Thursday, January 29, 2009

More progress

I am working to build up the darks and introduce movement in this composition. I am also working on a very small scale to build texture by creating the clusters of small circles.

phoenix 12 x 12"

ink, stitching, watercolor and cutout on Khadi paper

Friday, January 23, 2009

Our breath became trees 8 x 8"

Number 2 in the prana sketches began to resemble a winter landscape. So I capitalized on that.

Finished...14 x 28"

I think. And hark, where are the birds. I was able to work up a really interesting surface in this piece and added only a little imagery - the gingko leaves. "Decorative" seems to be a four-letter idea in art; but I love treading that line. Is it working?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

#1 8 x 8"

I think this idea of Prana may occupy me for a while. Here is a small sketch where I played around with the idea of deliberately placing drops of ink on the surface rather than working in washes.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I saw some great work done by my friend's primary school art students. She called them "breath" paintings. The concept of moving media with breath was so exciting I went to the market and bought myself some straws. Voila! I began creating this image by first blowing some light washes around the paper. I am also working with a metallic dry pigment which I hoped would behave more like glitter than it did. I used spray glue and the doilies as stencils then sifted the gold pigment onto the surface expecting it to only adhere to the adhesive. But it worked its way into the fiber of the paper. Not to worry though. Because of this I conversely had a happy accident. Once the adhesive dried it acted as a resist and I was able to expose the doilie by applying a light ink wash over the area - check the bottom right side of the page. Perhaps this is the start of a Prana series...

Friday, January 16, 2009

I'm chugging along on this one.

Here is a shot of the drawing before (on the right) and after (on the left). I really darkened it to its advantage I think.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tying up loose ends

I had time over the last three days to get some good work done in the studio. Some of what I am pursuing is playful, a way to experiment with new ideas; but I am also finishing some work as well as working back into older drawings that need attention.

Silver Silhouette 6 x 6" acrylic, cut out and paper mounted on panel

Botanical revisited 20 x 20" ink on Arches

acorn inklet 5 x 7" stitching and ink on Khadi

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Whoever said that thing about counting those unhatched chickens never met me...It's still not entirely a done deal, but -

I sold a piece from the Drawing Project, Yea!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Getting back on the horse

Well, I've really had to give myself permission to make mistakes in order to coax myself back into the studio. I have had such a long break from regular work over the holidays with our two trips out of town, and the grad school application process is really a Herculean achievement that sort of hangs in my mind. As I thought about simply showing up this week, and primed myself for the week ahead I realized I need to be gentle with myself. "It's okay to make bad paintings...for now, just paint." Of course the work never goes badly, really. It's just the fear that you won't live up to your past which is paralyzing. And the permission to fail is a very powerful catalyst towards productivity.
The piece I am working on above was begun in December. It is the sister to the piece of wood upon which I painted "pretty bird". I have held off with the tight realistic renderings of the animals mostly due to aversion, but I think there is some benefit to it all. I have remained wide open to risk in the background of the painting because my investment of time and effort so far remains small.
Happy New Year to all of you and best of luck with whatever you are working towards this year.