Friday, September 18, 2009

Rainy Day Stuff

Two days ago I thought the weather would never stop pouring rain. Wednesday it cleared for a bit enough to watch a squirrel leap for a huge acorn in the neighboring Bur Oak. I had no idea the fascination it held for me either. Watching him hurry down the fence and into my yard made me even more happy the adventure was unfolding here.
Curiosity got the better of me quickly so my dog and I ran out to see the new acquisition we had literally dropped in our grass. The squirrel in his haste cracked the acorn shelled it and took the nut with him.
I gathered all the parts to the shell to my studio where I could try to recreate what nature had so beautifully rendered for all to see and use. This acorn is one of those fringey kind with bumps all over it's exterior at least 2 inches in height it is one of the biggest ones I've ever seen. It broke in so few nice sized pieces I thought it would be a piece of cake. How silly we mere mortals can be. Naturally not the shell pieces are too moist to accept glues and as it dries it shrinks.

Clearly nature does not need human interference so I'll wait maybe tackle it again but in the mean time I'll keep looking up in these gorgeous trees to see the beauty of the reproduction of nature at it's best.
The impetus for this experiment for me is the ideas I gleaned from it will help me produce an art piece for an up coming show at Paseo. The container show, get it? It doesn't matter how literal this has been when I create the end result it will be my interpretation: a container of a kind that will always remind of this strange little occasion with the squirrel and the acorn.

Later on, yesterday, still rainy, overcast and then clearing again; a squirrel, it looked like the same squirrel? Since he'd been there before, he jumped straight into the oak and brought down, in five more trips acorn after acorn. After being scared out of our yard he decided to crack the acorn on the fence and take the nut to his nearby home.

During the squirrel's preoccupation with his food for the winter shopping, a beautiful black cat stealthily came upon the scene, watching the squirrels progress from another fence. The squirrel, gone on a delivery run, was away long enough for the cat to slip ever closer to the target tree. Lili and I watched with the fascination of theater-goers at the drama in the back yard. I began writing a mystery story involving a thief and an observer, it could be quite a story.

The relating of this adventurous tale is to emphasize that an artist never really knows where the spark of creativity comes from, if we are wise, we don't question it, we do't belabor it we Just Do It!!!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

