blue wip

19 October, 2013 at 6:42 am (art, blue-eyed crow, work) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

WIP. A smaller variation on a previous piece. Mixed media, 8″x8″ on wooden panel.
In the studio are a few pieces I’m having trouble finishing, the biggest one because I’m not sure which way to go with part of the composition, and a few smaller ones like this that just need some final tweaking.

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11 April, 2011 at 7:20 pm (art, blue-eyed crow, work) (, , , , , , , , )

Before I spend endless amounts of time painting (because I am the slowest of all painters) I spend endless amounts of time deciding what to paint. My paintings are layers of images, and I draw, paint and photograph all the components separately then occasionally sift through the piles looking for pieces to combine.

This is the palest-green butterfly that flew in to the house one evening last summer and was caught under a wineglass before being released back outside. I love the way the insect floats, seemingly unsupported, but I don’t know yet how I will use it.

To go with the butterfly I’ll need a sample of handwriting, which will be disguised so most words cannot be read.

Some architecture, or maybe part of a map?

Background colour.

Or maybe toss all that and go with flowers and a fragment of handwritten poem or a letter?

While I am combining the visual pieces, their meanings also come together in a narrative which determines subsequent choices and also what part of each image will be obscured. It tells me which words should be legible, and the title. Nothing of this is recorded, because I think each viewer develops their own relationship with a picture, and knowing the artist’s ideas is not necessary.

With all the parts chosen I sit down to make sketches until the pieces knit together, then it’s finally time to start painting.

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the cause of my unhappiness as I sit in a garret without a glass of wine

2 March, 2011 at 11:57 pm (art, blue-eyed crow, life, Uncategorized, work) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

at this stage I still hold out hope

here I'm fatally unhappy with it and call it terrible names

Okay, you probably guessed I’m not really in a garret. But I am sitting in a little upstairs room stewing, without a glass of wine. And can’t step out on the miniature balcony (3′ x 2′) for some fresh air and sprinkling rain because I’ve not tidied and some panels are blocking the door.

Is it bad to post frustration on an artist’s blog? When I read other blogs there are pictures of lovely new works and happy news of openings and sales, which is always nice to read (especially in difficult economic times!).

But tonight I am too irritated to post about the piece I worked on yesterday that I am happy with, because of this blue roof-scape.

It’s not even from a sketch that I was really wild about, I just wanted to complete it to work out some things before I start a piece whose sketch I do love. And after a day out and about I was looking forward to an evening of progress and foolishly put off a friend’s weekly visit to get to it. So instead of pleasant conversation over warm bread, cheese and a glass of wine in the dining room I am grousing over a painted wooden panel and haven’t made so much as a cup of tea.

Part of the frustration, I suppose, is trying to figure out when to give up. I spend a lot of time on colour sketches and usually know for certain when I finish whether I want to go on to paint something or not, so I normally do not find myself spending time on I am not fond of.

And I paint in many layers, so working on something means I am spending a lot of time with it. (I was very happy when I learned that an artist I love (Vija Celmins) works so slowly that museums wait decades to get enough of her work together to put on an exhibition.) By the time the first image above was taken this panel had gone through many incarnations and could still conceivably surpass the original sketch.

But now it’s murky, it doesn’t look like the sketch but is not an improvement on it, and although I have a bit of Renaissance script that was supposed to be the finish it’s currently dark enough that I think I’d have to do too much to make the final layers work.

So, devote more time to this piece? A look at my tiny supply of panels makes me feel less than generous to the uncooperative. But limited time means I don’t want those hours to have been unproductive.

I’ll look at it tomorrow after working a while on another painting, maybe the mood will change.

Edit: Below is how it looked last week, I have since changed it some more.

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22 February, 2011 at 6:56 am (art, blue-eyed crow, work) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

I’ve actually had both a computer and internet access for a while now but was feeling intimidated about blogging again after being away for so long. It’s even more ridiculous than that though, I kept running across fabulous things and thinking I can’t wait to post this on the blog, then I didn’t. Okay then, enough wallowing.

I inherited quite a few old postcards but I still get weak a few times a year and comb through what’s in the stalls at the flea markets looking for ones with ruins or any sort of Gothic bits. Then I look for an(other) old suitcase to carry them in.

This piece is one of a series that I’m working on that was inspired by some of my favourite postcards. So far I’m just doing small pieces, which is good because I haven’t re-organised the studio in a while and space is getting limited.

