art

One tube of white paint at a time.

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Today’s easel view. I will be forever entertained that the gun print in the background always seems to be pointing at someone’s head!

We have been in our new house for over a year now and I can’t even express how much I love my studio space without resorting to lots of little hearts and glitter. And I don’t roll that way.

much.

I love sitting at my desk and being able to turn and mad dog whatever is on my easel. Today we have two acrylic paintings that I have been working on in fits and starts for a couple months. Actually the bottom panel was an old unfinished painting from last year. So many layers. And I’ve spent the past two days just adding white paint over white paint. I have no idea where it will go from here, but it’s at an interesting place right now.

And then there is all the stuff churning around in my brain. I was hit with a wave of ideas for art pieces last week while flying down the freeway blasting some permutation of Jack White on the stereo. And it wasn’t just a couple random ideas, I saw the complete installation in a gallery. It was kind of amazing. Now my challenge is to see if I can create those pieces. It started with sculptural wall pieces – something I’ve never done before. I have no idea how I’m gonna pull those off, but my plan is to start with a small maquette and experiment with materials. There were also photographs – cyanotypes to be specific. Hey lucky me, I was already planning on doing an Independent Study in Alternative Process this upcoming semester. I had no idea what I was going to work on when I brought this up to Randy (professor) last spring, but now I know exactly what I need to do. And I am slowing getting things together to put myself in front of the camera. Big leaps here people.

2 weeks ago, I had a sudden urge to go to the library and check out a book that I hadn’t finished the first time around. It’s a big book. While I was looking for what I went in for, I ran across “The Artist’s Way” and decided to grab that too. Oh life, it’s bigger.

 

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Someone long ago had painted “ONLY DEAD FISH GO WITH THE FLOW” on a sidewalk at the University of Michigan. I don’t know if it was something I walked over once or everyday while I was there, but it was forever etched into my memory.

Struggle against the flow. Go with the flow. Fight. Surrender. I don’t have the answers. Some days it’s one. Some days the other. 

Making art is a struggle. Sometime you find that flow and go with it. The painting comes easy. Some days not.

But I understand the game. “Don’t fall in love with the background!” The “ugly teenager” phase. It’s temporary! The “click” when it starts to come together. And  I know the materials. I feel competent that I can make them do my bidding. No big surprises. And then I started painting with encaustics, and the unknown is as vast as an ocean. I am a beginner here. Any sense of control that I may feel is false. With heat the wax becomes fluid and unpredictable. The lines move. Too much heat and you melt through to the wood panel underneath all those layers. You blow a hole into the painting. And you have to remember what you learned in printmaking – “you can’t go back, you just have to roll with it”. Go with the flow. damn.

I really struggle when I work on an abstract piece. I need the painting to “be” something. I like a narrative. Even if no one else sees it. I started this painting 4 months ago. People who saw it said it was great, but I knew it wasn’t finished. And I was stuck. Didn’t know where to take it next. So I would walk by and doodle on it out of frustration. Carve into it, or draw more lines on it as I explained encaustic painting to visitors. It sat on the workbench and I would glare at it. And then a couple weeks ago I started working on it again, found the story and was able to finish it. finally!

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Ophelia” 18″x18″

Of course I have started another encaustic painting. Another struggle. I am letting it sit. Giving it the stink-eye as I pass. In the meantime I’ve been making encaustic monotypes. A printmaking technique that allow me to make quick and easy prints with wax on paper. I had been using thick printmaking paper, but picked up some rice paper after attending the last Sierra Wax Artist meeting and seeing a monotype demo by Barbara Nilsson.  I must say I am really loving the results I get with this thinner paper! These are all 6″x9″ encaustic and graphite.

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Photo Aug 11, 1 04 27 PM

Photo Aug 11, 1 41 39 PM

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Wow. The Big Names, Small Art event at the Crocker Art Museum last Thursday night was a blast! Saw a bunch of friends, was out-bid on all the pieces I tried to win, and met people who were actively trying to win my piece! It sold for $185. sweet. But the best part of the night? Going inside the museum and seeing this:

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 Yep. A really bad cellphone pic of my print hanging on the museum gallery wall!

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Pretty freaking awesome! oh and even thought the auction isn’t until June 6th, you can bid online here!

And my encaustic painting “Holy Wound Five” went to it’s new home.

HolyWoundFive

 

Friday was a day of rest (read: headache) and then Saturday we got the keys to our new house! Greeting from the pool. :)

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And believe me, that pool is mighty nice after a day of moving garage stuff in the 95 degree heat!

 

 

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You gotta keep ‘em separated

January 30, 2014

in art

or not so much…

My printmaking class started this week so I’ve been thinking about what images I want to create. Since I am in the “advance” class – 40B, I can pretty much do what I want. And you must have picked up by now that that kind of artistic freedom can be kinda paralyzing for me.  Last semester we learned the following printmaking techniques: drypoint, collagraph, woodcut, and monotypes. And with each new assignment/technique, we were given a theme as a starting off point for our image. I played nicely within the given parameters and was pushed, learned a lot, and made some cool prints.

This time around? I need to write a brief proposal of what I plan to do this semester. What do I plan to do… what do I want to do? I know I want to make more monotypes. That’s kinda a no brainer. I definitely want to do another woodcut! Collagraphs were fun to create, but unless I have a flash of inspiration, I’m not that concerned with making another one. And drypoint… meh. Unless I come up with a really cool drawing, I could skip that too. Inking those plates is hard yo!

But since I knew today would be lecture for the 40A students and I didn’t have any other ideas fully fleshed out, I decided to work on the second drypoint I had started last semester. I never really got the plate to a finished state and I didn’t want to leave it hanging like so many knitting projects. So I was working on the plate when Nick (the instructor) came around the room to check in with everyone and see how their ideas/drawings were coming along. I told him my plan to finish last semester’s drypoint while I work on some ideas for new prints. He nodded and then asked me if I had considered combining printmaking and photography by printing a plate onto an actual photo.

wow

Flashback to a year ago when Randy (my photography professor) suggested I combine my hand-painted negatives (Cliché verre – so like monotype printmaking!) with photo negatives when I do my Independent Study for Photography: Alt Processes.

And here I sit, 4 hours later, with my head spinning trying to figure out how to put these two things together. The same spinning wheels Randy had set in motion. And I still can’t quite see it. It’s not the technical “how” that is stumping me – that is easy – but what does the end result look like? What photo? And how do I change it with the print if the photo is already “complete”? Do I need to take new photos? (The answer is yes, but that has nothing to do with this specific problem.) Do I need to look at it is as a double exposure? Graffiti/vandalism? Adding elements? Blocking things out? ugh!

And I loath and love this place of complete frustration. I know that I will chew on this problem like a dog with a bone. I will lose sleep over it and make myself (and those around me) crazy until I figure it out. But when I do – it’ll be good!

I hope.

Raven collagraph

 “Raven” – collagraph

 

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On your mark, get set, go!

January 16, 2014

Happy New Year!  (just a couple weeks late – not too bad considering my blogging track record) Christmas is over and so is the club volleyball season. I would do a “no more volleyball” happy dance, but conditioning for the high school season starts next week. So yeah… the volleyball, unlike the holiday season, never […]

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Septem … what do you mean it’s October?!

October 11, 2013

hells bells How did that happen?! I swear I was still writing August on things when suddenly it was October! What even happened in September?! ::consults Facebook wall:: oh. right. September was full of crazy – good and bad – and it flew by. Everyone was back in school – here is photo proof: Wow. […]

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