This painting is the first in a series of lessons about how to use the Lukas water soluble oil paints. Our instructor assigned us color mixing lessons using the Lukas paint and this one uses all of the primary bright colors. I enjoyed learning how to mix specific colors to get specific results, because I never learned that in college in the '70s. Normally during the year, our paintings are self directed, except in the summer months, so that it was unusual to have four months of directed study in the winter months. These particular bougainvilleas are in my backyard, but they always remind me of similar plants that I've seen in Colombia. A dear friend and mentor is now the owner of this painting.
Lucas in Brown
This painting is from my lesson in mixing browns using Quinacridone Gold as the yellow source in making the browns. With the exception of the blue in the rug, all of the colors in this painting are from brown mixtures. The dog in the painting is Lucas, my five year old Papillon. He shows up in my paintings almost yearly. Lucas loves attention and in this painting he seems to be looking at the viewer asking you to notice him. This painting is NFS.
Remy in Gray
This painting is from my lesson in mixing grays. I discovered that these grays are colder and more pure than the tubes of gray, which seem to have yellow in them. Every color in this painting is from a mixed gray. The dog in this painting is Remy, my husband's six year old Papillon. Remy loves to play fetch and a ball in the painting was necessary to give you the essence of Remy. This painting is NFS.
Oreo in Blues
I discovered in the Bougainvilleas that I didn't design my composition well in oils. I think better in acrylic. So that Lucas, Remy, and Oreo were first underpainted in acrylic gray, black, and white and then the oil paint was placed on top. The Oreo painting went a step further because all of the colors in the background are from my blue lessons palette. Oreo is now deceased, but he was my youngest daughter's dog - a Springer Spaniel. Oreo was black and white and the dark purples were as close as I could get to his colors and still do my lesson. I wanted to show him acting natural, stretching, and to emphasize his enormous webbed feet. We miss him. This painting is NFS.
Red square in the Midst of Paris
Normally, I do not do abstract paintings and this one started out as an experiment for using up all of the wonderful colors that I made while mixing my green and violet lessons. Initially, it reminded me of grapes hanging in a vineyard as one is lying on the ground looking up at them. But most people do not see that image. The most original idea came from a friend who said that it reminded him of a bird's eye view of Paris. And thus we have it's name. This painting is for sale.
Joy in a Woman's Journey
I was asked to design placemats for my church's annual "Ladies Tea". I decided to do a small acrylic painting in grays, black, and white which was photographed and printed as the placemats, then, I added colors in specific spots to the actual canvas. The theme revolved around symbols for events that are significant and common to a woman's life. Some symbols like the rocking chair are used multiple times; as a child she is rocked, she rocks her own children, and then in old age she rocks herself. I threw in a lot of socks because it seems like I have been picking up stray socks my entire adult life. The canvas was given to a guest at the tea by drawing her name from a hat.
This painting is my last one in the Lukas lessons. It has an underpainting and contains greens made from neutralized secondary colors using only two colors. The subject is all of the favorite plants of mine when I lived in Atlanta and favorites from my daughter's house in Atlanta. My daughter and her sons have since moved from that house and this is a way to capsulate some of their memories of that place. This painting is NFS.
Each Summer of directed study begins with an exercise called "pass the paint". Every member of the class has two minutes with a color (acrylic house paint) before it is passed to the person next to you. There were twenty three colors in all. I like this painting that resulted because it shows the fresh movement of what we were actually doing, the colors stayed pure, and some images began to appear. Later, I darkened the background to bring out the cruciform images that emerged. Look for three crosses. One of them is light colored, the other two are dark and overlap. This painting is on paper. It is for sale.
Our directed study this summer was to learn about Abstract Expressionism. To start out we watched a DVD by Virginia Cobb, noted Abstract Expressionist in the USA. Then we were to use some of her techniques on treated watercolor paper. This is my first attempt at Abstract Expressionism. I love the colors and the shapes. Hopefully, you will love it too. This painting is for sale.
