I'd never heard of Fairy Tale Eggplant before I spotted these at the local farmer's market, and fell in love. At the end of a long day of painting, I sauteed them with garlic, parsley, tomatoes and peppers. They have none of the bitterness of globe eggplant, and cook quickly. Just darling things.
I am developing a new way of working, trying to keep my work looking fresh and inspired but not too slap-dash. I choose a subject the day before, or very early in the day, then spend 6-8 very focused hours trying to capture it. Painting something with ephemeral beauty (or strangeness) helps me to feel that I better get my impression down quickly, as the second day it will have changed too much. I take a black and white photo of the subject at the end of the day.
Then I turn the painting around and don't look at it for 2-3 days. When I finally check it out, I'm immediately struck by what works and what doesn't, and make a few changes or additions with the use of the photo, working for under an hour. I keep telling myself that the photographic image is not my boss- I'm the boss.
It's fun, more fun at least than working things to death and losing the original feeling of inspiration.
It's a hot 4th of July, and even hotter up on the roof- but the views make it bearable. I painted this same view in May, but from a window- not such a vertical view. I love vertical views, when all lines are moving rapidly away from the viewer, giving the scene energy and movement.
My landlord has allowed me access to the roof. I've spend much time up there this week, sketching and getting acquainted with the views.
It's a little difficult getting up there; I have to climb an extension ladder then pull myself and all my supplies up through a skinny hatch in the ceiling. I have a fear but also a fascination with heights- I think the worry keeps me on high alert.
The other day I slipped up there and landed hard on my tailbone. Today I dropped my new metal easel on my own head as I was trying to get through the hatch. Hope that was it for the mishaps up there- for a while.
I prepped a board with clear acylic gesso because I wanted to try painting on a beautiful ocher-y surface instead of my usual white gesso. It took three days of slathering the paint on to get the painting to have a good sense of light- it seems I had to paint very very thickly to get a light color to not show the brown surface coming through. But this was wonderful! The thick texture was fun to work with, and I used a palette knife in the lightest areas.
I've been fiddling around with palette knife painting lately, and this is my second try. I began with a careful drawing, then painted the entire thing with my palette knives. Spreading the paint with knifes is wonderfully fun but also daunting. It's kind of like eating without utensils- or even fingers...like eating with furry paws or something.
I am happy with the colors here, and it's probably a good way for me to paint from time to time, as I do normally get so caught up in detail, losing the forest for the trees.
I was thinking of possible titles, such as "Tulips with Greens" (which sounded too much like a description of a dish), but then settled on what I feel this painting is all about- longing. Longing for something unnameable, ungraspable, and outside that window.
Pastels still feel like a new medium, but I'm beginning to realize that despite what I've heard, it's not necessary to have 500 pastel sticks to get the colors you need- just keep blending, then layering, etc. But I am starting to dream of having 500, no mistake about it!
Time has flown by since I opened my new business, and things are going well. I taught four classes this fall, and am getting ready to teach two this winter, and they are almost full. My four rentable studios are rented (one to me of course!)
But it's hard to not feel a little blue at my lack of time to focus on my own work. At least I fit this drawing in!
Yesterday the doors to 7th Street Studios opened to the public. An avalanche of hard work has devoured all my time (and the time of some lovely volunteers) for the past two months, so today I think I'll.......just relax and do some laundry.
Anyhow, here are some photos of the place all fixed up. The only things missing are the shoji screens I've ordered, which will be put into floor stands so the panels line up straight, and used to divide a few studios off from the large, main space.
I've got intense plans underway to open an art center in my hometown of Perkasie, which is central to the Upper Bucks County area. 7th Street Studios will have some exhibition space, and room for an art supply retail shop, but the primary use will be for drawing and painting classes and open membership studio space for artists.
One major draw is going to be a fine collection of plaster cast sculptures for subject matter, as well as large collections of seashells, old tools, plants- anything that holds visual fascination for artists.
Here are a few sculptures on my shopping list, all sold by the Guist Gallery, near Boston. The quality seems so superior to other plaster casts sold online in the U.S. Which ones do you like best?
I have a Kickstarter campaign to raise $2000- which I must meet or I get nothing. This will help pay for the sculptures, wooden easels and a digital projector for "artist talks". I'm using my own funds to cover the other costs (of which there are many!)
If you would consider giving any amount at all- even $1- please go for it! Thanks so much.
I've been patiently plugging away at this painting of a shell hung on my studio wall, but now that it's finished I'm changing direction for a while.
I'm excited and proud to say that I'm going to be opening a new business in September, and need to spend August getting ready.
7th Street Studios will open its doors this fall in Perkasie, PA. It's a beautiful 3000 square foot space that will be home to several studio spaces as well as two teaching areas, exhibition space and room for things such as group crits, artist talks and watching films about art and artists. It's a dream I've had for a long time, and I'm super excited.