I like these words….!

DESIDERATUM –  something wanted or needed.

ORENDA –  a mystical force  present in all people that empowers them to affect the world or to effect changes in their own lives.

QUERENCIA – a place from which one’s strength is drawn, where one feels at home; the place where you find your most authentic self.

MERAKI- THE SOUL, CREATIVITY, OR LOVE PUT INTO SOMETHING; THE ESSENCE OF YOURSELF THAT IS PUT INTO YOUR WORK.

Art Quote for the Day

Some more of my long lost notes….

Underpainting – an underpainting stimulates imagination . A black and white canvas is tedious and arouses very little initiative

Pigments for underpainting require little oil . It’s best to underpaint in neutral colors, grays or pinks.
For grays – use white lead and umber and prussian blue
For pinks – use white lead and venetian red

A midtone surface gives more flexibility than white as both dark and light will show up.
Thin color (glaze) is used for shadowand thick paint is used for highlights.

FLESH TONES
1. “basic” (caucasian) – equal parts burnt sienna & white
2. Add to ‘basic’ skin color for darker tones and variations – raw umber, cadmium red, alizarin crimson, cadmium yellow, lemon yellow ultramarine blue
3. for lighter white tones – white + burnt sienna & raw umber
+ cadmium red, burnt sienna
+ alizarin crimson & burnt sienna
+ burnt sienna & cadmium yellow
+ burnt sienna & lemon yellow
+ burnt sienna & ultramarine

Art Quote for the Day

I was cleaning out my storage shelves at school today and came across some handout sheets I’d forgotten about. I read over them and found them pretty interesting and helpful as far as painting goes…. I will post the information here hoping it will be helpful to others.

FYI – COLORS AND WHAT THEY DO

1. White mixed with other colors dulls their brilliance

2. Ultramarine blue  + white,viridian green, barium, naples yellow  = delicate atmospheric greens

+ ochres                                                                      = dull greens

+ cadmium yellow, zinc yellow                              = vivid greens

+ umber, white                                                         = grays

3. Prussian blue   + cadmium yellow                                                         = greens of great intensity

+ white                                                                             = silvery, bluish greens

+ burnt sienna                                                                = deep green

+ iron oxide reds & white                                             = grayish distant greens

+ naples yellow                                                               = cold luminous greens

+ ochre                                                                             = dull greens

+ umber, white,                                                              = all variations of warm or silvery grays

4. Naples yellow  +  black                                                                             = neutral greens

+ venetian reds,cadmium red , vermillion                =  warm pinks

5. Cadmium yellows + blues, blacks                                                          = greens

+ burnt sienna                                                          = more “fiery” sienna

6. Cadmium reds & vermillion + umber                                                   = duller reds

+ alizarin crimson                                  =  intensely fiery reds

GLAZING TIPS

1. Black and alizarin crimson make a deep velvety color suitable for glazing.

2. Pure viridian, alizarin crimson & burnt sienna are the most useful glazing colors”

3. The area to be glaze should be lightly moistened with painting medium.  Apply medium to surface and wipe with hand or brush to a thin layer

4. If dried layer is too shin ( oily or varnished) use FINEST  abrasive steel wool, or cheesecloth moistend with thurpentine – rub in parallel, horizontal strokes.

Structure and Imagery: In Process with Valerie Brennan

Structure and Imagery: In Process with Valerie Brennan.

I have posted this article today that I got through a blog that I follow…. I always enjoy seeing other artist’s studios and their work in progress.

I am struggling these days with what I want the purpose of this blog to be. Last year whenI started it I had a different intention in mind. I went through wanting it to be a self promotion type of site, then an educational site, an inspirational site, and now, lately , I’ve been finding articles and writings that I like so much I want to pass them on. Maybe they’re all one in the same and I just have to be more – uh – regular with posting.

Enjoy the article.