So, back to work. Wouldn’t want to write too much on my first day back or anything.

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30 May, 2010 at 10:06 pm (art, blue-eyed crow, life, local, work) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

What a great weekend – it was all about the water. Yesterday I floated for three hours in a friend’s pool while we talked – so unbelievably relaxing. Today I breathed salt air and listened to the sound of the surf, and this evening I’m working on this piece with colours from the waves.

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2 May, 2010 at 11:05 pm (art, blue-eyed crow, life, work) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

This is the current stage of the center of the piece I am working on, it is going slowly.

I’ve been off my groove lately, this has somehow been a very complicated year, and I’ve let things eat away at my work time – a dangerous trend especially since technical problems are also hindering productivity.

These last few days I’ve been re-inspired and mad to work, but found myself instead enjoying spending time and eating (a lot!) with family and friends. Saturday I ate each meal with different people (ending up in an incredibly atmospheric old building full of wandering passages for a delicious dinner), but after lunch today it was time to get serious and focus, which feels great and frustrating at the same time.

The first few hours in the studio I generally spend flailing, the longer I’ve been away the longer I spend lost and wandering before I find the path, but I even resisted the holiday parade going down my street this afternoon and am finally making some progress.

Tomorrow I’ll be getting my little flame thrower fired up, it’s time to layer encaustic.

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my heart

1 March, 2010 at 5:16 am (art, blue-eyed crow, life, Uncategorized, work) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Often when I go to compose a post I am tempted to just put an image of whatever piece I am working on without any text, I find writing very difficult. I love reading what other people write though, and admire how skilfully some people blog.

During a conversation there are the constant decisions and adjustments regarding how much of one’s life and thoughts to reveal. Bloggers, without knowing who will be reading, need to somehow maintain a balance between not revealing enough to intrigue a reader, and sharing too much, thus becoming instantly uninteresting.

I first started reading Rima’s blog because I love her lively drawingspaintings, and fabulous clocks with their medieval influence (and this game she made is fantastic), but besides being a talented artist (child of two artists) her talent as a storyteller sharing her adventures helps make her blog so entertaining (and popular).

Making the decision to take time away from her work to share the joyful times of her life is generous, but it must be hard to decide to keep writing at times like now when things are not going well. I admire how strong she is to be open at a vulnerable time.

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13 February, 2010 at 3:35 am (art, blue-eyed crow, life, work) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

As usual I find myself astonished at what the clock says. It’s so easy to work all night in the quiet, there is no sign that time is passing.

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3 January, 2010 at 12:21 am (life) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

This fall I’ll follow a path trod by pilgrim feet for a thousand years or so and among other preparations I need to improve my Spanish. I prefer to work on languages through regular books rather than language texts, and figuring I should begin at the beginning, I grabbed something basic. So, as of this afternoon, I can explain that I do not like to eat green eggs and ham with a zorro, in a rincón, or in a barco, while navigating a charco. I question the text though, translating Sam-I-Am as Juan Ramón doesn’t seem to reflect the flippant energy of the number one fan of green eggs and ham.

Wandering around the Internet reading what other people have written about the pilgrimage I came across a blog by a Canadian girl (a cousin of mine, twice-removed, lives in her hometown). Her last post, mentioning another kind of adventure, was a link to the blog she started when she later moved to Paris. How can you not adore someone who wanders into these kind of situations:

Things that don’t happen in Kingston

And writes posts like this:

couple of weeks ago I had my first

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19 November, 2009 at 9:18 pm (art, blue-eyed crow, Uncategorized, work) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

An experiment gone awry.

I love a bit of decay incorporated into things, which is why I love old buildings, Michael Eastman’s photos, and the furniture I inherited (although a small fund to keep the chairs glued and un-wobbly would have been a good thing to inherit along with). I’ve been working on a way to include that in some of my pieces, but how best to partially destroy my work?

Here is a piece I’ve been wreaking minor destruction on, pre-destruction:

It definitely needs some decay, so I go to work on it, trying to balance giving it some integrity while still leaving it vulnerable:

Then I become Kali, speeding up the destructive force of time, and the result is:

Far too much decay!

Tomorrow, back to the easel, so to speak. I will repair it to wreak (less) havoc on it another day.

At least it won’t need this treatment:

Done to erase the result of another experiment. One not to be repeated.

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