Thursday, July 9, 2009

Spring Tea for 2

Spring Tea for 2
June 5, 2009
16" x 20"
Oil on Canvas
I was asked again (well alright the truth is I asked) if I could paint as live demo/entertainment at the Allied Arts Council's 'Wine and Cheese Open House'. It was a fantastic evening and gave me, the artist with a sopping wet train wreck of a studio, a place and a time to paint. I brought in some fabric to use with the AAC's beautiful tea cups and saucers. I set it up and I had to stop people from picking them up. Everyone wanted to clean up someone's left behind cups. There are so many countless instances were I find myself shouting "Please don't touch, that's my still life!" I once had a very pleasing still life with a bunch of random dishes, plastic colanders, pots, bowls, and such sitting in the middle of my kitchen table. Well my mother came over for a quick visit and started looking at the funky new colander that I had laying on the table and before a word could slip out of my mouth she started putting my still life away in the cupboards. I don't know any other profession where you would yell and get upset if people tidied up after you.
As for the actual painting, I do admit that it is not perspectively perfect, but I do love the fabric. I had brought it in to one of my still life classes for my students to use as a background. I was completely amazed with one particular student's work where she painted a pair of black shiny shoes ontop of it. Since that class I had been yearning for the chance to tackle it. I am most positive that it will appear in future paintings. It is weird because it is both a challenge and a pleasure to paint, usually challenge and pleasure don't occur in the same sentence for me. I have to be attentive to detail yet aware of the whole thing. Though I do think it has this strange softness that it naturally forces the painting to take. It really is not about the cups at all, they just help to define what they are sitting on which is the true subject matter. You wouldn't read it as a table cloth unless there was something sitting on top of it. Let me know what you think, right now just my family sees it in my kitchen. With all the paintings coming and going from my walls they don't really give a hoot about it. After about the 700th painting I have stopped asking for opinions. I seem to get the same answer anyways. "Yeah, it's good", translates to -yeah it's another painting. I ask so much of my family as it is, I take up a lot of space, hang my paintings all over the house, and of course I end up yelling every now and then "Hey, don't touch that! That's my still life."

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Reflecting on Spring

I Knew That Night
from series: Night Time Conversations
May 1, 2009
26 1/2" x 48"
Acrylic on Panel
Life had forced me to take a little break from blogging, but here I am, back with more to tell and new paintings to share.
I love Spring. I love the smell and freshness that Spring brings, but my Spring did not seem to last long, how time flies!
I kicked off my Spring with putting in a new garden and small flower bed. I thought how lovely it would be to paint my own flowers in the Summer. I have had fantastic dreams of plein air painting, that I have yet to live out. It doesn't help that I have a serious problem when it comes to Summer planning. For some reason I have a compelling need to fill up my calendar until I am writing along the margins. What is wrong with me! For some reason I get it into my brain that more day light means more time to cram in commitments. How unrealistic! What really caught me off guard was a small flood in my studio that put my art production to a crawl. Well, at least I am in motion!
The flood was caused by an unknown nail that was through the pipe that leads to the outdoor tap. When I went to water my newly planted garden I saw in the window next to the tap, water spraying down all over my studio from the ceiling. Oh, man did a few curse words spray from my mouth! That lead to a whole evening of ripping apart my studio and mopping up water. At least it was clean water. There wasn't much damage and hardly any damage to the building, thank goodness. I had built up some temporary shelving for my canvases that was made out of thick cardboard and this cardboard ended up saving my paintings by absorbing most of the water.
So now my studio is still in this state disarray, but I see this as an opportunity. I have recently received some hardware to build some counters and shelves, so now I just need to find the time to build and reorganize. When I do get a couple of free hours I dig out a place to paint instead of cleaning up or reorganizing! But can you blame me I am a painter that needs to paint!
Now for the above painting. I must thank the Allied Arts Council for inviting me to give a live painting demo as apart of the entertainment at their Decadent Dessert Gala fundraiser, where I painted this painting. That event lead to a picture of me painting this painting published in our local paper. I really fed off of the crowds overall buzz that night. It helped to give this painting energy and life. I painted this in acrylic paint because I knew that people would be eating and I was unsure about the quality of ventilation in the building. I personally find acrylics less aromatic. Not to put down oil paint because I absolutely love the smell of oil paint. It makes me sigh and I feel like I am home when I smell it.
Well now that has sent me into day dreaming about oil paint. That alone inspires me.