Friday, May 28, 2010

And now for something a little different...

This week was a good one, as I had a couple of revelations thanks to my studio mate Patti. Patti is a glass artist and works along side me so to speak, (actually just across the studio from me through a closed door as she has a kiln) I see Patti most often as I keep morning hours and the other artists that I share the studio with don't.

With another open studios show coming up at Gstudio in September, a few things happen right now: committing to the show through the Napa Valley Open Studios group, pony-ing up cash for the entry and a commitment to what may be in the way of art. That last item tends to be the hardest.

I am constantly striving to generate not just new work but work that is mine but fresh, better, different. But with an open studios show every six months, it's a real challenge to allow myself the time to explore what I want to be painting, to challenge myself to push myself as an artist, paint with abandon, take risks and produce something that is my next personal step.

Within that context, Patti and I agreed that we both have plenty of inventory to show that each of us consider "safe" and commercially successful. And that was when we had our simultaneous light bulb moment, knowing that we had all this inventory and instead of working on padding out that inventory, to take these few precious months and try something. Make the art that has been bugging me at the back of my mind, rolling over and over, trying to find a way out.

I have three beautifully built 44" square custom stretchers, and four additional canvases that are now earmarked for my something different. Stay tuned.

Thanks Patti. That's why I love where I work and what I do.

Monday, May 24, 2010

"Tuesday" round two

As promised, working on "tuesday" and wanted to post an update as well as a photo that C took of me whilst at work.
Remember yesterday's post about being in this blissful place when I paint? Don't I look happy? Trust me, I am.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I love monday

I love monday. Monday is the day of new of new starts, new ideas, fresh happenings. I don't know anyone else that loves monday. Most people I know only associate the weekends with relief and fun. I associate monday with fun, creativity, cutting loose and painting. Because I get to go to work. I wish everyone could say that.

Joseph Campbell's (whom I hope needs no introduction) books, about following ones bliss, came into play for me years ago, well before I knew what I was supposed to do or how I would find what it is that would make me so happy. It was at a time in my life that I'd left a relationship, moved to Northern California and found out that I was happy. By Myself.

Thank you Mr. Campbell.

p.s. the image posted is the painting "tuesday" that I explained in my last post. Please stay tuned, as my head is exploding, waiting for monday when I get to go to work.

Love, Kate

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

When there's a painting inside just waiting to get out

Just started a new painting today. A large piece and because I don't have the funds to buy a new large canvas, one finished work had to be sacrificed. It's for the greater good. Really. Nary a tear was shed by moi.

I put in my C.D. of Tosca, turned up the volume (I noticed that it drove Caitlyn out of the room) and played it through four times. Four times Flora Tosca murdered Scarpia and then threw herself off of the high turret.


I have given it a working title of "Tuesday" and it measures 54"x79". Although I made some headway to start it this morning at the studio, I am going to give myself a specific time frame of say, a few weeks. The style of the painting is most definitely abstract but with a distinct sense of place- The ocean on a beautiful day when all the colors are amplified by the drifting fog and subsequent low light (much nicer to an artists desires in the way of inspiration), the grey/blue hues of the ocean and the cool weather as well as companions that have a calming effect (contrary to companions that aren't capable of sitting still, talking quietly, or enjoying the immediate moment) one can understand.

(I recall that I was known at one time for my run on sentences, and I can see by that last sentence, this charming quality is still alive and well. Sue me.)

I digress.

I attempted to post the first day of it here, but alas, the blogger has "internal problems" Must see someone about that.

In the meantime, I will be back at the studio tomorrow and continue work.
My only caveat is that with each layer of paint comes drying time of course and I am envisioning silver leaf involvement ultimately, all steps taking some additional time, (read: lack of posts due to the waiting) Whilst the waiting ensues, I will continue work on other ideas, namely my special brand of portraiture.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I am in a period of time between art shows, but well aware of the task at hand which is to produce "new work" by September. I feel that as a professional artist, I am obliged to always try to be producing new work so that collectors can see an evolution and freshness to the art. To that end, I was inspired by the photos that I posted last on this blog of the view looking up at the trees. I am not a realist painter, nor strive to be, so I was seeking my own interpretation of the subject and my "view" or vision of the painting. Since my home can be a fraternity of sorts, I was also feeling the need to produce art that is overtly feminine. (yes, hammer and drill wielding me)

How do I know when a painting is finished? I was surprised at myself that I responded quite quickly: "I don't always know when I'm done, but I always know when I'm not."
With that, I'm done.
44" square Karena said...
Really love this painting!

