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.

Friday, March 23, 2007

More Colors

After being around the plein air painters this week, I am hungry for delicious sophisticated colors. Nature is the best teacher. Mixing my own colors is something I love to do but it is hard in liquid acrylics because they dry so fast. Also working with the little bottles of Golden Liquid acrylics that the local art supply sells makes working on larger pieces even harder. You really need one of every color like with pastels so you can just grab them at whim. I find I mostly mix with white which is probably a bad habit.
Anyway all of the hot yellow in the " Looking for Home" painting started to bother me so I painted some of it out. But I don't think I am changing it much because I am not willing to loose it and bring it back right now. I think I will have to improve on the next painting. I used some of these thoughts on my next plein air painting. I thought if I use a strong red then I also need just as strong of another color, like blue. I also mixed more colors for it and it was small, so this was easier to do. I will have to take a picture of it at the plein air auction tonight.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

New Images, Positive Directions

I am so excited to have lots of new images to post. First I have the two sketches with my son's art materials that pointed me in a new direction for my paintings. It is a way of working with varied lines and shapes and thick and thin color applications until a form emerges. I attempted some of the methods from them in a large painting of a bird, I entitled "Looking for Home". The narrative developed during the process which is fun. I like the painting but think maybe I should have attempted a smaller one first, this is about 3.5 feet tall. I am pleased with it though. I am also posting a plein air painting I did during the Paint Out my cooperative gallery is hosting. This is not my usual genre but I was pleasantly surprised how it turned out. All in all, getting out of my comfort zone and trying some new things was stimulating and hopefully beneficial to my work.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Creating the Unique

I am searching. For the unique, a creation, something familiar but different. Inspiring, thought provoking, enduring.
My son is 6 and has chicken pox (even with the vaccine) so he is home from school. We were playing around with his art materials yesterday. And he and I got some really nice sketches. If I could get ten paintings like my sketches, I would be thrilled and meet my goal for the summer.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Two New "Boy" Paintings

I like the layering of these two new paintings and they look more mature or artsy. I think if they were anyone else's I would think they were cool. I personally would like the subject matter to be more feminine. These are of male face's probably because I have been drawing and doing studies of my sons' faces. When I start working without any preconceived ideas it is amazing how things I have drawn, read or thought appear. I guess I should draw some things that I want to paint later. I have a list of meaningful symbols that I would like to appear in my work. I started with one of them, a ladder, in a "Boy's Life". I also want the composition to be non-linear and dream-like as in the center of "A Boy's Life". I like how the face in "Listening to Living Music" is dimensional, expressive and layered. I wish I could love the entire paintings as much as I love one part. I'll keep going believing it is all going to come together.

Listening to Living Music

A Boy's Life

Thursday, March 08, 2007

In Pursuit of the Muse

This blog follows my trials and celebrations in becoming a true painter. I paint for the thrill of discovery and the freedom that creation gives the artist. The artistic experience is mysterious and allusive. The more I want it, the more it pushes away. I can only jump into the abyss with confidence and hope that the muse catches me. But often I am filled with doubt and grab for safety nets that only bring me down.
Art, like life, can not have freedom without risk. And when it all works, it is pure joy.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

She was a Farmer

Acrylic Painting, Farmer, Layering

I have been painting like crazy. March seems to always be a productive time for me and when I produce my favorite paintings of the year. This painting was what I call lost then found. I work, make a mess, do some layering and marks and then the subject matter materializes towards the end of the process then I clean and decorate for the final results. It seems like a weird way to work and I don't know how I am going to get a series in any timely fashion but I find this way of working most satisfying. I call this painting "She was a Farmer".

Monday, March 05, 2007

Poetry Boy, Carol Barber Acrylic Painting

I really want to pursue "a figure immersed in nature" theme as a series. Although the figure looks like a man, I did this painting from a sketch of my six year old. He was outside among the trees and plants playing a real song on his keyboard. This was a new seriousness and sensitivity that I haven't experienced very much from my energetic kindergardener. A special moment.
Since I painted from a sketch I believe the painting followed a found then lost technique rather than a lost then found. Which I don't find quite as satisfying, it seems a little, well, lost. So the age old question, " how do I start the next painting?"

Poetry Boy, Pink, Nature, leaves, Acrylic Painting

Thursday, March 01, 2007

I am a new member of the Melrose Bay Art Gallery, an art cooperative. I am sure I am going to learn a lot about running a gallery and I am excited to be working with such talented and fun artists.