Sunday, December 27, 2009

teresa painting, christmas 2009

This has been a season of peaceful holidays, spent painting! It's been years since I had this freedom.
On Christmas Day my friend of many decades gifted me with her presence and suggested a portrait party. We set a limit of 20 minutes but failed to set a timer, I think it was 30! This sketch is in acrylic on canvas, 8 x 8 inches.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

bridge to somewhere

Here are my two newest tiny (4 inches square) paintings. I am tempted to just do these tiny little paintings forever, this is really satisfying! They begin as pen/brush drawings on gessoed canvas in airbrush-consistency acrylic (I call it ink); when that is dry, I add tiny bits of color, transparent and opaque, until they are suddenly done!

These are views of the Aurora bridge west of Gas Works Park here in Seattle.

This one, West From Gas Works II, was originally drawn in white acrylic on black gesso:

West From Gas Works III was sketched in anthraquinone blue acrylic "ink" on white gesso:

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Farewell, acrylic on canvas, 30" x 40", copyright 2009 (title sort of explained below)
Well, it has been a while since I've posted all right. Have been getting outside to paint maybe once a week, working a lot in the studio. Would like to find homes for the accumulation. Fantasy is to find a corporate wormhole that will just vacuum up all my production straight into a venue where it will be loved -- no muss, no fuss, no gallery openings, no schmoozing; no hyperventilating, no angst -- no talk, basically. Aren't I terrible? It is exhausting thinking of all the things that must be done to create a dynamic opportunity for my work to go belong to someone else. I don't like talking people into buying work. Hate it, in fact. Never have done it. Yet there used to be clients in my life, back when I was a "real" painter! Some of them I knew, some of them I was never told their names by the gallerists or reps.
I have heard writer Kazuo Ishiguro quoted as saying people who choose solitary professions do so because they have something from which to heal. Whether the quote is accurate, this certainly applies to a lot of artists I know. We would rather work with our physical media than struggle with the vagaries and potential betrayals of human interaction -- at least a lot of the time! Objects can be our friends -- at least for a while.
Is there any reliable way for someone who hates to socialize to sell their art? If anyone has advice beyond "work your tail off" please share!
Recently learned that an iconic piece I thought I had in storage was sold at auction a year ago by a place here in Seattle called Pacific Galleries. They won't tell me who consigned it to them or anything else. Very odd. Back when it was new -- one of the times I had to drop the career and care for family, in 1998 -- I could very well have lost track of this piece. For a while it was on loan to Summit Travel and Cruises. Did someone there hang onto it and finally turn it over to the auction house, or did something else happen? I don't know. I have spent the last terrible decade not painting and believing I never would again, but have never heard from anyone regarding this piece; found this sale by accident on the internet.

Ton Plaisir II (Yellow Trees), pastel on paper, 29.75'' x 43.5'', copyright 1998

Ironically, this piece is one I reproduced for business cards I still carry.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

avenging the leopard

Here is a piece that began as an experiment in layers of acrylic paint and mediums, collaging in separately created acrylic skins and painted paper. It developed organically -- a means I enjoy and will have to keep learning from; right now I think it worked well! 36" x 36" acrylic/collage on canvas.
(The leopard in question was my painted silk kimono-style fiber sculpture, stolen from Seattle Center in the early nineties. It walked off its display as I sat 20 feet away, attending to something I guess... I have mourned long enough.)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

life en plein air

It has been one rousing week! I have painted happily with several terrific people, half of whom were previously strangers, out of doors this week; can't quite believe my good luck. Everyone I met was delightful, good painting in good company!
First, on Monday a few of us met at Log Boom Park on a brilliant sunny day. We snuck past the "caution" tape and worked out on the washed-out path and bridge, and met several nice folks strolling by on the safe side of the tape. 24" x 36" oil on canvas.
Then on Thursday a few others and I met at Shilshole Marina, overlooking the boats and breakwater -- another bright sunshiny day. This was knifepainted held in my arms -- without an easel! We met a lot of friendly humans and dogs! 12 x 16 oil on canvas.

