In the Studio

I have been working steadily on new paintings over the past few months. The challenge for me right now is my studio space. It’s small with just one 5 x 5 foot table. That means I have to work on one thing at a time which is just not how I like to work at all. I like to work on sculpture and paintings at the same time as they inform each other. A new finished painting might be the inspiration for a new sculpture and visa versa. I guess that’s how they come together as one body of work.

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I’m realizing maybe I need to split the week up or even the days. Fiber work for half the day and pouring paint the other half. That is if the poured paint dries by the next morning. I’ve been know to nuno felt on my kitchen table. My family isn’t crazy about wool fibers floating around their food but it just might come to that in the next few months. Here are some things I’ve been working on lately.

new sculpture

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Teaching on Skillshare

IMG_5026I have an exciting announcement.

I’ve published my first class on Skillshare, an online learning platform. The class is How to Paint a Green Apple and for the month of April you can take it for free! Why a green apple? Because it’s a great place for a beginner to start. It’s also useful information for artists who want to brush up on color mixing and painting. In the class I show you how to mix the colors necessary using red, yellow, blue, and white and how to apply them to create smooth gradations that describe form.

If you decide to take the class for free this month you will be helping me out by pushing my class up on the front page where it will be more discoverable by Skillshare members. I’m super excited about this new way to share my unique way of teaching people how to paint. I hope you’ll check it out.

In the Studio – Painting on Dura-lar

In the studio I’ve been working on Dura-lar with acrylic paint.

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It’s a translucent surface that’s similar to Mylar. I’m working on both sides and really playing with all different ways of applying and removing paint. I’ve poured the paint, spray painted with and without stencils. I’ve used a brush to apply paint and then when it’s dry scratched a drawing into it.

I photographed these pieces against a wall first and then taped to my window with light shining through. I can’t even believe how different they look and the idea intrigues me. They could be framed in layers of glass or Plexiglas and hung in a window. They would look one way during the day and completly different at night. Light is a really powerful medium and something we take for granted.

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It’s crazy how different they look, right?

Inspiring Artist – Nespoon

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I’m in love with the work of Polish street artist Nespoon. She uses traditional lace patterns to beautify decrepit city walls and other found surfaces. She researches lace work from whatever country she is working in and says “In every lace we can find a universal aesthetic code, which is deeply embedded in every culture. In every lace we find symmetry, some kind of order and harmony. Is it not that which we all are looking instinctively for?”

She uses actual lace from local women’s work to create web-like installations.

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She uses the lace to imprint clay and patch found holes.

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The lace patterns inspire her large murals.

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She strikes a nice balance between the grungy surfaces and the delicate filigree patterns she imposes on them. She calls them “urban jewelry” and feels they bring harmony to an otherwise chaotic place.

Her images made with stencils and spray paint seem to glow where the overspray creates a soft halo effect.

Nespoon painting

As seen in this video she doesn’t just just rely on stencils she sometimes paints these patterns free hand using a contrasting dark color to make them pop off the wall.

Nespoon, São Miguel from Enric on Vimeo.

She brings women’s work out of the linen closet giving these lace patterns a new purpose so they can be admired by many.

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Abstract Painting

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I’ll be teaching another Abstract Painting Workshop at Highlands Art Garage on February 7th, 1-4 pm. The focus of the first workshop was Color this upcoming one will focus on mark-making. Mark-making is something you hear a lot about but might not truly understand how important it is in an abstract painting. Abstract means without representation. So if you’re not describing something like a sunset or a flower petal with your brushstrokes then what are you supposed to be doing with the paint? Abstract art has the ability to communicate at a deeper level than a representation painting can. It can make a person feel something that is universal and may not even be able to be described by words alone. That’s the power of abstract art.

The workshop participants will explore lots of mark making tools and techniques to learn a vocabulary of marks. Each kind of mark can describe and communicate different ideas and moods. Large brushes make different marks than small brushes do. You can paint with palette knives that come in different sizes. Paint companies make different texturing tools that can be used different ways. You can find lots of unconventional tools at the hardware or dollar store.  You can pour the paint like I do. Combining certain materials create natural occurring marks, like dripping turpenoid into wet acrylic paint. It’s important to explore these things to develop a language to express yourself. It’s similar to a toddler learning language.

 

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Marks from printing
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You can find lots of unconventional tools at the hardware or dollar store also. Last workshop we explored the marks that occur from printing. You can pour the paint like I do. Combining certain materials create natural occurring marks, like dripping turpenoid into wet acrylic paint. It’s important to explore these things to develop a language to express yourself. It’s similar to a toddler learning language. They get frustrated less as they gain more language skills and learn how to ask for exactly what they want. In the workshop we will work on painted papers that can be used to collage with when learning about composition which will be the next Abstract Painting workshop on March 6th. If you’re interested in joining in on this journey of discovery register at Highlands Art Garage, Wilmington, DE.

Color Palette

A few weeks ago I taught the first in a series of Abstract Painting Workshops at Highlands Art Garage in Wilmington, DE. The next ones are Feb. 7th and March 6th, 1-4 pm if you’re interested. Here’s a blog post about the workshop and the student’s work. The focus of the workshop was color. It’s a fun place to start. Black and white can be very powerful but it’s color that moves me. I had the students choose one color and mix tints and tones of that color and it’s compliment to work with.

Complimentary colors are colors across the color wheel from each other. Orange and blue, red and green, yellow and purple are complimentary colors. Here are some complimentary color combinations in my work and other artist’s work.

My student’s work in Yellow/Purple and Blue/Orange

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More Blue/Orange:

Linda Celestian Awash 09Linda Celestian,  Awash, 48 x 46 inches, oil on canvas

Linda Celestian Perfect Storm 6-12Linda Celestian, Perfect Storm, 36 x 60 inches, oil on canvas

Eternal-Dawn Paul BennettPaul Bennettcarol nelson abstract artCarol Nelson

Yin_Yang_48_x_54_Maitland_2011Virginia Maitland

Yellow/Purple:

Linda Celestian FleetingLinda Celestian, Fleeting, 36 x 60 inches, oil on canvas

Contemporary UnknownContemporary Unknown


Noland-April
Kenneth Noland

Red/Green:

Kenneth Noland red imageKenneth Noland