mixed media painting

Small Bites

"Small Bites" 12" x 12" acrylic and cloth on canvas.

"Small Bites" 12" x 12" acrylic and cloth on canvas.

A dream became the inspiration for “Small Bites”… an original painting that is now part of my Canvas on Canvas series. First I prepared the piece of raw canvas by fraying the edges and cutting out holes in the cloth. I attached it to the stretched canvas and then it was time to take out the acrylics and brushes and choose some colors.

"Small Bites" in process. Choosing the color palette.

"Small Bites" in process. Choosing the color palette.

Choosing the color palette:

I only had a vague idea of the colors I would use. So, I began with one of my favorite starter color palettes: yellow oxide, titanium white, and Payne’s grey. (Oh, but since I have very little Payne's grey around, I'm using ivory black.) I love the way these colors mix together!

Now I had to choose the rest of the colors. I have a small collection of color cards that I’ve created and add to from time to time. I find it very helpful in choosing a color palette when I don't have one immediately in mind. I went back and forth on different color ideas for this one.

It took me a while to get comfortable with the reds I had chosen, but I really like the idea of stretching my “color comfort zone.” And by the time I was finished, I had grown much more comfortable with the reds in this color palette. (0f course, I did soften the intensity of the color, somewhat.)

Painting with the Kaddish

"Kaddish 1" 12" x 12" acrylic, paper, string, and cloth on canvas.

"Kaddish 1" 12" x 12" acrylic, paper, string, and cloth on canvas.

With the recent loss of my parents, it seemed the perfect time to create a painting with a focus on the Kaddish, a Hebrew prayer often referred to as the Mourner’s Kaddish. I have always loved the flow of rhythmic sounds as these Hebrew words are recited aloud, particularly in a group. There is a cadence to these sounds that becomes a shared journey.

Text strips prepared for “Kaddish 1”

Text strips prepared for “Kaddish 1”

First, I spent a day preparing strips of canvas cloth for the lines of text I would be using in the painting. I probably created enough strips to produce multiple paintings. Hence, the name Kaddish 1.

Detail of “Kaddish 1”

Detail of “Kaddish 1”

While working on Kaddish 1, I never had a clear vision of where it was going. The painting seemed to keep showing me what my next steps were in it’s development. It took some time before the design layout for the text strips became clear. You might be able to see how the strips are not laying flat, but each one has an area which is raised up (image down below). And… I have to say, I became quite jazzed at the idea of adding the three lines of text to the left side of the background canvas, after placing single rows of text on the other three sides.

For now, this painting will remain with me and won’t be available for purchase. But I do plan to do more like it.

Detail of “Kaddish 1”

Detail of “Kaddish 1”

Twas Brillig

“Twas Brillig” 24” x 30” Acrylic, canvas cloth, and paper on canvas.

“Twas Brillig” 24” x 30” Acrylic, canvas cloth, and paper on canvas.

Detail image of “Twas Brillig”

Detail image of “Twas Brillig”

Painting brings me joy. I love my time in the studio and the relationship I develop with each of my creations… but once and awhile I create something that significantly increases the joy. “Twas Brillig” did just that. It turned up the “Joy Meter” and I was in no rush to complete it. I found myself savoring every moment I spent playing with this canvas.

For years I have wanted to create a painting with a focus on Lewis Carroll’s, Jabberwocky. I have loved it since high school. In fact, in one of my art classes back then, we had to illustrate a children’s book for a painting and drawing class. I chose to illustrate The Jabberwocky. (Thank you, Mr. Foo)

Closeup of the attached book on “Twas Brillig”

Closeup of the attached book on “Twas Brillig”

I so enjoyed playing with the text of the poem as I incorporated Carroll’s unique and wonderful words into the constructed cloth book. I took my time developing the background of the stretched canvas that became the setting for the “book.” This one gave me an opportunity to explore with color and structure.

Detail image of “Twas Brillig”

Detail image of “Twas Brillig”

My original goal was to, in some way, allow the words of Lewis Carroll to spill from the book, as if the boundaries of the books could not contain it. I would love to do more canvases like this one. Playing with text as it pours from the painting surface. These are the types of images that keep coming up in my mind, calling to be created.

I enjoyed every moment I spent on this painting. And I can’t help but wonder if this one may be something of a bridge between the work that has come before and the artwork I will be creating, moving forward. I definitely approached the painting process differently than I might have in the past… and that had been my goal.

