The Brushwork Society, a group of artists here in Atlanta, is hosting a Home Show and Sale in Historic Brookhaven this coming week; they have asked me to participate, along with many other painters! Lots of nice art and beautiful home accessories from Butternut Studio will be featured (www.butternutstudio.com). Come if you can and support Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, which will receive a portion of the proceeds!
Here are a few of my pieces that will be offered -- if you are interested in a painting, call Mary Ferguson at the number above or attend the festivities if you can!
Warmth, 14 x 11, $ 1450
Positive Vibe, 24 x 12, $ 1950
Softly, 28 x 22, $ 2350
Oh Happy Day, 20 x 20, $1950
And, finally, a nice tribute from the Brushwork Society -- I am delighted to be included!
IF I can remember to do so, painting IS much easier!
Unbelievably, now that my work is more interpretive, I often forget to squint at the subject.
Michael and I just visited friends in FL whose home is dotted with my early work. Tonight, he happened to mention how much more soulful my current work is in comparison -- yet the new pieces are far less detailed.
Squinting is an important key in making modern, less literal (but true) paintings.
Squinting also helps one to avoid TRYING TOO HARD, and to TRUST INSTINCTS.
Oh, it seems so easy...
But, as we have all figured out, nothing about creating successful paintings is easy, permanent, or fixed. I guess that's what keeps us in the game: the hunt, the experimentation, the search for the occasional successful "happy accident," the zinger!
My goal: to achieve spontaneity and life -- through accurate, strong brushwork -- and to create simple, light-shot paintings. Yikes! Every now and then it works, which is life-affirming -- woohoo!
I'm teaching a cool workshop in Atlanta in May (11th and 12th), at the Atlanta Artists Center.
We will play with different subjects, from life, and also a bit of photo interpretation.
If you are interested in moving toward more free, personal, yet true work,
call Zindi at AAC (404) 237-2324, (www.atlantaartistscenter.org) to reserve a spot!
"If you always do what you always did -- you'll always get what you always got,"
Lately, I have been trying to be less literal, i.e. using my set-up for a starting point, but not necessarily sticking with that exact representation. It's OK to change placement, colors, background, whatever, and still retain the power of painting from life...
Duh! I guess it took me so long to be able to catch in paint the subject before me that I forgot or feared changing things as needed on the canvas. Often this is a problem as well when en plein air or when using a photo reference.
Below are some peonies purchased last week from Trader Joe's, which I randomly placed in a sparkly glass and added a light source. I've painted this-type subject a TON in my life, and while I do love white flowers, and the movement of stems in glass vase, I switched it up, as seen in photos below.
I made the decision to roughly paint in a grey-toned background, meant to pop the pale peonies; the flowers were laid in with lots of palette knife slashes. When I saw the grey, I thought -- how about a bright vase? Below is a progress shot, where I have most of the peonies as seen, but then realized that something was needed on the upper left of the canvas.
So I pulled one peony from the glass, in order to see the light effect. After adding that shape to the painting, it was obvious that the addition helped matters! I used to be too nervous to change the arrangement (being my literal self and wanting to be able to reproduce the flowers as they appeared).
Progress photo with addition of new flower
Then, after correcting a few items, I decided to leave the background way less refined than usual, and was pleased with the pops of light and the spontaneous feeling. I had to put this one in another room, however, so I would not work on it.
An artist never really finishes his work;
he merely abandons it," Paul Valéry
Wild Sweet Things, 30 x 24, Oil on Linen
Just found out that three spots are available at the last minute for my Alla Prima workshop at Atlanta Artists Center next week (May 19 and 20th). If you can come, we will have some fun: painting fast and loose and being less literal😎 To join us, call Zindi at AAC -- 404-237-2324.
"Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence,"
That Magic Girl, NF, 24 x 12, 2017, Acrylic on Linen
Back to the drawing board! I have been spending lots of time producing -- and not enough time on filling the tank.
Luckily, recently it's become quite clear to me that a return to the basics was in order. And, oh, the answers sought are right there -- just by drawing, even for 5 minutes, each evening.
For this painter, catching the essence of the subject is the goal. Details and rendering are NOT! Life is easier if I am fluent in seeing...and SEEING is honed by sketching, drawing and observing.
Below are a few paintings of mine, one recent and others through the ages, as well as wonderful collected paintings here in my home...which serve as reminders of the truth of quiet study and easy flow.
Quiet Moment, NF, 16 x 8, 2017, Oil on linen
A couple of my studies from the (somewhat ancient :-) past:
Michael, 9 x 12, NF, c. 2000, Oil on canvas
Pensive, 16 x 8, NF, c. 2008, oil on linen
Sarah at Five, 12 x 9, NF, c. 2012, oil on linen
Now look at these gorgeous paintings in my petite collection, illustrating the humanity and universality of the subjects -- done with an ease of expression possible only from confident practice and frequent studies:
Conte Crayon Drawing, Susan Lyon, c. 2008
Simple Pose, Diane Eugster, c. 2003
Knowing Glance, Scott Burdick, c. 2002
For me, perhaps a bit of growth has happened, but for sure, the nice paintings in my home serve up constant inspiration, if I just remember to LOOK!
FYI, yesterday a few spaces opened in my figure study workshops next week here in the Atlanta area. The first workshop is on April 4 -5th, and the second April 6-7th. If you have interest, contact Rae Broyles, Fountainhead Art Space , firstname.lastname@example.org!
Quick Study of Annie, 9 x 12, NF, oil on linen, c. 2011
2017 is almost here... Time for some reflection and new ideas!
I Can See Clearly Now, 44 x 44
What's it all about? That question sums up the painting journey for me. And it has been about
many different things: learning to capture the subject matter visually; finding my own approach to expression in paint; evolving the IDEA; growing bored with myself and my ideas; finding new
inspiration; and finally, continually working to release limitations!
This is funny because it is so TRUE. Many of us limit our best instincts with too much self-critique, surely the invisible "fence" in the studio. In my workshops, I am able to verbalize these painting frustrations, but often don't follow my own advice to escape them (i.e., use big brushes, set a timer, paint more, care less, socialize more, get outside, get away from have-to's, discover want-to's).
SO ... 2017 will be my year of putting joy and happiness on the canvas. No longer will I paint roses, or children or Paris street scenes, but instead light and joy and color will be my subjects.
I'm going to push it, exaggerate the light, and savor the experience. Painting alla prima (in one session) is the ticket for the likes of me. Otherwise, it's a private journey into hours of corrections, over-thinking and often over-working -- UGH.
Meanwhile, 2016 has been a stellar year...fun painting trips to Maine and Provence, lots of workshops with many fabulous and inspiring participants, and personal growth in my own work.
2016, alas, was also the year that the art community lost Charles Movalli, a painterly painter who inspired me and many others with his work and his wisdom.
"It can't look like you've worked hard and long, even if you have. A painting should be done quickly with both your intellect and your nerves. When they give out, stop," Charles Movalli
Charles Movalli, Villefranche
"The greatest temptation and danger is to rely on previous solutions and thus paint the same picture for the rest of your life, "
I'm sending along a petite gallery of paintings done since I last blogged, and lots of great wishes for a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!