Thursday, May 20, 2010

Letters from Home

The good news…My daughter is home from college!

The bad news…she just got her tonsils out and I'll be home at least a week taking care of her.

So no studio time for me for a while. :(

I did get to the studio last week for some brief visits. The first was to clean the mess made by the gallons of water that crawled under the studio door during the horrific early morning rain on May 13. A lot of cardboard and a couple of doormats had to be sacrificed to the rain gods but luckily it appears that no work sustained anything more than good wipe down.

The following day I was able to go back, put a few things back in place a paint a bit, knowing it would be a while before I was back. Boy the place sure feels clean after a good mopping up! But I miss my carpet under my feet. It's still drying outside in "Carpet ICU" and I'm not sure it's going to make it.

It was a gorgeous day so I opened the garage door and had full sunshine and breeze which was wonderful, though tricky when the wind came through!

"Don't Forget to Call" makes further progress. It's time to leave it alone. It's at risk of getting "too cooked". Time to prepare it for framing.

"Don't Forget to Call"
36" x 48"
Oil and acrylic gel transfer on board

The smaller piece Hopper inspired piece has taken a drastic turn. The palette changed. I thought I really loved the colors I was working with but then I saw a Matisse still life at the Art Institute and the colors were so incredible that I just had to work with them and I really love it. A few more details in this painting and that's all. I want to keep it simple.

Before and after ---------->

I go crazy at home now that I don't have a studio here. I try to think of what art projects I can create at home…Anything to keep me from cleaning and cooking!

I pulled out my sketchbook and sat outside yesterday with some pencils and oil pastels. Did you know those melt really easily in the sun? Go figure! My challenge to myself was to create something personal that did not use a reference such as a photo or object. And to think of the figure as a metaphor instead of a literal representation.

I never work without a visual reference, but I had been thinking of Hollis Sigler, the Chicago artist who died a few years ago. She had suffered from cancer for many years and her work evolved into a visual journal of her war with the disease, as well as other issues facing a strong minded feminist woman. Clearly her work came from her imagination and her soul. Doing that type of art is probably the scariest thing I can think of doing.

I once had an artist acquaintance challenge me to look at a blank canvas and just start painting. No pre-thought, no goal, no composition in mind. And I can think of nothing harder. I worry that there's nothing there. Thankfully, I'm not suffering from a life threatening illness, a burden that often leads to soul baring and creative freedom, at a great cost. But of course I have my turmoils. I've acknowledged my issues with my children getting older, of becoming an empty nester, my parents aging. My middle aged body has produced a weight issue I keep meaning to address and I never was an easy going type to begin with, so you know THAT'S not getting any better. So yes, I have plenty of stuff to stuff into a painting. The question remains, can my mind work that way?

I can't post the drawing I did yesterday. I don't know what to make of it yet and I'd be embarrassed. I have no idea if it's any good. It's probably a cliche. But I did it. And maybe someday I'll be able to show it to the world.

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