painting

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!

IMG_9499

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.

monotype001

Photo Aug 11, 1 04 27 PM

Photo Aug 11, 1 41 39 PM

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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 ends. It just changes uniforms.

Hey, here is some great news for the new year – Chris has finished his last class and is getting his Masters Degree in Financial Services!! More alphabet soup to add to his business cards. CFP and MSFS – so proud of him!

I’m still working on my 20+ year AA plan. One of these days I’ll take that damn Speech class. Really! But this semester I’m sticking with Printmaking. Class starts on the 28th. Can’t wait.

In the meantime, thanks to Santa, I have the supplies to work in encaustic (painting with pigmented wax) at home and am trying to find my groove with this new medium.

Finished a piece I did at the Wax Works West class last Nov:

Photo Jan 03, 5 16 29 PM

And the new pieces I created:

Encaustic on 6"x6" cradled wood panel

"She Called Down the Moon" Encaustic on 9"x12" cradled wood panel

"Generic" Encaustic on 12"x12" Encausicbord

I also did a small mixed-media painting and have another panel started.

"Bull" Mixed-media on 9"x12" cradled wood panel

So yeah, I would say 2014 is off to a good start!

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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:

2013schoolpics

Wow.

And then there was the headache week from hell that ended with me getting shots in my butt on Day 6. Day 6!! damn. But to spin a positive from all that pain, I did create a couple more pieces of ‘migraine’ art.

A Day 4 painting:

afistintheskull420

And a Day 6 photo became a drypoint that I’m still working on:

day6sm

Of course that was the end of my 29Faces run. That week really wiped me out!

The next weekend had me and Kyle in San Mateo for the 2-day tournament that starts the fall volleyball season. Always fun. And then Ericfish and John came to visit! And that was more fun! And then, just like that, is was October. so yeah. September was a blur and it’s already the 11th! The Halloween decorations have been up for over a week, and its time to think costumes. Someone wants to be a bat.*

 

 
* with over 2 weeks to go, this will most likely change.  I think she should goes as Pig-Pen. 1st grade Erin is the dirtiest Erin yet. And did you hear her snort?

 

 

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Harvest

September 1, 2013

in art

wow. August kinda rocked! Between an really fun August project for True Free Spirit and the Visual Quest course work, I finished 3 canvases and several paintings in my journal!

This is the TFS  “primitive” painting that is also my donation for the ‘2013 Artists For The Cure‘ fundraiser.

Mixed-media on 10″x10″ wood panel.

And then a background I had started for another “primitive” TFS painting took a Visual Quest of its own and became this:

Acrylic on 11″x14″ wood panel.

A couple pages from the art journal:

And finally my finished painting for Visual Quest!

Mixed-media on 30″x30″ wood panel. Sorry the image quality is so poor. If only I knew a photographer.

So yeah, a fun month of creative flow! Let’s hope I can keep it going through September.

To help with that (and because I must have bumped my head again) I decided to try the 29 Faces Challenge. Yeah, basically I’m going to attempt to make 29 faces in 30 days. And that could happen. But you are also “supposed” to create a blog post each day with your Face. Well we all know that ain’t gonna happen. Maybe a weekly update. Or Instagram! That’s doable.

Since I didn’t find out about this fun little project until today, I submit the self-portrait sketch I did on Friday. This is for the first project in my Printmaking class.

28 to go.

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The ‘Other’ Printmaking

August 13, 2013

Mid-August update. I’m old so I’ve been busy painting* and waiting for school to start. For all of us. Erin has made the switch from The Phoenix School summer camp to Star camp at her new elementary school. Big changes for a big girl! Kyle is all registered for 11th grade, though I think he […]

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Big Fun at the Fair!

July 17, 2013

So we consulted our calendars and cross-referenced the 7-day weather forecast and determined that this past Monday was the best day to go to the California State Fair. Chris left work early, I picked up Erin from Summer Camp, hats were donned, and off we went. First up: Fine Art Exhibit to check out my […]

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