Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Art Review

Recently, Babs has shared on her blog that she did some reorganizing of her studio to try to get back her muse (and this is a woman who once fell off the earth). She found one real treasure as you can see when you visit her, but I suspect she is holding out on us. Then Fiona Long said to me, yesterday, she was eager to see some more of my paintings (a nice thing to hear from an artist who says she is an exhibitionist). I responded I was eager to see some more of my paintings, too.

So I decided these wonderful women artists had an idea to be explored, so I started digging in my very messy studio. I pulled out some old stuff and began to realize I had some items which might provide a bit of inspiration for me. I took tons of photos...have you ever noticed how you can see some old stuff differently when you see an image of it? Sometimes I will even wonder who did that! :)

Now these are nothing to even write home about, but it is all a part of the process of creativity and making art. And you know what? I am getting that old feeling back!

These two "drawings" were old, old pieces. I covered the surface of the paper with graphite...just turned it on the side (it was a rectangular shape) and covered the paper with it. Then, I took a white eraser and drew an image by removing the graphite.
In both cases, I then went back over it with charcoal adding the deeper black. It was fun and reminded me how important it is to sometimes return to some basic techniques. And to not worry what things look like all the time.

At one point, I began to have some fun with watercolors. I would just lay it down on wet watercolor paper and let it have it's way. Once it dried, I would use a technical pen to do the simple line drawing. I have several of these which are interesting...and they always pushed me into some words to contemplate. That is very unlike me, but it happened during this time.

And one time I even tried to play with watercolor pencils on too large a piece. This was fun and I really lost interest half way through doing it.
The thing is, though, this was one of those transitional pieces...moving from highly structured drawings to more loose work. I am sure it might be difficult to understand the struggle I had during this time from highly controlled to down right freedom. But like many struggles, emerging on the other side of it has been FANTABULOUS!

So do you feel inspired by reviewing your own work? Does it hit you instantly or is that inspiration gradual? I know I am often inspired by seeing your work...old or new! But today, I have felt something new stirring in me. I will let you know how it all turns out!

Each day, each of you never fail to inspire me with your own blogs and your own words!

Thank You!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What is in your ear when you are in the studio?

As most of you know I am currently working on two series (a loose description for what I do, actually), The Contemplation Series and The Music Series. No, I am not going to show you photos of paintings again, today...promise! But I normally paint with music playing in my studio even if I am not working on the Music Series. It is very relaxing and it also gives the rest of the house the message I am working in there! :)

The little iPod was a birthday gift to me this year. I love it...and normally things like that do not hold a ton of interest for me (for example, I don't have a Blackberry nor do I wish for one). But this little rectangle is great. In the studio I unplug the earphones and plug it into little speakers. When that music is going I relax and sometimes I even dance...and I get lost in there creating my own little know what? The brush and paint really love the music, too. I can tell because they begin to dance together sometimes. :)

Do you listen to music when you work? If so, what plays in your ear? Who do you listen to?

Me? What you want to know who I listen to? Oh, I have lots of musicians I like...Josh Groban, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Five for Fighting, Savage Garden, Supertramp, The Moody Blues, Neil Finn and even the likes of Rod Stewart. There are many more, but this gives you a general idea. If it isn't old, I usually hear about "music you will like, Mom", from my children...those precious ones!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Trying To Get Back Into The Swing Of Things!

Okay, so this weekend I did spend some time in the studio...some time! While I did not complete anything, I did play some and feel ready to get myself more seriously moving forward.

So I had this old frame I had purchased from Ikea a few years ago. It had glass in it and I had an old pastel framed. The glass broke while the piece was in storage recently, so the frame and backing was just hanging out in my studio, so I took the backing and glued some of my painted rice paper onto it. I added some more paint around the edges. Then I dry brushed the whole thing with silver. This is what it looked like at that point:

So then what? Well, I had this other piece, I had shown you before, I had painted on rice paper. Do you remember it? Maybe I could use that with this bit above as the base. Mmmm, I am not sure. What do you think?

It is kind of difficult to imagine this way, here let me give you a better idea.
Well, I don't know. Maybe. I really have not decided about this. I like the backing a lot and this would cover a little more than I wanted, however I also see how floating this just above the base surface might be very interesting and bring out the base. For now, I am going to live with this one a bit longer. It has been fun to just think about some form of paint again...even if it really isn't art.

