Saturday, November 18, 2017

Whoa, look at that

We interrupt this lack of programming to bring you the largest painting I've ever done:

Yeah, I know, it doesn't look that impressive, but it is SO FRICKETY COOL and IMPOSSIBLE to get a good picture.  This sucker is 36" x 48" and I painted it on a whim back in September.  The 16th, in fact - I remember it fondly.  It was sunny and warm and the pool was still open.  I had to work outside so I would have a table I could walk all the way around:

There was one moment of panic when I was finished - I somehow needed to get the damn thing back inside!  It was interesting.  Here's a photo with poodle to show scale - this was pre-varnish.

And here's the inspiration piece, which is much smaller (9" x 12") and is called "Five Minutes in the Fairy Wood."

The big piece is called "Alice Walker's Woods" because there is an Alice Walker quote written on the back:

In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect.
Trees can be contorted,
bent in weird ways,
and they're still beautiful.

Derek sent me an oh so shiny purple metal frame and last Tuesday I dropped the piece off at the Helen Day Art Center in Stowe.  It will be in the members' show, which opens on December 1st.  That'll be fun....

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Calla Surprise

Here's the surprise masterpiece, almost completely dry and in daylight:

There is absolutely no chance at all I can reproduce this.  I actually tried last night, and will try again tonight just for kicks.  But I have zero expectations.  Sometimes accidents have the best results.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The 78 Series

Fun fact:  I haven't run a brush through  my hair since the end of December.  Yes, it's true.  When my right arm was not working I had very limited brushing ability so it was braids and a hat every day.

Every.  Day.

Now when I get out of the shower my hair basically braids itself.  Saves some time in the morning.

Anyway, what's up out in the world?  March was a crazy good month in my painting world - my art ADD almost couldn't handle it.  I wasn't going to post pictures of any new pieces until they are totally finished, but that could take forever so here's the beginning of the 78 Series.

This wasn't the first, but it's one of my faves.  I'm painting on 78 records.  I love that you can still see the indentation where the label is, and I've left the hole exposed for a reason - that's one of the parts I haven't finished yet.  Most acrylic paint dries with a matte finish, and if you know anything about me you know I'm all about the shiny shiny shiny.  My intent is to give these a clear coat of resin, but I had some technical issues (seriously, technical issues that required replacement product from the company) with the first couple I tried and now I'm hesitant because I don't want to ruin my faves. Resin is time consuming, sometimes temperamental, and requires a totally level surface and a dust-free environment.  Got that?  Level and dust free.  I'm screwed on both counts.  So I've been procrastinating.  Soon, tho.  Soon.  Here are a few more of my faves:

That pink and green one is a hot mess, but I love it.  The pink is going to be sooooo rich when it is shiny again.

I'm naming the pieces after the song that's on the flip side of the record.  That last one is Sweet Georgia Brown.  Fitting, eh?

So here I am up to my eyeballs in 78 records, and then the art ADD kicked in again.  Look at this totally awesome piece that might be my favorite thing ever in the whole world:

It's called Alien Vortex.  Those colors are going to POP when they are shiny again.  Love love love. You may have noticed by now that I tend to work in series.  Like the Moon Flowers.  And the 78s. Now the Vortex Series.  These are 10" x 10" cradled panels.  Here's the next two:

I can't stand it.  I'm so fascinated by what paint can do.  I am telling you, this is totally my happy place.  Good music playing, a glass of good bubbly, two dogs wreaking havoc in the other room - that's the background of my happy place.  Most of the people I know don't get as excited about paint as I do (what's wrong with you people?!?) but I'm in a couple of Facebook groups that are populated by paint freaks.  It's both fun and frustrating - fun to see what other people are doing, and fun to see them get so excited about it.  It's like having a zillion cheerleaders.  Frustrating when some people get so focused on how they want their piece to look that they don't see the beauty in what they create if it doesn't match their expectations. Fluid paint is a wild animal.  You can't have expectations - it does what it wants.  In fact, here's a story about what happened to me last night:

I was done painting for the day and was fighting with my laptop so I could work on this blog post.  It was pretty quiet around the corner, which usually means there is suspicious behavior over there.  Sure enough, Rabbit had peed on the couch (mom - don't read that part).  So while she was having a time out in her crate and I was washing a load of blankets, Roxie and I went next door and I figured I would paint something while waiting for the laundry to finish.  Jack Johnson CD on, paint mixed, no idea what the end result will be, started to pour, and WHOOPS!  I dropped the cup of paint mid-pour. And here is the result:

Whoa.  That's a crappy picture - colors are off - and the paint is wet so anything could still happen, but I posted that picture in one of the Facebook groups last night.  As of right now, 430 people have reacted to the photo, and it has 52 comments.  So long story longer, it's nice to have a place where people get you, because they are paint freaks too.

