Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Under the Arc of the Sky Number Two

I'm still painting chickens. It's still winter.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Taking Chances

One of the pleasures of being "between commissions" right now is that I get to experiment. I have been wanting to try new media and new languages for a while. Here is an unfinished drawing of a brussel sprout plant on gessoed polyester lining - that cheap fabric, kind of like silk, that lines clothing. As well as playing with the substrate I am experimenting with media - there is pencil and charcoal and flat acrylic and gesso. And I am playing with style of course. Breaking some rules - not that I was ever really aware of them. Running the risk of "unbranding" myself which is bad for business but so good for art. And good for my heart on these dreary winter days. 

The fabric crumples up and springs back perfectly flat. I wonder what will happen if I paint it all with polyurathane to seal the charcoal. It might all smudge into a grey smear. Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Under the Arc of the Sky

Under the arc of the sky they are unsafe.
What's never known is safest in this life.
Under the skysigns they who have no arms 
Have cleanest hands, and, as the heartless ghost
Alone's unhurt, so the blind man sees best.

- exerpt from Was There a Time by Dylan Thomas

Yes it is that time of year again when I need to paint chickens. Hapless creatures who only fly when falling - flung into the unknown by unseen hands - or leaping hopefully off ledges comically close to the ground.

I was thinking about chickens a couple of years ago at this same time. You can see the images I painted here. Coincidentally I packed up the painting called "I'm a Driver. I'm a Winner" and sent it to my lovely friend Nina just this week.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Painting for China

Another painting for Starbucks! This one will be installed in Taiyuan, China.

Starbucks asked me to start this painting with a narrative describing the town and its feeling of community and celebration. I wrote this - "A gentle winter wind blows snow toward Taiyuan from Mount Wutai as people celebrate their community with the colorful Lantern Festival. A few months later peonies bloom around the Twin Pagodas and winter seems a distant memory. Just as winter and summer are brought together in this dream of Taiyuan, the past and present mingle in ancient buildings and the modern city." Pretty snappy eh!

My favourite part of the painting is the charcoal and wash of this couple. And the shape of the trees behind them. The snow was fun to paint falling on on everything.

Kenna Guizio from Starbucks art directed this painting - with many emails and phone calls and a lot of faith in me. We had five weeks from start to finish. Crazy. Thanks Kenna!

Now I can get my life back together, do my laundry and maybe even clean out last summer's flowers from the garden. I love a New Year. I can't wait to see what projects happen next.