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Friday, May 30

Mister Black Again

Mister Black and Ferns with Red Chair
23.75 x 23.75"
oil on wood


WIOW! I really like this one!
I am getting much closer to what I mean to say. But exuse me for not writing more today. I am zonkkkked out! I may take a break from painting this weekend. Lots of "real life" things to do, helping plant flowers at the church, helping 2 sets of friends move, oh and I need to catch up on my cat napping.

Details:


Please buy this painting, I already need to buy more paints!
My Etsy!

Thursday, May 29

Mister Black's Rumpus has Fans!

Good morning my dear friends! I have received some nice encouragement lately and it adds so much fun to what I thought was already an overflowing sandbox-ful of fun & paint play!
Apparently there are quite a few of you who are enjoying the never-ending painted adventures of Mister Black's Rumpus! Haha. I deduct that there must be a lot of cats who establish their presence by plunking their fat rumpuses down and changing the atmosphere of whatever painting they are appearing in.
Part of my statement in putting Mister Black into so many paintings is not only that I adore him and the way he positions his weightiest part, but that my house is very small and he follows me everywhere. So whatever I paint, he is there.
On a totally side note, an underlying statement I am making by having Mister B's rumpus in everything, is that, as you may have noticed, if someone has a litter box, it sort of makes its presence known as well. I am constantly trying to find a solution to this. My dear friend Karen has two fastidious Siamese cats. I sometimes take care of them when she goes out of town. And their litter box just does not smell. I asked her secret and she insists this is because Siamese are fastidious. Well I will let you in on a little non-secret, Mister Black is NOT fastidious! I have searched for all kinds of solutions and was tempted to buy a $300 toilet for cats! Haha no kidding. Check it out here: http://www.catgenie.com/?R=cf
But please be sure to come back.

Anyway how did I get into that? Oh yes, cat rumpus interrupting things. See how they do that? OK OK. I am worried about Mister Black's rumpus. When I don't put him there it isn't right, but when I do put him there he is so slick and black he is a total contradiction to the patterns that go on everywhere else. I have some thoughts about this but not sure how long they will justify allowing him to stay. One thot is that the flat un-patterned black is a nice break from all the busy flowering and growth going on. Well and that is the only thot really. And just that Mister B is not a typical still life object. So he adds a bit of rebellion, which always appeals to me.

But there is the danger of him being too much of a cute little story into which I fear to get stuck. Haha see how I just said that avoiding an incorrect dangling participle, but it sounds so stiff? That is why I am such a rebel. I just cannot stand stiffness.

I feel like I am spiraling like a cats tail on this and going nowhere but to take a nap. No wait, someplace else I was headed... Oh yes, FRIENDS! I have been conversing with a lovely lady who has bought a few of my paintings on Etsy! As I suspected she is an artist, too and we have had some productive dialog about art. She likes black cats, too and black chairs. I am doing a painting now with a Windsor chair and Mister Black. The Windsor chair has all those rungs to create negative space puzzles! She gave me the idea of a black Windsor chair and a black Mister Black which may happen in this painting or the next. It seems the chair is headed in the red or rose red direction for now. It is one of the objects in the painting that I have decided has to have its color dependent on what the other colors do. I ordered a bunch of new oil colors that hopefully will arrive today and one of them is called permanent rose. If it is what I think it is, it will be the chair color. Altho the way things are going now, the red underpainting is doing a very interesting job holding the chair's place.

I am always paranoid I am writing too much and the voice of this smart alec kid in art school echoes thru my head, "If you are talking about art, you aren't doing it!" I never said this, but I always retorted in thot, "Well, Mister, you are walking proof that if you don't dialog about art, you will probably end up doing boring art."

Here I make a snorting sound and go to paint for the day! Oh and here is a pic of the painting so far:

Wednesday, May 28

More or Less of Mister Black


Akkkkkk! I just did impressionism! I finished this painting late last night and I was embarrassed to step back & realize I just did some impressionistic stuff. This morning over artsy coffee conversation Harry informed me that the impressionists were also dealing with flatness vs realism. He also assured me there was nothing wrong with "doing impressionism". He also said my stuff has always reminded him of the Pattern and Decoration Movement which he always wished more artists had explored more thoroughly.

