Thursday, November 29, 2007

Violet in Pattern

I am doing some still life studies and also trying to work in the spirit of Klimt to learn about pattern. I got a used book on Klimt and find his work very fascinating. To me, right now the whole world looks like a Klimt landscape painting. We live with so much tree texture and leaf pattern here in Gainesville. This city prides itself on its tree canopy and it is my favorite thing about it.
But my painting looks a little more like a Van Gogh painting than a Klimt but that's okay I love his work also.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thinking Man

I tried the thick modeling paste again. The results are interesting. I don't know if I am ready for solid blocks of color, I miss the variation of tones that was in the still life. But I do like the three dimensional presence of the thick modeling paste.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Light Weight Modeling Paste

Two Horses
I have been painting. In fact about three or four paintings on this one board. But I am not happy with it. The shapes and lines are not that exciting and the surface is so flat. It seems I am making a mess for mess's sake, trying to save it, but there needs to be more purpose.

Still Life
After the horses, I did this still life. I am very pleased with the surface. I coated a canvas board with Golden Light Modeling Paste and dropped paint into it and then took a pencil and scratched lines into the wet paste to draw the still life and textures. I did not intend to do a still life, in fact I sketched a plan for four abstracts in my notebook before beginning. But I didn't like the abstract and I wanted to use the paste before it dried so I did a quick still life. It was fun and I think the painting has a good presence and I like the colors. I wish the forms were more exciting or imaginative but I think it was worth while.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Next Show

Annual Holiday Show and Sale
at the Melrose Bay Gallery,
Friday, November 16th, 6-10 PM
This is a great party to start your holiday season with a reception across the road at Bellamy Road Gallery also that night. Come out to Melrose.

Melrose Bay Art Gallery
103 SR-26 at Centre Street
PO Box 36
Melrose, Florida 32666
Tel. 352-475-3866
Hrs. Fri 3-7 | Sat 10-6 | Sun 1-5
I work one Sunday of each month
from 1 to 5, come visit.

Friday, October 26, 2007

More Images from Korea

Live fish are important to the culture in many ways. They sleep with their eyes open and are always enlightened.

Nature cures the body in many ways.
Attention to detail is a worshipful experience.

Buddhism is practiced at every mountain site.
Korea is 70 percent Mountains.
An Autumn Mum Festival in Seoul; Nature is still important in the City.

The Secret Garden: Island is the Earth, Water is the Universe.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Students in Gallery

When I went into the gallery last week, a class was sketching my paintings. That was neat to see.
I got a color copy made of the Angel Face digital piece. I am disappointed in how dark and flat it looks. I always like digital work better on the computer screen because of the bright glowing light. Also, I think that the machines at the print shop were off somewhat. I will try to transfer it on the wood but I know I will need to paint over it a lot and then I might as well change it and play with it.
I am not going to be able to post again until after October 15 because I am going to South Korea with my husband. He is giving a talk at a conference. I am looking forward to this experience and I bought a sketch book and traveling watercolor set. Hope to post sketches after our return.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Digital Finished

This was fun to do. Now I want to use acrylic medium to transfer it to a board and paint on it with acrylics again, metallic gold especially.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Going Digital Again

I am excited about combining my painted elements with digital photography on the computer. When I was in graduate school, I would do a digital piece then a painting and work back and forth. Then, I did not put paintings into my digital composites but mostly found textures and digital photographs. I was discovering how to work with paint media and texture with those explorations. I was very concerned about how to make things subtle and integrated. With my new work I believe I will learn about forms and shapes. I think going back and forth into the realistic elements of digital photography will be beneficial to my painting. I took a photo of this face when I was starting a painting. I proceeded to paint over this so I am glad that I grabbed it with my camera and was able to go back to it on the computer. Now I am adding photo elements to it. It might be hard to tell what is photo and what is not in the face. It is still a work in progress.
As I continued with the original painting, I overworked it and lost it. I am going to scrap it off and start over on the board. I recognize the mistakes of the painting because I have made them before. I had the idea I wanted to make a mythical beast so I drew the shapes and then tried to integrate it into the painting or space around it. Whenever I do that, it seems the painting falls apart into pretty marks and no form. The forms and images need to emerge from the process of painting almost like a sculptor building forms from clay. Tightening and defining towards the end of the process instead of the beginning. I am still not sure how to begin the entire process, although thinned out media seems to work well. When I do start with lots of thin medium, then finding good compositions and shapes is the challenge. But I see so many images in the tonal changes of color created from working with fluid acrylics and mediums.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

It was a great show!

