When Tom called with this project, I immediately loved the concept. He will be hanging art by several artists together in what he calls ‘Slices’. Each painting must be 48″ high and 8″ to 12″ wide. BUY BY THE SLICE!
My first four slices are:
In this writing I will take you through my process:
The Idea and the Design:
What’s tall and skinny? Trees, and I happen to love trees, especially bamboo and birch. I decided to place some of my female images in a setting of trees. I researched tree images on the internet and created the basic design for my paintings in Photoshop.
The past couple of years I started coloring my canvases. I love deep rich color, so to me it makes sense to start with color. Now instead of having any white showing through, there will be a little color. I prepped 8 canvases, each measuring 48″ high by 10″ wide and drew the basic images for four of them in charcoal. I’ll start the next four paintings soon.
Paint and Paper:
Having decided on the basic color scheme of black and white for the first two paintings (white dress and black bamboo) (black dress and white birch) I applied my first layer of papers. I’ve been incorporating exotic papers into my paintings for the past 20 years. I love the texture that can be achieved using paper, and I love the unexpected surprises this unusual medium provides during the painting process.The addition of paper creates hard edges, so I like to mess it up by painting with iridescent colors. This helps to give it a layered effect.
I block in the figures with some quick strokes,
and began painting details into the various elements (in this case the trees). Then I begin to define the figure, add more papers and, lastly, I embellish with gold leaf, caran dache, or other materials.
After living with the almost finished paintings for several days, I went back in and added the red bird and the flower and butterfly as the final compliment. Of course, today I see a couple things to go back into and change. I will, none-the-less, be sending the four paintings to New York in a few days and then start on four more.
I saw them when you first started on them & they turned out fantastic! I love reading about your process of painting them. Great job as always!
These are just fabulous!! So fun to see your creative process. Thanks for sharing!
How cool is that. Congrats to ya’. Sort of reminds me of Mucha. Beautiful work as always.
As soon as I saw the first two (before I saw your comments), I was loving the use of the tall, slim trees. Especially as bamboo and birches are two of my favorite trees. Birches all my life and bamboo ever since I first encountered it (which probably wasn’t in MN).
I love the colors. The faces seem rather emotionless and very similar…is that deliberate? What is the meaning?
Thanks Stephanie for your question. I have a couple of responses. First, I believe what they say in art school, that the artist always paints him/herself. Kind of like dreams, the dreamer is represented by every element of the dream. So too, in my art, what ever is going on in my life comes through. Right now, I feel like I am waiting and watching to glean a new understanding about life. Secondly, on a larger scale than self, more of an archetypal scale, there is this beautiful physical world, gorgeous and tantalizing, but through the faces and especially the eyes of every individual you can see the challenges and choices and everything else that goes into a human’s life. Thirdly, I appreciate the beauty of the female body and it is so often, perversely represented as an object. I have always tried to represent my female subjects as much more than bodies, that there is something very intense and important going on inside.