Sooo much delight! I like the experimentation with clay and now, there’s a new development: the clay is inviting me to “glaze.” It is compelling me to a richness that, for now is new to me, welcoming and an enigma. Up until now, I’ve mainly bisqued pieces in the kiln to make them durable then taken them to my studio for painting, smoking and embellishing. But the new pieces, which I am calling TABLETS, are glazed or partially glazed. The involvement with the Tablets is a drive to express something I don’t quite know how to say in words but it is something about communication. As I write this I’m remembering a statement by Georgia O’Keeffe, “I found I could say things with colors that I couldn’t say in any other way – things I had no words for.” I once heard an interview of an artist in which the interviewer talked of the meaning and the deeper meaning the artist seemed to be putting into his works. The artist responded with the idea that if he had a lot to say, in words, about his work, he had left something out of the work.
THE TABLETS: J
THE TABLETS: CREVICETHE TABLETS have been prompted by a passage in the Old Testament book of Habakkuk written during an urgent time when God told the prophet Habakkuk to let the people know of His revelation, “Write upon tablets” and make it plain so it can be read quickly, on the run. This series of visual expressions have engaged me in a non-verbal way that holds ineffable meaning and invites me to continue. Ten Tablets have developed, more are in progress. The ones available for purchase are exhibited at The Artist Gallery in Carlsbad, NM, 120 South Canyon Street, 575-887-1210.
THE TABLETS: TULIP
Painting thirty images in thirty days, fascinating challenge. Today I’m posting the latest few. There may be another small batch, if I get the finishing touches on them today, but getting them photographed and posted will take longer. I can get the best photos when I take the works outside and use my camera, so I know I won’t get that done today. I seem to fall in love with the work when it comes together, but sometimes when there’s been a wrestling to get my ideas to manifest themselves on the paper or panel, and I’ve had to do some serious pursuit, the love develops without the same passion. Right now, I’m truly in love with “Opening.” The blue/ochre/rusted deep colors, layered over old Bible pages and Greek text with suggestive containment in distorted circles, drops of power expressed in a triad of red touches make me think of an ancient wall embedded with a convoluted, rich history of events. The poignant angled ridges of built-up color give a roughness to the wall with the contrasting rusty streaks of color over smooth metallic gold paper. High in the composition and off-center the “Opening” breaks through to light and joy and beauty. A pot of geraniums catches the light; the exquisite organic life of red blooms and cool green leaves with dark shadows falling on a ledge offers the expression of newness and liveliness opening through the ancient, historic, rough wall. OPENING
(watermedia/collage on paper, 14X11)
THE EARTH IS FULL
(watermedia/collage on paper, 15X15inches, (sold)
EARTH ANGEL: An angel is like an arrow of light cutting through the dark.(sold)
(smoked, embellished clay)
EARTH ANGEL: Listen closely and you will hear angels
silently cheering you on. (smoked embellished clay)…..(sold)
EARTH ANGEL: The pure joy of angels is like fresh air for the soul.
(painted, embellished clay)…….(sold)
I haven’t posted my recent Thirty-in-thirty results…..but my brushes have been busy. Here are most of the little gems which haven’t been posted yet. I have been out of the studio a couple of days this week to go to Plainview, Texas to see the traveling portion of the 2013 American Watercolor show, a most worthy reason to get behind in the challenge. I will catch up, I’m confident of that for I have returned home on the wings of inspiration. I have seen, studied, contemplated, and been bathed in exquisite watermedia paintings…..my kind of fun!
Hope is hearing the melody of the future. Faith is dancing to it.
(watermedia/collage, 7X5 inches)
(watermedia/collage, 7X7 inches)
(watermedia/collage, 8X6 inches)
(painted clay with embellishments)
We are, each of us, angels with one wing. We can fly by embracing one another.WESTERN PACKET
(collage, 8X6 inches)
(watermedia/collage, 10X8 inches)
(painted clay with embellishments)
Let all the angel throng sing thanks to God on High.
Wow, this is day 10……….I don’t know if I have 5 more paintings since the last post. I spent Friday sanding and gessoing six clay angels (no! 5, because I broke one) that had just survived the bisque firing. I also gessoed three cradled panels. For Saturday I have:
(watermedia/collage, 6X8 inches)
For Sunday, there was a Sabbath rest, and for Monday and Tuesday, the 8th and 9th, there are two more:
(watermedia/collage, 16X10 inches)
(acrylics on canvas, 8X10 inches)
And with two more images, I have ten new pieces thus far, whew, it IS indeed a challenge.
(watermedia/collage on paper, 11X14 inches)
EARTH ANGEL: BEARING GIFT
(smoked clay with embellishments)
Space, literal space and emotional space. I’m surprised by space in the creative process. In the past I have advised my students to pamper their paintings, especially when they are struggling with them. “Take them for a ride,” I suggest (I literally stick a painting-in-progress in the car with me when I run errands, glancing at them at times when I’m not concentrating on their well-being). Also: Give them a name; tell them they are wonderful; assure them that you are in charge and the outcome will be brilliant. Sometimes I prop a problem painting up somewhere in the house to look at it when I’m “not looking.” I have a good place to prop a painting in the bedroom. It’s become a joke between Allen and me for him to ask, “Who are we sleeping with tonight?” “LANDSCAPE SEGMENTS” got the treatment this week. The space between the telephone table and the faded caramel corduroy chair prompted a new way of looking at the “land forms” that were developing. The emotional space rising out of my sleeping consciousness was enough to facilitate the completion of the little gem.
