Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Artful Garden

Spring weather and the recouping from Studio Tour have found me wanting to be outside rather than in the studio. Sooooo.......

I've been wanting an herb garden right outside my kitchen door, but the layout of our house and parking don't give me a nice sunny spot. There is, however, a spot on the porch outside the kitchen door that gets nice sun.

Two old galvanized tubs with holes drilled in their bottoms + one small galvanized planter + potting soil + plants = a handy and movable herb garden. When the weather turns cold months from now, I can take each pot separately into my greenhouse for herbs over the winter. How cool is that?

For those who follow my art here, not to worry. Heat will soon have me outside only for very brief early AM hours, then in the studio for lots of work.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I wanted to paint this for Studio Tour but all the cleaning and framing and prep for Studio Tour took me away from the act of painting.

Anyway, I must be fascinated with Eagles' Nest these days as I keep taking photos of it. This is drawn from a photo taken after one of our wonderful overnight storms. It's pastel on sanded paper.

I know, I know, I said I was into my mixed media stuff; but this just needed to be a pastel to catch the drifty, dreamy, moody sky.

I finished it this morning after getting some sad family news yesterday evening & it may have taken on a bit more of that quality than I originally intended. There is, however, the dawn, the sunlight breaking through. Seems that's always there if I'm willing to look.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A style of my own

Every time I've moved geographically - and boy, I've done that a lot - it affects my art. This move, 5 years ago, is finally settling in. When we came to Three Rivers we lived in about 800 square feet of dilapidated cabin while we were building our house. With 2 big dogs and 2 cats, well, I couldn't find space to paint that didn't involve pet hair. And, with the process of building, I couldn't find creative energy.

Then, we moved into the house. We had barren soil around us from new construction, and much of my energy went into getting the outside in some sort of shape. That, of course, will be a lifetime process; but it's at an acceptable level now. And, that has allowed my creative energies to finally move into the realm of my art in a more dramatic way.

All this leads up to what I'm doing now:

This triptych represents Eagles' Nest peak, which I can see from the east window of my studio. What I've done is start with three 16 x 20 inch canvases. Each of those has about 8 different papers adhered with matte medium - rice paper, various tissue papers, etc. They are scrunched, one of those technical terms I love, and twisted and mounded, to give texture in places I want. Of course, the papers have a character of their own, and I have only partial control of the texture results. I like that. I want my paintings to tell me what they want to be.

After lots of paper application and drying, I can begin to paint. That's when the textures start to come alive. This one is all acrylic; some also have watercolor and/or pastel. So, it's paint, let dry, paint, let dry, and on and on. Finally comes the application of a varnish so the piece can hang without glass. I've chosen a gloss varnish because I like how it highlights the texture.

As a postscript, I'm so glad Studio Tour is over! It's utterly exhausting for me and takes my energy away from my creativity and puts it on the eternal "will it sell" - which I don't like. I'm happier making my art and letting it be appreciated or not. So there.