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.



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


Tangerine Pussycat

What does that mean???...... A few weeks ago I was flipping through the TV channels and stopped at a repeat episode of CSI. One of the characters was named Tangerine. I thought to myself I love this word, the way it sounds when you speak it out loud, the color, the fruit the song (old song) and a zillion other things. I could not get this word out of my head so I decided it would be the focus of a series. Pussycat, well....... that's a given, particularly if you know me. I have been doing cat rescue and living with cats my entire life. So this new series is an homage to tangerine and cats.

If you are thinking that art must have some deep meaning or that every artistic venture must come from the depths of the soul, sorrow, loss or struggle; It just ain't so. Most of my inspiration comes from everyday stuff. I am a pragmatist. I try not to get too insane about why I do what I do. I just do it because it feels right at the time, and Tangerine Pussycat is right for now.

These first canvases are looking pretty bold at this stage of the layering but will be toned down a bit as I begin to lay in more opaque/matt colors in the form of washes. the bold under painting is there because I use a razor blade to scrape down into the paint to reveal what is underneath. Like carving out the composition, but on a canvas instead of a lump of clay. The base layer is made of modeling paste, gels and color, so there is texture at the core. Depending on the depth of paint layers much of the texture can be covered over with only the cut areas revealing texture in strategic places.

Beginning: Textured layer with color.

Beginning: Textured layer with color.

Canvas #1 first layers of color.

Canvas #1 first layers of color.

Canvas #2, first layers of color

Canvas #2, first layers of color

As these paintings go through the stages of completion more of the original blue will be pulled through. Adding dashes of color in specific places will allow me to come back to it, even though for a time it will be covered up.

At the end of the day these will be landscape paintings similar to works like Red Sail and others from last year.

Red Sail, acrylic on canvas 2014

Red Sail, acrylic on canvas 2014



The Humble Soul

Lately I have been paying more attention to my approach to painting. The feelings go here and there, back and forth from committed to a cause, to just enjoying color, to go with the flow and to awareness of the moment.  There is always this thing in the back of my mind that I can't quite shake. The being original, making ones mark, thinking outside the box etc... It's easy when one is trained in the fundamentals to copy a lot of different styles from the past. It isn't always easy to set out on a trailblazing journey of original achievement.

The other night I was watching Charlie Rose interview Helen Mirren. He asked her a question about of all people Francis Bacon the painter and his influence in her work as an actor. An odd pairing maybe, but when she started talking about Bacons philosophy on technique and how it must become second nature before one can move on, pushing the envelope so to speak. I knew exactly what she meant. It wasn't just Bacon, yet maybe he framed it in a way that really spoke to her; but for all creatives who strike out on their own.

adding colored texture to new canvases

I remember back to when I first discovered acrylic paints, I had been trained as an traditional oil painter and the fast drying time of acrylics was hard to get adjusted to. I was a teenager 14 or 15 maybe and by that time was already very interested in abstract art. Almost immediately I made the connection about technique. It was the same really. The basics of painting a landscape were the same regardless of whether that landscape was traditional realism or abstract. I later learned in my work as a perfumer the same rules applied. It didn't really matter, the basics were the same. It all boiled down to the "second nature" aspect of technique.

As I experimented with acrylic paints I became very interested in textural surfaces. This would turn out to be a life long love affair, and one where the trial and error of learning the materials and developing a technique and later many techniques would involve a lot more time than creating the actual work. I won't say that I was a perfectionist, I am an Wabi Sabi kind of perfectionist. I see the beauty in the flaw. I am not always so quick to eliminate it, but let it live. Sometimes I am the only one who sees it. Probably most times.

We tend to be on our guard when we think we may be found out. Like a criminal trying to tell a convincing lie to avoid incarceration. But with Wabi Sabi there is the element of simplicity and humility that are sometimes in conflict with ego driven artistry. I try to avoid that and stay humble. I am better at it now that I am older; and at the same time it does not mean that I think wisdom comes with age. Some people are complete idiots at 80 while others are sublime at twenty.  I am just at a place where I see the value and beauty in a lot more things than I once did.

Wisdom I think... is in being able to find value in many things and appreciate the beauty that exists in unlikely places. Where as Helen Mirren may find value in the words of Francis Bacon, we can all have that kind of connection. Personally I find that the designer John Saladino has indirectly influenced my choice of color. When you see a dash of lavender in one of my paintings it is probably an unconscious gesture, tribute to John, as he is able to drop a lavender sofa into a rustic earthy and mostly white setting and make it work. It is absolutely brilliant his composition, his use of color, texture and mastery of space. I see the same brilliance in the first crocus of the year, as their beautiful purple heads push through the brown earth and open to reveal a bright yellow stamen. All of these colors and the splendor of them, regardless of setting are beautiful sacred things. When a human creation pays homage to the flower, the tree, the mountain or sky, it doesn't matter whether it is the masterful juxtaposition of furniture in a room, a painting or a plate of elegantly prepared food. What matters is the truth that exists in the soul energy that was inspired to create it.

To be the humble soul in a world that rewards bravado is the thing isn't is. To seek out beauty,  to speak softly and have a noble intention. We are all seekers of something, we are like that flower pushing through the earth in search of the sun, climbing inch by inch to reach higher ground.

Summer Show

Very excited to be included in the Summer Exhibit at the YWCA Women's Art Gallery in Cincinnati.  Show opens in June. Will have more info as things get closer.

Today they selected works from my studio and it was a nice mix of colorful pieces from the last two years and some of the newer monochrome/gray works.

Memoriam: 40x30 acrylic on canvas.

Memoriam: 40x30 acrylic on canvas.

Red Sail: 20x20 acrylic on canvas.

Red Sail: 20x20 acrylic on canvas.


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...

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

 

 

 

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.

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....