Thursday, February 22, 2018

Works in Progress

I have taken a bit of a break from posting, but hope to get  back to a more regular schedule. Last week I taught three classes at Art and Soul in Portland, Oregon. Great event! And SUPER well attended this year. I'm looking forward to next year.  More on that when all is finalized.

Meanwhile, here are some pieces I've been working on this week. A couple of the black and white ones are finished, the rest are in progress.

18"x24", finished but no title yet; canvas

20"x20", finished but not titled yet; canvas
18"x18" an earlier stage of the following image

Another step along the way of the above image. It's gone a bit further now, but still in process; canvas
The following is one piece in three recent stages.  There were many stages leading up to this point, and I don't know how much tweaking it will take to finish. This is 20"x20" on panel:

I'm thinking this is close to done, but I'm going to let it sit for a while and see what it says to me later.

Thank you for visiting!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Flinging Paint Around

I have been flinging paint around in bright, warm colors to counteract the cold, short, gray days of winter here in Vermont. Here are some pieces, some in progress, from the new series.

The first three are 12"x12" on panel:

The next three are 36"x36" on canvas, ALL in process, none finished.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Collage Papers

As you may know, I recently released a book of collage papers that you can cut and use in your own work.  Here is a little video of me making two collages, inspired by Rex Ray, using my papers.
Find the book here.

I hope the book will inspire you to make your own collage papers as well. Mix them with found papers like book pages, discarded maps, and ephemera for a truly eclectic collection. Use to wrap small gifts, decorate gift tags, and other paper crafts.  Happy Solstice Season!

Find Collage Papers HERE.

I was going to crop these to squares, as you saw in the video, but in the end they looked better as rectangles.  Using a viewfinder, though, can be really helpful in deciding on a final composition.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

White Paint

I tested six different brands of white paint to see how they compared in opacity.

My favorite brand is Blick Matte Acrylic, but it is not available in Canada. I did find that the Holbein, Sennelier, and Pebeo were pretty comparable. I will test the Liquitex a little further to see how it performs in my regular painting practice.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Making Marks

I usually need a break after my busy teaching season, which ended this year with a workshop in Pensacola, FL the first week of November. Then there is Thanksgiving, for which I take time out to see family and cook.  Getting back into the studio for any kind of regular painting practice always takes some time and effort. It's a shift from teaching-traveling mode to more inward-looking, solitary, exploratory mode. The key is to align my expectations with the reality that this is a transition. As enthusiastic as I am to get into my studio after a long season of teaching, it's never easy.

I've been laying pretty low this week with a bad cold, and just poking my head into the studio to push paint around for an hour or two each day.  Works In Progress are great for this: I can just do one or two things to a few pieces with no pressure to finish them, but just to move them along somewhere.

Yesterday I did a little Mark-Making exercise: on a stack of cut-offs from my paper cutter, which are all about 5"x8", I used limited tools to make lines and patterns, paying attention to creating variety and leaving some breathing room.  Here are some of the results:

You can see from these that there is some overlap in the kinds of marks I made. For example the arch or half-circle shape appears in four of them, with variations in a couple of the others. The awkward scribble makes an appearance in a few of them. There is a pattern of irregular dots and dashes in some of them... And yet each one is unique. Each one has something - a color or a mark - that it does not share with others.

I think this kind of working-in-a-group, WITHOUT trying to make anything specific, often reveals some of our default marks, suggests new combinations, and generally greases the wheels for visual exploration. To me it is important that these "studies" have no pressure on them to BE anything other than the result of a process. If they went directly into the wood stove now, it would be fine; their purpose has been served. I've made them, and I've looked at them.

Friday, November 17, 2017

New Studio Construction

My new studio is finally under construction; it is an addition onto my house, which will be very convenient. Unlike the current studio, which is the upstairs of a barn, the new one will have running water - YAY!  A sink where I can wash my brushes and change my paint water. It will also have lots of vertical wall space and high ceilings. Here are a few photos from this week:

The digging begins.  The little building to the right is the back and side of the post office.

The digging is done.