Art Quote for the Day

Just a little bit more about my Mom now that I’ve started.  Her name was Ellen. She was a musician, playing the piano,violin, the celeste and  the organ at our church,( she learned to play the organ from a nun named Sister Carola. Sister Carola , before she became a nun was best college friends with my grandma, Mom’s mom and they were “mischief makers” , or so I was told by my grandma !). At Christmas time I remember going to midnight service at our Methodist church and my mom would  play the organ , while people sang the Christmas carols, then the gentle bells of the celeste during more meditative moments, the warm candlelight glowing , the mystery of the late night. I always felt so proud that it was my mom playing all the beautiful music. I grew up listening to classical music playing either on the radio or the phonograph and I had my own little classical 45 rpms that I would play and dance to in my bedroom. I would set the needle on the record, go into my closet and come out with a flourish when the strains of Beethoven would start, then dance as if I was the star ballerina.  I was probably 5 at the time. Ellen loved reading and had lots of books that I got to read …. Grapes of Wrath, Jane Eyre, and lots of other “grown-up”  stuff…. at a pretty early age. Ellen got to skip a grade in grade school because she was so smart. She went to college to become a teacher but went quit after a couple years and went into the army , hoping to make money and go back to school after she served.( She met my Dad instead and got married.) She was one of just a few women in the Springfield MO, army corps symphony. She worked as a secretary for many years so that she could put my sister and me through college. I never really thanked her for that appropriately and I will always regret that. She was a kind, thoughtful person and never spoke a bad word about anybody . I sometimes wondered , growing up , if she would have been happier had she not gotten married and had her two kids and could have played her music all the time. She was an artist and it could be where I got my love for art from .  I have become an artist. I have become the teacher she wanted to be…..

So, these are just a few of the memories that have surfaced again, after having this big painting hung at my place of work. I feel like I’ve come full circle some how,  having the painting about her “with” me everyday at work has given me  even more of a reason to love what I do –  TEACH!….. I’m still thinking about it.

Art Quote for the Day

My mother died in the mid 1980’s. Artwork that I was doing at the time was figurative; abstracting the human form to address social issues of the day . My favorite artists at that time were Susan Rothenberg, Mimmo Paladino, Rufino Tamayo.

A few weeks after my mother’s funeral I started thinking about angels, thinking that maybe my Mom was now a guardian angle watching over me, and I started drawing and painting little wings on my otherwise earth-ridden people. I did several acrylic paintings with that same theme; one being a large piece,  6’x8′ , framed with a triangular pediment top . I wanted it to look like an altar piece.

That painting moved from one apartment to another, one storage unit to another for several years and then I got my job at Edgewood College. After teaching at Edgewood , a small , private Catholic college, and not wanting to see this huge painting done in honor of my Mom get damaged I got the great idea of donating the piece to the college. They accepted it and , it went in storage AGAIN !  A few more years went by and our new gallery director at the time, Paul, found it, took it out of storage and hung it in a small intimate space with a big empty wall in our new art building. It looked beautiful! Natural light from skylights let the “glow” show as it was intended. That gallery director left and we got a new one, David. He came to me one day and said the painting had to be moved again because the little room that it had been hanging in was being used for too many things and there wasn’t enough space. The painting might get damaged.  A couple weeks later he told me it had been hung in the main entrance of the main building of the entire college!  Well , there you go ! The painting finally has a permanent home…. a spiritual painting welcoming people into the college. In honor of my Mom…. my memories of her are in that painting. I can hear her voice and her laugh, hear her playing her violin and the church organ, remember how she used to wake me up for school and then crawl into bed with me for a little while , making me feel safe and secure before getting up and getting ready for school.

So , 25 years later , or more even , my Mom truly is my guardian angel….. there hanging on that wall , welcoming me every day.I know I can go visit her. She is there. IMG_5143 IMG_5145 IMG_5146

Art Quote for the Day

“I notice that students often start laying in colors and paint just to cover the canvas, without being very attentive to what’s going down–colors and values all over the map! They are feeling they want to get started and hope to refine it later. The problem is, the surface of the picture plane is so alive and active that every inattentive mark you put on it is taking you away from what you had intended to paint faster than you can possibly realize . It makes a lot of sense to try and get it right the first time as if it really mattered, moving intelligently right now toward your idea. And it really helps to have an idea. But just laying in paint as an unhelpful foundation completely confounds our ability to see what we’ve accomplished and where we need to go next. Every part is now reverberating with every other in a chaotic and confusing jumble, and trying to dig ourselves out of that mess may be too much for any painter.
This brings up 2 points.First, so much of what we do while we paint is a reflection of our character and shows us, for better or worse, and if we choose to perceive it, our true nature. Not taking time to lay in a strong and meaningful foundation may be something that manifests in other areas of our life. Art can be a remarkable feedback mechanism for our life.
This is not the same as trying to get it perfect. It justs means trying to get it as right as you can as you go along. “Right” means being aligned to your idea. Trying for perfection takes the life out of expression. to be continued………..

