Thursday, October 18, 2012

What's Black and White and can be Read all over?

Give up? It's a black and white photograph of an abstract painting!   :)  (perhaps a poor riddle, I realize!) My instructor said there is a reason why a painting would be reproduced in black and white. It is for the viewer, perhaps a student such as myself, to be able to see the balance and rhythm of it all without being influenced by color used. Of course that made sense!

And as I had my camera on me, I excitedly decided to give it a try. For the first time in this way, I used my camera as a tool. I set the setting to black and white so that when I looked through its lens the colors within a painting were no longer. As a result I found I was no longer influenced by the color I had chosen and found instead a surprising amount of neutral, unexciting, undramatic gray.......

Here are a couple of paintings and what happened along the way in class #6:
I was surprised to see how grey/neutral this was without color!! What I thought was bold and drama really wasn't working, at least not for me..... and so I decided to shake things up a bit......
It didn't take long before I had created some dramatic darks and lights. The grayness was disappearing...... 
This is the end of my work with this piece for today. Definitely a step in the right direction, I think. I'm curious to see it in color (which I imagine sounds strange as you would think I would be noticing the color as I'm actually painting with color and not with black and white. But now I am really able to use color to create depth (in values of gray through my camera's lens) in a very different way than before!)
Here's another:
This is the painting referenced in my post about class #5......
and the magic beings, layer by layer.....

I had no idea the variety of shades of gray I could achieve through the use of color!

And so the fun continues.....

layer by layer, value by value, a push and a pull

by large and small, papa bear, mama bear, and baby.....

inviting the eye to come and stay for (a long) while......

Stay tuned! I look forward to sharing what I learn next  :)

Abstract Painting - Class #5

I walked out of class #5 having been introduced to the idea of creating "drama" and "boldness" with the brush and color. The idea is to have bold drama consistently throughout, to invite the eye and keep it interested. Now, that is the idea, which I found to be much easier said then done.....

The above image is a detail of a larger work in progress - according to my teacher, this shows exactly what is meant by "drama" and "boldness".  The image below is the full painting, which shows what isn't there, what is missing throughout the rest of the piece..... I am now able to see the difference!

Checkmarks, highlights, circles and more

The list of paintings and their newly titled patterns
 I wanted to share the visual process of what I had just completed the other day at exactly 12:00 noon (the timing of it's completion couldn't have been better!).  It was quite a process, but one I enjoyed and found immense satisfaction in. 

The completed list includes 25 oil paintings and 53 different patterns. Some of the patterns stand alone under each painting, while others coordinate with others from the same painting. And I was reintroduced to still others that are a possibility of becoming a new addition to my portfolio down the road.

The end result, not only of the visual portfolio I'll have in hand to show and tell, can also be found on my computer. My organizational skills (thankfully!) showed up for the job and I love how easy it will now be to find what I need. There was a short time ago when this was not the case due to perhaps laziness or the desire to not be at the computer any longer than I need to be or the molehill that had grown into a huge mountain of undertaking! (case-in-point: the green highlighted titles above - the patterns I remember so clearly creating for each where missing in action! I did eventually find them.....)

I also found I have learned a ton about creating these patterns since the beginning and found that some of my earlier original files needed some TLC. All in all, it's all coming together. With this part near completion, updating my website to reflect all 53 possibilities is now on the to-do list  :)  Stay tuned!

Home Sweet Home

8" x 6" encaustic and mixed medium on wood

A couple of months ago, my good friend, Patty, thought of me and my Tiny Little Houses and offered to put me into contact with Ecumen, a local non-profit specializing in senior housing. She had been contacted by them in regard to their gala, "No Place Like Home" that will be taking place the beginning of November.  At that time, Ecumen will be celebrating their 150th anniversary and having a silent auction to raise money for their Awakenings Project. 

