Sunday, August 13, 2006

"Playing with Binoculars" (IF)

Acrylic Wash on Watercolor Paper
(click to enlarge)
I was playing around with a still life, using contour line with acrylic wash. I had fun experimenting so I thought it kind of fit the theme of "Play" for Illustration Friday. I'll be putting up an illo on my blog Sketchbook Pages in a couple of days. It's the next installment of "Pinky & the Blue-Freckled Butterfly."

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Trompe L'Oeil - Woodland Sketches

Woodland Sketches
acrylic on gesso board
I'm submitting this piece to a juried show tomorrow morning. I'm hoping it will get in so keep your fingers crossed for me.

I used a ribbon board collage as the still life reference for creating this trompe l'oeil painting. Edward Alexander MacDowell’s musical piece, Woodland Sketches, To a Wild Rose, No. 1, Op. 51 inspired the autumnal theme. The photographs were taken during trips to Alaska and North Carolina in the 1980s. The leaves were gathered on a Fall day and the arrow head was found in an eroding stream bed in Virginia.

Part of me wants to follow the trompe l'oeil direction a bit more. It is quite time consuming and methodical, but I learn so much in the process. I'd like to get a bit more playful with it, and perhaps even explore surrealism a bit more.

Ixmucane (Illustration)

Ixmucane is a jacket cover for a children's book The Journey Home -- the story of a Maya refugee girl's discovery of her community's history and heritage. I used the repeating circular motif of the Maya calendar for the composition. Painting this made me think of the many cycles the Maya documented in the heavens, the earth and in human beings themselves. The Maya cycle of sowing and dawning continues to inspire me and surprise me whenever I come upon a previously unnoticed example of it in life.

Day Lily at Night

(acrylic on canvas, 3' x 1.5') This is yet another flower motif. I orginally started using this motif simply as a way to experiment with the the acrylic glazing technique (see blow), but found myself more and more drawn into the subject. Flowers have long been associated with female sexuality. I wanted to push that idea a bit, beyond passive sensuality waiting-to-be-found, toward more agressive, overt seduction. When one begins to look at flowers in earnest they seem almost pornographic in their garishness. They are so eager to express their life force and extend their potency in the world. I'd like to continue this exploration of the agressiveness of the life force in its different forms and transformations.

Feminina Oscura

This painting is one of my first attempts at using acrylic glazes over underpainting. This is an old technique developed with the advent of oils. It allows the pigment to sit in the medium and the light to pass through it, bouncing back from the canvas to the eye. The technique creates a more luminous color and allows the artist to create sublte manipulations in tone without sacrificing the intensity of color.

Doing the underpainting helps the artist think through the composition and tone first, before developing the color scheme. In some ways it is less spontaneous and more analytical. In fact, this is why I am using it right now. It helps me to refine my understanding of the relationship between tone, color and form -- the age old puzzle pieces of the visual artist

Monday, April 17, 2006


I haven't posted for a while, but there are a lot of things happening. I'll try to put them into one posts with links:

21 April 2006 - Russian Realism Show at the Principle Gallery
The aesthetics of our era, our understanding of beauty, must be embodied in every painting, must become the most important part of Soviet art, which powerfully attracts the viewer to itself- Konstantin Yuon, 1957
(article: Aesthetics and the Body Politic)

Other Events & Opportunities

29 April 2006 - Women's Caucus for Art Networking Event
30 April 2006 - Free Grant Development Workshop (DC) (contact for info)
6 May 2006 - Capitol Hill Art League - Submission date for "Secret Garden" Juried Show
6 May 2006 - Illustrators Conference - SCBWI at The Writer's Center (info. to come)
12 May 2006 - Bethesda Art Walk Tour
19 May 2006 - Fraser Galler Call for Artists - Contemporary Realism Show
28 May 2006 - Bootcamp for Artists Seminar
10 June 2006 - Calls for Artist - Washington Printermakers Gallery

Thursday, January 05, 2006

CALL FOR ARTISTS - Art in City Hall

The Art League and the Del Ray Artisans are partnering with the City of Alexandria as part of the Mayor's initiative to promote the arts in Alexandria. They are inaugurating a rotating fine art exhibit of local artists in Alexandria City Hall. The shows will be juried and hang for 6 months.

Deadlines: January 28, 2006, and July 21, 2006
Contact: The Art League (703.683.1780) or Del Ray Artisans (703.838.4827)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Works in Progress: nearing completion

Isterian Light
Acrylic on Canvas
Acrylic on Canvas
I'm submitting these to a local show tomorrow. I'm happy with what I've learned from them, but I'm not happy with the style I seem to be stuck in for the moment. I would like to use some of the techniques of learned in light and composition to create some more personal images -- less photographic I guess. Although I like parts of the outcome, I feel a little constrained by this style of painting.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Upcoming Show: Target Gallery

Washington Guild of Goldsmiths Metal 2005
The return of a biennial favorite. This regional guild includes award-winning and nationally recognized jewelers, metalsmiths, and sculptors. This juried sampling of members’ work provides an overview not only of work in the Washington area, but also of broader trends in small-scale metalwork.

December 9-January 15, 2006 Closed Dec 25 and January 1
Opening reception December 8, 6-9 pm.

Photorealism or Cheezy art?: Memories (part 2)

Memorias (work-in-progress)
Acrylic on Canvas, 4' x 3'
I've made some more progress on my attempt at photorealism (see below). I still have to remove the blue tape and put in some shadows at the bottom of the envelop, and I misspelled one of the words in the text (yikes!).

I'm still not sure how I feel about this painting. It is a combination of photorealism and Trompe L'oiel, although the Trompe L'oielists would say it's not strickly trompe l'oiel because it is not the actual size of the referent material. My canvas is 4' x 3' -- far too big to be photos and letters.

I wanted to use a combination of the two approaches, drawing the viewer into a simultanously shallow and deep depth of field. I also wanted the viewer to think about visual communication -- the stamps being abstractions of the 'real' palm trees in the landscape. But of course the 'real' palm trees are also abstractions, albiet naturalistically rendered, of the artist. Lastly, I wanted to put in text -- a Ruben Dario poem -- which is a visual symbol and an abstraction or metaphor. I think that why I am drawn to photorealism, trompe l'oiel, anamorphic art, surrealism. They all engage the viewer -- perhaps in a rather cerebral way -- in a in a dialogue on how we as human beings constantly construct and reconstruct the world.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Artist Workshops: Springmaid Resort, South Carolina

A member of the artist critique group in which I participate has highly recommended the Springmaid Water Medium workshops held in South Carolina. They are very reasonably priced -- $700 range for room, board and 5 days of intensive workshops. It boasts a number of well known artists leading the various workshops and they draw a large group of participants so it is also an opportunity to network with other artists. I'm thinking about attending the March workshops.