Studio Notes Roundup

See what you’ve missed from passed notes!

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The painting that started it all

In my Sketchbook this month I’m writing about how much the medium spray paint allows me to do in my paintings. Here in my newsletter I’d like to share the moment I had a sudden insight into what would become my signature painting style.

In 2010 I was working on a cow painting to give my parents for a Christmas gift. This ended up being the painting that changed everything I was doing with my art.

Growing up I had taken watercolor classes where painting the negative spaces of leaves, flowers or animals was very common. Later as an adult I had come across a negatively painted tree where the artist had used an atomizer for the outline effect.

At that time I didn’t own an atomizer (I do now, but it’s still in its packaging!), but I had some gold spray paint left over from a household project. I used that gold paint to mask my cow shape and everything changed in my mind.

It sounds silly but something about the look of that really clicked with me.

When I look at this painting now, I still like it. There are things I was starting to work towards then that I’m still interested in now. Abstraction, collage, color and line work are all things I enjoy about making art.

I hope you enjoyed this peak at where my painting style came from. And I hope you’ll enjoy my Sketchbook post about how I’m still using spray paint today.


Meet Chainsaw Guy

Many of us are experiencing Spring Fever. Going into February I have three feet of drifted snow in my garden. Is everyone ready for warmer weather, or is it just me? I think we’ll have to wait awhile.

But, there are some good things that come from being cooped up in winter.

Here’s a reminder that this time is great for doing anything you love indoors without the guilt of skirting outside chores. There are no weeds. The car doesn’t need washed. Fencing and raking can wait.

Things slowed down in my painting studio in January.

I moved everything out and some more dry wall went up. Then I took time to go through and organize my things.

I was able to reorder supplies with an Amazon/Blick cyber run. There’s also an experimental show coming up. I got some very new things to try and I can’t wait to share how it turns out in March’s Note.

And the flu hit my family.

February will be busy. I’m organized, stocked, and bursting with ideas.

Many of the subjects for my paintings come from quick snapshots I take during outside chores. This photo is an example of a small moment in the day a few summers ago. My husband is showing our son how to use the small chainsaw.

This little activity was enough to spark and build upon my ideas about Chainsaw Guy.

I hope you can enjoy your free time this month doing or finding the things you love to do.

Guilt free!


First Look

Here, friends, is your first look at what I’ve been working on since the end of January.

Solar Printing!

Crossroads Carnegie Art Center in Baker City, Oregon holds a yearly open show. This year the show is titled, Step Out of Your Comfort Zone. The theme is to explore something new or use your existing media in a new way, “to push your boundaries”.

When I thought of what I could do for this show; my mind went to some kind of print making. I looked up a few methods and liked cyanotype printing. It’s a process of developing images without a dark room or chemicals. The results are ghostly and tonal. The sun is all you need.

I spent February experimenting with pre-made sun sensitive sheets of paper. I’ve been testing types of papers, shapes, and organic materials collected from my surrounding mountains.

For March I’m going to start mixing different colors of liquid sunlight developing dyes on larger pieces of watercolor paper. I want to create digital negatives and combine them with collage pieces from my paintings to make photograms.

What I’ve done so far is encouraging enough to make me think I’ll have some interesting things to enter in the show.

I’ll be posting more about my experiments and how they turn out in my Sketchbook later this month.

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone will open Friday April 5th 2019.