When life gives you lemons, draw them, 11 x 14 inches dry pastels, graphite on paper

"When life gives you lemons, draw them". (Nikki)

"Trust your intuition, it's just like goin' fishin'; you cast your line 'til you get a bite." (Paul Simon)

Archive for April, 2009

Interactive

Saturday, April 25th, 2009


At the end of each month Oxide Gallery and Carino’s Italian Restaurant in Denton present an evening of Art, Dinner and Wine Tasting. Offering a new menu each month, an amazing four course dinner is complete with wine pairings for only $29.95.  The room is separate from the rest of the restaurant, so offers an intimate setting where, at some point during the evening, the artist discusses and answers questions about their work. A new artist’s work is featured each month, and on Tuesday it’s my turn.  Although this is a new idea it has been well received. Reservations are required, but  April 28th is now booked solid, so the Dinner and Show is extended to take place on April 29th as well.

The Interaction with Flowering Shavingbrush Tree

I reapplied masking fluid to the painting in order to continue working on it but still preserve all the great marks revealed after removing the first application. At Carino’s on Tuesday others will participate and be a part of helping this painting come to life by removing the dried rubberized medium from the painting, and help unveil the finished piece.

Update, May 1st: Pulling off the rubberized medium was a hit! A few people kept going back to pull more off. If gallery owners are open to it, I’d like to continue doing this at future opening receptions too. Here are some photos of the fun.

 Thanks to Alain for all the help!  Warren, owner of Oxide Gallery in Denton  Randy, General Manager at Carino's Italian Restaurant in Denton, TX  Jesse, event coordinator and waitress, and a customer

 Unveiling the painting, Flowering Shavingbrush Tree at Carino's in Denton, TX

 Peeling off the mask - even the prettiest hands got involved!

 Helping to unveil the painting Helping to unveil the painting Helping to unveil the paintingHelping to unveil the painting

Helping to unveil the painting Helping to unveil the painting Helping to unveil the painting

 One last peel before I go...

“One last peel before I go…”

Fossils Chair, Homage to The Earth – finished

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009


 

 Fossil Chair with Cycad leaf fossil replica; original was discovered in a Wyoming, USA river basin

Left detail, carved and painted   Right detail, carved and painted

Fossils Chair, Homage to The Earth, started in January and finished today, except for refining the bark fossil patterns. The original posts of the process are included here also. 29 x 29 x 29 inches refurbished vintage chair, canvas strips, plaster, carved, acrylics, varnish, waxed.  Above: detail, front. The Cycad leaf fossil replica original was discovered in a Wyoming, USA river basin.  Below: details of the back

 Detail of 250 million year old fossils and representation of fossilized tree bark on the back of the chair   Detail of 250 million year old fossils and representation of fossilized tree bark on the back of the chair   Detail of 250 million year old fossils and representation of fossilized tree bark on the back of the chair

250 million year old fossils found in the Dallas, Texas area

Myalina, extinct genus of clams. Fossils found in a Dallas, TX playground rock mixture.Left: The back  of this chair has authentic 225 – 345 million year old fossilized clam shells  embedded around the circumference. Next, the Encyclopedia Britannica listing. The fossils were found in a mixture of  playground  pebbles in Dallas, TX.

 Portrayed on the front of the chair is the fossil of a Cycad, the first of palm-like trees that grew about 50 million years ago in a Wyoming riverbed.  The first trees on Earth were actually nothing more than woody stems standing in and absorbing nutrients from water.  Patterns of fossilized Paleozoic Lepidodendron bark- leaf scars are painted on the underside of the chair. Lepidodendron were a primitive species of the very first trees on earth, reaching heights of 130 feet (40 m) tall around 400 million years ago. Can we even relate to those numbers?  That’s what I love about fossils – holding one and trying to comprehend Earth’s timeline is mind-blowing!

January 14th and January 24th updates, below: front details, work in progress on back/underside of the chair. After this stage, all details will continue to be refined with more carving and layers of acrylics. Haven’t done many details on the trilobites yet. The colors in the palm leaf still are too vibrant for a fossil, but are a perfect underlying color because it shows through when layers of blues and black are wiped away with a cloth.

