Sunday, January 30, 2011

Untitled 58

Pastel on Sennelier LaCarte, approx. 2.5" x 5".

I'm enjoying renewing my perpetual fascination with color, via these little pastels. (Especially as I'm experiencing a lot of frustration and lack of resolution in the oil + cold wax paintings lately.) These small pastels are not consciously landscapes, but the format, which seems to be the main format that excites me, has what seems to feel like a horizon line.

I like to think of these minis as little jewels, with their bright sparks of color. (And when I frame them, I always use a white mat and a thin black contemporary frame, so as not to compete with their own color identities.)

I'm currently fascinated by working on pure instinct as to color--I just grab whatever "feels right" at that moment. This applies to both the main colors as well as the accent colors. Sometimes the painting fails, but that's what's exciting--to see why it works, after the fact, or why it didn't work, when during the process it was unconscious, just a sense, an urge to grab orange, or turquoise, or what have you.

(I'm not doing a conscious analysis with color theory to see whether it "worked," or "didn't work." One--I, or you, or whoever wants to--certainly could do that, but for me often it kills the magic, whether the analysis is done before or after the painting. For me, it's usually just about how it feels. However, this is not to say that there aren't occasional times in other kinds of paintings that I won't analytically use color theory, or that occasionally I'll suddenly look at a previously done painting and realize with a shock that it had turned out to have, say, a primary color scheme even though I hadn't been aware of it at the time.)

From Gadjo's second day with us. This cracked me up--Gadjo looked to me here like a baby koala attached to its (ahem) mother.

In India. The bees seem to be enjoying these sweets (called laddus) more than the customers are.

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Friday, January 28, 2011


No new work to show. I realized it's been a while since my last post. Fortunately, the animolecules are always willing and able to be the subject of a blog post.

Note how tall Gadjo is now compared to Rumi (not that Rumi is a huge cat; he's only 10 pounds, which is actually the smallest male cat I've ever had, by far). Gadjo is only about 5 months old. I am still predicting a very long, very tall adult Gadjo.

Above: The Husband usually wears a lungi at home (a South Indian sarong that men wear). Gadjo decided it's the best place from which to surveil while planning attacks on the other kitties.

Maybe I should propose this to Apple for their next ad campaign?

I adore the fact that only Rumi's left fang sticks out.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Untitled 57

Pastel, approx. 3.5" x 5".


This has a definite Pepe Le Pew feel to it, doesn't it? "Come here, my little cabbage, I must kees you."


In Hyderabad, India.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Untitled 56

Pastel, approx. 5" x 5.5".


{We are the blue-eyed brothers.}


In Hyderabad, India.

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sky study 22

Found this kicking around...I don't think I've ever posted it before. The blue is actually a blue-violet in real life. That always seems to be an impossible color for me to capture on film.

Hmm...makes me want to paint some more skies. Might just have to do that.



Loom in Hyderabad, India.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Solstice eclipse

This is the first pastel I've done in a long time. It felt good to get covered in pigment again. I love working in oils and I love working in pastels, for such different reasons.

I couldn't get a good photo of this. In person, the image is soft, but not actually blurry the way it looks here. Grrr.

On the Solstice eclipse night, it was very cold so I kept going inside to get warm and then going back out onto our deck to gape. My neck started to hurt from all the craning so finally I just pulled my parka tightly around me and lay down on the deck. Mojito thought that was the most hilarious thing he'd ever seen. He immediately also lay down and started rolling on me. I kept trying to point to the eclipse, telling him, "You'd better pay attention--you won't get the chance to see this again. In fact, you should probably be howling at it, don't you think?" But he thought my hand pointing up was some kind of a game, and no matter what, I couldn't get him to look up.

So he missed it. But I didn't.

Pastel on Sennelier LaCarte, approx. 3" x 12".



Gadjo's about four or five months old now and he's gotten to that stage where sometimes when you glance at him, he still looks like a baby, and other times he looks like a gangly, fast-growing, handsome young man.



In India, from the backseat of an auto-rickshaw. It was quite strange to see this written on the seat. While not particularly rude to their passengers, nor are the drivers noticeably polite, either.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Untitled 31 (diptych)

Okay, Blogger is weird and though I kept trying, I was unable to put these side by side as they should be displayed. So, the lighter-green one should go on the left, and the darker one on the right as a side-by-side diptych with a couple of inches' space between.

Hmm...maybe I should put them both up on the wall and photograph them that way. But I didn't...and now I'm posting. So oh well.

Each is 6" x 12", oil and cold wax on museum panel.


There's nothing Gadjo loves more than to insinuate himself between warm furry bodies and end up as the filling in an animolecule sandwich.


At a vendor's stall in Hyderabad, India.

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Untitled 30

Oil and cold wax on museum panel, 24" x 24".

Thrilled to report that I had a good painting night last night for the first time in soooo long.

Thank you all for your good wishes, inspirational thoughts, and wise words! I'm too experienced to think that I'm now officially "unstuck" just because yesterday was a good painting session, but I think all your collective wisdom floated my way at just the right time. And even though I know these frustrating periods happen regularly, it doesn't make it any more fun to be in one. Especially one that lasts a long time.

Also glad some of you discovered Stuart Shils' work for the first time. I'm almost jealous--that I don't get to experience it for the first time every time I see it.


Miss Lemon: doing her part to keep kittens clean.

And keeping 'em warm, too.

Part of a vendor's stall, Hyderabad, India.

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

In progress, and a recommended interview

I've had very little time lately to paint. But when I do go into the studio, it seems I am in a phase where nothing ever resolves and where I don't much like anything I'm creating. I have lots of paintings sitting around and none of them nothing to show. I thought I'd better put up an "in progress" pic here of at least one area of the studio so you can see I'm telling the truth.

If all the paintings resolved themselves at once (ha), I'd have enough posts ready for a long time to come.

I've never tried landscape painting, but one of the painters whose work I most love is Stuart Shils. His houses, urbanscapes, and especially his Irish seascapes (almost totally abstract) amaze me with their power and beauty. I just discovered this excellent online interview with him. It's about 6 pages of great reading interspersed with some of his paintings in all their glorious color.


Miss Lemon makes sure Gadjo stays warm, whether by keeping him company on the radiator...

...or by smashing him under her own warmth.

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