Waves on Wood

My favorite thing about this painting is the sense of a world untouched by humans -sky and waves that have existed before humanity evolved on Earth, and will exist long after we have gone. It captures something eternal for me, which is why I didn't sign the front or the sides. I wanted to keep the illusion of being "untouched" intact.

Waves on Water. Oil on pine. 15" x 7 1/2". 2013

I painted "Waves on Wood" as a commission for a sailor friend of mine, who requested a panel of my "pointy waves," after seeing Adventure at Sea and A Friend at Sea

I'm so glad he suggested the idea of painting on wood, which I hadn't done  artistically before. 

I was immediately excited by the idea of playing with the grain to create the effect of clouds being kissed with fiery sunlight, and spent some time choosing the piece of board I wanted to work with, based on the grain lines, before cutting it to size, and then layering on the paint.

I didn't gesso the wood because I really wanted to use the grain, so it sucked up quite a bit of oil paint, but was totally worth it.   I'm looking forward to more painted improvisations on wood soon!

(You can see a bit of my process below.)

30 Blank Canvases

I am participating in Avanti Art & Design's 30/30 show this July, which means that I'll be painting 30 new canvases in the next 30 days!

Here they are, 30 blank 4"x 4" canvases on my table:

30 blank 4 x 4 x 1" canvases sitting on my table, waiting to be painted this month.

I'm excited about the challenge and opportunity that painting EVERY SINGLE DAY presents.  I've gotten into the habit of having one very long interrupted studio day a week to work on larger, more involved pieces, and I'm curious what it will be like to shake up my art schedule, and instead paint something small, daily.

Two thoughts come to mind about this:

One is the story about two ceramics classes who conducted the following experiment: One class was told that their goal for the semester was to create a single superb piece of art, while the other class was told that their goal for the semester was to create as many pieces of art as possible. At the end of the semester, all of the artwork created by the two classes was displayed together. Not only did the class going for quantity over perfection create way more works of art than the other class, but each piece tended to be more stunning, unique and skillfully executed.

The other thought inspired by this next challenge, is found in the words of artist, Faith Ringgold, that I've hung in my studio space for years:

"My dream was to be an artist, one who makes pictures for a lifetime, as a way of life.  Every day of your life you can create something wonderful, so every day is going to be the same kind of wonderful day that every other day is -a day in which you discover something new because you are painting or creating whatever it is you are creating, you are finding new ways of doing it."

These 30 blank canvases on my table, resembling little wrapped presents to be opened one by one, day by day, where will they take me? What worlds will emerge? What will I discover about myself as an artist?

The Forces beneath the Stories


This painting is a few firsts:

1) It's the first successful improvisation with oil paints; I finally crossed my process over from my more line oriented work.

2) It's the first painting in a series of abstract oil improvisations that focuses on the forces beneath the stories, instead of the stories themselves.

3) It was also the first time I used my ART JAR. I tend to have so many ideas for projects that I get overwhelmed. So, I'd started writing all of the ideas down on slips of paper, folding them, and dropping them in a mason jar. Then on a day that I have cleared to just be in my studio, I go in, unscrew the jar, pull out a piece of paper, and begin. This slip of paper was to make a painting using only 2 colors.... and yes, I broke that rule when it was time to do so in the painting.