Fossil Chair, left detail Fossil Chair, Homage to The Earth - 29 x 29 x 29 vintage chair, woven canvas, carved plaster. Work in progress Fossil Chair, right detail

Lower detail of Fossil Chair, carved plaster, acrylic paint inlay, sanded. In progress.

January 13th: Lower detail of Fossil Chair, carved plaster, acrylic paint inlay, sanded. In progress. Trilobites will have painted detail.

Fossil Chair, Homage to Trees - 29 x 29 x 29 vintage Solaire chair, woven canvas, carved plaster. Work in progress, front surface, right Fossil Chair, Homage to Trees - 29 x 29 x 29 vintage Solaire chair, woven canvas, carved plaster. Work in progress, front surface, left

January 12th: While sanding the wood for the Sumac Bushes Chair during coffee breaks, I have started the Fossil Chair, paying homage to the fact that without trees, all life on Earth would not be so prolific, and might not exist at all. Fish and Trilobites are carved into the plaster on the front surface of the chair as well. in this series.


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The Tree Of Life chair

Saturday, April 18th, 2009


 

 The Tree Of Life refurbished 29 x 29 x 29 inches vintage chair, acrylics painting work in progress

April 18th, above: still in an extremely rough state, and still deciding about which colors to use and how. There must be much more plaster on the Salish chair, because this one is not carving as well. Only the Shou symbol will stand out carved..all else will be implied.  Blue, purple and green are the new black! Actually that’s the old Impressionist trick of course, but I also rarely use black if those 3 will do – they are much more lively and interesting than flat black. The Yin-Yang/Aboriginal legend snakes have been eliminated because working them in color-wise was going to be a problem. The Celtic design was getting lost in too much else around it. I am anxious to find another chair because I really want to do one with Australian-inspired motifs and colors.

Post-dated note: Unfortunately there is not enough room to show this for the premier of  the Trees show in Raleigh. I’m mostly relieved that there is extra time in my schedule now for preparations, but this chair now needs to be set aside in light of the other priorities.

The Tree Of Life refurbished 29 x 29 x 29 inches vintage chair, graphite on plaster, work in progress

April 14th:  29H x 29W x 29D inches vintage chair, canvas strips, layers of sanded plaster.

The design incorporates a few esoteric concepts common to many world cultures: Overall is the idea of the Tree of Life and the theory of As above, So below, represented by branches and roots. Symbolic of longevity along with the pine tree, and central to the design is the Japanese character, Shou. The branches and roots of the pine tree are interwoven in the classic Celtic style, inspired by designs in the Book of Kells, gospel manuscripts that were illustrated by Irish monks around the year 800 A.D., common era. Two snakes drawn in the Yin-Yang placement represent Australian Aboriginal legends; the Rainbow Snake is their most important sacred symbol, believed to be the creator of all things. Christian biblical literature it is the snake who gives the apple from the Tree of Knowledge to Eve. There are more, but the rest you may like to discover yourself!

There is still plenty of intricate work to do with the roots – this’ll be fun!  Drawing freehand is much better than casting the original drawing on with light and tracing it because each time it’s drawn, first with graphite, then marker, then many layers of paint, I become more familiar with the lines and the final outline will be steady and clean.

April 7th: The Tree of Life preliminary sketch for the fourth refurbished vintage chair April 7, 2009: While studying some of the previous paintings that are still in progress, I sketched out my version of The Tree of Life, a preliminary drawing for the fourth refurbished vintage chair, and have also been layering and sanding the plaster in preparation for it. Colors planned are black, off-white and greens. The other chairs in this series are shown on the price list page.

