“Queen Anne’s Lace and the Last Magical Summer”

Queen-Ann's-Lace

If “Sanctuary” was the first step towards a new way of working, “Queen Anne’s Lace and the Last Magical Summer” is the painting that convinced me that there was no turning back.

In the past I have always used reference photos, detailed sketches, and a defined plan for my work. I have always known from the start exactly what each of my paintings would look like completed before they were even begun. This way of working was feeling stale and I knew it had to change.

I started “Queen Anne’s Lace and the Last Magical Summer” with several photo references, my memories of childhood summers, and no plan or expectations. I altered and combined the photographs, sketched only a loose contour drawing, improvised, worked spontaneously, and let things happen, trusting in my artistic instincts.

This painting was a much more satisfying creative journey than I have previously experienced and I believe it proves that working from the heart can produce exceptional results.

New Work: “Sanctuary”

Sanctuary

To all following along, thank you for the encouragement and support of my new painting “Sanctuary”. I really have no idea where this path will take me artistically but that seems really exciting to me as an artist. I’ve felt for a while that my work needed to grow and agonized over how to deal with those feelings. I ultimately realized that I could contemplate this dilemma forever but couldn’t have an opinion about what I never allowed to exist. I decided to just go for it. I tried to paint less with my head and more with my heart. I tried to stop being predictable and “Sanctuary” is the result. I learn something with every painting and this one has shown me so much but also posed a lot of new questions. I have already begun a new canvas and am excited to get to work free of all the old rules and habits that held me back before.

“A New Path…..”

trailAlmost every morning, whether it’s hot and sunny or cold and snowy, I take my dog walking in the woods for about an hour. That time spent on the trail is one of my most favorite parts of the day. I’ve always used it as a time to clear my head, reorganize my thoughts, breathe some fresh air, and just appreciate the beauty around me. Autumn where I live is exceptionally beautiful as the landscape transitions from it’s summer green into it’s fall colors. It seems an appropriate time for me to make a transition in my work as well. This departure from my usual figurative painting happened because when I really stopped and thought about what I wanted people to feel when they saw my work – peacefulness and serenity – I felt pulled more and more towards nature. I’ve made paintings about these things before and am now just coming to them down a different path. It’s a path inspired by all those miles I’ve walked through the woods and I will have new work to share very soon!

Attitude

AttitudeThe painting “Attitude” came about kind of unexpectedly. As I held this beautifully reflective tube of luscious red lipstick, I started thinking about the power this color holds. The bad girl imagery goes perfectly with this bold, seductive, and jealousy invoking red. It is not the color to stain your lips if you’re feeling shy. It’s the color to choose if you want to feel irresistible and invincible. The perfect color for a girl with attitude.

Inspiration

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There has been a change happening in my studio lately that I haven’t fully been ready to articulate until now. The ideas that pop into my head are becoming more and more about objects that inspire me. I have come to realize that if I’m going to paint about my life, and my life is changing, that it’s only natural that my artwork should keep up.

I began making figurative self-portraits when I was a new mother and more focused on the physical challenges of everyday and the journey my body had undergone. Now that my children are older, my challenges are more about organization and finding balance. Our calendar is always filled with birthday parties, sports, friends, and family and total chaos seems to always threaten to overtake us. There is beauty to be found in the imperfection though.

In the beyond control moments, hidden in the piles of stuff that seem to accumulate is a silver lining. I’ve started playing an artist’s game, challenging myself to find inspiration in every day. I look for beauty in the accidental arrangements that fall together on my kitchen counter or in the sunlight reflecting off something left outside. I’ve been making small sketches and taking photographs and while 4 out of 5 of these ideas will never become a finished painting, the process has left me feeling happier and less overwhelmed by my list of to-do’s. The studio hasn’t felt this fun and creative in a while. Now all I need are a few more hours in my week!

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