Portraits of the Feminine

For my local Portland people, my final solo event of 2016 "Portraits of the Feminine" is currently hanging at La Vida Veggie in Beaverton. 
 

"Shelter" 24" x 24" on birch cradle panel $425

"Shelter" 24" x 24" on birch cradle panel $425

I have several new pieces as well as a few old favorites in a variety of price ranges and sizes.
 

"After The Show" 12" x 24" on plywood cradle box $250

"After The Show" 12" x 24" on plywood cradle box $250

 
"Blue Stone Sister" framed to 16" x 20" $195

"Blue Stone Sister" framed to 16" x 20" $195

Lots of beautiful art and some delicious vegan food! The show will be up until Sunday November 28th. I hope you will come by and bring your friends! 

100 Abstract Studies

Since taking a workshop this summer, I have playing around and experimenting with painting abstracts. One of the ways I practice is by creating small studies nearly everyday. My goal is to create 100 of these small works...I am currently up to 32! Here are a few examples from one of my sketchbooks:

Some turn out interesting and some become just a mess. It has been so freeing to not worry about making 'ugly' paintings and just practice new ideas, study color combinations and make expressive marks. I love what one of my teachers (Nancy Hillis) said about this, that what we call ugly might be something new trying to be born. And so funny too, some of what I didn't like at all, other people loved. Ah the beauty of art... 

Taking this attitude into the studio has helped me to relax, trust, and put a little fun back into going to work. As I have been transitioning from a purely intuitive/creative process painter into studying technique, color theory, composition etc I can find myself trying to make art in the 'right' way. Sometimes this causes a) me to get uptight and b) the work to suck. Learning to integrate what I am studying with my own intuition and creative spirit is an ongoing process.

I took some of this creative experimentation out for a spin on these two paintings. Both will be heading off to the Oregon Society of Artists November "200 for under $200" show. Every painting in the show is 12"x12" on a 2" wood cradle panel. All they need now are titles!

IMG_2358.jpg

Learning the Ropes

My "Portraits of the Feminine" collection is up at Cha Cha Cha in NE Portland (on Fremont). This was the first time I have ever had a solo event, so there were a lot of things to learn. I had recently sold several paintings so there was a short scramble to find a collection that felt cohesive. It seemed that for every item on the to-do list we completed, two more took its place. Hanging hardware and set-up. About me page to write. Painting information cards. Sales paperwork...pretty much everything created from scratch. There were some cranky days and late nights in our house and we learned so many things, including when it was time to take a break!

Since the show has been up, the response of the wait staff at the restaurant has been amazing. I have been moved by their sharing how good it feels to have my art in the space and the genuine comments about their connections to the work. My friends are stopping by and their responses have been so encouraging and thoughtful. This is why I love putting my work out into the world. I get reminded about how the paintings sing their songs of hope, love and connection and that gets felt in a meaningful way by the people who see it. 

Here are some photos, some aren't too clear...the lighting in the restaurant is great for eating and drinking but a little tough on photography! If you want to take a closer look at the paintings, there are better photos in my gallery section.

 

Here is my partner working late into the night to be sure that everything is hung safely and cleanly...this is what love looks like late on a Sunday night!

This is still one of my favorite paintings. I am thinking about creating a series of work about Mary/Our Mother in the near future. 

Finally figured out a way to hang these two paintings which were originally created on flat canvas boards. I like the solution we came up with. The piece on the left was created after the Paris bombings, I needed a place to put all my sadness. 

And here is my artist statement. I always had this idea that I would someday create a final version of this and I would never have to work on it again! But I have finally figured out that...like the artist herself...this will always be a work in progress.  

If you live in the Portland area, I would love it if you stopped by to have some tasty food and drink and take a look at the art. It will be up through Labor Day weekend. 

Flying into Summer

Just a couple notes about what is happening here as I am wrapping up June. I entered several paintings at the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts open show. It was my first show, so there was a big learning curve in terms of applications, framing and labels just to name a few things! This is the biggest show of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, when we went down to see how everything looked on the walls there was SO much art to look at.

"Billie" 11" x 15" mixed media painting on watercolor paper

"Billie" 11" x 15" mixed media painting on watercolor paper

So THIS was super exciting! I talked myself through the process of entering this show by reminding myself that it was the first one and if nothing else came of it, it would be great practice. Instead, I was over the moon when I walked up and saw that I had received this honorable mention award. 

I also entered my "Jungle Telegraph" painting (you can see it here in my gallery page). That lioness found her perfect home. Her new owners sent me a photo of where she is hanging on their wall, I LOVE when people find a painting that they know belongs to them. 

Meanwhile back in the studio, I have continued on with several portrait studies. I am really playing around with using high contrast for more impact. 

"New Horizons" 9" x 12" on birch panel

"New Horizons" 9" x 12" on birch panel

This piece was sent off to a dear friend of mine who is embarking on some major life changes. I completed this as part of a class study with Ivy Newport. We were studying the works of Picasso during his blue period. I am really pushing myself to expand from only painting faces into figures. I want these women and souls who are appearing in my studio to be embodied. However, as you'll see below, I continue to love creating portraits. 

"Midnight" 12" x 12" on 3/4" hardboard

"Midnight" 12" x 12" on 3/4" hardboard

"Daydreaming in Church" 11" x 15" on watercolor paper

"Daydreaming in Church" 11" x 15" on watercolor paper

I'll be uploading some of these to my gallery sale pages in the next few days.  It has been a great month, summer energy and creative fire are in full operation! New work is getting completed, paintings are being sent out to their new homes, possible show opportunities on the horizon.  All in all, looking forward to July!

Studio Updates for June

Here are some updates on what is happening in my studio this week!

Remember this painting? Finally finished! This painting has such a presence of love and intimacy, I love to imagine them whispering secrets together and pondering all that has happened and all that is to come. It sold on Facebook before I even got a chance to post it in my gallery...woo! As usually happens, someone just knew that this painting belonged to her. So grateful for the people who love my art and bring it into their homes. 

Still continuing on with my "Expressive Faces and Figures" class with Pauline Agnew. This class is rocking in my world. These are some color studies that I have been playing with. When I started out as an intuitive painter, I didn't really care much about mixing colors or do much thinking about color theory (yawn). I loved to just grab a color that called to me and go! I still operate on that instinct a lot and sometimes it really creates something unexpected and great. Lately though I am drawn in by the different shades and tones to be had when I blend and mix. Who knew what a luscious dark color you could get by mixing Ultramarine Blue and Van Dyck Brown Hue? Or that same blue mixed with Pyrrole Orange? Yum!  
 

More face practice...my favorite! These were created with vine charcoal on mixed media paper. Looking to find shapes and create contrast. My final paintings have rarely had this type of detail before, I am still playing around to see how this gets integrated into my bigger work. 
 

This is a light study using an old photo of Rembrandt's wife which I completely re-worked but tried to hold onto the classic "Rembrandt lighting".  Love how this study turned out! 

There are a few more pieces that I have been working on, mostly (you guessed it) face and lighting studies. I am looking forward to taking what I have learned here and integrating it into some larger paintings. I am always looking for that balance between following my intuition and impulses and thinking about what creates an exciting and beautiful piece of artwork. Shifting between developing skills and just letting loose! 

I am getting ready for the Lake Oswego Art Festival at the end of the month, hope to have several pieces ready to show. If you want to follow what I am up to in the studio (with some lovely Pacific Northwest scenery thrown into the mix!), you can always find me here on Instagram or here on Facebook.