Now I realize that painting impressionistically actually interests me as much as painting patterns and I never really realized that Matisse was playing with the flatness and rebelling against representationalism, too. I just always liked his stuff. I guess I will be messing with those things the rest of my life in some way, just no telling exactly how. Anyway I like the evolution going on and don't ever expect to arrive at a stopping place.

I saw a video of an artist at work demonstrating how to do their style. It struck me as no more creative than a video demo of how to make pancakes. I'd like to see a video of an artist refusing to be locked into a style. That is something I'd like to know how to do. A video of how to evolve constantly. How to avoid falling into the traps of The Artistic Shoulds.

Well if you like it go buy it @ Etsy!

Tuesday, May 27

Narratives and Other Nonos














Doodles with a Mister Black Painting

Photo
NFS

As I am getting deeper into painting, and taking longer to finish, so my thoughts are maybe not deeper [haha] but definitely taking longer to express. If you are tired of reading my blogs, I excuse you to leave the table now, however those of you who wish to stay may do so. Sounds threatening, doesn't it? Are you scared? Haha I love this. I can say whatever I want to say and not worry. No wait maybe I should worry. How many peeps actually read this thing anyway? OK let's try something. If you read this blog, usually, all the way thru, or most of the way thru, or at all, then leave a comment below. Anyone want to take bets? I am really setting myself up to be embarrassed, huh? Oh well what else is new. Welcome to Leo World!

So anyway the photo you see here: I had this in-progress painting of Mister Black propped on the easel in my office/painting room. As I looked thru the hallway I saw Doodle sitting in the window behind the easel. The perspective created this little narrative that I will let you write for yourself. It has too much of a story to be something I want to paint but I do like the gesture potential in Doodle. [The cat in the window]

I went to the nursery yesterday and got a lot of really great resource photos for future paintings. I can't keep delicate ferns alive for more than a week so I have to outsource them. There were these fragile lacy maidenhair ferns and I caught them on my cam & brought them home. They will take forever to paint around all the little dips & fronds & doodley-doos but I think it will be worth it and I am learning something in the process. I'll tell you when I figure out what it is.

Now please go buy a painting @ Etsy; It's time for me to get back to painting!

Monday, May 26

Cats & Ferns with Orange Tablecloth

Cats and Ferns with Orange Tablecloth
16 x 16"
oil on wood

I decided to add a chapter of lighter ultramarine blue to the left cat. It seemed to flatten and deepen the painting both at the same time for diff reasons. I like the cat's color being so close to the background color. Cats are like that. Except when they sit on orange tablecloths.

Buy @ Etsy!

detail shots:
note right edge of last photo - most of my paintings have strokes of color along the side front & edges . I do this because I like completing the edges but it also means you don't have to frame it.

Changing the Meaning of Painting a Day

I have been working on this painting for three days now. Yesterday Harry insisted I change my blog description from "Painting a Day" to "Almost Painting a Day". He said that I need to take more time to build up the history of each piece and since the paintings are now larger, I need to put more than one day into them. After changing the meaning of "painting a day" from "finishing one painting a day" to "just get yourself in there and paint every day!", I feel less pressure and more freedom.

So I solved a technical issue and improved the paintings at the same time. The paint I am using is Winsor Newton water-based oil colors. I like using water as medium but it dries too fast. Don't like the specific medium made for them. But forged ahead with a diff technique, taking a break between layers and doing a combination of letting the paint build up and letting it smear between layers. It builds up a history and creates a longer lasting workable area. This painting seems to have more depth than the others, while still toggling depth with flatness.

I really like that play between flatness and depth. For awhile the background area was a quilt of de-intensified colors. But it was boring. Too obvious to have a de-intensified background. I painted it over creating a wonderful under-history in prep for scraffito. Then I had an urge to use a light turquoise there but argued with myself for awhile because it wasn't proper. A loud voice yelled in my head, "So when did you ever care about proper?!!" So on we go. A forward-projecting background. True, the quilted under-history pulled it back into place a bit. And I had already done my usually last-touch scraffito, but I blobbled paint around it as if the scraffito were an object in the painting. That also seemed to help the background recede. And made for more fun & play.

