Saturday, September 29, 2018

To Wreck A Painting And Find It's Path

What does it mean to be willing to wreck a piece you love to find the brilliance you stopped short of? A few years ago I painted the piece below as part of a sister/brother pair called "The Sentient Twins," and I LOVED them. They are part of the children's book I am ever so slowly percolating forward and at the time, I felt I would never change them. I loved their connection to Colonial portraiture and the odd proportions they had, as well as the push of contrast. 

 Over the course of a couple of years, this piece began to give me a creative itch. I couldn't put my finger on it but something about him just didn't rest well and when that happens in my creative heart I always trust it. The time frame was key though, letting him rest, spending time with him, allowing him to share his story with me. It was clear it was unfinished. After my trip to Italy, I returned to the studio with completely different lenses, and a deep love of gelato :) As soon as I saw him I knew it was time to let him go. Below are a few steps in that visual process of wrecking and reclaiming.

I actually loved this stage, but still....not ready.

Working on the gaze and beginning the initial back lighting.

Her ghostly face captivated me, but at this stage I knew her story and it called for warmth.

Oh the look....right?

The warmth, she called for it, she resonated full of life. 

Here is the before and after, all along I believe she was there.

"She Found Her Muse On The Isle of Skye" 
This piece is complete. She holds tremendous presence for me in her creative narrative not only from her expression but also from her dress and the energy of her spirit. I couldn't be more happy with the outcome as is the new owner. I have this saying when I teach, "Never marry your base coat." Although this piece was well beyond base coat, it just visually connected to me as not evolving as it was called for. I listen when my heart shares that. 

For some of my new works heading forward I am offering a signed, limited edition print run of 25 on Epson Hot Press Bright Giclees with pure pigment, archival inks. They are gorgeous, ship for free, and I have a few left at $140. 



A huge week ahead for me is filled with exciting changes and workshops. This week the Grand Opening of Sophiella Gallery takes place here in Mobile. They will be representing my figurative works and I am beyond thrilled to be represented by them. Stay tuned for details on that! 

I also head to Donna Downey's Studio this week to teach my studio workshop with an emphasis on Distortion. It is my last workshop of the year and is sure to by one of my faves as her studio is always a joy to work in. 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Last Live Workshop Of 2018 Was So Fab!

Last week was a whirlwind of busy connection and experiences, the kind of days artists live for and are beautifully exhausted by. For the past three years I have had the tremendous pleasure of teaching an online class based around creative awareness. This week that course came to a close and I am retiring it. The day was bittersweet because many of these Creatives were with me all three years, have been a huge part of my life, and I am forever changed by them. 

In all artists lives, we have to seek out the balance between opportunities we love and ones we need to let go of. It was time. Not for the reasons that were obvious, but for the deep knowing that in order to make room for professional growth I cannot keep the pace I have which has brought me such love. My heart took a hit, but I know like I am breathing it was the right one for me. 

Along with that ending was the incredible experience of teaching our last 4 day workshop of the 2018 year. Shauna Meiri and I met with 5 talented artists in the studio and dove in to the practices which serve our points of view. We explored testing out mediums, techniques, ideas, and then challenged one another to do it again and keep the cohesiveness going by working in multiples. When artists come to workshops here they come seeking answers to their personal path forward. This week did not disappoint.

A Beginning WIP

 For the past couple of days I have been taking a bit of a respite to finalize plans for teaching in 2019. There will be new online opportunities, different scopes for workshops in my own studio, nationally, and abroad, and  new offerings that are free or self study. Teaching is my life, and I cannot imagine letting go of it entirely, so the changes coming forward are design to reach a specific group of creatives with a passionate desire to explore creative narratives and loose expressions on an intensive level. 

Since my visit to Italy, I have come to really value the art of slow living. The sky was brilliant the last day of our workshop. Nothing like the skies here in lower Alabama just before dusk. I also had a minute to really savor the friendship I have developed with Shauna Meiri. Full time working artists often lead quite alone lives when it comes to work, but she has been a beautiful light in my world and I am so thankful for those moments.

Thanks to Lisa Warren for the great pic!

Slow down and breathe through a day or two friends. I have come to believe it is one of the most powerful ways to move through the world in a way where we can actually experience the world as it was meant to, with the lenses of an incredibly beautiful life.