The opening was wonderful. Lots and lots of people, delicious food that never ran out and live music. Looking at the video I wish I was taller (short even with very high heels) and a better conversationalist, but I loved meeting the students and other attendees. Everyone else seemed to enjoy themselves too.
Thank you to the art students who took the video. They did a great job, I did the sloppy editing. While I am thanking: thank you to everyone who came to the opening, Blue Water Bay for the food, SFCC for being the host and Jayne Grant for coordinating it all. Jayne did a great job hanging the show, I was pleased with the way it flowed and that I actually filled the gallery. What a relief!
If you liked Soul Passages you can buy a print here:
Also I have prints available at the Melrose Bay Gallery in Melrose.

Friday, September 14, 2007


I have been more excited and anxious this week than I anticipated. I am not generally a very social person and do not like being the center of attention. I can see why famous artists might have gone a little crazy when they became popular. As an artist, I am focused on the work and putting it out there, not me as a person. But now that I have taken the week to get used to the idea, I am looking forward to the evening. I love to talk about art. That is what I have enjoyed about doing art fairs. And the positive feed back is quite a rush. Friends that I know and volunteer with at church and in art organizations are coming. So I can see another reason it pays to get out of the studio and make contacts, you have someone to share in your celebrations.
Everyone whom I talk to seems very excited about coming. I was trying to figure out why I have more people wanting to attend this event than some others like art fairs. I guess the free food and music is a nice incentive. I hope people are not disappointed that it is a lot of works that have been shown before. I am glad that I have the writings that go with all the paintings to unveil, that is all new. When I do another big show in the future, I would love it to be all new works. But I went to a friend's show this past Summer that was a mixture of old and new works and I really enjoyed it. It was nice to see all of the works together in one place and in a nice space. So for the next post I will let you know how it goes. Unfortunately, I hear it thundering outside. I hope that will not dampen the attendance too much.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Show Information

The reason why the show is called Painted Dreams is because the best way I can describe my painting process is to compare it to dreaming. You do not decide exactly what will happen in a dream, it emerges from your thoughts, concerns and experiences. Forms and sometimes narratives emerge from my painting process, as well. I do not do preliminary sketches or studies, images appear from my layering, textures and gesture marks. Although I work intuitively, I intend for my paintings to focus on the positive and bring beauty into the world.

As with dreams, my paintings have recurring symbols one of which is a bird. To me, birds symbolize freedom because of their flight, nurturing and love because of their frailty and joy from their song. For this exhibit I am doing something I have never done before. And that is write a short poetic statement about each piece to put into words my thoughts and feelings about what developed in the painting. These words are often as ambiguous as the paintings and still leave viewers room to form their own interpretations. They are free to dream also.

Please come to the opening reception. There will be tasty edibles, live jazz and imaginative paintings. A feast for the senses and mind.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

To Plan or Not to Plan


Well, I am finally discovering that if I plan the direction of a painting that it takes longer to paint it than if I work with out a set plan. It is a revelation for me because I thought I was somehow making things easier by having a plan. With a plan, I do guarantee that I will have a better composition in the end but the process is not as satisfying. When I did California Poppies I made some shapes for composition, had some vague ideas of color and how I wanted to work the media but the imagery and subject matter developed toward the end of the process. A delight for me. Of course if it doesn't come together then it is very discouraging but if it works, it is elation. With Tree of Life I keep revising the colors, the marks and the media. It feels two inches thick. I have done this before, just when I think "okay it is going to work" and I make plans to send it somewhere, then it falls apart and I have to bring it back. Yesterday, I took a picture of it to post and discovered it looked worse than the last post and I thought it was surely done. Last night, I worked on the tree again, I felt it needed more outline marks to make the whole painting come together. In the previous version, I was trying to take the emphasis off of the tree and put it back on the atmosphere imagery around the tree. Too much thinking. I have been working on this since early August,ugh. But now it must be done, the show opening is just days away.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Blogs, Can anyone help?