This painting was made by using a Squeegee. Paint was applied from the tube in spots on the paper and pulled across with a Squeegee. Three different layers of color were applied before the first stamps of color, then more Squeegee work. The black lines are using a pastel-like crayon that melts into paint when wet; it is called Sauce. The theme of the black marks is the spiral. Multiple civilizations have used the spiral as part of their explanation for how the world began, or how life began. The only red spiral is the story of Christianity. It is small and complete. This painting is for sale.
At this point in our study of Abstract Expressionism I knew that I had to tell a story with my painting for it to have any meaning for me. If I don't love it , it doesn't get finished. I wanted to deal with the abstract concept of God's Love and an abstract full of symbolism seemed to be the way to do it. The circle in the upper right is God and his love for us. The heart/love symbols are falling all around the paper. Some are clear and some are diffused or barely visible. In the bottom left a hand is reaching out to receive God's Love. In some ways this is very simplistic... but theology says the it was never meant to be hard... just trust that it is true. This painting uses the Squeegee, white Sauce, and iridescent gold paint. This painting is for sale.
Journey of the Bumblebee
This painting was rumbling around in my head while I was finishing "God's Love". It is about the ordinary daily activities of God's creature, the Bumblebee. I wanted the feeling of a field with layers of flowers upon flowers. To get this I made stamps of gesso/matte medium in flower shapes all over the paper before I even began to apply the Squeegee colors. Sometimes they were high enough to hold onto the Squeegee colors and sometimes not. Layers of color later, the gray Sauce Bumblebee path was drawn and fixative was applied to keep it from smearing. Then flowers were painted on, Squeegee layer of antique gold, and more flowers. The final Bumblebee path and the Bee itself was painted in iridescent god and then black Sauce was put on top. To me this Bumblebee is going about its daily activities and being exactly what God always intended it to be, no pretense, no guise, just itself. This painting is for sale.
Silent Night, Frozen Night
Early on in my Squeegee pulls of different blues, these iceberg shapes emerged. I wanted to keep them to remember our trip to Alaska several years ago. And seven layers later it had a high skyline and six chunks of ice floating in the frozen water. But it needed more. I wanted a curtain-like shape to hang over it all like the Aurora Borealis and I used a combination of Interference Green and Interference Blue to make that curtain. The Interference shines in an iridescent glow as the light hits it at different angles. I ended up using ten different colors to make "Silent Night, Frozen Night". This painting is celebrating the quiet stillness of a frozen winter night. This painting is for sale.
In the Bible, in the book of the Revelation, a heavenly city is described. As a child, I was fascinated to read that God used precious stones to make his walls of this city and I could understand words like emerald and topaz, but I just couldn't understand the other precious stone names. And since color is so important to me, I wanted to imagine what it all looked like lined up layer after layer. This abstraction has the colors in order and I finally found out what they all looked like. The bottom layer is a clear Jasper, blue Sapphire, Chalcedony, Emerald, Sardonyx, Carnelian, Chrysolite (Peridot), Beryl, Topaz, Chrysoprase (Turquoise), Jacinth, and Amethyst. The center of iridescent gold stands for the streets of gold in heaven. This painting is acrylic on masonite board. This painting is NFS.
In this last Abstract Expressionist painting, I used all of the techniques that Virginia Cobb described in her DVD so that in a way it is a tribute to her. I had no story about this painting in mind until it was completed, like her also. To me, it reminds me of different photos that I have seen of brittle bones at a microscopic level, or muscle cells, or blood flowing through the body carrying nutrition, or red synapse messages jumping from nerve to nerve in the background. Other people don't see these things so don't feel bad if you don't see it. My husband loves it. This painting is for sale.
Papillon y Mariposas
The star of this painting is Lucas, my papillon dog. I have seen a wallpaper that had butterflies all over it and that is the idea behind this painting. Papillon means butterfly in French and Mariposa means butterfly in Spanish. The papillon dog is named after a butterfly because it's ears are shaped like butterfly wings. I also wanted to add some interest to the composition so that I introduced a creeping shadow over the wallpaper and Lucas. Note the colors in the hairs of his ears. Lucas is morphing into the butterflies on the wall. Lucas died in May 2010 and I cannot bear to part with the original but I will make giclees if requested.
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