Saturday, April 16, 2011

When a Painting Connects

A Monet Day, 24" x 24", oil on panel
It's such a joyful experience when a painting connects with someone. Such was my experience at a recent artwalk in downtown Bangor which resulted in the purchase of this painting:  A Monet Day.  The buyer is a friend of a friend who has recently moved to Maine. While I had met her before, this visit to my art walk exhibit was the first time she had seen my work. She asked for the full tour, painting by painting. She is an art collector and especially loves to own works by artists she knows. When we arrived at this painting, she really responded to it: the colors, the fluidity of the marks and glazed areas. I told her that last summer I had spent a few days painting at the Lily Pond in Stonington, Maine. I had done several paintings on site, one from which this larger one was conceived. She knew the place. While new to living in Maine, she's had a brother here for years, and on her very first visit years ago, he took her to the Stonington Lily Pond, his absolute favorite place. She had been looking for a very special birthday gift for him, and this, she decided, was it!  I took it back the my studio to frame and now it is in her home, waiting to be delivered to him.

I learned how important it is to talk about a work. Prospective buyers like to hear the story of the work, the place, the process. You just never know how the story will resonate and make a connection.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Painting with Abandon at the Tao Workshop

 The Tao of Painting Workshop yesterday was such fun. Lots of energy with everyone looking to work with the natural flow of creating art works. The morning was spent working in group exercises designed to relieve all painters of the potential for judgment and comparison, the fear of the blank canvas, and rules. For the paintings shown here, each participant was given a sheet of multi-media board that had random painted marks (each board different). They were instructed to focus, react and respond to the marks presented with their own addition of color, line, or texture in any medium. A variety of painting tools and media were available and had been experimented with in an earlier exercise.  After  +/- 5 minutes of work, the boards were passed to the painter to the right, and this "round" continued until each board had been worked on by each painter.  We all liked the results of this particular exercise so much that we decided to donate the set of 5 to the Bangor School Department fundraiser for Japan relief. Kal Elmore, a workshop participant and art teacher at Bangor High is facilitating this donation. Participating painters in addition to Kal: Christine Swersey, Deb Jellison, Linda Miller, and Darlene Smith.

The afternoon was spent applying the experiences from the morning exercises...painting a still life, and finally to a work from memory or imagination.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Tao of Painting Workshop, Saturday April 9

DreamWork  24" x 18"   oil on panel
I've developed this workshop to share with painters the joy I find in working more intuitively; in developing a dialog with the painting so that it seems to paint itself. It's a process that I strive to accomplish every time I paint, but it takes practice, and I am not always able to achieve the level of mindfulness and focus that is necessary. I've found there are three factors that subconsciously get in the way and always lead me to "safe painting":  fear of failure, criticism/judgement (by self or others), and rules of art.

We will explore ways for the painter to work past these barriers toward a more natural, responsive, expressive process, and find the balance between playfulness and skill. When it works, painting becomes a vibrant and powerful experience.

Tao:  the art or skill of doing something in harmony with the essential nature of the thing; the process of nature by which all things change and which is to be followed for a life of harmony.

This workshop is for painters of any level and in any medium, however I recommend quick drying media such as watercolor, acrylic, gouache and pastel. Mixing media will be encouraged. Bring drawing supplies too such as charcoal and colored pencils. We will not be focusing on technique here. Focus will be on freeing oneself to let go of safe painting.

For more information, or to register Click Here