I was a a dinner party the other day. I wanted to tell them all of some cutting edge research I had read about anti-aging. I started and they rolled their eyes and changed the subject. I was also reading about variable resistance and fitness and wanted to talk about muscle activation, and they poured me some wine and said, “Are you going on any trips this year?” So I want to express my geeky sciencey side. To do so I started a You Tube Channel called Lifespan and Longevity. My video skills and video editing skills are slowly improving. I now have immense respect for those delivering snappy perfectly edited videos. But I am getting there. So if you want to follow along here are a few of my posts. Subscribe to my YouTube page and follow along. Fellow geeks…join me…I know you are out there!
I’ve been building on some older work and have some paintings emerging in a contemporary style. I thought I might gather the inspiration from them and gather the new works here.
Meeting the Genius
Surfing the Mindscape
The Birth of the Soul
If you like the above paintings you might want to experiment with high flow acrylic paint. The first link is for opaque high flow paints and the second transparent.
Transparent high flow
No, I’m Not Done Yet.
In Your Dreams
In order to grow as an artist you need to learn. Sometimes you learn from classes and books and sometimes you learn by trying different things. Doing the same thing over and over, if it is not working, is not the answer.
Lately I’ve been working in oils and playing with perspective. But while I was online getting some supplies, I came across Golden Fluid Acrylics. I went on You Tube and found many artists doing some fantastic work with them. One whom I find very soothing to watch is a gal MelyD.artist. She comes out with some great work as well and it’s fun to watch it develop.
So of course I had to try it as well. I found where I wanted to take my experiments were different than the way she worked and that is how art works. Creative efforts often spark more creative efforts.
So here is some plain acrylic paint mixed with Matte Media. I call this one You Make my Heart Melt.
Of course I had to go on and play some more. This one is mostly fluid acrylics with a little painting on top. I call this one Meeting the Genius.
Conjuring the Storm
Surfing the Mindscape
I find I like to use these acrylics to make a complex background and then either enhance the elements with a little painting or paint over them. It’s always fun to try a different direction.
I like to paint in a manner that could fall into the genre of Visionary Art. I often dance around that term because there have been so many great visionary paintings I a tremble to even attempt to put myself in their spheres.
Many visionary artists paint after being influenced by Psychedelics and some can be found on this blog post: http://www.arthistoryarchive.com/arthistory/visionary/
But historically there have been many painters that have been visionary without the use of chemicals, where artists have painted an unseen, a world not viewed with the mundane eye.
My own art comes from dreams, a deep respect and contact with nature and a strong yoga and meditation practice. With that caveat, here are some of my “Visionary” paintings.
The Long Journey
No, I’m Not Done Yet
The Far Shore
The World Tree
Owl Storm Eyes
In Your Dreams
Ride the Wild Seahorse
The Mating Game
The Power of Nature
Meeting the Genius
And of course more to come
Who doesn’t want to live forever? I thought it was time, before my delightful hubby and I get too wrinkled to attempt a portrait of ourselves. I love Lucian Freud’s work and think he was incredibly skilled but I didn’t want to wait until we are like this self-portrait he did that can be seen in Vienna. I of course then had to watch a video about him and his art, and found he was a great fan of Cremnitz White, which I have on order. This is a lead based white paint, so don’t eat in your studio while using it. The video I watched on Lucian Freud can be found on YouTube here: A Painted Life I love the emotion he conveys although he obviously was a haunted and tortured individual who didn’t play well with others.
Back to my painting. My husband and I went out to our favorite French restaurant and dressed up for an anniversary one of the staff took a fabulous photo of us. I decided to use that as my reference photo, along with peeking over my wine glass at dinner, an assessing, did dear hubby have a few little crows feet, how did the cleft of his chin look in profile?
A book I referred to was
Human Anatomy for Artists: The Elements of Form by Eliot Goldfinger.
