Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Getting Back to Basics

After a jam-packed couple of years of art exhibits, selling a house, building a house, moving twice and getting married, I am settling into a more placid routine and enjoyment of life. I have very few artistic obligations on my calender, (only one show this coming spring plus a couple commissions) and I LIKE IT! I am luxuriating in my ability to spend as much time as I like on a painting, and have given myself permission to practice, to play, and create work for its own sake, rather than with an eye for sale.

After working from photographs So often, I have been feeling the need to draw and paint from life again. Working from photographs has tremendous advantages, but it can also lead to rigidity and complacency. So not only is working from life good practice, it also can broaden and deepen my experience in art making and lets me be in touch with the wonder of seeing.
Self portraits are an obvious choice when working from life- it is convenient and I don't complain about having to sit still for so long! But because I am concentrating as I work, most of my self portraits have a stern, even angry look about them. I'm not really angry, just absorbed in what I am doing, and that emotion gets translated into the finished work.

 Self Portraits are not the only life painting I have been doing. This is a painting of a pair of very large plants I have in my art studio.
By getting back to basics I aim to raise my confidence and mastery in my painting. As I joked to myself the other day, "I'm trying to teach myself how to paint."

Sunday, July 28, 2013

"Seine Nets and Regattas" a show at RiverSea Gallery

"1946 Astoria Regatta; Salmon Derby Winner" 
"Seine Nets and Regattas" is my new show at RiverSea Gallery, opening this August 3rd. I have created all new work for the exhibit, all based on photographs of Astoria. 

For this show, not only have I created all new work, but I have branched out and used a new surface, plaster. I applied plaster on wood, and then drew and painted on that. The affect has a different feel and appearance, and I liked working on it a lot. To see some more of my work, scroll down. I will share with you the techniques I used and information about the photographs I worked from.

The Astoria Regatta started in 1894. It stemmed from a way for the community to celebrate the return of Astoria fishermen from Alaska. Along with the boat pageant, there evolved a parade, a beauty contest, and a salmon derby where who caught the largest salmon won. The Astoria Regatta was suspend for three periods; WWI, after the devastating 1921 fire that destoyed much of down town Astoria, and during WWII. It started back up in 1948 and has been celebrated every year in early August. This year the dates are Wednesday August 7th though Sunday August 11th.
"Astoria Regatta, 1890's" 24"x24" Acrylic on panel
"Astoria Regatta, 1941" 24"x30" Acrylic on panel
This must have been part of the Regatta celebration, featuring an Andrews Sisters style local singing group. The date of the photograph is 1941, so it must have been the last Regatta before being suspended during WWII.
"The Wreck of the Miss Epps III" 14"x11" Acrylic on panel
The Miss Epps was a famous speedboat that competed in one of the Astoria Regatta boat races. As you can see, Miss Epps has met her demise, and is being held together in a bundle by rope.
"Butterfly Regatta, Astoria Oregon" 24"x36" Acrylic on plaster

This painting is acrylic on plaster. It is based on a famous photograph owned by the Oregon History Project. These are small gillnet fishing boats used by fishermen who worked for the Union Fish Cannery. The boats were powered by two tiangular sails which, when running downwind with a second spiritsail resembled butterfly wings.

The Astoria fishing industry has been the predominant industry in Astoria up until recent times.While looking for images to use for this show, I came across a bunch of early 1900's photographs of men using seine nets to gather up loads of salmon in the shallows of the Columbia River. They used horses and manpower to pull the heavy nets around. The resulting images are stark, lonesome and beautiful. They inspired me enormously.
"Indians Seining Salmon on Sand Island 1908" 24"x36" Acrylic and charcoal on plaster.

"Loading Seine onto Barge Preparatory to Making a Haul, 1908" 24"x40" Acrylic and charcoal on plaster
"Seine Fishing, Lower Columbia River" 12"x16" Acrylic and charcoal on panel
"Taking Salmon from Seine Net to Wagon 1908" 24"x40" Acrylic on plaster
"Fishermen on a Small Powerboat 1908" 24"x30" Acrylic on plaster

"Gill Net Fishing, Astoria, OR." 12"x8" Acrylic and charcoal on panel
"Interior of House Boat Sleeping Bunks 1908" 20"x20" Acrylic on panel
Though most of the fishermen were immigrants from Scandinavia, the workers in the canneries were mostly Chinese or Chinese-American. These images came from the Library of Congress in the early 1940's.
"Dockworkers, Astoria, Oregon 1941" 24"x28" Acrylic on panel
"Gutting Tuna, Astoria, Oregon 1944" 24"x31" Acrylic on panel

"The Wreck of the Alice McDonald" 24"x36" Acrylic and charcoal on plaster

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring and Summer Art Shows

This spring and summer there are several opportunities to see my art in different towns in beautiful Oregon. Here is a rundown of my upcoming shows.

Exhibit number one!

April 1st through April 25th
Lane Community College Art Gallery
I will be giving an artist lecture on Thursday, April 4th at 3pm. There will be a reception following. All are welcome to attend!

4000 East 30th Avenue, 
Eugene, OR.  Building 11

Exhibit number two!

June 6th through June 29th
The Dalles Art Center
Out in the beautiful Columbia Gorge, half and hour west of Maryhill Museum.

The Reception will be June 6th, from 5-7pm

The Dalles Art Center,
220 East 4th St.The Dalles, OR. 97058
(541) 296-4759

Exhibit number three!

August 3rd through September 3rd, 2013
RiverSea Gallery! 
All new work created specifically for RiverSea, all based on historic photographs and snapshots of Astoria. Artist Reception is Saturday, August 3rd 5-7pm. I will be there to meet, greet, and chat about my work.
Astoria Art Walk will be Saturday, August 10th.
RiverSea Gallery
1160 Commercial St.Astoria, OR.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Winter Transitions...

This year has been spent in a temporary rental while my fiance and I build our new house. It is amazing what art can be accomplished in a tiny spare bedroom with a tarp to protect the floor! In between meetings and decision making about the house I have managed to create a body of work and start on a new one for a show I am having at RiverSea Gallery this coming August. I have started to experiment with new materials and work with a teacher to hone my craft.

I look forward to sharing my new work with you in the new year!
"Salad Days" 6"x8" Acrylic on panel.
This December, I will be one of the artists showing at RiverSea Gallery, in beautiful Astoria, Oregon.

December 2012 Invitational Group Show:
“Postcards from the Edge”
a small format show for wall-hung artwork
Show Dates: December 8 - 31, 2012
Opening Reception: Saturday, December 8, 5 - 8 pm