Artist Residency: Day 6

On day 6 of my artist residency, I think I reached that point, not of no return, but of obstacle and tiredness. I’ve been working so early and so late each day that I think that the physical wear and tear from these intense days is catching up with me, because today’s adventure hit a few roadblocks.

I began painting at 7am and worked on the next section of building up the texture with adding more paint daubs to the winter rain painting. Just as I was getting my groove, I almost forgot that I was scheduled to attend a seminar on online marketing for small businesses — a topic that is of interest to me and to communicating about my art and design business. The seminar was well attended and presented good information, but I couldn’t wait to return to the studio to keep painting!

After that event let out at noon, I returned to the studio, and continued to paint. A good friend of mine, who is also an artist, visited me in the studio for a couple hours along with her 4 week old baby. I could tell that she was an artist dedicated to her craft in how she cradled her baby in one hand as he slept, and continued drawing with the other hand. 

My friend and her little one left around 5pm, then I took a short dinner break and continued painting. I was just about to start smearing the pink-toned canvas with the pastel colors, but then in my clumsiness, my foot bumped the leg of the easel, and then this started a downward chain reaction — the painted wobbled, bumped the jar of paint thinner, which fell off the table and onto the floor, spilling all its contents. In my haste to try to catch the jar, I bumped the painting even more, causing it to fall off of the easel, and barrel towards the floor. I reached for it, smudging a big area of the blue-sky area of the painting, but the wet painted edge had already made contact with the wall and the carpet.

*** *** Breathe *** ***

(Just recalling the incident gets me all shaken up). I threw things out of the way and started to grab any rags or paper towels I could to be able to soak up as much of the spilled paint pigment & paint thinner as I could. I cannot express just how angry and frustrated I was that this all happened — and right as I was already feeling like I was a little bit behind on my projected work plan — now this was going to set me behind even more.

I had to walk away and calm down — so I went and put on an episode of Bob Ross’s The Joy of Painting, since I wasn’t feeling to joyful at that moment. After watching the making of some “happy trees,” I calmed down and returned to the mess (how can you not calm down after watching Bob Ross?)

With a clearer head and an action plan, I moved the canvas, secured it more tightly to the easel (this time with extra clamps) and proceeded to start the smearing from top to bottom with stand oil on the painting that had fallen. I cleaned up the smudges from my attempt to rescue the painting from its fallen demise.

My husband returned later with the Bissell spot cleaner and dove straight into scrubbing the spot for me — upon his insistence that he help me in this way. Grateful for his help with cleaning up the rest of what seemed a disaster, I said I’d give him a shout-out for being such an amazing husband: I have an amazing husband and he came to my rescue in my moment of need!

So the lessons here are:

  1. Get enough sleep each night
  2. Watch your feet
  3. Put a cover on your jar of paint thinner when it’s not in immediate use.
  4. Keep a spot cleaner and carpet stain-cleaning solution in your studio if you have a carpet.
  5. Start a fund to install easier to clean hard-surfaced floors.

Another Painting in Progress…

I have another painting, or series or triptych of paintings, in progress currently. It’s still not finished yet, but I thought I would show it previous state, and now it’s midway-progress state: Continue reading

Details from Abstract Painting Process

Here are some photos of details from the abstract painting process of the painting that I’ve been posting progress photos lately. Some of the details are from earlier in the abstract painting process, some are from later in the process.Image

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Phase 8 of Abstract Painting Process

Phase 8 of Abstract Painting Process

After adding some darker neutrals to add some contrast and depth to the painting, I go back in with a lighter lilac mixed color and sprout some energetic bursts around some of the curves in the forms. There’s still even more to do that I have ideas to add to this painting!

Phase 7 of Abstract Painting Process

Phase 7 of Abstract Painting Process

As I continued working on this painting, to balance out the lighter, bold colors I’ve chosen, there comes a point when I must introduce a darker neutral to balance the overall distribution of values and hues in the painting. In this (Phase 7) I have added some textured darker-brown areas, lending themselves to aid in grounding the painting.

Phase 6 of Abstract Painting Process

Phase 6 of Abstract Painting Process

While I work on an abstract painting, either large or small, I will rotate and flip it around to view what the visual weight and balance is of each color and series of shapes and lines. In this particular Phase 6 of this series, I have also added in some more yellow-greens that I’ve mixed with a greater proportion of liquin, so that the layers appear more translucent, to be able to view the paint layers beneath.

Phase 5 of Abstract Painting Process

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In this phase, now I take my brush and go back and fill in some of the negative spaces created by the lines I’ve made in previous layers, lightening and darkening up some areas to suit the visual idea that I am pursuing while I am making this particular painting.

This is the start of a painting.

This is the start of a painting.

Photo progression of the layers of paint used in the creation of this painting to be posted soon.

Easel Dancing

The other day, while I was working on a medium-large canvas mounted on my easel, I had the local classical music station be my soundtrack for this painting. As I am working on any painting, particularly one starting out as an abstract painting, I turn the canvas around after every few brushstrokes, to balance the color and visual rhythm of the piece while I am working on it.

I am so glad that my easel is on wheels, because as I was painting the top and sides of the canvas, I was twirling and whirling the easel back and forth as though I was dancing with it. It was glorious, as my involvement in the movement of the painting was physically more than the brush.

Tomorrow I think my painting selection will be jazz. I am curious to find out how that affects my easel-dancing.

~RachelImage

Warren Walkabout 2011: Recap

We had a very good turnout of visitors to the Warren Art Center, home of the studios of several artists of various mediums and styles. We appreciate everyone who stopped in to see what we and our art are all about. Keep updated on our next open studio!

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