Orbs No. 25 - Waxed Watercolor - 32" x 48"

Orbs No. 25 – Waxed Watercolor – 32″ x 48″

Life is coming together in a wonderful way.  I have missed posting on a daily basis, however, my time away from the computer has been well spent.  thirty years ago I could only dream of painting the paintings I have recently created for the solo exhibit at Overlook Medical Center, November 1, 2013 – January 5, 2014 in the Bouras Gallery.  Going back to square one to study Color has paid off in trumps!

Orbs No. 14 - Watercolor - 22" x 15"

Orbs No. 14 – Watercolor – 22″ x 15″

For once, it was better that I didn’t have windows through which to see the beautiful days that passed by as I poured, sprayed, brushed, splattered and spun paint on paper, both large and small.  The trash I found at flea markets proved to be treasures, working as templates to create translucent layers of shapes that interact with one another.  The illusion of movement through space is fabulous in this new body of work.

The day after tomorrow I’m headed back to California to teach workshops and to paint the real world again in the hills surrounding San Francisco.  I’m hoping I can project a glimpse or two of my inner worlds onto the real world as I paint en plein air in the landscape that I love so much, those crazy barren hills with spots of live oak.

Though the life of a painter is always challenging, I wouldn’t trade it for any other sort of life.

Images:  Watercolor Orb Paintings, part of the Series for Art, Energy and Healing.

Counting the days until I find myself back in the Bay Area!

Orbs No. 22 - 22" x 30" Watercolor and Collage

Orbs No. 22 – 22″ x 30″
Watercolor and Collage

In the last week, I hung one solo show and dropped a dozen paintings off for the Sawmill Gallery Invitational that opened on Friday evening.  Both shows look fabulous.  The exhibit at Blue in Portland, Maine just ended.  All of the paintings for the upcoming exhibit Orbs, Science & Healing at the Bouras Gallery, Overlook Medical Center, must be framed and catalogued before I leave for California next week.  No wonder I haven’t been posting on my blogs lately!  In the middle of it all, a very dear friend reconnected, inspired and provided the fuel for the energy I have needed to produce and market this exciting new body of work!  Life is wonderful, to say the least.

If you live near Santa Rosa, please check out the workshops I will be teaching September 26, 27, 28 & 29 at RileyStreet Art Supply, Santa Rosa, CA.  Calendar of Workshops and Events

Painting:  Orbs No. 22, 22″ x 30″ watercolor with a tiny piece of handmade paper added.

I can’t believe I’m starting over again with a new website ….

“New Seed” oil on kraft paper

This time around I am not attempting to do it all myself.  My new site will offer free tutorial videos, online workshops, an assortment of galleries as well as a unique shop filled with an eclectic offering of used books, miscellaneous art supplies and small paintings.  This is the perfect time to re-evaluate what I’ve done, the paths I’ve explored and the paths I want to continue exploring as well as new directions.  Time to decide which seeds I’ll be planting in the spring and how I will nurture them for an abundant harvest in the summer and fall.

“New Seed” …. from the series of large oil paintings on kraft paper created several years ago, the first series of my Healing Through Art paintings.

I’m using a photo, converted to black and white to help me find a solution to a design problem in one of my current watercolor paintings.

“Oak Leaves and Earth Sphere”, 22″ x 30″ watercolor

The painting began with a pencil sketch of  oak leaves dancing in the wind just prior to last night’s storm.  When the rain came, I moved inside, mixed some colors and combined brushwork with tossing of paint to get things moving on the paper.  Eventually the sphere appeared.  Before I can determine the colors and values of the leaves ( most of which you can’t see in the photo ) I need to determine my basic value shapes, the shapes that will be seen from thirty feet away.  I like the strong diagonal line in the top half of the paper and I don’t want to lose any of my lights by simple throwing more paint and hoping it works.  I’ve printed six copies of the black and white photo on a sheet of paper.  I’ll use a pencil to try different value patterns and choose one to work from tomorrow.  It feels great to be working larger again.

“Oak Leaves and Earth Sphere” in progress

I’m also happy to be playing with orbs again.

Contour cross hatching appeals to me a bit more than linear cross hatching.

Contour Cross Hatched Spheres and Saucers

I started with a sphere and saucer pencil doodle that I blocked out following the contours of the shapes in preparation for cross hatching with ink.

Preliminary Pencil Sketch

After about fifteen minutes I relaxed a bit, loosening my death grip on the fountain pen. The lines flowed with better rhythm and I sensed a bit of spontaneity in the marks I made.  Spontaneity is not a word I thought I would ever use to describe my experience of cross hatching.

I used a Noodler’s eye dropper fill Fountain pen (looks just like a Preppy Fountain Pen) filled with Noodler’s Whaleman’s Sepia Ink.

Tomorrow is Mike’s birthday.  Rather than a bought gift, he asked me to play with “Moon Express”  (his current project) the way I played with the word “Artist” many years ago.

Logo for "Artist" business card

I finished the first attempt late last night.  As usual the project didn’t end up the way I had envisioned it.  I wanted the “X” to be much bigger and dramatic with robotic claws at the ends, not telescopic lenses.  The direction kept leading me astray from my vision.  All of the letters except the “X” ended up as moons.

Moon Express

I will definitely try this again, in splashy watercolor.  I like some of the elements of the new direction but I want to bring back some of the original idea, especially the exaggeration of the “X” and the introduction of robotic claws.  The orange of the telescope is too close in value to the red of the other letters.  I used colored pencil.  I should have tried another variation of blue for contrast.

Sketched first with graphite pencil and colored in with colored pencils.

If I were asked to invent a robot to function in space it would look something like this:

AeRobotic Number One - Watercolor

Or maybe this:

AeRobotic Number Two - Watercolor

If you need to gather light, transform it and store it you might use this one:

Light transformer - watercolor

For collecting assorted particles that are flying through space you would use this gathering tree:

The AeRobotic Gathering Tree - Watercolor

And now back to oil painting for a while….

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