Thursday, April 30, 2009

'Glacier Colors'

I have started a new series I am calling Reflection. This series deals with the challenges of moving forward while taking the time to reflect. I decided the idea of clarity was important in life's lessons, so I hold the image of ice and glass as I work with these pieces.

This painting, which I am calling Glacier Colors is reflective of a special place on earth which touches everyone's soul. You know where it is for you. It brings you to that place deep inside you where life is ancient, time belongs only to you and you are quite sure we live forever here. There is so much clarity and so much reflection in this special place you cannot stop going to it in your mind. This is acrylic on 40 x 30 inches staple-less, gallery wrapped 1.5 inch deep cotton canvas.
So now you see one of the things which has been keeping me from showing you some of these things. Don't worry, my life has been wonderful, however I have been thinking about how difficult it is sometimes to get through the mud to find your center, but when you do weather the challenges how clear life can become. If you are interested, I have uploaded a few of this series to my other blog (the holding place for paintings waiting to be placed on my web site), Kim's Visions.
I wish for each of you a delightful weekend.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It Just Happened...

You may be wondering what in the world I am up to here today with these two images. Mind you, they are just cropped corners of some work I have been focusing on lately. At any rate, do you see the darker purple on the lighter in the above photo? Those are dried ink flecks. I use pre-stretched canvases a lot for a variety of reasons. These come wrapped in plastic which both makes me crazy and makes me glad. I hate the waste of the plastic, but I appreciate the protection, too. Recently, I have been carefully removing this plastic along the heat sealed seams. When I do this right, I can get a nice wide piece of sheet plastic which is double the length of the canvas (plus the depth). I like it because the plastic is strong and not as clingy as plastic kitchen wrap.

So what, you say? Well, I have also been squirting acrylic ink on acrylic painted canvases and then mushing it under the plastic sheeting. This allows me to see the ink moving on the surface of the canvas and have some kind of control - sometimes. I found if I continue to do this the layers of ink will build up on the plastic sheeting. I mainly just leave it around to get the most use of it I can.

One day, I was moving a piece of this plastic and some flecks fell off. What? This is was all irridescent and beautifully caught the light. So I scrunched the plastic with the heavy, flaking, dry ink over wet ink and paint...beautiful. I just let it fall where it might. Then, I decided to see if I could peel it off in sheets. Yes, I could!

Here you can see where I have applied some of the sheets to this painting. If you look closely, near the top, just to the left of center there is a piece of this dried ink which is not lying flat. Do you see it? There are others, too.

Now I can't toss out these sheets. I wonder how long I can get away with using them over and over...saving the dry ink...reusing the plastic? Now the ideas are flowing.

Do you have a good way to reuse plastic? I wonder if I painted thick enough, in reverse order, if I could pull entire paintings off this plastic and adhere it to another support? Do you think this might be messing up the archival qualities of the work...using this plastic like this?

As always I am interested in your thoughts.

Have a Great Day!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Knowing and Not Knowing

This is something which came about purely by accident. I was working on a canvas and wanted to lift some of the paint I had placed there directly from the bottle. I had this piece of 300lb/640gsm watercolor paper which was the exact same size as the canvas, so I grabbed it and did a frottage. This is what came out on the paper. I have been so mesmerized with it I have not done another thing. It is not as though I think it is complete, but I cannot get past the way it appears now. There is so much to look and see on this piece.

This brings me to the work Andrea is doing at the moment with cropping and seeing her work in a new light. You need to go to her blog and read the last several entries to understand fully what has been happening in her studio lately.

I think I love this so much because there is so much to see here. I have an issue, though. I don't want to cut up this piece. I can work with the image on the computer to do some cropping and become inspired by the various parts, but what to do with this piece? It is far too busy, I am thinking, to stand alone. At the same time, I am not eager to touch it. Maybe it needs to go onto the wall of possibilities until I grow tired of looking at it for whatever reason...or go blind...which ever comes first! :) It makes me think of a line I read in the book, 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women by Gail McMeekin:

There is no way to push the river; equally you cannot hasten the harvest.

I thought this said a great deal about needing to be patient with this bit. So what do you do when you have created something you cannot stop looking at, but you know it also is not complete? What do you think I should do here? As you can imagine, I am eager for advice!

I wish for everyone a Delightful Monday!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Thank you to Meek Gallery for this image.

I have been thinking about how much inspiration I gain from my interaction with other creative types. Recently I had a great conversation with Bill Meek, glass artist extraordinaire! My husband and I recently visited Bill and found him to be full of conversation about how he finds inspiration in his every day experiences including dealing with a house re-build along the Texas Gulf Coast after last years Hurricane Ike (where his glass sculptures were the only pieces of art to survive the flattening of a gallery). He talked about how he is inspired when hiking the Pacific Coast Trail with his son. Each of these times, he couldn't wait to get back to begin pieces which were playing in his brain.

Several of you know I have a glass sculpture by Bill called Mariposa. My husband and I recently celebrated a wedding anniversary and decided we would mark the occasion with one of Bill Meek's pieces. We choose Antler of which you can see a similarity in the photograph above. Bill talked with us about the process he went through to produce this piece and the process of finding glass this thick to work with and how the veins and subtle impressions happen which is sometimes by happenstance. It was fascinating to listen to him talk and to hear about how his adventures influenced him to create these pieces.

