Hanging the Show

Probably one of the best culminating moments in the process of preparing for my solo art exhibition is the feeling of finally having all the art hanging on the walls for the first time.

But before that happens, this… Continue reading

Pop-up Poolside Paintings Preview Party

I held a Pop-up Poolside Paintings Preview Party last weekend. What is this event? It is a combination of studio reception, part artist talk, and part just summertime fun! I thought up the idea a few months ago when I was thinking of combining two things I love to do –art and having people over for fun & food– as a milestone and celebration for completing 10 paintings in a new series on time. I will get things done if I make a deadline for myself, and having a party to invite people to in order to get paintings done seemed like a good and fun idea.

Continue reading

Looff Art Festival 2016

On August 20, I participated in the 2nd Annual Looff Arts Festival at Crescent Park in Riverside (East Providence), RI. It was my first time doing this particular outdoor show, but I had heard good things about it from the public and from other artists , so I wanted to give it a try and see how it went. I should have made my checklist before everything else. Continue reading

Studio Tuesdays

Studio Tuesdays start this Fall!

During any one session of Studio Tuesdays on select dates, I will open up my studio to 1-2 people to come and sit in the studio 7:00-9:00pm while I work on a painting and give them a chance to work on their own art. For just $10, participants in Studio Tuesdays can experiment with my art studio materials or bring their own while I give them any art pointers they may want or tips on materials and technique. The content for Studio Tuesday is very open to what the participants want to create, there is no formal lesson, just creating with some light feedback. Participants can enjoy a complimentary coffee, tea or hot chocolate to enjoy in the studio.

Click any of the links below to reserve your spot online for Studio Tuesday (limit of 2 available spots each session, available first-come, first-served) for any of the following dates:

Studio Tuesdays will require RSVPs in advance of each date, and dates are limited, so if you’re interested, please fill out the form below to inquire about Studio Tuesdays or to make a reservation.

 

Artist Residency: Day 9

For the 9th day of my in-studio artist residency, I approached the studio with a sense of urgency — I had to complete these next two paintings by tonight in order to achieve my goal of 6 paintings, because tomorrow, my artist residency ends. Tomorrow my life returns to the usual obligations, tasks and distractions. I have today…I have right now.

So without hesitation, I jumped into my painting apron, and started right away on touching up the drips on the autumn rain painting — using a fan brush to feather out some of the hard lines as the colors had dripped side by side.

IMG_1315I needed to start in on my 6th canvas, so I moved the spring rain painting, which was mostly dry to the touch (albeit a little sticky), to the drying rack to join its friends winter and summer rains. I began added paint daubs in sunrise colors to this newly blank canvas — oranges, golds, reds, and dark deep purples and ultramarine blue.

It came time to start the “smear campaign” on the sunset painting, as the paint daubs from yesterday were still wet. I dribbled stand oil lightly all over the canvas with a palette knife, then lightly pressed into the painting and dragged downward in vertical lines from top to bottom, cleaning the palette knife in between.

IMG_1305Then I moved to the sunrise rain painting, added stand oil in light drips across its surface all the way from top to bottom. I left the stand oil to drip while I grabbed a quick lunch and finished writing and publishing yesterday’s blog post, then I went to work feathering out the drips on the sunrise and sunset canvases.

I think that sometimes an idea turns out just the way you had envisioned it, and sometimes it doesn’t. The colors looked great for the sunrise rain painting when I had blended in all the colors together using a dry brush technique before applying the stand oil. After a few hours, the stand oil had dragged the navy/ultramarine blue color all the way from the top down to the yellow at the bottom, causing the colors IMG_1313to run muddy, and dark, looking murky and dirty — which is not the effect that I had hoped to achieve. It this were a clay creation, I would have rolled it up into a ball and started kneading it all over — but it is a painting. So the next best option I had was to apply odorless mineral spirits to a rag, and rub away some of the dark muddy paint mixing, much like an eraser. Once those dark drip lines were gone, I was much happier with the outcome. Instead of trying to re-drip the stand oil on this particular canvas, I will instead wait for this layer to dry, then I will apply thicker paint dubs in this colors, and then apply the stand oil and smear. The viscosity of the stand oil has generally keep the colors from mixing in a dark, murky tone.

As this artist residency draws to a close, I have mixed feelings. I’m joyful and blessed that I’ve been able to spend 9-10 days intentionally in my studio to produce the beginning of a solid body of work. I’m thankful for the lessons that I’ve learned in making sure that my paints are taken care of, that my brushes are cleaned each night, and the discipline it’s taken to write a blog post at the end of each day to keep people apprised of the most recent day’s developments. I’m also feeling a little resentful that I can’t always spend this amount of time in the studio every day — I wish I could, and I hope to, at some point. But for the current time, being involved in a variety of different organizations, projects and being part of a community are all good tradeoffs for now. I will schedule another in-studio artist residency at some point again in the next year, as I found that it has reinvigorated my artwork in a way never before experienced — I felt like I was in art school again, working on something every day with a deadline and a fervor of eagerness to create. I’m going to hold on to these inspirational feelings and turn them into motivational actions to be more intentional in my daily art creation going back into my “regular” life.

