Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Getting Lost In a Stream of Have To's

Cold and blustery here the last couple of days. I have not been doing much art lately -- lost in a stream of partime job related activities, some fall (without the spring) cleaning, social obligationgs and helping my mother with some medical needs. I am taking my mom to an eye surgery tomorrow but hope to get to the opening of the Bryn Du Mansion Show in Granville tomorrow evening, though I need to drive back and forth a couple hundred miles to do so.

The Classical Art Forum on Wet Canvas had a project about the Fauves this month. I added my paintings. You can read some more about the Fauves here, if you would like.

I will have some time to myself this weekend -- will get out of the stream and into my studio then. I am starting to feel really depressed/crabby about not getting there.

Thanks for stopping by at my blog.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Artistic Style Part IV - Some Inspiring Realism

"Cute White Kitten" 12x9 inches, colored pencil on colorfix, $135 unframed, $165 matted and framed with plexiglass.
Giclee Reproductions also Available. Contact me.

In thinking about why I am currently working realistically, I will say the primary reason is choosing to depict animals and very much enjoying the connection with others that comes from a pet portrait commission. I do not seek to be what I consider to be "photo-realistic". I am motivated to bring the animal to life within the best of my capabilities without going down to such a minute/detailed level. Though intrigued by colored pencil when coming back to art, I was at first relunctant to try it because it seemed to be too "meticulous". I feel I currently work somewhere between how a soft pastelist works and traditional colored pencil techniques with my work. I was also taught that an artist needs to be able to do realism before finding/looking for another voice. That is, one must build an ability in speaking one language before attempting to translate that language into another. Or an artist should have ability with the basic tools and concepts and what has gone before in order to develop further in other artistic ways.

I never was extremely fond of the "photo-realism" which (pre-computers) copied a photograph in a very large format by using the squares or pixels. I did look at this art with a type of fasination at times, however. I just find some of these methods too miopic -- I don't feel I could get in a "zone" using them so exhaustively. However I am wondering if some of the works I currently admire wouldn't be considered more "photorelaistic" than "realistic" in style? I would like to know your opinion regarding this question. Here are some links to some contemporary realistic animal art that gave me chills when I first gazed upon them: a horse portrait on Wet Canvas by Linda Jonsson of Sweden,
and last but, certainly not least, all of the work by Melanie Phillips.

I am currently intrigued with "the bringing to life" aspect of realism. It is an enthralling challenge for me to try to get it right. I am experimenting on developing facility with colored pencil techniques as I do this. I am most in the zone when using hand and eye coordination to develop the work as a whole. I think I am in one of those repitious circles of life by improving my work in the basics and going from there in whatever develops.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Artistic Style Part III -- Did you See O'Keeffe?

A very interesting stallion in a colorful field - maybe a pintaloosa?

So did you get to see the Georgia O'Keeffe documentary on the Lifetime channel? What are your reactions? Mona Majorowicz had mentioned it in her blog, Fur In the Paint. I got to see it last night. I wish they had shown more of her paintings when they were showing her life in New Mexico. Otherwise, I loved getting to see a film about an artist. It drives home the dedication that a true artist has for her for work. She was such a free spirit. I greatly admire how she remained true to her self in her art and in her life. She really did pave a way for women to be more recognized in Fine Art.

I did look at a lot of her work and read about her in the 70's and 80's. Spent this morning earlier looking at information about her on the net. I like the Wikpedia write-up. And here is a less than flattering review of the film, I don't agree with it all, but it does give a little more detail about some facts of her life and I think it is from an unsual blog. I may visit this blog again for a little more reading about other women.

So if you have any remarks about the film or about your feelings about O'Keeffe's art and life, I would love to hear them in a comment here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Artistic Style Part II

"Woman Sleeping With A Cat", oil painting, 30x42

As promised here are some of my earlier works in a Fauvist vein. I have picked two works which I still have. Back in these days, I hate to say it, but the 70's, I surrounded myself with people who drew and painted. (Forgot to mention I started oil painting at age 2, LOL). We often drew/painted each other. We traded or gave each other many works. I actually sold a couple back then also. All of my Christmas presents were paintings in those days. I only painted from life or sketches from life. I think both of these works are definitely influenced by my admiration of Mattise. "Madeline", below, seems to be somewht influenced by "Portrait of Madame Matisse", which you can see at this link. and "Woman with a Hat", which you can see at this link.

