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.


One Hundred and Twenty Abstracts

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From November 2019 to March 2020, I created one hundred and twenty, 6” x 6” Cold Wax and Oil paintings, including mixed media on sheets of Arches Oil Paper. 

Each painting started with a line using Art Graf. I then either added home made paper, stencil, charcoal, and other mixed media, combined with Oil and Cold wax medium.

My initial intention was to become familiar with abstract design and mark making. Each sheet was a theme of color.  Sometimes, I kept in sync with my original intention and sometimes, I surpisingly veered off.  But all times, I found something new about myself.

I love working on Arches oil paper.  It doesn’t need to be gessoed.  Paint and medium can be directly applied to the paper without concern.  It also allows for such wonderful marks and texture and shows off the oil paint beautifully.

Painting from the inside out causes you to repeat things that have meaning for you.  I started to recognize patterns and marks that are my own.

I decided to pull my favorites from the one hundred and twenty studies and further the series by increasing the size.  I am able to increase the 6” x 6” to 36” x 36” using a roll large roll of Arches Oil Paper.  I  have so many ideas and content, I can’t wait to get started.  More on this next week.

Wish me luck!

PS I have posted some of the smaller paintings and they are also available in my portfolio if you are interested


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.                                                                                               




Maximize Your Art Studio

My art studio is only 143 square feet. In order to maximize my space, I had to be creative. I also wanted to make sure that there was flexibility and mobility of the furniture used and find extra storage where you wouldn't normally. It was important that the furniture and flooring was impervious to paint and that accidental spills were easily cleaned.

Home Depot provided a great selection of flooring. I chose Pergo Laminate. The price is very reasonable. There are many styles of Pergo, but all are not equivalent in regards to staining. I brought samples home and found that XP Vanilla Travertine was excellent even though very light in color was impervious to stain. I chose the most highly saturated pigments of oils to test. All came off with a cleansing wipe. It was that easy. As a plus, I found out after installation that the floor is a floating floor, the cushioning is very forgiving on the body especially during longer sessions at the easel.

Pergo Flooring

You don't have to reinvent the wheel, the internet has many ideas to improve organization, as well as, help you create more valuable storage. I'm going to share my Art Studio Pinterest board that is chock full of ideas that will improve your studio. Although, it took some time to create this Pinterest board it saved me so much time and money.

Extra storage for my closet was installed by California Closet. I love the file drawers, the peg boards that have wire racks and plenty of shelves for open storage. Taking off the closet doors also gave me more space exteriorly.

California Closet

Now for the furniture! All my furniture in the art art studio are on rollers, except for the book towers. The rollers allow each piece of furniture the ability to be used in more than one way, can be stored in one area and brought out when ready to use. If you can't go out then you must go up was the reason for my next choice; the 77" high Wire Shelving rack. I wouldn't have a clue where I would put all my art supplies without this item. Clear plastic tubs storage for acrylic and oil paint fit perfectly. The rack not only was able to hold all my art supplies, but with a few extra materials, peg board and dowels, created upright storage for small paintings.

Wire Shelving, notice built in rack below made with dowels and peg board.

I had previous book towers for my art library. There are many places that you can purchase them. The towers both fit perfectly in the nook, one framing each side of two Alex Drawer Units  that have six drawers each. This is a great alternative for filing paper art, that normally would cost a fortune, when purchasing furniture specifically meant for art storage.

Alex drawers and book towers

My beautiful art cart was designed to be my pallet, protected by a glass top cut to size. The cart also contains all my brushes placed in cylinders that fit perfectly in the cubby, pallet knives, rollers etc., hooks for garbage bags, and extra art supplies. If you have any interest in the cart and you live in the vicinity, my friend said he would be happy to design more. He is an excellent craftsman.

Art cart hand made

He also helped me design a desk with a side table. This is probably my favorite piece in the studio. The table can lie flat or one side lifts up creating an easel for smaller artworks. This table is excellent. It is so functional and could be used in so many ways. I can use it to draw, as well as paint smaller pieces and when the easel partition drops down, the table can be used as a larger pallet. Cover the table with Reynold Freezer paper lay your paint down, use and dispose when done; making it easy for a quick cleanup.

Easel and side table

Now last but not least, one of my pride and joy pieces from Paper Bird Studio and Design. The 66" x 66" Red Oak wall easel made by Jason Tueller . This wall easel probably saves me a third of my studio space. All the material used to make this easel came from one Appalachian Red Oak and hand made. For as much work that went into this product I find it extremely worth the purchase. The easel gives you the ability to paint more than one painting at a time as well as by sliding the mounts together a large painting can be created.

Paper Bird Studio Wall Easel

If you have any questions please put in comments below. And also I would love any suggestions or ideas that you may have to share in creating your studio. Thank you!