Sunday, April 29, 2007

Landscape below

Cavern 4
Mixed Media
Hi everyone. This is another piece in the cavern series. It's acrylic, gold leaf and oil. I'm looking forward to getting back to painting this series. I've taken a slight detour with some other painting - painting the living room walls. Boy, what a difference a coat of paint makes. I'm ready now to get back to the studio and work. Did you see the episode of Planet Earth on caves? It was amazing! Not only are the formations amazing but so was watching those guys base jump into the black hole. I want to know how they got out. They didn't show that part.
I'm excited about the release of Creative Colored Pencil Workshop. It should be in the stores any day now and those of you who have ordered it should be receiving it soon. When you get a chance to look at it please give us some feedback. We'd love to hear from you.
choose happiness,

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Reminder to Myself

On Thursday of this week, Carlynne and I gave up a studio day to go to Lakeland to do the final touch ups on the two butterflies that I did for Kaleidoscope, Butterflies in Flight. After finishing the paint repairs, we visited Carlynne's butterfly in Munn Park across from the Chemical and Citrus Bank where it is permanently displayed and looks very nice. One of mine will be auctioned off with the money going to help build the children's park.

On the way home, we stopped at the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland and were very fortunate to see two wonderful exhibits by two fabulous artists, Joyce Scott and Monica Naugle. Both could be called weavers of unusual materials. Joyce Scott is a beader and fiber artist who combines many other things into her wall hangings, jewelry and assemblages. Her work is very edgy and makes an important statement about racism and stereotypes. Monica Naugle weaves natural materials, such as thorns with metals and other objects into very fine sculptures and wall hangings. Being who I am, the colors and textures of these two exhibits made it very difficult not to touch.

Kudos to the Polk Museum for showing these two fine exhibits that might have been too controversial for some venues. We were both very impressed with the cultural atmosphere in Lakeland and Polk County. The public sculpture and the children's art on display upstairs at the museum are just two examples of the importance placed on art

We had a host of ideas that came to us, as we looked at the work of these two artists. On the way home as I drove, Carlynne jotted down notes for us to help remember what we wanted to do with the inspiration we had gained. (By the way, I like having a secretary). I was reminded that in the world of schedules and deadlines, I do not take time to look at art often enough, and this is very important to what I do. I have read most of Julia Cameron's books, starting with The Artists Way, and I agree with her that an "artist's date" is extremely important. I need to look at art, particularly art that is unlike my own, on a regular basis. It is so inspirational and just what I need when I am stuck for an idea.

Happy painting to you,
and peace soon.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

More on the beach.

Beach Series #4
14 X 14
Acrylic and Mediums on Canvas
Me again. I'm thrilled, I now know how to upload my work to blogger! (Thank you Carlynne, for the tutorial.) Please bear with me. I love technology but don't have as much time as I would like to learn how to use everything.
This is another in the Beach Series. I put the texture mediums on the primed stretched canvas and let them dry at least overnight. Then I start adding washes of fluid acrylic paint. I tilt the canvas in all directions and use a spray bottle of water to float the paint even more. I let each layer of paint dry before adding another. I try to keep the paint transparent as that shows off the textures to best advantage. I love the textures and I expect everyone to touch them. I also love the way the paint flows in and out of the mountains and valleys.
I'll be showing more of the Beach series and other texture pieces, so stay tuned and send us your comments.

I want to paint!

Hi Everyone,

Don't you just hate it when life interferes with painting? My husband and I are painting the bedroom and replacing the flooring. As excited as I am about that, I would rather be painting canvas than walls. Well, actually he is doing most of the work, but I am available whenever needed. The other thing is that my house is a mess because all the bedroom furnishings and our clothing are in the living room. Chaos can be a creativity killer. I am fortunate to have a studio, but the domino effect means that every room but the bedroom is holding temporarily homeless possessions. I cannot wait until everything is back in order and I am at peace enough to be working at full throttle.

I like my studio to be organized but that is very difficult, especially when you work in multiple media. There are always things that are not currently being used but are constantly being moved from place to place. I cannot get rid of anything because I might need it some day. However, I have found that when I can bring myself to throw things out or pass them on to someone else, I feel lighter and more in control of my life. Even though this is somewhat a psychological issue, those are important to most artists. The way we feel can dictate how well we work and what the finished product looks like. So, when this bedroom remodel is over, I am going to try to clean out my studio and get the rest of my environment in order. I'll let you know how that goes.