This has made me think about how I find inspiration for my work. Clearly, I know, travel is a HUGE inspiration for me. I learned something else, though, I am also inspired by other artists and their work. My mind cannot stop racing with ideas since talking with Bill and seeing all of that beautiful, lovely glass. How about you find inspiration from the work of other artists?

So please visit the Meek Gallery web site. I think you will be delighted. If you ever have a chance to see his work in person, you will be glad you made the effort. He has many fabulous architectural installations which might be near you or near a place you might be visiting. Bill also can be found in various 'shows' throughout the year. I hope you can see his work sometime.

By-the-way, the bowl is called Antler because he shapes those veins with an antler.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fool the Nay-Sayers

Do you ever find there are those who are very fast to judge you? Do you allow them to influence you? Depending on my mood, I can let those people get to me or I can let them know it is their loss. We cannot always meet the needs of others, and as creative people it becomes important to stay true to ourselves in order to achieve our best work. I keep trying to remind myself how important it is to keep my focus and believe all happens when the time is right. I work hard to stay positive about all aspects of my life. How about you? Are you naturally a positive person who believes all happens as it should when the time is right? Do you think there may come a time when your life might make a sharp turn into your dreams? Do you believe?

Here is a story you are not going to want to miss. Please see what happened to 47 year old Susan Boyle from Scotland when she appeared on Britain's Got Talent television show. (My apologies for making this a link, however I have no idea how to deal with a video.) Please watch this, if you have not seen it already. Catch the smug reactions to people when she walks out on the stage.

Have you watched it? Yes? Do you now feel the world is right and good? I can't tell you how this uplifted me. I feel as though I can conquer the world single-handed. Of course the moral of the story is be careful how you treat people you come across each day...being kind never hurt a soul.

Have a Beautiful and Kind Day!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Reviewing The Basics

Do you ever feel it is sometimes important to review the basics of the work you do? I feel as though it has been important to me over the last few weeks. One of the reasons I think I have wanted to do this is because I am exploring new processes and new mediums, too. As I have said before, I am enjoying the use of FW Pearlescent Inks along with liquid and regular acrylics. No, no I have not given up on the glazing, but it seems as though I have to keep myself interested in other things while I also enjoy that very time consuming process of clear glazing. This is a little bit of one of the pieces I am currently working on. I know I should be documenting the process, however I just can't seem to take myself out of the flow of work to prepare that linear type document. There is more to do with this and you are not seeing the entire piece, I thought you might like to see how the inks are responding.

Now getting back to the idea of re-exploring the basics I have found a wonderful book called Painting Abstracts by Rolina van Vliet. While I am not one to follow a program, I am finding picking and choosing some of the exercises are quite helpful. It is helping me to think about the working methods which work well for me and reminding me to evaluate my work with the elements and principles of art in mind. While they sit back there constantly poking at my intuition, I think it is helpful to bring them to the front of my evaluation process from time to time.

If you enjoy abstract painting, I think you will find this book useful. If you are interested in exploring abstraction, I think this book is very useful in helping to understand what it is all about and what actually goes into the work of abstract painting.
Thanks to Amazon for the use of this image.

Do you find you have to make yourself step back from your work or does it come naturally? Have you ever felt as though it is important to return to basic ideas to begin to build again? How does the process work for you?

I hope all is well where you are and spring or fall is finding a way into your days!

I will be back with you soon!

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Over the last few weeks I have been trying to trust the process of my work and life. Sometimes this is difficult, however I have found how important it truly is to do this from time to time. As an American I have been raised to believe the more time I put in, the more productive I will be. All of these years I have failed to recognize just what it is that encompasses "time put into my work". Lately I have concluded there are many aspects of this art making which involves putting in that time and it is not always in my studio producing the next painting. Sometimes I have to step back and evaluate what I have done, read things which have an influence on the direction I am heading or where I have been, sometimes it means I have to explore other art forms and how they impact my own work...or allow them to impact it.

Recently I heard about a company in the US northeast who felt they had to cut back their work force since they were not getting the clients in this economic climate. They did not really want to lay people off, so they decided they were going to try the basic French model of working. Their employees were all cut back to a 35 hour work week (yes, I know the French have recently increased that back to 40 hours), required to take a month off (without pay at this point) in addition to their regular paid vacation. Do you know what happened? The productivity and creativity of the employees increased, their client list began to grow again and they are doing well now and have happy employees and clients. I thought this said a great deal about not only this company, but about how we sometimes have to take more time to effectively produce.

No, I have not stopped painting, I remain true to my mark a day (at minimum), but I have started to evaluate what it truly takes to do this work. So now you know what I have been doing over the last little bit. Yes, I have been painting, but in a different way and with a different attitude. It feels fresh and exciting, so I think that is a good thing.

I also appreciate you being so patient with me throughout this process. I hope to be a more regular blog poster and reader...not every day, but with more substance, too.

Oh, and this little photo at the top...just another crop from some recent "play".

How about your process? Do you sometimes have to step away and take stock in your work and your work process?

Have a Great Weekend!