December 2017

I have focused on using the tools and techniques I have learned in the last year. My son gave me a woodblock of a Tibetan prayer flag-the windhorse- which I have used, by printing it on canvas. I painted on top of the printed prayer with a landscape. It seemed to convey both the visual and the verbal. I toyed with writing something in English but the sense that there is a verbal context, almost prayer like, to a landscape was better shared in a language we do not know. The emphasis, then, to me, is the combination of what is spoken and what is seen. I felt these were very successful in conveying a deep respect for both. 

I have been interested in the calligraphy of a landscape for many years. When I designed and cut stencils from my drawings, I realized form in itself signified character. It is dancelike. The shape of a plant speaks to the viewer. A landscape is an unspoken language. The combination of the two in these paintings captured that sense for me. 

November of an Election year

November: I have added new paintings under my tab for "paintings." I now live with an unstructured schedule, apportioning parts of the day to household adjustments and then time to painting.

I joined the Conshohoken paint out. http://www.whitemarsharts.org/  Pennsylvania's unique architecture and lush beauty were great subjects for this May gathering. Al Gury, chair of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art,  was the judge. His books are an inspiration. Alla Prima or Color for Painters are excellent references.  

I usually camp on Cape Cod at North of Highland campground, next to the National Seashore in Truro. My intention had been to take a class with Don Beal http://donaldbeal.macmate.me,  whose work I have admired. Since Don's class did not fill up, I chose a day of painting with a very energetic Mary.  http://www.marygiammarino.com/  We worked all day painting rapidly with a 1 /12 inch spackling knife.  No details, color and bold form. 

John MacDonald  http://jmacdonald.com/ held a workshop in Haverhill NH at the Gibson House http://www.gibsonhousebb.com/  A beautiful place to stay in Haverhill, NH. John is a generous, thorough, thoughtful teacher. This three day workshop was packed with lots of new information. I learned such a radically new approach I am still incorporating it into my work.

I am using a spackling knife and start on a tonal understudy. I have gone back to black gesso but I still like a canvas support. I may do the whole with the spackling knife or a palette knife but I also use a brush.

Red River Theatre http://www.redrivertheatres.org/ hosts art shows in the lobby of this small independent movie theatre. It is an opportunity to show work in a popular environment. In July, I showed paintings I have done from 2009-2016 of Concord, by the river. Since my work has changed over those years, the show looked like the work of many painters.  

 

 

     

  Concord from the river

Concord from the river

 another view of Concord by the river

another view of Concord by the river

  Dunes in Ptown with Mary Giammarino

Dunes in Ptown with Mary Giammarino

  Connecticut river valley in Haverhill, NH with John MacDonald

Connecticut river valley in Haverhill, NH with John MacDonald

Moving out of the labyrinth

It takes retirement to force me to look closely at work I have done and want to do. I have not written in a blog for a few years. There was a time I used a blog to help me process the work I was doing. 

I have been following the advice of Marie Kondo in "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up." As I looked around at the piles of items: canvas, cloth, pieces I found on the street, half done projects, broken dolls, boxes of drawings and stencils and stacks of paintings.

The work I retired from at the State had forced me to accustom myself to a computer, and familiarize myself on many levels with success and failure. I thought I could use some familiarity to create this site. I have worked my state job and kept my art working alive at the same time. 

Now I look at my painting and art and decide some should stay and much should go. Most of all, I would prefer to see it out, rather than in a basement or facing a wall in a stack. 

The process of tidying up and looking at what it means for me to be retired has led to the work represented here. These are pieces I feel pleased with and happy to say I did. 

This picture of me, by the way, was taken by a friend on the top of Coba and run through the app Moku Hanga which is very versatile and allows me to objectify myself.