This blog is my portfolio of artwork, a journal about my process of making art...and the things that I have no words for...


Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Prototypes...


I am always partial to the pieces that "started it all", the first of the latest thing that I'm doing...or whatever...the "prototypes", I always look to them to see where I should go next, or where to improve...sometimes they're not that great (another reason to keep them to myself), but sometimes that doesn't matter and I hang on to them...well, you know, just because...





This little skinny drawing, pencil and colored pencil entitled Sense came from a productive period of time last spring...the drawing itself was going nowhere as a black and white piece, so I said: "What have I got to lose?" and dove in with colored pencil to tint it...there's parts of it that I love to pieces, and parts of it that are still not so special...but it put me in a better frame of mind creatively to go on with the pallet and play around with adding color...




The next one that came along is better, I see them as "sisters" or "stable mates", their colors are the same, their shape and size are the same, they came out of the same pad of paper...and the spirit of creativity that made the first, urged the creation of the second...





May Night
, which is currently residing at the Delavan Gallery is a far more interesting drawing using the same pallet of colors and scratching the paper surface with a hard #6H pencil...I know I've posted this image last year, but I adore this piece, she's so lovely, there's nifty layers and textures happening...there's a little Art Nouveau look to it that I like a lot. I really loved the act of making it at the time, so whenever I see it I remember the day it was made and how content I felt...I fear there's no way that anyone can see that when they look at her, but...I always hope when someone sees my work that they can rest their eyes where they please and come away with something special...

This is one of the few that I've considered translating into larger scale as a painting on canvas...summer projects to come I believe, the outdoor studio at the picnic table will be busy this year...but what I always fear the most about this step, is losing the spontaneity of the drawing by "copying" something already done...you know what I mean? I can almost see it...but right now, the picnic table is covered in three inches of heavy snow...there's a lot of April Showers ahead...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Think Spring




Here are a few little Spring inspired images...

Thinking of April, 2004
a little pencil drawing no bigger than 3 x 2 or so...













Spring Rain, 2007
This one is tinted graphite, get 'em wet and they're bright...this just reminds me of the greening of spring after the soggy rains...



















A broken pencil lead added in the little leafy bits that gave this one its name...Spring is coming, 2006





It's still mighty chilly up here on my hilltop acre, but we're seeing the signs of spring, the bird population has expanded with the return of red-wing blackbirds and all the assorted other blackbirds...flocks of robins feeding on sumac berries and picking the ground where there is no snow, their territorial songs sung from the tree tops, "V's" of geese flying overhead, and ducks hanging around in the wet spot behind the barn...the male cardinal in his red glory calling out "What cheer-cheer-cheer-cheer!" I'm anxious for the warmth to comeback around, I poke about the yard, beginning the clean up of debris...the sunshine today beckons to me...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Leap Year and other days and nights...


A recent piece Leap Year there's something special about that extra day, and I was happy when I finished this bit on that day, done on a sheet of 14 x 11 bristol vellum finish paper, it started with graphite dust smears, and I followed the marks I made where the small chunks of graphite stuck to my fingers and dragged across the surface...it's busy and peaceful, it has several places where the eye can play or rest, or you mind can go into a free fall...it's fun...I made the white mark with a torn piece of tape, keeping it clean until I finished...I like doing that from time to time. I have several others like that breaking up the image into smaller pieces...sometimes the drawing on the tape is pretty too...too bad I had to throw it away!












Autumn Storm...













indeed, it was a dark and stormy night...








Autumn Forces






















Broken Thoughts




















I really wish I knew where this one went, I heard that it was stolen, imagine that, someone liked it so much they didn't want to pay for it...(wtf, huh?) I'm just glad that I scanned it before it went missing.





Morning Music





















Night and Day

Saturday, March 08, 2008

The One Night Stands...

Tonight is a stormy night, I'm a little bit on edge and unsettled, so I thought I'd put up some pieces that go with my state of mind at the moment...


This odd little drawing, Election Night I made on November 3rd, 2004...the edgy tension of that night is reflected in the lines etched into the paper surface with a 6H pencil, then later on I covered the entire piece with darkest 6B bringing out the lines as white...










This is another odd little bit of darkness that I made in a night Moon and Coming Storm...it was one of those pictures that started off with one idea, but it went awry somewhere along the line, then I got mad at it and went at it with a "oh, fuck it" attitude and made more of a mess of it, and then...well, I played with it some more and this is what came of it...I look at it and say "Well, it isn't really all that bad for a bad night."























