Sunday, July 24, 2011

Various Comments on my Work and Run Over by Chocolate

Over the years I have received a lot of interesting comments on my work. Artists and patrons have often compared me to Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Cezanne. One artist saw the influence of 20th century colorist Pierre Bonnard on my work. Many artists have seen the influence of Claude Monet. These are artists I greatly admire but I think my work is unique to me and I have developed a style that has a tremendous amount of visual strength through my own layering process.

My favorite comment that I hear a lot from admirers is that my paintings make them want to touch them. I am especially pleased with my complex surfaces that can only be understood through visual language that the average person does not study. I think the comment that they want to touch the surface indicates the visual communication has been successful.

I have received a lot of praise from patrons over the years but my favorite comment came from a woman that bought my painting at the Three Rivers Art Festival in Pennsylvania. She sent me an email and said she made her husband buy that painting for her and when they divorced it was the only thing they fought over. I'm sorry her marriage didn't work out but what a compliment!

I love chocolate. I don't know any people that don't like chocolate. My favorite kinds are the chewy kinds - especially chocolate with caramel centers. I am quite the sugar addict. What do you call someone that has been run over by too much chocolate? Tootsienami!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I have to Cover Them and I Hope the Multi taskers are not...

My studio is a room that my brother-in-law attached to our house many years ago. Then he got married and had five kids and we haven't seen him since! Just joking. Anyway, I can see my easel from my bedroom and I used to study my paintings from a distance during the day. Now they have become so complicated and intense that I have to cover them when I am not working on them. Every change in light makes such a difference and I can't work on them all day long. Now I understand why the famous 20th century artist Pierre Bonnard would turn them to the wall so he wouldn't become too involved in them. I tell my students that when you are analyzing every square inch and making decisions on whether or not that section looks right and whether or not it looks right with the rest of the work then you are into heavy duty art. It doesn't matter whether it is looks like something or not, there are zillions of visual decisions to be made. What a fascinating experience!

I am becoming more and more concerned with other drivers. I think it much more likely to be in an accident these days than when I was young. I am now much aware of what is going on around me. I just hope that all the multi taskers that eat, talk on a cell phone, watch a movie, read, and check their hair in the mirror are not multi stupid.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Looking for the Light and So is an Old Piece of Cheese

I have become acutely aware of how different lights effect my paintings. There are so many colors that the light is extremely important. I have learned over the years how to set up so that I know the light will be most helpful when painting. The number one reason I don't paint outdoors is the tremendous change in appearance of the painting when brought in doors. My paintings aren't meant to hang out doors so I have to paint in my studio. I have day light florescent lighting but the light is still completely different at different times of day. I have learned I can't paint in the afternoon because the painting is tremendously flattered. I can't paint at night because the warm colors practically disappear. I paint in the morning. The light in the studio is the best for the final result that will look right where I want them to be- on someone's wall.

I have always teased my husband about his looks. I think he is very handsome and is what many people would call a "pretty boy". He joked about that at work and now they all call him PB. He doesn't think much of his looks and says he looks especially bad now with age. I tell him he has just matured over the years and still looks great. He says an old piece of cheese matures but it still stinks!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sometimes I Play and am I being Silly to Ask?

I work very hard at my paintings and usually have a clear objective for each one but sometimes I just want to play with the colors and see what comes up. My most recent upload is an example of one of those works. I started with a flower motif and then let the colors and textures happen until I thought it was a good visual experience. There is nothing like oil paint to me. Sometimes I enjoy working in pastels but my medium is oils. I hope I die with a brush in my hand. Painting is my life.

Am I being silly to ask if Congress could greatly reduce the debt if everything were cut a small amount? That way no one could scream about being cut out. I'm sure even the military has some pork that could be reduced. I certainly am not advocating any harm to defense but I'll bet there are some things that could be cut out without putting our country at risk. Seems to me this would be the thing to do in a Democracy, but I am not a politician, just a worried individual.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Final Brush Marks and Frances is just Too Nice

It is always so hard to know when to quit on a painting. I have learned over the years to let them alone for a while before deciding if they are really done but it is so difficult to stop. Often times I feel like I should push one a little more before I quit but that usually just creates more problems to solve and perfection is always out of reach. Since my work is representational people that don't understand abstract art are always trying to get me to explain it to them. I tell them that I can't explain what all artists do. I believe the only way people that only understand art as a picture of something can understand how all art is abstract is for them to take it up themselves. Whether the artwork has specific shapes from nature or not there are a multitude of decisions to be made based on how it looks as a work of art created by one personality.

Just put the last marks on one I am pleased with. It's not exactly what I want but it is close.

Our dog Frances is just too nice. The other day we saw her about two feet from her dish. She was calmly watching a cat eat her dog food. She didn't bark or go after the stray cat. I guess the natural animosity between dogs and cats is not always true. She is still periodically staring at the neighbor's dogs as they bard like mad at her. She never barks back or bares her teeth at them. Sweet old dog.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

It is Paint and Can We be Friends?

When I was young I didn't understand the phrase artistic license. I thought that it was an excuse for the inability to reasonably reproduce things. Like many young artists I was working on my drawing and painting skills and had no idea what artists that understood the phrase meant by it. When a teacher would try to explain to me that all art is an abstraction from life I would smile politely and think the teacher was either nuts or making up some nonsense.

Now I talk exactly the same way to students and I don't think I have flipped. When critics of Manet's portrait of Emile Zola said the pants didn't look like pants he said in so many words they are not pants. It's paint! Regardless of whether the painting looks like something or not it is an arrangement by the artist that is in some way an abstraction from life. My work is a visual arrangement of my feelings for the natural world and I am thrilled when people understand the "license" in my paintings.

My old dog was running back and forth at our fence while the very small dogs next door chased back and forth barking like mad. Now our dog, Frances, likes to just go to the fence and walk around a little. The dogs still bark like mad and bare their teeth. Frances just looks at them and never barks. If she could talk I'll bet she would say, "Can't we just be friends?"

Monday, July 4, 2011

Glad to Sell another Print and Adult ADD versus CRA

I was so please to sell a print of one of my nude drawings. They are very special to me. I put a lot of energy and linear accents into my nudes. I have sold a number of prints on FAA but this is the first print of a nude other than a couple of greeting cards. The human form is beautiful and I think it is sad that some people are offended by the nude in Art. As I tell my students, anyone can make a poor, stiff, lifeless drawing of the human form. The mark of a true, accomplished artist is one that can make it look alive!

I write things down. I make lists. I put dates on the calendar and I still miss things. I'll never forget the day the dentist called up and asked if it was possible to change my son's appointment which was on the next day. I told them I couldn't change it and then I forgot to take him! I don't think I will ever live that one down. I jokingly told my husband I have adult ADD(attention deficit disorder). He said he has CRA(Can't Remember Anything) but he isn't sure because he forgot.