Phase I of Abstract Painting Process

Phase I of Abstract Painting Process

Phase I is applying the first undercoat of a semi-translucent layer of a single color. This is the first layer that will often dictate the rest of the direction of the subsequent layers of oil paint. I will often apply the next several layers of color while the original layer is still wet, so that the coats of paint will mix with one another on the canvas. Phase II posted tomorrow.

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

“Are your paintings on your website for sale, or just to display?”

r-letter1I’ve been asked several times by a few folks I know who have visited my website. They have told me they love my work and that they were intrigued by my artwork. A few said they thought the images were just for display and didn’t know that they were available for sale, even though they were interested in owning a piece of my artwork.

So, just to clarify, I’ve gone through all the paintings in the Abstract Gallery and the Representational Gallery and updated the Sale Status of each painting. I’ve included labels of “PRINTS: available, not available, or available on request” to indicate which images are available for sale as fine art prints, and those that may become available as prints if there is more interest in having prints made of a particular image that is not already available as a print. Also are labels of “ORIGINAL: sold, promised, for sale” to indicate which paintings are already sold to a private collector, are promised, or are for sale. Many of them are currently FOR SALE.

So, if you’re interested in buying an original painting or print, drop me a line and I can discuss with you the details further. It’s easiest this way because some of the paintings prints come in different sizes, and different prices. So it’s best for me to be able to have personal contact with whoever is interested to be able to best meet what they are looking for.

Thanks for your interest in my artwork and for reading my Art Blog if you do. I appreciate all comments and personal feedback on what you see here.

Have a fabulous and artful day!

~Rachel

Recessions, Depressions and Art

I don’t think that one can make it through any given day in this year of 2009 without at least hearing the words “recession,” “depression,” or “economic crisis.” These words are all on the news, they are in our conversations, and they embed themselves as fears deep within our hearts. We hear these words and perhaps are dragged down with the doom and gloom that they connotate. In the current “economic crisis,” I believe that it could be possible that an artist may begin to doubt their relevance in the culture or economy of the times. While healthcare and technology projected as the growing industry, let us not forget the relevance of art in these times. I am reminded of how it was through the circumstances tailing The Great Depression which aided the validation of the abstract artist and brought New York City to rival Paris as a hub of art culture.r-letter1

The emergence of the New York School came from the endorsement of abstract art by the United States government, by way of the WPA, the Works Progress Administration, affectionately called “The Project” by the artists, which was in charge of creating jobs and enhancing American culture during the Depression. When an artist for the WPA received a government check for painting murals around New York City, he was not just getting enough for his bread and milk, but it “brought to the artist for the first time in America the realization that he was not a solitary worker…[that] he was no longer…talking to himself.” This quote by Edward Bruce reflected how art became a public service, and how it endowed artists with a sense of purpose for their art. Their expression of angst, subjective existential crisis, or of political reaction mirrored the attitudes of their public counterparts.

Were it not for the pioneers in Greenwich Village who dared to depart from cubism and classical depiction painting, the art world may still be looking to Paris as its center. Motherwell, Pollock, Hofman, deKooning, Rosenberg, Rothko and all those associated with the abstract expressionist art scene in New York City revolutionized the meaning of paint application, expression, subjective reality, color and surface texture of paintings, now not only considered pictures, but “events.” Stretching the mind of the American viewers and stretching even further the European mind to take seriously the frantic paint-drips, blobs, splatters, strokes and attitudes embodied in the work of these artists. As Hans Hofmann said, “A work of art can never be the imitation of life but only, and on the contrary, the generation of life.”

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“Why Abstract Art?” Part III: Abstract Purpose

What is the purpose of abstract art, you ask? There are many. Abstraction can be Continue reading

“Why Abstract Art?” Part II: Abstract Process

The long and expressive strokes of the “action-painter,” as such type of expressive Continue reading

An Artist’s Struggle

The artist strives to create in her hands what is beautiful in her mind, to convey the perfect idea to the perfect form. The struggle between the ideal and the real is fought continually, as the artist attempts to defy reality, to go against what is normal and average. Along the idea’s journey to completion, it must first pass through her heart, evoking the true passion and vitality that brings the idea to life, before it can be transferred from the brain to hand. It is the artist that takes what is inside her, and externalizes it in the form of an original work of art. The struggle between mind and matter is a perpetual battle that rages during the discourse of transferring an abstract mental image into a concrete, tangible piece.

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Frustration ensues the inability to accomplish the task perfectly, when the form matches not the function, when the piece laughs in the artist’s face and screams, “Ha!” It is then that the artist must undertake the challenge, now more than ever, to overcome the barriers that keep her from creating perfection; to balance the form and the idea with the media that stands in between the former and the latter. The artist must mold and sculpt the idea as much as the media itself, until one compromises with the other, and the two may merge into that which is aesthetically pleasing and visually harmonious.

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Like the lover and the beloved, an artist must love her creation, since it proceeded from her very own. It is this love, this passion, this will to overcome, this urge for perfection that drives the artist to continue viewing an imperfect world through an idealistic perspective, and is inspired to capture that in her work and continue in her upward struggle toward perfection.

The sounds of painting…

Have you ever listened for the sounds of painting? After being away from painting for awhile (because of busyness, travel, holidays, etc) I find that my senses are much more attuned to the sounds of painting as they are to the sights of painting. With no background music playing in my silent studio room, the sounds rested loudly upon my ear. The sounds of mixing paint on a pallette, the whish of cleaning my brush in mineral spirits, the rhythmic scratch of making the same brushstrokes upon the same area, or long smooth pauses as I paint a long smooth line across the canvas. Have you ever listened for familiar sounds of the act of painting?