Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tired puppy.

Longs days of packing, playing administrator (I'm the contact for incoming graduate students), and trying to figure out my studio work. About a month ago I was contacted by the University of Wyoming Art Museum to do a visiting artist gig at their Summer Teaching Institute. I was giddy because it's my first opportunity of this kind so I quickly jumped at it. Now I'm feeling the squeeze of all these things I've committed to.

I was looking forward to my month at home having at least some down time with Joel but it's not looking like that will be the case. Not to mention Joel's buddy, The Large Man, is staying with him for what looks like will be the end of the summer because of a recent marital split. I don't mean to sound selfish but it should be an interesting 'break' for me! Joel is dealing with the recent golden retriever addition much better than I would be. He's so kind.

Nonetheless, here is the most recent print I am struggling through. I don't really like how it's working but it has a lot of potential. The transparency needs some tweaking for sure. I plan to make the pattern more transparent and the gradation from purple to yellow in the upper portion of the sky more prominent. I think it needs some line work too.

It will have to wait until tomorrow or Friday though. Picking up the keys to the new pad and then strong men are helping me move tomorrow night... yippee!

* Note to self: Pastel work is not translating as easily into print as I would have hoped. Don't lose sight of all that color work you just did!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Be Bold!

So I find myself sitting in my hot, muggy studio listening to bangs and booms from thunder and hellacious rains. It's kind of dramatic.

I've embraced Ohio the past two weeks and found myself more accustomed to the humidity, the denseness of the trees and yet finding solace in the openness of the Maumee River. That being said, I still do not love humidity and I am craving the crisp air of the Wyoming mountains.


The class I just finished was a great experience for me... funny I dreaded it before I started! Any time one devotes intense hours so something, be it meditation or plien air drawing as I have done this summer, we grow in ways that were never expected.

In my last job, one of the things I learned is that relationships make the world go 'round. We are all so connected to one another, for better or worse. Color is not so different! The science of color is quite remarkable and I feel as though I've merely skimmed the surface. The sky is not really just one blue and clouds aren't even close to white. The same yellow that makes up the highlights in that perfect cloudy sky is the same one used to neutralize the purple in that pile of rocks in the distance. It's all about the color relationship, what is butted up against it or softly nestled over the top can dramatically change the emotion of a landscape.

No white in there, no sir-ee

The only way to really learn how to use color is to try it out! Yes, intensive hours are helpful but my advice is, Be Bold! Now I can't claim full credit for that. One of my favorite art instructors, Bill Park, used to tell me that. He didn't even go to art school but he's had the soul of an artist his whole life and has made beautiful paintings and prints since the age of 40. The only way to be bold is let yourself make mistakes and not be afraid you'll "ruin" a drawing. Very few things are ever truly ruined. Sounds like it should apply to life, right? Well, mostly. Definitely couldn't hurt.

Last drawing of the class

Now that I've sounded all mushy-gushy all I have to say is, it's time to pack, move my shit to a new apartment and then off to Wyoming, Bitches!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Feelin' hot, Hot, HOT!

Oofta. It was around 90 degrees today and lots of humidity. Even the shade was hot. Not quite as hot as India, but too hot to draw in and maintain good concentration. That being said, I found a breezy, shady spot early in the day and managed to kick out a decent drawing.

All in a day's work:

For the past two days we've been at the Schedel Gardens. Beautiful! The website doesn't really do it justice. They've got a great veggie garden, rose garden and Japanese style garden complete with resident swans. When I was sitting at the edge of this pond there were fish jumping clear out of the water throughout the morning. "Ker-sploosh", "Ka-plump!" It was good comic relief. Suffice to say, I could work in a place like that and be very happy. They also had banana trees and taro planted in the ground with papaya and pomegranates planted in nearby pots. It did remind me of the tropical locales I've visited...

I could be coming out of my Ohio funk!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

So I've been at this pastel class for 4 1/2 days. It's been hard. It's been a fun challenge. It's been full of crazy bugs!