Thank you for following along with my adventure here on this blog, and thank you for the many words of support and encouragement that I have received along this journey from the people in the blogosphere, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and from my community of friends, family and colleagues. Thank you for supporting and encouraging my art-making.

Artist Residency: Day 8

Day 8 of my in-studio artist residency brought with it a new burst of energy — realizing that my residency is winding down, but knowing that I still have at least two paintings to still make. I shifted my work plan to make sure that I would have enough time in these last two days to finish strong..

My first order of action was to add more paint daubs to the autumn rain painting on the easel, working in more golds and yellow-greens, sap green and some alizarin crimson re, followed by adding in blue gray daubs to the top quarter of the canvas, where the sky will be implied.

IMG_1234Once all the daubs were on and it felt ready, I began smearing the autumn rain colors down the canvas from top to bottom using a combination of palette knife and fan brush. Instead of obsessing over exactly how perfectly I wanted the colors to blend together as they dripped, I chose to walk away from the canvas for a bit, work on something else, and then return after the stand oil drips had dropped a little more, revealing which colors would stand out in the process.

I checked on the winter rain painting, and finding that it was dry enough to a light touch, I moved it from its easel to the drying rack to join its friend, summer rain. This opened up a new easel, upon which I put a blank canvas and started to work on a 5th painting.

I had to take a pause to revisit my sketchbook for the color studies and concepts that I had wanted to explore in this rain series, settling upon a sunset rain to be my next project. So I mixed up warm yellows, golds, pinks and purples and started daubing the canvas.

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During a brief break for lunch and tea, I read an inspiring quote in Professional Artist magazine:

Inspiration is not like free-floating music that one can suddenly tune into — rather it is the result of sustained activity and strong intentions.
–Eric Maisel

This struck me because as many artists, I wish something would just *inspire* me with a marvelous idea — but it’s through constantly working through your artwork that a muse will come. This is how I’ve felt this week, as I’ve been working through the ideas I have for the abstracted rainy moments series.

IMG_1250I revisited the autumn rain painting, noticed how some of the drops had continued their drip, and used a large brush and fan brush to feather the surface and blend the colors together in areas where the surface needed a little adjustment.

Today, I made a resolution that I will finish 6 paintings during my artist residency this week (God-willing, of course), since I was already so very close. Time to continue the sustained push towards the finish line.

I finished applying more paint daubs to the sunset rain canvas, filled up the canvas, and have it ready to start applying the stand oil smearing technique tomorrow.

Artist Residency: Day 7

I can’t believe it’s already day 7 of my artist residency — I’ve been doing this now for one full calendar week, and I still have 2 days left. I started off by checking on the surfaces of the summer, winter and spring paintings — to see that there are no marred areas of the surface, and to check to see how dry/wet the surface still is. When checking the surface, I found that a few tiny bugs were also appreciators of fine art — they had attached themselves and immersed themselves into the art.

 So I took a small flat brush, dug them out of the paint, and then used a fan brush to lightly blend over the mark that their extrusion had created.

I reworked some of the surface of the spring rain painting, adding in some brighter spring colors over the stand oil and blending it in with a mix of paint and stand oil with a fan brush. I’m pleased with how the drips are coming along.

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Since I created the summer rain painting now 7 days ago, I thought it was just dry enough to move from my main canvas to the drying rack. I very carefully moved it from easel to drying rack, being careful of the pools of stand oil that had accumulated on the very bottom of the canvas, where the canvas rested on the easel base. Fortunately, even though it was sticky, it was no longer runny.

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Now I had a blank easel upon which to add a new blank canvas. I put my fourth canvas up on the easel, and toned it with a golden yellow color. This next painting will bring the series around to its seasonal full-circle, back to Autumn Rain (the one that inspired the rest of this series).

While I waited for some of the paint to dry a bit more, I took some time to add the “Art in Interior Spaces” section to my website, a page that shows some simulations for how some of my paintings would look “living” in different types of spaces: living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, offices, etc.

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Having put up 4 canvases for painting this week, it was time to buy more canvas! I took a trip to my local art store and found the 40″x30″ canvases on sale for 50% off! I was so excited about the sale and about the new canvas that I bought all 6 of that size left in stock. While I was there, I also picked up a new, sturdier portable easel that can handle tall paintings.

IMG_1189Upon my return from art-supply shopping bliss, I donned my painting apron and added paint daubs of yellow ochre, yellow-orange, orange-red, cadmium red and alizarin crimson in mixed hues to the autumn rain canvas.

