Sunday, January 31, 2010

Awakening Series
{awakening watercolor series & a new orchid}

Well hello there,

It has been awhile since my last post, life has still be full of sorting out all sorts of things...

I am diving into physical therapy for my back {which is improving the situation} and I am embracing my two words for the year growth & inquiry. Every time I have entered the studio lately exploration and trying new things have been taking precedence, which means a lot of started paintings have been scraped down. It is all about process and enjoying the experience. I have been spending more time offline, reading, observing, drawing, and painting. Sometimes spending time in the studio only thinking about art.

In the coming weeks, as I continue to explore and spread creative wings full of inquiry, I am choosing to blog once or twice a week. It is important to me to use time in a way that encourages process and investigation.

It is also important to me in how I am sharing with you, I appreciate your time spent here on the blog. In this I want to share with you completed thoughts, not fragmented threads that have yet to develop into something whole.

Monday, January 18, 2010

From Friday a Work in Progress...

Hello friends,

Sometimes I have such high hopes for working on pieces over the weekend, and then things get in the way {namely this weekend the pain due to my back injury got in the way} so instead I contemplate and read about art. Over the weekend I spent some time reading Robert Henri's The Art Spirit. Probably one of the most inspriation books out there in my mind, I have a friend who reads it every year on her spring vacation.

Here are some key quotes:

"A "still life" in great art is a living thing. The objects are painted for what they suggest, and their presentation has no excuse if it is not to carry to the mind of the observer the fancy they aroused in the artist." (pg. 82)

"ORIGINALITY: Don't worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick to you and show you up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do." (pg. 78)

I love this quote, because it affirms that you already have your voice, you just need to accept it and nurture it. Though getting guidence and some instruction does help in narrowing down the different ways to get where you want to go...

Which is why I continue to take Robert Liberace's drawing class, this is a work in progress of a new figure model. The pose is an interesting one, and probably hard to keep, as the model never gets back into it well after each break. So I am having to stick with my main impression of the pose and rely a lot on my understanding of anatomy, as the angle of the hips were constantly changing, which in turn alters the central line that organizes the torso...

{half sheet of guttenburg laid - general's charcoal pencils}

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Morning

Good Morning ~

These lovely flowers are from my dear S. and I got them for being a real trooper because yesterday I found out the results of all the tests regarding my back injury. Things turned out to be better than hoped, I will not need to have surgery, which I am very grateful for, but I will need to continue with physical therapy. The being a trooper part is because I survived the horrible experience of having a cortizone shot in one of the inflamed joints that is causing all the back and sciatic pain. I had heard that they would be painful, but to the level it turned out to be I was not prepared for...

This morning is starting off a little slow, as I am sore after yesterday, though I need to get in gear as I am headed to the first figure drawing class of the winter term.

I am hopeful this weekend will be filled with art making, of any kind. So I will see you soon...

Thanks for stopping by and spending time reading,


PS: here are a few links that have been inspiring lately:

} Susan's Ocean Landscape

} Ester's Figure Drawings


} Trish's Paris Landscape

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What direction to take ... in 2010...

Hello –

Now that we are into 2010 some I am now comfortable with what type of resolution to make this year. Compared with last year where I made three resolution categories that each had a specific item or a list of things to accomplish. This year I am only going to define my goals by establishing two key words that will embody my decision making process and direct my actions. They are:

1} Growth: the act or process, or a manner of growing; development; gradual increase

2} Inquiry: a close examination of a matter in a search for information or truth

Why these words? … Because after taking the big step last year to become a full time artist I realized that one of the most important factors to be satisfied with my work was to feel that I was growing in some way. It did not matter as much if the product is what I wanted or expected, but whether I gained something from the experience. Though sometimes I felt a nagging sense that all actions and projects must produce a “product” and at times it seemed to me that my sense of exploration and desire to learn was given a back seat for the more specific goals I had outlined.

Thus I want this year to be filled with growth, the gradual increase in skills and understanding of what a career in art making is all about, and where I allow my natural tendency to investigate further and to understand something in more depth is also given room to breathe.

I was inspired to pursue this method of making resolutions
by the talented Lisa Call and Anna T.
{15 min. study & detail}

I have been thinking about how to establish goals in 2010 for awhile and after yesterday believe using these defining words to give direction will work out.

