In the past week or two I’ve been writing a lot. It’s sort of funny since I’ve always thought of myself as more visual than verbal. However, as a result of all the ideas coming out of my head I’ve needed to burn off some energy. Exercise is good for this but also painting or drawing. Since I’ve had no ideas for drawing recently I went to my fall back, drawing squares. Below you will see the hundreds of squares that I drew and colored in. If you like to look at pretty colors this should be right up your alley.
I started a new sketch book recently and decided that I needed to get back in the swing of drawing more often. So I’ve been going places that I can sit and draw. I started with one of my favorite coffee shops in Silver Spring, Zed’s Cafe. However I felt a bit conspicuous since it’s a small place. So I went to Union Station where there are more people and I could blend in more.
I did several sketches in Union Station and showed them to a friend of mine to see what she thought. Her response was “Why are you doing it with pens?”. She thought it would be better to do it with pencil so I could erase. Maybe I will use a more forgiving medium in the future but I like pen. If I work in pen I have to get everything down fast and overlap things and there’s a record of all my marks. I find that useful for generating confidence and having a good time with sketching.
My friend, Ben Levine, is putting together the Dance Place Gala at Dance Place in DC. He invited me to be a part of it by contributing to an installation piece that he designed. There will be music, there will be windows, there will be cool lighting, and there will be me painting in the foreground. I have met up with him and the manager for this project, Sarah Chapin, a few times and we have one more meeting to go before the show. I’d be happy to see some familiar faces after the performance and happy if people I knew could enjoy the show. So if anyone is interested in attending it is on the weekend of October 21st. You can buy tickets through Dance Place.
Recently, when I got back from Santa Fe I felt the urge to get back into painting. So I did about 7 fast paintings. Most of them were not great but I was excited that the trip got me going again because I mostly work in my sketch books. The first three paintings were still lives, then I did a couple portraits for my cousin’s engagement/wedding and I also did this depiction of a stuffed animal that I have. I think out of everything this was the most fun to paint because it was the simplest. I actually have repeatedly drawn or painted this elephant since college.
My painting spurt is over now, but I’m hoping that I will do more since I have some free time coming up. Maybe I’ll do something else with my elephant or portraiture.
So in the past year it has become apparent to me that depictions of the tree of life are very popular. I see jewelry and t-shirts. One of my friends is using it as a logo for her business. And now, I’ve been commissioned to paint it for one of my students. She’s allowing me to interpret it and do my own version while giving me one image as a guideline. I’ve also done a couple practice sketches in my sketch book and on some scrap paper. This has all lead to a 20″x 16″ work.
Below I have some practice works and the final. I wanted to do something simple. Sort of going back to when I was practicing sumi-e painting, being able to work with the beauty of the ink as it spread on the paper.
It’s another study of process I think.
I started working with watercolor studies about a month ago. It’s a pretty simple concept of letting watercolors mix and using washes as well as concentrated blobs of color. The challenge has been to take these studies and blow them up into acrylic paintings. In some cases I got the flow of imagery and in others I didn’t. Part of the fun is the transformation that switching mediums has on a concept though. In any case, I hope to find a place to display the work and in the meantime am happy to share the work here online.
Since abrupt flowers I’ve been working on exploring more about what acrylic can do. I’m mostly interested in layering colors and blending them. The painting with the flowers below was started the same week as the last post and helped me to get out some extra energy while exploring those ideas. If I’m able to have a show I’ll explore it more with the studies I started in watercolor…or maybe I’ll go ahead and do a series without a show. In any case I’m having fun working with bright colors and learning new techniques.