Friday, December 28, 2007

Rick's Pool #4- Christmas Moon

Rick's Pool #4- Christmas Moon 6 x 6 oil
$100+$10 shipping
The moon on Christmas Eve was huge. It never ceases to amaze me how illuminated the landscape is during a full moon.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Rick's Pool #3

Rick's Pool #3 Oil 6 x 6

As some of you might have surmised, I've taken a few liberties with the topography in the Ricks Pool series (is three a series?). I am an artist, not a camera lens and that's part of what we do as artists- edit, rearrange- translate reality into a work of art. I have always been envious of my artist friends who paint still life. They can actually move that apple or bowl around in the composition until its in just the right place in relationship to everything else. Landscape painters, absent a handy backhoe or earth mover, have to learn to move mountains, not to mention trees and ponds, in two dimensions and then convincingly paint them as if in three.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

In Search of Style and Merry Christmas

I've been working on larger paintings so I don't have a painting to post today. But I thought it might be fun to do something else......a wonderful English artist Sheila Vaughan recently posted some comments about style and what elements make up an artist's style. She invited others to comment on the topic. As I mentioned in my post to her blog, its a subject I have been thinking about quite a bit and had been formulating a post in my head- so hers gave me just the nudge to actually do it. I won't repeat her very cogent analysis of the elements of style but invite you to click over to her blog for that. But, I will repeat my comments and expand a little on them.

An artist friend recently said to me that my style had undergone a radical change. I was both surprised and pleased by that description. While I definitely think something has happened in my work over the past 9 months, I had thought of it as more a further refinement of the direction I had been headed for several years. But when I really thought about it, I could see that much of what I thought had been going on, had taken place in my head and really didn't start showing up in full force in the paintings until about 6 months ago. That caused me to wonder, what changed? Its really pretty simple- I just made a choice to paint in a particular way. Once you have learned the basic understanding of values, color, drawing, composition , edges and have years of painting experience under your belt, you can really choose to paint anyway you want. But, to create a cohesive body of work, you must choose. So it becomes a matter of intention. You eschew certain subjects, techniques, colors, edges etc because they do not further your intention. We all do this as we create each painting- sacrificing one passage so that the focal point or emphasis is placed in another place where we want it. The same must be done in the entire body of work. In my case, that meant to paint what I love, and only that- and only in a certain way. For example, I enjoy thick luscious paint- I think most painters do- but I have found that thinner paint and in particular, transparent passages of paint, are much more suited to the effects I am trying to get. So instead of struggling with thick paint in order to be "painterly", I embraced transparent paint (which I was never trained to do) and things begin to happen. Instead of letting shows and galleries dictate the subjects of my paintings, I painted what I loved and what I was moved to paint. I found new techniques (or at least new to me) to better communicate those visual ideas. I feel that I have just scratched the surface now of what is possible. I was freed, rather than constrained, by choice and intention.

Annie Dillard, one of my all time favorite authors says it best:

"You were made and set here to give voice to this, your own astonishment. The most demanding part of living a lifetime as an artist is the strict discipline of forcing oneself to work steadfastly along the nerve of one's own most intimate sensitivity. Thoreau said it another way: know your own bone."

and this

"The thing is to stalk your calling in a certain skilled and supple way, to locate the most tender and live spot and plug into that pulse. This is yielding not fighting."

Thanks to everyone who has dropped in to visit this blog over the last few months (and waded thru this last pontification....:) !) Merry Christmas and best wishes for a wonderful 2008.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Evening Sky

Evening Sky Oil 6 x 6
$100 + $10 shipping

I actually laid this piece in yesterday with the idea of doing a completely different time of day and light. But late yesterday, the color in the sky was so beautiful I just couldn't resist painting it this way- I guess I'm just a sucker for a pink sky.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Winter Greys

Winter Greys 6 x 6 oil
$100 +$10 shipping
We have had cold winter weather this week with morning fog and cloudy overcast days. The colors in the landscape are beautifully muted greys in tones of violet, ochre and rust. I spotted this scene on the way to the post office and came back to the warm studio to paint it later in the day.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

November Twilight

November Twilight Oil 14 x 15
Please contact me if interested in this piece.

This is a larger version of the piece I posted on November 27. It's a bit unusual for me to simply size something up. It doesn't often work so more often finished studio work ends up being a synthesis of several small pieces. But I think doing these small paintings for the blog has somewhat changed my process. Even though this painting is very close to the Nov 27 study it also is related to many of the other pieces I have posted over the last month or so, in both design and palette. So instead of doing a number of studies to work out the idea for a larger piece (my usual m.o.) the small paintings are suggesting the direction for the larger work.

Monday, December 10, 2007

I've Been Tagged

I've just been "tagged" by two artists, Joan Dagradi and Stephen Magsig. As a very new blogger, I've been watching as others in the artist blogging community played this game, and now its a bit like getting asked to come out to play with the other kids in the neighborhood. Once you are tagged, you divulge 5 little known facts about yourself and then tag 5 other artists. The idea is to introduce artists whose work you enjoy to a potentially wider audience, and have some fun. I have to say that Joan's post was so entertaining, its a hard act to follow, but here goes:

1. My first and best friend as a child was a tiger (imaginary).

2. Although my undergraduate degree is a BFA, I practiced law for over 20 years before becoming a full time artist.

3. One of my husband's nicknames for me is Sybil (of multiple personality fame)- because I am both analytical and a romantic. It wasn't until I learned to make both these traits work together that my work as an artist really started to come together. Romantic Sybil wins out most days, and that's OK with me.

4. I love submarine movies - from Run Silent Run Deep to Das Boot and U573. Don't know why, just do. Dive! Dive!

5. My husband was a combat artist, serving in the Marine Corp in Vietnam 67-68.

Now, comes the hard part-tagging other artists. Because I am such a new blogger, most of the artists I "know" have already been tagged pretty recently. So, with apologies to the game gods, I am only tagging 2 artists:

Robin Hall, a wonderful California artist who is also new to blogging and
Todd Bonita, who was the first blogger to contact me after I started posting and welcome me to the blogging community

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Rick's Pool #2

Rick's Pool #2 oil 6 x 6
$100 +$10 shipping
Same song, second verse. As I have mentioned here before, I am always having a conversation with myself as I paint about whether what I have done is not enough-just enough-too much. Unlike a lot of artists, I tend to quit too soon rather than overwork a piece. I'm pretty sure I'm not lazy.....:) , so I expect it has something to do with wanting to keep things simple and hopefully just a little elegant and mysterious. I actually photographed this yesterday with the intention of posting it and then realized..uh oh..not enough. So I spent a little more time on it today and I think I moved it into the just enough category, but just barely.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Rick's Pool

Rick's Pool Oil 6 x 6
$100 + $10 shipping
This one has been in the incubator- that is to say, my head, for a while. Some take longer than others, but today I finally painted it. So, about the title. Here in Texas (or at least this part of Texas- its a big place) , people refer to ponds, often man made and used to water livestock, as pools. Occasionally you'll hear somebody call it a stock tank, but usually its called a pool. When first made, they have sides built up to hold the water, but I think after a while the cattle manage to return things to natural elevation. And they can get fancy- some people stock them with fish and build little docks on them. I even saw one with a fountain in the middle. But this one- on my neighbor Rick's property- is just your basic pool.