Tuesday, March 26, 2013

second half of painted ladies

Angry Lady, paint and oil stick on canvas, 35" x 30", 2013
The second half of this blog features more paintings on the figure.  Below,  Matisse's half  is my favorite.  I love Matisse, his colors and his stories or interiors of inside the frame of the picture.  Matisse was a great colorist and rival of Picasso.  While Picasso had a strong edge, Matisse felt that you should look at his work easily, like sitting in an armchair while enjoying the painting.  Going forward, I will be studying interiors to put my new figures into a story or narrative.
Matisse's half, paint and oil stick on canvas, 35" x 30", 2013
Clown Dancer is another work done rigorously.  I am greatly inspired and very energetic while making these works as this is a new body of artwork and the newness invigorates me.  At other times, I have difficulty of what to paint, what to say or if I have anything important to express at all!  This is usually an artist's dilemma and I often struggle with this happening.
Clown Dancer, paint and oil stick on canvas, 30" x 30", 2013
The bottom work titled A study of two is a continuation of more of these works.  Am looking forward to making more messages and putting these figures in a landscape.  At this moment, they are solitary and effective, hoping these paintings can stand on their own.
A study of two, paint and oil stick on canvas, 35" x 30", 2013

Sunday, March 17, 2013

on spring paintings - the feminine and color, 2013

Self portrait in the studio, 48" x 48", oil paint and oil stick on canvas
Listed on this post are all new paintings.  I have been building on the concept of telling stories and at this moment, most of this work is figurative studies of more works to come.  Above, is a portrait of myself and it is housed in our dining room.  I usually put new pieces in my home to live with them and peruse them while I go about my business.  It helps me reflect and access the artwork.  At this point, I am happy with this canvas.
Yesterday and Today's Study I, 35" x 30", oil paint and oil stick on canvas
The next four studies are smaller.  Each work is 35" x 24" and can be termed as figurative paintings on canvas.  I enjoy working with the various colors and do a lot of mark making with oil stick and gesso.  My process is very immediate, as I paint, rub out, paint and erase creating the image I want to make, until the final picture finally shows itself.
Yesterday and Today's Study II, 35" x 30", oil paint and oil stick on canvas
These paintings are worked in the same fashion - painting or making scrawls while each image is done as mentioned above - erasing and painting while the picture evolves.  This process also builds texture and movement to each piece.  These works are also experimentations and designs with color.
Yesterday and Today's Study III,  35" x 30", oil paint and oil stick on canvas
Building ground is one of the more natural things that I do as a painter.  You can see various blocks of color in the background and at the same time this also creates edges to the paintings.  I try to fill the canvas and this to me is the most difficult task.  Balance and composition must all be working together to create a strong work.
on second thought, 35" x 30", oil and oil stick on canvas
The painting below - Gestural Studies - Not a walk in the Park carries a story.  Last week, I photographed myself and my dog walking around the neighborhood block.  The picture was a black and white shadow of our reflections on the snow.  It was my first piece completed in this series and I used this photograph to begin my painting process.  Photographs often give me ideas about what to do or how to proceed in the studio.  Never completely realistic, I enjoy making contemporary expressions that make us look at the world in a different ways.  These works force us to use our imagination.
Gestural studies - Not a Walk in the Park, 48" x 48", oil paint and oil stick on canvas

Friday, March 1, 2013

about place - black and white in another hue

Leaving my blog unattended felt like it was the right thing to do; several classes this past fall semester put me into a whirl of non stop activity.  I successfully taught four classes, all of them being different, creating a full pendulum of strengths and weaknesses from each one made me enjoy the trip of teaching immersion. Every semester, I learn from my classes and add these times to my repertoire as a communicator of insights and information.
Totem Sculpture, Tujunga Canyon, 1995

I took a short visit to Los Angeles early January where I visited the art scene, friends and experienced strikingly brilliant weather.  Coming back to Alaska's grim gray, I realized how spoiled I had become on my visit.  The colors in Southern California were hyper real to me; examining the lush plant life and being struck by the massive Pacific stirred a profound sense of nostalgia.  I had greatly missed the sea.  The weather in Los Angeles wasn't past 55 degrees, rising to 65 degrees in the full afternoon sun but Californians were taking advantage of their winter garb by wearing coats and boots. 
Blum and Poe Gallery, Culver City, CA,  January 2013
My trip to Los Angeles had become more of an adventure in seeing color as was my driving experience with my nifty rental car through the grand boulevards of the inner city with the spectacular southwestern views and waving palm trees.  It was easy driving to me, it was fast going with a constant stimulant to my senses, ongoing ruckus of movement and noise.  I realized why people lived here.  The weather is all welcoming and people seem less uptight, more casual, freer and open. I left Los Angeles for a reason and I wanted to leave, find another adventure, see another landscape and take a risk.
Blue and I out walking

Yesterday in Anchorage, as I was walking the dog I peered by the inlet and looked at the arrangement of the landscape.  Subtle colors of golden grasses became distinct as dark brown stick trees casted another shade adding to the white and grays. The looming mountains peaked through some the cloud layers with snippets of a possible and hopeful blue sky.  Colors in Alaska are muted but it has become my responsibility to find the soft colors beautiful in their own way.  Each time I look at the horizon, outside my window, down a ski trail or outside my car window while driving there are various and constant changes.  This is space in another grand way.  I sometimes question why I don't embrace this landscape so easily and find myself pushing it away.  Other times, I think it is like contemporary art, while I appreciate the grandiose of Alaska perhaps it is too new for me to love it.  Perhaps it is too overwhelming.  I also recognized that by seeing the Pacific, I had taken it for granted, and maybe that is how I react to Alaska's wilderness, it is at a distance but too close to me right now.  It seems like I need to leave a place to fully want it back and maybe that is okay too.  It is okay, and I repeat this mantra quietly quietly for today.