborhood. Pendleton Art Center 1310 Pendeton Street, OTR  downtown Cincinnati. I have three small works in progress that will be on the table and three large works that will be alternating on the easel as I move from one to the other working in layers and color.

Final Friday Recap: Had a great night last night, lots of art lovers in the building. Sold this piece. A great opening night for my first month in the studio. Quite a bit of interest in my newer works so I am pleased with this response. Nothing like getting immediate feedback on your work.

End Game: acrylic on canvas 24x24 2013 Liz Zorn

End Game: acrylic on canvas 24x24 2013 Liz Zorn

From last night, a wall of art in the studio. Everything all cleaned up for the show. Going back into work mode today for the art demo. More blue on the way, more landscape inspired works, river inspired works... Water has me in it's spell again and I am helpless to resist.


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

Stirring A Big Pot

We took the last trip of really heavy stuff down to the studio yesterday. If you don't count the new bigger than I thought it would be, assembly required, Ikea shelving unit in the back of my SUV. I am sure I can get it in the building and up the elevator with a little help tomorrow, but this is not the pot that I am stirring. That would be the organizing of my print station, so that things will go smoothly when I am working on graphics, and the area where I will paint and the area  I will have for gallery space and display. Making sure as well that I have enough storage (the new shelves) and be able to utilize the space efficiently.

I will be hitting the ground running with the graphics as I am working on two custom projects right now and hope to add more to my workload. I have various online outlets as well for prints and originals and will be adding a section here on site to some of the links. Being independent means doing all the work and selling it too, so I have to do double duty here to get myself back to a place where I can support myself without relying on the funds from my other business.

There has been a lot of interest in the landscape work that I have been doing and I will have at least three new original paintings in the studio on Friday for the art walk. I finally have this one ready to frame.

River Walk 12x18 acrylic on panel, Liz Zorn 2014 framed/black floater.