Today, I met two more folks for the first time and we painted at a private pond in Juanita! It was perfect weather, just cool and grey and maybe one drop of rain.... we met some neighbors who may choose to join us next time! another 12 x 16 oil on canvas.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

across green lake

This is one of my latest favorites. Having finally acquired a small studio space, one goal is to create some large works based on my tiny plein air oil sketches. Here is my first such effort, a 24 x 36 acrylic based on a little oil sketch I did last spring at Green Lake. The challenge is to retain the freshness of the original. Layering paint into wet mediums seems to give me the feeling I'm after!

Here is the original sketch:

Friday, September 18, 2009

boats or trains?

Made a glorious discovery today. Tried to meet up with Plein Air Washington at Fishermen's Terminal, but found no one to meet up with! So I felt free to follow my merry way, and found that if you park by Net Building 9, not only can you park for 3 days (!!!) but there is a little bike trail nearby that goes under the bridge and voila! you are looking at the rail yard I've craved to paint for quite a while!
Showing you my beloved Beauport easel. This was flat ground but it is stable whether or not! Light enough to carry but as a weakling I put everything on wheels. This means, of course, I tend to bring the kitchen sink along, but oh well, it comes in handy!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

welcome to the neighborhood!

Friend Frances and I conspired and found studio space in Wallingford, and moved in this week. She has since decided to resume looking further south, thereby avoiding a long, toxic commute, but I hope we will continue to collaborate materially and in spirit despite this distance -- as we have so far!
For me, this is the part of town that has everything -- industry, waterscape, neighborhood! I will try to make the most of it.
This is my first painting done in the new space. Acrylic on canvas, 8 x 8, from a photo taken at fishermen's terminal.
Also spent a little time at Gas Works Park ruminating. Here is yesterday's 4x6 lunchtime sketch of a tiny part of the view across Lake Union, in white ink and gouache:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

the resurgence of jazz

we are going out on a limb here. tulips traditionally, of course, must be watched over if not redistributed by an animal companion; but we are just getting back into the swing of things. here are a few new little sketches in mixed media, somewhat reminiscent of a style that used to be mine.

Friday, August 14, 2009

farther along on the burke-gilman

so here is my best attempt at a photo of the new wet 12 x 16 oil on panel of the same scene sketched a few days ago. This has been an illuminating experience in many ways. First, I don't get tired of painting the same thing, plus it's a different puzzle to solve in different media; second, this process causes me to look at and see the scene again and then again; third, working in black and white helps me work out values. These are no-brainers to visual artists, but I relearn a lot of these every day as I clump towards enlightenment.

I am sure many of my friends on flickr will go on liking one of the sketches better than this painting; but this is a step closer to my own goal -- if only because I addictively struggle to bend this beloved medium to my will.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

burke-gilman trail

looking at old photographs from the next-to-last studio days down on Lake Union (1998?) and found myself sketching one of them. Did a series of 3-1/2 sketches (on my flickr site) on black paper, using white ink, gouache, black ink. Here is the colorful one:

Friday, August 7, 2009

oh Canada

Visited Vancouver, B.C. , one of my favorite cities, this week to see the Dutch Masters show at Vancouver Art Gallery. Been a few years since I've seen a Vermeer up close! Just a few Rembrandts, one Vermeer (The Love Letter) -- and a lot of other great paintings and history. Being of Dutch heritage I am finally, at this advanced age, taking an interest in a culture I have always considered stultifying. It was illuminating to learn (again and in more depth) that the elaborate Protestant religiosity I grew up with has a history several centuries old; was not the product of my ancestors' lack of imagination, but of spritual and economic necessity and innovation; had served countless generations of peasant survival. While I have known the Dutch explored and colonized widely, I don't think I fully realized just how vast their geographical presence was, preceding British expansion.
While there I was able to get in some sketches from the beach at English Bay. Here are a couple -- one in gouache/ink and one in oil.
Did some sketching in the Gallery too. Will get some of those up after I add some color. They only allow pencils inside!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

