Monday, December 29, 2014



What a wonderful way to finish up the year...I just received an email today that this painting will be in the Incite 3 book which is a series like Splash but featuring mixed media work.     I have to photograph the work before January 16th.  Fortunately, the painting is going to be in the CWA National exhibition which is local to me, so I can make the deadline with the generous cooperation of a few people involved in the exhibition.  After reading the photography requirements, I am going to do it myself with my new iPhone 6 plus.  It has 8 megapixels capability and amazingly color accuracy.  I downloaded a great app called Camera+ which allows me to control the settings with more sophistication.  

In my last post, I promised to publish my artistic goals for 2015.  It is only a goal if you write it down.  Keeping it in your head doesn't count!  As I have mentioned on numerous occasions, I try to focus on a limited number of aspects and explore as many of the variations as I can come up with.  So here is what I have decided to work with for 2015: 

1.  Explore mono-printing.  I have done some in the past year or two but I want to be able to "visualize" the result in advance and not have everything be a lucky accident or a total surprise.  
It will just take lots and lots of "doing" for me to get some predictability.  The great thing about collage papers is they all can be used in some way or another, so no fear of messing up or wasting supplies.  Some of the papers will be incorporated into my portraits and others will inspire me in new directions.  

2.  I am a book-a-holic!  This year, I am going to take one book, 80@80, the Paintings of Michael Morgan, and study his texture techniques (there is no description in the book how he does it, so it will be hit and miss, trial and error) his color schemes, compositions and value patterns.  Michael Morgan is an English landscape painter and it will be interesting to see how I can translate into portraiture what I glean from his work.  The color schemes, compositions and value patterns will show up in the mono prints.  

3.  I want to have more than one image in each painting.  I have been collecting different ideas for this idea on Pinterest.  You can see what I have so far to inspire me on the board "Double Exposure"

4.  I plan to explore the idea of partially obscured imagery that I am calling "Lost and Found" for lack of a better description.  Again, Pinterest has been very helpful as a place to collect inspiration.

5.   The last focus for the coming year will be to consciously create an 80%/20% contrast dominance 
with the various elements in the painting.  

I hope this gives all of  you some inspiration to devise your own set of challenges for the coming year.  I would love to hear what ideas you will be working on.  Be sure and share.

Thank you all for your generous support of my efforts this past year through your comments on my blog.  I hope everyone has a healthy, creative and joyous new year!

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Well, I decided to do a second painting of this pose and then choose which one I was going to exchange with another artist for his painting.  This one is just textured gesso on paper, no collage.  I tried to get the same gesso texture as the last painting and couldn't do it.   I used Dr. Ph Martin's Hydrus for the watercolor.  I do like how a gesso surface takes the paint and releases the paint! Now I have to decide which version to keep and which to send.  This one is much more traditional in approach.

Aside from working on this painting, I have been experimenting with the camera in my new iPhone 6+.   I have been practicing stealth photography while out for walks and am getting better at positioning the camera without looking at the screen.  You can release the shutter using the volume control buttons on the side or  the volume controls on the ear buds, if they are plugged in and you don't have iTunes on.  This image was taken with the iPhone camera and it seems to be more color accurate than my other camera.  I didn't have to make any adjustments at all!  I am impressed!  I ordered an extension rod that also becomes a tall tripod.  I am hoping to be able to take some images with unusual perspectives with this extension and also use the video feature on the phone using the tripod for filming some of my paintings in progress.  My new photo accessories will come just in time for my next series of paintings.  

It's that time of year to write down my objectives for creating work in the coming year.  I try to focus on no more than five different areas and then do as many variations of these ideas as I can come up with.  Limiting your choices helps your mind to be more creative with what is available.  If you allow everything to be available, then one tends to go to the tried and true. safe and easy.  Chuck Close says an artist needs to create a problem and then solve it.  This is my way of creating a problem.

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