Friday, January 31, 2014

"Look at that. She draws!"

Yes, I can draw. I can't remember a time when I didn't draw. It took me until I was in my twenties to understand that some people didn't see the way I do. When people would ask me how I did it, I would reply, "just look at it"

Then, as I got older, artists who either didn't choose to draw or thought they couldn't, would condescendingly look at my work and say, "She draws - it looks just like the model" - as if that were a really bad thing.

I really believe that anyone who wants to draw well, can learn. I used to teach drawing - even to children. Drawing is seeing. It is hand and eye coordination. It teaches one to see space in and around an object or a person. Through drawing, negative space can be understood. When I was in my first year of art school, the classical drawing training I had, helped me to creative my first abstract still life. At 18 years old I suddenly realized what the talk about space relationships was all about.
casein on illustration board, 1953

In the first semester we learned to draw every bone in the body. The second semester it was studying the muscles of the human body; what they did and then draw them without a model for the final exam.

I still sense condemnation about my figurative paintings from some artists. A gallery director told me scornfully, that he didn't like anything figurative. He is an artist who can't draw. My answer was,"Well, I can do both - paint abstractly and non-objectively as well as figuratively"

I spent a month in Italy with a group of artists several years back and received the same scorn. Most of these artists were from New York and anything that wasn't non-objective and black was not respected.

I still practice drawing. Here are some recent sketches:

60 second sketch

Being able to draw, doesn't diminish my ability to make non-objective paintings. It only helps.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

21 paintings later..

I feel that I am finished with this series, at least for the time being. I have worked on it for months, and neglected several others things, like my garden. I have promised myself that I will dig up any grasshopper damaged plants, work compost into the raised bed and plant anew in February. That is usually when Spring comes to San Miguel de Allende.

"Reflections" 100 cm x 80 cm
Also, I will step up my studies of Spanish and Qi Quong. There are many wonderful things that are always happening in this incredible town and when I stop being a recluse, I will once again partake...

Monday, January 20, 2014

Finished paintings

 Here are some images of finished paintings. I have been reworking some of the fist ones while working on the oil under painting of another one.

Friday, January 17, 2014

back to work

After a break of a day and a half, I felt inspired to go back to the studio. I could see what I needed to do to finish several paintings and put the second layer of oil on one that I had started last week.
A detail of the beginning of the next painting

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I guess there is something positive about waking at 3 am and not being able to go back to sleep. I finally got up at 4:30, fed the cat, had coffee and got into the  studio shortly after dawn. I don't know if I have reached burn out on this series, or just tired after 8 hours working in a studio that is getting so cramped with all the paintings piling up.

I will not paint tomorrow. I have to catch up on errands, attend a 2 1/2 hour Spanish conversation class and buy wine. I am out!

Here is today's efforts.
This one I re-worked, adding more contrast. 60cm x 60cm

80 cm x 100 cm

80 cm x 80 cm
This one is still challenging me. I have re-painted it too many times. 80 cm x 80 cm

Friday, January 10, 2014

I spent the last few days working in circles on one of the paintings I posted before. Finally, I decided I hated the painting and rubbed out all but the under painting. I also worked on a few others. These 2 are almost ready for the encaustic.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

under painting

I didn't have much time in the studio today. I spent the morning catching up on errands and later studying for my Spanish conversation class tomorrow. It is a 2 1/2 hour class and my brain is tired afterwards.

I got some more paint on the boards - still working on the underpainting. I am finding that I really need to get it right before I apply the encaustic.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

new beginnings

I picked up 4 beautiful cradled board from my carpenter. He does such a wonderful job, that it almost seems disrespectful to paint on the smooth wood surface.

Well, I got the milk paint base on them and as soon as they were dry enough, I started a few more paintings for my series, "Into the Silence"

Friday, January 3, 2014

re-worked painting

The more I looked at the last painting I posted, the more I hated it! Every time I walked by it, I thought, "that is a terrible painting"

I tell my students to either work on several paintings at once, or walk away from the work frequently, since our eyes stop seeing freshly after an hour, but did I listen to myself - NO!

I am finally reasonably content with the re-worked painting.