Saturday, June 13, 2015

Will Summer Ever Come????

It's now the 13th of June, and I am just wondering…..has summer decided to pass us by? It's been max. 14 degrees C. these past 2 months, and I haven't packed out my summer clothes from storage yet. No sandals, no painted toe nails, just barely a gin & tonic here and there to keep up appearances.  Oh well, it makes for time in the studio without feeling that you have missed some precious sun rays.  The past month has been extremely productive.  Taking a stand about creating a series of work on the photos taken up on the hiking trail behind our home, and other stone fences and mountainous passes on the west coast of Norway, I have found a world of possibilities in those photos. Somehow, I missed the point in what to do with these at the time that I took them.  Yes, they were beautiful and had colors and textures and forms that mesmerized me, but….do I take them for face value, or what?
A series….I thought. First the old (ancient) steps.  The stone formations that crashed down mountainsides and landed just by roads and beaches. Then the mosses that grow on the rocks, where water runs down the mountain side and the sounds and smells of the forest take you away from the city for a little while.  Repetitive forms, rearranged and re-colored to suit my mood.  Suddenly I had a whole new project to work with.  Love it when those brain cells grasp on to something and give me ideas for the next 6 months to work with.  I look forward to seeing the series unfold. Hoping others enjoy it afterwards…...

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

LONG DAYS…..more time for ART

LONG DAYS….more time for ART.
I have been working as much as I can, considering that May, in Norway, has an over abundance religious holidays and Independence Day (May 17th) that long weekends are the norm. Cramming 5 days of painting into 3 has been an exercise in concentration and endurance. I have worked through lunch breaks, have not remembered to make tea or coffee, have forgotten to consider what's for dinner.
After considering what I feel makes me want to stand in front of a painting for more than 2 minutes, I seem to have dragged up from my sub conscience a small bit of realization.   Drawing has been a large part of my artistic life, from small doodles to more finished work. However, when painting, I have largely left drawing out. Only some small lines for guidance..
Suddenly, about a month ago, I took a medium sized round brush and drew, in black, the outlines of some ancient steps that I had photographed a couple of years ago.  The canvas already had splashes of color, leftovers from previous work.  I decided to do a series-varying some of the shapes, and color schemes, and sizes of canvas, but basically working at using the drawing as an integrated part of the whole. No covering up the contours; actually using many colors for the drawings, and keeping to a limited palette.
One thing lead to another, and I was enjoying this new (for me) rediscovery. It has lead to many fun paintings, and color schemes that challenge me in their simplicity. I will continue nature paintings from my photographs, although using the photos as a jumping off point only. Luckily, with the forest and mountains only a 5 minute hike away, and the sea right under my feet, the sites and smells and lights and feelings are revisited regularly and kept fresh in the front of my mind. New inspiration just keeps popping my way and I don't know where it comes from, but just when I think I can't possibly come up with anything new to paint..

Monday, April 27, 2015

Spring in Scandinavia !!!

I nearly fainted when I saw the date of the last blog article !!  How could that possibly be? I guess I took some time off after the exhibit, and got my head back together. After that was back in one piece, I started painting again, but somehow I needed more time this time to find myself and my voice. I had a wonderful trip to Barcelona, Spain in October, and the impulses from that trip gave me even more permission to loosen up and see/paint/draw/mess around creatively even more than I have before.  Color wise, I feel that purer colors, stronger contrasts, and smarter blending of fewer colors gives a more harmonious whole. Also, I keep remembering a comment that was made almost 20 years ago at one of my previous studios by a mentor of mine…."you should paint more like you draw".  I wasn't experienced enough at that time to see how to do that, but it is still popping up often when I am frustrated, and I feel that my real self wants to get out, but can't find the exit.  Even after a another year of art school and 16 years of studio experience, I still struggle to find the "flow" I desire. Now that it is nearly May (!!!) I am in a good place with the latest work, and something tells me that the future is starting to open up to a type of painting that incorporates my movements and a clearer use of color, combined with my own observations/experiences of nature.  Nature gives and gives to us, and we need to take the time to see.  Our time on this planet is pretty short, and taking the time to SEE and process the impulses from a hike, digging in the dirt, listening to a bird's song and then, for me, taking these impulses and interpreting them onto a canvas in a visual harmony….makes life worth living. Hopefully, it gives back to others a sense of experiencing this on a daily basis when they see a painting.  The little pause that a work of art can give you in your daily life, can lift you up and give you the energy to trudge on…..