Happy Holidays!!!!

Acrylic on 16x20 stretched canvas.
I'm away for a few days over the holiday so I'd like to wish everyone a wonderful holiday time filled with love, laughter and peace!


Raw Painting

"If you want to explore, to move with your intuition, you must get used to not knowing where you are going. There is great freedom there.... Art is the place to not know."
from Life, Paint and Passion by Michele Cassou

Leap of Faith
Acrylic on 16x20 stretched canvas.
After reading this book, one of the things I have been trying to do since the summer is take at least a couple of days a week and just paint for the joy of painting! No worries about results, making 'art' or if it will sell or not. I just paint like a kid for the sheer joy of spreading colour across the canvas, instinctively following the brush, just being open to what arrives... I wait until no one is home, turn the music up really really loud and get at it! My initial goal for doing this was to find out how I paint... find my own way so to speak. My academic background is in creative writing and one of our assignments with the goal of 'finding your voice' was to just write for 2 pages a day, then put it away... no rereading, no editing for a month until you had some distance from the work. So I figured this might be a way of visually 'finding my marks.'
Although I have been using paint for years-- it has largely been a tool in my mixed media work as opposed to a process. I was hoping to eventually have a better understanding of what paint can do on its own without the prop of my collage and textured work. I was hoping to just become a better painter and maybe use it as a starting place for creating a new body of work. I am giving myself the space to paint and keep the 'critic' out of things for now. So I paint and then I put it away and I paint some more.
After years of thinking I didn't have my own style because I seem to need alot of variety in my day to day projects, I am starting to recognize my instinctive marks... More importantly, what I am finding is I love painting--- and I have been trying to get to painting daily. When my daughter was young, we used to play this song by Raffi for her. The lyrics went: "... all I really need is a song in my heart, food in my belly and love in my family..." Painting makes a song in my heart! I am hoping that some of the vitality and joy will translate and come through in my paintings.


Going Green

Acrylic on 24x28 stretched canvas.
(from The Crossing Place series)

The Crossing Place is an ongoing series exploring transition… the place in between one place and another, one state of being or awareness and another...between awake and dreaming, life and death, death and rebirth, love and fear... Crossroads, portals, doorways, thresholds and windows can all symbolize crossing places; axis’ where the material and spiritual planes cross… the veil thins… and stepping through becomes possible…


India Ink

I usually start my day in the studio with some sort of play, warmup or experiment that has usually has nothing to do with projects in progress. I use this time to fool around with materials and explore the 'what would happen if I.....?' factor.
So the most recent experiment went like this: What would happen if I made marks with a long narrow rigger brush loaded with india ink.... then what would happen if I sprayed it with some water when it was still wet in areas, let it drip down and used a paintbrush to create some grey tones.
Then what would happen if I let it dry and painted in the sections with acrylics:


Dreaming Indigo Group

Acrylic Monoprints mounted on 4- 6x6 stretched canvases.
Indigo is a hard pigment to find in Acrylic paint in my area. I've only ever found it by Pebeo. So I have to mix my indigo. On every tube of paint, it should list the pigments used to mix the colour. This tube of paint used Phthalo Green and Dioxazine Violet to create Indigo. So that is how I mix most of my indigo. You can also mix Ultramarine Blue with Carbon Black for a decent indigo. Or Phthalo Blue will also work with Carbon Black if it is all you've got.


Alternative Mounting

Watercolour & Acrylic Monoprint on paper
mounted on 6x8 stretched canvas.
While I do love to work on paper and have a sizeable stack of pieces I consider ok... I am awful at cutting mats, worry about shipping glass and framing isn't at the top of my 'fun' list. So I have decided to create a different look for my works on paper. I paint a canvas black or indigo, mount a ripped [to appear deckled] piece of cotton paper on top and then mount the artwork on top of that.


On the Edge

Acrylic on 28x34 unstretched canvas.
I've been experimenting with working on unstretched canvas... I like to pin it to foamboard for a firmer surface to work on. One of the things I like about working on paper is the ease with which you can crop for a better composition... and I was thinking that door would still be open with unstretched canvas as well. I suspect the real challenge will be to stretch it straight... Any pointers out there???


Bloom 2-1

Mixed Media on 8x8 stretched canvas.
[Acrylic, ink]
I am a new fan of the Golden Open Acrylics. Took a trip into the 'big' city yesterday for supplies and picked up a starter pack to try them out. Today I decided to just play with them and see what they could do. It was so nice to be able to just relax and play with the intermingling of colours without the stress of them drying on me. I have to admit I am amazed at how long they stay wet on the palette. It's just like having a new toy!!! with new possibilities! I also tried them on my print plates and they stay wet long enough to use them for printmaking! Happy dance!