Blossoms Squared


Two of the ladies in my Tuesday painting group were inspired to paint a palette like the piece I call "Full Spectrum" I painted years ago. It's a chart of 22 colors down the left and across the top with each color mixed with all the others in the middle. I was sruck by two things out of this: one, how much fun they were having painting (sometimes making this art requires such intense focus and concentration that it's not easy!) and that I remembered having the thought back then that I'd like to do something else with painting squares. Then it came to me that I could paint one of my reference photos one square at a time. So instead of a contour drawing of the image, I superimposed a grid on the image in Photoshop and drew lines on the paper. Each square is a small absract painting. At first it was totally thrilling! I loved the shapes and colors. But that left-brain of mine really is tenacious! It wants to get in there and make something of the art. And painting one square at at time is a huge lesson in patience. I think the result is interesting and the exploration was worthwhile. Also, since I painted each square wet (for the most part) it was incredible practice at working with the paint and water - which I can always learn more about. Six of the painters in the Tuesday group then jumped in and painted a piece square by square. They each said they leaarned so much - about really seeing what they're painting, about working wetter and softer, about the abstract quality of all painting. This image came from my neighbor Megan and Jeff's crabapple tree this spring. Blossoms Squared.

29"x22"- May 2012 - Original available - contact me for details

Blossoms Squared
Originals, Squares-Maps

Paris


Last spring I painted a piece I called “Blossoms Squared” where I superimposed a grid over a reference photo and painted it one square at a time. This triggered a stream of ideas. I thought about simply rotating the grid so they were on the diagonal, but also thought about other “screens” through which to create an image and started seeing them everywhere: a brick wall, detailed scrolled ironwork… But then, I thought about maps. I love maps! One that I know well and is very close to my heart is the street map of Paris. Thus emerged the seed for this painting. These flowers were in a florist’s sidewalk display on rue Monge in the 5th in Paris – not far from where my apartment was when I lived there for a half a year. Setting it up, though was a challenge and took my technical skills to pull off. If I simply enlarged a street map of Paris, the width of the streets would be so large that they’d obscure too much of the flowers. Using my projector and Photoshop, I was able to create a reasonable “screen” out of the map. In order to have a reasonable level of detail to cope with, I ended up being able to use only the very center of Paris (not even the Eiffel Tower made it in) to superimpose over the image of the flowers. “Blossoms Squared” is quite two dimensional, so the fact that there ended up being quite a bit of depth in this painting completely surprised me. It is an entirely different way to think and paint. I had to find the image within each of the shapes on the map. It was interesting to watch myself switching back and forth between concentrating on the image of the flowers and noticing where I was in the city and either remembering when I’ve been in that spot or wondering what is there on that stretch of street – apartments, restaurants, bookstores? Even without the street names, I still recognize a remarkable number of streets and bridges. I wonder if I’d painted this image as I normally do, from a contour drawing, if it would be as interesting. I’m so grateful for the creative spark to explore ideas like this. Now which map/image combo is next? I tossed around myself and talked about possible names several times with others. More involved names seemed forced, so I decided to keep its name super simple. This is Paris.

29"x29"- May/June 2013 - Original available - contact me for details

Size/Price:
29"x29" - $550/$650*

* hand-torn and painted edges

Paris
Originals, Paris, Squares-Maps

Full Spectrum


This was an exercise that my mom and I did years ago. There was a teacher who suggested it - the assignment was to put the cool colors on one axis and the warm on the others. But that meant that some colors would not be mixed with each other. So, I chose 22 colors and put the same colors along the side and the top and mixed them all with each other. I didn't fully mix them, just let them swirl around in a square of water. It ended up having great energy. When I've hung this piece in my festival booth, I've hung it down low because small children are really, really drawn to it. I remember loving the spectrum of colors when I was a little girl - and in fact I still do!

22"x22" - 2002? - My private collection

Sizes/Prices:
22"x22" - $395

Full Spectrum
Squares-Maps

Dual Nature


I did a week-long silent retreat in April of 2005 at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. The focus of the retreat (besides lots of meditation practice) was creativity. We were given many hours a day to work on our art, music, writing. I took some of unfinished work (I finished Bud the Dog and Blue Door) as well as gave myself permission to experiment and play. One day I told myself I'd paint all day with my left hand. I had a big fat brush and a block of watercolor paper and I did just that - whatever came to my mind, one quick painting after another. The next day I was looking at all of these pictures and was inspired to take these two, cut them in to strips and weave them together. One is an erupting volcano, the other the green hills that I was surrounded by. It felt to me like these two energies both live inside me.

14"x20" - April 2005 - Original available - contact me for details

Dual Nature
Squares-Maps
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