Saturday, January 29, 2011

A journey by sea and land, five hundred miles, is not undertaken without money. ~Lewis Hallam

Of course it was more like 1300 miles and not really across the sea but you get the drift. Yikes! These boxes are expensive but the paintings traveled well and arrived unharmed and safely delivered to Peterson-Cody Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico by FedEx ground.
The boxes are "Strongboxes" and can be purchased from Airfloat Systems. They have a liner that is as puncture resistant as 3/4 inch plywood and foam padding all around that  you can custom cut to fit the work.
The paintings were wrapped in Dartek film that I first learned about from the Mobile Museum of Art when they shipped one of my paintings back to me wrapped in the stuff. It doesn't stick to the varnish in my experience. It can be purchased from University Products.
I taped the boxes shut with EXTREME amounts of Scotch "Extreme Tape", loaded them in the back of my Mazda and headed off to the local FedEx office, where I turned them over to a very nice man and held my breath for the next four days.
Shipping work across country is not for the faint of heart!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What the Heck am I Trying to Say?

I recently re-worked my artist statement, a challenge for all visual artists, but an important process as well. If we, as artists don't know what we're talking about who does?

I thought it would be an interesting exercise to relate specific pieces to different parts of my artist statement to see where I'm exploring what topic. I've done it here with work specifically that will be in the Figurative Group Show at Peterson-Cody Gallery in Santa Fe, NM, February 2011.

Using the human figure and still life objects I consider intangibles, challenging myself to capture small nuance in relationships, life, death,  and love. Much of my work is about transitions, whether it is a midlife juncture or coming of age as a universal truth. These paintings are decisions reflected and possibilities contemplated

(As in "Near at Hand", I'm dealing with symbolic walls that can appear in relationships or in "On With the Show" I was thinking about the continuum of time, the birds are flying into and out of the painting suggesting that the show must go on, WE must press on, as surely as time passes this too shall pass.)  
 I’m intrigued by the idea of a work of art looking like an old master’s painting but with a contemporary edge, as an artist I want to be a filter for the time I live in. 

(In "The Ascent", the figures are very classically rendered however the ladder is a modern aluminum one, or "Call of Duty", which has the feel of a Renaissance portrait but the imagery from Superman comics, my red haired model in "Dreams of Flying" brings to mind a Botticelli Venus but with the addition of the airplane there is no mistaking her for one) 
I’m frequently inspired by fairy tales, superheroes, or works of literature, and reexamine them in a contemporary way. Mythical characters may become a device to explore our responses to modern day situations, for example Superman becomes a symbol for the mighty dreams each of us hold close to our chests. 

(As in "The Call of Duty" and "If Music Be the Food of Love, Play On" which has it's title from the first line of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night play)
Recurring themes, of flying and birds, have been turning up in my work, kind of a surprise personal imagery and that I was not conscious of adding. My paintings are so long in the works that I'm delighted when I discover a surprise such as this.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

American Art Collector Magazine previews the February Peterson-Cody Gallery Group Figurative Show

I'm delighted to be showing in Santa Fe! 

Be on the look out for American Art Collector February 2011 issue! They should be in bookstores near the end of January.  I'll post works by the other artists to be included as soon as I know what's up. My other paintings to be included in the show, besides the paintings listed in the article, are "Near at Hand" 47x32 and "On with the Show" 30x22. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"The Activist" ~ The Incognito Project

This model is a mother of four boys, a business woman, dancer and artist. The ribbons represent causes that are dear to her. The painting is 24x18 and oil on panel.
I loved her idea of being stripped bare of everything except symbols of those things she is most passionate about, the idea came to her in a dream.  
Yellow is for missing children, pink for breast cancer awareness or breast feeding mother's rights,  orange is world hunger awareness, purple is domestic violence prevention, sky blue is child abuse prevention and ADD awareness.
She is also wearing her wedding ring and a cross given to her by her father. She has been married to her "soul mate" for 15 years and feels that Christianity is a big part of her being. Many thanks Laura for your participation in this project!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Bubble Wrap and Scarlett O'Hara

The studio exploded yesterday when a crew from Gadsden Museum of Art returned my work from the show. Today, basically I cleared a path and kept working.

I felt like Scarlett O'Hara off and on all day as I thought, "I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow."
On the easel and nearing completion is the next painting from The Incognito Project, "The Activist".  
  Here's a sneak peek at the painting about a week ago. 
 This is my progress as of today. It was a good day to paint!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Go West Young Man! woman

It's announced,  my new gallery affiliation with Peterson-Cody Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico!
The Gallery is located in the West Palace Arts District. Check out the January Art News Letter from the gallery.
From the gallery's website: "The West Palace Arts District is a diverse group of museums and galleries located between the Museum of Fine Arts and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum on West Palace Avenue and Johnson Street in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Representing over 250 nationally recognized artists working across all media and subjects, the West Palace Arts District Galleries offer collectors spacious and accessible venues to view the best in contemporary American art and fine crafts.

With more than 40 restaurants and 6 hotels in a 3 block radius, the West Palace Arts District is a "must visit" art destination for the experienced and first time collector."

Group Figurative Show Feb. 4th, 2011 to Feb. 28th, 2011

Opening reception Feb. 4th, 2011 

My sensible side says that with all the traveling I did for shows last fall I should stay chained to the easel but my ramblin' bones want to go out for the opening...

Monday, January 3, 2011

"If Music Be the Food of Love, Play On" Finalist in International Artist Magazine

I'm honored to have my painting in International Artist Magazine's Dec/Jan 2011 issue Challenge No. 60, People and Figures Competition. In bookstores now.
This painting will be at Peterson-Cody Gallery (Santa Fe, NM) in February as part of their Figurative Group Show.

“If Music Be the Food of Love, Play On”
oil on canvas over panel, 32x39
Excerpt from the magazine:

The idea for “If Music Be the Food of Love, Play On” came to me while on a walk beside a stream near my house. I have watched this clearing as it changes color and light with the seasons and time of day. No matter the situation it always looks inviting. I began to imagine a band of happy travelers stopping there to rest and enjoy a moment living in the moment. I wanted to do a painting that hearkened to a simpler time, a time of wine and roses, a halcyon days break from the daily storms of modern life. The title is the first line of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”. 

I did a few thumbnail sketches and collected props and costumes including an antique accordion that belonged to my husband’s grandfather. I imagined the clearing as the environment and background for the painting. My son, his fiancee and my daughter were home for spring break so I had my models, the weather was perfect and the red buds were in bloom. I took many digital photographs of the models dancing, playing instruments and in various poses and groupings. I just happened to catch on film my daughter-in-law teasing my son by stealing his hat, and knew that the mischievous look on her face would be in the final painting. I spent a week editing the photos and creating different compositions. I added my daughter in the foreground from another shot, as well as the empty stool which we’d taken out to the clearing. 

I printed photo enlargements to use as reference and brought my daughter in for clarification of certain areas like the hands. I work on canvas stretched over a hollow core door and gessoed 3 times. I drew a light pencil sketch followed by permanent sepia pen. I then washed burnt umber over the landscape area of the painting and a cool purple blue over the sky area as an under painting. I began by painting the background first and then the figures, taking care with value, color, soft edges and correct anatomy. I paint over the entire piece two or three times making corrections and adjustments each time. Finally I glaze certain areas of the painting to emphasize brush strokes and push certain areas back. The painting took about 6 weeks working daily. After the painting dried for 3-4 months I varnished it using Winsor Newton Conserv-Art gloss varnish.


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