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Monday, June 28, 2010

Completed and Delivered

This canvas, Balanced Boulder,  was delivered to North Tahoe Art Center today for the ARTour exhibition.

Mark your calendars for the opening of the exhibition:  Thursday, July, appetisers, and great art work by Tahoe artists.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Is it Work?

When you live in close proximity to your neighbors, as I do, you frequently hear their conversations and comments whether you want to or not.  For instance, yesterday, while I was painting in my studio on an overcast and cool day (but not too cool to have the windows open) I overheard my neighbor, who was working in his garden, exclaim to his friend that it was a perfect day to work.  As I was painting, doing my work, I began to think about the things we love to do and the enjoyment the act of doing can bring.  The question then arose, is this work?  

I continued to paint, losing myself in the process.  Was I toiling? Was it labor? Was it exertion?  

It certainly was a form of effort to produce something, but so frequently the word 'work' represents a negative.

Not so for me when standing in front of the easel.  And apparently, not so for the neighbor who made his statement with delight.  I prefer to think of this as self entertainment.

Now back to the painting for me.  Is this work?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

ARTour Preparations

North Lake Tahoe Open Studio ARTour takes place in July, and because I am one of the participating artists, I am spending time preparing for the event.  That means painting and creating jewelry daily.  I under painted this 48 x 30" canvas with black and sketched on my design, inspired by clear Tahoe water and a rock formation off the Crystal Bay Point.

 Next I began working from the bottom of the canvas, laying in the under water portion of the painting.

After that was complete, I worked on the upper portion of the canvas adding in the sky.

 And while that dries, before I can work on the rocks above the water line, I turned my attention to my jewelry table where I am working with huge, the-color-of-the-deepest-part-of-Tahoe, lapis beads.

Combining the lapis with a large Chinese, hand-painted porcelain bead and Mauritanian Hair Pebbles, the necklace became one that can be worn long or doubled to a shorter length.  Positively dramatic.

More progress on the painting tomorrow.

Friday, June 18, 2010

New Paintings

After a few rowing and kayak trips out on Tahoe, the inspiration has hit and it is time to start painting Tahoe.  I am starting with very small, this one is 5x7, quick sketch type paintings which will then be translated onto a larger canvas.  After completing this little one I have sketched the same idea onto a 48x30 canvas and will start working on that canvas today.

Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada mountains of the United States.  The surface elevation is 6,225 ft, depth of 1645 ft.  Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America. 

The lake was formed about 2 million years ago and is part of the Lake Tahoe Basin with the modern lake being shaped during the ice ages.  It is known for the clarity of its water and the panorama of surrounding mountains on all sides.   My canvases focus on the crystal clear water and huge granite boulders in and around the lake's edge.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It is such a good feeling to complete a project.  These photos show you the painting, apron and bag which were shipped yesterday for The Old Bags Luncheon, which will be held June 26 at The Long Beach Museum of Art.  

Folded Apron

Red Hot Market Bag

So now it is on to other tasks in the studio.  Today I under painted a 48x30" canvas in preparation for a Tahoe Rock painting.  It 's time to focus on ARTour, an open studio tour that will take place two weekends in July, 9-11 and  16-18.  This is a self guided tour of artists' studios on the North and West Shore of Tahoe and in the Truckee area, which is sponsored by North Tahoe Arts.  I have paintings to finish as well as jewelry to complete before the event.  Check back for photos....

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mistakes and Errors

The Completed Apron Painting

Sometimes our mistakes can lead to another type of  'ah ha' moment. After painting a black border around the chili on the apron I started to work on the market bag.   Wanting to expand the size of the black gessoed area on the bag to accommodate the painting and the black border, I proceeded to apply the gesso to the bag and accidentally spilled a rather large blob of black on the bag that seeped through to the back of the bag.... what to do?  First I painted the front and waited for that to dry.

The Completed Bag Painting
This left me with two mistakes...the blob of black on the back and a wider right margin.  I decided I will use lettering on the wide right margin, something like:  Red Hot Chili or Chili or Red Hot or Real Women Eat Chilies or Hot Pepper or Hottie...something.  So now I will need to put the same lettering on the apron, but across the top.  And what to do about the back blob....???  After the painting on the front dried and I turned the bag over, I found the blob was in the shape of a chili.  Pretty cool.  Easy answer.  A small chili on the back.   

Errors are the portals of discovery.  

