Monday, April 30, 2007

sketchbook doodles

When I did these doodles I had no idea what purpose they could serve other than a nice day sketching in Princeton University Museum with a friend of mine. Now I am looking at them I am thinking there are a number of motifs I could use in my graffiti panels. It seems to work out that way. I often don't like my current sketchbooks and it is only after a while that I go back and browse through my old ones that I see images I like or can use.
Princeton University is one of the most gorgeous campuses to walk around and even though it was an hour drive for one summer my friend and I went almost weekly.


Why do you try to understand art? Do you try to understand the song of a bird?
Pablo Picasso

I think this is a great quote, sometimes it is just nice to enjoy something for what it is.


David Hockney
Henry Moore
Jackson Pollock
this one will surprise you

One book I own and love looking through is :The Journey Is the Destination: The Journals of Dan Eldon. This young man is not famous, but he left behind his amazing journals.
Before he died at the hands of a mob in Somalia at the age of 23 he had traveled to 46 countries.
I hope you enjoy visiting this site.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Variations of a Theme

sketchbook drawing and collage of girl clutching flowers
It all started with this sketch several years ago with a collaged pelvis for the wings-which led to this oil on wood version on the left- which led to the reverse painting on plexiglass in black and white negative=which has led to the latest variation in progress on the graffiti panel.
Talk about milking an image, or recycling an image, but I just love this angel and why she came about and the thoughts that come each time I look at her and paint her. The title of the work is "dig freedom" and the underlying theme of the image is to do with cluster bombs in Iraq. Unexploded or dud cluster bombs continue to pose a risk to civilians, especially children. You see they are small, look shiny and children pick them up thinking they are a toy or a soft drink can, or farmers clearing land accidentally set one off. The title alludes to the amount of graves that have been dug. Several organizations are fighting to have cluster bombs banned, for more information please visit Handicap International or for information and links visit here.

Thinking Blogger Award

Want to thank both Angela and Domestic Minx for honoring me with the Thinking Blogger Award. Considering all the really cool blogs out there, it is a real treat to be chosen.

why do I blog and what is it that drives my art?

I will try to keep this short as I have answered this several times before and don't want to bore the heck of those who've read it already. Blogging is basically an extension of what I have always done, either with scrapbooks/family diary/sketchbook. I use this blog as a form of art in itself to visually communicate. It is also a wonderful means to keep in touch with family and friends worldwide, as well as meet and network with people around the world.
What drives my art is a love of putting into visual form things that move me, the smell of a studio, the rush that comes from seeing an idea realized, the meditative quality of the process itself, and knowing that I can create a quiet and sometimes powerful silent connection with the viewers of my work.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

sketchbook: graffiti

After I had glued the WIP pic of the painting I'm working on into my sketchbook the page looked empty and sad, so I played with the graffiti theme. I added bits of things I found around the studio too, like the kissing couple (wrapping paper). The eye top right is from a printout of my angel reverse painting at the left.


There are some voices I love listening to, and one of those is Richard Burton. What a voice! If you would like to hear him reciting Dylan Thomas' "Under Milk Wood" in full you can listen here.

A silly poem
Spike Milligan
Said Hamlet to Ophelia,
I'll draw a sketch of thee,
What kind of pencil shall I use?
2B or not 2B?

Yellow Springs Bike Trail

Sunday, April 22, 2007

WIP:Portrait in Oil

I nearly scrapped this painting when I started it. I had put three coats of special wood primer gesso on the panel and started to paint on it in oil . It was absorbed instantly into the primer. What I should have done was put another layer of regular gesso or acrylic on the panel. Well what's done is done, so I decided to build up on it with glazes. It started as a grisaille , then I started adding the colour layer by layer using liquin as my oil thinner.
It is a technique you can't rush. You try and put another glaze over it before the previous coat dries it just lifts the paint right off and your painting is ruined.

Oh looky here, there's that darned spuggy again LOL!

my nose saved the day

sheesh it takes 20 mins to get to the airport
but nooooooooo, with all the stupid construction the gps got all flustered. I really felt like I was in the twilight zone. It is 5am, dark, no lights, no open businesses and I haven't a clue where I am. The Gps kept telling me to take a left, take a right and I went around and around three times on the same loop trying to get onto the stupid motorway. Never did get on the motorway. I followed a smell. Yep my nose became a gps. There is this one town that has a factory that puts out this overwhelming french fry smell. I got a whiff of it and I kept a sniffing and it led me right to a town I am familiar with. 2 hours later I made it home.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Portrait Painting on Wood

I don't have my camera, so I am posting a painting I did several years ago. This is oil on wood and an early experiment in painting on wood. It was a scrap piece of wood and I used a glazing technique (using liquin-a non yellowing medium for thinning oils). I won first place in the 2003 Springfield Museum of Art Members Exhibit, which was very encouraging. Don't we all need that little boost now and again :) Since then I have really enjoying learning to paint on a variety of woods, or wood composite supports (currently mdf, which is high density and moisture resistant).

October art stroll is coming together, and because having a street art themed event in the senior center great hall doesn't sound very hip I came up with a name and we decided to call the room "the hip joint" for the evening :)
We are going to have live music, video/slide show with pics of found art,graffiti, tag, posters and sticker art.

Saying of the Day: When it rains, why don't sheep shrink?

Monday, April 02, 2007

Assemblage: method & materials

"state of mind"

Dr. John asked: Is there anything you can't use as an artistic medium?

I don't know as I haven't tried them all yet, but I am working on it ;) I would like to paint a junction box in Yellow Springs, but I need to research how to prepare the surface and get permission.

Here is a work I did a few years ago using goat skin stitched onto a box I constructed from spare lumber, a wasps nest (the guys at the local pest control found my request rather amusing), thorned twigs. The skin had to be soaked and stretched wet over the box and stitched before it dried. I was addressing the issue of skinheads who are described by SPL as the "shock troops" for the white supremacist movement.