Thursday, December 07, 2006

Indigo + titanium white

Well, after the normal life interruptions, I think I may have finished another painting... What I am not showing is the unsuccessful one I attempted in between where I used more than one color... ...So, this time, thinking simplification may mean "success," I tried Indigo ( a Sennelier brand color that I am in love with) and white.. a false step up from black and white..
Writing this, I realize that as much as I love color, I am also very attracted to the modeling of light and dark on "smooth" water and all the variations in between. So this is just another attempt at understanding how that looks.. It still evades me..

If you write down a sentence and you don't like it, but that's what you wanted to say, you say it again in another way. Once you start doing it and you find how difficult it is, you get interested. You have it, then you loose it again, and then you get it again. You have to change to stay the same.
-Williem de Kooning

Limited palette

Finished 36"x36" (largest painting I have ever done)

In the studio

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Impossible color matching

Finally completing "Glassy Paddle Out", the next challenge was to photograph it for the blog.. Yikes! Considering I spent so much time working with oils to come close to the color I see in my mind, I was now faced with yet another, unexpected (and unwanted) lighting conditions affect the color in the digital photo.. This is as close as I could come, but thought I'd include a side by side view of the computer screen and the original. The blue on-screen version is ok, but not what I wanted. If nothing else, it shows the size of the painting...and one can only guess at which color is the closest..
The past three paintings I have done in color have been such a learning process.. mainly learning how much I don't know.. B & W is comfortable, simple and I am still looking at form and light.. Color just adds an extra element.. The question is, is it necessary for what I am trying to say? Maybe I will stick to black and white for a few more years... or not..

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Friday, October 13, 2006

more charcoal

Until I get it together to take more photos, thought I would post more from the foam series...Here are another 3 pieces..

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Shades of grey

Finished and hanging on the wall.. This piece is 30"x24".
All I can think of now is going even bigger! That's a lot of canvas to cover!

Re: the state of "glassy paddle out" .. I am ready to abandon it..but maybe not just yet... The two challenges I face are 1) color!!! or lack of..and 2) the incredible amount of detail in the water...if I take out too much, it loses something.. I can eliminate some, but there seems to be a delicate balance I have yet to understand..

This past week the waves have been good, the water glassy, the sky foggy,
so the light has been amazing. I wish I had a photographic memory.. the color in the water is so hard to put a finger on.. grey? yellow grey? blue grey? blue? green shadows? grey shadows? brown? And to try to capture just a bit of the feeling of being in that amazing environment.. Guess that is why I keep trying.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Step into Liquid

Thought this painting was finished until I took some photos of it..Saw some spots that need some work, so back to the easel! As for the foot, I was fooling around with the camera, trying to give it a sense of scale.. will post the finished piece later.

I am having a heck of a time trying to mix the colors I want to finish painting "glassy paddle out" Today I got discouraged and wiped off all the paint I laid over the b&w image..a few day's worth.. Luckily, the image is still there. Maybe when I return from our backpack trip, a week without ocean or paint, just mountains, my eyes will be able to see things differently.. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Pastel from the Past

This is for those of you who don't know my past work . Yes, it is pastel.. I actually think it was the very last still life I did before I packed all my pastels away in 2002.. I just sold it and Jesse took a digital photo for my records.. Much easier than the laborious professional film set up I have done in the past..
I have been entertaining the idea of documenting all the old work on a web site.. just for a record more than anything else..
Other news.. I was in the process of ruining "glassy paddle out" by painting layers of color on top of the black and white, until I decided to put it aside before it is completely gone.. ...I may return to it later, sometimes mistakes take unexpected turns.. In the meantime, I started on a larger water b&w.. So much fun... Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Take a deep breath

"Glassy paddle out" OK, another experiment... this is the "first" stage. The so-called underpainting..I rather like it in black and white, so I really need to let go of any attachment to the painting and go ahead into the unknown. I plan to apply thin glazes of color (yyyaaaahhhh!!) and see if i can make it come alive.. Because of the water being so glassy/edgy there is less blending, less of the soft edges that I am also attracted to and create a completely different feeling for me...yet another challenge.. I am sitting with the notion that I might completely "ruin" it which is the reason for me posting it before I finish it..
There are many layers of painting on this panel, the same wave in many different forms.. kept trying to "get it right" but never completely did.. color issues again... This reminded me of the great little lefts at Bolinas when the groin sandbar was working (sigh!) ...Anyway, a friend saw it and loved it, so it will now be at her house...
Out of focus photo of the wave above. There is something I am really attracted to about this image..what a contrast to the crisp b&w.. Probably the two sides of my brain jockeying for control... Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

More Foam...

Thought I would post a few more of the foam drawings since I haven't posted in a while...I did a series of 14 of these, so will gradually put them up for view.. a few at a time.. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 20, 2006

All together now!

All those experiments add up, a big painting! In the order I painted the pieces, starting top left, clockwise, 2nd, 3rd, 1st, 4th..


In the continuing quest to learn how to use oils, I decided to remove all color and just use black and white.. I am much more at ease, probably because mixing the colors I see is so difficult (but is it necessary?) and also because of my experience with drawing B&W..I actually like this quite a bit, for me it is the most successful at portraying the "glassiness" of water that I am SO in love with...I am wondering what might happen if I lay a color glaze over the black and white and use it (the b & w) as an underpainting. The truth is, I really like this the way it is, so I will have to continue with the experiment..