Creative Authenticity- 16 Principles to Clarify and Deepen Your Artistic Vision by Ian Roberts

Art Quote for the Day

“I know alot of students who are distracted by an artist’s color or painterliness. They want to paint like that.Yet what isn’t always clear is that, if the artist is any good , the color and bravado is embedded in a foundation . Jon Carlson, the landscape painter, said, “confidence of execution comes from practice and long experience.”

We can run into trouble comparing ourselves with another artist’s work when our temperament is completely different from his or hers, which means that we could never do what they do.

We can admire all manner of art and artists. We can learn from all kinds of paintings. But it is unproductive to compare and evaluate ourselves againt someone else’s work. What we’re trying to compare doesn’t. and it can be harshly discouraging to try.

Certainly it’s foolish to compare what you accomplished in an afternoon session at a painting class with a model whose pose you didn’t set, with ten other artists vying for a decent view with decent lighting, with a painter who was moved by an idea, hired a model specifically for achieving the idea, and set the stage, model and lighting to reflect his vision nd then had a week of six-hour days to accomplish it. The same would apply if you tried to compare a two-hour-on-location landscape with something that was done in the studio over several weeks with far more planning and adjusting than you can ever afford with a quick sketch.

Creative Authenticity by Ian Roberts

Art Quote for the Day

WORKING METHOD

” It’s painful to think of the number of paintings that don’t work, not only my own, but also what I see in galleries and museums.  Such failures may be adequately painted but they don’t sing.  They’ve left the studio but they aren’t happy about  it.  It’s simple and inevitable: there’s work we artists do that doesn’t come together.  And for each of us there’s only one solution to this problem. You just continue to  make paintings, and you make more paintings, and then for no particular reason all of a sudden you start to click and all the pieces that you’ve been working with , the direction you’ve been perceiving “as if through a glass darkly” is now open and clear, in all its glory.  We paint and everything falls into place.  That expression of being “in the zone” expresses the experience perfectly.  There is a momentum you’ve built up which was essential to this new work.  If you had been waiting  for inspiration, waiting  for that flow to begin, it would have caught you too flat-footed to notice.  It arrived out of the readiness that all the previous work had created in you  .  Regardless of how sluggish that process may have seemed at the time, things were  lining up  in preparation, ideas were formulating.

The making of art offers a poor example of efficiency at work.  Yet all that practice and preparation makes us ready when for some reason everything gets lined up and we become as if conduits for the spirit.  It shows in the result. the rest of the time we work to keep the channel open until things realign. Then, inexplicably and in exhilaration, everything goes right.

So much of our output seems destined to be merely preparation.  It’s what  makes the inevitable harsh judgment of our work when it’s not going  well so counterproductive, particularly when we compare our struggles in the studio to someones else’s edited, presented gallery work.  When we judge our output against someone else’s, we tend first to admire their mastery of their  obsessions.  We each have certain  fascinations and because of that  we excel at them.  So we may notice a painter’s handling of reflections or the way they handle paint itself and think we cna never paint like that.  And perhaps we may not.  Because that’s their area,not ours: it holds them and they have wrestled with it and perfected it. Our own obsessions are so close to us we probably can’t see them.  We’re  blind to our own magic.

The lengths an artist will go to create a particular way of painting is also deceptive.  We can think of Sargent who worked hard, scraping and repainting pieces, to get that effortless look of virtuosity.  We can’t compare that with what we’ve just finished working on this morning  Just because someone’s painting looks loose or facile doesn’t mean it was done quickly or effortlessly.

Creative Authenticity – 16 Principals to Clarify and Deepen Your Artistic Vision by Ian Roberts