Peace to all,

Another Series

Homestead Grove 7
mixed media
I hope everyone had a very nice holiday weekend. I spent Sunday with family huddled around an outdoor fireplace. It's a tradition that we spend the day outdoors so we couldn't let a little cold weather stand in the way of that. Florida, Easter and fireplaces just don't seem to go together but here we are, only 4 days later and we have the a/c on because it's too hot. Ahhhh, back to normal.
So, the piece posted above is from - you guessed it - another series. All together there are 4 series going at once. That may seem like a lot but they are all related in some way. Two are about rocks and caverns and the other 2 are about the landscape and skies. All are about nature and textures. This particular piece is a landscape based on an avocado grove in south FL. I toned the canvas with red acrylic first then used gold leaf for the entire sky. With a palette knife I applied thick acrylic for the local colors on the trees and foreground and then finished with some oil paint on top. I've done several of these with this combination of media and some with Interactive acrylic on top.
The danger of working with mixed media is not the toxicity of the materials but remembering later what media I mixed on what canvas. I have to write this info down as soon as I'm done painting. I've reached the age of lists. It should be listed on life's time line along with the others like 'age of reason' - what age is that anyway? I didn't write it down.
Choose happiness,

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Happy Saturday

Hi everybody,

Nothing special going on, just wanted to say happy Saturday. If you're a painter enjoy doing something in the studio. If you're not you can still do something creative - putter in the yard (wanna come be creative in my yard?), bake something, make music, take a photo, meditate, color Easter eggs, who knows.

I also wanted to share a website with you if you haven't already seen it. Check out her blog. She has a huge list of categories and there's some wonderful topics to read about.

Have a wonderful day,

Friday, April 6, 2007

This is the first in the cavern series. It's acrylic - both the conventional and the new Interactive plus gold leaf on gallery wrap canvas. It's 18x36. I just love the flowing organic shapes and forms found in caves. I know these colors are not exactly what you see in caves but I also love reds and golds. Another group in this series is done on square canvas with texture added. Those are fun too. I'll put one of those up soon.
When I figure out the significance of these forms in my work I'll let you know. I've been thinking about this for a while because I'm still working with the series and so far it really doesn't seem to be any deeper than - I love the shapes. I'm afraid I'm not one of those artists that writes paragraphs of "art speak" that runs around in circles and doesn't really say much. I paint what I'm compelled to paint and for now that's cave formations. Hopefully someone else will respond to them and find them interesting too.
Have a great weekend everyone,

Hi All

Hi All,

Whenever I finish something, like the book or a workshop, I need to do something different. I think that is what's nice about working in more than one media. It enables you to work in a loose manner or tightly detailed, or chose one media or mix them. Carlynne seems to be the same way. For the book, we worked on paper, mostly realistically with lots of detail. As soon as the book went to press, we had to grab large brushes and move to canvas. That's when my beach series started and I have not grown tired of it yet. I still have more ideas about the way the water and sand interact. But I also have additional things I want to do with the texture in other natural subjects, such as rocks, caves, skies, florals, etc. I am working a lot with texture gels and we will be covering this in a workshop in June so watch for more information soon.

Peace and happy painting,

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Here is another of Kelli's Beach series. This is number 6. She'll be telling you a lot more about this series so look for a post from her soon. I wish you could feel it. I have a couple of her pieces in my office and I have to say I can't keep my hands off them. She did say it was okay to touch.
Later be on the look out for a very red painting. I'll post one of my cavern pieces.

Speaking of Workshop

I can't believe we haven't put this up before now. This is our book - Creative Colored Pencil Workshop! It will be released April 25 so it should be in the stores by the first of May. If you're a North Light Book Club member it will be the main selection in the May issue. We got an advanced copy of the book and it really was a thrill to finally see it in print. If you like mixed media take a look when it's out. We layered a variety of media with the colored pencils - watercolor, oil pastel, gouache, acrylic and I had to get something shiny in there so there's a project with silver leaf.

When I started working on this project I was of course nervous. I've never done something like this before and the work involved looked overwhelming at times but once Kelli and I got into a routine I really enjoyed the process. Check it out and let us know what you think. We've also got the next workshop planned. It's all about texture and that's coming up in June. We'll let you know some details soon.
Til next time,

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Interactive Acrylic Workshop and COMPUTERS!

Well I finally got to post. I'm using a different computer than I usually do. The other one nearly got thrown against the wall. %*&#@* I'm okay now - just had to get that out. Anyway, Kelli and I taught a workshop last Saturday. This is the painting that we had everyone do. It's from a photo I took in California. We had 11 people in the workshop so it was a nice size crowd and I think it turned out very well. They all seemed to be happy with it and that's our main concern. We want our students to not only learn something but have a good time too. What I found especially interesting is how different every one's paintings turned out. They all used the same 6 colors (Interactive Acrylic - great stuff) and we provided the line drawing for them to transfer to the canvas. The result was 11 completely different pieces. It's wonderful! Now that the workshop is done I have a couple of days off and it's studio time. I can't wait to unwrap my new canvas. There's another series brewing.
Enjoy the rest of your day,