Thursday, March 29, 2007

An Italian Greyhound Called Penny's Pooch

This casein painting was included in the Nation’s premier juried fine arts exhibit devoted entirely to man’s best friend, the Dog, The Art Show At The Dog Show in Wichita, Kansas from March 2 through April 4, 2007 at the Foyer Gallery and the City Arts Gallery. Then the artwork will be on display from April 6, 7, and 8, 2007 at the Sunflower Cluster Dog Shows at the Kansas Coliseum, Wichita, KS. Penny Plumb, a dear friend and fellow artist, is mother to two adopted Italian Greyhounds. They rule her house. This is Packard, Penny's pooch.

Dogs have always been a part of my life too. From Saint Barnard's, Standard Poodles, black and yellow Labrador's, Blue Tick Hounds, to our currant one an only Pembroke Welsh Corgi, "Sweet Adeline". So now while I finish up a color portrait of a horse, a black Tennessee Walker, I have started a small casein of a Boston Terrier.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Looking Down A Road

At the age of 17 I was living in Italy and going to The Rome Academy Of Fine Art. I walked down this street each day on my way to painting and drawing classes. I am sure the street has changed since I walked it...but now as I painted it from my loft in Maine, it seemed as if I was there, a student again in Rome. The little VW sitting in the sun with the other two cars, made an interesting counterpoint to the narrow ancient street. They all made a statement to me.... and so I painted.

This is "Roma, Italia".

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I Miss Italy

I don't know why I feel such a nostalgia for Rome, Italy lately. I spent my teen years there , painting, growing up and wishing I was somewhere else. I still have friends there whom I have somewhat kept in touch with over the years. I so want to go back and revisit it all. This longing has prompted me to start a casein painting of a street in Rome that I remember as if it was yesterday.
The sun shines here, with March winds howling around the studio. Outside the snow is melting. The brook is free of its winter cloak of ice, free to gurgle and skip through the woods, past the barn and past the horses. It is spring here in Maine, but how I long for the warmth of Italian sunshine and an espresso, sipped at a cafe by the Spanish Steps.
So I paint... and maybe I can feel as if I am there...........

I will post the work when it is done..........until then I can dream. can't I?

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Silhouette

In the past centuries silhouettes were usually portraits made of the profile of the subject and cut out of black paper mounted on white paper. Simple, and flat looking. My fascination with silhouette began in Italy, where I was studying at the Academy of Fine Art in Rome. There I was turned onto the amazing papercut works of an artist named Ugo Mochi. [1889-1977] A master at achieving the illusion of movement and drama from a simple papercut, his works were done with the skill of a sculptor.

This challenge to envision an entire picture in black and white and then to achieve depth and perception and a sense of movement all cut from one piece of paper, intrigues me and I am drawn to this challenge.

The above papercut is an example of my silhouette work. Black and white, yin and yang, design and abstract pattern at its most simple.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Hunter Jumpers...unite!

There are 3 "Hunter-Jumper" works, a bit united, but each a work on their own. The first "Cinching Up", is almost able to be part of the "Shades of Black" series. But it isn't.

The other 2 works almost are a triptych . "Hunter Jumper 1" and "Hunter Jumper 2". But they don't need to be. These are all caseins, all 12 x 12", and from the same palette.
Now I need to move on to new works...........maybe a paper cutting?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Shades of Black

My "Shades of Black" #5 in a series of light and shadows as they play around my two black Tennessee Walking horses, is done. My first works in this series seem to be have been more free from internal clutter. This last work , with brighter highlights, more color and less of a silhouette effect seems to be saying more, but also has seems not to be leaving so much for the viewer to imagine.

This series is an interesting result of my fascination with silhouettes and the abstract pattern that the emerges when I am challenged with just the white and black ,abstract yin and yang when leaving out distracting detail. I have always worked in black and white cut paper before when I did silhouette compositions...this series is a journey into another medium [casein] but capturing the same depth and movement with simplicity.

I will talk more about the actually paper cutting fascination another day. Today the sun beckons and the horses are shedding........Spring is almost here!!!!

Monday, March 5, 2007

Why Casein?

It seems that I am always explaining what casein is and why do I use it? ...
There are so many different painting mediums I could be using, but time and time again I am drawn back to casein and what it does for me.
Casein is a water media paint made from milk protein. It has become my medium of choice with it's wealth of possible applications. I can do aqueous washes, layering delicate glazes, all speeded up by its quick drying time. Or I can paint thickly with a knife as if in oils. I can apply it in a consistency of tempera or gouache in a dry brush technique for detailed work. In other words...casein does ..for me...what all the other mediums can do. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!!
So I guess I need to get back to painting!
Attached is one of my favourite paintings, "In Your Face", a 16 x 20 casein on canvas. These ponies look at me as I work on my "Shades of Black" Series.........good company in my studio!

Friday, March 2, 2007

Snow out, Warm in.

Snow whirls past my studio windows. The big old crab apple tree is decorated with goldfinches, chickadees, purple finches, juncos as they take turns at the feeders and sunflowers that litter the snow below..... and my Maine-coon kitty, Mittens, seats at the window and watches.
The horses are all tucked warmly in their stalls. This storm will blow all day.
I am tucked warmly in my studio and have been painting all morning. I have stuck two of the three casein's here for viewing in part. They are 12 by 12" each, too big to go on to the scanner. But this gives a idea where I am going with them.............I think?