Thursday, May 27, 2021

Objects in the Rearview Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are

 

I wish that metallic acrylic photographed better.

I miss road trips. I don't just mean because of the pandemic. 

I miss road trips with my Dad. Family road trips where we'd drive from Massachusetts to Maine for seafood or to Connecticut for pizza or to see the ocean. Little excuses to get in the car, listen to music and just be together. 

For weeks during 2012, my Dad would count down to how many days it would be before he flew out to see us to embark on another road trip. (Once I began traveling to teach, one of my parents would often accompany me on my long distance trips. It was another excuse for time together.) That June 2012 road trip never happened. Dad died suddenly early in June of 2012, just a couple of weeks shy of our scheduled trip.

Recently, I was thinking about how many times I've driven through the desert. I remembered how much I love the look of the sun as it sets, the colors painted across the different flora of the desert. 

When I'm alone, I'll listen to audio books or podcasts on various artists. If I'm lucky to have company, we'll talk as music plays in the background. If it's late at night, I'll roll the windows down in an effort to both stay awake as well as to hear the sounds of the desert. Sometimes I'll howl at the moon. 

I miss all of this. I try to paint these pages to hold onto these memories just a little bit longer.

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

Water based Paint Marker (Posca, Molotow)

Stabilo All Aquarellable Pencils

Looked at:

Edvard Munch

Enrique Martinez Celaya

Reading:

Enrique MartĂ­nez Celaya: Collected Writings and Interviews, 2010-2017

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Celebrating Joan Eardley

 

Joan Eardley, Summer Fields

Joan Eardley, Joan Eardley, 1921 - 1963. Artist 

Joan Eardley, Harvest 

Joan Eardley, Flowers

Joan Eardley, Seine Boat

Joan Eardley, Catterline in Winter

Joan Eardley, Arcaded Street Front 

Joan Eardley, Field with Wild Flowers 

Joan Eardley, Autumn Flowers and Seed-heads

Joan Eardley, Field of Corn and Haystacks

Joan Eardley, Fishing Boats Moored in a Harbour

Joan Eardley, Back View of Seated Women in a Shawl [verso: Two Women, Buildings and Hillside] 

Joan Eardley, Street Kids

May 18th was the centennial of painter Joan Eardley's birth! I stumbled upon her work a couple of years ago. I've been going down the rabbit hole and studying her work ever since. I thought I'd tip my hat here with a sampling of some of my favorite pieces of her work (all found at the National Galleries Scotland.) 

I am hoping to visit Scotland some day and see where she worked and lived. For now, my books and the internet will have to do.

SlĂ inte mhath, Joan!

More on Eardley and her work:

Joan Eardley Estate (follow #Eardley100 on social media)

The Scottish Gallery (they also have the three exhibit catalogs in the top of the pile shown above available)

National Galleries Scotland (they're taking pre-orders for a new book based on the latest exhibit here)

Arran Arts Heritage Trail (lots more Eardley to be found here

Oodles on FB 

SWARN

Eardley Symposium June 2nd

Go down the Eardley rabbit hole on Youtube

There are live talks and more coming up so make sure if you're interested that you follow #Eardley100 on social media for the most up to date information.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Communication

 


I've been thinking about how we communicate. How ideas come across (or don't.) Our choices of words. The methods we use to communicate and how much they've changed over the years.

I've also been thinking about time and space. 

Memories of a home in Quincy, Massachusetts where a yellow telephone hung on the kitchen wall. The cord that stretched across the room (when my mother wasn't around to yell at me for doing so), the notes I wrote in pencil along the door frame, the conversations floating across time and space. 

In my teens, I spent a lot of time on the phone. My closest friend lived an hour away so the phone was our connection. We talked about music, musicians, tv shows and what she called, "stupid stuff." 

I miss those endless phone calls. I miss my friend. She's been gone five years now. I'm not a big fan of the phone these days but I'd love a chance to be able to talk to her one more time. 



