This piece (9×12″) shows my interpretation of a storm on the lake. Sketches evolved from several nights of watching the storm. As colors and shapes evolved in the layers of mixed media, the primary theme of spirals appeared. The moon highlights all.
After finishing my show, A Search for All the Saints, I embarked on my larger paintings. I used multiple sketches of birds and free form shapes to formulate a creation theme. Multiple mixed media layers, expansions of my favorite color red and circles dance throughout the canvas. I think I am finished? I sanded between about 30 layers bringing a full palette of colors. I am considering using this piece(24×30″) as the center of a long horizontal piece repeating the motif.
I was thrilled to be chosen to participate in Merge IV, Society of Layerists National Exhibition, April 7-30 in Albuquerque, NM, Expo NM (celebrating 35 years. I entered three of my women as this is or should be the year of women. They will soon be for sale on the web store.
Total abandon and fun! While experimenting with all kinds of texture (media and papers, strings etc.) the wild rooster on the mini bike appeared. This is the time for lightening up and going with abandon. He makes me laugh and this is the time for wild uncontrolled laughter. Patrolman Mancuso in “A Confederacy of Dunces” by John Kennedy Toole was the stimulus for this piece. Mancuso’s motor bike was “loud, chromium and baby blue with flashing blinking red and white lights, and the sounds of 42 bobcats…all loved intensely platonically by the Patrolman. . .” My son in law joked that he wanted a minibike for Christmas; this is what he is getting. Always, remember you may get what you ask for. . . Now I must get back to work on submissions to the Society of Layerists in MultiMedia show. . . Tomorrow, I hope.
A recent commission renewed my interest in a painting I did in Marfa Texas of the Night Lights. I am experimenting with sizes, textures, colors and shape distortions. I love the colors and have started three new canvases moving to larger pieces. Going with Native American symbols and nature shapes leads to a virtual dance of night creatures. More later, using layers, textures. . . The underpainting is mixed water media (acrylic, latex, inks, chalk) with the drawing superimposed and painted with acrylic and latex, sealed between layers (about 15) and sanded back to reveal pieces of each layer. The final coat is cold wax burnished with polisher.
The weather was beautiful, neither hot nor cold, and Sardinia continues to impress as a giant state park, with smooth open roads, considerate traffic, friendly people, and excellent food. Apparently it had been raining a lot in the weeks preceding, so the entire country was swathed in wildflowers (especially poppies and lilacs) and greenery.
Flowers and their abstraction will continue to be a theme. Below are watercolor sketches morphing into paintings
Watercolor Sketch of warrior Bronzetti
These ancient warriors, archers and shield-wielding boxers made of bronze, Bronzetti, are on the march. Time of conception is estimated at 2,700 years ago. My conception of these elegant warriors started with ink, mono prints, collage evolving with acrylics and cold wax finish. I used designs found on tombs, Bronzetti, and pottery shards.
Our major search and discovery began on the island of Sardinia where we visited Nuraghi ruins and the few open museums. My fascination with Nuraghi bronzetti began when I visited Sardinia thirty five years ago. Their elegant shapes and unique abstract designs intrigued me. The Nuragic civilization developed between the Bronze Age and the Iron Age (from 1800 to 500 B.C.). Eight thousand nuraghic tower structures, 400 tombs of “Giants”, and sacred wells remain, vestiges of an impressive civilization. They created bronzetti, small bronze statues, (8th and 9th century B.C.) which often represented men, warlike creatures, boats, and animals using the lost wax technique. Female bronzetti were thought to be religious figures. What did these interesting women look like, what did they do? What was their status? They left no clues, no written language. Were these statues a form of communication? The first image is a quick water color sketch of a female bronzetti with symbols of a Nuraghi tower in the background. “Woman of Bronze,” represents the features of the female statues and incised designs found on pottery with a bronze headpiece. “Madonna of Oliena” is my attempt to represent a young woman of that era. I included incised pottery and monument symbols in the background. I made an abstract drawing of a strong narrow face with skin stretched tightly over features and large round eyes. This drawing evolved to a more finished face. The large eyes stare nebulously through the ages. Was she a goddess, a shaman, or just a young girl? The layering of paint, glue, acrylic gloss, crackling, sfagritto (incised symbols in wet paint), and a final cold wax finish give depth to the pieces creating a feeling of past time.
“le tete du taureau,” Mixed Media, paper on canvas, 9″x12,” cold wax finish
The French caves were breathtaking. The guide at Lascaux 2 (the original cave, Lascaux, circa 17,000 BCE closed to the public due to damage caused by human breath) said we were entering an ice age cathedral. The huge cave of the bulls made me gasp; it contained some 2,000 images, about 900 of which are extending about 240 metres in length – most of which are animals, and the remainder geometric symbols of varying shapes. The sheer number of images, their size and exceptional realism, as well as their spectacular colors are called “The Sistine Chapel of Prehistory”. Lascaux’s cave art was recreated when Lascaux 2 was painted to scale by artists using original materials (blow pipes and feather brushes, leather pieces etc, paint made from minerals and water found during excavations.). Lighting was small oil lamps!
We have to have everything in lighted comfortable surroundings to even contemplate composing. No photographs were permitted in the cave so I made a quick sketch on an advertisement in my purse of the head of le taureau, the bull. I added abstract marks as found at the Cougnac cave, older than Lescaux by more than 3000 years. In finishing, I used layers of glue to show the depth and impact of the images. I sealed the final product on canvas with acrylic pouring gloss, then rubbed a cold wax finishing product.
Both Matisse and Picasso were deeply moved by these caves as was Margaret Watts! Man has always created visually, spiritual part of the human condition along with the need to adorn.