Friday, July 30, 2010

Perils of Clear Tar Gel

10"x10" panel, acrylic, 2 stencils. This is the last of my 'witness' series as well as my summer materials exploration. I can see wonderful uses for clear tar being the ability to pour a thin or thick line. I used my bent paper cup pouring on most everything. On this piece I used the tar gel in the stencil colored with red oxide denoting separation from my shadow birds. Also used ordinary acrylic for the other stencil of cream and yellow. I look into my trees and see shadows of birds living out their simple lives....I hear them much better than see them. Wrapping up these three, I used tar gel, acrylic encaustic and crackle paste...anyone of these will show up in later work.

I've closed up my oil painting studio on the deck and converted it to acrylic. For years I was an oil painter and for a few short weeks (only warm mornings) I tried to return and for me it was trying to step back into the same place in the river. I have acquired art making habits and acrylic offers me the best opportunity to create. I gave it a fair try and used new gels and driers but for now, it's back to acrylic. Starting new work using both inside and outside studios...possibly more abstract and leaning on my journal and ongoing meditations.

When I first moved to the beach as a widow, I ordered from Daniel Smith (art supplier), a huge stack of Rives BFK paper. I especially like it for printmaking and mixed media. In my dramatic moments I told myself when I'm done with the paper...I could easily be ready to die. I'm now on my second large order of Rives along with a 4 inch stack of assorted papers given to me from a friend's studio. I guess I'll stick around awhile longer! ha

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Acrylic Encaustic

acrylic, fabric collage and paper collage, 10'x10' , cradled clayboard panel, acrylic beeswax....color mixed with jar of soft gel (matte) with the addition of raw umber + glazing liquid rubbed in as to create a patina. Good to add these new materials to my studio. My pulmonary problems and lack of a place for good ventilation has ended my encaustic work so this is my second best effort..not bad results but of course, no sweet intoxicating scent of true beeswax. The photo turned out brighter than the actual piece but I posted it anyway. The little birds are my ongoing subject as I watch them with their own brand of communication. I see the little brown bird turn away from the others' gaze...saying: "I don't like you" or "try a little harder, I think I like you"...not for me to know but I still enjoy the show!

Home from the big family wedding. Took almost no photos and will wait for a copy of more professional shots. Everything about the wedding reflected the ideas and style of the bride and groom...well done indeed! Families showed up from Boston, Florida, Colorado and Santa Cruz...nice to connect with everyone and also to watch the next generation step into their married lives and also creating new families. The wedding was at a winery and yes, everyone was in the mood to party and celebrate...good fun!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Putting on the Ritz...

...Ritz Carlton that is! Sunday Pablo and I cleaned up a little (I wore my new gladiator sandals to see how they hold up) and we drove 50 miles up the coast to this beautiful hotel and golf course. We went in the late afternoon for drinks and light food, sitting in the sunny conservatory lounge. There we looked out on a spectacular view and I became a country bumpkin...couldn't stop taking in all the people watching beginning with the wealthy golf club couples having drinks, the Asian-Indian families (From the Silicone Valley) enjoying a birthday, young couples with children and Pablo and me. The service was perfect and the grilled vegetable sandwich and presentation a delight. After drinks and a bite we both were served a carafe of coffee each and we were told to relax and enjoy...we did! The drive home was special as well...the sun setting behind us...the beaches thinning out to a perfect summer day ending! My sandals pinched a little on the toes but will be generally comfortable for the family wedding this Saturday...a great dry run!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Re-post "Birdsong"

I have been interested in all the delightful "Buried Treasures" that have turned up in Blogland. This is an idea from Seth Apter of The Altered Page and it is great to see earlier posts of so many artists that I regularly follow.

I chose a post from early July 2008. The interesting part of my choice is that my heart has stayed close over the years to favorite images and metaphors. Trying not to be a broken record but rather express myself with similar images in new and different ways....enjoy!


"A garden complete with tile, palm tree, windows and a singing duet. A place to stop, pure pleasure, soft morning light or afternoon breeze...a place to come back to, yard, patio, home. The song is also simple, not looking forward or back but timeless serenade. This is the beginning and ending this is the call, this is the sanctuary of needed rest, available heart, available song."

"Writing is a big part of my art making. It leads me to the imagery and sometimes defines the images. I'm in a place in my life where I still love painting but I'm no longer as interested in building a career. I have kept a journal well over 25 years...almost daily writing. It has served as my true sanctuary, my mentor and my learning tool. I wrote the above piece shortly after gluing down the two yellow birds." It gives me joy.

This week I continue with the images of birds and using new Golden materials. In the studio I'm stirring up some 'clear tar gel' to pour and's a challenge for sure!

Heat has finally arrived at the beach. Regularly floating in the pool late afternoons...! I keep reminding myself I can do that...I can lighten my workload...quit early and go to the pool. Pablo is knee deep in his writing and is also talking himself into some play time...! He swims and I float!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Crackle Paste

10"x10" clayboard cradled panel, acrylic, collage, light molding paste, shell, thread and crackle paste. I've always had mixed results with crackle paste but this time it behaved and gave me some very nice cracks. I've been exploring several new materials and glazes on three small panels. I had plans to do some "pours" of color but I've all but run out of space...I may come back to that idea.

My subject is about birds, not any birds but the ones that visit me on my deck. I don't claim to recognize different types of birds (seagulls are easy for me!) but mostly little brown and blue ones. I've been taken by them and their busy lives. Instead of painting...I find myself watching them and writing in my journal: I am neither an intruder or a comrade I am a witness to life here in my red and green leafed trees.

Have a great week!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sanctuary Views

Second in an inspired Sabbath piece. 15'x15' Rives BFK, acrylic, collage, graphite. I love sitting in the sanctuary at sunset looking out the windows seeing the treeline black against the sky all red, orange and pink. In my long life there have been many sanctuaries and so many beautiful windows...perfect for contemplation. The floor plans and architectural drawings are from an older European temple.The names written on the side are of the months of the year according to our lunar calendar ....year 5770.

Quiet summer week ahead for me. All set to continue to water my tomato plant...the little green tomatoes need sunshine and we've been fogged in for days!

I'm planning on using some new materials in the studio this week. GAC-100 and also will play with some Clear Tar Gel. Too cold to paint outside with oils but I'll gesso some papers to prepare when it gets warmer? Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Summer Studio

Acrylic, 15"x15' Rives BFK paper, collage, trim, graphite. This one and another one was inspired at my Sabbath services last week. The prayers, the chants and rituals reminded me of ancient connections bringing to mind all the humans and all the humans connecting with the divine. I saw a dear friend and later, after services it was so great to hug and chat...break bread with everyone and nibble on sweets and tea.

Outside studio is going well...finally feeling more confident with mediums so I'm ready to gesso paper and begin. Deena and I have planned a midweek studio retreat for next week so the fun continues.

Fourth of July we are attending a neighborhood BBQ. Skirt steak, corn and and....! The weather promises to be sunny and warm so eating out under umbrellas will be divine. Some new people have moved into the neighborhood and I'm looking forward to meeting some new neighbors. We have (all retired) a dancer, a therapist (part-time yoga instructor) and a photography instructor...promising some interesting conversations. I'm a bit of a recluse...only going up to the pool for a daily floating session but even recluses need some laughs and Pablo is more of a 'people' person.

We shopped for that Panama Hat and found a beauty but it was way over the budget ($125) so he opted for a safari khaki hat that has a charming look all it's own. Now I need to find the perfect purse!

HAPPY JULY 4TH!!!!!!!!