Category Archives: abstract

“Art On Paper” Exhibition in NYC

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Tomas Vu, mixed media on wood panel

It was a big art week in New York City.  Ok, there is generally dozens of art exhibitions every week in the Big Apple, but this week featured some of the biggest art fairs of the year with the Armory Show at Pier 92/94 and the Park Avenue Armory on the Upper East Side.  Additionally, one show you might not know is the “Art on Paper” art fair down on Pier 36.  I headed down to the Lower East Side to check it out.  As an artist who uses collage paper in her work, I have a special love for art created on paper and/or with paper.  This exhibition didn’t disappoint.  Here are a few of my favorite pieces from this year’s show.

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Thomas McNickel, oil on paper

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Mersuka Dopazo and Teresa Calderon, mixed media on canvas

Henry Jackson, mixed media on paper

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Riitta Klint, Collaged Yupo paper

rex ray

Rex Ray, Lithograph of 18 colors

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Finished Commissioned Painting

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Almost two months ago, I started a painting commission and I wanted to share the process with you.  After getting approval on the basic composition from some simple sketches, I worked up two small studies with very different color directions.

 

The client picked the orange study but he wanted more orange, less red on the bottom, wasn’t fond of some of the black, and eliminated any ink “doodles”.  Armed with a better idea of my client’s taste, I began work on a larger canvas.  Here are several stages the painting went through along the way, incorporating the changes and preferences of the client’s each time.  As my process incorporates many layers of paint and hand-printed collage paper, adding more layers only enhanced the final painting by adding depth, texture, and complexity.

 

Though the final painting loosely resembles the original study, it took on a life of its own through the collaborative process to its finish.  It was really fun to work together to create a painting we are both happy with.

Avalanche HDAvalanche, mixed media, 36″ x 36″

 

How to paint a commission

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How does an artist go about painting a commissioned painting?  Every artist is different but I’d like to share how I go about it.  I recently got a commission from a collector of mine and I thought I would share the process with you over several blog posts.

To start, I needed an idea of which type of painting style of mine he liked best, the painting size he had in mind, and the color palette he envisioned.  He also sent me photographs of the other artworks in his home that would be within sight of the painting I was creating.

I started by sketching out some rough compositional ideas in small thumbnails (3″ x 3″).  Next, I picked my favorite composition and transferred the same sketch onto a couple sheets of Bristol board.  Then I painted two small studies with different color palettes based on the colors the collector was interested in.  You can see how I went dark and dramatic in one painting, and hot and bright in the other.  These are very small studies (6″ x 6″) and they are just to get some early feedback on preferences, likes and dislikes before moving forward onto the next phase.  Then I emailed the sketches to the client who gave me some valuable input to move forward with.  Check back and you’ll see which sketch he liked best when I post the next phase.

Feeling Blue?  I know just the place for you

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Feeling Blue?  I know just the place for you

The color blue evokes serenity, spirituality, infinity.  Lay back and look at heaven.  The 5th chakra:  the throat, voice and self-expression.  Deep blues: singing, listening.  Sea and shadow.  Blue symbolizes the Virgin Mary.  Krishna has blue skin.  Fifty-three percent of the world’s flags have blue.  It’s the color most commonly used in corporate identities.  Miles Davis was kind of blue.  What kind of blue are you?

Harbor Town, mixed media on cradled panel, 32″ x 32″, $1800

This painting was inspired by the Boston Harbor which I lived near a few years ago.  The water is made from many layers of translucent mulberry paper which I painted all these wonderful shades of blue.

“BLUE” Exhibition at the Front Street Gallery

I am exhibition my painting title “Harbor Town” in the BLUE exhibition at the Front Street Gallery in Patterson, New York. The show opened on October 18 and runs through December 6.  The gallery has extended hours on October 24 & 25 as part of the ArtEast Open Studio Tour.

See a BLUE slide show at the gallery website http://frontstreetgallery.org.  Front Street Gallery is at 21 Front Street in Patterson, New York, across the street from the Metro North train Station.