But the other thing I did was to paint some glaze layers on this canvas. Do you remember I showed it to you before here. This is what the glazes have done:
With this, my challenge is to paint in landscape format. I always paint in portrait. When I first started this, I thought it would be the next one in my Music Series, but I feel now it is going to be part of the Contemplation Series. I really, really want to keep this simple, so we will see.

So do you ever get this way? Where just painting is what you need to do? I have known I wanted to get back to painting, but am not feeling the confidence right now to bring this to completion. I want to, but I think I have to do a bit of work on my head, right now! This time away...not even really thinking about art...has done me in. ARGH! I think I really do have to spend some time doodling and sketching when I am away from my studio.

What are your thoughts? Do you have advice on this subject of getting your muse back? And any thoughts or advice on these painting bases?

At least we are talking art again here!

Have a Beautiful Day!

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Well, after trying to edit yesterday's post about 6 times, I have given up...I can't even return it to normal! I am sorry you have to contend with this, but the control is now out of my hands! It is very annoying! ARGH! I might try again. later though!

Is this why I do not normally post on the weekend? Nah....

Seriously, my apologies for the ugliness of the font on yesterday's post.

I promise Monday will be back to just the large font and large photos!

Have a Good Weekend!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Getting Out of Artistic Frumps!

So today I am using the "Largest" font size on Blogger. Why, because this post may set some people on their ear...I do not have any color today...all black and white! Eeek!

This is some doodling I have done. I mentioned yesterday I was having trouble getting stuck back into my painting after being away for a bit. Jessica recommended I just start doodling or something like that. So I did. This is the first bit I did...real doodles...nothing creative. Just ink on paper.
This is the next one I did....well, at least it is a little more detail.
And finally, I did this one! Okay...I think I have bored myself enough to head into the studio! LOL

I highly recommend Jessica's suggestion because if it doesn't give you other encouragement, it will bore you enough to do something exciting!

What helps you get out of artistic frumps when you have been away...or in general? Basically, it just irritates me when I get this way and that doesn't help matters at all. I appreciate any suggestions or help on how to keep this from happening again.

I look forward to hear from you and hope you have a Great Weekend!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

More Award Winners

Today I am just going to share some more inspiration shots as well as the other five Excellent Blogger Awards.

This is just some paint on a page of my sketchbook - nothing more.

You know there are so many Excellent Blogs I read each day. Yes, most of them are Art Blogs, but I also read other blogs for inspiration. Being able to narrow down the Excellent bloggers to 10 has been brutal. I really wanted to say everyone on my blog link list and these 10 others! But a part of the responsibility of the award was selecting 10.
This is a collection of tiny pots and a raku heart rattle. These sit on a desk in my living room.

Here is the last 5 for the Excellent Blogger Award:

Lynette Clay who I had a conversation here with last week. She writes the blog Original Art by Lynette Clay and always has a kind word for every blog she reads.

Jessica Torrant who writes Art and Life as well as Look See Saw. I am always amazed at artists who can document while they are working. For me, it is like an open do people do that?

Wurzerl writes a gardening blog, Garten - Impressionen, in both German and English. Her photographs are fabulous, her encouragement is awesome and her kindness is consistent. At the moment she is on a bit of a sabbatical, but visit her blog's back posts. They are wonderful.

Belinda Shinshillas writes a blog of the same name. She is a fabulous painter and poet, and she writes her blog in both English and Spanish. Do visit her blog and continue on to her web site.

And for some beautiful art, visit Danielle Le Bris' blog, D. M. Le Bris. Her art is clearly her blog! You will enjoy the tiny paintings she shares there.

I think you will enjoy each of these blogs, so please go and enjoy! They are truly wonderful people.

Now this is a little part of my inspiration board. Yup! Those are wine corks! The post cards I purchased in Vienna...they are lovely, so click to take a closer look. As you can see, there are just little bits and pieces here.

So there you have it for today. I am kind of like Lynnette these days...she said she was trying to get her muse back and get herself back in the studio. I think my muse may have been visiting me in the night since I have been awake since 3 this morning. She is probably poking at me to get back into the studio. I always have a bit of a struggle to get going when I have been away. Do you have that problem? When you are away from the studio for some time, getting stuck back in is somewhat of an issue? I may be shaking myself free today, though! Let's cross our fingers!

Have a Beautiful Day!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Nature and a Little Test

Today I am running a test and sharing some of the inspiration nature is providing in my yard this spring.

