My friend and fellow Artist, Pam Hounschild and I have been teaching a Water Media Textures Workshop via Zoom. Pam is a more linear thinker than I am which was essential in pulling this off. Our first online class was through the Mendocino Art Center in Mendocino, CA. We will teach the class again October 5,8,12,15 with them also. . In the meantime we are also teaching September 14,17,21, and 24.through the Emerald Art Center in Springfield OR.
Its a quite different experience for all of us to not be in the same space but we are finding our way and everyone had fun and produced some great pieces.
Leading up to this new zoom life, I had decided I was tired of cutting mats, handling heavy glass and framing my work: too labor intensive and the glass made it difficult to view the work because of the glare. So I have been working smaller and experimenting with adhering images on paper to wood substrates and layering on acrylic medium to seal them and applying a final couple of layers of UV varnish to make them lightfast. I really like the immediacy of images and the detail preserved.
These three Paintings are part of a series exploring a new painting surface as well as new ways to use the layered painting process . They are on wrapped canvas instead of watercolor paper which alters the way of the interactions of surface and paint. It also nudged me to follow the process with exciting new curiosity and awe; keeping the excitement fresh.
These 3 images are part of an experimental tangent of the serendipitous following of random threads layered onto paper: layered onto underpainting or by creating a new and vibrant base for further exploration.
These images are just completed. I’m attempting to move away from cutting mats, dealing with heavy glass and framing my work. I’m too old to deal with it. These are lightweight! I like the immediacy of the images. All are acrylic on paper adhered to wood panels.They are sealed and UV treated for easy care. I’m all for easy these days and am loving the exploration.
I’ve just finished some new work to hang the beginning of February at Art & Soul Gallery in Ashland, Oregon. My curiosity took me into the land of Yupo: A non-porous plastic like painting surface. I’ve always loved the spontaneity of working with flow, knowing that here is a potential for more layers. This trick on Yupo just melts the layer before because of the slick surface. Oh My! This may be a short lived adventure but I feel that old familiar tickle asking me “What If?”. Hmmmmmm……..
This deep pool reminds me of my first snorkeling experience off the Big Island, Hawaii in Captain Cook Bay. I had never witnessed the aliveness of a coral reef with it’s vibrant forms and color, not to mention the depths of it’s caverns. It was staggering and life changing. I eventually learned to scuba dive but that expansive, first experience has repeatedly been reflected in my most recent Paper Sculptures. I introduce “Sea Grass”.
While browsing the garden for inspiration, I discovered that the Bamboo I thought I had secured within a deep walled box, had run amok and was vigorously sprouting throughout the adjacent flowers. While snapping them off hoping to at least slow their march, I was taken by their primordial feel. I watched their wrapped leaves unfurl as they dried in my studio. Prompted by curiosity I followed the nudge and created numerous layers and parts. This circuitous route ended with the forest sprouting from a coral bed . It was the Summer Solstice. Magic always happens then.
My creative journey has always involved responding to an essential ingredient of an experience and following the threads of that flow to a magical finale. I trusted the collaboration with an authentic source within and beyond myself. A huge curiosity about this journey has kept my enthusiasm at a fevered pitch for many years.
Recently, the intensity has waned a bit and neither the process nor the outcome has been as compelling. I wondered if it was simply related to the aging/wisdom journey of slowing down but instead of settling into it, I felt like I was always waiting for an echo, a nudge, and an inspiration.
Going back to clay was not an option. My hands are no longer strong enough and too arthritic to do the building and my body is no longer strong enough to do the hauling and firing. Plus, the gallery I am part owner of only shows paintings: only work that hangs on the wall. I had no ideas where to go next.
Drawn to the depths of my own presence to ponder I turned again to nature’s state of enlivened being. The seed pod, the ocean coral, the flower; all fully embody a direct experience of being. With this curiosity about the feeling experience of “being the thing” I began to realize that I am closer to knowing the “ME of ME”.
Now is the new beginnings of a new direction in my Artwork. Sculpture and painting have merged. I have become an inventor, an engineer and a researcher as I explore new techniques and forms to represent deeper states of being. No doubt there will be many twists and turns; some more successful than others. The being is in the awareness of each moment on the journey.