I've been obsessed with acrylic paint pens lately...I've discovered Montana and Liquitex artists' paint pens, and have been using them for everything I can think of in a painting: line, of course, to accent or create focal points, and misty smudges to create an atmosphere or lay a bit of a pale background for some later washes, drips of acrylic ink, or strokes with watercolor brush pens.
I have always been drawn to beautiful skies, fields, roads and hills; it's as if they call me. I think it's actually my Dad calling to me. I remember my Dad pulling the family station wagon over in order to see a beautiful farmland vista, to get us to pick a huge bunch of red clover blossoms on a highway median, or to let us stroke the nose of a horse standing by a roadside fence. He always would boom out, "Look at the sky, kids!" as we drove along. Nothing escaped his artist's eye. The back roads were always the preferred route, because they offered the serene, the lovely, the unspoiled and the homely.
He is why I am an artist, and why I will always come back to painting landscape. We've driven together along back roads on Edisto Island and seen the sight I painted below...
And he's in the back of my mind when I paint a scene like this one:
It's been such a rich vocation and avocation, being an artist. From selling paintings to gifting friends, decorating and abusing my walls to teaching art, turning my back on art and taking it back up up...it's apparent that I'm obsessed. And I've finally realized that I need to go back to school. I want to turn my back on painting what will please and turn toward painting what has inspired me.
I want to work on art which incorporates poetry and communicates love and joy. I hope you enjoy seeing ways that I've been experimenting with texture and line in order to tell stories or create a mood.
Hopefully I'll post the sometimes unfinished work which is on my easel or lap, and show you how the experiments are coming along. Below you can see something I'm working on which features a base painting of acrylic inks and mediums slathered and dripped on top of an old painting. I'm in the process now of drawing on it with Montana and Liquitex acrylic paint pens. I'm CRAZY about these pens!
Here's a bit I wrote about my painted photographs of historical sites:
This is one of my "painted" photos of my treasured places of Pennsylvania and South Carolina.
Interior of McConnell's Mill, Pennsylvania
I'm sorting through a decade of photos, and some of them stand out as shimmering and otherworldly. I love the ones which include old wood, statues, buildings, windows, ruins, brick...anything which speaks to the viewer about the hopes and dreams of the people who built these things.
Particularly dear to my heart are places which house old machines. You can almost hear shouts and the grind of belts and gears as ghosts from the past reenact the life this place once had.
Thanks for looking, and for joining me as I figure out what my art means to me, and what I want to say.
You can see the posterized art photograph here on Etsy, and I have it cropped to various aspect ratios, should you be interested in purchasing the photo (of course, the copyright info does not appear on purchased .jpg files).
We've been going through a lot of learning about mental illness in our family, and it's certainly not pleasant. I hope that as more light is shined on various forms of mental illness, that it will become a condition which is treated with the care and dignity of other illnesses.
This painting is a digital collage of many images: a digital version of a watercolor of mine, and photos of various places which have been important in a loved one's life. I hope that it shows both the tragedy of schizophrenia when it destroys families, and hope for the future. Maybe some day a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder or depression will not be the horrible sentence that it is these days.
This is a repost from a blog I had a year or so ago....I'm starting over with a squarespace blog and thought I'd give the context of my last few posts first!
About a year ago I got a job - other than teaching art, selling art, or working part-time retail. If you want to know what I discovered about my art, I'll tell you: the confidence imparted by a place in a creative industry, and the slightly more secure financial spot inspired me to instantly drop the paintings and projects which did not inspire me. I was done...painting what I apparently didn't want to paint.
I hadn't been aware that I wasn't so interested anymore in realism. I had been saying for five or ten years that I was enjoying exploring abstraction in my paintings, but I hadn't admitted that realism or even impressionism wasn't inspiring me any more as a means to grab my attention, or that of my viewer.
What is grabbing my attention now? Paintings, photography and even cartooning which have a story. It's obvious to any art student who has paid attention to her teachers that art requires a story, but I had gotten lost in a couple of decades of selling paintings and accepting commissions. My art had become "what can I paint for you?"
I still love realist art and impressionist art, because when I see a painting that has an amazing story or composition I have that much more respect for the talents of the artist. But for me, the artistic process has started all over again in an artistic childhood. I'm exploring color and a toolbox of techniques including painting knives when I'm using oils or acrylics, and filters and adjustments when I'm sifting through my photographs. I hope to describe my artistic journey a bit more in this blog and in the art I create.
Thanks for taking a look, and I hope you enjoy examining what inspires you visually and why.