Some people would call this a weed. I call it sweet and a great color inspiration, too.

Yesterday, I asked if anyone had any suggestions for me to improve this blog. Everyone was so nice about that, and I even had a suggestion to reconsider the black background. Well, I am a rebel, but I have told Chewy ,who commented about this, I would ask other people for their suggestions. Please go to the comments on yesterday's post and read what we have talked about there. I do not want to even try to express it to you in my words. If you don't want to comment here, but would like to give me your opinion, send me an email (find it in the column to the right).

I just love to see the new growth on the trees in our back yard here. Do you remember these with all the snow a few months ago?
These azaleas are just beginning to bloom out now. They must have been planted by the original owners. I bet they were really small when they planted them.

As you can, hopefully, see I have posted larger photographs today and also increased the size of the font. Does this make a difference on the black background for any of you who have issues with it?
Do you remember this dogwood tree when the owl was found sitting on the branch? I shared it on a post in early December.
Here is a close-up of one of the dogwood tree branches. These are the most interesting flowers to watch as they change color throughout the spring.

I hope you can also find some inspiration in some of these spring photographs from my yard. I always find it interesting to see photographs from other areas which are so inspirational for me. Travel, as you know, is one of my huge inspirations, so this is a way to see another place through my eyes...sorry Lynette, I am sure this isn't all that great for you!

Let me know your thoughts on the larger font and photos.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

...and one more thing

Happy Earth Day!

Better Blogging

Today beautiful San Meredith over at A Life With A View has bestowed upon me the Excellent Blogger Award! Can you believe it? A beautiful artist and wonderful blogger like San has given me an award for excellence? I am truly honored. Wow, so now I have to identify 10 excellent bloggers! Oh boy, this is going to take some serious thinking as there are so many excellent bloggers. I am going to break this up a little bit, though. Here are a few for today:

1. Chewy because she shares some wonderful parts of her life, great art and truly lovely poetry. She writes "The Back of My Headboard. A Place to Stick It."

2. Elis, over at "Into the Blysitc", who not only writes an excellent blog, but creates some incredible art. She is always willing to share what she knows, too.

3. Kate, who writes "Kate's Corner", who is always willing to share so much of her glass art, local art, painting and life.

4. Andrea, at Cestandrea, who writes, paints, plays and shares so much of her self and her life life from Paris.

5. Sukipoet who also shares so much of all she sees every day on her blog. Suki writes "Paints, Poems and Ponderings".

Each of these bloggers always has something special to share if it is on their own blogs or by commenting on other blogs. I will be sharing 5 other bloggers in a later post.

You might remember the following piece I shared with you in an earlier post. I received some comments not to touch the weaving from how it appeared in the photo...although it was not near completion and the photo was shown as a WIP.

I took the advice given to me and fixed the pieces in place as they appeared in the photograph. I cleaned up the edges and mounted the weaving on an additional piece of rice paper. After this dried, I mounted the entire "fixed in place" piece onto black Fabriano Tiziano art paper.

My plans now will be to mount this onto a wood panel and frame it. As you can see there are quite a few loose and twisted bits to this piece. If you have any thoughts or ideas about how I might proceed with this, please do not hesitate to let me know. It will be quite some time before I can get this framed, so if you can think of any other steps I should include, by all means speak up.

Below you can see a closer photograph of the details of this piece:
I really appreciate so very much everyones participation on this blog. It is really helpful to me and I hope to everyone else. If there are other things you would like to see me do here, please do not hesitate to speak up. If you know of anyone you would like to see in conversation with me, let me know. If you would like to have a conversation with me, let me know.

So the main questions for today is: How can I make this blog better? And how can I make my art better?

I look so forward to hearing from each of you! Thank you so much San for the beautiful award. I look forward to sharing 5 other bloggers, but for now visit these blogger's sites!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Photographs for You....

Today, I want to play catch up with images for you. It really gets to me when I do not have photographs to show you, so hear are a few to get things going on this blog again. Believe me, this is just blabbering....

This is a panel I painted with some of Golden's Micaceous Iron Oxide. That is all I have done...painted it. I like the reflective quality of this product and am sure I will feel inspired once I have the opportunity to spend time in my studio. Have you ever used this product? Do you like it? How did you use it?

