My Neighbors: Revisit Three

A while back I went through my collection of paintings and picked out ones that I didn’t feel were quite finished, or had gotten to their true personality. Some of them I didn’t want to revisit and I donated them to the charity shop or else threw them out. And the ones I felt a connection to, however faint, I got to work in trying to pull more out of the picture. I will show you a small selection of three paintings that went through this process.

Here’s the original version. I did this one back in fall of 2020.

I was not satisfied with this picture from the time I made it, but I did like the intensity of color, so I did not paint over it then. I do remember that in composing it, I made some decisions, developed some “favorite areas” in the painting that I did not want to change, and breaking my own rule, got too attached and forced the rest of the painting into fitting with them. I also wanted more detail and liveliness in the picture.

Here it is after my work. Once again I kept the basic structure but added more paint, did a lot of work with my acrylic markers, and went crazy filling up every inch with a lot of pattern and line.

Well, now I am happy with things here. There is a sense of things happening, and I like that.

Here’s a quick overview of the three paintings and their current looks. Sometimes it just takes time to get to the place where things are as they should be, doesn’t it?

Wordless Storybook Pages 3 and 4

In 2021 I completed a wordless artist book for my little granddaughter, who was about a year old at the time. I produced it by converting a discarded kid’s library book, using the same process I’ve used for similar books in the past.

Look here if you want to see more about how I make these books and to view one of my past books.

This particular volume does have a story, though. I had been working on it off and on for a long time and getting nowhere. Other projects kept coming along. One day I took it out to see about finishing it up and to consider what I might write to accompany the images. It struck me that it was fine just as it was, without words.

And I thought my granddaughter might like it when she is a little older, and she can make up stories to go with the pictures herself.

Like the content, the cover has no words. The book has no title. I guess it can be called whatever the reader wants.

Here are the next two pages. Want to make up your own story?

*********

I Marvel: Revisit Two

A while back I went through my collection of paintings and picked out ones that I didn’t feel were quite finished, or had gotten to their true personality. Some of them I didn’t want to revisit and I donated them to the charity shop or else threw them out. And the ones I felt a connection to, however faint, I got to work in trying to pull more out of the picture. I will show you a small selection of three paintings that went through this process.

Here’s the original version.

As in the painting I showed in an earlier post, I Reach Out in Hope, I felt I had not gotten the depth of color I wanted and I thought the painting needed more punch. I also wanted there to be more elements in the picture.

Here it is after my work. I kept the basic structure but added more paint, did a lot of work with my acrylic markers, and revised the composition to put in a house and to define the sky.

Now I am at peace with this picture and I feel it says what I want it to say.

2003 Calendar – August

Here’s a project I did in 2001-2002 that I had forgotten about. Now, here in 2022, I will take a trip down memory lane and show it to you, once each month.

Why this schedule? Because it is a calendar. For 2003.

I made three of these – one for my son, one for my parents, and one for my husband. It’s the last one that I am showing to you. They were all alike except for the covers.

I hoped this calendar could be a small record of a certain time in our family. I do not know if my son still has his version, and my parents now are dead and their things scattered and gone, but here is the one we still have at our house, a voice speaking up again from the past.

If you want to know more about this calendar, look here.

Here is the collage image I used for the month of August, 2003. It’s called “August Summer Song” and was 7″ x 5″ as seen here. However, originally the piece was larger (11″ x 14″). I had not made many abstract collages back then and I never got satisfied with this one. And, it never got much attention in my booth, never mind close to selling. Remember, for me back then, selling my art was the ultimate purpose for its making.

So, for the calendar it appeared in its original form but some time later, I cut it down to this size and sold it right away. Now I’m not sure I would have altered it, but…what is done is what is done.

Here is the page in the calendar.

Happy August!

As to the notes, 1. Fred Sherman was one of our cats, who had died a couple of years earlier. 3. I had just begun to try other mediums, as you can see here where I mention acrylic paints and oil pastels. 4. School supplies – at this time my son was in high school and back then, the students still used pencils… 6. I am not religious but I like the idea there was a St. Claudia (though she didn’t seem to have much of a story). 10. I guess if I am eating tomato sandwiches my tomato plants must have grown well and prospered.

I Reach Out in Hope: Revisit One

A while back I went through my collection of paintings and picked out ones that I didn’t feel were quite finished, or had gotten to their true personality. Some of them I didn’t want to revisit and I donated them to the charity shop or else threw them out. And the ones I felt a connection to, however faint, I got to work in trying to pull more out of the picture. I will show you a small selection of three paintings that went through this process.

Here’s the original version.