Giveaway of jewelry by Beth Cosner Designs is up on my site.

Art by Karena

MAY 14, 2010 4:33 PM
Kate said...
thank you Karena, for the comment and for stopping by. I love this painting too- some paintings are all about pleasing someone else. This one is for me.

MAY 14, 2010 10:54 PM
Ken said...
A Artist can't escape what's going on inside them.......
it will show in their work like a view to there soul .

MAY 14, 2010 11:02 PM

Monday, May 17, 2010

Be still my heart

My friend K left for Europe, ( Paris to start) last Saturday. To say I am wildly jealous would be an understatement but I am so, so happy to report that the DeYoung Museum and the Legion of Honor Museum are satisfying my need for viewing impressionist art by staging a block-buster extravaganza of a show: The Birth of Impressionism.

This is just the incentive I need to not only renew my museum membership which I had let go delinquent since moving to Napa but also to look at my near and far summer schedule to figure out how many ways (days) I can wangle more than one visit.

I will visit first with L, once alone (must) once with DH, once with my kids, again with a friend or two. Is that four? five?

This show, which I haven't yet seen has brought me back to, my first love which is impressionist art. These paintings posted can't be more obvious in their connection to traditional impressionist influence. Whenever I feel the need to see beauty, be inspired, or generally pull myself out of any malaise, all I need to do is glance at, think about, reflect upon an impressionist painting. The first painting above, is inspired by Edgar Degas' "Dancer on the stage". The original, approximately 24"x36" (I'm only guessing, as I'm too lazy right now to check my factoids) but, I'll just say that by my standards, it's not large.

I have always felt the need, quiet viscerally, to see more of that painting, specifically, the central figure, the dancer. What better way than to explode the image, creating (painting) her as I needed to: my painting as a whole measures 30"x40", and eliminates all of the foreground/background. Not that these were bad things, Mr. Degas. Just my own neurotic need to see so much more.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sometimes this is what happens...

when a girl paints on canvas.

I have that little bit of time between one open studios and another open studios where I try and spend some time in my head looking for that moment that I get when I see the picture of what it is for which I am looking.
Is it up in the trees? Likely yes.

Considering the fact that I am constantly looking up into the sky, trying to get my mind around the clouds and what makes them look the way they look and the out line of any particular tree and how it's profile is in perfect concert with everything above it.

Maybe because I am a Virgo. By definition, all things of the earth are of interest to me. No surprise to me. I am at my most happy when I am making art and at my most content when I am in my garden, pruning, picking, weeding, planting, cutting, smelling, looking and planning.

I think it shall be called "In the company of trees"

And then I go around the fence and see this:

Back in my garden, later in the afternoon, before I jump into the dirt with my bent shovel to plant a hydrangea, I must photograph these beauties

Depicted in art over and over again, no mystery as to why me thinks.

Monday, May 3, 2010

"What a swell party it was..."

Nothing like an art show/open studios to get the creative juice juicin'. It was so lovely today to go into the studio and not to go down my check list of projects and tasks. With seven artists exhibiting through the weekend there are many details in which to take care.
One of my favorite bloggers, Lisa Borgnes in southern California also had a fantastic opening for her embroidery work. Take a moment to go here. I love the traditional textile meets irreverence in her samplers.
But I digress, this blog is about me
In true Gstudio style, we'd evited a thousand of our closest friends to our most current get-together and alas had a lovely turn-out. With this show, we've decided that Open Studios for us will be a semi annual event, featuring our resident artists (five currently) as well as visiting artists as this offers our clientele plenty of variety and a large amount of fabulous new work to view.

Of course, since this is a working art sudio, we are a wee bit rough around the edges. Can't be all perfect and gallery like, that is the concept of an open studio where the clientele can see where the artist works and makes their art.