Thursday, December 31, 2020

Practice with "Quickies"

 Many people bristle at the term "New Year's Resolution", and yet the new year does seem to offer an opportunity to RE-new, invite something new into your life, reassess and reset priorities. I think of goals more as guiding principles than endpoints that I must reach. The goals are not there to be 'achieved', but to guide, as reference points. They are also fluid - just like the painting process, they are open to revision based on changing environment, new input or ideas, or shifts in my mental landscape.

Read my interview with the Learning to Paint Podcast, "The Brilliance of Bite-Size", about learning and goal setting. 

Quickie, a quick study, 9"x6"

 In 2021, I would like to incorporate the practice of doing quickies - quick studies on paper. You can read here about the oil and cold wax class I took, in which we did four quick, small, studies each day before diving into the work. I won't do it every day, but I'll try to do a set of quickies a few times a week.

Here is a video of my first approach to quickies. I've given myself just a few tools and a few colors to work with.


To count as quickies, you are not allowed to agonize over them. Think of them as your warm-up exercises, or your sketchbook, not as pieces you'd show to someone else. They are your private playground, for your benefit as an artist. 

This is a group of 'Quickies', each 9"x6", with plenty of space around the edges to play with in cropping them. Each has the squeegee and palette knife applications, collage, a little spattering, and some have added line work.

2020 was a tough year by any measure, so let's be easy on ourselves in 2021. I'm going to try to invite opportunities and see what happens, rather than set rigid benchmark goals. How about you? What are your plans for 2021? Comment on this or e-mail me. Happy New Year!

Monday, December 21, 2020

Mark Making in January

 My online course, Mark-Making, begins January 6. Here is some student work from a 2019 class. See details and sign up here.

We get to fling paint, scribble, spatter, drip, and more. Make your own tools, layer patterns over scribbles over spills.... All fun and lots of learning. See details here.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Oil and Cold Wax Medium

 I have been taking an online class with Jerry McLaughlin, in oil and cold wax medium, at the Winslow Art Center in Bainbridge Island, WA. Who cares where the class is; it's online. I try to take one intensive workshop each year, to learn something new, deepen my art practice, and also to remind myself what it is like to be a student. Working with an unfamiliar material, feeling ham handed and out of my depth, helps me understand some of the issues my students face. The class is AWESOME! Jerry is a very experienced and sympathetic teacher, very clear and knowledgeable. The format includes live zoom meetings and an online forum for posting work.

So I thought I'd share with you some of my early attempts to getting a handle on cold wax medium. It is an intriguing material, offering beautiful depth and textural possibilities. 

Jerry has us do four "quickies" each day on Arches Oil Paper.

12"x12", this one makes use of carving and pressing texture, wax paper transfer, and more.

Four more Quickies

I used a graphite-dipped waxed linen thread to make the wandering line.

Here I tried coating the thread in solvent-diluted green paint; the technique needs work.

All of the above are experimental and in process. I am working on 12x12 cheap wood panels from Amazon. They are a bit flimsy, but completely adequate to this use. Jerry McLaughlin and Rebecca Crowell host Cold Wax Academy, which is an amazing resource for anyone using cold wax medium. The site offers free videos and information, and membership entitles you to more interaction with Jerry and Rebecca. If you are interested in cold wax, check it out!

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Stripes in 2020

 This pandemic found me doing stripes. And more stripes. It is such a simple format, but I am finding unexpected possibilities for expression in it, as well as an opportunity to slow down and go deeper into this exploration. Here as a video about my current work.

And a few of the pieces I've made this year:

Me and my Sunshine Stripes 56"x66"

Sonoran Stripes 30"x40"

Long Stitch #2, 10"x20"

Sunshine Stripes, again, 36"x36"

Stitched Together #something, 20"x20"

Common Thread #something, 20"x20"

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Original Art for Sale

I am offering some of my larger works on paper, 19"x24", for sale, at a reduced price. I haven't framed them or shown them in a gallery, and I want them out of my studio to make room for more!

See them here on my gallery website. $270 includes shipping. You can order custom mats and frames at FrankenFrames if you don't have a local frame shop.

This is what "Re Surface #3" would look like with mat and frame.

Pieces are shipped flat and unframed. See them here.