Commissions

This year I’ve been fortunate to work on commissions for several people.  Each has been a pleasure to work on and I really can take the time to personalize and tailor an artwork for the people who receive it.  As an emerging artist I welcome commissions. It gives me a chance to take on someone else’s ideas, and make them my own. I often feel challenged, and it some small ways it allows me to take new risks and develop ideas for other works.  Here is just small sampling of what I’ve been able to work on these past few months:

17952864_10158482154650543_5413545392273892026_n.jpg
Finished Commission:  Nile, 2017
IMG_7648.JPG
Finished Commission:  Columbia, 2017
IMG_0260.JPG
Commission in progress, collage.
IMG_9580 3.JPG
Commission in progress, washes.
IMG_0244.JPG
Commission in progress, filling in the waterbody, added extra depth to the washes.

A good time was had by all

This Saturday was “Second Saturday” at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA.  I decided to be more of a facilitator this time around and provide a free make and take workshop for anyone.  It was great! I had about 50 participants come in and hang out, while creating really beautiful pieces of art, all in a single postcard.  I provided all the supplies, they provided the inspiration.  And just in case, I had stamps and addresses for those who wanted to get a little political.

It was a great community gathering that I hope to do again for next month. I’m just thinking and considering– what could be the theme?  The subject?  The material?  Stay tuned and find out soon.  March is just around the corner.

Here are a few pictures from last night’s make and take:

img_8895
The first wave of artists dove right in!  Such a great start.
img_8897
Lots of stamping and collage making going on in this corner.  Not to mention the conversations and general laughter.
img_8899
Participants came and went, but it was a nice ebb and flow. 
img_8902
An expression of gratitude.
img_8903
Great experimenting happening all over the room!
img_8904
Loving this one– I wonder why?
img_8905
Yep! It happened here!
img_8906
Enter a caption
img_8907
Lively bunch, chatting it up and making art.

img_8908img_8911img_8916img_8918

img_8923img_8928

For your viewing pleasure: Artist at Work

I finally found my tripod.  So I decided to film a time-lapse video of me working in my studio.  I’m actually completely done with the collage portion of this GIGANTIC mixed media painting.  I can’t wait to work on the other parts of it.

This video is about half hour of work collapsed into about two and a half minutes.  I’m so glad I didn’t fall off the ladder.  At least you can see the scale of the work and actually how big the piece is.

An over due update

The wall has been going through some changes these last few weeks.  There’s been some problem solving, much needed breaks, and some breakthroughs.  I’m really having fun with this project and the idea has taken on a different kind of significance and study.  I feel like it’s moving forward.

So with the much needed breaks I’ve also been working on a few other paintings to keep it interesting.  I’ve ordered more wood to keep going on a series of smaller abstractions and of course wood panels.

 

img_6132
The collage work, it’s never ending, but so worth the effort.
img_6135
I need breaks, so I’m working on a couple of others.  This is one is one masonite board, and has a super slick surface.
img_6140
Oh, and I’m working on some origami paper, using maps as a guide to make the lines on the paper.
img_6143
Folding them into cranes.  This has been a long process, but I finally found the right paper and the right ink.
img_6148
The wall, as it shifts.
img_6152
Back to making origami paper.
img_6162
Sometimes you need a walk in the woods to reset.  And I still can’t get away from the impressions of nature.
img_6164
More map design on paper.
img_6167
Pre-treating the birch panels for the next project.
img_6169
Close up of collage.
img_6178
This is how it looked earlier in the week, you can see the small red piece in the foreground.
img_6224
Still shape shifting the collage.
img_6239
Decided to add lines.  It’s going to take some time, but I’m happy with it so far.
img_6264
Potomac River Basin in progress.
img_6262
More shifting, more color, more lines.  Nowhere near completion.

 

 

 

 

The Wall part 2

It really has been interesting to see what people say about my wall these days.  New people coming through the studio building immediately ask: What? Why?  The regulars (mostly artists), come through and give moral support, like:  Go for it!  This is awesome! and I get it!

So what am I actually doing?  Why?  What is it?  And yes, I’m going for it.

This week I added on another layer.  I painted in shapes on top of the pattern, using a mixture of a blue and green paint.  You can see through the layers, but there are hard edges around the shapes to give them from.  These shapes are what formed when I drew out the paths of all the rivers I’ve lived near:  Potomac River, Rhine River, Carrasco Creek, Nile River, Adyar River, Rio Grande, and Clarion River.  Instead of drawing them as separate bodies of water, where they merged or overlapped, I let them connect to make one abstract body of water.  In turn there were spaces left that could mimic  “land spaces”.

So that’s what it is.  The why part is a little more difficult to explain. And I’m not sure I need to say why.  Is it a challenge?  Am I merging ideas of past and present? Is this some how a self portrait of a different kind?  We’ll find out.  There is an explanation somewhere, but I don’t think I need to share that at this point. I’d rather let the viewer decide for themselves and see where it takes them.  However, below, you ‘ll find some of the work I’ve done this past week.

The next step is collage.  I’ve already started at the bottom, and this week it will grow up and around.

