Somewhere during the past couple of months, I decided to revisit painting abstracted flowers. I was prompted to do this series when I was looking at paintings that weren’t working for me. That isn’t unusual, I often cover over paintings and create new compositions. But the idea of painting flowers sprang up when I decided to cover the old paintings primarily with black paint, leaving a hint of the underpainting, and creating a wonky vase of long-stemmed flowers.
I have painted flowers in a variety of iterations, and I always enjoyed what I created. These are some of the older paintings that have long since sold.
Fast forward to my current series. Many of these new paintings are 6×6 inches and were created for the Small Works show at Salem on the Edge. They proved to be popular, and most of the flower pieces sold within the first few days of the show. It was such a heartwarming affirmation of doing this new body of work. Here is a peek behind the scenes of my process:
And then photos of some of my new work:
There are a few abstracted flower paintings on my website, which you can find by clicking this LINK.
Because I loved these flowers so much, I had notecards printed so I can write thank you notes to those who purchase my paintings.
It’s that time of year when galleries like to offer smaller pieces of art at a price point that people can purchase original art as gifts — I have always loved this idea, whether for gifts, or for personal collections. I am excited to be sending small pieces of art to my three galleries: Guardino Gallery(in Portland), Salem on the Edge (in Salem), and RiverSea Gallery (in Astoria). I thought that rather than just sharing photos of the art that I have created for these three galleries, I would first share a bit of the background in creating these pieces.
When I teach my Oil and Cold Wax Abstracted Landscapes class at Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, we do warm ups throughout the week using Arches Oil Paper, which we tape (using painter’s tape) onto large sheets of butcher paper or newsprint. I give verbal prompts for things to do on these small squares of oil paper and while giving these prompts, I also follow along and do the prompts on my own squares of paper. By the end of the class, we all have several completed paintings as well as several fun starts for finishing in the future. Here are some examples of the taped down pieces of paper at various stages.
This year, I took several of the sheets of taped down paper pieces, and started tackling the small squares one at a time, adding layers, marks, creating compositions, and resolving issues, working on them while they were still taped down with six paintings per sheet of paper.
Once I resolved the paintings, I removed the tape (WATCH FOR MY NEXT BLOG POST WHERE I SHARE WHAT I DID WITH THE PEELED UP TAPE!), trimmed the edges of the paper where the tape had been, and then glued the painting onto a cradled wood panel. I applied a final layer of cold wax and varnished the edges. By the time I had completed this process, I had 26 paintings, six were 5×5 inches, and the rest were 6×6 inches.
Fast forward to today. All of the pieces have been waxed, buffed, varnished, wired, titled, photographed, inventoried, and boxed. Deliveries will begin happening over the next couple of weeks. Whew. Here are some of the completed pieces heading to my three galleries.
In addition to the 21 pieces headed to the galleries, priced at $100 each, I have five of the 5×5 inch pieces available on my website. The 5×5 inch pieces are $70 (and include shipping).
NOTE: The beautiful graphic painting at the beginning of this post, was created by Salem artist, Sloy Nichols.
My show, Turns of the Kaleidoscope, officially opened on Friday night, May 7, from 5-8 pm. It was part of Salem’s First Friday Art Walk and the weather was perfect. With more people vaccinated and things slowly opening, there was a steady stream of friends and art lovers throughout the evening.
The evening was magical and I’m sharing a smattering of photos that give a peek into the celebration of the opening of my show (which runs through May 29th).
Yesterday I dropped off 17 new plaster, oil, and cold wax paintings at Salem on the Edge for my show Turns of the Kaleidoscope. The pieces range in size from 12×12 inches, up to 30×60 inches, all created to be hung on 48 feet of wall space! When I began working on this series, I had trouble imagining filling that long, blank wall. But I did it with one painting to spare. (If you happen to see the show during the month of May, ask Melanie to see the 36×48 inch piece, Life’s Distractions and Enticements.)
Rather than blather about creating the pieces, I’m going to share my process with a series of photos, after all, this is a post about an art show. Here we go . . . .
Painting should call out to the viewer . . . and the surprised viewer should go to it, as if entering a conversation.
Roger de Piles, 1676
The dust has hardly settled and I’m already looking ahead to 2021, although I’ve got a jump start on a couple of projects while it is still 2020. But first, my show at RiverSea, Emotional Alignments, gets hung next week and the opening reception will be held on Saturday, January 9, from 12-8 pm during the Astoria Art Walk. I’ll be at the gallery that evening from 5-8 pm if you happen to be out and about.
Most people would probably wait until after a show has opened before starting work on another show, but I’m not most people. So forward I go, taking full advantage of making art during a pandemic. Early preparations have begun for a May, 2021 show at Salem on the Edge. Very preliminary preparations, lining up which boards I want to use, getting them painted, plaster applied, sanding them outside (weather permitting), and then getting them sealed and ready for applying oil and cold wax. As of this writing, I have no idea what my theme or composition will be – that will come in the new year.
In my next post, I’ll share about another project I’m currently working on . . . . .
I came very close to signing a lease on a new studio this week. It was bigger, in a great location, and an affordable price. I’m in the middle of preparing for two major shows in 2021, so I was feeling cramped in my current home painting studio and felt like more wall space would help reduce my anxiety.
It was election day that I looked at the space and I was initially excited about the possibilities. Then I came home and really began thinking about it. I would need to cover the floor with canvas and the walls with plastic. Did I really want to paint in a Dexter kill room? The lighting wasn’t great, but that was solvable. One thing after another and I began to feel more and more unsettled. Or maybe it was just election jitters. And then late into the evening, I knew that this new studio space was not the right fit for me. I conveyed my decision to my most ardent supporter, Howard, and at around 11:30 pm he popped out of bed and walked into my studio, turned the lights on, and just stood there. What can we do to make this space work better for you?
A couple of ideas emerged from our midnight chatter. My shelf of vintage dolls and doll heads would need to come down so I could appropriate that space for studio storage (what!?!). I would move my bookshelf so that that wall space could be converted to an area to hang a painting and make my painting supplies more accessible. But probably the best idea of the night: Howard would build me a movable wall so I could hang and work on two additional paintings.
The next day, Howard headed to the hardware store, bought supplies, and spent the rest of the day in the garage building me my movable wall. I’m in love! Not only with that guy in the garage, but with my new wall.
I took down all of my dolls.
I moved my bookshelf (with a little purging) to the closet and moved all of my boards at various stages of completion to the top shelf where the dolls used to live.
My space isn’t perfect, but it is sure a lot more useful. And I still need to use our upstairs landing for storing larger boards and for boards that are drying. Boards are still drying in our bathroom on top of the bathtub, but it is better than moving into a space that wasn’t the right place or the right time.