Friday, July 31, 2009


We have had record breaking, triple-digit high temperatures here in Washington State. If we ever build our retirement home, it will have air conditioning to deal with this rarity. I've been painting late at night when the Studio temperature is bearable. And so, the painting of "Heat Wave." This morning it is thirty five degrees cooler and I can look at this painting without my brain melting or sweat dripping into my eyes. Many things irritate me about this painting just as the relentless heat did. There are awkward junctions, too-bright colors and texture conflicts. I wonder if this painting will still irritate me in November? If so, it is successful.

A side-note: I have old journals written by my mother. Almost every entry has mention of the weather. Earlier this year I painted of our record-breaking wet spell with "Slow Slide into Pink." Am I becoming my mother?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

art by the boys

Our grandsons, ages 9 and 7 went home today after a week with us. We had lots of fun and made some art.

"I See You" 18 x 18 inches, acrylic on wood panel by Noah. To see Noah's previous work, CLICK HERE

"Untitled" 18 x 18 inches, acrylic on wood panel by Elias. To see Elias' previous work, CLICK HERE

Friday, July 17, 2009

breaking point in gray

In my journal entry of about a month ago, I spoke of acknowledging passing thoughts while painting and of holding the thought, and of painting the thought.

The painting I'm posting today has been in the works for several days. Some parts were working, but some, not so much. When I was about to sand it off and start over, my friend, abstract artist Kristi Galindo Dyson, visited the Studio. She turned the painting upside down and on it's side and said "...that's not so bad." Well, since my husband can't find his belt sander anyway, I didn't sand it off. I painted on it sideways for most of today. A little progress but no real message. Then, I received a frustrating email, turned it "right side up" again and began to paint in earnest to express "Breaking Point."

A useful tool today was to take a photo of the painting-in-progress, turn it into a grayscale and study value and balance. When the painting was complete, I took another grayscale photo. Here they are, side by side, with the finished painting on the right. To see "Breaking Point" in color, CLICK HERE

Thursday, July 16, 2009

best of show

WOW! I can hardly believe this award. The opening reception was held tonight. Lots of beautiful art. You can see the show online at the American Art Company website. The exhibition was juried and judged by well-known Florida artist, Greg Biolchini.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

praise for my gesso brush

I'm priming cradled wood panels for another series of acrylic abstractions and have to sing the praises of my new 3" Utrecht Gesso Brush. Before this brush, I spent a lot of time picking stray bristles out of gesso because I was using the least expensive brush I could find. Today's priming job was a pleasure.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

to and fro

This painting took longer to resolve than usual. Over several days, I worked planes back and forth. Quit. Pondered. Worked some more. I had several white-washing attacks and the words "hither, thither and yon" kept surfacing. I'm done with (tired of) the to-and-fro process of this work and am satisfied with the push and pull of color and textures. "Hither and Yon"

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

the edge of the earth

Yesterday I painted all day. It is exhausting to stand and keep at it for so many hours. Early this morning, I adjusted a couple areas on this painting and am declaring it done (for now).

My husband came into the studio, looked at the painting and said, "Didn't I tell you to stay away from the edge of the earth?" The composition does suggest an abrupt change of terrain. A view of under earth/undersea, roots and bubbles. But, the trees are fall colors. Hence, the title, "Free Fall" for this experiment in acrylic.

Friday, July 3, 2009

new day dawning

I love the soft edges, smooth passages of color, and the texture of one color dragged over another when working with pastel. But, I no longer love cutting mats and framing under glass. So, the goal is to paint in a medium that can be framed without glazing (glass or plexi) but manipulated to look like my pastel work.

I'm trying to do this with acrylic and what a mess! I started with a cradled wood painting panel. Two coats of white gesso then an ochre gesso underpainting. By the end of the day I had only three small areas I was satisfied with. I painted ochre acrylic over all the bad areas (which was most of the painting) then wondered why I did that and scraped it all off with a razor blade - right now to the white gesso in some spots - resulting in some nice texture.

In all, I washed out my brushes, scraped my palette and began again four times. I found myself applying color with a brush and immediately dragging it with my gloved fingers. Finger-painting with acrylic? I finally got this painting to a point that pleases me. I hope this is a new day dawning and that I become more skilled in making acrylic do what I want it to do. 18 x 18 inches