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Blue Flag Iris, 10 x 10 x 1 inches oil stick on canvas
Spring Garden Mix, 18H x 24 inches Oil Pastels on 80 lb acid free
BlossoMania, 12H x 16W inches Oil Pastels on 80 lb acid free, painted with Oil Blending and Glazing Medium.
I’ve been admiring the round masses clumped on the Plum tree branches in our neighbor’s back yard for a week or so now. Yesterday and today, pink swirls in the wind…
Above: the finished piece, which was cropped from the original size (left), 18H x 24 inches. Blogging always reveals a different perspective. If I had not cropped the original (left image) in order to post details here, I might never have recognized that the cropped portion is quite complete, and I’m satisfied with it after only a few hours of work.
I still recommend taking work past its prime once in a while, a decision best made when there’s a lingering sense dissatisfaction with it. In order to push a painting’s boundaries and your own to see what’s possible, honesty is key, and making the call is different each and every time. Have a look at work from afar or from photos or blogging, and take breaks often!
Transplanting Daisies, 36W x 12L x 3D inches graphite and acrylics on canvas
Work in progress
The idea here was to do a painting similar to “Chrysanthemums”, where one color is hlighted amongst monotones of black and white. Here, green was to be outstanding. Starting the work on a Hansa Yellow Deep background dictated the results though, and at this point it’s not really what I had envisioned. A period of study will help show the direction; either a) it’s finished b) I go with the flow of a full color piece, or c) completely paint over the yellows, outline with black to make greens dominant as initially planned.
Tree fern shadows cast across garden rocks in Chapala, Mexico
I’ve been in Mexico for the past two weeks, so I’ll be contributing more images to the True Colors website (www.trucolors.info), created in 2007 as tribute to the colorful landscapes and cultures here. Developed separately from the other chapters of nikkiartwork.com, True Colors is considered as one complete and independent project. I’ve posted a few more of the recent pieces in this series on nikkiphotography.com
Adapt “1a: to make suitable or fit (as for a particular use, purpose, or situation) 2: to adjust oneself to particular conditions or ways: bring oneself or especially one’s acts, behaviour, or mental state into harmony with changed conditions or environment.”
Art “1b(1): skill in the adaptation of things in the natural world to the uses of human life … 2d: systematic application of knowledge or skill in effecting a desired result … and to production according to aesthetic principles…” (Webster’s Third New International Dictionary).
Art is all about adaptation – of materials to circumstances, to changes in initial plans and set expectations, and staying open to the serendipity of the inevitable unknown in order to recognize opportunities when they unfold as mistakes. A painting goes through alternating stages of chaos and resolve, of full-on confident energy intermittent with periods of reservation and study. One never knows when the process will be finished, and sometimes great efforts result in nothing great to show.
Adapting to life changes is very much like painting. The materials are different, but seeing it that way, moving personal and professional life to another part of the world does not seem so disruptive. That “life imitates art and art imitates life” never quite made sense to me until now. It’s about seeing the picture as a whole while manipulating sections of it, without getting so involved in the details that, ironically, the focus is lost.
All the travel last year was rejuvenating. By the time Fall arrived I was good and ready to apply those experiences to some dedicated painting when, during September my husband accepted a job in Oregon. As folks who know us know, he moved there in October while I stayed behind. With all this attention to house-duty, I’ve been feeling anxious about not being able to maintain all my career commitments during this transition. After not posting any new art on this blog for about six weeks, it’s important to my reputation as a professional that clients and associates (past, present and future) know that I have not stopped working; only have briefly been working on something else.
I’m looking forward to the drive from Texas to Oregon; one phase completed and another beginning. Regardless of location, ideas and inspirations are infinite, always available and uninterrupted in the grand scheme of things. Best of all, these things are portable! You can take the girl away from the art, but you can’t take the art away from the girl!
Saying that change is good sounds cliche, but here’s how I think it works: change pushes us into discomfort, which in turn pushes us to seek innovative ways out in order to regain comfort. In that sense, discomfort is motivating and progressive. Now that I think of it, too much comfort can be uncomfortable! When one set of dilemmas is resolved we instinctually go searching for more. Life and Art are a soul’s song and dance.
Above: Basil roots and stems garden sculpture entitled “Song and Dance”
There are days when a falling leaf is just a falling leaf, but today one caught my eye as it floated down then caught an updraft, then flipping sideways and rolling over a few times, it seemed to be avoiding its final destination as long as it could. It was five seconds of beauty I will never forget!
I’m sure my friend and mentor, Jo Williams will not mind me passing along her note of a quote by Judith Hanson Lasater: “As many times a day as you can, find something to be grateful for because that will connect you with yourself, with others, and with the wider world. And we need to do this MOST when things are their most difficult in our lives. ”
Maybe the leaves have fallen like that all season, but I was too busy grumbling about raking half of them from our neighbour’s yard. I’ve been too busy detailing the house inside and out, trying to get it listed as soon as possible. There have been issues this winter of solid ice in the evestroughing, and having to chip away and melt trails with boiling water so the roof run-off would flow properly. I was too annoyed to notice the incredible phenomena on the other side of the house that were created by the very same problem. Left and above: alien-like forms were created when slow-melting ice dripped from the eavestroughs onto shaded Dogwood branches.
Before the snow and frigid temperatures last week, the pansies were finally filling in and gorgeous alongside the back yard fence. When winter came with a vengeance and would not let go, so did my view that, “Aww! The pansies are frozen!”, but yesterday,it changed to: ”Awe! The pansies are frozen!”
Thanks for sharing, Jo!
May 18th added a little more permanent green and raw sienna to deepen tones and finish Seasonal, 36 x 24 x 2 inches acrylics on canvas, gallery wrapped sides painted
Process May 12th – 17th images below: 1) May 12th: in progress after 90 minutes. 2) Worked a few hours more. The lower quarter of the painting will be a fairly detailed Lilac, and am leaving the blurry, semi-impressionistic background. 3) May 13th: blocked out shapes and lighting. Now jots of pure color will be added to the main flower to make it stand out from the rest. Tones need some correcting also. 4) May 17th: After 4 days more, the work needs studying before painting anything else. Past the point of no return, meaning: I had hoped to keep this one simple with few brushstrokes and limited palette, but it didn’t work out that way. One stroke over the line! Almost finished…working on the more contrast because the painting is overall flat now.
Detail, left: a damp cloth is used to remove areas of wet paint to soften and create texture, also dripping water over damp paint and scratching with fingernail under a cloth. The painting can hang horizontally or vertically.
Basic Drawing and Color Play
1) Saturday, May 15th 10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
2) Saturday, May 22nd 10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Ages: Young adult (16) – Adult – Seniors
Beginners to Experienced Artists, maximum number of participants: 6
We will sketch simple objects using a variety of loosening-up techniques, graduating to a more complex still-life arrangement, fun with color, then a longer study period in the afternoon.
Bring favorite reference photos or items that you’d like to study, sketchpad and supplies that you usually work with. A variety of papers and drawing supplies will be on hand to experiment with during class. Also bring beverage and lunch.
Registration (pre-paid) – $50.00 Oxide Gallery 501 West Hickory St., Denton, Texas 940-483-8900
March 12th and March 19th – Maximum Students per Class 6
Translation: It’s snowing in Dallas today!
It snowed all day, huge Texas-sized flakes. Here, the snow melts on the warmth of the brick-work in the garden.« Previous Entries