Feeling productive for the day, and also wanting to catch up on the sleep that the lack thereof seemed to ruin yesterday, I cleaned my brushes and went to sleep a bit earlier than the nights prior (after watching a quick episode of Bob Ross on Netflix, of course).

 

Artist residency begins! 


I’ve blocked out my work plan for my in-studio residency over the next 9-10 days. I’ve got a lot to accomplish — time to get to work!

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Recap of Wickford Art Festival 2012 in Photos: First Day at Booth 85

I’ve compiled some of the photos and tweets that I posted during my participation at Booth 85 at the Wickford Art Festival here in a summary recap, in as close to chronological as I can recall. I’m still processing entries for the Name the Painting Contest from the second day, and will post the entries very soon for voting for finalists. Continue reading

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!

Sometimes I forget to breathe…when I’m painting

The other day, I was in my studio, painting away. Sometimes when I paint, I just dabble my brush in the paint and apply a few brustrokes every few minutes, as I stop to pause often to consider the direction that I will take the painting in. Although, to be fair, there are many times that my painting takes me somewhere else instead. Today was one of those days that my painting took me somewhere. Instead of where I thought I was taking it.

This is the best time for painting…because I become so absorbed in the act of applying paint to brush and brush to canvas that I forget to breathe. Literally. I only realize that I have not breathed in a regular fashion when I finally step back from the painting and inhale a long, deep breathe, and exhale long and deeply. It’s as though my body, mind and whole being become so engaged and focused on the brushwork at hand that one breath could render my hand slightly off the line I’m creating.

It might sound strange, but I am glad when I get to the place that I forget to breathe while painting. It is a signal to me that sometimes in the act of artistic creation, the act of exhaling the work I’m rendering is more crucial than inhaling the oxygen my body needs.

Now back to breathing.

Phase II of Abstract Painting Process

Phase II of Abstract Painting Process

In this second layer of paint I’ve applied to the canvas, I add sweeping darker blue graphic lines. These will be part of the framework that I will wrap the rest of the elements around and through.

PAC Annual Open Juried Exhibition 2011

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One of the first art events happening in September 2011 that I will be participating in is the Annual Open Juried Exhibition by the Pawtucket Arts Collaborative. I am very pleased that the image of my artwork was one of those chosen for the event’s advertisements (the painting farthest to the right). Come and join us for the Annual Open Juried Exhibition Opening happening on Thursday, September 8th 5:30-7pm in the PAC Gallery, located in the Blackstone Valley Visitors Center (175 Main Street Pawtucket, Rhode Island 02860). Following the reception at 7pm will be an Insights Lecture by Holly Hughes, Artist and Head of RISD’s Painting Department, on “Actual Practice – Slippage in the Studio in the Visitor Center Auditorium. [More Info]

 

Just wanted to share a quote for today…

I just wanted to share a quote for today that reminds me of how artists and writers and creative types may see and describe the world:

The phrase and the day and the scene harmonized in a chord. Words. Was it their colours? He allowed them to clow and fad, hue after hue: sunrise gold, the russet and greet of apple orchards, azure of waves, the greyfringed fleece of clouds. No, it was not their colours: it was the poise and balance of the period itself. Did he then love the rhythmic rise and fall of words better than their associations of legend and color? Or was it that, behing as weak of sight as he was shy of mind, he drew less pleasure from the reflection of the glowing sensible world through the prism of a language manycoloured and richly storied than from the contemplation of an inner world of individual emotions mirrored perfectly in a lucid supple periodic prose?

–From James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Holiday Open Gallery with Toys for Tots @ Warwick La-Z-Boy Furniture Gallery Dec. 11-12

HOLIDAY OPEN GALLERY

I would like to invite you to join me at an exhibit featuring the work of local artists, myself included, benefiting the USMC’s Toys for Tots program sponsored by La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries of Warwick, RI
What: Private Art Reception with Cheese and Pastries
When: Friday, December 11, 2009 from 6:30pm – 9:00 pm
Where: La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries
1755 Bald Hill Road, Warwick, RI
Admission: A new, unwrapped toy for donation to Toys for Tots


Featured Artists:

Alan W. Cave – Acrylics, watercolors, mixed media
Giselle Corre – Polymer clay art and frames
Kevin Sweeney – Illustrations
Lourianne Mardo-Zayat – Abstract photography, tiles and prints
Lorena Pugh – Fine oil paintings and prints
Marjorie Ball – Fine oil paintings
Maryann Stevens – Fine craft jewelry
Rachel Brask – Abstract prints and paintings
Rosa Czarnomski – Fine metal and precious stone jewelry
Susan Krause – Watercolors and hand painted silk scarves

Open to the general public, Saturday, December 12 from 10 am – 6:00 pm

Please come out and join us for this Holiday Open Gallery, we look forward to seeing you!  ~Rachel