The perfect place for masking fluid

Monday, April 13th, 2009


 

 Shavingbrush Tree Flowers, central detail of 85 x 45 x 3 inches, masking fluid removed, work in progress

 Shavingbrush Tree Flowers, left detail, masking fluid removed Shavingbrush Tree Flowers, upper central detail, masking fluid removed Shavingbrush Tree Flowers, right detail, masking fluid removed

Shavingbrush Tree Flowers, 85 x 45 x 3 inches, April 13th work in progressFlowering Shavingbrush Tree,  April 11th above: details of 85H x 45W x 3D inches acrylics on canvas,wrapped sides painted, trim frame. Still in progress, but the rubberized mask was removed in order to see exactly what stage things are at before continuing. The painting overall still has a few areas to open up; very little work tomorrow should finish it. Shortly after starting the painting I turned it  upside down and applied the masking fluid with a toothpick and let it drip. Gravity can be used as a tool!

April 13th, Left:  The top third will still leave as much of the primed canvas as possible; a gradation of unfinished space toward more finished at the bottom. I was hoping to leave it as seen here giving an airy illusion, but it does need to develop along with the rest of it…still not as much, but enough to show the main flower better.  This means I’ll be once again dripping masking fluid on the piece upside down to preserve the interesting marks that occurred from the 1st application, and also create some new ones with any further work. For previous posts on earliest progress of this painting click here.

Merging Visions

Saturday, April 11th, 2009


 

 White Pine, 18 x 30 x 2 inches acrylics on canvas

White Pine Bows, 18H x 30W x 2D inches acrylics on canvas, 2008

Now on exhibition at Merging Visions, Creating a Unique Experience with Art and Poetry,  April 1st – 30th at Emily Fowler Library and North Branch Library, Denton TX. Poems are written by members of the Denton Poets Assembly for existing Art works by members of the Visual Arts Society of Texas.

White Pine Bows by Debby Davis, October, 2008

Fragile notes fracture light into rainbow,
Bouncing branch to bough within stiff white pines,
finding my eyes uplifted; what a show!
Violinist gently pulls; taut bow whines.

Bouncing branch to bough within stiff white pines,
like the beat of an orchestra playing.
Violinist gently pulls; taut bow whines
raining harmonies; colors displaying.

Like the beat of an orchestra playing,
my thumping heart strings tug me into now!
raining harmonies; colors displaying,
I am an audience of one somehow.

My thumping heart strings tug me into now!
It is the secret that only I shall know.
I am an audience of one somehow.
Fragile notes fracture light into rainbow.

The Shavingbrush Tree

Thursday, April 9th, 2009


The Shavingbrush Tree just started, 85 x 45 x 3 inches acrylics on canvasThe Shavingbrush Tree in front of a flowering Jacaranda tree seen in Chapala, Mexico, 85H x 45W x 3D inches acrylics on canvas, wrapped sides painted, work in progress. Thumbnail, left: started March 31st

The last painting helped me more aware of how powerful contrasts of light and dark can be. Here, areas of primer will be purposely be left unpainted. I was going to just carefully avoid the white areas and paint around them, but during the second phase I dripped some of the masking fluid to block out a few details in the main flowers. Already it is a very different painting process-wise; right from the start it has felt like a complicated puzzle; that stage doesn’t usually appear until near finishing. The first stages of painting are usually the most liberating but since I never pencil in an outline before painting, I fought a lazy brain right from the start that did not want to map out the placement… which doesn’t make sense because I really really want to paint this one!  These are not typically the colors I use either, so there are a few intimidating factors. I hope to maintain fresh, bright Easter colors — partly because this is when they bloom in Mexico.  Painting is much like a runner hitting “the wall”  but persevering and breaking through it…however in painting there are many walls to conquer.

Oxide Gallery

There are a few pieces hanging at Oxide Gallery, Denton, TX for the next three months: Rocky Mountain Vista, Zen Garden #6, and all four recent encaustic works.

Our Carbon Footprint

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009


 

Our Carbon Footprint, graphite on paper, scanned, digital pen

Our Carbon Footprint, graphite on paper, scanned, digital pen

Creativity is above all our best resource to finding and maintaining improved solutions with regard to our impact as consumers on the earth. Our carbon footprint is worthy.

The Majesty of Trees Exhibition was just accepted to show at the University of  Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum in the Steinhauer Trust Gallery during May and June, 2010.