Sunday, July 27, 2008

Mission accomplished

My mission this weekend was to figure out "how" I was going to frame "Force of Nature". Well that and make it to Dick Blick to pick up some paint. Part of the requirements of the State Fair competition is that the artwork (such as a painting) be framed. Reasonable request. But framing my work is a new venture for me. I haven't done this sort of stuff since my high school art classes--but I will be doing it now.

I decided I wanted to make a frame. Cheaper. And it gave me more options. Part of Friday Date Night was a trip to Menards to pick up wood. After much consideration I picked some stuff out, which I decided was the wrong stuff once I got to the studio. I did, however, come up with a new and better plan--so on Saturday we headed back to Menards, returned the other wood and bought some new. Do you know they have a pianist playing at the Midway Menards on Saturday night? I guess we're not the only ones who head to Menards on Date Night.

Today I did get to the studio to begin my framing experience. I will need to work on my technique, but this will get the job done. I'm halfway done building my frame and I'm feeling pretty good about it. It's amazing how much more "finished" and "polished" paintings look when they are framed. Between now and the fall art crawl, my goal is to frame a number of the paintings I've completed this past year...and then keep up with the framing as I finish paintings. They will look better. (And maybe it will help to sell a few pieces).

Mission accomplished. I will have this piece framed in time to drop it off at the State Fair building this coming weekend.

I also made it to Dick Blick to pick up some paint. And I managed to work on a few paintings that were "in progress", as well as start some other projects. It feels so good to be getting work done and getting regular time in at the studio.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Force of Nature: the progression of a painting

This is the first completed painting in a new series I've started this past month. The series is titled "Force of Nature: Womanspirit Revisited". This painting is a key part of the series and titled "Force of Nature". These paintings evolve out of my life experiences and work that I first explored some 15 years ago. I have the ideas for over a half dozen paintings in my head. Now the work is in transferring those ideas onto canvas using paint.

Here's the painting at the beginning. I start by blocking out the shape of the figure with paint.

Next the background color is laid down.

I continue to work on the painting, frequently stepping back and looking at the shape, colors...the middle stages are the hardest, the time when the doubts that I'm on the right path are the strongest...will this come together as the vision in my head?

It's getting there...but I'm still looking for the painting to express the energy, that "force of nature" I am searching for. I push past the doubts and keep painting.

Finally, it all comes together. She is a "Force of Nature". This powerful woman represents every woman (including myself) I know that has pushed past every obstacle that comes her way to reach her goal, to be her true self.
As women, I don't think we are always in touch with that powerful force inside us. We may not even realize it is there. Sometimes it only seems to kick in when something ugly and destructive comes our way. Mess with our kids, threaten our bodies or livelihood...and that "force of nature" becomes a true force to reckon with.
I have already started working on the next painting in this series. But I think this painting will always remain a favorite. I have also decided that this is the painting I am entering in the State Fair Fine Arts Competition. With any luck, I'll be able to share this "Force of Nature" with lots of folks visiting the fair.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Beadwork and other stuff

Well, I finally got some pics uploaded, so I thought I'd throw out there some pics of necklaces that I've recently completed. I enjoy working with the seed beeds, playing with color and beads of various sizes and shapes. I am also trying to bead necklaces of various lengths. Some days it is nice just to finish a project that has a beginning and end--and one that can usually be finished in an evening.

I'm feeling a little bummed tonight. I got a rejection letter from the art crawl's poster competition. In a way, I was bracing myself for rejection by trying to expect that outcome. Doesn't matter. Like any other artist (or person for that matter), I appreciate positive outside validation. It's nice to get that pat on the back that tells you that you're doing good work. It's hard too because I see so many of the same artists get selected every crawl that I wonder if it's just a "political" process or if my work is that far off the mark.

But it is what it is, and I'm not about to let it discourage me. In fact, I plan to keep submitting and even work harder at getting my work exhibited outside of my little studio.

It will happen!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A long month ends

It's been a long--very long month. First, I had a bout of salmonella--yup, the same salmonella that's part of the nationwide outbreak. It was some nasty stuff and pretty much knocked me out of commission for a few weeks. Then I had a family emergency to tend to...and well, there's not been a lot of time in the studio.

At the end of my salmonella bout, I managed to send an e-mail entry in to the poster competition for the fall art crawl. It wasn't really what I wanted to submit, but it was all I could pull together. (I should hear about their selection this week)

Finally, last week I was able to get back to the studio. I started work on a painting that I plan to submit to the State Fair Fine Arts competiton. In fact, I have the painting registered for the competition. It's a simple (and free) entry registration for the competition. Any Minnesota artist can enter one piece of artwork. You register the artwork online and then drop it off for the jury to review at the beginning of August. I'm not really expecting to be selected, but entering is something I've always wanted to do. Now that I know it's so easy to enter, I think I'll be trying every year.

I also have done some beading. I work in periodic bursts of creativity--4 necklaces in 3 days. And then life gets busy...

I will post some pics once I have them uploaded.