Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Good-by to a Sad Year

My creative output plummeted this year, though I did try new things. First, I tried to develop some meaningful content regarding the imminent extinction of many bird species and then regarding grief. I think the two subjects are related in that many of us feel sad about the destruction we are inflicting on our only planet. We who have lived long enough can remember how things used to be and we grieve for that loss. I can remember when southern California had 1/3 as many people as it has now, and empty lots, lizards, frogs, and many types of birds and insects were plentiful. 

In addition to exploring new content, I tried new methods, such as learning to create various artworks on my iPad (click here to see them). Last week I took a class from Jacki Long on large canvas collage (30" x 40").  It was tremendous fun, but as usual with anything involving acrylic, I came home a complete mess. How DOES that stuff get in my hair?? Anyway, I made the collage for my daughter, based on a photo my husband took of her and her horse, and she said she loves it. Here it is:

Finally, it always seems to help to set some artistic goals for the new year. Overall I would like to develop a focus of meaningful content, and technically I would like to increase dominance of certain elements in my works. And my usual revolution: Paint more!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Movie of a Digital Painting

Just discovered a fun new thing with ProCreate, my painting app on my iPad -- a little movie of the painting process. Sort of reveals my thinking and decision process, and actually, it reveals a lot about my personality, such as how obsessive-compulsive I can get. Anyway, here it is:

To see another one, click here.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Woo hool!!!

Just learned that my painting was accepted for the 2014 International Watercolor West Juried Exhibition, and since this is the third time, I qualify as a signature member! If only my sister were here for me to share the news with -- she was always my best viewer and greatest supporter, and she'd have taken pleasure in this success. Anyway, here is the painting that will be in the show:

Picnic Anyway 1945
It is based on an old photograph of my five aunts at a family picnic after their parents had been killed in a car-train accident and before the war ended.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Digital Collage

With my iPad app ProCreate, I knew it was possible to take parts of images and put them into a new work, and I recently figured out how to do it. I went through JPGs of my old watercolors and found parts of them that I liked, even if I didn't like the actual painting, and put them into the app as resources. Then I started playing. It's possible to make collages out of old images I created without tearing up the paintings!

The following piece has parts of seven different watercolors in it, and the shadow figure was drawn in freehand. Does that make it a mixed media piece?

Bird Walk 1995

Here is another one, with even more pieces of old paintings and an old photograph in it:

Lost Girl

Monday, June 30, 2014

Experimenting with Digital Art

After my husband gave me a new iPad, I bought a program called "ProCreate" for creating digital artworks. I have been experimenting with "painting" over photographs and over old watercolor paintings, with creating photo collages, and with "drawing" layered "paintings." So far, I have become obsessed and greatly enjoy this last process. I can give "ProCreate" a highly positive review. Here are my recent efforts.

Grandma Love 8

Sisters 2

Sibling Rivalry

Sunday, June 15, 2014

More Grief

This series of artwork all began with a selfie photo I took, while I was crying and holding a sick, sleeping baby in a dark room. I put it together in a Warhol-like picture, shown in my last post. After that, I did an ink and watercolor painting based on that photo. And next, I made a digital "painting" on my iPad, using ProCreate. My husband, who gave me the iPad for my birthday, took a picture of me working on it. Pictures of all this are below.

Sad Selfie

Watercolor Grief
Digital Grief

Comparing the ink/watercolor with the digital work, I begin to wonder which more effectively conveys my intent, do both convey grief, are they both "art"? Both absorbed me while I was working on them, and the digital one was actually fun, since I was learning something new. I had fun with grief??  Art IS transformative! (At least for the artist.)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Grief 1 and 2

After the sudden, unexpected death of my dear sister in March, I stopped painting. She was my best viewer and best friend, and it's hard to go on without her. On Friday I held my poor, sick little grandson for two hours in a dark room, so he could sleep, and in those two hours I thought about my sister and cried. Finally, I thought, "Well, this is my life right now. I might as well paint it, too." So here are two works about grief.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

2014: Starting to Paint Again

Last month I attended a workshop with Katherine Chang Liu, and I felt inspired to explore an emotionally charged issue for me. This month I attended a workshop with Christopher Schink, and I felt like taking an intellectual approach to painting and simply enjoying the challenge of trying some new techniques. Here are the paintings, two from Katherine's workshop and two from Toph's; can you guess which is which?

Here's some helpful hints: The titles of the paintings, from top to bottom, are "Silent Spring 1," "Silent Spring 2," "Red Boot," "The Young Guitarist 2."