In my recent work updating this website I’ve been thinking about who and what has inspired me to create artwork. Number one inspiration must be my mother. I’ve collaged a few clips from newspapers about her, along with snips of some of her artwork. The 1973 article from the Cleveland Press described her as a dynamo. This is a person that everyone knew in town. She painted anti war collages. She decided to make her own hula hoops and have a contest for children. She became a newspaper columnist. She photographed socialites and celebrities. She encouraged and believed in me .
I am excited to be teaching once again at the Spruill Arts Center in Dunwoody. I’ll be teaching a watercolor class this summer starting in July. This is for beginners as well as those with more experience. Hope you can join me! Feel free to share this with others. Course information for all of the classes can be found at www.spruillarts.org.
The studio is open but we aren’t having a party this year. I decided to do a block printing project and also to have open studio hours when I will be working on the printing. So far I have completed 3/4 of the prints. I’m doing a reduction print which means that after I carve and print a series, I then continue carving on the block and do subsequent prints. It takes a bit of planning to figure out what to carve. Also, you have to draw your design in reverse. Many tricky components but also lots of fun. A good challenge.
The late summer/early fall flowers are blooming around the studio and in my neighborhood. The colors range from lilac to bright orange to pastel pink to deep yellow. The lanky stalks often are bent down with the weight of the flowers. They liven up the scenery, especially on these clear blue sky days. These paintings are oil on primed paper which has been attached to a stretcher bar frame (22″ x 30″).
I completed a number of drawings of fresh or dried sunflowers. In order to push the work in a different direction, away from solely observational drawing, I used a variety of media (watercolor, marker, mixed media) on top of the drawing or I cut up the images and rearranged. These works feel more personal, more about my natural tendencies.
As the sunflowers age the leaves and petals curl into interesting shapes. I’m using a bamboo handle and sumi ink. It’s really not possible to get the ink to flow smoothly so the line has lots of variation in size and tone.
I love both fresh and dried sunflowers. Of course the model for both is Van Gogh’s drawings and paintings. I did one drawing in pen and ink using one freshly cut flower and two somewhat dried flowers. Then I used a paint program to add some color. I’m still working on ideas about how to work with this subject. I’ve also now added watercolor, ink and colored pencil to the original line drawing.
I had a great time creating a portrait of my daughter’s good friend’s 14 month old baby. I took pictures of the painting in progress and made a short video that shows the painting as it transitions from beginning color blocking to finished work with details. It was crucial to me that I get a perfect or close enough likeness of this child. Charlie’s parents were kind enough to say it was acceptable. I relied on friends at the studio to give me suggestions about color, value and planes and this made a big difference. I also used a linen panel which gave me the fine texture and firm support for the brushstrokes.
These are some works that I recently matted. They are all in 11″ x 14″ mats which fit into a standard frame. Instant original art! I work out ideas and experiment with materials on watercolor or drawing paper. I will give you a good deal if you are looking for art for yourself or a gift. Just drop me a line.