Thursday, April 22, 2010

Amana Bamboo?

Last weeked I spent in the Amana Colonies studying Sumi-e painting with Karen Kurka Jensen. She has been practicing Chinese brush painting for 20 years and has studied under Susan Frame. Karen was fun, energetic and informative on the issue of Chinese Brush Painting. We painted orchids, bamboo and learned much about Eastern philosophy in art.
This was a study that I thought was so-so, until I did some negative-painting with sumi-e ink. By doing this the highlights in the bamboo just popped. I am happy with this piece; and am thankful to meet and study with another talented artist.

Pondering the Game

Tomorrow I am entering this painting in a juried show in Omaha. The show is centered around an Alice in Wonderland theme and is to be displayed at The Hot Shops Gallery in Omaha.

I have combined several techniques and am quite happy with the results of this process. This is an oil monoprint, with collage and an encaustic coating. I mounted this monoprint on hardwood and then coated the finished piece with beeswax and a damar varnish coating. I then had this framed in a matte-black shadow frame. I love the look! It is contemporary in style, yet the young Alice is a powerful piece. I will try this process again.

I am thankful for themed art shows. They truely are fun to prepare and paint for.

A Day in Ojai with Richard

Two weeks ago I spent 3 days in Ojai, California painting in pastels with Richard McKinley. What a wonderful, informative, intellectual and talented artist. He worked so hard at making the rounds, speaking, teaching, critiqueing, and painting with all of us. I also met many wonderful artists, most from the area around Ojai and Santa Barbara.
Anyway, this is a plein-air painting that I did on location while at Lake Casitas. It was a tranquil, sunny day. A good place to do compositional and value studies. I started with an underpainting in watercolor, and finished this with pastels. I will work on this more, but for now have this propped up in my studio while I ponder just what else needs to be done. I find that as I get more comfortable with my techniques, I need to think more and paint less. I could go on here ad nauseum, but will sign off as I feel this painting describes the day better than any words I could write.
Thank you Richard.

The Offering Basket- completed

This is the final version of The Offering Basket. I had an offer to buy this by a viewer, yet wanted to do something with the hard-white area in the middle. I found that a soft, sky/like background wash was a good way to both save the lights in the composition and pull this painting together.
I am thankful for people who value art enough to share their thoughts on my pieces or to even purchase a piece. What a validating and generous gesture!