In other news, the weather has been crazy and I don't want to talk about it.  But I saw this on Sunday:

It's a good sign.  Unfortunately, about eight feet away is this:

In the interest of full disclosure, that's the pile that slides off the roof at the back of my house, and it might not fully melt until June.  But still.  Bring on the warmer weather - I'm ready for new spring growth.

Monday, January 30, 2017

An Experimental Phase

I wish I didn't have art ADD.  I'm having all kinds of half baked ideas and I've got all kinds of half finished projects, which means I've got nothing to show for the last couple of weeks.  Except a bunch of new paint in yummy colors, a secondary studio set up in my other bathroom, a new digital kitchen scale, and not a damn single level surface in this house.  Which is truly a shame.  All of this shall remain one of life's great mysteries until I have a finished piece and much to my dismay, these projects require loads of drying time.  As an instant gratification person, I like to see my finished pieces NOW OR SOONER so waiting is hard.  In the meantime, I whipped up Moon Flower - Midnight.

There's a bright red one coming next.  I am mildly obsessed.

One of my experimental projects is at the I-could-wreck-it-at-any-moment phase so I'm afraid to take the next step.  I keep standing in front of my table looking at it, and that's all I can do.  Note to self: do not get attached to a piece in the early stages.

In other news, Roxie has developed a lump on her tail.  I think it's new - every day when I get home from work she meets me in the kitchen with her tail going a thousand miles a minute.  I hold on to it so she doesn't whack Rabbit in the face, and I just felt this bump on Thursday.  We are putting out positive vibes to the universe that it's nothing special but there's a doctor visit in her near future just in case.  I think Rabbit also has a weird bump on her leg.  Or maybe it's a strangely shaped muscle. She goes back in for her lyme shot booster in a week so I will ask about it then.  I have bumpy dogs. Right now Roxie is sitting on the couch next to me whining.  She's looking at me like I should know what she's saying.  My guess:  please give me that extra treat I know you have in your pocket.


Nope, that wasn't it.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Bite More, Bite Less

I painted something to represent the beginning of the new year:

Yep, it's a big fat mess.  That's how last year ended and this year began.  The short story is I spent a little quality time at the ER on New Year's Eve with a mysterious ailment I had self-diagnosed on December 26th as a pinched nerve.  It got bad, then it got better, then it got BAD.  Thank goodness my mom was visiting when it got BAD because she drove me to the hospital.  On my own I would have been screwed - I might have been able to coast out of my driveway in neutral but there's no way I could have gotten from 2nd to 3rd gear.  So, an arm sling and a short course of prednisone later and all is well but it was dicey for a few days.  These things only happen to me when there is a puppy around.  A couple of months after Roxie adopted me over six years ago I had a similar ailment, only that time it was my back.  This time it was my right arm.  I have been informed by the chiro that the obvious solution is no more puppies.  Doh.

Moving on to other things, once I had use of my arm again I wanted to test a couple new paint colors and we ended up with this wee 5" x 7" Mountain Moon:

Now, here's the weird thing.  This was fresh on the the table, it wasn't finished yet, I still had palette knife in hand, and the phone rang.  I answered because it was someone I wanted to talk to, and in that conversation I found out about another friend who is (hopefully) starting a new job that involves lots of night driving.  And then the next day on my way home from work, the moon looked HUGE AND MAJESTIC, just like it is trying to be in this little painting.  Mountain Moon.  I saw the future and foretold it in paint.  Heh heh.  I wish I had a better picture - all the paint is pearl or interference except the white snow.

In conclusion:

Rabbit goes to work with me most days and behaves herself to the best of her ability.  I have discovered she likes to eat cardboard.  At home we have finally turned a corner and Roxie has been spending time in the same room with the little freak.

Here are my girls with their grandmother.  They play pretty hard (the dogs, not my mom) and Roxie lets Rabbit get away with murder so I'm trying to teach them both important lessons:  Roxie needs to bite Rabbit's head off when she gets pissed, and Rabbit needs to stop biting Roxie's ankles and arm pits and ears and throat.  One needs to bite more and one needs to bite less.  Easy....