Friday, July 07, 2006


Move your cursor over the photo and see what happens!

From the looks of the date on the last entry, the flow has been in a LONG ebb..Just lots of other stuff going on.. But I did manage to see the EBB & FLOW show.. I was in good company, but the Sausalito Bay Model as a gallery space isn't the best.. Lots of space, but too big or something...
Now I have two new framed pieces of art on my walls.. my own...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Ebb and Flow

I did get 2 pieces juried into the Sausalito Arts Comission show..(see April 13 post.. guess which one did they NOT pick?) The reception is June 3, 1pm-4pm. Show is 23 may-25 june. It's at the Bay Model in Sausalito. Coincidentally, the name of the show is Ebb & Flow.

However, I was really disappointed to find that a couple of my favorite artists, who also do beach/ocean/tidepool images were somhow overlooked... Makes me wonder what the show will be like if they weren't selected, as I still feel like I am in such an experimental/exploring phase in my art...Maybe they got selected because they were drawings? I aspire to draw/paint/ work with the same level of expertise that they have acheived and feel I have such a long way to go....

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Monday, May 01, 2006

Morning Glass

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OK. Yet another experiment. This time I tried working with an image that I love.. the clear glassy mornings out in the water at Bolinas, surfing with friends. I love being in the water and spending the time waiting for waves surrounded by breathtaking beauty..It is an amazing experience.
I realized the other day that I am actually beginning to be more at ease with the paint. It helps to limit my palette (3 colors+ white) and have more surface to practice blending, etc. ( I did a small study of this image first) As with everything else in my life, it's all about practice! I am learning as I go..I may not know much, but I know more now than when I started.
And as to the photo and the feet.. I have yet to find the best way to take a photo where all the edges are parallel.. or the best environment.. indoor? outdoor? True that I can control the photo with my camera on a tripod, but it's too much work, plus I would never post anything if I did it that way.. So, toes, doormat, what the heck...You can always click on the photo and zoom in if you want...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

first experiments with oils

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The "more about that later" is now..
I started surfing in 9/04 with some women friends.. Since the youngest of us was 50, we dubbed ourselves the OBOB's (old broads on boards) I still surf 2x a week or more if I can..

Since I love being in the water so much, with the constant changes of light, color, waves, wind etc.. and spend so much of the time with my jaw dropped at the breathtaking beauty, it seemed only natural that it become an inspiration for my art.. I attempted some acrylics, but was frustrated with the fast drying time and colors..When I FINALLY got myself to try oils ( I had been thinking about it for YEARS) it was pretty obvious that it was the right medium.. So, I am teaching myself how to paint..slow, frustrating, but I realized today that I know more than I did when I started... The images I love the most are those of glassy water..Understanding what happens to light on water (not an easy task 'cause it's always moving) ..

Monday, April 24, 2006

image from the past

Until I can post the painting that I am working on now, if I ever finish it, here's a charcoal drawing from a couple of years ago.. In my "Buddha Image period", I was interested in the similar shape/ proportions of the faces.. and was also interested in the idea that we all embody the characteristics of the Buddha, in this case, Kwan Yin..and my daughter, Laurel..I though it would be cool to continue with a series of juxtaposed faces, just never got around to it.. probably on a back burner somewhere, with all the other "maybes" Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Comedy cup

Went with some friends to live comedy night at Throckmorton in Mill Valley, Mark Pitta and friends.. The first guy was so bad i decided i would draw to amuse myself, and the only thing available was my the evening went on, the comedians got progressively better...but i kept on drawing....When we left the theatre, it was raining (as usual) and the cup got wet, creating some interesting effects.. esp on the guy in the middle... ended up being a nice evening.. some pretty good laughs...

Thursday, April 13, 2006

first foam drawings

My friend Barbara talked me into entering the Sausalito Exhibition, Ebb & Flow...jesse is helping me put these images on a cd so I don't have to bother with slides. I don't think I have any expectations...but who knows?

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Saturday, April 01, 2006

First try at oils

i did a series of charcoal drawings, "the foam drawings" over the past year, so it seemed only natural that my first oil painting would be the same subject .. very different working with color.. lots to learn, that's for sure! Posted by Picasa

camera works!

Finally got a new camera, tested taking an art photo.. not bad.. This is an acrylic painting from sometime last year, '05, while I was experimenting with acrylics. I wasn't happy with it at the it just brings back memories.. surfing with the OBOBs.. more about that later. Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 20, 2006

What me blog?

I know, you are probably laughing.. Mary? a blogger? Well, here's how it happened...
Since I am so often asked, "what do you do?" or "what kind of art are you working on these days?" or "where do you show your art?" , I decided it would be cool if I could just direct people to a site.. I had read somewhere that blogging was an easy way to go, ( as opposed to a web site) so Jesse (my son) set this up for me in an amazingly short period of time this morning..
I am not sure yet how I want to go about doing it, hopefully I can just post what I am working on and it will come out ok.. And since I have little patience for spending long periods of time in front of the computer, I am not sure exactly how this will work...or in this moment why am I doing this anyway.. oh well, so what?!?!
One step at a time.

I'm going to try this

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