I am an artist based in LA (but from the good 'ol Midwest). This blog is a record of my life as a painter/artist. It is here to help me keep my place and motivation, ground me to learning and be a connection to other artists.
If you are interested in purchasing existing work, please visit my etsy site here. If you are interested in commissioning an original artwork, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy Thanksgiving all! By the time this post publishes we should all be in the blissful state of food-coma. This Thanksgiving I am especially grateful for three things:
1) God's provision. My husband and I took a big risk to move to LA from Columbus, OH early this summer and we have been provided for every step of the way. We've definitely reached a point in our lives where we can't take credit for the good that comes our way -only give thanks.
2) Two of my lovely sisters and a friend are flying/driving in to enjoy a big Thanksgiving dinner and spend an extended weekend visiting.
3) The two dashing men that I get to spend my days with.
Here is my submission for the Intersections show at my church, Ecclesia. I've been going back and forth about whether or not this piece is too blatant... I used gold leaf for the first time and will be using it a ton in my next series.
30"x24" acrylic and gold leaf on 1.5" depth canvas
(wanted to show how sweet the gold leaf looks when the light hits it)
The piece is titled Acts 17:27 but is really based on both verses 26 and 27:
"and He made from one every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;"
This scripture has had a tremendous impact on my faith. It is a long story so I won't delve into specifics right now but for me it has been about how God enters into the circumstances of our lives in ways that lead us to Him. The best part is where it says "though He is not far from each one of us." It is like he is right there next to us and we have the choice to ignore Him and go it alone or acknowledge Him and accept grace.
7"x5" watercolor, colored pencil and ink on cold press watercolor paper
The above piece was commissioned by another lover of New Mexico. He tells me that he travels there every year to reflect. Since completing the New Mexico series I have met SO many people who have had spiritual experiences there. If you haven't been there then put it on your bucket list. My paintings are only a small homage -an foggy reflection- compared to the grandeur of that landscape when witnessed in person.
24"x18" acrylic on 1.5" depth canvas-faced art board
Love the light in this one. It is baking light. -And the blue of the sky is in reality how the sky often is here. SUPER saturated. Amazing. Also, I can't really figure out how the devil palm trees can stand up straight. They look so top heavy. If anyone knows the science behind it, please enlighten me.
I took my photo reference for these Urban Beach paintings down at Venice Beach. That place is so wild.
Lots of homeless people, weed, sidewalk vendors, street performers, etc... Some of it is shocking but the whole scene altogether is very visual -busy and colorful and sunny. I think there are probably even more (than the current five) Venice Beach paintings in my future because the palce presents a wealth of possibilities.
24"x18" acrylic on 1.5" depth, canvas-faced art board
This piece is one of (5) that I'm submitting as a proposal for a group show. Hopefully the proposal is accepted and these can hang in a gallery! Steve Hodowsky is putting together the proposal and responsible for taking the initiative. Check out his work -it is fantastic (I especially like the grocery cart piece).
Here are a few sketches for several paintings which I'll be completing for a possible (we have to submit an application) Urban Beach -themed group show. I'm pretty excited about this. Went down to Venice Beach and took some reference photos...That place is wild.
Last Wed. I was up in Pasadena dropping off a painting for The Nature Exhibit at Linus Gallery and took the opportunity to visit the Norton Simon Museum. The museum has a ton of great work. SO much Degas. Only had time to get through less than half of it so will have to go back. Here are a few pieces that particularly struck my fancy-
The Traveler by Liubov Popova
While I'm not necessarily one to complete cubist work myself, I can definitely enjoy it. The style works perfectly for a subject like travelling. Seems like a scrapbook full of ticket stubs, notes, pictures of places visited, signs etc...
Portrait of Leila by Pierre Bonnard
Something to aim fore in portraiture. The pose and setting is classical but the graphic pattern of the chair and the paint application is modern/emotional.
The Legislative Belly by Honore Daumier
Okay so this piece wasn't at the museum but a few paintings by Honore Daumier were there and while reading his biography I learned that he was a respected caricaturist. Having completed a stint in caricature while in college I still dabble and the subject always interests me. I believe a piece like the above can be on the same plane as, say,a Degas. (Don't get offended here -I love Degas.) It just seems that there is as much to be learned from it and as much thought and skill most likely went into it.