The skinny minnies...I love these little guys!














































Last one, New Years Eve, December 2007























A little bit of confetti in this one, I love using the broken tip of my pencil to make wiggly lines...

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Progress of a River of Fallen Stars

I started this one back, back, back...ummmmmm...January, after the New Year, immediately following the second large Celestial Spring painting, soooo that was back on New Year's Eve...

1
Well, it all started with a wash of blue, and sprinkles of salt, I let it run and drip, then dry...




















2

I kept it taped to a board during all this time, so forgive the rough edges, it is a mess...but the next few steps were like this, I would work into it, drawing, splashing paint, shaving pastel and water-soluble graphite into damp soggy places, and more splashing, and occasionally loading up a brush with white acrylic paint and splooking it on there...fun, right?















3

Well, then I made more of a mess with it, and tried to make some defined linear stuff to lead the eye around...it didn't go where I initially planned for it to go, more white than I wanted it to be...I really wanted more blue...but sometimes you go with what you got and make it work...

but I really didn't like it that much at this point, there were parts to it that I enjoyed, and parts that I just didn't know what to do about...











4

Today I finished her off...finally...I'm mostly happy with it now, I had to fall in love with it all over again today...which wasn't easy, I was really having doubts about it, but I like it now...



















Detail of bottom








I really like the way I dropped it into the margin to make up for the blop that oozed under the tape...

The title is from a song by The Kennedy's a little folk duo, Pete and Maura Kennedy, River of Fallen Stars is one of my favorite albums...I believe it's out of print, but there are used ones out there to buy...


Detail of top...



It just makes me think of a meteor shower when I look at it...kinda sparkles...


Well, that's that...it seemed to turn out all right after all...

Saturday, March 01, 2008

COLOR!


Yes...color...I sometimes get lucky with color...thought I'd share some of my favorites:

A Study in More Than One Purple

This little guy exhibited in the spring of 2004 and won Best of Show at the Syracuse University On My Own Time exhibition, and then went on to exhibit at the Everson Museum for the Cultural Resources Council version of the On My Own Time exhibition. It was a nifty little whim that led me to make this tiny painting, it's probably only 5 x 6 inches or so, not very big, but the color is WOW.
It's watercolor (with touches of Chinese White) on a scrap of BFK Rives paper that a printmaker gave to me one day ages ago, I have a stash of these scraps, and now and then I dig into the stash when I have something special in mind...there's something just delightful about the texture of really good paper that makes making art so much fun...I always recommend spending the extra money to get the good stuff just because it makes a difference in how the watercolor flows...and squishes around...yeah...it really rocks.




This blue one was Purple's "mate" in the same exhibition (but didn't get "invited" to participate at the Everson)... Water and Sky, after I made it there was some debate about which way was up, initially, I painted it vertically, but the little "splash" in the lower left corner liked being the lower left corner, so I couldn't argue with it...





Here's an oldie but goodie that I just pulled out of storage, a little bit from some inspired splashing I did back in 1995...it really is sad that these haven't seen the light of day in years...but then again, they're preserved and safe...and for now, they're just for me to do as I please...


Note the ragged edges, I used one of my little scraps from the stash (I've had this stash of paper for a very long time)...

Frost
is watercolor, Chinese White, and salt...I just dashed this off without a care, sometimes the best things come when I'm not being self-conscious about the outcome...gotta love it!


Let's see what else I've got in here...












Oh...I miss this one, it was sold at the Delavan Art Gallery last fall, I'm so glad I got a picture of it before it left!

This is one of my rare reds...I really don't do well with red, it's not a "Laura color", but this little scrap of paper (about 4 x 4 inches I think) required it to be "seen" so I gave it a bright wash and then splashed my favorite blue in it, and then did a little scratching around with a colored pencil to pick out a few details...








Speaking of scraps...mat board scraps from cut windows are great to play with too! This moody little one, Luna, green is made with Derwent Graphitint pencils, their water-soluble nature makes the colors bright when wet, and then the mat board scrap can handle scratching in with the dry pencil while the tints are wet...just having fun with what I've got!













Last one:


Water Meets Sky, The Waves
May 2005, another oldie on a piece of scrap paper...a Cape Cod inspiration...