Our class was asked to paint a minimum of three paintings that depicted some kind of street scene. Cities were preferred. I do not like city life and I chose a very small town in northern New Mexico. The group consensus was that the painting scene was too horizontal and needed a strong vertical: hence the dark purple tree in the middle. The white dog represents the Labrador that was in front of that particular store and all of the dogs that every New Mexico village seems to have (usually they are Chows). I did this scene again to make it more like the scene that I saw. This painting is 24"H x 24"L and is on exhibit at the Dazzio Gallery until November 2012.
I was frustrated with the whole idea of depicting a city, so that I concentrated on what struck me when I went to Chicago or New York. Graffiti and construction that is all around and the plywood walls with holes in them for watching the construction were vivid memories. After gessoing my 30"H x 30"L square canvas, I used every small tub of paint that I had used for a previous paintings and that I no longer needed. Then I distressed it with a brown glaze, then rolled gesso on with a sponge with holes all over the surface. (Before I put the colors on, I masked off a circle in the bottom third to be the cut out hole, in this painting of a plywood wall around a construction site.) My husband is Mexican-American and I decided that my graffiti should be proud of that. I was teased because I am a neat person and my graffiti was just too perfect. The planks of wood were made, a rat scurried on top, and finally a shadow looked back at the viewer. This painting is for sale after November 2012.
This painting is the second version of the New Mexican town. I traced the original and then inserted the changes that made it more like what I remembered. Granted, it is less dramatic than the "White Dog", but it more tenderly represents the family run store that we visited in the high lands of New Mexico. This painting is 24"H x 24"L. This painting is for sale after November 2012.
Wrong Side of the Tracks
Because of all of the conversations that were generated by my painting "Keisha in Wonderland", I was requested to do an additional street scene that involved one or more African-American children. I found a magazine photo of two children by a railroad track in clothing that looked 1930ish. Now in our city of St. Petersburg, as in many towns in the 1930's, the races were segregated by what side of the railroad tracks you lived on. This painting reflects those times and how families had to teach their children to stay on their side in order to be safe. The children in this painting are dressed to go somewhere, and little brother ran out and sister went to get him and bring them home. Little brother is oblivious that he is on the wrong side of the tracks; big sister remembers what her Momma said and is nervous... the mother has just discovered where they got to. I chose to use grays and neutral greens to shift the attention to the warm human browns of the children. They are the innocents. This painting is 40"H x 30"W and is for sale after November 2012.
Gemma, the Years Go Bye
I have a drawing on yellowing paper that I bought at a sale on my college campus many years ago. The drawing is of a college-aged girl in the clothing style of the seventies. She is African-American. I decided to see if I could redo this drawing in paint. She ended up being in her thirties, and seems to be reflecting upon her life so far and how some things just didn't turn out like she imagined that they would. I named her Gemma because she is like my daughters, a precious gem. This painting is on canvas is 24"H x 18"W. This painting is for sale.
I have loved Ginko leaves since I discovered them in the fourth grade. I have wanted to do a design with just Ginko leaves for the past two years and I finally figured out how I wanted to do it. I simplified their design but kept the individual quirks of dents in each of their fans. These colors seemed to flow together as a pattern, but they needed a unifying color. I chose Light Blue Permanent. The gray is the resting place and the white the light focus. I am anticipating many prints and cards from this painting because it lends itself to many media. This painting is NFS because it is currently in the 2012 ISAP show.
Shell Still Life #2
The first shell still life was done during college and sold at my senior thesis show. It was done in the outline style in red oxide, peaches, browns and white. This time, I wanted a more varied color scheme and a fixed design that I could trace and do in another color scheme to make a series. It took a while to get the right shells for each space. The border gives it interest with the shell overlaps. This painting is 24"H x 24"W. The #3 in the series is still in my head. This painting is for sale.
Grandma's Going to Town
Summer time has come and it is directed study time. We were shown a computer slide show of at least 40 examples of each type of the three assigned paintings. The first assignment was a "Power Painting" done upside down and in abstraction. We pulled a photo out of the hat and got to work. My photo featured various people on a city street. I zoomed in on the grandma because she looked like my maternal grandmother. The rest of the city is shapes and destruction... maybe my passive aggression about cities came out. To me the grandma is brave and going about her business no matter what. Her faith is represented by the cross in the upper left... shining out on the street. This painting is 36"H x 36"W and is for sale.
The second assigned painting was "Unconventional Still Life". From one hat we drew out an example of a still-life, from another hat we drew out a single object that had to be prominent in the painting, and the third was from a magazine page... anything on that page. My still-life example had a table groaning with Central American objects and my prominent object was a teapot. My magazine page had a smiling pedestal ceramic. I decided to follow the theme of Central and South America and to go completely over-the-top with every kitschy way that culture can be presented. The drape is 50's desert, the teapot has a Llama on it, there is a rooster to wake you up at 5am, a little burro (also known as a burrito), and chili peppers for my husband's people. Then, I selected images from the Chavin, Olmac, and Mochica civilizations that I studied in college and kitsched them up. The Latinos love color so that it had to be colorful. I had so much fun doing this and eventually won over some classmates into liking it. This painting in 30"H x 40"W and is for sale after November 2012.
Out of the Darkness
The third assigned painting was a "Landscape". We were given a page of six mini-scenes and/or objects that we could combine or just select one of them and make it non-traditional. I selected the stone stairwell of some sort of tower; like what I had seen in England in old churches. The curved sweep of the supporting column was as enthralling as any countryside to me. The current political atmosphere influenced my color choice. The support column is purple to symbolize the striving for power. The greens that tie into the purple are money, and the camouflage brown and olive are war. The doorway is white to symbolize light. I was remembering the words of a hymn: "out of the darkness and into his marvelous light". Without God in the mix, people make really bad decisions. This painting is 40"H x 30"W and is on canvas. It will be available for sale after November 2012.
This painting was an extra landscape painting, just because I wanted to do it. On our six mini photos, there was a very small orchid stalk and next to it a very scrawny tree. I wanted to use transparency effects in this, but it took three days to decide how to do it with limited colors. I initially blocked it in with gray values as place holders for future color. It helped my brain to sort out the transparency overlaps. Eventually, I gave up being consistent with the color changes and just had fun. I kept the majority of grays because they are also beautiful colors. This canvas is 30"H x 22"W but it would look best with a two inch black frame all around. Very rarely do I think that my canvases need a frame. This painting is for sale after November 2012.
Manna and Quail
I was asked if I could illustrate "the five points of commitment" that our church has decided to work on. This painting is the first in that series. The first point is to remember God's provision for his people. After hearing a song with the words... "and the quail came..." I decided that the Exodus story about the manna and quail that God provided in the wilderness was just the right story. The manna came in the morning and the quail came in the evening so that my sky needed to fit both situations. I chose to gray-down all of the colors because when the light is low, colors get a gray shade to them. The quail are a close faxsimile to the middle-eastern quail. This painting is 24"H x 30"W.
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