Archive for March 2012
I thought I’d post this final scan of my finished piece “Ceto.” Ceto is the greek goddess of dangers of the ocean and of sea monsters! I just learned about her, and she is now my most favorite Greek Goddess. This week’s goal is to actually get my gallery page on this website working, so wish me luck! Hopefully Ceto will find a happy permanent place there.
I also thought I’d write just a little about a plan that has been formulating in my head. We moved to San Antonio from Austin in mid-January for my husband’s new job. The move took a lot of convincing for me because, well, I LOVE Austin. It has been my home for almost 10 years, and right now I am missing it viscerally. San Antonio is also cool so far, but I think not knowing anyone and working from home all the time has left me a little blue. Even though I really want to just move back to Austin right now, right now…we can’t. My husband has a great job here, it’s ideal for a newbie IT guy and he needs all the experience this new job can give him. So we are staying here for at least a few more years. So I have decided to pursue something I have always wanted to pursue but never had the time or money to because I was always working: an MFA in art! That way, we are thinking about this move as both of us pursuing our careers. UTSA has a great MFA program I am going to apply to. Applications aren’t due for awhile (I missed the Fall deadline), but it gives me something to work towards, and already has me feeling a little better about our stay in San Antonio. Okay, thank you for letting me purge my worries and plans to the internets!
So this sea turtle drawing is something I have been working on for a while. But now he is done!
In December my husband and I went on our honeymoon to Hawaii. I had never been snorkeling before…and it IS AWESOME! At the risk of sounded like the slight hippy-dippy that I am, it is like a whole different world down there…dude. I absolutely loved it, but the coolest thing I saw while snorkeling was this Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle. We were snorkeling in some shallow water right off the Poipu beach, I swam around and there he was. He was gigantic, and looked to be about as old as the sea. It was just me and him for a long time (before I swam off to find my husband to introduce him). He looked right at me while he bobbed with the waves and chewed on a sea snack. These guys are definitely old, wise spirits. I spent as long as I could with the sea turtle, and asked him if we could be friends (he bobbed yes). I knew I wanted to paint my new friend, so went back to find him the following day equipped with my underwater camera this time. But he was nowhere to be found. I think we were meant to meet only briefly. So this painting of him is mostly from memory, he is carrying the weight of the world (in this case an ancient tree) on his back. The sea is a truly magical place.
Well it has been awhile since my last post. I went to visit my mother in Houston and we had a whole week of art and studio time together. It was a blast! Plus, I got started on a new painting that I’m liking so far (which I will post pictures of soon).
So yesterday was back to the solitary studio time for me in San Antonio, and it got off to a bit of a rocky start…mainly because of:
Very “Wicked Witch of the West”, no? Well, this used to be a so-so little painting I had finished last year. I’m getting ready for a little show this Saturday and thought I’d frame this piece for the show (Ms. Katy, who is putting it together had already printed out the label, complete with size, title, media and price). While putting a quick coat of acrylic varnish on this…it immediately started melting! Ahhhhh! I tried to stop it by holding the drips with a brush and just made it worse. Art moral here is: DO NOT use workable fixative in between acrylic and pencil layers (thankfully this was the only one I used that stuff on), Krylon Matte works much better and keeps your painting from melting.
So I was very sad, mostly because I thought I had a piece ready to go for Saturday, and now I had to start over. Boooooooo! It had to be the same size, created with acrylic and pencil and have something to do with Poppies (because of the already finished label). So I thought I’d try something totally different and came up with this: (on the back of Ms. Melt-face)
I know it’s not abstract, but it’s about as close to abstract as the uptight, figurative painter in me has come in a while. It was pretty fun, and I think I can incorporate some of the techniques I played with here in my next painting. So, second art moral of the day: Sometimes melting your painting a few days before a show, forces you to try something new. Okay, that’s enough art morals for today, I’ll be getting some finished paintings back from the scanner Thursday, so I should have new art up soon!
This point in the painting’s life is the hardest for me. It’s the “I think it’s done, but maybe it’s not, maybe it needs something else, but I don’t want to overwork it” phase. All of these thoughts are running through my head as I obsessively look at the painting from every angle, and even backwards via a mirror to try and see if anything looks off, or if the painting needs anything else. The problem is, I’ve been looking at the painting so often, it’s hard to actually see it anymore. This is also usually the point of the painting where I start to hate it (see above statements about obsessively over-examining the poor thing).
This is where art friends can help. They offer you a new set of eyes to look at it, and maybe see something you’re missing. Or, tell you to leave the painting alone, it’s done. This is why working in a classroom or group studio is awesome…and working by yourself in a new city, where you still don’t know anyone…isn’t. So I’m posting it here instead. If anyone has any feedback, I would love to hear it. And I promise you won’t hurt my feelings.
Also, sorry this photo is a little dark, it’s pretty gloomy outside so I wasn’t getting much sunlight. The actual painting is a bit brighter.
Well, she’s coming back to life a little here, but she still has a ways to go before she’s finished. I added some value back into the piece and gave her some waves to play in. Next comes some color! That should hopefully really jazz things up a bit.
I took a mosaic class this weekend at the Southwest School of Art this weekend and had so much fun! I really got to play with some color (which is something I often shy away from). Every little square is a different little color study. I still have about a third of it to finish, but maybe when I’m done, I’ll be able to incorporate some of the things I learned about color from it into my paintings.