I am very excited about the new possibilities that blogs are giving artists to reach an audience. For instance Blogger just made it really easy to add video, so I am going to try that. I want to post some video of opening night. I am also trying Feed Blitz so people can sign up to get email updates when I make a new post on my blog. I would love to connect more with readers, it would be motivating. Although blogging helps me even if no one is reading because when I need to write an art statement or talk about a particular painting I am ready. I have already figured it out in my blog.
Though I feel like a foreign tourist in a country where I do not know the language with these blogging features. I don't know how to change the look of the email sign up or exactly how it is all going to work. But I figure dive in and maybe I will learn to swim.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tree of Life

I am working on this large 48" x 36" painting for the show. I am happy that it is turning out because I think this larger piece will break up the space in the gallery and look nice with my mostly medium to small works. I was somewhat formulaic with this piece because I really wanted to finish it in time for the show. I did not plan what the images would be around the tree but I began drawing stain glass type shapes around the tree and then "found" animals etc... while painting. It is quite monochromatic in color scheme but I think it needs to be so that it is not too busy. This photo is on the yellow side, I will take another one when it is finished.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Show Title Type

Wow, the middle of August. I think time is on fast forward.
I spent a lot of time on the type for the publicity material for the show. I think typography is like metal working for jewelry. You can continually sand and polish or quit at many various stages in the process.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Another combo.

I think it is between this one and the one on the top of the next set of three.

Pushing it

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Getting Ready

As a graphic designer, I am really interested in designing the wall and poster type for the show. Here are some type treatments that I am considering. Which one do you like?
I can't believe there is just one month left to get everything ready for the show. The postcards need to be designed soon so they can be printed and mailed. I am so glad my husband has been making frames early. I will have a lot of running around to do at the end of August to pick up artwork from different patrons and venues.
I understand what Gary Borse was talking about when he said he could not wait to get back to the easel after his big show was over at the Capitol in Tallahassee.

Friday, July 20, 2007


We are really getting into the logistics of the show now: making labels, filling out insurance forms, hiring a caterer, etc... My husband and I are making frames for the remainder of my unframed pieces. A corner clamp from is wonderful but working in our hot, un-airconditioned Florida garage is not.
I am still hoping to do a couple of new pieces but I don't know if I will have time. Especially with my older son out of school and camp.
I have been thinking of Matisse and how his figures are immersed with nature. Many times the environment in his paintings are just as important as the figures. They all are vital parts of the composition. I can't wait to work in that direction. When I get time again.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Writing on the Painting

I have been writing short sentences to go with all of the paintings for the upcoming show. I am really more excited about that aspect of the show than any other. I have never done any creative writing beyond elementary school so I feel like a folk artist in that respect. I don't know if I am making obvious mistakes or not. Ignorance is bliss I guess. I am really curious how people are going to react to them. When my husband read one, he said "what does that mean?" and started making interpretations I never thought of. I think that is a good sign the writings match my art, ambiguous. Getting out of my comfort zone and entering the unknown is making the show more exciting and fun. If I ever get bored showing my art, I will have to remember to try something really different for me such as sculpture.

Friday, June 22, 2007


This is the latest painting that I am working on and I feel that it represents a breakthrough. After looking at Chagall's and Odilon Redon's work, I wanted colors to stay in their own areas in the painting. The placement of the colors is forming the composition and is not dictated by the imagery and forms. I am also resisting the urge to disperse the colors equally over the painting. I still want to work more with the yellow areas and the small flowers but keep them soft and distant.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Internationl Exhibition

The online catalogue for the 10th international acrylic society exhibition is now at the following address:
My painting is in the galleries under Artists A-B
I was so happy to be juried into this show especially since I have been getting a lot of rejection letters lately. Gainesville is a competitive town for artists.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Man by the Sea

