Tuesday, April 29, 2014

"spring blowing in"

"spring blowing in"
24" x 24" oil on canvas
Available at Sozo Gallery

This painting was inspired when I was walking through uptown taking pictures one afternoon.  I just love the rush of life uptown contrasted with street musicians on the corners or sitting on the benches.  I see this gentleman often and love to listen to him play.  The bright sunlight and the blooming trees made a perfect backdrop for his music.  This painting and many others will be in the upcoming show at Sozo Gallery. Hope you can make it.....details below.

Sozo Gallery presents Partners Artists
May 8 - June 24
in a show to benefit
Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region
HeartBright Foundation
Opening Reception May 8 5:30-8:30
Sozo Gallery
214 Tryon, Hearst Plaza 
Charlotte, NC

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"down a different track"

So, I think I have shared on this blog that I have been taking a class this year with artist Curt Butler.  I took classes for a year with Andy Braitman when I started painting three years ago.  I had so many questions and he helped corral my thoughts and gave me the confidence to head down my own path.  Last year, I painted on my own. No classes with the exception of a workshop late last year.  I felt like I needed to be on my own for a while.  Paint by myself and figure out where I wanted to go.  I feel like it is hard to do that sometimes in a classroom setting.  Too many voices, too much going on.  For me, I needed to just hear that voice in my head.  I really committed to the process and with few exceptions painted every day....7 days a week for 6-8 hours every day.

At the end of last year, I really felt like I had a rhythm going in my painting.  I had "me" on the canvas.  But also I had a better idea of what I felt like I needed to improve and things that I wanted some opinions on. So I committed to a once a week class with Curt Butler.  It has been fabulous! I love learning and Curt has already given me so many nuggets of wisdom to incorporate into my painting process.  New approaches, different ways of handling things.  Another big "truth" I have discovered:  You can get the most wonderful, important information in the world but until you are ready to "hear" it.... you can't take it in and use it.  You have to grow into it.  I am still growing into it all.

What I really enjoy about this class is the "stretching" that goes on.  Trying out different approaches and incorporating them into how you already do things.  Some of the paintings that I have done in class aren't good at all.  But I am trying to learn the concept and not necessarily end up with a finished painting.  Every once in a while, the concept and the painting click.  This is one of those that I am happy with.  On the surface it looks a lot different than what I usually paint.  But even though it seems much more abstract, it still has the things that I focus on: color, strong brushstrokes and most importantly pattern.  It still has "me" in it.

Here is the initial block in for the painting:

And here is the finished painting:
"down a different track"
30" x 40" oil on gallery wrapped canvas

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

"summer days and cane poles"

When I was a child we used to go fishing. A lot.  Not just crabbing or fishing off the dock but get up at 4:30 in the morning, pack of cheese crackers and coke in a bottle for breakfast kind of fishing.  And cane poles. I didn't use a rod and reel until I was a teenager.  My dad taught me how to tie the line and string a cane pole when I was about 6 or 7.  And if you couldn't bait a hook then you didn't get to fish.  To this day, fishing to me brings back visions of a pond just before daybreak with the mist just inches above the water, whispering so we wouldn't scare the fish and watching for the cork to bob.  I still prefer fishing with a cane pole and crickets to worms :)
"summer days and cane poles"
24" x 30" oil on gallery wrap canvas

This painting is available at a new gallery for me, Magnolia Art Gallery in Greensboro, Georgia. It is such a lovely gallery and the owner Lynn Beazley Blair is just wonderful and so much fun.  If you are nearby and get a chance, I hope you will stop in and see all of the beautiful art she has to offer.

Monday, April 21, 2014

"only a matter of time"

"only a matter of time"
36" x 36" oil on gallery wrapped canvas

How about something bright and cheerful to start off your week?!  Love boats, water and reflections not to mention my favorite of all....pattern.  I find it mesmerizing.  This one was such fun to paint.  Feels like summer. :)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

"lifetime companions"

This time of year more than any other my mind and soul head toward the coast.  The rest of me stays here unfortunately, but I am only half present most of the time.  The older I get, the worse it gets.  I guess it's that longing for where your spirit lives.  My dad was this way, always pining for the land he grew up on.  The place,  like me, in his youth couldn't wait to get away from. Finally, he was able to retire and go back and as they say in church, "all was well with his soul."

What I am feeling tends to translate itself into paint these days.  I paint what I am thinking and feeling and sometimes where I wish I was.  It is cathartic I guess, and good for my soul.

lifetime companions
30" x 48" oil on gallery wrapped canvas

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

a day of coloring...

 Guess what I did today?? Yes, your eyes are not playing tricks on you.  I got out my crayons and colored. (Actually, I had to go out and buy a pack of crayons)

You might be wondering why in the world I was using crayons. Tyler White/O'Brien Gallery is hosting an event called "Crayons Matter".  It is a charity that raises money to send backpacks filled with school supplies, including crayons, to children in Ghana.  They believe that no child should ever go without a pack of crayons. I would have to agree!  I bought my pack of crayons...just the 48 pack (although I was VERY tempted to get the 64 pack with the sharpener)  sat down on the floor and got to work!

Here are some progress shots of the lab.....as usual, I only took a couple! I get so involved in what I am doing I forget.  I did use colored pastel paper to have a background color established.
my initial drawing

starting to add some color

my finished crayon drawings

They took longer than I thought actually and let me tell you coloring is not for the weak.  Just getting the crayon to layer and fill in the crevices of the paper took a lot of elbow grease.  I'm actually more tired from coloring than I get from painting. :) But I'm happy with the way they turned out and I forgot just how much I like the way crayons smell.  

Crayons Matters event will be held on Saturday, May 10th, 2014 at Tyler White O'Brien Art Gallery from 6-9pm in Greensboro, NC.  If you live nearby I hope you will drop by and see all the crayon art from the gallery artists!

For more information on Crayon Matters here is the link to their website:  www.crayonsmatter.org

Monday, April 14, 2014

"just a little dip in the road"

just a little dip in the road
24" x 24" oil on linen

I've been traveling a bit in the last month and taking pictures on the road when things catch my eye.  I drove through rural Georgia several weeks ago and was inspired by the dirt roads and freshly planted fields. I love the mystery of the side roads and what's waiting at the end.  They always feel like summer to me... land and sky stretching out in front of you and that cloud of dust billowing out behind you.      

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Brand New Paintings at Atelier Gallery, Charleston SC

So it has been 2 months since I last posted!! I have been swamped with deadlines, family emergencies, lots of baseball games and everything else that life could think to throw my way.  Here are a few paintings I worked on in February and March that were just delivered to the beautiful Atelier Gallery in Charleston last week.  Stop by and see them if you have a chance..... Charleston is just gorgeous this time of year!

 "in pursuit of happiness"
30" x 40" oil on gallery wrapped canvas
Atelier Gallery

"tapestry of a southern soul"
30" x 40" oil on gallery wrapped canvas

"sunlight slipping down the street"
30" x 48" oil on gallery wrapped canvas

"a bright and shiny day"
36" x 60" oil on gallery wrapped canvas

"something about blue"
20" x 30" oil on gallery wrapped canvas