seven.

just finished this painting late last week.

seven. :: 4′ x 4′ (mixed media on canvas) // in the studio

here are a few close-ups /

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5 across

5 across :: 4′ x 4′ (mixed media on canvas) // in the studio

a few close ups of the finished piece /

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no. 2

just finished this painting. for the past five months, i’ve pretty well kept to myself. i hit a wall in september, and i’ve needed the time alone to focus & work things out. it’s odd that way, the experience of making a painting. it can take no time at all if everything goes well, but if it doesn’t, it takes me hours, days, months, sitting & thinking, and working myself back into a state of freedom.

so here’s no. 2…i’m not sure why, and i haven’t looked into it enough, but i have gone from craving intense color, to wanting only pencil line or maybe some powdered graphite…nothing else really seems to do. as i’m making the paintings, the canvas and space have become a sort of documentation. my mistakes are there…some left, some erased, masses of searching in the form of lines, and remnants of gestural thoughts that emerge and are lost again. sometimes i find order and am able to pull it out. other times, i’m realizing, the only thing to do is to lose something, and i can’t be afraid to do it.

making these paintings have been a relief, because honestly, too often i’m quick to cover up the mistakes i make. i fail to see how the searching, struggle, frustration, and mistakes eventually culminate into something i couldn’t have seen. and with some resolution, hopefully. i try not to have preconceptions about which way a painting might go, only that it will, and experiencing that process of it becoming something is the most important & interesting thing.

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ronda

we spent the majority of our trip here in this town, high up on the cliffs. from where we were, we could see everything–you couldn’t imagine a more beautiful place.  the countryside was nothing but olive groves, fields of sunflowers, mountains, and patterns of stubby trees. i can completely see how joan miro’s paintings came to be.

i came away inspired by the landscape, the architecture, the food & blocks of color everywhere. the sangria, even. spain in general was humbling & amazing. i always wish my days could be nothing but ridiculous inspiration. most days they’re just not. but occasionally, i have moments like this, where my fingers twitch…all day. and all i can do in response to what i’m soaking in or feeling is paint.

that was spain. it was really good. and totally compelling.

ps. 139:14

some good friends of mine commissioned this drawing last month in anticipation of their first baby, who was born three days ago. she arrived healthy, perfect, and so precious…wonderfully made. this is one of her first pieces of art…can you believe they did that? i want to do that for my first baby.

someday.

what they know: their drawing is finished.

what i know: it had an insanely rough start.

what they know: they have a new baby & they love her!!

what i know: this drawing was so worth it once i got my brain in gear & past the start.

after mess-ups (of course. does that sound familiar? commissions. always. are hard.), ending with melt-downs or paper shredded or pulling out my hair, i did what i ought to have done from the start. i got a membership to the public library.

and two hours and ten books on starfish later, i came home and read about every kind there is. and then began.

and i’ve loved it all.

it’s no good drawing from an illustration or drawing: mistake number one. that’s what i started out doing & seeing as paper ended in shreds…i had no luck. i thought, using the examples they’d sent at the start, i could use my imagination to create something different, but with the same gist, that worked. that’s lazy & i was so wrong. i needed to see these invertebrates up close & study them before i could wrap my mind around them & draw.

once i found starfish i really loved & had researched them, the freedom to create a compositional space & take liberties came back easily.

using charcoal oil pencil on a thick fabriano paper, i did my best to create a vintage, textbook drawing of these sea stars that feels like it came from an old science book page. the letters below were carefully drawn & not traced, in a vintage typewriter font, which took awhile, but was worth it to me.

this drawing was so refreshing to be working on while simultaneously working on larger paintings. i feel like always, i am stretched & challenged as i go from painting to drawing & this time was no different…i took away many new things.

ps. 139:14   ::   10″ x 14″     (charcoal oil pencil on paper)   ::   sold