The Seattle chapter of the Graphic Artist's Guild asked me to come up with an image for their holiday card....this is it. Happy Holidays from my studio!
i'm working on six paintings right now. they're all at about the same stage...the stage of unlimited possibilities. i love this stage. i don't want to move. it gets harder from this point on, but also more fascinating. i put down a color and everything changes. connect a shape, blur an edge, follow an instinct....hope for the best.
here is what delacroix said about this reluctance, "finishing a painting demands a heart of steel: everything requires a decision, and i find difficulties where i least expect them....it is at such moments that one fully realizes one's own weaknesses."
lately, painting has been hit or miss. i seemed to have lost track, somewhere along the way, of what was important. bouncing around between illustration and painting can be tricky. illustration often calls for accuracy in drawing and painting. in my personal work i don't want my shapes to be accurate; i want them to be interesting, awkward, clumsy even. it's hard to put aside what i know about drawing to get at a shape with more character and charm. i spent this past week in a workshop with christopher schink here in seattle. he's a great teacher (and painter) and the workshop was just what i needed. thanks, toph.
i love circles....and cycles....summer into fall. i thought i would have trouble saying goodbye to summer, it was so fresh and delicious. but right now, autumn is my best friend. warm, earthy leaves are dancing around outside my window, blown around by the blustery harbinger of a storm on its way. colors are jewel-like and i am inspired. i think i'll go bake some gingersnaps.
tonight is the opening for art east's third annual collective memory show. i was selected as one of the 14 artists chosen to represent and honor individuals who have helped shape the issaquah community. each artist spent time with a designated community member "partner" to learn about them and how their contribution helped shape the fabric of the community. through the form of visual art, the stories of these area citizens are told.
my "partner," dr. john milne, is chairman and ceo of eastside emergency physicians and leads strategic development for swedish's new hospital in issaquah. he's designing this hospital with the patient's comfort and needs in mind. he's really in tune with the fact that people are vulnerable and often scared when they find themselves in a hospital - especially in the ER! i met with him and shadowed him in the hospital for an hour.....took lots of pictures.
i ended up submitting two pieces to the show. the first was a portrait of the "doctor" - the medical director guy. i incorporated a collage element - the architectural plans for swedish's new facility. i enjoyed painting this visual interpretation of dr. milne's connection to the hospital and i'm happy enough with the painting, but it was missing a compelling component of the man's career - the mix of science and compassion. how to convey this message of heart in the language of medicine? i pictured a hand reaching out to another.
i won't tell you exactly how i got into the radiology department, but i had some ex rays made of my hand along with the hand of a volunteer radiologist. i know, i know - it's crazy. i wasn't even sure it would work but i played around with scratching into the film with an exacto knife - like scratchboard. i scratched out shapes and patterns resembling blood cells under a microscope. the picture here was taken while still in progress, shown on a cheap light box - but tonight it will be displayed hanging, on a framed light box.
i can see a series coming....any volunteers for ex ray model?
the open studio on saturday at jean's was a real success! this is the cozy courtyard where i was lucky enough to hang my work. it was a beautiful seattle, summer day and lots of folks came by. i thoroughly enjoyed meeting the other artists and seeing their beautiful art.
here are jean's amazing little paintings nestled among the tomatoes, zucchini and sunflowers.
what a charming way to view art!
for more pictures, including a group shot of the artists, take a look at jen phillips' blog...
this saturday my work will be at jean bradbury's open studio along with some very talented seattle artists'. should be a lot of fun in a very informal venue. eleven artists all together between two studios. (jennifer phillips is opening her next door studio as well) the participating artists are as follows...
i'm looking at my posts and geeeez, it looks like the work of three different artists! i've got tight watercolors, loose acrylics, abstract pieces. i'm all over the place.
maybe i should try to work in "series" like all the successful artists do.
or am i just too ADD for that?
i'm so excited about the "brushes"application for the iphone. okay, i know it's not new - but it's new to me! this is my first sketch. it's not going in a portfolio or anything, but it was fun figuring out how to use the app and download the art and see it as a movie. what a fun way to work on location.
i'm working on a book cover for a sort-of science fiction adventure novel by kelly owen. this is not my favorite genre of reading material, but his first book, "the keep of time" was really good! it's funny, we illustrators, in the course of our work, are often exposed to literature we would never ordinarily read.
think big. start with an idea....create a mood. forget the subject matter and focus on the large shapes - space division - color - edge.
my mom made birthdays special for all of us...cakes, balloons, friends, presents.
the old photos are fun to work with.
charger, my aunt and uncle's beloved german shepherd was my guardian and playmate. he was a gentle soul and was the first in a long line of canine companions. this small piece is acrylic on board. i love to focus on the shapes - positive and negative - they can be so poetic.
i'm going back to working smaller again. for a while i was painting up to 48 x 48. i love the impact of that size but as i'm getting back to illustration, smaller is better. it feels like coming home. this painting is about 12x12. it is part of a series based on old family photos.
this is where i spend most of my time. yes, i'm still working traditionally - the ol' brush and paper stuff. (but i plan to start saving up for that wacom cintiq - that would tidy up my studio quite a bit! no more paint on the carpet)
i've been away from illustration for a while and so much has changed. the digital age is here. thankfully i've kept up with technology so i'm holding my own. i could use a class or two in photoshop, though.