original art

Street Scenes

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As I reflect on this year’s art explorations, one of the experiences that stands out is the group of paintings completed at the very end of the 100 Day Project. To close out the project, I played with a series of Street Scenes, painted in a new way, with a very blue color palette.

"Street Scene" 6" x 6" acrylic and color pencils on paper.

"Street Scene" 6" x 6" acrylic and color pencils on paper.

It was the painting I posted on the 82nd day of the project that inspired me to create this little mini series. Using black paint, I had made some quick lines and marks to start it off… but then I had absolutely no idea how it was going to develop. Totally by accident, I stumbled upon an image of the Moroccan village of Chefchaouen. The lines in the photo were unbelievably close to the lines of the undeveloped painting sitting before me! And I loved the idea of having fun with that color palette… blues and orange!

Three Street Scenes at different stages of development

Three Street Scenes at different stages of development

So, during the last nine days of the project, my focus was on painting more images inspired by the blue walled streets of Chefchaouen.

These works took me down a path I never would have traveled if I had continued art-making as usual, without the months of exploration. I'm thrilled to have given myself the opportunity to take this intermission, to explore new ideas, and create works on paper. So curious to see how these experiences "color" the work I do moving forward.

At the time, I wondered if I would end up painting more Street Scenes at some point, larger in size and on canvas. During my recent trip to France, I took photos of street views wherever I went, just in case I one day decided to create similarly focused paintings. Of course, they would inspire a different color palette. I don’t have any plans to do so at this time but the creative door is always open.

Wisdom of Kabir

A couple of weeks ago, I began a new mini series as part of a seven day Instagram art challenge established by the wonderful, Tara Leaver. I decided to use the week to step back into playing with canvas after a half year intermission of just creating works on paper. After considering a few other project ideas, I chose to paint 6” x 6” acrylic paintings, first prepared with cut and frayed canvas cloth, and each one featuring a short quote from the 15th century mystic and poet, Kabir.

The process combines the Ancient Wisdom and text of the Transcriptions series along with the use of cloth in the Canvas on Canvas paintings.

The prepared canvases before they are painted.

The prepared canvases before they are painted.

This project was perfect to get me back into my flow again and reconnect with stretched and raw canvas… by cutting it, shaping it, and stringifying it before any paint touches the surface. (In case you’re wondering, stringifying is not a word but it perfectly describes what I love to do with raw canvas.)

“The Release” 6” x 6” mixed media on canvas

“The Release” 6” x 6” mixed media on canvas

Since creating the six small canvases for the mini challenge, I’ve completed two more and I'm confident I'll be adding to the Ancient Wisdom series with larger pieces. I’ve also begun to collect the words of those who have touched the hearts of generations through the centuries… Rumi and Hafez to name a couple. I'm looking forward to seeing what unfolds from here.

The Ancient Wisdom Minis can be found at the Minis gallery on my website.

And… Check Out the art created by the other participants of the 7 day mini series. Tara Leaver did a great job of posting the work on her blog.

A Frustrating Day in the Studio

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I don’t have too many frustrating days in the studio. I guess you can say, I am spoiled. I’m used to getting an idea and playing with it, getting into a flow and experiencing the process as the guidance comes easily and the joy of creating fills the studio. But I had a day that was unlike any other.

My first effort just didn’t come together at all! The focus was on a new way of working with canvas cloth. I was feeling excited and looking forward to waking up and exploring an idea I’ve thought about for a couple of years. This was going to be the day I finally brought it into physical form. (no great expectation there!!)

After a couple of hours of nothing happening, I moved onto a variation on the original idea (plan B). It too was a no go. I could not seem to get anything off the ground. So I let it all go and went for a whole new focus, working on paper rather than canvas. (Plan C?) But, still wrestling with the earlier goal, I soon found myself returning to try out another approach.

What a yo-yo experience!! Although I seemed to have moved the project a step forward, once again the idea had no traction. Luckily, it was time to meet a friend for a walk. That forced me to step aside and step out of the studio. In preparing to leave the house, I suddenly came up with an ideal alternative project. It became easy to drop all the plans I had for the day and turn my attention to a totally different focus.

“The Merge” - a painting in process

“The Merge” - a painting in process

That night I prepared 5 canvases with cloth and was ready to begin painting the first in the series the next morning. It may have been a frustrating day but a new series was born and the steps I took and my willingness to keep trying became the stepping stones for work that will come together in the future.

The Explorations Mini Series

“Explorations” mini series, paintings on paper.

“Explorations” mini series, paintings on paper.

I began a new mini series on the first day of April… the “Explorations series.” This group of small paintings was inspired because of spring cleaning. After spending time clearing out my parent’s home, I came back to my house and immediately began to clean out drawers and cabinets.

One cabinet was filled with magazines. I don’t think I’ve ever thrown out a magazine. There must have been somewhere around 70 magazines in that cabinet. Many of them had been cut up and used when my daughter was younger, for collages and creative projects. It was time for that pile to go. They’ve been taking up space for years. But first I wanted to flip through the pages of each magazine… and as I did so, I was inspired to create one more project with them.

“Explorations” series in process.

“Explorations” series in process.

I began pulling out any page with an image or part of an image that I found interesting. The magazines went into the recycle bin and I ended up with a fairly good sized pile of pages to consider using in some way. Before I knew it, I had glued one or more pieces of an image onto eight 6” x 6” sheets of canvas paper. They were ready to be painted.

The Goal: for the attached magazine image to inspire and challenge me to create something new each day. The “Explorations” give me an opportunity to shake things up, experience a personal art exercise. and see where it might lead.

“Explorations #12” 6” x 6” mixed media on paper.

“Explorations #12” 6” x 6” mixed media on paper.

My original intention was to complete ten of these and then decide if I wanted to continue. But the day I posted the first one, I decided to join the 100 day project on Instagram and made a commitment to create 25 in the series.

Posts for the 100 day project and the “Explorations” can be found and followed on Instagram and on my Facebook artist page.

In the next blog-post, I will share more about the project.