I immediately came up with a visual idea upon hearing about it all. The image above shows the completed piece.... and I have to say, it did indeed seem to be a perfect fit for the cause    :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Time for Patterns

I decided to finally take the time to pull together all of my patterns that I have created over the years from my original oil paintings. I have a portfolio designed (to be constructed locally in Minneapolis) and materials have been ordered ~ everything is coming together! As I have been figuring out the layout and putting names to each of my patterns, I unexpectedly found/was reminded how much I enjoy the work I have done. It has been fun to revisit the stories in the layers of oil and to see how I interpreted them into pattern.

I can hardly wait to have this tool to share with everyone! As always, stay tuned  :) 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Abstract Painting #4

The layers continued on in my 4th class. Though there is a bit of glare on the following photographs and thus the colors are not clearly represented, I'm excited by the direction of the paintings. I felt like I was loosening up a bit (I approached the painting as I was my garden, out of control, and beautiful in its chaos), and I also liked the thin layers I achieved with the oil - showing the under layers through it all. 

My instructor suggested I cover a larger area of the canvas with a color and not just a bit here and there.... A curious idea - I'm not exactly sure if I can picture this yet.... Though I'll give it a try in my next class. Stay tuned.....  :)

P.S. I have to say, I'm surprised by my opinion of painting on wood. I'm no longer sure it's a fit for me - at least at this time in my life.... Hmmmm......

Pair of wooden panels - abstract oil layer #3

Abstract oil layer #2

Abstract oil layer #3

Abstract oil layer #4

Abstract oil layer #3

Abstract oil layer #4

Opposites Attract -- 3rd Abstract Class

I started my 3rd class with the knowledge I left with the week before. As I was on my way out, my instructor's parting words:
 Dark and light. Cool and warm. Small and large (and even, "mama bear, papa bear, and baby bear"). If you are able to make every layer count with the balance of it all you won't need to play catch up in the following layers. 

Boy, that made such easy sense! I love the visual of opposites attracting and I love the idea that there can be in each and every layer a rhythm that invites the eye. Now I just have to put this easy sense into reality!

So I pulled out my largest canvas ever - well at least for me. Though it didn't take long before it was covered in its first layer of oil.
24" x 30" - abstract oil layer #1
I continued on with the paintings I had shared with you from the week before. I found it challenging trying: to not necessarily be influenced with the layers previously laid down; to have fun and to not take the paint too seriously; and to create the balance desired within it all. I also needed to remember to loosen the hold on my paint brush..... All of which made my head hurt! Maybe I'm thinking too much? Regardless, the following is what I did (though it's hard to see without the previous day's work side by side to know exactly what is different, but feel free to visit my previous posts!)

Abstract oil layer #3

Abstract oil layer #2

Abstract oil layer #3

Abstract oil layer #3

Abstract oil layer #2

Painting Abstractly - 2nd Class

(The following 3 paintings are paintings I had started at home. Please see my post from Sept. 17th for the chronological progression of my process on these....)

I started my second day of class with my wooden canvas. The application of paint, in this abstract method, was so very different from my usual way of painting on the texture and rigidity of the wood. I'm curious to see where this goes......
Pair of wooden panels - abstract oil layer 1

I then took one my new canvases I had finger painted the foundation on. I found I really liked painting on canvas! Who knew?!  :)
8" square - abstract oil layer 1

I continued on with the next canvas. This particular piece seemed to have a very strong imagery/presence from the very beginning of my finger painting. I found it interesting to follow this foundation in the first layer of oil. I'll be curious to see if this imagery remains throughout the process......
8" x 20" - abstract oil layer 1
As the class is 3 hours long and the above 3 paintings took about 1/2 that time, I still had time to continue work on the 3 I had started my first week. I found approaching their 2nd layer even harder than I imagined! 
Whereas the first week, I had a blank canvas to paint on, here I'm presented with/working on top of layers I really like!  (Please see my post as to what they looked like before the following).  

But I really wanted to work towards the idea of having 5 layers of paint on a piece (suggestion from my instructor), so I just had to jump in!
6" x 4" - abstract oil layer #2

8" x 10" - abstract oil layer #2

8" x 10" - abstract oil layer #2
And I have to say, afterwards, as scary as it was, this second layer really added to the whole of it all. What fun! Stay tuned for the 3rd.......