Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sketchcrawl Saturday

My friends and I met at the Portland Farmers Market Saturday morning to do some sketching. No sooner had we settled down at an outdoor table than it started raining, so we quickly grabbed some coffee and seats at an interior window in the student union where we could watch the action down below. We did lots more talking than making art, of course, and then we took the tram up to the hospital to see the collection of art from Oregon artists that decorates the hallways.

Collage to Painting

I've been experimenting a bit with making a collage and then using that collage as the inspiration for a painting. It's sort of like doing a sketch or composition plan before making the painting. My original collage is 5x7 inches and the painting was done with acrylic on canvas board that's 11 x 14 inches, so the proportions are slightly off for that reason and also because I didn't do the best job of eye-balling my space divisions.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I overheard someone say “walking to work” recently and my mind did one of those flips that brings an AHA moment. My studio is in my home, in the center of my home in a big loft area that overlooks the living room, foyer, kitchen, and dining room and feels very un-business-like because of the location. Artists who rent space away from home can enter the studio and leave home matters at the door, but of course that has its own set of problems. My situation is right for me at this point in my life but it’s so easy to lose focus on art-making and waste time when the home work is right there in my visual field.
My AHA is all about perception. I can start walking to work and get my daily miles in at the same time. Here’s the thing… get up, shower, breakfast, and then walk to work… put on my jacket and walk my 2 miles, ending up at my studio where I take off my coat, and settle in to work. At noon I give myself permission to check email, have lunch, and even read, but in an hour it’s back to work. At the end of the day, around 4, I can walk home, taking the shortcut which is only 1 mile. I know it’s a game I play with myself but I’m going to try this for the next month and see what happens. I’ll get in 3 miles of walking every day and establish a new summer schedule. Of course I’ll have to fit in a bit of gardening time, perhaps before work. And I can’t answer personal phone calls at work. I start this new job Tuesday... and I hope it pays off.

We were at the coast last week and this one small watercolor sketch is the only one I made all week.
As I walked the coastline and prowled around town I was thinking about pattern, both regular and irregular: foot patterns in the sand that tell their own story (seagulls, cars, people); wave patterns in the sand that create a mini history of tidal action; patterns of trees and grasses in the forest and dunes. There’s so much to see when one takes the time to look carefully at this world of ours.

Self Portrait with Giraffes

Monday, April 06, 2009

Mothers and Daughters Collage Day at Jo's

Paper, glue, scissors, and 11 creative minds got together in my studio Saturday to learn about collage, and did we ever have a good time! My daughter and her oldest daughter each invited 4 friends to see what happens when there's unlimited papers with which to work. They got to take home some art and I trimmed down my collection of papers... though not the painted ones which I use all the time.

The budding artists turned my tidy studio into a big happy messy place and left 3 hours later with several pieces of collage done on 5x7 illustration board.
When they first arrived and settled down I talked about the process of making simple collages and then gave them their first assignment: choose 50 pieces of paper that you like from the boxes which line the center of my big work table.
When the timer dinged after 15 minutes I took away the boxes of paper to give them room to work, and gave their next assignment, to choose 4 pieces of paper from the initial 50 and create a loose 4-square collage which will be the background and glue it down. Then they could work at their own pace to add papers and images to make a collage that tells a story. They had each brought photocopied pictures from home of people, pets, and even a fish or two.

We worked happily for nearly 3 hours and they made some very nice art to decorate their homes.

My daughter it the tall redhead and her daughter is in front of her.

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