What is this? It is the bottom of a cardboard soup cup (I used a double because the soup was so hot) I used to mix some paint for a new canvas. I just liked the way it looked and took a photo. Do you do things like that? Take photos of odd things which just strike you as interesting.
This is the canvas I was painting when I left my studio and mixed the above paint for. Over the last days, I have been thinking about what I might do with this one... Let's see if it works.
This is one of those panels I was testing on earlier. I don't think this is fun, but here is what you see, so far...acrylic paint, rice paper, gauze I used to paint some texture on another canvas, a blob of dried acrylic paint and some metal foil.
This is the metal foil a friend of mine sent me from Germany. See the jar on the right? That is the one I like the most. I seem to have a difficult time using metal foil, but I still like to play with it. Play is good, right?

So this is basically what I have for you today. I promise to do better tomorrow...really I do.

I want to thank you all for being so patient and kind with me over the last few days. My father is doing really, really well and all of my family thanks you all for your well wishes which worked perfectly. I am so humbled by the kindness of all of the artists who come here to comment and send me emails. You all are a part of a rare breed of people, and I am honored to call you friends.

Thank You So Much!

Friday, April 18, 2008


Hello Everyone!

Thank you all for your kindness and patience over the last few days. I am still with my parents helping with my father's surgery recovery. He is home and doing well (sans getting used to some pain medication) and thanks you all for your kind word and thoughts for his health.

I am feeling bad about not making this an art post, however I am so driven by images and can't upload any from this dial up connection I am working with here. During all the waiting time, I have been doodling a little bit and have some new ideas for paintings. What art have you been working on over the last few days (I know, I know I need to make a blog visit to all of you)?

I probably will not get to much more this weekend, either. But that is the way it works sometimes with life, isn't it? I am eager to be making art again, though. So how about you? Will you be making art this weekend or will you be enjoying some beautiful outdoor time?

I look forward to hearing from each of you and will be posting again next may be later on Monday, but I will post that day!

Until then, have a beautiful, creative weekend in whatever you choose to do.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My Conversation With Lynette Clay

Lynette Clay writes the blog, Original Art By Lynette Clay . She has the most incredible way with trees and the night landscape. Her work can be whimsical and fun as well as quite serious, and her range is very broad. You probably know Lynette already as she is very generous with her comments on so many people’s art. She is always seeing something which is not seen by many in a lot of work. I am very blessed and honored to have Lynette agree to have a conversation with me today. Please, go get yourself the beverage of your choice, sit back and enjoy our conversation.

Rainbows on the Bluff

K: Lynette, I know you have a BFA from Western Kentucky University. Was painting your focus there?

L: Hi Kim, first off I would like to thank you and say that I feel very honored that you wanted to do an interview with me. Your artistic talent is wonderful and I always look forward to seeing new posts in your Creating Space blog. Thank you Kim, you’re an inspiration to us!

Yes, I did graduate from WKU in 1984 with a BFA, but I actually took a detour when attending college to join the US Air Force from ’76 –’80. After I got out of the service, I used the GI bill so I could finish getting my degree in art. Ever since I was a young child, I knew I wanted to become an artist someday, so art was the only choice of a major in college. I did try taking business courses one semester, but disliked it intensely and quickly changed my major back to art.

Actually I only took one painting class in college. Looking back on it, I have to be honest and admit that the painting professor wasn’t one of my favorite instructors. I sort of delved into painting with acrylics on my own back then and although I didn’t care for the professor, I did feel that I learned a lot in that class. I took lots of other classes related to art though, including drawing, sculpture, airbrush, printing, photography, technical illustration, design, art history, drawing, and especially ceramics. I loved throwing on the wheel and always told myself I would love to work in clay again someday.

K: Well, Lynette Clay, it should be clay you work with (laughing). You know I think any of us who have had the opportunity to study anything in the art field have had some disastrous experiences with professors (instructors). I know I have had my fair share, too. So basically you have used your studies of other mediums and general art to self-teach yourself acrylic painting. Now how cool is that?

You threw a real surprise into the mix here with your military experiences! Do you find that experience finds itself into your life still? Back in those days using the GI bill to foot the Educational bill was financially a wise thing to do. I don’t think I could have been that patient with being told what to do all the time, but I am glad you could.

Thank you, also for you ever so kind words. You always have the sweetest things to say to everyone! But you know it takes all of us here to make this whole idea of blogging work. I credit everyone.

