Recently I've been embarking on a deep dive into abstract expressionism? intuitive painting? slapping paint on the canvas (read: board)? And in every piece I've created so far, I come to point where I suddenly discover I'm using a small brush, less than a #8, on paint mover or palette knife and am faffing about, trying to preserve sections I'm already in love with (or think might work in the whole...see? already conceptualizing the end product). And in every single case, I am, probably, less than halfway finished. It's a problem.  And that's where a painting becomes Too Precious.  I start visualizing the end result vs reacting to what's in front of me. My decisions are based on a preconceived, even vague, notion where intuition and emotion and flow go right out the window. The piece becomes stifled, ending up with PIECES I love but the whole isn't cohesive. The eye sticks at those pretty bits OR on the rest of the unresolved, "less than" whol...
  Once all the work was safely packed and headed to the show , I breathed a sigh of relief all the while thinking, "So. What's next?!?" Because the reality of Life as an Artist is we are only as good (or as bad) as our NEXT piece. Today's work. I hauled out the gelli plate because making a whack of prints is ALWAYS a Good Idea. Until it isn't.  The thing with making a ton of prints, without direction, is a little like eating only dessert for days. Initially? SO. Good. And then you start to crave, NOT sugar and eventually lettuce. You start to crave lettuce and you know the dessert thing is over. I began to crave direction. Except I was still full of  "A Made Up Life" and nothing else was being let in. Enter Sketchbook Revival 2022 , a two week intensive make-a-thon, two classes a day creating things I may not normally create. Being told exactly what to do frees up the brainmeats to rest so, eventually, I can start to think about what the next path(way) ...
Revising History’ Artist Statement   “He hated confronting those lost moments, being presented with some detail from his past and having to look on it like a stranger. It made his life feel like a made-up thing.” — from Michael Crummey's ‘Sweetland’ Reading these lines led me to explore the concept of memory reliability, the lives we construct, and alternate realities, resulting in my series ‘A Made-Up Life’—meshing perfectly with this show’s theme. The photos used in this series date to the late 1800s and come from my husband’s aunt, keeper of the family’s genealogy. These characters were often identified with little more than a first name or nickname and are unknown to us, making them ripe to be used in stories. I placed these figures on new landscapes, or isolated them all together, and also used original photos in assemblage pieces, creating a juxtaposition between memory and reality. Jen Worden is a self-taught mixed-media assemblage artist who makes Wentzell Lake, Nova Sc...
ART2LIFE WORKSHOP - 2022 Day 2 - VALUE Gah. My brain was overflowing, hemorrhaging, last night as I tried to process all the information I'd glommed onto. So I pushed today's lesson to Noon and continued working on my show pieces while I thought about "Design". Lots of good things today too!  I remember this lesson from when I took this workshop years ago, the idea of LOUD and quiet conversations being a new concept and could quite easily see this in my current (then) work. What I DIDN'T recall was the absolute magic that happened when Nicholas demonstrated the concept of quiet conversation, adding low contrast items to a page without ANYTHING changing to the high contrast shapes.  Folks, this is a game changer for me. My work often has subtle stuff going on behind the scenes but I've struggled with not allowing it to take over and become a Garage Sale. (OMG love this term!) Previously I assumed I needed to put in less which always made me feel a little sad....
I've been craving a new direction for a while now and the advent of Nicholas Wilton's Free Workshop came along at just the right time. Winding down from creating work (that I started last Fall) for an April show, I noticed some abstract painting sneaking in. Something I'm really ready to explore. Prior to the Monday, February 14th start, Nicholas offered up these tips to keep in mind as we moved through the workshop, all really good ideas and ones I've incorporated into my own art practice over the years. Sometimes we get so precious and hung up (read: stuck) on certain elements within our work, having a few Go Tos in our toolbox can be very helpful. Pretips :   5. Turn your work upside down for a new perspective.  4. Start with THICK PAINT. 3. Embrace Risk. 2. Make Two. At Least. 1. Principles. Not Rules.   On Sunday, I noticed I was quite apprehensive, sorta anxious and a little bit excited about Monday's start. When talking classes I often feel this... trepida...
I usually write a Welcome to the New Year post filled with things I'd like to do and make, maybe some specially chosen words to guide me, a photo or two of white winter scenes or a cozy jack by the fire. As we head into the second week of January 2022 I'm even less inclined to welcome this fresh, new year. Currently I'm lying flat on my back as my SI joint gives me grief. Again. Tom is in town picking up a solenoid or adaptor or thingamajig to try and fix our heating system which went on the fritz just before we head into our first major deep freeze. Not one plumber/electrician called him back. Assholes! The 'Whole Family Together' holiday plans got trashed because of this latest round of The 'vid. And frankly don't see any light at the end of this pandemic tunnel.  I'm just really done with it all. Happy fucking 2022. ...