Tuesday, March 29, 2011

painful marks

Donna T asked why I decided to paint over the 2006 painting shown in my previous post. Here's the reason: when I look at the marks I made in that painting (left image), they are painful to me. Roundy, poky, stabby. I can remember the feeling and movement in making those marks. When they worked I liked them (I have a little plein air piece hanging in my bathroom with lovely sharp marks) but when they didn't work...aaarggh. The image on the right shows my current marks. Gently pulling color over color. I feel better.

Monday, March 28, 2011

september becomes may

Two paintings: the lower one, "The Third Season" was painted plein air in September 2006 on dark blue Colourfix paper.  Wiped it off today and now it is a Spring scene, "May."

Saturday, March 26, 2011

as time goes by

If we continue to make art, as time goes by our work evolves, grows, matures. Our pastel marks and brush strokes become more confident. The process spans a life-time of creating. Let's live long and make art that pleases us.

Friday, March 25, 2011

the right side

The right side of the 2006 painting has survived with some adjustment to foliage on all trees. It's growing on me. I'm going to cut the mat for it now and order the frame. It has become "Coastland Revisited."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

5 years later

I'd like to thank those who commented or sent me an email on my March 14th post with their opinion about what to do with this painting.

I intended to cut it into two pieces, crop and reframe each as smaller, vertical paintings. But when I unframed it I was immediately drawn to the spontaneous marks in the border area just outside the picture and how they differ from the more controlled strokes within the scene. This led me to reflect how my work today differs from this 2006 painting. Apparently my view of the world has softened and become more tolerant and playful, less literal. My application of the medium has evolved which affects the character of my marks.

So when I cut this painting into two pieces, I couldn't resist reinterpreting the scene on the left. Then, putting the two pieces back together, it was easy to visually compare how I, and my work, have changed. Click on the image to enlarge.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Washington state is well represented in this year's Annual Pastel 100 Competition in The Pastel Journal.

Susan Glendenning Third Place Abstract/Non-Objective,  
Barbara Noonan Fourth Place Landscape and Interior, 
Diana Sanford Silver Medal Award for Excellence, 
Karen Schroeder Honorable Mention Abstract/Non-Objective 
and me, Honorable Mention Abstract/Non-Objective 
for "From the West Unto the East."
These are artists I know. If you live in Washington and received an award in the 2011 Pastel 100, let me know and I'll add you to the list. Congratulations to all in the competition.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cropping Queen

I love to crop. In our Critique Group I'm known as the Cropping Queen which is probably not what artists really want to call me when I suggest cropping away hours of their work. But, as with reworking, sometimes you have to let go of a precious area or two to get a better statement. One of the challenges of cropping occurs when a painting has a couple nice areas but they are at opposite ends or corners. In that case, you might be able to get two paintings out of one.

I've gone through my inventory and scheduled pieces for upcoming solo and groups shows and find that I need more work! I came across a 2006 painting that I like too much to wash off and rework, but it isn't great the way it is. I'm thinking about cropping it into one stronger statement or maybe into two small paintings.

Below, I've posted some of the cropping possibilities and I'd be pleased to hear comments from anyone who sees a clear best choice. The last image at the bottom is the painting the way it is today.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Red Square evolution

I was trying to forget about Red Square #1 and was pretty sure everyone else had forgotten about it too but today, The Pastel Journal Pastel 100 Second-Place-Abstract recipient Debora Stewart emailed that she was looking forward to seeing what happens with my red squares. So I turned it upside down and painted on it for a little while. Sometimes you feel like a red square, sometimes you don't. I'll let it rest for a few days before I go back to it (and add red?).