Thursday, May 20, 2010


                           makeshift studio/garage

A few years back I became fascinated with Japanese prints.  I could relate to how the French impressionists felt when they fell in lovewith the lyrical perfection of these sublime prints.  I collected every book I could and have a wonderful collection. This collection inspired a series of large mixed media paintings.The first of this series which is pictured above is made of three panels, which was my first attempt at large mixed media work.To educate myself, I practiced on several small squares of masonite for  hours and hours, experimenting on overlays of glazes and textures.  I started by coating the surface with a prime that I colored with some raw umber, then added whatever gritty powders I had, such as sand and crushed pumice, etc. to add some texture.I textured it very unevenly as  I spread the thickened prime on with a roller,brush, or palette knife, encouraging random nooks and crannies to form.  These variations in texture would suggest an image, usually a woman's face, intertwined with something from the garden.  As in life, it is what lies beneath, the seemingly randomness of our origins and circumstancs, that which we have no control over,  that present us with  the prime for our lives.It's these nooks and the crannies, Providence's grist for the mill,  that richly flawed prime, which becomes  our opportunity to create the emerging beauty of our lives. The Creator, with our cooperaton, turns the gritty surface into the     complicated textures that give our lives real depth.  Without our cooperation, the image never emerges, and without Him, there is no real depth and life is shallow..and in the end, worthless.

Monday, May 17, 2010


             Longing     mixed media 48"x68"

A while back, in a post entitled, How Is Your Soul Balance?, I wrote about an exercise I did in a counseling session that revealed to me exactly how out of balance my life had become.  One of the areas I am working on is to restore the creative flow in my life, in my soul.

Since that exercise, having committed to giving my creativity a greater priority in my life, I am in the process of getting a website together to market my work.  Although I have continued doing pastel portraits on consignment, I have neglected my more inspired painting for several years. I am gearing up to start again.  

I am revisiting a few paintings I had completed in the past and in doing so, I hope to carve a path within myself and a place in my home (my mother is still living peacefully in my studio) to start working consistently again.

The above painting is one of a series that helped me get through some very difficult times. Focusing on color, line, texture, and wonderful paint, and the stuff of painting and design, really saved me by giving a worrier like me, a focus on whatever is pure, beautiful, true, and admirable...

Stay tuned!