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

Water based Paint Marker (Posca)

Stabilo All Aquarellable Pencils

Looked at:

Edvard Munch

Enrique Martinez Celaya

Reading:

Enrique MartĂ­nez Celaya: Collected Writings and Interviews, 2010-2017
Borges Labyrinths

Friday, May 14, 2021

Rainbows and Corita

 


What kid wouldn't find a giant rainbow swatch fascinating?

Growing up in the Boston area, my family drove by Corita Kent's painted  tank on a regular basis. I'd stare at it from the back seat, often making it a game to see when I could first spot it. I knew that when coming from a certain direction, it meant we were almost home.

What I didn't know was the story behind the person who created it. I wouldn't know her story until I was in my 20's, living in Los Angeles and teaching  art. Forever on a quest to improve my own skills, I stumbled upon the teachings of Corita Kent, the teacher nun who painted the Boston gas tank, the Love postage stamp and much, much more. Her words and images have stayed and resonated deeply within me over the years.

“There are moments in the creative process when one is aware of great things happening, but I never feel that is the Creative Process. It is only a punctuated moment of excitement in the larger process. The hard times, too, are part of the creative process; for example when I can’t sleep at night or lose the meaning of what it’s all about.

It can be a time of drudgery–a dirty, collecting time when I sharpen pencils or clear work space, but we know that somehow these things are necessary . . .”


Whenever I visit my family in Massachusetts, I am still very excited to see Corita's Rainbow. If I close my eyes, I'm sitting behind my father. Next to me are my crayons, a pencil, notebook, paper, a book and a doll is in my lap. I hold the doll up and point out the magnificent rainbow to her. My Dad winks at me from the rearview mirror. My mom is talking to my sister who is sitting next to me. I am home and have found what waits at the end of the giant rainbow.


More Posts on Corita Kent here.


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

Water based Paint Marker (Molotow)

Stabilo All Aquarellable Pencils

Looked at:

Corita Kent

Edvard Munch

Enrique Martinez Celaya

Reading:

Enrique MartĂ­nez Celaya: Collected Writings and Interviews, 2010-2017

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Looking at Payne's Grey Acrylic

 




A friend recently asked me about Payne's Grey in acrylic form and what it was supposed to look like. I responded, "a dark blueish grey," which I don't think helped her very much. After some comparison using what I had on hand, here are some color swatches as well as links that you may find helpful. 

Some thoughts: Look at the side by side screen shot of the Golden fluid vs the heavy body of Payne's Grey. They're completely two different colors. The fluid is more Ultramarine (which you can see in my swatch at the top) while the heavy body is more of what Payne's Grey is supposed to look like in my mind.

Utrecht should just go home. While I do reach for their professional grade paints quite a bit, I'd never buy Payne's Grey from them again. It's more black than anything.

Holbein is the one I'd reach for and would buy again. It's a nice, heavy body acrylic and consistent in both quality and consistency. My tube of Sennelier was more fluid like than heavy body.

Both Golden Fluid and Golden Heavy Body color contain the following pigments:

PBk7-Lamp Black

PB29-Ultramarine [Blue]

PBk7-Lamp Black

PB29-Ultramarine [Blue]

PBk11-Mars Black

PB60-Indanthrene Blue

PB29-Ultramarine [Blue]

PBk9-Ivory Black

If I had some Ivory Black or Lamp Black on hand, I'd try mixing my own. I may order some in the future and when I do, I'll let you know.

Do you have a favorite Payne's Grey acrylic?

Monday, May 10, 2021

Backyards, Canoes and Buttercups

 

An unused canoe in my grandfather's basement.

Summer days spent holding buttercups under chins.

Days and nights looking longingly up at the stars. 

Lots of daydreaming, reading and playing. 

A moment in a space where I wish I could have held onto time.

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

Water based Paint Marker (Molotow)

Looked at:

Edvard Munch

Enrique Martinez Celaya

Reading:

Enrique MartĂ­nez Celaya: Collected Writings and Interviews, 2010-2017