A Life Of Its Own


I am continuing my Twelve of Twelve series, in which I have chosen 12 studies to enlarge up to 36” x 36”.  There will be many observations that I want to share along the way.

I believe the most important piece of creating art is the emotion and energy.  Can you recreate the original piece of art or study and still retain its essence or soul?  

I have seen artists try to copy the original by tracing, using the grid method, a projector or printer to enlarge a painting.  What happens when you do this?

It is a priority for me to not only keep the integrity of the original piece, but also not to lose its freshness and vitality.  And as I scale up the small studies to a larger format, I have to allow the creation to have a life of its own.

Some of the undertakings I considered prior to increasing the size were:

  1. Keeping the same mediums and substrate; arches oil paper, oil paint and cold wax, mixed media 
  1. Establishing the major shapes and composition, and allowing change if needed to make stronger
  1. Understanding the original and its transparencies, layers and textures; what came first, what is over, what is under, how can I increase the same effect in a larger scale
  1. Using the same tools but larger, that includes stencils, rollers, bowl scrapers, brushes , etc.
  1. And what is the mood and essence that I want to repeat from the original piece?

 As I enlarge the original, I am always focusing on improving the composition.  But, I also had to allow myself to drift off into another direction if called.  I still want to create something new and exciting.  The study is the starting off point, not the destination.

Year of the Ox
6" x 6" Study

The painting above is called “The Year of the Ox” and is the second painting of my “Twelve of Twelve” series.  I hope I captured the energy and celebration of the coming Chinese New Year, “The Year of the Ox”.   We have all had a tough 2020.  “The Year of the Ox”, brings us the opportunity to work hard and deliberate and also to acknowledge the opportunity for resetting our lives to create a more positive future for ourselves and others. 


Evolution Of An Artist Series

Who knew that my desire to learn more about mark making and abstraction would take me on another journey? From November 2019 to March 2020, I created 120 small cold wax studies on arches oil paper. The studies allowed me to grow quickly, and began to influence my style when painting figures and landscapes. I noticed that I was enjoying creating freely and channeling my authentic self. I was discovering my power of imagination and allowing my spirit to enter the expression.

I kept the studies tucked away for nine months, wondering what to do with them. What was my next step?  I knew that this journey and exploration needed to continue.  Even though the paintings are small, averaging 6” x 6”, they still lent themselves to a larger scale. I decided to select 12 studies to enlarge to 36” x 36”.  Going deeper allows me to explore the possibilities and create a series that not only brings me joy, but also creates a cohesive body of work.

The collection will have a common theme:

  1. Using cold wax medium and mixed media
  2. Substrate Arches oil paper
  3. All squares
  4. Abstraction
  5. All the same size 36” x 36”
  6. High chroma
  7. Subconscious exploration

The painting above is the first of my new series called Tis-sa-ack.  In creating the larger piece, the water element became more apparent, something I didn’t notice in the smaller one.  My husband mentioned that it looked like Half Dome in Yosemite.  I also got the same feeling, even though I was not trying to make the painting literal in any way. The long blue shape to the left created the energy of a waterfall.  Thus, the name Tis-sa-ack (crying girl in Native American Paiute language), is the original name for Half Dome, which is the name of a mother from a native legend.

Creating a series allows the artist to evolve and grow. I found that the process allows me to reveal my subconscious emotions in a visual way. As I explore the series, more ideas will come up and allow me to push the series and my ability to a higher level.

 I would love to hear of your experiences in creating a series.


Breakthrough

 


When you have a breakthrough, you may think it is happening overnight, but what is actually happening is a natural progression from developing more knowledge and experience through the process of doing and learning. 

 Here are some of the major art experiences that have transformed my artwork. 

  1. Taking workshops in 2016-2017 with Melinda Cootsona, Pauline Agnews, Karen Kaapcke and Martin Campos. 

    2.  Completing the 100 Figure Challenge with Tina Berendsohn on Facebook. The drawings evolved from drawing figures to paintings the female figure over a two year period from 2018-2019.

    3.  Creating 120 abstract paintings over a six month period from 2019-2020.

The day by day changes in my work over the period of these last 4 years have helped me expand my repertoire of expertise in being able to express myself from the inside out with more ease than I have ever had before. 

I remember a significant breakthrough happened in September of 2018.  All that I learned about the figure, plus the new knowledge I gained from a variety of mediums and tools have catapulted me into a different level.  My style started to be natural to me and not forced.   

I have been creating art consistently for the last 30 years, and finally feel confident and free to create what I want without fear.  I have had more breakthroughs, because of this willingness to experiment, plus the increased amount of work I created.  

Thank you for following me and I promise this year to be more diligent keeping you up to date.                                                                                               




FEAR (False evidence that appears real)

 

 

How much fear have you built into your life?  Some fears are obvious threats and some are so subtle you don’t realize that you have them.  As of now, we have a definite outside threat.  How odd, being isolated forces us to come to grips with our values and lifestyle.

I have just realized that not only has my fear escalated, because of the coronavirus it, has also made me aware of the small fears that I live with daily that consume me.  The virus has forced me to face my daily fears and ask “why must I have these”?  Are these fears forced upon myself, or are the actually valid.

How often are we faced with going into our studio looking at the blank canvas and recognizing that we are afraid?  Why?  Rationally, it doesn’t make sense that we would be afraid of a benign canvas.  The canvas isn’t going to jump out at you and attack you. It does though, bring up our vulnerability to being judged not only by ourselves, but also the fear of other's criticisms.  We may feel that we are not worthy as well, or afraid that our visions cannot come to fruition.  

So many fears we have developed over the years and the news and advertising industry has not helped the situation.  We have become brainwashed and believe things that are not true.

We also have forgotten how powerful we are as an individual and look too much for others to solve our problems.  

I do believe for me that this pandemic has forced me to come to grips with my fears and also discover my strengths.  All of a sudden, believing I am gluten sensitive becomes a hoax I developed in my mind.  How many other things have I caused myself to believe that are not true? 

What we once thought was important isn’t as important anymore.  I only hope that after this is all over that I remember what I have learned and don’t back to things as usual.  This is a time to reevaluate what is true and what isn’t, what is of value and what isn’t, and what should continue in our lives and what needs to be thrown away. [recent max=1 template=caption/]


Where Have I Been?

I'm so sorry I have been missing. Last year and this year has been a pursuit to explore and discover.  I have taken many classes some that you may have read about in my previous posts, with Melinda Cootsona and Martin Campos.  After taking the classes with Martin and Melinda, I took two eCourses with Pauline Agnew that included Pathways to Abstraction and Pathways to Abstraction The Figure.  Upon completing I took another class from Melinda on Six Approaches to Abstracting the Figure. I have been very fortunate to be able to take classes from teachers that are masters their field.

Needless to say I have been working very hard and have a lot of new work to share. The painting that I am showing above, "Red Wind" is one of my first larger paintings using Cold Wax Medium.  I love how it turned out and am very excited to present it to you.  It originally began upside down, but I felt an urge to turn it in the opposite direction during  the creation.  I do believe that we reverse images in our mind. I now discovered a wonderful image of what appeared to me as an island with a forest reflecting in the water.  The energy that swirls in the strokes is an added bonus, thus the name "Red Wind".  Cold Wax allows a transparency and texture that cannot be found with oil alone.  I love the depth created by using this medium.

The painting is available for sale.  Please contact me if you are interested at jvander51@gmail.com