Footings are being poured.
I'll post occasional pictures as it progresses.  I hope it will be done in the spring.

Monday, November 13, 2017

New Book of Collage Papers

My new book of collage papers is now available at Amazon!  This is a book you are meant to cut up and use the pieces in your own work. It includes over seventy 8.5"x11" full page patterns, all from my hand-painted papers, my original paintings, and collages. 

Lucie Duclos helped me design the cover.
I hope this book not only adds to your collage paper stash, but also inspires you to create more of your own hand-paint papers. There is no instruction in this book, just papers.  Check it out.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Mentoring Workshop

I have just a few spots available in my Mentoring Workshop coming up in March in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. This is a five-day workshop in which we all work independently - no instruction, no class assignments - and then I give individual feedback and coaching. We have group discussions and a few slide shows as well.  Here is a little video from my last mentoring workshop.
If you are interested in participating in the 2018 Mentoring Workshop, please e-mail me directly. I will send you the details and a way to sign up. The Atlantic Center for the Arts has light-filled, generous, studio space, comfortable accommodations, and meals right on campus. Five full days of focused art practice!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

North Country Studio Workshops 2018

In January 2018, North Country will offer thirteen simultaneous workshops. All workshops take place in the Visual and Performing Arts building (VAPA) on the campus of Bennington College. Faculty members have been recruited from around the United States, and each of them has won recognition both for artistic achievement and for teaching excellence.
 I am SO much looking forward to taking the printmaking workshop this winter, going back to being a student after teaching at the last session in 2016 (workshops happen every two years). It is an experience full of inspiration and connecting with artists in a wide variety of disciplines. There is concentrated studio time, terrific meals, housing right on campus. Yes, it is January in Vermont, but it's a great time to be indoors working and learning.

There are a few spots available in the Metal Jewelry workshop, with Tim Lazure, and a few in the Sculptural Woodworking with Sylvie Rosenthal.  I would love to see you there as a fellow student.

Tim Lazure

Sylvie Rosenthal

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Another Weekend of Big Fat Art

This Big Fat Art Weekend was in Stowe, Vermont, at the Helen Day Art Center. We laid down masses of color using various techniques, then made lines, shapes, and patterns, painted over previous layers, kept adding stuff and painting over stuff... we flung house paint and High Flow paint, scribbled and dripped, made marks, and made a mess.  Here are some of the students' results (all to be considered works in process) and all around 18"x24" - 22"-30" except where noted.

This one is much larger, maybe 36"x48"

Next year at Helen Day, I will be offering another Big Fat Art Weekend, November 9 - 11.  I will also be teaching a workshop with Suzanne Seigel the week of October 15 - 19.  She will teach techniques for preparing collage papers; then I will teach a collage class.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

More Pictures from Big Fat Art

A few more pix from my Big Fat Art workshop at Port Townsend School of the Arts. Check out their other offerings.  It was fabulous to be on such a vibrant, creative campus. After my workshop I participated in the Port Townsend Ukulele Festival, right there at Fort Worden, presented by Centrum.

One of my demo pieces in process

One of my demo pieces in process

One of my demo pieces in process

student work in progress

student work in progress

student work in progress

student work in progress

student work in progress

student work in progress

student work in progress

student work in progress

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Big Fat Art in Port Townsend

Last weekend I had the pleasure of teachiIt was my Big Fat Art Weekend workshop, and I had an absolutely awesome group, making Big Fat Art! PTSA is in its third season of offering classes and workshops in all types of media, on the campus of Fort Worden State Park, which is home to a number of creative non-profits.  Centrum, Copper Canyon Press, and Madrona Mind Body Institute are just a few.  It is SO COOL that all events from various organizations are coordinated on this calendar, so you can design your own experience. It is inspiring to see so many creative organizations fostering a spirit of cross-pollination and working together.
Detail shots from a few of my demo pieces.

I sometimes play my ukulele in class, to give students a break from my talking and breathing down their necks. 
I will post more pictures of student work in a later post, once I get them organized.

My next gig is teaching at the Vermont Ukulele Harvest, on October 14.  Check it out here.  And see a few videos on our FB page.