Sunday, August 15, 2010

New Work, "Olivia"

I just moved into a new studio on Flynn Avenue, in the old VT Children's Trust Foundation building. It's an atypical studio space, very un-hip and plain jane. I have a two room office suite with wall-to-wall carpet, a drop ceiling and florescent lights. Yawn! However, it's incredibly cozy, and just what I wanted. One room holds my workspace, and the other room holds my tea kettle and 4 pillows, so I can drink tea and nap. All part of the creative process!

I've been stretching my vision and my technique lately, and am very happy with the new direction my work is taking. I started to explore the use of older family photos as inspiration, and have really enjoyed taking the time to delve into the spirit and memories that go with them. My latest completed piece, "Olivia", is of my daughter at age 4. I love the look on her face, and the lines of the floor, her legs, and the counter behind her. I remember this time with a full heart. She was lacing up her tap dance shoes, wearing a big winter hat, a tank top shirt and matching skirt, and her ubiquitous tights. Her look said, "put away that camera, mom, can't you see I'm getting ready to dance?"

This piece is painted with Holbein Mat Acrylic paints, a line that I like a lot for its fluidity, coverage, and color selection. I used a base of warm browns, followed with layers of deep red highlights. I used a variety of tools, including an Xacto knife to add some of the details. My favorite new tool is a marker-like pen called The Incredible Nib that I dip in diluted paint, and then use to draw details. I can't allow a painting to sit very still, so I added the white box and white highlights to keep the eye moving and to keep the piece lively.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

To the Bridge

I'm pretty excited to be back in the art saddle again, after slowing down for the past year in order to get the bakery off the ground. It's been great in some ways to have a little break, because some new directions and new artistic expressions are coming out.

I did this piece, "The Day They Blew Up the Bridge" for an upcoming show at the gallery Studio V in Vergennes, VT. The opening is on Saturday, August 7th from 6-8pm.

I took my children to the bridge the day they demolished it, and one of the more memorable images that stuck with me was the isolation seen while walking toward the site. It was a cold, dark day, and the sky and the ground were almost the same shade of gray. People walked quietly toward the bridge, to give it one last look before it was demolished. I took photos along the way, and used them as reference for this painting.