Wednesday, June 24, 2009

NEW Feeling My Way; 16x20; acrylic and pencil on canvas; framed; $300.

For over 2 years now I have painted (etc.) almost exclusively abstracts. Artwork that has come from a deep desire and need to move through me. For the energy of the art to pour through me, to be released, with a piece of art being born in the process. Aside from last week's work, the only character to surface was the girl in the Mercy collage (April 2008).

Much of the work I did in 2002 had characters (children) in them. Most of them representing me in some way. I have included 2 examples here: Innocence Lost (left) and Ill Communication (right) (yes, referencing the Beastie Boys song).

Both the painting from today and the one from last week had people in them. With, of course, some degree of abstraction or stylization - I don't want to give up the abstract completely!

I am curious about the return of the figure as well as the again prominent use of drawing in my work. I have been feeling the need for color pop and contrast. For the Tryst show I was exploring tone-on-tone; enjoying the relationship, the kinship of the colors. I think I got that out of my system for a while. I am feeling energized and satisfied by painting with vivid color in very illustrative forms. Additionally, I see my emotions coming through these last two paintings in a more figuratively representational way. I feel good about this, happy and excited.

You may or may not know that I have 4-yr old triplets; two girls and one boy. We go to the library weekly and we read together daily. I love looking at the illustrations and reading the blurb about the artist. I am currently attracted to the illustration style of artist David Shannon. I was definitely aware of being opening to his style as I was painting today.

It feels so good to be trying something new and yet familiar at the same time.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Clean Brush is a Happy Brush

I found myself cleaning my studio yesterday. What I really wanted to do was to paint. However, my brushes needed some attention before I could get down to business. Let me say up front that I have neglected my brushes for approximately 6 weeks. This has been the period of time since I completed works for a show I had in Washington D.C. Tsk, tsk, poor brushes, no one to play with them. I had been feeling guilty about the apparent neglect for some time, but I haven’t been able to tear myself away from my intensive marketing studies. (More on that later.) No longer able to avoid the need of my brushes, I stuck my nose in the first bucket. Phew! That is a nasty smell. What could that be from?? Well, it seems as though keeping brushes wet while they are being used seems to work out fine. Unfortunately, soaking in acrylic-water for untold days doesn’t bode too well. The funk was coming from a large round decorative brush that I have had for only a short time. Alas, no attachment. Good thing, because after 5 washes and all night to dry, it still had an offensive odor. Without hesitation I launched the sour-bristled brush into my near-full bucket of trash. Gratefully and fortunately, the rest of my brush collection survived in good condition. I learned my lesson: a clean brush is a happy brush. Good to know.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Unity Music Festival

Lindsay Mac on her cello. Artwork by Latifah Shay.

Unity Music Festival

This past Saturday I attended the Unity Music Festival in Warfordsburg PA. This event is only in it’s second year, still in it’s infancy. Organized and promoted pretty much single-handedly by Camela Widad Kramer, the show served up an impressive array of musicians. My favorite was the Cello Fourtet; headbanging by way of the cello. They rocked. My other favorite new-to-me artist via the UMF is Lindsay Mac. This very feisty and funky girl played the cello as well, albeit like a guitar. Camela Widad Kramer is a singer-songwriter. She is a burgeoning musician, one with soul and guts. Find her music and give it a good listen. You won’t be sorry. For two years in a row my art has been used as the mainstage backdrop. Last year I painted a piece especially for the festival: a series of 4 panels, totaling 6x14’ painted on unstretched canvas. This year I used a 66x80” piece that I created in 2007, titled Perfection Spinning. This piece has been a long-time favorite of mine, still in my collection, deserving to be aired at every opportunity.