Featuring Gretchen Hoffman Abene, Patrick J. Cicalo, Shelley Dell, Andrew Dines, Ken Dreyfack, Kathy Ferguson, Matt Frieburghaus, Sarah K. Gray, Nicole Hughes, Annette Jaret, Lise Kjaer, Sassoon Kosian, Galina Krasskova, Tanya Kukucka, Pamela Lambros, Hannah Raine Brenner-Leonard, Alex Lindquist, Amanda Lynne, Eugene Posolli, Karen Schaffel, Ilona Sirman, Jane Soodalter, Fran Traina, Meaghan Troup, Rosanne Walsh, Dayna Wenzel, Joann Zwolski.

Watch me make a painting – Step 4

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The last couple of days, I have shown you a painting in progress.  Today is the last steps where you see how I pull all the “randomness” together into a cohesive work.  I retraced my original vine sketch to scale (24″ x 24″) to fit the dimensions of the painting panel and transferred it to the surface of my paper collage surface.  Then I painting multiple layers of white acrylic paint around the outline to reveal the main subject material.  Voila!  Colorful vines and flowers appear as if out of the mist.  The surrounding white really makes the colors pop.  The last touch was to add some red-painted outlines of branches of berries.  Some of my favorite parts are actually in the white areas with their detailed but subtle textured surfaces.  See the two companion paintings are below.

Vines Revealed 3 Web

Vines Revealed 2 Web

Hanging my own art in my home

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For the most part, I don’t hang my own paintings in my home.  It’s not that I don’t like them, but I see enough of my work during the day working in my studio and I really enjoy looking at other artists’ work when I’m home.  However, I recently hung an encaustic painting of mine in our New York apartment.  We have this large fuse box panel smack in the middle of the dining room.   I couldn’t find a painting that fit those dimensions to cover it so I create one of my own,  Composed of twenty-five 6″ x 6″ individual encaustic tiles.  Encaustic paint is a blend of beeswax, damar crystals and oil painted in its melted state.  The fun part about encaustic is its versatility.  You can carve back into it, embed paper into it, transfer images onto it and more.  I used these techniques in this painting.

“Circle in Science and Nature”, encaustic paint, paper, beads, fabric, transfers, and watercolor

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Closeups of a few of the tiles:

Circle tile 1

 

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Do you have “Crazy Monkey Mind” too?

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Do you have “Crazy Monkey Mind” too?

I’m continuing my yoga inspired painting series.  This is the third painting in the series, titled “Chitta Vritta”, that translates to “restless mind” in Sanskrit.  A past yoga teacher of mine liked to call this “crazy monkey mind” instead, describing the wandering of our thoughts while we are trying to meditate.  The top of this painting depicts this “monkey mind” where thoughts are pinging all over the place.  As our breathing kicks in and our minds still, we allow the calm into ourselves and it blankets this space with stillness (the bottom of the painting).  I love the beginning of a yoga session as my pace slows down and my mind quiets.

I’m thinking of doing at least five more paintings in this series.  What yoga inspired idea would you like to see me paint next?

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“Chitta Vritta”, acrylic and paper, 20″ x 16″

More “New School”

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More “New School”

Back on April 6, 2014, I posted some small paintings I did of the New School building in New York City.  I can’t seem to get enough of this building.  So here I go again with another larger, abstract version of it.  I’m just living with the painting for now, waiting for it to tell me if it’s finished or not.  Let me know what you think. Stop or keep going?  Suggestions?  Thank you in advance for your input.

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“New School Refractions”, Acrylic on Panel, 24″ x 30″.

 

 

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

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Painting a self-portrait is hard. You have to get past that knee jerk reaction to paint out your wrinkles or drop the extra 10 pounds (20, 30, or more) when painting yourself. One method to get past this is to abstract your self-portrait. Concentrate instead on using new funky colors, disproportionating your body parts or leave your face as a blank oval. Who’s going to notice a few flaws with all that going on! Here’s my rainbow self-portrait, saggy eyelids and all.

Self Portrait Rainbow

 

Self Portrait, Oil on panel, 20″ x 16″

Don’t be blue!

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I tried my hand at painting an abstract figure painting last week.  My lovely daughter, Kelsey, was kind enough to model for me, coming by my apartment early before heading to work.  It was this pose that jumped out at me.  She looks like she is pondering some deep thoughts.  Either that, or she needs her first cup of coffee before she falls back asleep.  So that’s what I title the painting.

Pondering

“Pondering”, Mixed Media on Panel,  30″ x 20″