Nest Series: Different Viewpoints
(acrylics on paper, 29X21, framed: 36X29 inches, simple mahogany frame)
Serious and silly thoughts
Stammer through neural corridors.
Some syncopated concentrations,
Stunned, dazed and daunting,
Into fractal rhythms,
Threading along tracks of consciousness.
During my time with the Art For Soul Critique group in Albuquerque, I selected a couple of my works-in-progress to work on. I remembered to take a few photos while I was working on the watermedia/collage piece which developed into an expression about geraniums and windows, which it seems are becoming symbols for my explorations of “Looking in-looking out:
This”start” has several layers of paint with collage papers glued to the surface. A cruciform composition is beginning to develop.
Decisions have been made about developing the upper white collage piece into a peaked shape, reds are shaped into geranium blooms and upper right is developing into geranium leaf shapes.
The white collage paper on the lower right inspired me to think in terms of three windows, balancing out the idea of three geraniums. Three of anything beautiful in a composition reminds me of the Holy Trinity. I accented the little reds in the lower windows, and suggested divisions within the window spaces. I like the whites; they suggest a glowing light inside, maybe also reflections. I think it is finished; what shall I name it?
New energy is bouncing around the Pottery Studio. Tuesday and Thursday have been established as days when help/instruction/discussion is available. A delightful cadre of “newbie” potters with exciting hopes are working with a master potter present for encouragement and assistance. Experiments and practice amid much exchange of ideas sparkle with creativity. I thoroughly enjoy being there/working there/interacting there but I’m so accustomed to working in solitude in my own studio that I sometimes come home reeling with all the chatter in my head. It takes me awhile to transition back into the quiet where I enjoy being/working/thinking also.
At the pottery I’m continuing to work on my ideas of newness, rebirth and beginnings. Nests, envelopes, birds seem to be the main imagery expressing that for me right now. “Clay Mail” envelopes continue and a few “Word Angels” are in progress.
In my studio there are always works-in-progress. It is not uncommon for me to have many “starts” hanging around begging for another layer of paint or collage or a few more colorful strokes from the brush. Sometimes I get down to bare bones after a show, but the studio always has many brushes waiting with amazing potential in them.
And there are scads of paper with works-in-progress embedded in them. As a matter of fact, I have a new stash of “paste paper” I created last week which is inviting me to use it.
The palette usually stays charged; materials are at hand. What’s not a work-in-progress about my studio with all this at the ready?
As the sap is rising in the pecan trees outside, new sap is rising in me too. New beginnings, it’s time to play with the newness I’m feeling in my heart and soul. I’ve painted numerous ideas of “new beginnings,” and the ideas continue to generate, expand, reach for more. Eggs, and their busy yet cozy enveloping environments speak to me of newness. So I’ve started a virtual-work-in-progress. Here you can see green paste paper with printed leaves, orange striped paste paper, also a fragment of an old family letter. Newness is developing, one nest with an egg visible and another with its eggs hidden from view. It’s a current work-in-progress.
Update: May 23, 2011
The finished version of this painting is now on my Paintings page…its title is “Nest Times Nine.”
Late last year I decided to participate in an international sketchbook project; so did 28,838 other people! The project is sponsored by Art House Co-op. Each participant paid a fee, received a small sketchbook, and selected a topic from those offered by Art House. Medium and method were left entirely to participants. In order to participate in exhibits and tour with the other sketchbooks, they needed to be filled and returned by early January 2011.
Art House Co-op Sketchbook Tour opened on February 19 at the Brooklyn Art Library. We have not yet heard exactly how many sketchbooks were returned; no doubt it was a huge number. You can read about this fun project at the Art House Co-Op website, see names of artists participating, the places and dates for the touring exhibit, and many many many photos of pages from sketchbooks which artists have uploaded. I followed ALL the guidelines for the Sketchbook Project. That means you can see my picture, read my profile and see a selection of my pages on the Art House Co-Op site.
If the Sketchbook 2011 Tour comes to your city, or near you, please check out my sketchbook and enjoy it. It’s cover is bright green; it’s topic is IT MUST BE……….ENVELOPES. Inside my sketchbook you will find many colorful collages of envelopes, including several pop-ups. I’m wondering if it will survive the tour, since it is an interactive sketchbook. It has envelopes which can be opened, messages inside them which can be unfolded and read, and other items which invite the viewers’ participation. I’m not really concerned about its survival; I want it to be enjoyed.
I’ll add a couple of pictures here which aren’t on the Art House Co-op website. In a later post I will add some information about
my long term involvement
with envelopes and what they
mean to me.
The title page, left, has a cut through window with an envelope which is bound with strings and embellishments.
The spiral page, right, has an envelope with a message inside.
I hope to see the Sketchbooks when they are in Austin, TX March 12 at the Austin Museum of Fine Art.