28 August 2015

The Book of Cities

So we went for a little 3-day trip out into the country, where the smoke haze made atmospheric effects of a most excellent quality.  Very inspiring for plein-air work.  Except that, after making one hundred plein air landscape paintings over 4 years, I seem to be no longer excited about it... 

Therefore, while my husband went out painting in the lovely haze, I made some collages in a 9x12 sketchbook:

the book of cities

(and one long thin piece of bristol board)

the book of cities

the book of cities

the book of cities

the book of cities

It was like a little mini artist residency and kind of funny: creating urban imagery in a beautiful but somewhat broken-down house in a tiny rural community, surrounded by beautiful rural landscapes which I no longer have any desire to paint *laughs*

And, returning to our home in the city, I continue along:

the book of cities

I begin very simply:

the book of cities

And try to stop before things get too busy:

the book of cities

the book of cities

... with greater or lesser success.

And so another obsession takes hold.  There's something really satisfying about working in a small sketchbook, all the pages the same size, a peaceful fluidity in the repetitious collage process.

It's interesting, I feel a lot of my work over the last couple of years has been very "serious", or has come from a very serious place in myself.  While it is in my nature to seek out and focus on things that bring some form of joy, sometimes that focus requires more effort than at other times.

And then as if out of nowhere come these collages, so playful and un-serious!  I believe this is how I see the city: it is a playground for the senses.

In the meantime, pinned to my studio wall are 24 small canvases, painted and stitched and waiting for the 12x12 stretchers which should arrive any day now... and in fact I'm feeling excited about those, too.

Multiplicities.  I suppose that's the way it is.

18 August 2015

a good day

This morning I felt a bit under the weather and not much like working, but nevertheless I added some colour layers to the little oil paintings, and felt happy at the end of the day.

the little oil paintings

the little oil paintings
I added white to some of them, blues and violets to others, a bit of yellow here and there, and a lovely muddy taupe to finish the day.

the little oil paintings

I also added some colour to these 12x12 oil paintings that have been languishing for over a year.  Sometimes it is very good to rework old things.

studio shelf
 studio shelfstudio shelf
And there is the shelf I built last month, for the coloured yarn.  I cut it into the wall between studs and used leftover scraps of wood for the shelves, and there's a canvas "curtain" that I can drop down over it.  This way the yarn shelf does not take up any wall space and I can still hang paintings on that portion of the wall.  I love efficient design.

12 August 2015



I've almost finished the stitching part for this series: 23 out of 24 are done.  I had only 3 stretcher frames left; more coming in at the end of the month, so I'll have to wait to stretch and finish these.

Playing with some colour combinations for the last one:


While waiting for the stretchers to arrive, I will add layers to the oil paintings and get started on some more acrylic paintings, probably larger pieces after all this small stuff.

It's too hot for any philosophical ramblings today, so I will leave it at that.

Until next time,