A cup Of Tea

I chose this title because I love a really good cup of tea, green usually but flavors are fun to try. The more unusual the better some days. Walking up the stairs or down the hall I'm switching on the gear that turns my attention to painting and the process. I've switched to my subconscience by now and am ready to set the brushes or cnavases into the steps of the "process". I enter my studio almost without thinking with a cup in my hand maybe the phone in the other and I'm ready for the day. It's synonymous with comfort in the studio, not sounds but nature or cars coming through the window panes, sunlight or the lack thereof. The stage is set the approach is almost always the same the studio size has changed over the years first starting with my dad's desk or my mom's dining table or the good old floor. Graduating in size was truly only to allow for materials and "stuff" required to perform art. Whatever the media the materials have to be ready and waiting for me to come through the door with my cuppa. Process is all there is when it involves creativity, leave your misgivings your doubts your insecurities outside the studio. Allow in only your comfort tools, like my cuppa tea.
Here in my new studio and new location I'm finding new comfort tools to allow into the space. My computer is one to allow me to talk to you; another is a good book to take my mind off my challenge at the end of my brush; finally daylight we need real daylight or I do to see nature in some amount albeit small glympses. Nature is one of my touchstones I must see it sometime from my studio. To be shut off from it would surely kill any desire to paint or create anything, for nature is the ultimate creator always evolving to create again. What a force to reckon with, the power alone is awe inspiring.
My tea leaves are but a tiny source to give comfort from our glorious nature. We take our little comforts from even smaller wonders.
Be sure to write anything you wish about your art or your creative experiences, we are, afterall united in our love of art.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Today's blog is about the process of resin and the addition of it in your work. I've been writing to you about the impetus behind art work or the feelings behind the process. Now let's talk about process of the addition of resin. I don't usually work in resin but I love to experiment down different avenues and this adds a new dimension to my work. The depth I can create with transparency takes my work to another level.
I start on a small format because this stuff is kind of expensive for attempt large surfaces. The work here is only 9" X 10" it creates a little jewel of a collage. It's name is Moo, a little collage. Working with a "fence" around the edge eliminates the possibility of drips and leakage (hopefully). The fence/frame is further protected with simple caulking to close off that possibility. Do the art; the subject matter, the shapes, the painting, whatever your chosen media inside this format.
Then I use a resin that is fairly easy to mix; I bought it at Michael's, not all products are as easy, just make sure that the measurements are absolutely accurate. I had the old trials and lots of errors, the main mistake is to not mix equally and stir more than you think it's necessary. Stir this stuff a full 2 minutes. Once you've done one pouring you will see what happens; sometimes it bubbles, sometimes it stays uncured. these are a sign of improper mixing. With the bubbles you can blow you warm breath over it.
Careful of the fumes.
The sticky layer that doesn't cure will need another pouring; a new super accurate pour on top of the stickyone it will cure properly.
The fumes of the resin is toxic you should always use a mask and mix in a ventilated area. It's a complicated process but in my opion it's worth it. I love the finished product. I take the obvious precautions becasue it stimulates my thinking and it's not just the fumes.
I don't intend to use resin permanently but I like the "look" with some images or collages, it magnifies their impact.
I've also found I look for more three dimensional objects to include in the process. Found objects are a fun addition to any work. It's fun to get outside the usual...... it's definitetely not ordinary.
I would suggest that any artist would enjoy using this process just as another diversion. Our followers and collectors enjoy watching us experiment especially if they are open to experimentation themselves. I think most collectors are experimental and liberal thinkers, they enjoy collecting a professional artisan display a piece with expertise and precision.
Anytime we experiment we will have to do and redo the process until the piece is ready for exhibiting. It is our responsiblity to present our work with the professionalizm we have reached after years of study. Your figures should be accurate, your drawing should be accurate and your skills should be obvious as a painter. Meaning your strokes and colors should look their best. More on this later. Please write and keep in touch. SR

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Do you dream?

Do you dream of becoming a great "something"? Are you driven by your desires? Do you understand your talents? Are you hopeful for the future? Have you asked yourself these questions lately? Do you feel successful at something or incapable? The feelings, the desires, the understanding and hope are all we really need. These are the traits that help us create, become, our unique selves. We model ourselves out of this clay. We shape our thoughts and dreams with these thoughts. We become. Once we "become" something; example, an artist, or doctor, we then must continue to "become". We carry our pockets full of these traits, from place to place dropping them as we travel. We all make an impression, we make our actions known no matter what they are our distinquishing bits trickle out of us no matter how we feel about that. No matter what we might want to hide. We are and we have become" we have become wiser, softer, harder, more balanced, less balanced; we are still becoming. It is a never ending process. Our being has led us here. We continue to learn even if we don't feel the "need". We are not the center of the Universe. We are the Universe, we and our fellow beings.
As artists our exposure is visable and internal, as a doctor it is both visable and internal. We are all the same beings just with different directions. We both know if we did a good job or not. Our feelings are showing our brimming pockets overflow onto others. We are very fortunate we have similar traits with these we should be able to understand each other more clearly. It's my belief with full attention and focus we can create anything. We could even create world peace if we focused hard enough. These big ideas wander around in my head as one of those hopeful artist naive' traits that comes with the territory. I suppose you'd call them dreams however my dreams have never been to be famous or great at something; my dreams if we can call them that are to be the very best Suzanne I can be. No more no less, fully present and active in life with other beings. I try to be on of the working creative people who realize their own talents; and are grateful for their gifts.
If we could only harness these attributes and keep our directions in place! All of us! I suppose patience would definitely be necessary, kindness would be nice. Proceed with dedication and diligence; continue to create, continue to inspire and be inspired. We are capable of so much more than we have become. We must become again, keep becoming until we get it balanced.SR

