Friday, October 2, 2015

Making Art A Practice with Cat Bennett

I recently recommended Cat Bennett's recent book, Making Art a Practice, and now she is teaching an online course by the same name, at Carla Sonheim Online Art Classes.  YIPPEEE!!!

Take a look at this video of Cat Bennett.  I'm a long time fan; her books are both inspiring and soothing, and they are so insightful about what art brings to your life.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Stacking, or Layering

I've been playing with the idea of stacking marks or lines from the paper (or other substrate) up, one on top of the next.  I think of the elements of a painting in terms of their relationships in space, and that space is both lateral (on the same plane), and three-dimensional (depth).  I like seeing shapes, marks, lines, etc., stacked, in a kind of shallow space, as in the work of Heather Day, Sander Steins, and Lee Kaloidis, and many other artists.

 The following are all studies, just playing around with the idea:

These first four are about 10"x10"

The rest are about 6"x8".

I don't know where this exploration will go, or if it will go anywhere.  In these I'm just seeing what kind of vocabulary of marks develops, or if something starts to happen.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Meet Jacqueline Davis, my Virtual Assistant

Those of you who have been in my online classes over the last several months are likely to be aware that Jacqueline Davis, of Virtually Here, is now helping me out with administration.  Jacqui now sets up and helps me manage the blogs, manages all my e-mail lists, updates my web site, helps with social media, makes my travel arrangements, and so much more.  AND she has a team of experts in related fields - web design, marketing, graphic design, and so forth - for when I need special projects done.  Now I can focus on the things that matter to me:  making art, teaching, and having a little time for my home life and chickens (the chickens are not happy with that order of priority!)

Jacqueline Davis, of Virtually Here

So, if you e-mail me with a question you may get an answer from Jacqui.  The e-mail still comes to me, and I read everything.  If YOU could use a little help with your home-based business, or any business, or even use a personal assistant, I can highly recommend Jacqui.  I haven't actually met her in person yet (I will soon, though)!  But doesn't she look great?

Please comment to say hi to Jacqui, and you can bombard her with fan-e-mail too if you like.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Student Work from Dillman's

As promised in my last post, here are few more pictures from the Dillman's workshop. 

Here are a few more pix of student work, as a teaser:

Please suggest a caption...

I invited one of the students, Feng Biddle, to demonstrate a beautiful technique she created to make gorgeous lines.

Monday, September 21, 2015

New Wonky Grids

I was teaching at Dillman's Bay Resort last week, and I have a LOAD of pictures of fabulous student work. I'll post a slide show of them later this week.  Meanwhile, let me show off a few pieces that I got to do.  And I'll post a few pieces of student work just as a teaser.  This was a fabulous group in an idyllic setting.  Can't get better than northern Wisconsin in the fall.

The Setting

Paddling on lunch break

The following are all 8"x8"
Something About Being On A Lake, 8"x8"
A Little Extra "Wonk"

Pink Lifesavers

Turquoise Lifesavers

Scribbles in the Fog

The Assignment, Straight Up:  Contrasting Scale of Pattern

And for a few gems of the student work:

Stay tuned... there's more.

Friday, September 11, 2015

You Can Own One Of These

Yup. That's right. Just e-mail me to indicate which one you want (middle row, third from left, for example), and I'll have the Moore Free Library hold it for you.  The pieces are $250 each, and some of that goes to support the library.  I'll ship it at the end of September.

See a slide show of individual pieces here (or click on Slideshow above).

OR.... you can make your own!  It's really fun.  Make yourself a big stash of patterned papers - make sure to include patterns of all different scales, colors, degrees of contrast, etc.  I use Cheap Drawing Paper for the collage papers (see My Favorite Materials).  Cut some printmaking or watercolor paper (see My Favorite Materials) to 8.25"x8.25", and start making stuff.  Work on a few at a time.  Don't plan them out, just let one move inform the next and follow your intuition.

Choose the ones you like, the ones you want to display, and mount them to wood panel.  Choose your hanging mechanism, and hang them in a grid.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Pix From The Opening

Here are a few photos from the opening of the show I'm in with Jeri Macdonald at the Crowell Gallery in Newfane, VT.  Among those in attendance at the opening on Saturday were Petria Mitchell of Mitchell-Giddings Fine Art; Christine Triebert, a really interesting photographer; Leonard Ragouzeos, who helped put together the show; Lynn Barrett of Southern Vermont Arts and Living; MaryAnn Kelly, who was in my Abstract Painting in VT workshop this year, who is an accomplished sculptor; and her friend and artist Jan Ruby-Crystal.

Jeri and I also have work on display at Amy's Bakery Arts Cafe in Brattleboro, Vermont, for September and October.  If you are passing through southern Vermont this fall, check out Amy's and/or go to the gallery, which is housed in the Moore Free Library, in Newfane.

Jeri, Leonard, and me

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Blues

Well, not really.  Just some blue stripes.  I keep circling back to stripes, going over my Pinterest pages, being fascinated by this most elemental of formats.  What is so compelling about stripes?  Look at Sean Scully, or any of the artists I mentioned in my last post about stripes

I was recently looking at images of the Gee's Bend Quilts - if you haven't seen them, take a look - and found the ones made from work clothes ("britches quilts") particularly moving.  Here are a few maybe finished small stripe paintings inspired by all of the above.  There are more in the works, all blue, but maybe they'll morph into other colors, I don't know. 

12"x12", acrylic on canvas

9"x12", acrylic on canvas

12"x12", acrylic on canvas

If you were to do a series of stripe paintings, where would you start?  How might you narrow your focus?  If you've done stripe paintings, where have they led you?

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!