Yesterday was the first figure painting class of the winter term. This term I will be exploring the differences in drawing the human figure versus painting the figure by taking a class in each. In the painting class we started with three 15 minute studies. With this one I used the gray ground to be the initial shadow mass and then started laying in the skin tone with variations in paint thickness and color temperature. After the timer when off, this sketch was scraped down and a new sketch was begun.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Clementines {a daily painting} & Thanks

Clementines – 6" x 8" (15.25 x 20.3 cm) – Oil Canvas Panel

Hello ~

Like many artists, I am inspired by Julian Marrow-Smith’s Shiftinglight “Postcards from Provence” paintings. The still life paintings that absolutely draw me in for extended periods of time are the ones with multiple items that also have a highly reflective object, usually in the shadow depths. This was my attempt at capturing the lilting affect of playing off specific foreground objects with a provocative background object.

Thanks for your kind words about my post Wednesday. Your support and encouragement mean so much.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Pomegranate on Old Crate Still Life

Pomegranate on Old Crate – 10" x 8" (25 x 20.3 cm) –
Oil Canvas Panel

Hello there!

How has your day been? Wednesday started off okay here, we had some snow flurries {my first reaction was OH NO is it going to snow? I did not remember hearing about that on the weather… phew! it will only snow lightly and in the morning…} then trying out a new Cardio class at the local rec center, and then I got down to business in the studio. In the later afternoon when taking a break I found Slim on our dining room table… somewhere she is not supposed to be… I took some photos because she was so pretty.

This is my first painting completed in 2010 and in the new studio. So far so good, I like the space and the quality of light. Since Tuesday I have changed the layout of the furniture some and think I will be able to have a place to keep some drawing material out while also having the painting setup. This is nice because in the last place if I wanted two work stations {one for drawing and one for painting} it was necessary to take over the dining room table. At the apartment for about five months S. and I did not eat at the table but on the sofa in front of the TV because I was using both areas. This feels more civilized and mature because now if we choose not to eat at the dining table it is our prerogative instead of my confiscating that work surface.

I am not sure if I will be able to get into the studio tomorrow because I am having an EMG test done on my left leg because of my long standing back injury that is just not going away. One of my resolutions for 2010 includes investigating further if back surgery is required, so tomorrow starts the battery of tests, x-rays and such that need to take place to get a more developed picture of what is going on. Yuck, I am not looking forward to it, but it is something that needs to happen…

So have a good night and see you soon,


Monday, January 4, 2010

First day back in the studio...

Hello Friends,

S. took this photo this afternoon when he got home from work. Today was the first day actually picking up my paint brushes and testing out the new studio space. The cart under the window with the folded up blanket is where Slim spent most of the afternoon napping, I love it when she keeps me company :)

I was working on a favorite subject, a pomagranate.

See you soon, Liz

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Best Posts of 2009


In reviewing 2009 and all the wonderful opportunities shared with you, here are the top 10 visited posts.

Thank you for joining me on this journey! Liz

} Figure Drawing - Charcoal and White Chalk

} Orchids Drawing

} Ranunculus Daily Painting

} Boston Sketchbook {Part 1} and {Part 2}

} {3} Summer Journal

} Apricots in a Rice Bowl Still Life

} Black Eyed Susan #2 {a daily painting}

} Workshop with Danni Dawson

} DC Sketchbook Entries

} A Quick Hello and a New Silverpoint

Last Word on 2009 and the Final Painting of that Year

Apple and Roses – 8" x 8" (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – Oil Canvas Panel
Available in my Etsy Shop

Happy New Years!

It is with great excitement that I enter this new year! Are you full of ideas and plans for the coming new year?

I have always liked this time of year, the time to think about the past year and to set about planning for new things to come. Usually I reserve the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day to set out my goals so I may jump into the new year with gusto, however this year I found myself struck with a very bad cold and only really recovering with a full bill of health yesterday. So I will use this first week to establish goals and set out benchmarks for the coming year.

Now that S. and I are settled into the new home {with some remaining boxes still unpacked in the corners of the living room and dining room}and my studio ready to get work done in, I am excited to get going. But before that, I want to share the last painting completed in the old studio. When I had to stop working on this piece because of the construction going on, I thought I would get back to it once settled in the new home. Though since unpacking and setting out the painting and looking at it again I realize I am happy with it and like it as a record of the last painting before the big change of an unplanned move took over my life during the end of November and all of December.

Here is to all the glorious changes that occurred at the end of 2009 and all the great things to come in the new decade.

Best wishes to you in this new year! Liz