Friday, March 6, 2009

Self Absorbed

Here's a question for you. Are we self-absorbed because we are internalizing most of our time? And are we internalizing most of our time? I know artists whose work seems to tell the story of wha's around them, i.e. landscapes, seascapes etc. Self portraits seem to be in a category all their own. Some is just flat practice. Then as we evolve to more abstract shapes with unrealistic subject matter we express through color and shapes. Clearly emotion comes into play with somewhere along the way viewers feel they can tell if we are happy or sad (at least some people review it that way). I've had some of the strangest opinions about my "mood" or my feelings in a painting. But I think what I'm speaking of today is watching the self-absorption take over work; spread outward to friends and family. I know that I'm a painter who let's the painting work independent of me my opinion. I don't feel the need to control all the aspects of the work. This is the time I can be free of control. Freedom is synonomous with painting for me; I'm not sure where the self-absorption comes in for me. Maybe in others' projections of artists.
When I was a mother of small children I learned to discipline my time for my art. My metaphor was fliping a switch. Since I'm a product of a creative family art in some form was part of where we lived. My children are creative as children tend to be so it has been a natural progression to be as artist, just as I'm a mother or a female or an American. One or both of kids were in my studio puttering or painting. One wrote several books at 7 years old with illustrations it always dazzled me how clever children are. When I went in the studio painting or sculpting was for my purpose, child's play too, I'd flip the switch as I advanced the stairs toward my space, by the time I was there I was ready to paint or create. Multitasking at it's best. Parenting is the same you flip the switch to the needs of the family and/or your job. But when it's time for studio you are you. Your child's best friend. It sounds like we give less to our family I'm sure that's not the case; "self" is many things family is extention of self. Too much "single mindedness" is definately self absorbed. Not enough "self" makes the work inferior less whole or balanced. I've seen artist's work who stopped just short of a great work, not enough "being". We've all seen this; the work that tells too much, won't leave some mystery or interest. More self-absorbed than needs to be. These works are so overdone they strike me as insecure artists afraid the viewer won't see them. It's the art work that suffers through us. I may be naive but I feel there is art and creativity in all of us. In every person, some expand it, some ignore it and some use it for bad purposes. I choose to live through it and surround my "self" with it and like minded people. Just as we choose friends who are balanced "as far as you know" :) We look for art that resonates with us. In this respect we mirror who we are with the artist's work that speaks our language. Are we speaking to a self-aborbed self or a balanced self?SR

Thursday, March 5, 2009

When The Wind Blows

When the wind blows in our fair city we all have mixed emotions, depending on our allergies, our weaknesses, our foibles, we express them openly. At the grocery or at the board room someone says something about the wind. It effects us in many ways, it drives me straight up to the studio. I barely poke my head out of the house. Nice to know we're not alone with bits and pieces of our"selves" are flying around in the ether. Maybe Kansas is enjoying the sensations we were feeling just an hour ago. Hum mm.
Some people get very anxious in the winds. Maybe they realize they are sharing with the Universe the seeds that we received from the South. I use the studio for answers of those twists and turns, some seeds of thought stay here. I notice on these days I use some interesting colors and strokes, depending what's happening outside my window. I watch the trees slap against each other, the only times they get to touch. My short choppy textures building on each other touching layering all fitting with my "style" of painting. These are also great days for collages, they can slow me down a bit make my concentration sharper. Intensity, concentration, zone, whatever you want to call it, takes over and we're off, the painting and me, to the place we love the most, the painting completes my thoughts.
In essence I truly don't mind the windy days for myself. It brings me an inner peace most days. I mostly mind it for the Earth, it's need for water and nourishment, I think of the state of the planet all the issues that are of concern. I think how parched we are getting both inside and out. Meanwhile the painting is painting itself. It's taken on its own life for all of us to see. Upon review of the finished product I realize how my thoughts have entered and left the scene, how they have influenced here and there on the canvas. And the wind continues on its way. SR

Tuesday, March 3, 2009