Friday, May 29, 2009

Being a Tourist in My Own City

View of Millenium Park from
the Modern Wing - Art Institute of Chicago

I read somewhere that artists should make an artist's date at least every two weeks.  The purpose of the artist's date is to get out of the studio and fuel the soul with new inspiration.  Now I can see why.  From now on, I'm going to mark my artist date on the calendar and make sure I keep it.  Yesterday I met my brother in downtown Chicago where he works .  He took a half day so that we could just have fun viewing the new Modern Wing at the Art Institute.  

I didn't take any shots inside the Art Institute because I was so drawn in by the amazing art, that I was quite overwhelmed.  It's been way too long.  Next time.

Before we knew it the whole day flew by.  Here are pictures of Millenium Park (where I have never been).  I only live 25 miles from Chicago, but rarely go to the tourist attractions.  It was so much FUN.  

We quickly walked into the Chicago Cultural Center and climbed up the stairs.  Here's the amazing stained glass that was just overhead.  
And of course, I stopped by the Hildt Gallery on State Street to see Deborah Paris's work for the first time, where it was not over a computer monitor.  It's so much more beautiful when you see the actual paintings.  They were overwhelmingly beautiful.  The gallery owner graciously took this amazing painting closer to the natural light for me to take a picture.
An artist's date fuels the fun, inspiration and imagination.  Now back to the studio.

Friday, May 22, 2009



My latest goal is to achieve harmony in my paintings.  I'm doing several small studies in order to achieve this goal.  It's easier to get my ideas down small.  It gets more complicated when I paint bigger.  But at least the initial simple concept is recorded at this point.  Then if I can carry out this same idea painting larger, I believe it will be harmonious.

How does one achieve harmony?  I'm still exploring that one.  Yesterday I saw a program on the art of Japanese flower arranging - an art that goes back thousands of years.  There are very few "ingredients" in these flower arrangements.  But every addition is well thought out and balanced.  Negative space is also an important part.  Of course, I related this to painting because I believe the same ideas are important.

I would love to know what you think creates harmony in a painting!

Friday, May 15, 2009



This little painting has an extremely simple composition.  When I was done with it, I was surprised that I liked it.  I used only five colors even though it reads as basically two colors - red and purple.  

From this painting alone, I could learn so much.  Such as to keep it simple with all my painting.  For me it's harder to keep it simple than to tweak a painting into something else.  There's that fine line that all painters deal with at a certain point in their painting.  Sometimes I'll have something good going and I want to add another color, which will change everything.  Then maybe one of the kids will show up, the doorbell will ring, or the dog has to go out.  I'm stopped from going overboard.  And I'm grateful.  

Saturday, May 9, 2009



This painting is one that I've titled Acceptance.  It's symbolic of what I'm going through with my creative process this year.  Artists draw on their imaginations at the beginning of creating any new piece.  That's where it all starts.  Then comes the composition, color choices and a few hundred other decisions until the piece is finally completed.

I find that the final piece is seldom what I initially envisioned.  But when some time has passed and I look back at the piece with fresh eyes, I see something entirely different.  I'm no longer disappointed.  I see a place I must have been at that particular time.  I accept it.

I've learned something else this year.  My dog, Lucy, had eye cancer and had her eye removed in January, just after we got back from our Florida trip.  At first I couldn't even talk about it.  But the operation was completely successful and I love her even more now (and she's spoiled from all the extra attention she gets).  She adjusted well to her new handicap and enjoys life with the same zest as always.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all accept things so easily?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Work in Progress


It seems like I'm always painting lately.  Instead of completing one painting at a time, I'm working on several at a time.  The translucent process is one that I'm totally immersed in at present. I'm seeing glimmers of progress and am convinced that this is the road I want to take with my work.  

I've had several disappointing paintings that will probably end up in the bon fire as a sacrifice to the art gods.  But I've also had some paintings that show promise.  Who knows why we artists choose to take a different route after painting in a similar manner for years.  It seems that throughout history artists go through different periods of creating.  With me, it's as if there has been an irresistible pull in this direction.  

I'll be showing this painting again when it's been glazed and scumbled with several layers of paint.