blue day behind the locks

Finally got to muck around a bit with my little 8x8 oil sketch from last week at the locks! This is pretty much how the day felt to me, I enjoyed it!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

wires and air

Well, it's been a while since I've posted, but I've got Dad's house on the market at last. Whew!
Spent some time at the Ballard Locks the other day, got one good ink sketch and only a good start on an oil sketch. I think I'll mess with it in studio.
Here's my little moleskine study of the wires in the back lot, where all the fun stuff is!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

blue house

Visiting green lake so I snuck off to make a sketch. I've been admiring the houses around the lake, you could spend all your time painting them and never get done. This one is east of the lake, across the street. Being in a hurry adds drama!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fairhaven boat launch

Had the opportunity to flit up to Bellingham for the day and hang out near Fairhaven Shipyard! A Washington State Ferry was there for its routine scheduled maintenance. Here is a sketch view from the railway right-of-way at the public boat launch. (ink/gouache, 3.5 x 11)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bardens' garden

Here are a couple small plein air oil sketches from yesterday's "Secret Gardens of Lake Forest Park" tour! Many thanks to Carolyn and Chuff Barden for inviting Frances and me to paint in their garden! The upper image was painted on gold-gessoed hardboard, 8" x 8". The lower one is painted over a red acrylic base on canvasboard, 12" x 12".

Thursday, June 4, 2009

So -- here are a few sketches from the past few days. Lake City Farmer's Market (today, with a couple other "urban sketchers"), Rockler -- the Woodworkers' Store -- (two days ago) and Darrells Tavern (yesterday). Funny what the hot sun makes us do.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

view from gas works

Here's a little sketch (4 x 4) of a piece of a photo looking east from Gas Works Park, sgraffito in oil on black-gessoed hardboard. I wanted to see if I could scrape out a line drawing from previously massed-in color. Don't know if it worked as such, but I sort of like it anyway!

Friday, May 29, 2009

more from fishermen's terminal

Here's a little sketch I began at Fishermen's Terminal but continued from a photograph. Don't even know if it's done yet.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

boats and sun

A great day painting with Frances and Sue at fishermen's terminal. Imagine a studio with ever-changing scenes of workaday industry, and sunshine (or rain)... here are the day's oil sketches, 6 x 8 and 8 x 8, respectively.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

storm at decoursey park

A terrific week sketching in Tacoma and Puyallup; At DeCoursey Park we brought out the rain! Sketched this in a big hurry before the drops started splatting!
Here's Frances at her "easel," painting the factory behind Freighthouse Square.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

blast from the past

Here is a very very old prismacolor portrait of my late beloved kitty. About 18 x 12, prismacolor on illustration board

Thursday, April 23, 2009

ballard locks

Saturday we met up at the Hiram M. Chittenden locks. Fun, windy and cold out on the locks themselves! Here are a couple little sketches:
First, ink and gouache in my little Moleskine watercolor book, 3.25 x 5, looking southeast: Then a 5x7 oil sketch looking west at the railroad bridge, from the west end of the large lock:

Saturday, April 18, 2009

community space!

Friday my friend-the-longest (43 years!) Teresa and I went to Third Place Books to look and paint and drink iced tea.
Here is Teresa's painting of the table where the poems are made.

There was a gentleman working in this area, whom I sketched as if closer up.

Lots of people using the Commons there as their third place -- just as intended!
Then we moved on to the windows facing south. Teresa captured the tree-lined path along Bothell Way:

Here is her photo of me sketching the scene.

Thank you, Teresa! I'm so lucky you're my friend!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

22nd Worldwide Sketchcrawl

What a great day in the cold and grey! Here are a few images from our crawl.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

beautiful Tacoma

Wonderful trip yesterday, painting on the Ruston Point waterway with Frances. Wish every day could be like this: meditation time, grand companionship, sunshine, lost in painting!

Here's my first little (5 x 7) oil sketch of the day, from under the bridge!