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.

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