Serravalle acrylic on canvas 12″ x 16″ 2015
Our group was made up of five students and one teacher, Eva Bovenzi. John, Eva’s husband came too. We met 40 miles outside of Venice, in Vittorio Veneto, Treviso. We stayed at Palazzo Galletti. Built in the 14th century, the little palazzo was on a quiet cobblestone street in Serravalle, the ancient part of town. We worked for 8 days in Alma Ortolan’s downstairs studio. Besides restoring frescoes, she gives her own workshops in fresco technique. After breakfast, our group would meet for an image presentation. Then, we went off in different directions to sketch. After lunch we worked in the studio, which was followed by a critique and dinner. My small suitcase on rollers, was filled with art supplies. I packed two 12” x 16” boards which were used as support for presized canvas that wrapped around the board and was tacked with artist’s tape. I took sketchpads, drawing materials, tubes of acrylic paint, brushes, a palette, rags, water container and a backpack to carry my art supplies when I went out sketching. Completed rolled paintings fit diagonally into my suitcase when it was time to pack and go home.
Taking watersoluble crayons and sketchpads, Arina and I walked through the quiet old town to sit in Chiesa di S. Giovanni Battista. Choosing the statue of Madonna del Carmine I sketched for more than an hour while listening to my friend happily humming as she sketched sunlight touching a column.
The next morning, I walked up behind the houses into the trees. While I was sitting on the ground sketching, one of the locals walked into my view. Stooping down he filled his straw basket with raw walnuts. His black and white dog kept running up to me bringing me a stick to throw. Thinking of Cezanne and loving the background color coming from behind the tree I walked back to the studio.
After a few well-intentioned strokes my new painting took on a mind of it’s own.
Baby steps to a better digital interpretation of a sketch on white paper using an iphone camera.
After years of being away I went back to Photoshop Elements 6 and tried to remember what to do.
To all of you who came to my rescue last time. Thank you. I’ve just started trying out your suggestions.
Here is a first jab at it. The image above this text shows how the phone adjusted the image. The other two were edited in Photoshop.
Breeze flutters yellow
An inked twig catches the dance
School starts on Monday
We stopped on the way for In-N-Out Burgers
Fries and orders of strawberry milkshakes
Manmade shapes turned into nature’s biomorphic forms
As we climbed to a little under 7,000 feet
We baked french bread at this elevation
And didn’t make adjustments to the recipe
Straightening our limbs we step out of the car
First, just quickly go look at the pond!
Oh, look at the quivering yellow leaves on the Aspen tree!
Down by the creek’s edge, I look up
Past cottonwood trees at the water’s edge
I see a little fir Christmas tree tucked in
Between the tall green Jeffrey pines.
I’m wondering; should I add this print to my painting?
Or this ?
OPPOSITES What would be the opposite to the big painting? #1 The big painting falls loosely to the floor 56″ x 77″. I used a white gessoed old canvas. #2 The small canvas is stretched tightly and gessoed black. 11″ x 14″ #1 With charcoal and a brush I sketched a line drawing of tulips then continued to write freely on the canvas. #2 Repeating a formal pattern of black and white using shapes or form, I used a palette knife in some areas. The purple shaped tulip form or mass echoes the line drawing of the flower in the big painting. #1 Free script covers the canvas. #2 Stamped letters are incorporated in the pattern. A little yellow balances the complimentary color purple. #1 main color – green #2 main colors black and white
I’d never painted a checkerboard pattern of black and white shapes. When I sit and study it I see all the variations in painting application, value, intensity of whites. There is a lot to look at. Subtle differences in paint application create variations in value and intensity. I worked on it until my eye could move around the canvas without being interrupted by anything. One area didn’t dominate the picture. The small dots picked up from the rough surface of the canvas work with the other elements.
Why do I paint? I like the process of painting, the challenge. I lay down one stroke, That stroke calls for another stroke and the process continues until I have a “there it is” moment, when the painting is done. My tool – This brush has traveled with me from studio to studio. The material – Medium weight cotton duck canvas stapled to the wall. I covered the surface with gesso, a paint medium used as a base to protect the raw canvas. While I am in the process of covering the canvas with a base, I really like what happens. Priming the canvas I start in the middle and work my way out. This application of paint tightens the canvas as I work my way out to the edges. I’ll end up a with a nicely taut canvas with no wrinkles. But first look at this! There’s a painting right here. In the first image I like the dark square on the natural color rectangle; rounded 3 dimensional wrinkles or lines radiate outward. The second image is a pleasing shape playing with the original support, the picture plane.The third image becomes a photograph of an abstract image showing variation in lines created with a big brush, drips and wrinkled canvas – reminds me of Franz Kline. http://www.gagosian.com/artists/franz-kline
Taping my brush to a pole I wrote on the canvas.
‘Opening Up the Conversation’ (detail) June 2014 mixed media on canvas 56″ x 77″
Wash out all those ghosts cobwebs worrywarts black cloud critters
chattering like monkeys in your swollen brain
swollen brain filled with piston-like repetiton
it’s wrong it’s wrong it’s wrong
not good enough for who? for tin man looking for his heart?
wash out all those ghosts cobwebs worrywarts and black cloud critters
chattering like monkeys in your swollen brain
quickly lay your thoughts out on the page
protect those tender shoots
close the book