Here's a few of the field drawings:

I'm working on a longer studio piece but it's definitely a work in progress... I'll keep you posted!

Other than that, I'm still missing Joel and Wyoming. I forget that Saturdays are his day to sleep in. I texted this morning at 9:30 (2 hrs earlier, his time!) thinking that he'd be up and getting ready for work. I called at 10:30 and woke up a grumpy bear. Whoops! This living apart, two hour time difference business is wearing on me. At least we get to see one another in a few more weeks. Pheww!

Monday, June 14, 2010

A day of "it's been awhile"s.

This was the first day in a ten day outdoor workshop in chalk pastels. I have to admit, I was extremely nervous because it's been so long since I've drawn from life. I was also quite excited to fuel some of my other studio work. Turned out it wasn't so bad! Here are the two drawings I did this afternoon. It was about an hour and half from start to finish.

Colors a little flat on both (camera phone, d'oh!)

While we were prepping surfaces this morning, Dennis said the sky in the Midwest is gray. I didn't really understand that until I went out. Atmosphere makes such a big difference-- Wyoming's calling me!

Note to self: buy bug dope and sunscreen!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I have been extremely homesick for about two weeks. The heat and humidity of Ohio may just be getting to me. Or possibly the fact that Joel and I haven't talked much on the phone. It's his busy season so there's not a lot of free time. I miss my home and my friends.

Record floods are happening all across the state of Wyoming. The river in Lander, Popo Agie, in Fremont County has swept away portions of bridges and roads. Last I heard they are expecting 2-3 FEET of snow tonight. Yikes! The town of Saratoga on the Platte River has been at flood stage for almost a week and isn't expected to go down until next week. And my home town of Encampment flooded for the first time since I was a kid. I think I read somewhere that it's the highest on record. And here I sit in Ohio, unable to witness the power of Mother Nature.

Outside of the heat and humidity I do find solace in a few places here in Ohio. There's Wintergarden, a nature park on the edge of Bowling Green. Too bad the mosquitos are so big and prevalent they'd carry you away! My sanity can't handle all that buzzing right now. And then there's the great Maumee River. She's a big one; and she's rushing right now! Night before last I went and just hung out for awhile at her banks. I watched a heron fish for a bit and then I came home.

So while I can't be in my home to witness the strength, beauty and tragedy of great (sometimes small) rivers, I pay homage to them here (even though all I do is just sit). Just thinking about all of you effected by raging waters and wishing you the best!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

So I started this blog about a year ago... this is my first post! I'm honestly not quite sure why I'm doing it other than I've wanted to for awhile now. Maybe it's to help me find my voice. I've never really thought I had anything good to say; or at least that anyone would want to listen to. Even if that is the case, the beauty of blogging is that you don't have to keep reading if you do not want to!

Part of my inspiration comes from my best friend who has been blogging awhile now. We met randomly through some mutually friends at a stitch and bitch. That was about 5 (4?) years ago. Our lives twisted and turned-- she had a baby, I met the love of my life. Last year I move 1500 miles away to go to graduate school. We haven't really seen much of one another but each week or so she posts these amazing things and I get a little inspired... or at least stop feeling sorry for myself!

Another reason for doing this is to share my art. I was posting quite regularly on Facebook but found that it is not the best forum for that. Instead of getting critical feedback I got "I like it." Not that I am objecting, that is nice too! But I am seeking a place to post works in progress and let you comment with sincerity. You might hate what I post, or wish it was a different color; you might love it and want to hang it above your couch. Both are okay for me, but make sure you tell me!

So with that, here is one of the prints that I'm working on:

I waiver between making gigunda, ridiculously large prints (this one is 10ft!) and smaller works that are more layered and controlled. My eventual goal is for the large ones to have the same layered feel and soft atmospheric qualities that the small ones possess. Here are a few examples of those: