Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Helen Day Art Center

I just discovered that Helen Day Art Center has an image of my work on their website home page!  THANK YOU Helen Day.

Here is the piece, in its entirety.  Train Wreck #3, 25.5"x19.5", acrylic and collage on paper.

I am teaching two workshops at Helen Day in 2017.  The first is coming up soon:

April 18 -21, Abstract Painting and Composition for Textile Artists. 

The next one will be held in the fall:

October 20 - 22, Big Fat Art

Scroll down on the Adult Education page to see full descriptions and to sign up.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Series As Process

I am teaching my Series As Process workshop at Madeline Island School of the Arts in July.  Focusing on a group of paintings, rather than one painting at a time, is very freeing in many ways.  If "creating a series" sounds intimidating at all - as it does to me: it conjures pressure to finish a number of paintings so that they all hang together - consider "working in series" as a process.  It is the process of keeping multiple paintings in the works at once, so you don't get stuck on just one.  It gives you a way to move forward and gain momentum, and get OUT of the habit of becoming stuck.

I've talked about a recent series here and here

Here is part of a recent series of Big Fat Art pieces.  They are each 19.5"x25.5"
What makes them a series?  It's an attitude I brought to the work as I worked on these and others over the same period of time.  More finished pieces came out of this, but many many more of them are still in the works.  I like having a lot of works in process so I have room to play!
Three more  in the same size as above, that emerged from a process of working on multiples.  These are brand new (and photographed in bad lighting with my iPad, not professionally done) and I am excited to continue in this direction.
Below are some of my 4"x4" pieces from 2013 - 2015.  I've grouped them in "sub-series", as I generally worked on them in groups of six to eight at a time, but I consider the whole project as one series.  It is based solely on the size, so I was free to explore any content within that format.

See details and register for my Series As Process workshop here.
Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Buying Original Art

I found this article on Houzz, and it looked pretty compelling.  I buy original art, and over the years have accumulated a gorgeous collection, each piece unique and special, conjuring specific memories and emotions.  Open Studios is a great way to acquire original art at an affordable price, but buying from a show, especially at an art center, is exciting too. You support the artist and the art center at the same time.

9 Reasons to Buy a Painting

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Mentoring Workshop

This past week I was in Stowe, Vermont at the Helen Day Art Center with my mentoring workshop.  We all worked in one big studio, individually, and then came together for group discussions, lunch, and occasional silliness.  I offered one-on-one feedback and coaching to each participant, as needed, but also got inspiration and ideas from the group.  It was a fabulously synergistic experience!  I wish I had gotten more photos,  but I was busy painting.  Here are a few, though:
Part of my work space.  We each got a 6' table and a 4'x8' wall.

This is a bad view of the space itself.  The 4'x8' walls are moveable.

A piece from Leslie, after she discovered the technique of flinging house paint.

A sampling of Debbie's work

A sampling of Ree's work

After the flinging of house paint

"Green Acreage", one of my pieces I consider finished; 19.5"x25.5"

Another of my finished pieces, untitled, same size as above.

One more of my almost finished pieces.  I can see that the bit in the upper left needs to be painted over.
I will be doing more mentoring workshops; this one was the first, kind of experimental. What makes a mentoring workshop different from a regular one is that each participant works independently.  There is no instruction or assignments or demos, but I do give individual coaching and feedback.  I work alongside the participants.  The group has to be small - this one had eight participants, and that was about right.  It was made up of people I had worked with before in workshops, and I knew to be capable of independent work.

I have two workshops scheduled at Helen Day this year : 
  • Abstract Painting and Composition for Textile Artists; April 18 - 21, 2017
  • Big Fat Art, October 20 - 22, 2017
See them (and all of the spring workshops at Helen Day) here.  Scroll down for specific workshops.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Here is a really short video of making patterns.  I like to overlap patterns, use patterns of different scale, density, different colors, and varying amounts of contrast with the ground.

This is just an example of contrasting scale. The stripes on the left are painted, the ones on the right are collaged. 

In this painting, 12"x12", I used the contrast of scale and varying contrast of value to create the focal area.

This is the study I am demonstrating in the video.  It is 9"x12".

This is student work from a workshop.  We were creating small collages using contrasting patterns.

Student work from an online  class.  I love the very loose use of pattern here.

In this pattern study, 10"x10", I'm using various scales of pattern, and varying degrees of contrast.

I use the pattern of red/orange dashes, and the spatter of turquoise to bring this piece together.  It is 9"x9".

This is one of a series in which I played with pattern overlapping, and different scales of pattern.  I believe this is 10"x10".

Just a sampling of easy-to-make patterns

"Pattern Play", 8"x8", features a variety of patterns interacting and overlapping.
Patterns are easy and fun.  Using them, however, requires careful observation and restraint.  A little goes a long way. Try it out  Play with pattern and see where it takes you!

Monday, January 2, 2017

A Continuing Series

This is a continuation from the previous post, in which I described my inspiration and exploration of the central cluster format. Here are some of the pieces, both in process and finished.
Spare Parts #4

Spare Parts #4

Spare Parts #2

Spare Parts #3

Spare Parts #6

Spare Parts #7

Spare Parts #8

Spare Parts #9

Spare Parts #10 - In Process

Spare Parts #11 - In Process

Spare Parts #12

Spare Parts #13

These are fun, and I will continue the exploration.  I would love to see if this can scale up, but for now I am going to keep them small.  I am using brush (acrylic paint), brayer (acrylic paint), collage, scribbling (crayon, graphite, Pitt pen), spattering (High Flow paint).