Today I took photos of my painting process. I am trying to resolve some older paintings that had no idea where they were going. A horizon line always helps me to focus. So, here are some Van Gogh-esque clouds over a colorful body of water. I’ve started to literally draw right on the canvas with oil pastels after many, many layers of acrylic. The final varnish seals the oils, and I really like the effect. The pastels bring a softness, some more depth, and allow the texture of the underlayers to come through. Enjoying the process, folks. Because that’s all there is to do!
Tag Archives: PAULA BRETT
I haven’t written a blog post in a LONG while, but have recently been inspired by Sharon Britton’s wonderful writing about her paintings.
So, I’ve been back in the studio for about a month now, thanks to having a babysitter twice a week. No it wasn’t easy to leave Nolan, my 4 month old, but it’s getting easier. It’s been an interesting experience. On my first day back, I knew I needed to make sure I had a plan for my few precious hours, so why not finish that painting that I had been working on since 2009? Yes, it’s been that long. The photograph on the left is the inspiration for the painting. It was taken with my digital camera used as a pinhole. I fell in love with pinhole photography when I used to teach photography in public school, and love it still. It’s a bit much to explain, but for those of you interested in that topic, I can lead you the wiki here. Anyways, as I mentioned I had been working on this 5′x3.5′ canvas for a WHILE. It was actually the thing I was most concerned about keeping safe in the back of the U-Haul truck- precariously balanced on my heap of stuff- on my move down to Tampa from NYC two years ago.
I entered the studio and looked at the photo- and looked at the painting. I had been trying to really capture this moving wave by following the photo as closely as possible. Trying to enlarge the photo paint to over 10 times it’s size was daunting, and I knew that what I really wanted to do was capture it’s spirit of movement. So, I ditched the photo and started to dance with the paint. I got into the feeling of the swirling, whirling motion and the rolling forward of the water. The paint was flowing, the painting was happening, the dance was dancing, and then it was done.
I have to say that while I post it here on this computer, I actually like the photo more. But, the painting has a life that doesn’t seem to come through in the photo. It is different. One is paint, the other a photo in it’s own right. The painting actually has so much more depth than the photo through all of the layers of paint, and the sheer size of it makes it commanding. The work will be on exhibit locally, more details later. Regardless, it feels good to paint again.
Over the past week, I’ve been working to put together a small list of classes that I will be offering in my local Tampa Bay area. It’s been an interesting process- creating a newsletter and a press release to mail out to contacts old and new- and then hitting SEND. I’m sure for a lot of people that’s just everyday marketing, but it’s been a while since I’ve sent out a big mailing. I’ve been receiving a lot of emails from old friends saying hello who are happy to see my latest work, and quite a few “unsubscribes”, with mailchimp’s funny little note- “maybe they’re just not that into you”. The fact is that it feels good to just be putting myself out there again. I’ve been a bit hesitant to begin teaching or holding classes again after a few years off, but I am finally feeling ready. Now, we’ll see if anyone shows up! I plan to be there regardless.
Impressions of landscapes- places that are worldly- yet not of this world- color shifting and the interplay of one layer on top of another- being swept up in the moment.
For most all of today, the sky was gray. Living in Tampa, here in the Sunshine State, I can appreciate a gray day. I don’t think I could do it for very long stretches of time, though. I do feel affected by the weather- I do love the sun. But, the gray days can be an excuse to be more quiet, more introspective, and take naps. And that’s exactly what I did today.
On the walk I took, I spotted this tree abloom in yellow. It made me think of my foundations art prof- Dr. Howe at UGA- he used to read and talk to us as we painted. I always remember that he said you can see color better on a gray day. And you do. And I’m thankful for that.
What a lovely morning we all had PAINTING and PLAYING! Barbara, Arlene, and Carolene came to the studio with all of their gear this morning ready to go. We had a wonderful time discussing and experimenting with various media, and then putting them on our canvases. So much fun.
I am going to get the schedule together very soon for creating more workshops like this. I’ll let you know when!
After we all had lunch at Noho Bistro, I came back to the studio to do some more work. I’ve started several new canvases- and this is the one I used to show how I like to start my paintings.
This is it for today, folks! Much love.
These pieces are inspired by horizons. The Parallel Landscape Series is an intuitive interpretation of the many landscapes I saw and experienced while living abroad. They are a way to comprehend all that occurs simultaneously and yet exists uniquely for each of us. “Sunday” and “Double Landscape” are on display in the office of Maison International, 119 W 23rd St, Ste 801, New York City.
The viewer enters a room hung with walls of white spandex, hearing sounds of tinny voices and a floor being swept. Four internally lit columns holding masses of white doughy looking material stand between the walls. In the middle of this “maze”, two circular shaped video projections of hands are playing. Reaching toward the lens, being wrung or nervously smoothing fabric on laps, the hands videos are a rich complementary color combination of positive and negative overlays. Using my own family members who reside in three different cities, I use recorded phone messages and conversations to reveal stories of loss and personal coping mechanisms in this mysterious space. The overlapped voices and hands introduce the three personalities who share information, memories, and gestures.
This sculptural installation inspired by the landscape of Northeastern Scotland and the ritual of Tibetan monks’ sand mandala paintings. The piece was created from discarded planar objects found in abandoned grist mills in Lumsden, Scotland. Each object was re-painted in a one solid bright color and placed on posts with hinges, to resemble swinging gates. They were then installed in a farmer’s field in a spiral pattern, surrounded by local gorse flowers. The entire installation went up in one day and scheduled to be taken down on the following day.
Gate Spiral, site-specific sculptural installation, Lumsden, Scotland, 2000.
Zilpa Vipra- sanskrit for “inspired art”. These paintings were created during summer yoga classes at Yogani Studios in Tampa, Florida.
These works are created with good, old-fashioned POSITIVITY and they are powerful little canvases! The affirmations are heartfelt, and when placed and viewed with intention, they work their magic.