Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Our studios at the Arsenal Center are like fish bowls--glass walls face out into the hall.  This evening mine looked magical from the outside:I started this piece in earnest today.  I was thinking of leaving it as a drawing because I liked it so much already.  But then my curiosity got the better of me–I couldn't resist seeing where I could take the image with paint.  Before I left the studio I went over the drawing with pen, and covered the paper with a drippy purply-blue washes.  I was sort of spent when I left the studio, and feeling too lazy to take a picture of the painted surface. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Today I created a ribbon fiasco in my studio.  There is currently a web of ribbons and strings stretched across my side of the room, hanging and looping from the beams and duct work.  It's a setup for my next painting.  I was careful to contain the mayhem to my side of the room, but I'm still sort of hoping my studio-mate steers clear of the studio this week.  She might get tangled.
I've been working through some ideas for a new series of larger watercolor and gouache paintings.  I'm an avid journal-keeper.  My journals are kind of ugly and utilitarian--a kind of mad, stream of consciousness scrawl.  But I love them anyway, and try to pizzazz them up with purple sparkly gel pens.  I have friends who keep gorgeous journals.  Sometimes I get a little bit covetous and try to make mine beautiful too.  But then the journal becomes all stilted and loses its function for me.  So in the end I always revert to the mad scrawl.  

I traded Deb some of my painted eggs and got the two paintings on the left in return.  The two on the right were wedding presents.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What Next

Yesterday I finished this little series of white egg portraits.  Out of the (roughly) 30 eggs I've painted so far these are my favorites:After I finished the eggs I wasn't sure what to do next.  I had two bright, white, primed panels glimmering dauntingly at me from across the studio.  I avoided them by making this tiny little doodle:  
It's a lesser goldfinch dreaming of faraway places.   

This morning I still wasn't sure what to do next so I made this little warmup painting:

The bird's coat is inspired by the one worn by the littlest boy in this photo (a gift from my down-the-hall studio neighbor):

The people in the picture looked sadly stiff to me, so I decided to loosen them up by giving them singing Warbler heads (obviously):And this will be my starting place tomorrow.  I can tell I'm onto something because this image is making me giddier by the minute!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I've been delving more into my egg portraits:
I like this little guy, holding his tongue (and beak for that matter), but thinking exclamatory thoughts.  !  Sorry about the blurry photo.  I was rushing!
I'm feeling like my blog has been too "me, me, me," lately.  I want to be a more generous blogger.  So here is tiny little list of some others who, me, me:

Camilla is a wonderful Swedish artist/illustrator with an amazing web presence, including her gorgeous website, blog and flickr sets.  Her work is incredibly quirky and ambiguously evocative.  I can't get enough of it.  She is also a very generous blogger, sharing beautiful bits of inspiration and linking to all kinds of delicious morsels.    
Laura is a Boston area sculptor and installation artist.  Her work is the embodiment of my three criteria for great art*: head, heart and hands.  Head: there are intellectual ideas and principles behind her work.  Heart: in addition to feeling intuitive and authentic, her objects and spaces are clearly labors of love.  Hands:  her crafts-woman-ship is just dreamy.  Laura recently had a show at the Boston Sculptors Gallery, that I was lucky enough to see.  FYI, photos don't so her work justice.

*Normally I would urge you to take any kind of criteria that I make up with a grain of salt, except that I didn't make up the head, heart, hands principle.  It was actually introduced to me by Robert Schelling when he was my sculpture teacher at Wellesley.  And Robert was such a lovely, generous and thoughtful teacher that it would be just silly to dismiss his thoughts on the matter.

I discovered Cary Walker's blog last week through her Etsy Shop, which I found by happy accident.  Cary makes little woodsy felt objects which are, quite simply, crafty-delicious.  I might just get one to tide me through the rest of this winter!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Just Plugging Away

I started this piece as one of my one hour warm-up paintings.  But it took on a life and story of its own and became a two day painting/collage.  It is watercolor, gouache and acrylic on tea-stained paper, mounted on top of acrylic on wood panel.  It's not actually crooked, I was just photographing lazily.  
It has a caption: Of all her suitors Walter was, by far, the loudest.

I haven't figured out a way to work the caption into the piece.  I like the composition as is, but I do want the text to be a physical part of the painting.  

I have been painting eggs like a fiend (just the base coats so far, but fiendish nonetheless).  I've been obsessively rearranging and grouping them.  
These white ones are going to be part of an installation along with the Of all her suitors collage.  
Hmmmm.  Maybe I'll try some warmer tones today....

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Wintery Things and More Eggs

My attempt to embrace winter continues.  If I could see anything (anything at all) without my contact lenses, this nifty ice sculpture would be the first thing I would see every morning:   
It makes me wonder a little bit about the state of our gutters.  But our landlord recently commented on the gutters, and knowing that he is aware of the situation frees me to embrace the aesthetic awesomeness of our giant icicles.

The other morning I went snow shoeing in the park behind our house.  I saw lots and lots of animal tracks; little mice had been skipping across the snow, rabbits had been hippity-hopping between the trees.  But I chose to capture these exotic dog tracks:
What can I say?  I liked the composition.  And they could be coyote.  A REALLY BIG coyote (for the Northeast anyway).  
I have nothing against the name Phyllis, but this rock always cracks me up.  To me Phyllis is a gentle, older lady, with a soft, cottony white halo of hair.  Add a can of spray paint and a rebellious streak, and I chuckle.  I can't help it. 

I have two new photo albums.  They were a steal on Ebay.  Here's a little peek:

I've been working steadily on a new group of eggs.  (The goldfinch on the left was a commission).  I'm working on a new installation of these guys for our faculty show at the Arsenal Center.  They're just so darn addictive.  

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

On a superficial note, I'm skeptical about my new haircut.  On the one hand, it's nice to have a change.  But it might make me look a little bit like a soccer mom.  

I finished the snail painting today.  I've never mounted paper on panel before, and I like how it came out: 
I'm trying to appreciate the bountiful (positive connotation, check!) snow that winter has bestowed upon us this year.  I confess, it's a struggle.  But the flakes were fluffy and floating outside my studio today, which a nice alternative to last week's freezing rain.