L: I was very young when I joined the service, and to be honest, I rarely ever think about it now. I did my four years during times of peace and looking back on it now, I'm very grateful for that!

K: Yes, I can imagine you are. Those were peaceful times. I was a student at Va Tech, then. Look how far that has come, too.

Pen Doodle

Can you tell us a little bit about your years before WKU? Your childhood and those influences?

L: Woo Kim, that was a long time ago. J The first time I think I fell in love with art was because of a gift that my Mother gave me. It may have been a birthday present when I was around 6 or 7 years old. I’m not sure because it was so long ago but I can remember the feelings of excitement like it was yesterday. She gave me a paint by numbers set and I was just enthralled with the picture as I painted in more and more of the little blue numbered sections. To see a flat piece of cardboard turn into a seemingly alive, three dimensional colorful scene was just pure magic to me and I was hooked from that point on! I became interested in the history and life stories of the famous artists, Van Gogh for instance, and enjoyed reading about them and looking at photos of their work. I was fascinated with it all and knew that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up someday. All throughout my school years as a child, I probably doodled thousands and thousands of little pictures in my notebooks while the teacher was talking. I still managed to pass school with pretty good grades though.

K: Well, I suppose in reality, you heard more because you were doodling than you would have if you had of been doing what they thought you should be. And I , too remember those paint-by-number kits! I can just see a tiny Lynette there working away being awed by the developing picture.

Jewels in the Cornfield

You talk about loving to work at night and being influenced by the moon and waxing and waning light. You seem to love painting trees and I have noticed a lot of cultural/holiday/seasonal influences, too. Would you say you are influenced by the cycles of life? Would you talk about that a little bit?

L: I guess there are several reasons that I enjoy doing my painting late at night. One of the reasons is the house is nice and quiet and I can get into that special ’zone’ of high energy and creativity. I can paint in the daytime, but I can’t give it ‘my all’ for some reason...phones ringing, housework, husband awake and talking to me. I’ve always felt more energetic and alert later in the evening and after I’ve had a couple of cups of coffee, I’m ready to go. Sometimes I will imagine a scene in my mind and picture how I want it to look. I will study and think on it for several days until I know what I want to paint. That burst of creativity always seems to come at night and I‘m flying into my little studio (spare bedroom) to put it on canvas or paper. Ha, for some reason my muse has always visited me at night, usually late at night when I‘m wide awake!

Kim, you asked me about being influenced by the moon. I’ve always loved stargazing, and seeing the moon glowing up there in her different phases has always fascinated me. To look outside and see the yard, which should be in darkness, eerily and softly illuminated by a full moon is wonderful! I feel my strongest creative urges on such nights. Being a woman, the monthly phases of the moon has been a strong influence throughout my life. Something funny, the other week we had a full bright moon and I was attempting to sketch the ‘face’ on it created by the craters and shadows on the moon. I am going to try painting that face I saw one of these days. What struck me as funny is the fact that the face I was seeing definitely looked feminine to me! J I was thinking to myself, “yep, the moon is a woman”!

As for painting so many trees in my work, I think part of the reason may be because I grew up in the lush state of Kentucky and I‘ve always loved nature and being in the country where there are lots of trees with many interesting shapes and even personalities. I challenged myself to really see the shape of a tree and not go by a preconceived notion of how they ’should’ look.

K: Wow! Now there is a ton in those few paragraphs! Of course, I am really with you on the fact that the moon is a woman. Oh, please do paint that painting, I am now very eager to see it. Kentucky is indeed a very lush area of the United States! And all of those lovely hardwood trees dotting the landscape is very inspirational. In your paintings it honestly does come through how you study the natural form. What comes through, though is the whimsy of the personalities you give each tree…they are so much fun and really show how much you care about trees. It must break your heart to see so many trees being cut down these days. Phases…of the moon, of trees of woman, of life! Yes, that comes out in your work so clearly.

Various Works

Since you prefer to work at night, would you talk about your studio and what you can’t work without and the things you need in order to paint? What is your studio like?