IMG_7947.jpgIMG_7948.jpgIMG_7950.jpgIMG_5973.JPG

Creating my own virtual world

Are you tired of the Pokemon phenomenon yet?  It takes me back to when I started teaching and had to take away all the Pokemon pongs during class because the sixth graders were out of control with their virtual games.  It seems like Pokemon is a good distraction for some, but what about art?  Art is an even better way to reconnect with your own imagination and allows people to create their own virtual worlds.  Without art, I might be on the hunt for some of those characters too, who knows?  However, to me, art is something that is much deeper, carries more pleasure, and allows me to delve into new ways of making and creating.

This week I delved into painting on wood.  I’m still working out the logistics, but I really like seeing the wood grain in my work.  I think it’s something that I’ll continue to play around with and do some experimenting.

So as you ponder life’s questions throughout the week- maybe ask yourself this:  What makes up your virtual world? Who or what is in it?  What does it look like?  How does it evolve?

IMG_4612.JPG

IMG_4475.JPG
People looking for their Pokemon
IMG_4434.JPG
soft wood grain.
IMG_4371.JPG
Experimenting.
IMG_4369.JPG
Prepping another background.
IMG_4426.JPG
Oh yeah, and I won a baguette!

 

Save

Save

New ideas

I’ve been playing around with some new ideas, and I think I’m liking it.  One of the benefits of having this studio and time out in the community at P22 is that I get to practice art.  Right?  I mean if you want to be good at something, you have to keep practicing, exploring and experimenting.  It’s just like anything else.  If I wanted to be better at guitar, or volleyball or cooking– I would practice.  Art is something that takes practice too.  There is a misconception that people just wake up as artists one day and they go paint a portrait, or draw a landscape. Very few people could actually do that , most artists practice everyday.  Yes, there are some people who have more of a predisposition to make art, but there are people with a predisposition who like to study engineering or cells.  All of us can take time to find out what we’re good at, but to practice takes passion.  Passion allows you to reach for something else.  To push yourself to uncharted territory.  Not someone else’s territory, but your own.  It’s your own journey, your own way to find out what you want to practice.  Now I get to be on that journey, and you’re welcome to come with me.

Yesterday I was at Palette 22, and here is a little bit of what I worked on:

IMG_4364.JPG
Working on wood with thread.
IMG_4260.JPG
Drawing maps on paper vellum and folding them.
IMG_4258.JPG
Building up layers on new small topographic studies paintings.

Accepted!

This piece has been accepted into the Third Biennial Maryland Regional Juried Exhibition!  I just dropped it off today and can’t wait to view the entire show in September.  Artists from the surrounding areas will be featured in the BMRE from September 18- December 31, 2016.  I hope to see you there at the opening reception on the 18th.  Details to follow! The show will be in UMUC Arts Program Gallery in Adelphi, Maryland– and it’s a lovely space.  So happy to be a part of this show.

 

IMG_2780
Meander, detail

Summer time in the Studio

It’s my first week in my studio since I don’t know when.  It’s allowed me to work on a lot of projects that have been pushed to the side or stuck in my head.  This week I’ve already made some movement on some large paintings that should have been completed months ago, but I guess that’s all a part of the process.

It’s been great having so much studio time to do work and it has actually allowed me time to reflect on what I do, why I do it, and how I think it’s relevant.  Those are important questions to be asked of any artist.  The third question has been more important to me than many of the other questions, because it’s something that I feel is a struggle for me.  How is my art relevant?  Sure, it’s relevant to me, but how does it reach out to the general public or others I’d like to connect with.

In the next year, I’m going to explore that question.  I have ideas for my solo show in May at the Workhouse, but I’m not ready to give out that idea or talk about it yet.  All I know is that my theme for this show will be relevant, it will have something to say, there will be maps, and there will be cranes.

In the meantime, if you want a chance to come by and visit me, I will not be at the studio tomorrow.  I will resume my regular hours next week.  I will be at Palette 22 this Sunday from 10am -2pm doing some live painting!  I would love to see you there!

In the meantime here is a little glimpse of what I’ve been working on:

13615436_10153953815803743_6601700710606684387_n
Commissioned piece…color is done now. Working on the tributaries.
IMG_4249
The tributaries on this one are still wet, color will fade, but will leave some interesting texture and relief quality on the work.
IMG_4248
More little guys– just experimenting with more color.  A few people have noticed a green theme. And a blue theme.  I think it’s time to go bold.

Summer Schedule

So, it is summer! I know I’m a few days late, but I’ve finally been able to create a time when you can come see me in my studio!  I’m really excited about working there regularly throughout the season hope you’ll stop by.

Workhouse Arts Center, Building 6:

July 6 – July 22:  Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

August 3 -August 19: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

I will be there other times, as well, but you can always message me! I’ll be taking a summer holiday at the end of July, but then will return in August.  I will be there on some weekends, but those are yet to be determined.

Also, catch me on Tuesday, July 5,  from 12:00 – 4:00 pm at Palette 22, in Shirlington.  Watch me do some live painting and get yourself a cool drink!  I’ll also be there Sunday, July 10, from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm for brunch.