Haven’t posted in a while – summer got pretty busy. Mid August I went to VT to study with Susan Abbott. Her “Vermont Landscape Painting Retreat” was pretty much Art Boot Camp! Learned a lot, met wonderful people and was wrung out! Each day consisted of lectures and demos, slides and exercises, and lots of plein air painting. Oh, and I shouldn’t forget to mention the wonderful lunches every day!
Susan demonstrating in her garden.
Home base was Susan’s airy studio which she had turned into a class room. We started at 9:00 but could get there early to set up – I shot the photo below before students arrived as once we started there was no time… My work space was on the left with the red cup… Susan has a huge library of art books that were available to us. Here are shelves with her sketchbooks. I do love to see other artist’s sketchbooks.
So much to take in!
We visited gardens and farms, beautiful VT homes, meadows and mountains—each day a visual treat laid out for us to paint.
One of our plein air sites was the home, studio and pond of artist, Adelaide Tyrol. I worked with the group of trees at one end of the pond. We spent two sessions here.
Adelaide’s pond and my painting.
Bob came with me and after dropping me off in the mornings he went off and did train things… He’d pick me up at 5:00, we’d grab a bite to eat and I’d be back at 8:30. After a week of this we headed to Maine for a few days to unwind. That will be my next post!
Spent part of this afternoon preparing painting surfaces for week long painting workshop I’ll be attending in August with Susan Abbott in VT. I’m excited about this work shop as I’ve wanted to study with her for a while now but the timing never worked out.
First I made sure I have wet canvas carriers for the boards and canvases I plan to take. Can’t carry wet paintings home in the back of a packed car… Once that was settled, Burnt Sienna paint thinned with solvent was applied to the surface which was then rubbed with a soft rag, leaving this light toning as a starting background. Previously I’ve applied a med grey opaque layer of paint when I wanted to not start with a glaring white surface. This is Susan’s suggested method and I think I’ll like it better.
This is going to be a two part project as I only have so much space to let them dry for several days and I have more to do.
Off to Virginia to stay with Fletcher and Cooper while their parents were away and I took my Hokett Loom, yarns and design materials. I knew the boys would have their noses in the World Cup and I would have time to indulge in weaving.
I pack my weaving supplies in translucent bags that all fit into a larger bag. One for my Hokett with the tray I use it on, one for a selection of yarns and one for little bits of equipment. My design supplies go in a small shoulder bag with watercolors, sketchbooks etc. With these two bags I could set up a little studio space and was set!
Got out my sketchbook and watercolors and came up with my design. I’ve been sketching trees and leaves lately so decided on stylized leaves. Next to warp my little loom and prepare my weft yarns. I did bring the little spinner thing that I got from Rebecca Mezoff to un ply my Harrisville yarns. BUT… my design called for black and I forgot that while I needed to un ply the blue and green yarn, I needed to double the black and didn’t bring enough… You can see where I ran out of black yarn in the image above!!! Always something!!!!
I did have more black at home and was able to finish!!! So all is well with one part of my world, at least…
Decided I needed to get back to painting and to try a new direction. Val Rossman‘s course, “Exploring Abstraction” at Woodmere was just the kick I needed. She let’s members use what ever media they wish and encourages each to explore their own path. I decided that since abstraction was out of my comfort zone, why not go all the way and explore new media. Sooo…, the first three weeks I worked in pastels and the second in acrylics. Also, since I tend to be a low chroma gal I thought I’d push color. Here are 3 of my first pastels:
All my professional life has been about telling stories. Now there is no story. Just paint what I am feeling. I work fairly fast, before I can think about things – ideas – content… and then once something is there I consider composition etc. I’ve used scratching, glazing, thick medium. I usually gesso the support first in colored gesso and then paint over it.
The last three weeks I decided to work with acrylics and here are some of them:
Once I get over the feeling of being cut loose with out any plans etc, this is rather fun! Some of these images may be finished and some may get more work. The more I do, the more I learn, the less I know, but, I do feel they do have voices. I just have to learn to listen. I have one more class to go. Then I plan to add this new way of working/thinking to my previous work. We’ll see.
Each year Imperfect Gallery has an all Germantown group exhibition. I love this gallery and the way it supports the local arts! This is my entry this year. It is of the bridge at Valley Green in the Wissahickon.
It is part of a series called “Bridges not Barriers”!
The series explores how the bridges allow us to overcome obstacles yet become part of the environment themselves.
Delivered a painting to a gallery Wed and was asked if I had painted it outside (en Plein Air). No. We had been photographing in Lancaster, PA and I loved the graphic quality of the newly harvested fields. They reminded me of the graphic quality of the quilts made by Amish women in the area, only the quilts were often done in bright bold colors. I wanted to capture that idea.
Once back in my studio I made sketches for my painting. This is the one I went with executed in Oil Pastels. Only then the painting began.