ghost

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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waves

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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blue

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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sarah

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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camino

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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oops

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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tulip

15 November, 2009 at 1:16 am (art, blue-eyed crow, work) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

tulipletter

A day of frustration – my materials were not in the mood to do what I wanted today. I knew exactly what I was trying to achieve, but couldn’t get the spark I was going for with the ink, pencil, encaustic and other pigments at hand. I’m sure that, along with the intimidation of a blank page, this is not a rare experience.

Part of my frustration is I’d like to do a couple larger pieces to go along with this series (so far they are 5″x8″, 6″x7″, and smaller – tiny!), but on the bigger pieces things keep warping and going astray. New materials are only 20 minutes away at Dick Blick, but this is not a good time for me to go because I tend to get distracted and find myself with a basket full of gold leaf, sheets of nickel, and a better riveting hammer when that is not what I am supposed to be working on right now.

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moth letter

13 November, 2009 at 9:46 pm (art, blue-eyed crow, work) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

moth letter

I am working on some butterfly/moth + flower images this week, this is the one closest to being finished.

I’ve been experimenting with encaustic and layers of vellum and paper, I love how the vellum resists ink, gathering it up, making the image even more translucent. The ones that turned out best had pale colours and a limited palette.

Time is limited because I’m getting a lot of small pieces ready for a show, so back to the bugs…

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texture

15 October, 2009 at 12:24 am (art, blue-eyed crow, work) (, , , , , , , , , , )

crowopera1a

The warm colour of this recent piece doesn’t appear when I put it on the blog, nor the texture, of course.

I love it when I get to visit art I’ve only seen in reproduction and can finally see the surface and the real colours. Size also has such an impact, whether because a piece dominates the space or because it is small and draws the viewer in, and none of that comes across in a book or on-line.

At this time of night my wish is for more hours in every day, there never seem to be enough daylight hours for anything I do with colour. Plus more hours in the night for composing. And calorie-free chocolates.

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