L: I would love to have a large airy studio with great light, but my ’studio’ is just the smallest spare bedroom in the house with one window on the north side of the house. It’s chock full of painting supplies and works in progress and a desk lamp for extra lighting when I paint. The white curtains in there are pretty well dappled with paint but I enjoy it anyways. My necessary painting supplies are just acrylic paints, a bunch of different sizes and types of brushes, canvas or paper and my 2 plastic Folgers coffee cans…one with plain water and the other with soapy warm water. I found out that when I do landscape types of paintings, I have to have a tube or bottle of florescent orange acrylic paint. I put a wash of it over spots in the green areas to imply the touch of the sunlight. I discovered my need for this color by accident and in a humorous way, thanks to my husband Rob. He used to enjoy going to turkey shoots in the fall of the year. They would shoot at paper targets and try to win frozen turkeys (He‘s won several of them around Thanksgiving, which came in handy LOL). He had painted a dot of the orange on his gun site and had the whole tube left over that he gave to me. One day, I gave it a try and loved the effect of the orange wash over areas of the green.

K: Now that is fabulous! What a story and what a great tip! I love it so much when things happen in that way! Rob sounds like a real keeper! Does he need more colors? It sounds as though all the great artist have bedroom studios J You know what I mean…

Blue Reflections

What inspires you other than night?

L: I find that beautiful scenery, such as the Smokey Mountains to be a real inspiration to me. Every year we drive from central Virginia and all the way through the Appalachian mountains to get to Kentucky where my family lives. It is just so awesome to see all the huge lush mountains with layers of misty blue fog. Some of the vistas just take your breath away! I paint countless pictures in my mind when we are traveling though there.

K: Ah yes, I too am inspired by landscapes. I grew up in the mountains so I understand what you are talking about. When you travel back to Kentucky do you take any art supplies with you or just your camera?

L. The only thing I take on those long trips is my camera. I try to capture those wonderful scenes in my memory to use when I get back home. Usually we have so many suitcases and stuff packed in the vehicle and I don't have time to draw or paint until I get back home.

Holiday Through the Window

I know you have heard this question before from me, but what do you think has influenced your visual voice?

L: Woo, probably many, many things! The people I see, the scenery of the landscape, colors, shadows and bits of light I see in the trees and grass…the blue of the sky and shapes of the clouds, etc. I could name lots and lots and lots of things here Kim!

K: I hear you…just about anything which crosses your path!


You are so kind and generous with your responses to other people’s art. Is this something you have thought about and are you always so positive?

L: I don’t consciously think about it, but I do enjoy looking at other artist’s works and commenting in a positive way. In almost every piece I look at, I can find something that I like, such as a technique, certain use of color, texture, etc. If I see a piece I really don’t care about, I usually just don’t comment. Honestly, it may be some one just starting out on their artistic journey…maybe it’s their very first painting. Sometimes if I feel that it would honestly help them, I do sometimes try to make a constructive comment, but in a positive way. I know how good it makes me feel when someone comments in a good way on a piece I‘ve done. I’ve noticed that artists are unusually sensitive when it comes to their work!

K: Well your kindness has probably helped so many artists get going with their careers. When it all comes from the goodness of your heart, then it is good for the whole world.

Silver Moon Blue Night

What would you say is your greatest artistic success?

L: The very first painting I ever sold through the internet. A lady in Arkansas bought it for her office at work and I was really excited and pleased about that!

K: Oh, I can imagine that would have been the greatest feeling! I can imagine that woman at her office enjoying your painting each and every day.

Yellow Rose

You clearly like to play with materials. Will you talk about the mediums you like to use and your favorite ones…colors, mediums, etc.?

L: My favorite medium has to be acrylic paints. I like to paint with them very fast, wet and spontaneously because of the quick drying time. I like how the colors mix together at the edges and I think I’ve probably done more paintings with blue shades than any other color. I’ve recently discovered the delights of the special effects colors, such as the pearl iridescent acrylics.

K: Oh, I like the pearl iridescent too! A really fun product.


What will be your next project? What are you looking for ward to next?

L: I still have that sketch I did of the ‘face’ on the full moon and I am planning to try and capture that in an acrylic painting soon.

K: I can’t wait for that one.

What other artists inspire you?

L: Back in the college years, I discovered the amazing work of Caspar David Friedrich, the 19th century German Romantic painter. I just fell in love with his dark, eerie, mystic landscapes, so he has probably been an influence to me as an artist.

K: I can see the influence! Yes!

Will you tell us about any interesting experiences you have had with your art? With galleries, commissions, educational experiences, the web, etc.

