Thursday, April 29, 2021

Snowfall 1995

 



It's December 1995. I'm in Quincy Center waiting for my mother to pick me up. My last college class has just ended. Outside of the glass doors where I wait, it is snowing. It is surprisingly quiet for the center of the city on a weeknight with Christmas coming. The snow is softly falling and the look of it as the streetlight illuminates it is forever etched in my memory.

I'm leaving on an airplane soon for Los Angeles. I'm going to meet David for the first time. I didn't know it at the time, but I wouldn't be coming home.
 
When I close my eyes, I still can see the snow.

Supplies used:

Journal I made using a discarded, hardcover book with 100 lb Accent Opaque card stock size 9 1/2 x 13" 

Acrylics: Holbein, Sennelier, Utrecht, Charvin and Golden (heavy body)

Painting knives

Brushes

Princeton Catalyst Tools

Awl

Looked at:

Edvard Munch

Reading:

Edvard Munch: Behind The Scream by Sue Prideaux


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Things I Couldn't Hold Onto



 
Things that have disappeared.
 
Things I couldn't hold onto.
 
Thoughts that have been going around in my brain. 
 
When I was about seven, my Nana gave me a dollar. A dollar! These were the early 80's, hard times. Reagan was president. Things seemed scary and unsure, even at that age. I remember my mom winning the lottery and coming home with more grocery bags than I had ever seen before. Both of my parents worked multiple jobs. I knew that money was hard to come by and that it should be saved or spent well. At the same time, I was seven. 
 
My mom's friend picked my sister and I up from school. She took us to a small corner store in Quincy, Massachusetts. I picked out an orange soda in a glass bottle and handed over my dollar. It was pre-twist off the cap days and I decided to wait until we got back to my mom's friend's house to open it.

I'll never forget what happened next. I opened the door of her car and climbed out. As I did, the bottle slipped from my hands and shattered into pieces on the concrete. I was inconsolable. "My Nana will be disappointed as would my parents!" 
 
As it turns out, they weren't disappointed, but that thought was embedded into my brain. It's been almost forty years since that happened and I still remember how I felt when that bottle fell from my hands. My body of work, "Things I Couldn't Hold Onto," will be about those feelings and memories.

Supplies used:

Journal I made using a discarded, hardcover book with 100 lb Accent Opaque card stock size 9 1/2 x 13" 

Acrylics: Holbein, Sennelier, Utrecht, Charvin and Golden (heavy body)

Painting knives

Brushes

Princeton Catalyst Tools

Awl 


Looked at:

Edvard Munch

Reading:

Edvard Munch: Behind The Scream by Sue Prideaux 
 
Watching:

Friday, April 23, 2021

Planting Seeds

 


Supplies used:


100 lb Accent Opaque card stock 11 x 7" then cut to size 4 1/4 x 5 1/2"

Acrylics: Holbein, Sennelier, Utrecht and Golden (heavy body)

Painting knives

Brushes

Princeton Catalyst Tools


Looked at: 

Edvard Munch 

Joan Mitchell

Vincent Van Gogh

Richard Diebenkorn

Joan Eardley

Henri Matisse 


Reading:

Sue Prideaux's Edvard Munch Behind the Scream

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Sunflowers Series

 

 


To see the work in progress photos of each of these pages, you can click here (or search Kilmer Sunflowers.)


My most recent artist's statement regarding my Sunflowers work:


I am a painter who is forever on a journey in both life and work. I paint layers of acrylics combining mark making and personal imagery on the pages of visual journals (bound by me.) I paint to connect with myself as well as the world around me.


When I paint, I tend to think of myself as both explorer as well as amateur art historian. I love to experiment, explore and play with acrylic paint. With each new painting, I try to create something different than what I have done before. Whether it be new images, color, texture, line or composition, I am always interested in trying something new, learning and journeying forward in my work. Each new picture adds to my toolbox. This toolbox not only benefits me but also inspires those I share my work with (my students with whom I share my process, ideas, experiences, failures, successes and techniques.)


My most current body of work, Sunflowers, reflects a journey I took in 2019, a trip that changed my work and gave me memories that have nestled deep within my bones. In June of 2019, I taught a week long workshop in France. While there, I walked in the footsteps of my art mentors (specifically Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Cezanne and Joan Mitchell.) I have been trying to translate my experiences and memories of that journey into paint. If I close my eyes, I can walk through Auvers sur Oise, Paris and Arles. I am trying to capture those dreamlike summer memories in my recent paintings.


Humans are forever on a journey of some kind. We transition, learn and grow. I have worked primarily in paint and collage for twenty-four years. My time in France changed me deeply as well as dramatically changed how I work. I have (temporarily) set aside my collage work to focus on working purely in acrylic. My journey in 2019 brought me the discovery that I am a painter. I cannot say if I am a good painter or a bad one as I think that every painter keeps working in order to try to improve. We are never “good enough” as there is always something to see and expand upon. To me, that is the most exciting part of the process, being forever on a journey in paint.


Where’s my brush? It’s time to get back to painting. This essay is hopefully enough for you to understand that to me, art is not about the finished product but, the journey, the process we undergo as creative beings. Viva la painting!


Supplies used:


Journal I made using100 lb Accent Opaque card stock size 9 3/4 x 16" opened 

Working size (single page) 9 3/4 x 8"

Acrylics: Holbein, Sennelier, Utrecht and Golden (heavy body)

Painting knives

Brushes

Princeton Catalyst Tools


Looked at: 


Joan Mitchell

Vincent Van Gogh

Arshile Gorky

Richard Diebenkorn

Joan Eardley

Henri Matisse 


Reading:


Various Joan Mitchell books and catalogs

Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust

Monday, April 12, 2021

Sunflowers XII


I've been painting sunflowers exclusively for two months now. I decided after painting the eleventh flower to remove the sunflower section from the hardcover journal and sew it separately as a stand one volume. I'll share some photos in the next post of what the finished project looks like. For now, here's the final page. 

 Supplies used:

Journal I made from 100 lb Accent Opaque cardstock size 9 3/4 x 16" opened 

Working size (single page) 9 3/4 x 8"

Acrylics: Holbein, Sennelier, Utrecht and Golden (heavy body)

Painting knives

Brushes

Princeton Catalyst Tools

Looked at: 

Joan Mitchell

Vincent Van Gogh

Reading:

various Joan Mitchell catalogues 

Remberance of Things Past by Marcel Proust

Friday, April 09, 2021

Inspiration at the Easel

 

With each new body of work, I start with new inspiration clipped or taped to my drawing board on my easel. From left to right:
-Postcards of paintings by Edvard Munch
-A photo from the Rodin Museum found in a favorite Matisse book
-A photo of Arshile Gorky drawing in Connecticut 
-Bonnard and Munch postcards
-Notes to Myself

What do you have nearby for inspiration and encouragement?

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Sunflowers XI


Work in process photos are fascinating. Seeing how each step, each mark creates an entirely different feeling as well as new work. Each brushstroke takes it on a different path.

Supplies used:

Journal I made from hardcover book and 100 lb Accent Opaque cardstock size 9 3/4 x 16" opened 

Working size (single page) 9 3/4 x 8"

Acrylics: Holbein, Sennelier, Utrecht and Golden (heavy body)

Painting knives

Brushes

Princeton Catalyst Tools

Looked at: 

Joan Mitchell

Vincent Van Gogh

Reading:

various Joan Mitchell catalogues 

Remberance of Things Past by Marcel Proust