My dad was kind enough to text me a few pics of his hand walking along resulting in some more study sketches for the intersections piece. I like the very first one the best because it looks like the hand is actually taking a stroll.
Some big things (36"x48" big) are brewing here. I'm working an entry for an Intersections art show at Ecclesia and am also starting a new series that is going to be very spiritually based. The sketch below is a brainstorm for the show entry. As far as the series is concerned, don't worry, you won't be seeing any Pietas or Madonnas but I do want to start bringing my faith into my work in a much bigger way. I've listed some quotes below the sketch which should give an idea of the direction in which I am heading...
(brainstorm for Intersections art show entry)
"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world." -Psalm 19:1-4
"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." -Albert Einstein
"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the fields will clap their hands." -Isaiah 55:12
"Some keep the Sabbath going to Church,
I keep it staying at Home-
With a bobolink for a Chorister,
And an Orchard, for a Dome."
"I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it...People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to pleas us back." -Alice Walker, The Color Purple
(a pic of the painting in its current environment -for scale and perspective to see the edge is painted black)
Other things that I'm working on which will be coming soon:
>More pet portraits
>(3) More 6"x6" urban landscapes similar to the one above
>A new website (this may take a while but I'm beginning to put it together so stay tuned...)
I chose to paint the Hollywood Farmers Market for an agricultural show submission because I like the contrast of the fresh produce in the middle of the grubby city. The contrast has been emphasized in this piece by the parking meter in the background and in the last piece by the car and grungy sidewalk.
This is one of two submissions that I made today to an exhibition based on agriculture. I absolutely love the farmer's markets in California. I grew up in farm country in Indiana and we always had a huge-super-mega garden so I am very picky about produce but I've had some strawberries at the Hollywood Farmer's market that are THE BEST I've ever tasted. I'm drooling right now thinking about them.
Thomas Rowlandson had an ink and watercolor work exhibited (it was different than the one above, but same style). I'm always a fan of caricature and it is intriguing to see such comedic work going on in the 1700's. -Beware if you look this guy up, though, as some of his work is verging on pornographic.
Baronne de Domecy by Odilon Redon is such a unique portrait. The sitter is rendered in a realistic manner and in very bland tones while the background is free and verging on abstract. I think this work struck a chord with me because I have been struggling to push beyond following photographic reference to the detail and, instead, creating a piece that is overall visually harmonious.
I think this Redon quote (found on Wikipedia) is interesting -"I have often, as an exercise and as a sustenance, painted before an object down to the smallest accidents of its visual appearance; but the day left me sad and with an unsatiated thirst. The next day I let the other source run, that of imagination, through the recollection of the forms and I was then reassured and appeased."
Hope this post isn't boring; I know it is a bit more wordy than usual!
Several older women out for afternoon strolls stopped to talk to me while I was painting this in Santa Monica Park. One was also a painter and she spoke of a situation much like mine where finished pieces are piling up/leaning against walls. Another spoke of a painting that she purchased for $20 thirty years ago which, she says, she still absolutely enjoys seeing every single day. Still another pointed out a white poodle walking by and told me that I should incorporate "that fluffy rear end" into my next piece. Hilarious (and probably a good idea, too).
Everyone who comes up to speak with me loves art. It is very encouraging and great to get so many perspectives. Yet another reason why plein air painting will be something that I continue.
So I took my newly arrived french easel out for the first time...and discovered that plein air painting is the bomb. Of course it helps that I was in Santa Monica Park above the bluffs -in the sun and the ocean breeze- looking down on the beach.
Yes. Be jealous.
Also, I work much more quickly than anticipated and will need to get some canvases that are bit larger for next month. Anyways, here is the first result of my independent plein air adventures:
I can't believe my first month of a painting/day is almost halfway done already. It honestly hasn't been as grueling as I had imagined. Sticking with smaller canvas seems to help with that. Here's what happened on the 9th:
Many a house plant has died at my hands. I simply neglect them. Are succulents supposed to be easy to take care of? -Or perhaps paintings of plants will have to replace actual plants in my apartment so that the death toll can stop where it's at.
acrylic 8"x8" painting on 1.5" depth gallery wrapped canvas