Wow, so much has happened since I have last written a post. Yikes! Well I wrapped up the sunrises in June and had a successful showing of them at my gallery here in Oklahoma City. There were only a few remaining on the walls afterwards. I have to say that I was shocked by the welcome they received as well as my other landscapes that I had ventured to do during that time.
Since then, the weather of course became unbearably hot which forced me back indoors to work on still life again. I must say that I actually enjoy being an artist that can change what I am working on as the seasons change too, it seems like a very natural process.
I've also enjoyed having my work this summer in some pretty great shows like Oil Painters of America's National & Western Regional Exhibition, Salon International, The Laumeister Fine Art Competition, Hudson River Valley Art Association which is coming up this month at the Salmagundi Club and last but not least the American Women Artists show where my painting, "Little Red" actually received an Award of Excellence from American Art Collector.
There is so much I could talk about since I am so backed up, so I will start with these paintings and shows. It sort of seems like tooting your own horn, but I think it's important that we pay attention to the rewards of hard work since when you're doing the work it seems as though no one will ever see it! That's really what counts is doing the work when no one else is looking, liking, commenting, buying, awarding, etc.
"Salt Glazed Jugs, Apples and Onions", 18"x18", oil on panel
Oil Painters of America Western Regional
This is one of the painting that I completed after seeing the Sorolla Exhibit in Dallas this late winter. I have to say if you have not seen it, you must! It will knock your socks off. I was blown away by his capacity, grit, strength, rock solid drawing foundation and phenomenal use of color. You could just tell this man LOVED to paint. I left that show totally invigorated but also feeling like, "Man! get real- we are such whiney-babies!" This artist kicks all of our asses, I can only hope to have an ounce of his passion. So this was my western-style Sorolla inspired chiaroscuro still life. I was also looking at a lot of Fechin at the time and Cyrsus Afsary's still lifes were an influence too. Again two other artists who can just (fill in obscenity here) paint!
"Farmhouse Eggs & Crockery" - 14"x14" - oil on panel
Oil Painters of America National - Bennington Center for the Arts
Will be included in upcoming Small Works, Great Wonders Exhibition at The National Cowboy Museum here in OKC.
I started this one as a set up in a class I was teaching (almost a year ago) and enjoyed it so much I set it up when I got back to the studio to finish it. This was one that just came together for me with relative ease and I remember just feeling like I had such clarity on how I wanted the light to flow through the space.
"Brass on White" - 18"x18" - oil on panel
Exhibited at Salon International at the Greenhouse Gallery in San Antonio, TX and to be exhibited at the Salmagundi Club this month in the Hudson River Valley National Exhibition
As you can see I was in a square stage for a while!!!!! From about January to May of this year I did a 5"x7" still life every morning right after I got up and had a cup of coffee, usually around 6 - 6:30 a.m. I felt I was kind of stuck at the time, not painting much during the holidays and I guess you could say it was a new years resolution sort of thing. I thought what better way to start the day than with a small study. I am a firm believer in doing lots of small studies and doing a large quantity of them. They've always informed my work, I feel freer and able to try out ideas that I wouldn't normally, color combos, and paint experimentation. The first time I did this was my last year at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in 2011. I did 20 small studies and two of the last ones I did I turned into larger pieces and both went on to get into larger shows and win awards. So for me it's been sort of a proven method of getting through the 90% mediocre to the 10% inspired. This painting developed from one of these studies. I was just struck by the simplicity of the set up and it had a certain something that I found interesting.
"Ginger and Lanterns" - 12"x16" oil on linen
Laumeister Fine Art Competition
I guess you could say, here I went back to my "roots" on this one with my influences of David Leffel and Greg Kreutz- which are always there. I am always amazed at how David, especially, can take such simple subject matter and turn it into something magical and mystically beautiful. There is such a deep intimacy to his work that always moves me. I have been studying David's work, books, DVDs for the last 7 years and I have always responded to his philosophy of art making. He gave me a very helpful critique on the painting above, Brass on White. Because I chose to go to get a degree in art and spent...well borrowed....way too much money to do so, I could not afford to take a workshop with him. I am hoping this will be the year. Until then, if you haven't checked out their Bright Light Fine Art Guild Library- you are missing out! And it's very generously priced at $50 for the year for probably 2 dozen online videos.
"Little Red" - 12"x16" - oil on linen
American Women Artists- Award of Excellence from American Art Collector.
This is a post- Sorolla- born again- painting- ha ha. However, I have to say that I was actually trying with all my might to set up another arrangement and it just wasn't working. I was so frustrated and this had been going on for a couple of hours. It's moments like that you think, Oh my God why am I even bothering- why can't I do this?!!?? and obscenities later....I look up at the top shelf and here was all of these discards that I put up there. Eureka! Some unseen grace had arranged this (with very minimal tweaking). The light on it was so amazing, I couldn't get the paint out fast enough and was terrified I wouldn't be able to "see" it anymore. These moments are rare. I worked on it the first day and while I thought it was a good painting, I knew it wasn't what it could be. So the next day, terrified, I turned it upside down and started attacking the background with a different color and laying the paint on thick with a palette knife. At the end of the day I was so glad that I took the risk and then could accept it as the best I could do at that time. I don't always do this, but I do feel as an artist you have to be somewhat brutal with yourself-because nobody is going to stand over you and tell you how to do it better. And every time you don't push yourself further, someone else is and your left behind in mediocrity. We all think we have a certain threshold, but if we are honest we can push just on inch further that day.
Thank you for reading and I hope it was of some use to you.