Formerly titled Transformation. This painting was playfully started as an expansion of my left leg tattoo, but has developed as a way for me to think about the fragility of both health and beauty.
Every so often, I get the opportunity to work with an amazing artist on a collaboration. Sometimes the collaboration comes in the form of a trade, such as the one with Carrie Longley, but the most exciting are when we get to work together on a new creation, like this one with Pam Adams.
He currently has two abstract airbrushed backgrounds that I created, upon which he will paint a portrait of me.
For this collaboration, I am working with Robert Walker to create two new portraits. The one below begun with the teal tree background painted by Robert. That is the starting surface for a portrait I will create of him, but inspired by the Cheshire Cat.
What is your favorite shape? Mine is the oval, so imagine how delighted I was to find these lovely wood panels by the Oregon company, American Easel! These sturdy beauties are the base for a new series I am creating inspired by my collection of elongated coins and other forms of exonumia. There are no limits to what might inspire an image, from casual encounters to dreams, they become a form of visual diary entry. I will focus future blog posts on specific pieces, but for now I will start by show-and-telling a bit about the panels and the base inspirations.
The panels start as lovely raw wood, which I sand and cover with clear gesso.
The shapes created by the wood grain start the composition like a topographical map.
The palette for this series is inspired by the colors and textures found on coins.
Once I have the panels covered, I might add some textures using various foils or glitters, then I wait for inspiration to strike.
The first dozen panels in various stages of progress.
My second proposal to be accepted by the ReImaging Works committee is Manabu Haiku. It is constructed of five 36"x36" birch panels and will be installed in the New Lebanon branch. One of the five panels arrived shattered, so that will delay the project, but since it is not due until April 2016, I am not a bit worried! Dick Blick has notified me that they will replace the panel and I will get started once it arrives.
This six-by-six foot beast, Marketplace of the Mind, is a commission from the Reimagining Works project, a collaboration between the Dayton Metro Library and the Dayton Art Institute. The Kuosi Elephant Mask and Fairview High School were the inspirations for this playful acrylic on linen painting. View the entire proposal in this POST.
This painting is 28"x16". This is another in the series Wasp in a Wig: Paintings Inspired by the Writings of Lewis Carroll. Excerpt from Chapter II: `I wish I hadn't cried so much!' said Alice, as she swam about, trying to find her way out. `I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own tears! That WILL be a queer thing, to be sure! However, everything is queer to-day.'
This painting is a part of the Wasp in a Wig Series and measures 24" x 36". Inspired by Chapter 5 of the second book, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll. This painting shows Alice transformed into a goose and the White Queen as a sheep. The scene explores the concept of "loss of innocence" and I have illustrated this with a young oyster bringing her new beau home to meet Mom while the walrus looks on as well as with the discarded toys.
About 35 hours into the painting process, my work on Marketplace of the Mind for the NW branch of the Dayton Metro Library is coming along quite nicely. This 6 foot square "beast" is a part of the Reimagining Works project and I hope to have it completed by early fall 2015, if not sooner.
Taming The Beast has been an exercise in ingenuity. Getting a predetermined image onto a 6 foot square canvas without completely redrawing it is quite a task.
Back in 2007, I started a painting called Santiago. It was a playful piece inspired by the name my husband selected for his identity in our Spanish class, mine was Margarita. I put a lot of time into this painting, and even "finished" it, posting the completed work on my site...
While cleaning out my storage bins, Santiago called out to me from beneath the protective covering, so I removed him and shuttered at the monstrosity before me. Lifeless eyes, muted values, and what the *$%# did I do to the cat?
At some point, I had decided that the interior of a pirate ship would be darker and he needed to be more menacing. What I succeeded in doing was destroying the piece. So now he sits on my easel, begging the question, "Do I toss it or try to fix it?"
Normally I would say screw it, remove the soiled canvas and start fresh. Why does this one cause me to pause? Is it the perceived value in the time to which I have already committed? My guess would be the emotional connection to the piece, because it is representing my husband and our cat, Ti. A decision has been made and the piece will NOT return to storage. Pull the plug or resuscitate, matey!
For further reading on the subject, Ann Landi wrote and article for ARTnews that asks the question, When is an artwork finished?
Here are studio shots from the original painting process...
Much of my days are now spent transforming my artwork into functional accessories. These pouches, hand-sewn by me, are a labor of love. Here I am able to take recent artwork or paintings that found a home long ago, and create something new and exciting! I have so many designs that I want to make from existing paintings, as well as so many ideas for new paintings that can eventually become a Paranormals Pouch! After the painting has been photographed, I manipulate the digital files on the computer. Pixelmator has a filter called Kaleidoscope and it what I use to create the back panels. Here you can see the process in this video...
Once the digital files are finished, I assemble them in a 36"x58" (150dpi) file and upload it to Spoonflower.
Interested in picking up a Paranormals Pouch? Send me an email! Be sure to sign up for my Announcement List for updates on pouches and the new website!