Friday, June 11, 2010

Painting the Apron

Don't you just love it when you do something that leads to a completely new way of doing things?  A simple change that becomes a standard in the process, a serendipitous event that is like a light bulb going off.

I taped the apron down to my work table and painted a rectangle of black gesso that would become the 'canvas'  for the painting.  I sketched in the pepper and board and began to lay in the background.  Amazing!  A deep wonderful richness became apparent as the paint brushed onto the black surface.

I have used black as an under paint on many canvases, but not for a long time and not with my Produce paintings, however I will now.   The same intensity and lush color resulted when I painted in the pepper.

And then the board under the pepper.

Now I will deal with creating some sort of frame for the painting.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Time Out

The end of last week I headed to San Francisco to visit the de Young Museum to see the Birth of Impressionism exhibition of works from the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. .  It was beautifully presented and inspirational.   There is a second, sister exhibition scheduled to open, mid September, that will be worth while to visit.  .  The de Young is the only museum in the world that is hosting this back to back exhibition. Opening in mid September 120 of the Musée d’Orsay’s most famous late Impressionist paintings including those by Monet and Renoir, followed by the more individualistic styles of the early modern masters including Cézanne, Gauguin, Lautrec and van Gogh, and the Nabis painters, Bonnard and Vuillard. The exhibition will also provide a unique look at the Orsay’s spectacular collection of Pointillist painters including work by Seurat and Signac.  I posted two of the painting to be shown, but I think only one appears here:

Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, and Beyond

The next day I visited a visually spectacular farmers' market in Oakland.  After drinking in the textures, shapes and colors I snapped a few photos and may use them in future paintings or at least as inspiration....

The last day of the trip included hours of walking through The Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire which is Northern California's largest antiques and collectibles show.  It was exhausting but so very worthwhile. The show is huge, filled with over 800 vendors presenting a wide variety of STUFF from little tiny treasures to the monumental.  My hours spent pouring over tables and through piles resulted in  the purchase of a few special vintage items to include in some of my jewelry designs, and eventually you will see them pictured here on my blog.

And now, back to chile pepper painting...the bag and apron are next.  I have painted  black gesso in a rectangular shape to use as the 'canvas' for the painting.

Chiles in the studio have migrated to the kitchen where they have become part of Cherry Chile Pulled Pork, Apricot Chicken spiced with Chipote in Adobo, and Roasted Poblano salsa.   We are eating well, and I am back to work in the studio after an inspirational time out.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Because of the Long Beach Museum of Art's fundraising event and the items I will create for them (see my last blog post), I ran out to the market to purchase chile peppers.  Red, green and orange chiles are piled around my studio in group and solo arrangements.  I settled on the small reds as inspiration for this project and began sketching.  Three compositions appeal to me, so I sketched them onto small canvas boards and began the painting process as you can see above.

Next I began working on the chiles.  All of this to decide which composition to use on the market bag and the apron, mentioned in the last post.  

Finally I added in the boards under the solo chiles, more high and low lights, which completed each of these canvases.

Here they are:

The painting on the bag and apron will have a decorative border of some sort to contain the composition and create additional visual interest.  Anyone care to comment about which painting they think will look best on the apron and bag???

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Return to Studio

Moving has made it seem like it has been months since I have spent time in my studio, but in all actuality it has only been a few weeks.  The sketch books, brushes, pigments and canvases are calling, but before I can throw myself into a new canvas I am working on a project for the Long Beach Art Museum  They have asked several artists to create a bag that can be auctioned at a luncheon which will take place this month:  The 'Old Bags' Luncheon.    My bag will be intended for use at the market, be of painted canvas.  But I just cannot give them an empty bag, so I will paint the front of an apron to match the bag and include a small painting which will stand in an easel.  All of these will carry the theme of chile peppers. 

Here are a few chile pepper facts:

 The heat from a chile pepper is concentrated in the interior veins or ribs near the seed heart, not in the seeds as is commonly believed (the seeds taste extra hot because they are in close contact with the hot veins).

• Chilies can make foods safer - they are known to reduce harmful bacteria on foods.

• The burning sensation that makes chile peppers so appealing to culinary thrill-seekers comes from capsaicin or more accurately a collection of compounds called capsaicinoids.

• More than 140 varieties of chilies peppers are grown in Mexico alone.

• 1 out of every 4 people on the planet eat chilies every day.

Check back to see photos of this project as it moves forward.