Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Urban Canyon

Urban Canyon
Oil with a palette knife on cradled artist board
12" x 9" x 1.5"

I've been wanting to paint some more city scenes of Boston and last Thursday in my painting class, Frank gave me a photo he had taken in downtown Boston. I had been wondering what I was going to paint that night, and well, problem solved. His photo had a lot of great qualities-good light, space and perspective, and windows galore. I think I may have gotten caught up in all those windows, but it was great fun. A palette knife challenge for sure.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Finding your voice

I admit. I love American Idol. I've watched every season. It's one of only a few shows that I rearrange my activities around in order to watch. Just recently, I've made an interesting connection to art. Kind of an "AHA" moment.

Every year, the judges critiques include comments like, "I don't get a sense of who you are or who you want to be as a recording artist." It's clear that many of the contestants just do what they think the judges will like or want them to do. My favorite contestant this year is Chrystal Bowersox. I love her because she is not the usual contestant you see every year. She does not seem to give in to all the hype, glamour, or apparently the pressure to do whatever the judges advise her to do. This past Wednesday night, Ryan said to her, "Kara is telling you to put down the guitar, Simon is telling you to keep the guitar, who do you listen to?" and she replied without missing a beat, "me." End of story.

I believe that the same is true for art. It's so easy to get caught up into what you think galleries are looking for, what people tell you is marketable, or what will sell quickly. But if you don't paint what you enjoy, what's the point? I am a firm believer in painting what you're excited about or can't wait to create. I think that will show in your work and soon others will feel it too.

I recently saw this quote on Katherine A. Cartwright's blog "Don't try to paint a good landscapes. Paint canvases that will show how interesting the landscape looks to you-your pleasure in the thing." And another that said, "don't paint the pig, paint the squeal." Those really resonate with me as I struggle to find my voice and express who I want to be as an artist. Gotta go find that squeal...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Who Does She Think She Is?

I just love that title!
I went to an event at the Norfolk library tonight to view this movie which was followed by a panel discussion. It is extremely well done film, directed by Pamela Tanner Boll, that follows a group of diverse woman struggling to fit their artistic passion into their busy family life. I found it thoughtful, inspirational, and extremely moving. If you can find the full movie (about an hour 20 minutes long) I would highly recommend seeing it. Please let me know if you do and what you think. Click here to see a trailer.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

New City View

City View 3
Oil with a palette knife on cradled artist board
8" x 8" x .75"
Click on the image to enlarge

I've been painting some more city views from photographs I had taken in NYC. The architecture and juxtaposition of all of the different building styles is so fascinating. I like combining different buildings into my own composition, like this one.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Third palette knife value study

Franny and Boggie
Oil with a palette knife on cradled artist board
8" x 8" x 1.5"
Click on the image to enlarge

Cindy lent me this great photo of her parents to paint. I just loved their poses as well as the classic car. This time I decided to leave the white border and add the date that matched the photograph. These black and white value studies have been a great learning experience. I will probably do some more, but for now, I think I'll go back to color for awhile.

Here is what Cindy wrote about her memory of this photo:

"At the time the picture was taken, my parents would have been 40 years old.  Elderly, in the eyes of a child!  The reference for this painting was taken along the road to Bristol, New Hampshire, before any highways were built.  With 6 people in the car, it was a long trip. My mother always packed a lunch and we stopped somewhere “scenic” to eat.   What I remember most about these trips is my question to my father:  “how much longer, daddy?” and his reply, “over the next hill!”  

Thursday, March 11, 2010

It's like an artist's version of Oscar night

Last night I attended our monthly Foxboro Art Association meeting looking forward to the evening's scheduled demonstrator, Eli Cedrone. Her paintings are so inspiring.

But during the first part of the meeting they planned to announce the ribbon winners for the current Spring Member's show. The room we hold our meetings in is the same room where they hang the paintings for the shows. What a wonderful display of talent. I am always so impressed. Well, I can't even tell you my delight and surprise when I heard my name called as the winner of an Honorable Mention ribbon in the Oil/Acrylic category. I've never won a ribbon before (and was so glad there were no speeches required. Ha!) Here is the painting that won called Afternoon in the City.

But wait, there's more.

When the announcement for the Best In Show was read, well that was my name too. I can't even explain how surprised, delighted, and absolutely thrilled I was as I accepted the beautiful light colored teal ribbon. You would have had to have been there to see my face. "You've got to be kidding, right?" Here is the painting that won called Abstract #1.
I'm so proud. What a wonderful honor.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Happiness is...

Mini Me Dolls
Oil with a palette knife on cradled artist board
10" x 10" x 1.5"

This was painted from a photo that my friend Robin had posted on her facebook page. I just loved it. They look so happy with their new bride dolls that look just like them. And I think they must have just gotten their hair done that day to match their new dolls. So cute.

And here is what Robin had to say about her picture:

"I think the dolls might have been gifts in our Easter baskets because my sister and I are wearing the Easter outfits (minus the hats and gloves) that my mother made for us that year. Mine had an apple appliqued on the bodice and my sister's had different colored triangles along the waistband. I actually remember more about the dresses than I do the dolls, interestingly enough, although we do appear to be thrilled with them."
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