This year, I used a marble based gesso to cover my boards. The white is so white it hurts your eyes. If you are just tuning in you might want to read my post on Mischtechnik.
Next I spent a fair bit of time looking and reading about the anatomy of the face and neck. And then spent a couple of weeks on an initial sketch.
And here is the initial glaze, I used iron oxide red. It was still wet in this photo.
Meanwhile, as I wait for this to dry, I’m reading another book and learning even more about portrait painting. It has an excellent section on blending colors for the skin. I’m only half-way through, but I’m sure this will be a better painting because of it.
Portrait Painting Atelier: Old Master Techniques and Contemporary Applications
by Suzanne Brooker
The next step, after it was fully dried, was to work on the highlights creating more tones, with the egg tempera. I freely thinned the egg tempera with a little cold pressed linseed oil, so I could have different shades of white. Some I used undiluted and some thinned.
And of course wait. I usually keep a second painting going and work on that while I’m waiting. This year its a semi-abstract in acrylic paint that has lots of free movement and invention and dries fast. The antithesis of this.
Another glaze, this time I used transparent yellow ochre. In the past I used a bright primary transparent yellow, but I like the warmer tones of the earth reds and yellows.
Ah, finally we are starting to see some of those magic mid-tones arise out of nowhere. I had on a top that was covered in black sparkles and I want to show that, but I’m not sure whether I have a handle on it. I have a few points of light on it, but I’m not sure if they work yet.
Here is the white tempera on the highlights after this glaze.
Now the blue glaze.
Technically I should do another layer of the white highlights, but I like where I am. I am going to start glazing local colors as soon as this dries. Oops…I forgot to take photos of a couple of glazes. Don’t worry you didn’t miss much, just the first coat on the walls, shirt and shawl.
I had a wonderful time showing some of my work at Art Around Town in Chappaqua, New York. My paintings will be up at Noelle Marie Photography at 140 King Street until the end of June. There are more than 30 other artists of the Northern Westchester Artists’ Guild showing at merchants about the town.. Do stop by and see our work.
I love little books. Pretty little books for writing notes in, books with thicker paper for drawing and silk and art covered books I always plan to fill with wonderful poetry but never quite do. I love filling them cover-to-cover and I’ll share some of what I put in one of them below.
I was quite inspired by this little book I bought in Katonah, NY yesterday. I love the cover, the fertile Goddess figure inviting me to embrace my art and fill it with wondrous views of my world.
But usually I find the plans I make for a little book usually turn out differently than what I first imagine. This is my little book I started doing sketches in for 2014-2015. I find when I am stuck waiting somewhere, rather than moaning how my time is being wasted I pull out a pen or a pencil and start scribbling. I keep a mechanical drawing pen and a drawing fountain pen filled with scribblers ink in my makeup case, in my purse. Time then flies, and I find sometimes my scribbles are just scribbles but sometimes they crystallize a memory. None of these are meant to be great drawings. Some only took 30 seconds to do. I’ll share a few I like below.
It’s nothing particularly special, it’s about 5 x 7 inches so I can fit it in my purse or hold it and sketch wherever I go. Such as,
30 second drawings at an art gallery:
Or a moment when housebound during an icy winter storm:
For the next I must introduce you to my dog, Gwyn, a wonderful energetic English Shepherd that usually looks like this:
Yes, that is all four paws not touching the ground!
So when I spotted a rare moment of repose:
But sometimes life drives art, when I saw this of course I had to draw it:
My new book will be filled with wonders. Some will just be playful scribbles, that I won’t share with anyone, but I will enjoy in the moment. I will crystallize moments in time that should not be forgotten in a way more personal and lasting than a social media selfie. And with every line I make, I get just a little bit better as an artist.
I encourage you to get a little book. Fill it with doodles, sayings, quotes, poems, or lists. It will become something more than the sum of its parts when you have filled it cover to cover.
Meanwhile, I have a request to go out and find some inspiration outside.