Greetings from somewhat cooler Maine
I am so excited about my latest abstract pieces completed after three workshops in Hilton Head on landscapes, figures and large compositions. I also worked with uber teacher/artist William Skip Lawrence for two weeks. and he featured my work on his Web site, too .
I absorbed so much from these classes and it is reflected in my new works and certainly my energy. I have completed ten (!!) large paintings in six weeks and couldn’t be more pleased.
Here are three “Maine Village” pieces. They are all a generous 24”x30” in acrylic, ink, chalk and crayon. (Click on the images to see larger versions.)
I start by applying an underlay of tissue paper to give dimension, texture and interest. Each is composed of many layers of translucent and opaque paints and mediums. Their incredible detail cannot be conveyed in a photo.
I have many wonderful paint brushes but find that I can get the results that I want using paper towels and palette knives. Translucency and interest are achieved by the liberal use of water and mediums with my paints, and by wiping and scraping away to layers of color below. The nuances of color, I believe, make the paintings so much more interesting and never boring!
Each of my village paintings has a distinct personality. You can almost imagine the lives of the hardworking people living there.
Following on the idea of telling a story, I created a series of chair paintings. (Click on the images to see larger versions.)
The first was the largest piece I’ve undertaken: 24” x 48”. It is a wonderful focal point for any room. Not only was the size a departure for me, it is largely a monochromatic muted shade of sea foam grey. As yet untitled, the piece features a barely-seen seated figure on a very visible chair created by collaging painted paper made using hot melted beeswax. A lot of work but I feel the effort was worth it. The figure appears to me as a grandmother bent over her knitting. What you cannot see is is the lacy texture of the knitting in her lap.
My instructor likened my second chair piece to American painter David Hockney. (I should be so lucky.) It is a very inviting easy chair with a fringy rug in front (the paper was handmade in Nepal) and a framed abstract painting on the wall. That painting was actually made from the paint splatters on my palette paper. Finally, my idea with the third piece was to make a blown up version of that abstract painting. It is another biggy, 24”x48”. Both should hang in the same room, becoming a focus of imagination and imagination.
The next four chairs are smaller paintings and invite their own stories to be told. (Click on the images to see larger versions.)