"Madeline", oil painting, 24x28

Hope you are enjoying my trip down memory lane. I have another painting or two from memory lane which I may share.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Accepted Entries and A Prize

Last week I mentioned that I was accepted into the Bryn Du Mansion, Granvile, Ohio, "Colors of Joy" Exhibition opening September 30, 2009. Today I am sharing the three images that were accepted. The one which has not yet appeared on this blog before today, is the image above, "Burning Bright" This is done in oil pastel on 9x12 Colorfix.

Also accepted was "Proud Heritage", 24 x 18 inch colored pencil on panel portrait of my Appaloosa horse, Buddy.

"I Am Looking at You", 14x11 inch colored pencil on panel, was also accepted. "I Am Looking at You" also just won first prize at the Animal Picture Show at the Ultrecht Supply Store located in the Short North gallery district of Columbus, Ohio.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Artistic Style - Part 1

At the beginning of this month, Katherine Tyrrell on her blog Making a Mark, started a poll on style. She listed several categories with definitions -- always a debatable subject -- I think she covers this subject very well with brevity. I marked myself a realist, given the definitions.

I do wonder why I am currently in this category. My favorite group is "expressionist" or "fauve". For many years, I would say that my art fell in this category -- I will share some of those works in another post. I love the work of Vincent Van Gogh, (who technically is not listed as an expressionist -- but though he is listed as "post-impressionist" in most categorizations - his work has often been considered a precursor to expressionism) Matisse, and with animals in mind: Franz Marc (a representative, but certainly not exhaustive list of artists).

Though I am not currently producing work of this type, some contemporary animal artists who have produced work that I admire and consider to fall into this category are Amber Lowe (she has not been sharing her current work and I do hope she doesn't mind me making this reference to her past work - she knocked my socks of when I saw her work), Marion Rose, and some of the work of Mona Majorowicz. I love the use of color and expressive mark making that these works display.

I think my current selection of medium, colored pencil, has influenced my style somewhat. The majority of currently recognized colored pencil artists are realists. Also my desire to connect through doing commissions does not easily lend itself to a purely expressionist style.

I do not currently feel "capable" however of naturally (as opposed to forced) producing more expressionist work -- I think this has some sort of life history/psychological origins. I am currently reading about style to better understand how life events and personality effect style.

I do like to think that my work has a unique degree of colorfulness and has some indication of mark making (I do not seek to smooth out all of the pencil lines). More recently, Katherine Tyrrell, posted about the Scottish Colorists. I was especially drawn to F C B Cadell from the group and his painting, "The Red Plate", the first in the series in the reference link. One of the reviewers stated that his work was fueled by his joy and optimism.

I think the communication emotionally of joy and optimism in all of these works is what I most admire and what I hopefully also do in my art, no matter how it is categorized.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ruby and Roscoe Finished

Here is the finished portrait of Ruby and Roscoe, which I delivered to my brother on Sunday. He and his wife were quite pleased, I am happy to say.

I enjoyed displaying and doing a demo in Roscoe village on Saturday -- there is supposed to be a blog post at some point on the Historic Roscoe Village site about me being there, I will provide a link if this materalizes. Crowds were reported to be low because of the Ohio State University football game that day. I did make some nice connections with shopkeepers and encouragement to return during the Apple Butter Festival in October. I also had several promises from viewers to be in touch about a commission.

Two of my pieces are currently appearing in an Animal Picture Show at the Ultrecht art supply store in Columbus.

Three of my pieces have been accepted at the Bryn Du Colors of Joy Art Show in Granville, Ohio. The opening is September 30, 2009.
Hope you all had a great weekend. I rested some yesterday. I plan to write a post about style later this week.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Finished Cat Portrait and Weekend Gig

Besides fluffing up the outline like Mona suggested, I reworked this portrait's nose, mouth and eyes. I am happier with it now than I was before. I am delivering it to the client tomorrow.
From the Y-Bridge Art Festival, I was contacted by a retailer in Rosecoe Village -- a restored canal town next to where I grew up and still travel to visit my mother. The retailer is doing a food drive for the county animal shelter and invited me to show my work in front of her store as part of the drive. Roscoe is a touristy place and their is a T-Bird car show there and an Air Show nearby this weekend -- so hopefully there will be plenty of traffic. I got some feet for part of my indoor booth from Flourish Canopy Co. which enable me to set up a single panel which is what I will do along with the print rack and doing a demo.
Have a great Labor Day weekend!


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