L: I had been painting and selling some of my tree ACEOs through the internet when two people contacted me to do commissions of my trees in the four seasons. One person commissioned twelve ACEOs, three of my trees in each season. The other customer, all the way from Australia, commissioned four of my tree ACEOs, one for each season. That was an exciting and very busy time for me, and to be honest a little stressful too! I finished all sixteen of the little paintings successfully and they were happy with them, whew! I am still trying to get up my nerve to contact a gallery someday and have been collecting some paintings for that purpose.

K: Well I think you should get that nerve up, girl. I don’t think you would have any problems at all creating a market for those wonderful trees!

Four AECO's

What kind of art do you not like?

L: I appreciate all kinds of artistic expression but if I would have to pick one I didn’t like as much, I guess I would say it would be some of the ‘Primitive’ art I’ve seen. Maybe it just hasn’t spoken to me yet, I’m not sure.

K: I get that. In a way, I feel the same way about primitive art. I wonder if it has anything to do

with what we saw so much of as kids?

Silver Tree and Heart

What genres are the most interesting to you? Do you like other forms of art or is painting the main thing?

L: Painting is it for me, although I have enjoyed other types of art too. Sometimes I use pencils or charcoal to sketch on paper. Not long ago, I found an old art set that I had given my daughter when she was younger. There were some oil pastels I found and enjoyed giving those a try. Back in college years, I did take several ceramics classes and really enjoyed throwing on the wheel. It’s been so many years though, sigh. My favorite thing was to pick the glaze and then do the second firing in the kiln. It was almost like Christmas morning to see how the glazed piece would turn out and agony to have to wait so long for the kiln to cool. Sometimes the results would be a wonderful surprise and other times disaster!

K: I have the greatest admiration for anyone who can throw a pot! It was my worst art subject ever! Seriously! My daughter has her wheel stored here and I could be using it, but it is just not my medium. Do you still have some of your pots?

L. Kim, I still do have some of them and I agree that it is very tricky to throw on the wheel! Some of my pieces look pretty 'clunky' but I really enjoyed making them!

K: You have my greatest admiration in working with clay on a wheel!

Is there anything else you would like to talk about?

L: Ha Kim, I’ve probably gone on way too long about everything already and I really appreciate you asking me to do this interview! You’re a special lady, thanks so much!!

K: No, you haven’t gone on too long! Not at all! I could listen to what you have to say for a long time, yet.

Believe me, Lynette, the pleasure was all mine. I feel honored you were so willing and want to thank you for working with me here this week. You are a joy and a good friend to know.

You can find Lynette's art at her Etsy Shop and at her Saatchi Gallery. Do visit her work there. She is also a frequent commenter at the Wet Canvas community. You can find her often in the Abstract/Contemporary forum.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Power of Simplicity

I opened my email this morning to find Robert Genn's newsletter which arrives there two times each week. Today, Robert was talking about how important it is to look for simplicity. He said he was thinking about how difficult it is to express to people wanting to learn about art how to see in order to find inspiration for their art. So I started thinking about how so much successful art really comes from detailed looking at simple shapes and environments. Consider one of the common things someone wants to do when they first begin to draw is draw a landscape...a broad sweeping vista they try to reproduce. Too much information too fast just gets things too confused creating some not so good art.

On Sunday when I was cleaning brushes and little paint pots, and when I looked into the sink I saw this. I ran for the camera:

I know, I know this is really simple and really silly. But I had to take the photo, because it was so simple and in some way, I could see something happening with this in the future. What I have to do is grab the moment and then I begin to break things apart rather than add to them. Can you see anything in this photo?

But this isn't the, no, no... on Saturday, my husband tells me I have a package in the mail. A package, for me? I didn't order anything! But there it was a lovely gift from our dear friend, Babs and her little grandson! They had painted me a gift. It is called Kim's Garden and came complete with some lovely seeds for my flower garden. Isn't this just lovely?
Now Babs knows I adore children and especially her painting with this very special little boy. Now this all got me thinking. Consider children's painting and how simple they can be. Now granted Babs helped her little grandson know when to quit...he was really interested (I am guessing) in understanding what the paint was doing on the paper...and it was doing some great things. Thanks Babs!

So the next time I am considering a composition, I need to remember to see my inspiration through the eyes of a child...see it, break it apart and then consider the details.

So how do you approach your inspirations when trying to translate them to your art?