This painting did not flow from beginning to end like the last two small ones did. I ruined the colors making them too light and dark and then had to wash and sand them off and bring the forms back. What is amazing is how many sail boats and faces started appearing. That mystery of the creative process and how something develops never stops intriguing me. But as a painting I don't think the composition and color is as strong as in the last two. And I wonder if people will stop to see all that is hidden in this painting.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Free to Run

I really enjoyed showing for the art walk this past Friday night.
I am happy with this little painting too.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Island Shell

Composition - I feel like I am moving into a positive direction with compositions. I am starting with shapes of color and gesture marks to define spaces unlike before when I was starting with splashes of paint and texture.
Mediums - I haven't mastered where I want to go using the different acrylic mediums. I want the pieces to have thin washed areas and thick grainy areas like mixed media work. I used to be better at this than I am doing now, I would work a lot of wet into wet and wash everything off if it got to heavy. I would also use paper collage and stamping techniques. I am being too heavy handed with a brush now and getting that thick plastic look acrylics can have.
Color - I am happy letting colors stay in their areas of the painting. I once thought that all the colors had to be spread over the entire painting to unify it. So for instance a big face can be blue on one side and red on one side and yellow on the top to relate to its area of the painting not a face that is all blue with red shadows throughout and yellow highlights. So for this Island Shell painting, I started moving the yellow green around the painting but resisted the urge to put the white in another area and the teal in other areas. I guess it really is a matter of not over working.
Writings - I started writing short sentences to go with my paintings for the show. It is fun and comes really easy and fast. For some, I think a little bit about what I was feeling and thinking about at the time of the painting. For others it is just my interpretation of the image. It seems the more ambiguous the painting the easier it is to write for them. Making my nonlinear dreamscape type of compositions seem more valid. This is the writing for this piece: "The hot tropical night anticipates treasures for tomorrow."

Monday, May 07, 2007

photo by Sam Carr

Emotional Roller Coaster

Participating in art festivals can really be an emotional roller coaster ride for me. The one that I was in this past weekend was a first attempt in a new location and did not have a big crowd. I do not sell well in these types of local festivals. I think people who have art and photography that is about the local environment fair much better in these situations. And even with the locally inspired art, it has to be of high quality and creative to get noticed and bought. Low cost and functional art also does well. I need a more targeted audience for my work or millions of art lovers attending so that I can filter out my audience. It takes so much effort to set up and prepare for any festival even if it is not well attended or small. So after you have done all of the preparation and paid booth fees it is hard not to get your hopes up for selling. I won an award on Saturday so that lifted my spirits but after sitting in the heat all day Sunday and not having any interested customers. I started feeling pretty low again. What I didn't know that was on that very same Sunday I had sold a major painting at the restaurant that shows my work. There is always just enough success to keep me going and think my ship is going to really come in at any moment.
But after talking to Norman Jensen Saturday night, I have decided that I just need to get comfortable and settled in for the next 20 to 40 years. (However many years God allows.) Get in a place that my family likes and find a part time job for money and settle in to paint. Just be happy painting as a lifestyle and not be anxious for success. And let paintings go. Give them to charity or as presents or destroy them. I don't have to sell everything in order to make more and continue on my path.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Not Just Eye Candy

From the Painter's Keys Blog

'Eye candy'

by Adrian Deckbar, New Orleans, LA, USA

I teach at Tulane University as a Professor of Practice, often I use the squinting technique all the time, in teaching and in my own work. However, I am in a dilemma. Mel Chin recently visited Tulane and lectured and gave a power point presentation and cracked jokes--the whole schtick. He suggested that realistic painting with no political message is "eye candy." I am struggling with that notion. I hear his voice over my shoulder as I paint. Any advice?

(RG note) Thanks, Adrian. All art is confectionary of a sort even when it is political or when it is meant to shock. There is a place for all art but it is commonplace for conceptual, politically- or ecologically-motivated purists to debunk skill-driven realistic art.

