Friday, August 28, 2015

Required Reading

I just had a little correspondence with Lee Kaloidis, as I'd mentioned him in my last post (love his work, and he's listed on my Artists and Inspiration page).  He brought my attention to two articles he'd written, both of which have links on his Artist's Statement page.  They are:
Artist Statements, Illustration, and Conceptual Art
Art and Apprehension
If they resonate with you, print them out and stick them up on your studio wall.  I was particularly intrigued by his discussion of spontaneity and improvisation in the first article; and by his articulation of that edge between intense involvement in process, and the kind of detachment necessary to move forward on your paintings.
Here is the final version of my "ad" for my upcoming show with Jeri Macdonald:

I am showing a pile of my wonky pattern grids (shown above on the left), and some 20"x20" pieces from the "Submerge" series.  Jeri is showing her encaustics (above right) as well as some of her large India ink on Yupo pieces. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Student Work from Abstract Painting in Vermont

Which was last week.  GREAT group, as usual.  And this workshop is small - twelve students - so we really get to know each other and spend social time as well as studio time. Next year's workshop will take place in Manchester, Vermont, as the new community library has a fantastic event space, filled with light (and air conditioning, I hope). 

Please do not re-post these images; they are student work, posted here anonymously.  If you post them elsewhere, they will appear to be my work, and as much as I'd like to take credit, it would be misleading.

This one I can say is a communal piece. We started by making marks, then passing the paper to the next person, who would make a very different mark.  It was fun, but not sure how productive.

This series was based on inspiration from the artist Claire B. Cotts.

This is part of a series based on inspiration from Lee Kaloidis, whose work I drool over.

Unfortunately, I did not get pictures of everybody's work, and some that I did take did not come out well.  So the above does not include work from all students.  Enjoy the eye candy!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Big Art

What is it with Big Art?  What is so compelling and exciting about seeing an idea wrought in an over-sized image?
Sean Scully

Cy Twonbly

Robert Motherwell

I mean, Sean Scully does STRIPES.  Lots of stripes.  BIG stripes.  They are gorgeous.  How much of the impact of those images has to do with scale?  Ditto Cy Twombly's vast canvases of scribbles and marks?  Why is it so exciting to see Motherwell painting with a long brush from a standing position?

Just my thought for the day.  I welcome your comments an insights.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Few More Collage Grids

I am in the middle of Abstract Painting In Vermont this week, and will post a few pictures of student work a bit later.  Meanwhile, here are a few more pieces that are a continuation of these pattern grids.  They are all 8"x8", and I will mount them on wood panel.  I will be exhibiting them for the month of September at the Crowell Gallery at the library in Newfane, VT.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Student Work from Online Classes

I am running two online classes - Extreme Composition, and Unlocking the Secrets of Color - simultaneously now, and notice some pretty awesome work regarding color.  In the color class we've done color grids and color collages.  In Extreme Composition we're doing color fields.  Take a look:

color field

color grid

color field

monochromatic color collage

color grid

color field

color grid

color grid

color field
These are all from students, posted anonymously.  Pleas don't re-post, as they will turn up looking as if they are my work, and I don't take credit for them. 

I've been thinking of offering a more advanced color class online - Advanced Color Studies - in which we go deep into color, beyond basic color theory/practice and color schemes.  Unlocking the Secrets of Color will be available as a downloadable class sometime this fall, so this is the last time I'm offering it in the interactive format.  Any ideas?  Any interest in an advanced class?  I have loads of ideas for it, but would love to hear yours.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

This and That

So I'm officially back from vacation, but still in re-entry mode.  Here is a little video I shot while at Omega.  One of the students had made this fabulous pattern using a fork, so I thought I would demonstrate it.  The video opens with a little intro from my chickens:

In other news, Text and Image is now available as a downloadable workshop.  I know a lot of you have been waiting for this, so take a look.

Layering and Excavating is now open for registration at Northeast Art Workshops in Gloucester, MA.  That is next summer, June 27 - July 1.

Monday, July 20, 2015

This Is Not Another Blog Post

Just a referral to Nicholas Wilton's blog post about art practice.  Read my comment on the post as well.  I should post an image, but I'll post a quote instead:
"Saying it sometimes makes it so. This is one of the most interesting, compelling reasons to spend time in dialogue with other artists. Most of the time our ideas and thoughts about our work stay quietly within us. Once we verbalize, actually say it out loud in conversation, it releases it somewhat beyond ourselves. From what I have seen, this simple act then allows your ideas or thoughts about what you are trying to do within your art to occur." Nicholas Wilton
This blog has provided a rich source of dialogue with other artists.  Thanks for your participation!  This dialogue, and my one-on-one conversations with artists, contribute immensely to my creative momentum.  Still on "break" here.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

This Is Not A Blog Post

I'm on a little break, remember?  But I came across this quote, and I just had to share it:
"If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it's not your path.  Your own path you make with every step you take.  That's why it's your path."  Joseph Campbell
 I suggest you print it out and hang it on the wall in your work space.  In fact, you can download it here.

This is quoted by Cat Bennett in her book "Making Art a Practice".  I have long recommended her earlier book, "The Confident Creative", and this one is just as good, and not redundant.  I highly recommend this one as well.  Check it out on Amazon, but do support your local independent book store if you are lucky enough to have one.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Taking a Break

I am taking a little break from posting on this blog, just until August 5.  I have some new technology to sort out, and some behind-the-scenes re-organization and up-dating to do.  So, please enjoy the posts that are already on the blog, or go to my YouTube channel for video tutorials.  Go to the Tutorials page for the posts that give instruction (one of the candidates for updating), or to the Artists and Inspiration page on my web site.  Make some art!  I'll post again that first week of August.  Cheers!
Make Some Marks!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Working Larger

I am having a lot of fun with these crayon pieces, and they work (for me) at this small scale, 10"x10".  I would LOVE, though, to see them really BIG:

Obviously, the crayons I'm using would not scale up like this.  So what?  Oil stick?  Paint on a brush?  I know I (and some of you perhaps) often see a piece that I'd like to do at a larger scale.  I'd like to feel myself in a different relationship, physically, to the painting.  Instead of Me the Artist at the table or standing at the wall/easel, separate from the Painting, I'd love to almost walk into the painting, feel it more like an environment, and then have to walk ten feet back to actually see it.  Two very different relationships to it in space. 

When working on small pieces, I can be the artist and the viewer at the same time, and I think those are very different roles.  As the artist, I need to be in the process, obsessed with the marks I'm making as they relate to one another and to the painting.  As a viewer, I see the final visual content, separate from process.  The piece becomes its own entity, no matter what my process or intentions. Part of the process of making art is going back and forth between these roles.  I wonder how scale would affect my ability to do so, or my perception of this back and forth dance.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Crayons, Again

So I'm still on this crayon kick, and wanted to try various crayons on a pastel ground.  Pastel Ground is a product that Golden makes, which transforms your paper into a toothy pastel paper.

This was my "beginner's luck" piece.  10"x10" on gessoed paper

This is the piece I did in the demo.  I used the materials mentioned in the video, plus various brands of oil pastel.

In this one I'm trying to copy the first piece, at top.
Here is a link to the Cretacolor Monolith pencils.  I think everything else is in my previous post.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's Podcast

I am featured on Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's current podcast.  Take a look! And listen.  So fun to talk to her.

Take a good long tour of her blog; she posts a LOT of instructional material, plus she is just FUN.