Tomorrow is TREAT DAY! I am having a conversation with Lynette Clay who writes Original Art by Lynette Clay. Believe me, you are in for another adventure! I have one thing to also say...please have some patience with me on Thursday. My father is having surgery and I will be spending the day at the hospital with him and my mother. It may take me some time to get the comments published, but I will and will respond to each of you. Just asking you to hang in there with me.

Until tomorrow for the Exciting Conversation...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Testing...and Opinion

This weekend was one of painting and one of testing. If you remember last week I did a post showing a small painting on the Ampersand Aquabord. This particular product works very well. I also mentioned in the comments that Golden has a product known as Absorbent Ground which I had not tried, but owned a pot that I wanted to try. And try it, I did...

To use this product, you have to thin it with twenty percent (20%) water and paint it, thinly, on a gessoed surface. The directions said the thinner and more layers used the better the product. So here is what I did. I had some Ampersand Gessobord, so on one I painted 2 thin layers of the product allowing the first to dry before adding the second layer. The second layer was allowed to dry thoroughly before dropping paint on the surface. For this first piece, I sprayed the surface of the prepared board with distilled water and dropped thinned acrylic paint on the surface. As you can see, it clearly did NOT take up the paint in the way watercolor paper would or in a way the Ampersand Aquabord did.

This particular material handles in a very different way. It is a surface unlike paper or Aquaboard. If you are more of a traditional watercolor painter, it might work very well for you, though. If you are more of an experimental painter or abstract expressive painter with watery paint, you will get a very different result than the other two products. I have already began to change this particular was very difficult to look at even as a test!

The second Gessobord, I did three layers allowing for thorough drying between the layers. This time, I also sprayed the surface with distilled water, but I used acrylic ink rather than the watery paint. The intensity of the ink was more appealing to me, but the ink still sat on top of the surface more than I had wanted. Since a lot of it was just sitting on top, I tossed a bit of sand on the surface (I am not really a good tester, am I?) to get this result.
I liked the result of this okay. It is fine, but nothing to write home about. I, personally, still like the other surfaces better than the Absorbent Ground.

But, once all this had dried, I noticed my pot of Golden Pearl just hanging out nearby. So I picked up that and did a bit of dry brushing over the sandy surface. Granted this is not controlled at all, but I really liked the result.
I know it is difficult to see the pearl effect here, but I thought being able to see the difference would help. Photographing those more reflective paints is a real bear!

So what experiments have you done recently? Are you willing to share the techniques? Do you think it is good to share this kind of thing or do you feel it is something an artist should keep to themselves? How do you feel about sharing just bits and pieces like this...not really art, but tests or how mediums and materials react with each other? And is this kind of blogging unfair to other professions such as writers or workshop instructors?

I look forward to hearing from you...

Have a Very Beautiful Day!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Creative Gifts

I really like to share with you the talents and creativity of others. This past week, I have been given the opportunity to share some works from some wonderful friends. These two items I am showing you two gifts I received.

This is a shawl my dearest and oldest friend knitted for me. Cindy is a professor of interior design at West Virginia University (and my interior design business partner), but she spent a lot of time knitting me this beautiful shawl. She knows me so very well since we have been friends for 32 years. I know a great deal about her design thinking about this particular piece which is based on a series of 3. There are 3 stripes of blue which are broken up with the turquoise which is 3 sets of 3 rows for a total of 9 rows each.

In one corner she introduced a small charm...a heart which is engraved with "made with love". I can't tell you how much time Cindy put into the planning, not to mention the knitting, of this shawl. Making the choice of yarn, alone, took weeks.
Cindy also brought me this beautiful book which she used to guide her in knitting this shawl. This is a project she will continue with for other people, too. She is keeping a journal of the shawls she is knitting and the people who will receive them. Am I a very lucky woman to have such a friend, or what?
This is also a beautiful handmade gift I have received from a very dear special friend of mine who lives in New Zealand. As you all already know, I am a great lover of glass art and my friend also knows this. Lesley McIver is a glass artist who owns Glitz Art Glass. I absolutely love this piece because to me it speaks of bridges...bridges of life. She has not only designed and made the glass portion of this necklace, but she has also designed and made the beautiful metal hanger which supports the glass. If you have any interest in glass jewelry, at all, please visit Lesley's web site to see the work she is doing. Her work is of very high quality materials, creativity and design. The back of this beautiful piece is as beautiful as the front.

Share with me some similar experiences you might have had with some art friends.

Have a Beautiful Weekend! I wish for you the greatest of spring or autumn weather.