Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mending Fences

I've been on a painting frenzy this past week.....a quick weekend getaway to Scottsdale inspired me in a big way. We walked through the galleries, ate fabulous dinners in the trendy restaurants and met some wonderful artists. The economy has really hit this art mecca hard but the artists who are surviving are optimistic for better times. They're gearing up for their "artist season" kickoff which happens every October -- I'm hoping to go back in a few weeks and join the celebration!
Here's one of several paintings I finished this week. It's an 8" x 8" x 1/2" diptych on canvas with acrylics, charcoal, pastels, and markers. I've named it "Mending Fences."

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fire Down Below

Last Wednesday evening I was working with several paintings on paper that had bright pastels and jewel tones. I was playing with the many glorious colors when I grabbed a tube of black acrylic paint to do an accent on one of the paintings. After I started brushing the black around on the canvas I realized I hadn't done a very good job of cleaning the yellow paint from the previous strokes. The combination of the black and yellow made a beautiful khaki green color and I decided to explore the mixture a bit more. "Fire Down Below" is the result and is a 12" x 12" acrylic abstract on canvas. Given the recent and ongoing fires we've had in California these past few weeks I feel it's an appropriate title.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Child's play

Now that I've got my painting supplies and everything out of my house and into my studio downtown I'm finding the strongest urge to paint when I'm home! I make an effort to paint in the studio at least 3 or 4 times a week but being the contrary Gemini that I am I want to paint at night before bedtime or early in the morning before leaving for work. After a couple weeks of this internal conflict I decided to bring some supplies home and give into my urge. My goal was to paint with abandon and stop thinking so hard about painting something concrete -- simply paint what I feel.
So....I reached for the first color that grabbed me fron my limited paint choices and squeezed a big juicy blob lime green onto my plastic plate palette. Brushed the color on then lightened it with some gesso. Grabbed another tube of paint and repeated the action. I was working fast and decided I needed to make more than one piece at a time so brought out another piece of paper and two small canvasses. Over the span of the evening I finished 4 pieces of art that I actually liked and thoroughly enjoyed making! This time it was the process -- not a preconceived picture in my mind that determined the finished product.

This is what intuitive painting is all about. It's going with your gut and grabbing the first thing that catches your eye. It's working fast without thinking. It's abandoning the rules and letting your inner muse out to play. It's like going back to kindergarten and announcing to the world that you're an artist and getting that confirmation when you proudly hand your masterpiece to your Mom & Dad who rush to stick it on the refrigerator for the rest of the family to stand around and agree to your declaration. It's standing back when you're finished painting and feeling a sense of completion and joy that you didn't let your inner critic come out and squash your artisitic spirits like a bug.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Big weekend

This coming weekend (September 12 and 13) is our first official 2nd Saturday at the new studio AND the Sacramento Artists' Studio open houses. My studio mate, Brenda Boles and I have been busily getting ready for the big event. I have to say I'm filled with my usual anxiety and nervousness that accompanies a show that I'm required to be present at. I can remember one opening I had at 20th Street Gallery several years ago where I actually snuck out of the gallery and came home a couple of hours before the reception ended because I was having a panic attack. Seriously -- a full fledged, paralyzing panic attack that came out of nowhere and I can remember coming home feeling foolish; upset and full of questions about whether or not I was cut out to be an artist. Since then I've rarely attended an opening where my art was featured unless it was a requirement of the gallery.

Well now I've gone and opened my own studio and being open for 2nd Saturdays and receptions is part of the deal. It will be interesting to see how this weekend critical self keeps asking "is my art any good?" and "why am I doing this?" "Maybe I should continue to be represented by my wonderful and patient galleries and just let them sell my work for me?"

Most people know me as being a glass artist. But the past year or so I've resurrected my love for painting again and have fallen in love with acrylics. As any of my artist friends who have created with me will tell you I am a quick worker when it comes to painting. I work on several pieces at one time and am a whir of energy as I happily splash color onto various papers and canvasses. This also means I have a lot of work that needs to either be stored, sold, or given away. Opening my own studio seemed like a logical way to get these finished works out of my house and into another place to be stored; shared; and hopefully enjoyed by someone other than my friends, family and myself.

Getting the studio was serendipitous -- so many things just "fell into place" that it's almost scary to recount the experience. Bottom line is I'm now out there in my own studio and am learning the art business which is WAY different than the real estate world that I've been involved with forever. I can honestly say I feel alive and energized; my inner child is being nourished and is thriving again and I'm keeping my fingers crossed I won't have a panic attack and run out of my own show this weekend. Wish me luck :-)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New Beginnings

Today was the official opening day for our studio at The Foundary Building! I managed to spend about an hour or so there this afternoon before heading home after a busy day at my main job. Started work on two more paintings and finished two little abstracts on 300 lb. Arches paper. They're called "Waving Goodbye" and "Kindred Spirits" and are each 5.5" x 7.5"