I felt I had not gotten the depth of color I wanted and I thought the painting lacked any…drama?

Here it is after my work. I kept the basic structure but added more paint, and I also did a lot of work with my acrylic markers.

OK, now I’m happier. Mission accomplished!

Wordless Storybook Pages 1 and 2

Front Cover

In 2021 I completed a wordless artist book for my little granddaughter, who was about a year old at the time. I produced it by converting a discarded kid’s library book, using the same process I’ve used for similar books in the past.

Look here if you want to see more about how I make these books and to view one of my past books.

This particular volume does have a story, though. I had been working on it off and on for a long time and getting nowhere. Other projects kept coming along. One day I took it out to see about finishing it up and to consider what I might write to accompany the images. It struck me that it was fine just as it was, without words.

And I thought my granddaughter might like it when she is a little older, and she can make up stories to go with the pictures herself.

Like the content, the cover has no words. The book has no title. I guess it can be called whatever the reader wants.

Back cover

Here are the first two pages. Want to make up your own story?

I’ll Wait for You by the Big Tree

Here is another painting done while attending the online class I took at Woodmere Museum back in March 2022. We were focusing on Eastern/Western art and comparing characteristics of the two. This is another painting featuring a large tree in the foreground. Again with a figure. And this time with a crowd of people coming in and out of the picture.

It’s called I’ll Wait for You by the Big Tree and it is 14″ x 11″ on masonite, done in March 2022.

Spring Arrives

Here is another painting done during my online class at Woodmere Art Museum comparing Eastern and Western art. I composed another picture featuring a tree in the foreground, but this time I have a figure involved, too.

As a note, this painting is a reworking (on a major scale) of a painting I did last summer in the landscape class I took. You may remember I enjoyed being in that class but I did not like doing landscapes. So, I’ve been renovating those paintings into something new and this is one of them. Here is the earlier painting for comparison.

Quite a difference, right? Well, I’m satisfied with where this painting’s journey has ended up and I don’t think I’ll be making any more changes.

Spring Arrives, 18″ x 24″, on Masonite.

Collage and Memories

Last week I attended an online workshop at the National Gallery Art as part of their Virtual Studio series. You may remember I’ve done several of these sessions. They are offered every couple of weeks and are free. I’m a real fan of these classes and have enjoyed myself in each one.

Here is the email address to put yourself on the list for notifications about future events : virtualstudio@nga.gov .

On this afternoon, the theme was Storytelling with Collage (look here for the description of the program). I was interested to see what we’d be doing because as you know, I have spent a lot of my art career in doing collage and I always want to learn more.

First of all, we selected a memory that we’d like to depict in collage – any memory or experience, a big theme or a small moment. I was not prepared to come up with something and panicked. Then, I thought of the activity that is my lifelong favorite: reading. I am an avid reader and once I learned to read I have gone full speed ahead, often reading one book a day (sometimes more).

We then spent a few minutes writing down phrases or sketching pictures to support this memory theme. During this time, I found a focus: I especially love to read in bed and I have been doing it since childhood. I decided to depict me in bed with a book.

Next, we spent some time looking at a collage by Romare Bearden titled Tomorrow I May Be Far Away. Click here to see it in the museum’s collection.

Then, we started to work on our collages, with the instructor guiding us through the process. Since I was familiar with working in this medium, I listened, but mostly I worked really really fast on my image. I’m usually messy when I work in collage, but on this occasion I outdid myself – I was discarding papers on the floor and cutting and pasting and moving so quickly that I ended up with a storm of paper and materials and tools strewn around me, what a scene!

Take a look.

Here is the work as I finished it in my 12 x 9 sketchbook. I was not satisfied with it but I guess I only worked an hour or so on it, after all.

I thought I looked a bit ghoulish in this picture. I also was not happy with the wall behind my head – I felt it should be more shadowed so that the lamplight would show up more, and so that the nice white bedspread could stand out. I worked things over a tiny bit more the next day.

All right, this is better now. I look a whole lot more friendly in this picture, and I think the atmosphere of being enclosed with a book comes across better.

Well, what do you know? I would not have thought of depicting this scene without this workshop reminding me of this part of my life. Thank you to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, for this really nice experience. I’m looking forward to the next workshop!

Sycamore

I did this painting while attending an online class comparing Eastern and Western art at the Woodmere Museum, back in March 2022. One of the characteristics of Asian art we discussed involved the use of an element in the foreground, very large, with the other parts of the scene arrayed behind it.

I have used this technique often in the past, but usually for me it involved placing a figure in this position. This time I tried it out with a tree.

“Sycamore”, 3/22, 20″ x 16″” on Masonite.