Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Great Read and Cleaning the Studio

I recently finished STRAPLESS: John Singer Sargent and the Fall of Madame X by Deborah Davis.It was a fascinating read about Europe and the US in the time of the Belle Epoch, and colorfully describes the social customs of artists and the elite, and the intertwined lives of Sargent and the woman who was the subject of the painting MADAME X, which resides at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC. Sex, fashion, mores, scandals, and affairs, the author tells the story is a lively manner. I could not put down the book; it is much more animated than the other biography I am reading, The Duchess. It is a must read for those who are interested in the art and social customs of that period. Illustrations in both black and white and color, and it is a book that will be kept for reference and as part of my art book collection.

The studio took in water again with all the storms, and I am tearing it apart, and boxing up things that I will no longer use and posting it on yahoo groups first before I take the time to post it to Etsy. Antique paper, vintage marbled paper, mixed media/rubber stamp supplies. Though I will take a considerable loss, it is better to make room for my canvases and paints, and find a home for others who will use them..than to have them sit and collect dust. With my water problems, I am trying to simply and keep everything I can off the floor even though they are in plastic.

Off to wash my hands, and make a drink.. It is hot and dusty work!


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Small Paintings

The past few days have been full of domestic duties and art time.I have a handful of canvases/boards that are partially painted, and need finishing.I have to force myself at times to finish what I start..too easy to have flotsam and jetsam cluttering up the this summer I have managed to finish and frame a few collages, as well as some of my paintings.

Here are two that I worked on...small 6 x 6" oils on lovely wood panels, with 3/4" painted wood sides. Perfect to hang on the wall as is, or else floated in a frame. One of my goals today is to order up some frames from Dick Blick so I can finish off a few of my pieces. I have a few bucks in my business account, though that will go fast I am sure. Just need to sell a few paintings. AND, by the way, if you are interested in any paintings that I show here, please inquire! Make me an offer I can't refuse!

Oh, and I was on TV last night..on Apocalypse Varga, public TV in Woodstock. Christina runs the Visionary Art Collective where I show my work. It was fun, though I have to say I was a bit nervous and it felt very unnatural to be up on a stage with a mic in front of my face. Those things make me nervous. It was fun to show a few of my larger oils which have not gone out into the public yet, and see how a small TV show is operated/streamed. FASCINATING! Oh and as an aside, someone called up to say they liked my art, then proceeded to ask some twisted sex question. Fortunately Christina had not been able to hook the phone up to the TV set, and it never got asked on air. Sheesh, and I had not even discussed what I love about the sunsuality of the paint!

Off to tidy up the studio for a bit, then perhaps paint some more. My electric was out for hours yesterday, and I never got some reference photos printed up so that I can finish a few more pieces.

out to da studio!


Sunday, August 16, 2009

In Progress

Here are three painting in progress that I started on the Cape. They are very rough, are blocked out in acrylic, and I suspect that they will all be done however in oils over the acrylic. I cannot achieve my vision in the acrylics, save perhaps for the one of the salt marsh.

The blue one is a view from our terrace at 10 pm at night, the glow from the town of Wellfleet hovering over the tree line of the marsh, with the little lights from the huge house on the march aglow.

The other is of a sunset in progress....lots more to add.

The final one of the salt Marsh at Great Island. Only just started.

Will have to work on these this week, along with one of the distant view of the Hudson from Olana that needs another layer. I am liking painting small for a bit, but do miss the looseness of the large canvas.

Off to swim for our last day of the weekend...and maybe some time later on in the studio.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

From Wellfleet

The days have been sunny here, and more conducive to going to the beach and exploring than for painting.

One cloudy morning I primed 7 canvases with black gesso, which has been the color of my ground for the past year. I have been working on a variety of smaller canvases, which are easier to transport, and I figure easier to sell than large canvases. Also, cheaper to frame. I am hoping to bring some of them to my yearly art/craft fair that I do, as I start to phase out craft for painting.

As I study with different artists and teachers, I learn new techniques. Some I have abandoned, using only what works for me, others I incorporate into my work on a long term basis, until I have mastered it, or discover something else. I am trying not to bounce around too much, as I don't want to be a master at nothing.

I have taken many photos, a few which will be used for painting in the studio. Like with technique, I take what I like, and leave the rest. The photos are useful for seeing shape, light, and color, though the greens and intense blues of the marsh are etched into my brain.

Today is cloudy, and perhaps I will start a painting. I have bought acrylics with me, which I am learning to use better as I learn to paint with oils. I know it sounds odd, but as I became more adept at handling oil, I am learning how to tame acrylics in spite of their fast drying time.
They no longer frustrate me quite like they did in collage years, where I likened to painting with acrylics to skiing, going from quick packed powder, to slush.

Photos of the salt marsh.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Heading Out

Haven't been in the studio for a while as I had to take off to Westchester and Queens to see my aunt for the last time before she passes on, and then I had to pack for my trip to the Cape and do the 10,000 things that need to be done in order to get away for a week.

For the first time I am bringing paints other than watercolors with me, along with a bunch of small canvases.

With the way the summer is going, I am sure that every single day isn't going to be warm and sunny, so I hope that I can set up my table easel somewhere and paint. I will have my digital camera, and my laptop, so that I can access my painting reference photos, or else I will just paint the landscape outside one of the windows..unless there is none. And, since I have never rented this house before, who knows what view there is, if any.

I feel a slow but sure improvement in my painting. Each time I do a painting, something is learned about composition, color, technique. I am striving to find a voice in how I express my emotion in my work, to give it a niche in the world of landscape painting. And, I have only painted the ocean a few times before, so this will be an opportunity to expand my horizons.

It is now 4 am..and I hope I can get back to sleep. More from the cape, Patti