Here are the words of the first and last stanzas of the poem for those of you unfamiliar with Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll and for those who would enjoy a reread:

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.”

This painting is available for purchase. It has not yet been added to the online galleries but will be added very soon, along with several other recently completed works. For now, email me with any inquiries.

Asemic Writing

I loved creating this work on paper! When I produced this piece a couple of months ago, I felt like I had stumbled onto a wonderfully exciting creative adventure. I guess I was finally giving myself permission to explore an idea I’ve been wanting to play with for quite awhile. The idea was to include non-specific text in my artwork… to write without words. I’ve wanted to create the illusion of text without any specific meaning and then I learned it had a name: asemic writing.

According to Wikipedia and referenced on a number of other sites, asemic means "having no specific semantic content", or "without the smallest unit of meaning."

The use of asemic writing seems to be a natural progression for me after incorporating ancient languages into my paintings over the past few years. This is my first creative experience with asemic writing but definitively not my last. I am looking forward to exploring this further.

“We are all Connected”  6” x 9” mixed media on paper

“We are all Connected” 6” x 9” mixed media on paper

Mini Series

“Shivaya”

“Shivaya”

“Peace Kaddish”

“Peace Kaddish”

It all started when I was thinking of doing a “30 Paintings in 30 Days” challenge. The idea of creating a series of 6” x 6” paintings on canvas intrigued me. Back in April, I had done a small group of works on paper in that size.

So, when considering the challenge, I decided to begin a series of Mini Transcriptions. Although small, they require many of the same steps in the process as those of the Transcriptions series. I quickly learned that unless this was my only focus, it was unlikely to produce 30 in 30 days.

“Peace and Tranquility”

“Peace and Tranquility”

As I write this post today, the next issue of the Shared Easel Newsletter is almost complete and the seventh small painting is about to be finished.

I may not be doing too many more of these, but I do get a twinkle in my eye at the idea of returning to this size for future projects. For now, I have loved using the sewing machine to attach the pieces of canvas cloth. I adore the stringiness I can create with the hanging threads. And I am surprised that I have enjoyed working this small.

“May All Be at Peace”

“May All Be at Peace”

My goal for the month was to redesign the Shared Easel newsletter and produce the first issue using MailChimp. But first I had to learn how to work within MailChimp to create a newsletter template. Ugh!! I had just spent the summer learning how to create a website with Squarespace. Now I had to tackle another new platform.

I guess you can see why the idea of creating 30 Mini’s had to slip away. What I did realize was that these small paintings were perfect for balancing studio time with newsletter development.

Work in Progress

Work in Progress

Words of Tagore

Let_me_not_painting_detail.jpg

The words of Rabindranath Tagore are finding their way into my paintings. So far, I’ve created three mixed media paintings with a Tagore quote highlighted within the piece. I find his words wise and wonderful… and there will definitely be more of these paintings to come. In fact, I am in the process of creating the next one.

Rabindranath Tagore was an Indian poet and writer, born in Calcutta in 1861. He has a huge body of work and I’ve only recently begun to explore the beauty of his writing.

Inspired by the words of Tagore, I have begun to play with canvas, text, and paint in a textural way. Here are the three completed paintings, along with their respective quotes.

“Let Us Unite”  12” x 12” acrylic and mixed media on canvas

“Let Us Unite” 12” x 12” acrylic and mixed media on canvas

Let Us Unite

“Let us unite, not in spite of our differences, but through them. For differences can never be wiped away and life would be so much the poorer without them. Let all human races keep their own personalities, and yet come together, not in a uniformity that is dead, but in a Unity that is living.”

“One Door or Another”  12” x 12” acrylic and mixed media on canvas

“One Door or Another” 12” x 12” acrylic and mixed media on canvas

One Door or Another

“If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another door - or I’ll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present.”

Let Me Not

“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain but for the heart to conquer it. Let me not look for allies in life's battlefield but to my own strength. Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved but hope for the patience to win my freedom. Grant me that I may not be a coward, feeling your mercy in my success alone; but let me find the grasp of your hand in my failure.”

“Let Me Not”  12” x 12” acrylic and mixed media on canvas

“Let Me Not” 12” x 12” acrylic and mixed media on canvas