Okay, sort of took the Spring/Summer off from blogging. It has been a whirlwind!! Many shows and unfortunately, some more flooding in the Spring. I still have things under the house that have molded and need my attention. The worst of it was all the old family photos I'd put in plastic bins to save them from this floated and tipped over!! My whole front porch was littered with old photos drying at one time. They will never be the same, but you can make out the faces :). ANYWAY!
I've been invited to participate as a Club Artist at the National Western Coors Art Show this January!!! Yay!!!! So I've been working on paintings for that the past month. One down, two to go!! Just started the second one yesterday. I'm continuing to discover and explore "What makes my art mine?" . I've changed my palette, added the Portland Greys and Indian Yellow and at times Sap Green (though I've heard this is a fugitive color so use it sparingly). I find I'm able to achieve colors I otherwise would not be able to, more subtle greys and sensitive cools. It's been fun!!
I've also been painting outside more, which I love doing!! It hones your observation skills for color and shape, not to mention urging you to work more quickly! All in all it's been a summer of growth for me, and that feels sooooo good! I'll include a couple of my plein air pieces in this blog and perhaps follow up with the second painting for the Club Artist Show when it is completed.
6 April 2015
Continuing to think about what makes a painting MINE. What is style? Do we have control over our own personal style? While painting I get physically anxious if a painting doesn't "feel" like me and I have to, not choose to, keep working on it 'til I reach that state of comfort as the painting begins to approach "me-ness". However I'm congnizant of the benefit of pushing myself beyond my comfort zone, which in turn tends to "threaten" that sense of me-ness. I've also learned that this feeling of discomfort is not a bad thing. It signals growth. I hope.
Opposite is a painting I've been working on that has had me searching for that balance of growth and me-ness.
26 February, 2015
"The Scent of Sundown"
This particular painting had come back from a gallery that closed its doors for good. It had been around and one student asked what I was going to do with it. I think my answer was "live with it" :) . Some just never find homes. But then I had a show opportunity come up and I thought this painting might fit that show. However originally it had some longhorn cattle in it, and I have to admit I never felt it worked quite right. So out went the longhorns. Then I sat with it for some time and asked myself what it was I, or the painting, was trying to say? It was quiet and I could almost smell the evening moisture that comes with sundown. I thought of putting horses in it, buffalo or perhaps antelope. But the scene was gentle and quiet and those would attract more attention than I wanted. I recalled many times looking at such a scene and then noticing almost imperceptibly a deer, unaware of me as well, grazing peacefully, blending into the environment. So that's what I painted.
15 January, 2015
I'm reprinting an entry I made on my Facebook page. I, among many many others, was challenged to share 3 older paintings every day for five days. Little did I know what a journey it would turn out to be! By revisiting my older work the path I have been on and where I'm going started to become more and more apparent. You know what they say about "hindsight"! On Day #5, my last posting, while sitting in the early morning, not having had quite enough coffee :), I was trying to figure out what I should post for my last day. And then the words just started flowing:
Day #5 Like others I've found this to be a journey, revisiting old paintings. A lot of paintings, if not all, become the artist's journal. They bring forth memories known only to the artist. Perhaps that's why at times, we as artists, are unable to be objective about the merit of our own work. We see what's beyond the paint. The true master's of this craft are able to let everyone see beyond the paint. And though that may be my ultimate goal, I am content to create my journal knowing it is in a language perhaps only I may understand.
The words resonated with many of my friends so thought I would share. The paintings I posted had no other information given, just the image. They were paintings not chosen for their artistic merit as great paintings but chosen because they meant something significant to me. I will repost them here. As time allows I'll try to repost the other four days as well.
January 7, 2015
It's been a whirlwind year, 2014, and this one appears to be more of the same! I begin the New Year with a show at Abend Gallery in Denver, opening January 9. Opposite is one of two paintings I have in the show. I've been contemplating this painting for some time. It is of ranch horses at the Zapata Ranch in SW Colorado as they are being circled in the corral. Ranch horses seem to have that rugged, well used look, kind of like the image we typically have of the cowboys and cowgirls who ride them. They are not the papered, bred for conformation animals you see in the show ring. They are chosen not for their looks but for their athletic ability, cow sense and work ethic. They need to put in long hours and be willing, willing, willing. I guess they are a metaphor for qualities that I value in people as well, and perhaps that's why I enjoy painting them so much.
This is the latest landscape from my trip to the Grand Tetons in July. An effort in the direction I noted in the previous post, to expand my area of expression. I will try to post more of my plein air paintings also. I believe you learn soooo much from painting from life, outside or in.
"Wild Mountain Rose"
August 16, 2014
My old blog seemingly refuses to upload any more of my pictures so I am continuing my blogs on my website. If you're reading this, you were able to follow the trail I left :)
The above little wild rose painting is from my recent trip to Jackson Hole Wyoming for the Paint the Park Plein Air Event with Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters. I became conscious of "what" I like to paint while up there. I seem to be comfortable painting an object, thing, specific landscape item such as a tree, flower, buffalo, horse etc. IN the landscape. I decided to work at changing that, to where I am comfortable painting the whole scene for it's own sake. Why? I don't like being limited. I want to be able to paint anything that inspires me. The rest of the world however tends to pigeon hole artists into certain genres like landscape painter, still life painter, animal painter. I've found it a challenge to have my other work equally accepted along with my animal paintings. Challenge to myself: change that! How? Simply start painting more different genres and getting them out to be seen. This was brought to my attention when picking my work up from the Greeley Stampede Show by the wonderful art patron Shirley Holland. I had submitted three typical "Lani" paintings of animals plus one nocturne. Shirley took me aside to tell me how much she liked that piece best, because it was different than my usual and for that reason notable. The trick to this though, is to make sure what you put out there is of the same quality as your usual. Look for some different things from me in the future!!