Saturday, June 23, 2012

mini 46 and CAC

Miniature #46 - June 18 - 24, 2012, ? in, drawing and collage on paper
This week's mini is either late or early, depending how you look at it.  Travel has been shaking up the tone of life-as-usual for me lately. (It feels like working with a full palette when I'm usually more of a gray+ kind of person).  

Some good news - I've been awarded a residency at the Contemporary Artists Center!  The timing couldn't be better (some of my multi-color-coded calendar planning and list-making coming to a good end :))  I'm looking forward to having some time and space to focus on completing the Power in Precision Project (minis), reflect, and get a jump start on the next long term project, which I'm thinking will be an art experiment in life-improvement through time/space management (no catchy title there yet).  
My mission for the residency is site-specific.  Lately, I've been questioning how to make paintings that engage viewers in a sincere way without being saccharine.  I want to try adapting the studio environment to activate all my senses and see whether/how that affects the work.  The studios at CAC are in a re-purposed neo-Gothic church, so there will be stained glass for visual engagement.  I usually listen to music or the radio while I work, but for the residency, I'm going to aim for all non-verbal sonitory input (I'm thinking 'Music for Airports,' but I haven't totally decided yet, and, as a side note, I can use this opportunity to work on not starting sentences with "I heard on the radio..." at least for a little while).  For smell (which will have to cover taste as well, since eating in the studio is a no-no), I've narrowed it down to one of these taste-related smells: cinnamon, clove, vanilla or peppermint.  Touch will be a fluffy mat (which will be a nice change from the floor).  The goal is to try to reach a sort of "flow-state" and see whether/how that comes through in the work (I know it sounds kind of weird when stated that way, but...)

 interacting with art in its natural habitat
46 complete and 4 more to go.        

Thursday, June 14, 2012

update of mini 45

Friend Carol's photo of Miniature #45
My picture of Miniature #45
On the one hand, this indicates that it may be time to add "learn to take better pictures" to my to do list; on the other hand, I feel grateful to have such gracious and skilled friends - thank you Carol and Mary Anne!  I actually like the "impressionistic" quality of a lot of the action shots I've been taking with the mini camera, but archival documentation...hmmm, maybe not.  I guess the important thing with any tool is to ask of it only things which are within its capability to do.  On that note - I got a new, neon yellow pencil today (its intended purpose is as an erasable highlighter - genius!) Can't wait to break it out for mini 46.  



Sunday, June 10, 2012

mini 45

Miniature #45 - June 4 - 10, 2012, 3.5 x 2.5 in. pencil on paper board 

Mini 45 is a mini on the go (it's my friend Tammy checking the pictures on her camera while we sat in a park for a couple of minutes because we were kind of lost.  Looking at the very low resolution photos I took this week, you can understand why it's an absolutely awesome thing that Tammy has been taking pictures.)  I was unsure whether I'd be able to make and post a mini this week and thought I may have to bail out to the "emergency week of no mini" built into the project.  I'm glad that I could 'make it work,' (though I sense that I'll be re-photographing).

On a side note - they have these awesome little candies called "minis" here - I'm not in love with the taste, but they make very luggage-friendly mementos.

45 down and only 5 more to go...

Sunday, June 3, 2012

mini 44

Miniature #44 - May 28 - June 3, 2012, 5 x 5," mixed media on panel

a view of the lovely neon yellow edges 
It's been a busy week here in Tinyland.  I worked on a new layering technique with mini 43 using opaque and clear gessos as alternating isolating coats.  I'm not sure about the results - I think I need to give it some more thought and try again.  What I'm most excited about with mini 43 is the varnish layer (which, ironically, the better it is, the less visible to the viewer.)  Having the varnish layer turn out well on several pieces in a row now has made me incredibly happy. I think it's because I always want to be learning and improving, not just changing and rearranging content, and this seems to reaffirm my faith in the ever-present possibility of gaining more technical skills through practice (personally, I think Dr. Suzuki is partly to blame for this).

I also finished a couple (!) of full-scale works.  The first is the panel I was so excited about starting after mini 38.  The irony with this one is that it took me longer to prepare the panel than to paint the image (about 10 days and 7 days, respectively).  In the spirit of improving through practice though, I think that I learned a few things, and, hopefully, the preparation will go more smoothly next time.  I also finished (and named) the Gothic work I wrote about a few weeks ago.  I was nervous, but decided to go for it and put a final gloss varnish on it (and it turned out well - inspiration from the minis in action!) I actually finished this one so quickly, that I had to "take it away from myself," so that won't be tempted to meddle with it.

I've been referring to this one as "Neon" for now, 24 x 24," mixed media on panel, 2012
Is it me, or do I look a little like Michelangelo's David here?

Tempus Fugit, 20 x 40," mixed media on canvas, 2012