Monday, December 22, 2008

Big Sky Blog

I meant to post before running off to the wild west for the holidays, but it just didn't happen!  What's more is that I didn't upload pictures from last weeks' studio time before I left for Montana.  So the image above is something I finished two weeks ago, but I figure it's better than nothing.  ;)

In other, very exciting news, my friend, cartoonist and fellow teacher, Richard Jenkins has started a blog!  Yay Richard!  I'm looking forward to getting a glimpse into his working practices.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

And....I Mucked it Up.

Woopsie.  I just couldn't leave it alone, even after what I said!  I still like this painting, but I liked it better before I added that drippy flower.  The image definitely had more power, and felt more elegant when it was just the bird and egg on the tea-stained paper.  Today I'm going to make a companion piece for this one.  I think it will work better as half of a pair.  And then I'm going to make one where I don't try to hide my insecurities behind drippy stuff!  Sheesh!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Birthday Blog, or Good Ol' 12/10 is Here Again

Somehow (and I don't know how this happened) I've turned 30.  Ee Gads!

Yesterday I made this little painting of a cerulean warbler woman.  This photo is an abomination, but you get the idea.  Today I'll refine her dress and body, and then I think she'll be finished.  I like the simplicity of this image--it feels good.  My impulse is usually to clutter and muck things up a lot.  But I think this bird lady works just as she is.  I might add some stars though.  Just a few!  I also took 3 little paintings to the framer yesterday.  I love my framer, and I highly recommend them, even though I'm tired of framing my work.  

And I can't even believe that I forgot to mention the fact that I am now the proud owner of two little Deb Putnoi paintings!  As you can see, they live above my plants.

And I am also the proud new owner of this Cat Bennett painting that I wrote about here.  The bowl and vase below it are wedding presents, and the little glass basket-looking thing was my grandmother's.  I've been nesting like a fiend.

These Dust Bunnies by Janet Scudder were also wedding presents.  They're made from repurposed socks and other kinds of clothing.  I feel like Janet needs an Etsy site, but until she puts one up, you can buy these little buddies, and lots of other handmade goodies, at the Arsenal Center for the Arts December Shop.

I feel the need to share the manner in which my beloved husband, washer of dishes, folder of laundry, and chronic older brother, tries to torture me.   Because this (see above) is how he "hid" my birthday present.  In plain site, wrapped in a towel.  He brought it home, put it right there next to the attic stairs, and told me not to look at it.  But ha HA, I passed the test!  "Don't look at it," obviously means "don't look under the towel," which I did NOT do.  But analyzing the size and shape of the box was clearly fair game.  And lifting it with closed eyes, to determine the weight, was also not forbidden under the rule, "don't look at it."  In any case, I'm glad this only went on for 1.5 days.  

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Open Studios

I apologize in advance for this lazily written entry!  I'm!
We had open studios today at the Arsenal Center for the Arts.  I put some work out, newer and older.  And I was relieved to see that even with all of the different media, and the widely varying scales and changing palettes, everything somehow, miraculously works together.

And it was very nice to chat with people about the work.  And of course it's always nice to get some pats on the back. ;)

Here's a peek at what I'm working on:
It still feels very unfinished and kind of ugly, but it's all about experimenting!  I like not knowing where or how this will end up.

And before I drop like a stone into bed, I just want to share a picture of my latest culinary success story:
My new favorite thing is consulting the butcher.  
And I'm in love with this dutch oven, which was a wedding present from my dad's dad.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Success!Just so you know, getting married is really fun.  I highly recommend it.  And being married to Charley (although I only have 12 days of experience with it) is REALLY fun.  These pictures are photographs of photographs (I only had printed copies and no scanner), but I couldn't resist posting something to mark such a great day.  I will post something crisper (and knowing me, probably more artsy) when our photographer is finished processing our images.
I like this one, because I'm surrounded by all four of my parental figures, since my stepdad was behind the camera.  

Anyway, now that the wedding is over, it feels good to get back to normal life and take a nice long look around, without getting interrupted by involuntary reveries about centerpieces and place cards.  

Yesterday morning was a great day for good breakfast light, a good breakfast mug, and a good breakfast book:

And I'm back in my studio with a vengeance and some new materials:
Framing is starting to chap my hide.  Not only is it expensive, but it also feels like I'm imprisoning my paintings.  All of the layers and textures and colors that I slave over for weeks and months, become flatter and duller when they are trapped behind glass.  So I've been thinking of ways to make pieces that 1) feel technically and conceptually satisfying 2) can happily exist without frames and 3) can be created without using chemical solvents.  

I have a quilt in my studio that was made by my great, great grandmother.  I've recreated some of the patterns on it in some small paintings.  Last week I went to Fabric Corner in Arlington and found a whole shelf full of awesomely similar patterns--all deliciously dated.  So I bought some and stained it with acrylic paint.  Then I sewed the pieces together with a tiny gouache on paper painting that I made and stretched it onto a wood panel.  I added some more layers of paint and this is the result:
I like it.  I have more in the works, but I'm feeling nervous about sharing too much until I'm a little more confident in the work.  And my next piece is going through it's adolescent awkward phase right now.  But basically, what I'm aiming for with these pieces is to make little, intimate, jewel-like gouache paintings that pop against a kind of dark, roughly textured, layered backdrop.