Sunday, October 31, 2010

Day's End ... recycled plexiglass

There were several frames with no glare Plexiglas glazing I used to cart around to the outdoor shows.  Eventually the Plexiglas would get scratched, and there were some pieces I sold without the frame. 

This piece is a piece of painted Plexiglas, no glare (scratched) side as the back, and you look through the shiny side at the image on the paint.  There is no "painting."  I put a piece of gray colored mat board behind the plexi for color and protection, and back into the frame it went.  This is one that I have kept for myself, it looks great in my living room.  It's the last one I have.  I did several ... I painted the "main" image and then poured on the background.  Lots of surprises.  I was reminded this past week while putting inventory together for my show, how much fun it was.  And, the marvelous results. 

I had several of my sheet canvas oils mounted on a backing so I could frame them without a mat and/or glazing for my upcoming solo show. Thinking about what needed was the reminder of the scratched Plexiglas.  I placed the frame order this afternoon.  Just simple silver and gold metal frames.  The discount warehouse where I get my frames had some beautiful gold wood frames that were 18 x 24, I needed three, and they were only $8 on sale.  That was an on the spot decision.  I had planned on using gold metal.  There are more framing options with sheet canvas, you don't need a rabbit as deep.  I've committed to the show now ... as 37 of the pieces I've chosen were not framed.  I only show so much outdoors, and interchange frames each season.  It's a whim, and you never know what some one will be attracted to. 

On another note, the second exhibit where I work a few days a week, is hung and the reception is over.  All the arrangements made my last two weeks a bit crazy.  I receipted new work, checked out work that left, but this time I did it taking a few minutes here and there out of my regular workday.  That meant shorter lunch breaks, and no other breaks during the day.  It took another morning to curate and hang everything.  Three of the exhibiting artists were on hand to help out.  We arranged the show by "committee."  Every piece has a space that shows it off.  All four of us agreed on each placement.  The reception was sparsely attended, but I hope that as the exhibits are publicized in the future, this will improve.  We don't have a budget for advertising either and rely on the goodwill of the local radio stations and newspapers.  There were a few first time exhibitors.  There's no jury, no fee and no commission.  This is not a gallery space, the lighting is poor, but it is a space to display the work of local artists.  The employees that work in the building appreciate it.  It's a non-profit service organization and there's no money for decorations of any sort.  This time there were 21 artists participating. 

I've probably written about art in everyday places before, but I think it's important.  People need to see how energizing it is.  The title of the current exhibit is "Comfort, Woe and Wonder."  The interpretations had many surprises.  I choose the title as a lead in to the services offered by the organization, but artistically it could be anything.  There are oils, watercolors, pastels, graphite, charcoal and glazed earthenware.  There is even a recycled antique mill window, which was part of a large project a couple of years ago.  That's another story for another day.  We'll do it all again at the end of February, or the beginning of March.  I need to come up with a title for the next exhibit soon, and get a call for artists out.  Does anyone remember an exhibit title they especially liked that is very open to interpretation but is catchy for press releases?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Finishing a piece after years

I had a silver frame, double mat and the wrong painting in it.  I used the frame so I could hang the piece in a juried show a couple of years ago.  It's been sitting around gathering dust and dog hair. 

I've recently been going through my work and deciding what I will include in my upcoming exhibit.  (What I'll pay out cash for frames, etc.) so they can be hung. 

I came accross this piece I'd done a few years ago, when I was working on a fabric washed in acrylic that was mold and rot proof with oils.  It acted like unprimed canvas with the paints and I liked that.  I did several pieces, but got tired of stretching the fabric, and returned to the customary canvas. 

To fit into the frame I already have, the edges needed to be painted out.  That was my project for the afternoon.  Everything event has a reason, and today I realized how much I missed working with the fabric.  I have a couple of rolls of it ... I bought it at a fabric warehouse.  The painting on my previous post would have been fun to do on it.  I did call it done with a few minor adjustments.  I am pleased with that one. 

Just thinking for a minute that I would try the same type of scene on fabric, reminded me that nothing I do can be recreated by me.  I have no formula paintings.  I have a color formula, I only use three primaries and white ... that's enough color on the pallette for me.  I've been using same three colors for years, only once in awhile adding some other primary to the mix.  Today I learned that is a good thing, painting those edges was easy.  The same colors were already on my pallette. 

I haven't titled this piece yet, because I frankly don't know what it is.  I think it has something to do with the sound of the ocean.  That makes me think, I haven't been to the ocean yet this year and it's only an hour and a half drive from home.  Oh, I've been close, but always in a bay situation.  It smells good, but there's no sound or grand movement.  Maybe that's why I pulled this out of the stack of rejects, and considered it again when looking for something to put in a perfectly good frame.  It's small enough, 18 x 24, so won't stretch it but will put it in the mat and under no glare plexiglass. 

I thought the larger pieces would take a lot of time ... but I will share I painted very little of my previous post with a brush.  Most of it was done with a rag.  I find I like the method, and will be experimenting to see what I can do. 

My social life is beginning to interfere with painting time ... or looking at another way, it makes my painting and creating time precious.  I know I need to have the painting time ... it makes me feel great.  Some people get a natural high from running or exercise, in the studio is where I find mine. 

My thanks for the comments on my last post ... I'm so inspired by all the blogs I follow on an irregular basis.  I am beginning to enjoy my reading more and more each day. 

Thanks Susan, for getting me started. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A weekend of progress

I've finally gotten back to painting.  When I do pick up a brush, I don't know why I avoided it.  It's been months since I've been interested in spending much time in the studio.  Here is an in progress work I began on Friday.  It's 30 x 30 in oil.  It's always a question - what do I what to paint - this began with the bluish background and developed from there.  I'm not sure where I'll take in from here, it could be finished.  This isn't a real place, but the scene is an easy memory to recall.  I've seen many versions in many places, and needed a place to escape.  It is unusual for me to paint landscapes of any type, even imaginary ones.  I'll let this dry for a few days or more and get back to it.  There are some messy parts that need to be defined.

My friends have been out plein aire, but I find the studio more comfortable.  I have other outside activities.  And ... I finally cleaned up my work space.  I'd been avoiding painting, and preferred to read all about what others were doing.  I'm not sure what will come next, but I have plenty of canvas and paint. 

I'm slowly getting ready for my December show.  Have begun the process of what to frame and what to leave behind.  Of course I have a budget too, and am happy most of my latest pieces have been done on gallery wrapped canvas.  All I have to do is attach the eye screws and wire, and I can hang it. 

The exhibit where I work will come down at the end of October.  I plan to take pictures of it before it does, and then get some "before" pictures before the next exhibit is hung.  I'm looking forward to seeing new works and curating the exhibit.  I also have the opportunity to see many of the artists I have come to know over time, and have short visits.  The weather in Maine has definitely turned towards fall, but we had some glorious days of summer in September.  This has been one of the most pleasant summers I remember since moving here well over 30 years ago.