Valley of Fire is a wild landscape of swirls. You can see the layers of geological history — layers of sand turned to waves of stone. The warm colors stun at sunrise. It’s one of those places where a photo will do — it doesn’t really need to be painted at all. It’s already an abstract expression of emotion.
Sometimes the incorporation of printed images feels like cheating — a quick solution? Or relying too heavily on someone else’s skills? (I’ve have an aversion to spending hours of my life trying to paint or draw anything photorealistically). But as I’ve been thinking about appropriation and general theft of imagery, it seems that media has made it’s way back into my artistic vocabulary.
You can buy “artist” without ever wondering if your work has depth and meaning, or if it’s all bullshit, or if it’s deep bullshit.
I encountered a coyote during a morning stroll. I painted. I ate more sandwiches. I considered the span of one year and what it meant for me and how that fit into the lifetime of this place.
Finally had a chance to lay these flat and photograph them.
Acrylic ink, sumi ink, pencil, and oil pastel on paper
22 x 30 "
I had some old paintings stacked in the studio that were hideous. Really, quite bad. But I couldn't bring myself to throw away a decent stretched canvas, so I scraped them down (a bit), layered on a coat of titanium white, and threw down some glacier inspired shapes and colors. This weekend I layered on some darker shades and some are starting to come together alright. In a few, the texture of the old painting underneath works. In others, it looks stupid; I'll probably end up trashing those. Going to let them simmer for a bit and then go in for a third round next weekend. Regardless of whether any of them make it through the month, it makes my soul happy to be working with oils.
A batch of glacier-inspired paintings wasn't working for me. I revisited them a few times but they were exhausted and so was I. In a final effort to salvage the lines and colors, I cut them into components and assembled them into new works. These attachments are working much better now.
Iceland is beautiful. I spent ten days there in July and couldn't wait to bring the colors, the light, the textures, the stories back to my studio. Last weekend, I finally had the time to do some painting. Here is a little of the process & a few of my favorites.
Fun fact #1 This 30 second timelapse represents something more like two hours
Fun fact #2 This footage was captured by taping my phone to the wall #lifehacks
Came back from Iceland, completely blown away by the landscapes -- especially the glaciers. Dark ash created lines, accentuated peaks and dips. Brought these to a woodblock printing workshop with Karen Gelardi, Anna Helper, and Megan Brady at Waterfall Arts in Belfast, Maine.
Below are some process pics and pieces from the workshop.
Spring has been busier than I planned, or maybe exactly as busy as I planned. At work-work, I helped throw a party for 700 people, hosted a conference for local educators, flew to Portland for another conference, and still managed to balance day-to-day things. In art-making-work, I popped up at Renegade, SJMade Spring Craft Fair, MakerFaire, and Patchwork. (I guess my plan to focus on "bigger" shows this year panned out). I've also got some fun press coming out later this summer -www.mamasgonnamake.com will be interviewing me for her summer makers series and Content Magazine is putting together a profile on me for their next issue!
Also exciting, in a few days, I'm off for a month of adventures. Leaving the studio (and the web shop) behind for the summer will feel strange, but I'm excited to see what new things come out of this space when I return! Have a great July everyone!
Since I'm not usually the subject of a camera lens, I asked photographer friend, Amber Wren Goldfeld, if she would take a few shots for me to use in my marketing materials this spring. Here are a few of me working on my mossy mixed media paintings. Available in the webshop if you'd like one of your very own.
I don't currently have access to the tools I would need to stretch my own canvases. This means, if I want to work on something sturdy, I'm limited in size (since I also don't have access to tons of money which could be spent on shipping large prestretched canvases). Since neither power tools or bags of money seem to be on the horizon, I'm giving unstretched canvas a try. Honestly, it feels so good to be painting big again, I don't really give a hoot whether or not these works will hold up over time.