My Response

The click back about eye candy and the lecture by Mel Chin really struck me. I create art to nourish others' souls and mine. If all of the art I saw, books I read, music I listened to and plays or dance productions I attended were politically charged, I would be depressed. I love thoughtful content but I think shocking art or political statements are not the only valid ones.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Always Learning

I am varnishing all of the paintings I have done over the last few months and I am starting to appreciate some of them more and more. I see that I have been in an expressive brush stroke phase. Doing more brushstrokes I believe is a result of attending the Skip Lawerence workshop. At the time I didn't know what if anything I was getting from that but I did grow and change. And brushstrokes were not his focus for the workshop. My earlier acrylic paintings were more like watercolors because I was using lots of fluid medium. I would like to do some paintings that combine the two more successfully. Lots of variation with thin washed areas, brush strokes with heavier paint and maybe even some collaged paper. With all of that, I have learned the shape and composition will need to be simpilier.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Time for Compassion

What does anyone think of this new painting? I think maybe it is too cutesy. I am wondering why I am not getting the unique results of former mixed media sketches in my paintings. One theory I have is that I am getting too heavy handed with paint too soon. I like some of my former paintings that started as liquid subtle washes really watery paint mixing out of control and then I clarified with purposeful heavier strokes. I am anxious to try again but I need to get ready for two upcoming shows May 5th and 6th.

Speaking of cute. I can't resist posting my two sons photo from yesterday.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Houses in the Wind

This painting will always remind me of hearing the news of the tragedy at Virginia Tech. Ironically, I was thinking of the houses I painted while being a graduate student at Radford University near Blacksburg, Va. yesterday morning and finished this painting yesterday before I heard the news. My husband got his undergraduate degree and did his post doctorate at Virginia Tech. I always think of it as being home, I didn't want to leave when we moved to Florida. My thoughts and prayers are with all of them there.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Juried Show

I had a painting accepted into the tenth annual International Society of Acrylic Painters exhibition to be held in the San Luis Obispo Art Center in California, May 5 through June 17. So it will be showing if I can follow the shipping instructions correctly. I wish I was going to the California coast with it, sounds fun.
My husband says I am not as excited as I should be. For me I would feel more validated if it was one of the pieces I am working on now. I have gone back to finding a narrative during the painting process, I feel this is the way I want to work the most. The accepted piece was from last year when I was working on composition and not allowing myself to find images. But it is one of my favorite pieces from last year and I know it came from me and was a result of my previous work. So I fell good about the piece. What I am really excited about is that I get to send a brochure for the gallery's binder. So on that I can put other work and my blog site and hopefully get some feed back. I have been rejected from the juried show at the Thomas Center Gallery here in town lots of times so this is much better than that. The first year I entered there, I had all three pieces accepted but zero since then. Those first three were single figures with layering not narratives. So I worry that my narrative work is not serious-looking enough to be accepted into juried shows. But I don't want to comform just keep following my path.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Spring Chick

Here is a new painting in progress. I want to change the red face in the lower right. In the painting,the figures are hovering around a baby chick, I'm sure this idea is coming from my son's kindergarten class. They had an incubator and hatched chicks last week. I notice my new pieces all have birds in them and I was thinking of all of the ways birds are symbols. Personally, I think of birds symbolizing freedom because they fly, joy because they provide constant background music to my days (I hear them right now out of the window), and love because of the tender way we need to hold them on our rare opportunity.

Monday, March 26, 2007


My two are the gate and the palm in the middle.
It was great fun last week to be outside in the beautiful weather especially in a small town setting, be around other artists and have the large receptions. I think if I participate next year I will approach things differently. I intended to make the paintings more like my normal work but when I was out in the field, I could only draw what was in front of me. I think I needed to make sketches there and go back to the studio and think about everything and then create something.
I also could have had cards with information about my blog and upcoming show to hand out to all of these art enthusiasts. But the two galleries made sales of $10,000 in two days and that will keep things going and give me a chance to make contact at other opening receptions. Although none will probably be this big again this summer. From a business stand point it is interesting to note these receptions were successful because of personal invitations and not mass advertising. More artists inviting equals more patrons.