Fall is my favorite season. The richness of this dynamic and colorful season excites and inspires me. I am drawn to the warm colors; the vibrant oranges, reds, yellows, golds, and burgundies which automatically emerge on my palette. However, it isn’t just because the explosion of brilliant colors compete for our attention and demand we stop in appreciation of this bold passage to the next season. I am drawn to this season because of what it represents and how it effects me emotionally. Autumn is nature’s last shout-out. It signifies letting-go, acknowledging change, and that once again, it is time to move on. It reminds us that life is impermanent so live in the present to appreciate the every-day things that are so easily ignored. Embrace the here and now, slow down, retreat indoors and reconnect with ourselves which is the perfect prescription for an artist.
“Anticipate the Unanticipated” is the name of my featured artist show at the gallery this month. In every piece, acrylic mediums were used to create layers of heavy texture. One of my artistic goals this year is to explore materials and break old habits of utilizing the same products. I believe the mediums I have been using have expanded my visual vocabulary in ways I had not expected and made each painting a new directional discovery.
I began the paintings without a thumbnail sketch, or a firm idea of an outcome. Laying down the pastes and mediums intuitively, I then allowed each layer to dry thoroughly.
Once I started painting, I applied layers of color and enjoyed seeing the glazes create unexpected color while catching the edges of the texture. Many of my paintings have clearly delineated shapes creating profuse texture which I further enhanced with iridescent and interference paint.
After a few of these paintings I really did anticipate the unanticipated.
My show runs through November 3. Hope you can make it!
I intended on writing an action-packed, exciting blog about brushes but then we had a pet emergency and I decided to write about my studio dog, Lily.
I didn’t have a dog until I was in my 30’s. Keisha was a rescue and we are convinced she was part coyote, part Schnauzer. This was before I had the luxury of having my own studio space. Keisha watched me silk-paint in the kitchen, pastel in the living room, and mosaic-away in the garage. Where ever I pursued my artistic directions, she was there. Loyal, watchful, and ever- approving.
Before Keisha passed, we added Huey, the first pug, to our family. Now, Keisha had a pal to intently watch every medium with fascination. They were especially curious when I started hauling Goodwill treasures home and began painting furniture. Never discouraging, never critiquing. Theirs wasn’t a roaring silence of disapproval of my creations. No, they looked upon my art with complete awe. I saw it in their eyes!
After Ned passed, we rescued a 6 year old pug, Lily. Lily has proven to be the most avid art aficionado of all our dogs. She has been my faithful studio dog, muse and companion for the last five years. Always at my side, she is happiest in the studio because her job of protector is simple: I stay put in one room.
Yesterday, I noticed her acting oddly so we took her to the vet clinic where she had lab work, an EKG, and x-rays. Lily was diagnosed with third degree heart blockage. After an exhaustive search for an available Cardiologist and one who actually had a Pacemaker, Lily had the procedure done that afternoon. With all certainty, Lily’s life was saved yesterday.
There are service dogs, winery dogs, office dogs, security dogs, guide dogs, military dogs, therapy dogs, reading assistance dogs, seizure assistance dogs, and studio dogs. Dogs are one of God’s greatest gifts to man and they bring an unending source of joy to their owners. They amuse us, and lift our spirits when we are down. Last night, while Lily was recuperating at the hospital I painted until late in the night to take my mind off the uncertainty of her surgery. My studio felt terribly empty without her watching my every move and cheering me on with those deep brown eyes.
Recently, I painted the largest painting I had ever attempted. With the canvas measuring 48 X 72, I knew there would be challenges but also benefits of working with large brushes and not feeling cramped by a small substrate.
I was delighted to find the experience was not nearly as intimidating as I expected. There were considerations such as mixing enough paint to cover an area before the acrylics began to set up, finding a large enough place to hang the canvas while painting, and having enough room to step back to assess my progress.
What I discovered in the process was freedom. I was able to put my entire arm into the brush strokes. The size was no more intimidating as starting on a small blank canvas. I found working on the composition was actually easier than on a small substrate. The freedom of larger brushes and more canvas allowed me to not get caught up in tight details.