Monday, June 29, 2009

lost and found

Another old painting revisited. When I unframed it, I found I had painted on La Carte paper, not my usual Wallis so I couldn't just hose it off. I brushed away as much pastel as I could and began again to create another abstracted landscape. Got lost a couple times but found my way back to my message for "Summer Song in Blue."

Last week I judged awards for the Olympia Art League's 2009 Juried Show. If you get a chance, see the show today through July 20, 2009 at Olympics West, 929 Trosper Road SW, Tumwater, Washington. A varied show with some nice surprises.

Happy Summer!

Monday, June 15, 2009

hold that thought

Recently, Cathy Woo asked me to tell her about this new direction of my art. Writing an email response was an interesting exercise that gave me some insight into these mysterious abstracted landscapes.

I start each painting thinking about my feeling of the day. The work becomes about relating color to my feeling or state of mind. Ever tried to meditate? They say one should acknowledge the random thoughts that come floating by and then let them go. In these abstracted landscapes, I try to capture those thoughts to form an overlay of the primary emotion. That results in a visual expression of an in-and-out, back-and-forth exchange of emotions represented by colors, shapes, lines and textures in a sort of window-pane effect. When I think I've said what I wanted to say and I feel I've made the relationships interesting, I stop painting.

Cathy, so good with words as well as with paint, called my explanation "...structure to 'hang' the process on."

Today, I got interrupted when I was close to finishing this painting. All I could think of was "hold that thought!" I took a quick photograph of the piece to review on my computer display - a sort of distancing that works for me when I think I’m almost done.

Later, I went back to work without the review. I quickly lost sight of where I was going and then felt I had totally lost the message. After hours of additional work on it (with a Bob Dylan song in my head), I photographed it again. When I compared the two photos I was surprised to see the same message but now with more punch and spunk. This painting is called "From the West unto the East."

Monday, June 8, 2009


I've heard artists speak of following their muse. (definition: muse - the source of inspiration for a creative artist.) Today, I know the feeling. I have to paint what I have to paint. And for now, that means these abstracted landscapes. Having this feeling aMUSES me. Today's painting is titled "Foreseeable Future."