Yesterday I went to my friend Annette's house. Did I tell you I have the most awesome friends? And we worked on setting up her Etsy/Blog/Feedblitz. She read me something from a book. Annette if you read this what is the name of that book? Author? [I guess maybe post a comment below]

It was about painting being a history of the person. Harry always talks about building up a history of paint and I think this book was also talking about the history of the person coming across and into their paintings. I am beginning to see life as less divided and more integrated & interdependent. I don't know about the theory of a butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon and starting an avalanche in Alaska, but I think the edges of everyone and everything cross and blur more than we probably like to think. Molecules bounce around, rub off, & float thru the air and attach to other molecules. Things are not really hard-edged, segregated, & clear-cut.

What I believed, thought, and did yesterday affects who I am today. So I want to give my paintings a chance to have a few days history behind them. And haha you can't see the painting yet. Will post when I am sure it is done.

But you can always go buy a painting @ etsy!

Saturday, May 24


Mister Black, Ferns, And Comma Fish
16 x 16"
oil on wood

Yesterday I did a second Painting a Day called Mister Black with Iris but it was not too good. I painted over it today and this is it. I got re-inspired as I figured out what happened and why the Iris one didn't work.
You see I really liked the 24 x 24" - Mister Black with Red Pear and I wanted to paint it again but go in different directions with certain things.
The first problem with this is that Mr. B Red Pear was 24 x 24 and this canvas is 16 x 16. In MB Red Pear, Mr. B was larger than life size. On the 16 x 16 I had to paint him smaller than life-size to get him all on the canvas. Something about making him a bit larger than life-size was key to what the painting was talking about. I took the "take what you get" stance and adjusted to the smaller canvas by cropping Mr. B. It will be interesting in future paintings to see how little of him I can paint and you still know what he is.
The other mistake was using irises. This is a really good lesson, I need to remember, "Don't paint things you don't find interesting to paint!" I love irises but am not inspired by them to paint them. Easy to confuse. And I love to paint, but not just anything. I have more to "say" about philos and Mr. B and pears, & patterned fabrics than I do about irises, etc. So in this one I am back to philos, the skinny kind. And Sallie's fish that sometimes look like commas, and my dear Mister B. Oh and a yellow patterny tablecloth. The paint is getting creamier and swishier and a bit more abstract. I like this direction.

Buy Mister Black @ My Etsy Store!

Thursday, May 22

Mister Black & Other Favorite Models


Mister Black with Red Pear
23.5 x 23.5"
oil on wood


OK I finally did a bigger painting. You had to know it was coming. I'm pretty jazzed again, too. It took much more time and there is much more to it. Bummer you cannot tell by the photo. Maybe I will give you some more detailed photos tomorrow. But maybe not, because I am so jazzed about painting right now, I may get into another one and not want to stop.

Mister Black and that huge rumpus of his. The red pear I got at the fruit market had hips that reminded me of Mister Black's hips. I like round things like that and like horses bellies. Oh and horses noses. Those huge round live holes. I will probably be painting horses soon as my other dear friend has horses. Am I the luckiest person alive or what?

Anyway this painting has another version of Sallie's kitchen wall, this time in a dark ultramarine blue. Mister Black is dark purple and ultramarine blue. He is very dramatic and seems to know he is helping earn his keep by modeling. I have been wanting to paint my dog but I am still too angry with her to paint her kindly. I had to bail her out of dog jail last week. She ran away when the door was left unlatched and we looked everywhere. Fortunately the animal shelter picked her up but unfortunately we had to pay a fine because we did not realize that in our neat little town you not only have to have a rabies vaccine license, you have to have a dog license. In the deep southern swamplands of Georgia you just get a dog and give her some food and hope the gators don't get her and that's it.

Harry and I have been talking a lot about aesthetics and art criticism. Harry used to teach that it is possible to say whether art is good or not but the past few years he insists that you can't. Well the other night we were talking about an artist and he vehemently declared that artist's work was a bunch of bs. So I questioned him about it & he restated his stance. He said he thinks that you can tell if a person has sold out and isn't being true and honest. You can tell when the painting isn't about art, when there was no attempt at making something truthful.

I am going to try to set this blog so my Dear Readers can post comments to this. I'd enjoy reading your thoughts, although I pretty much think Harry is right. I think a person has a right to paint whatever they want to paint [duh] but I have the right to decide if I think it contains anything that makes it worth my time to look at. [also duh] And you?

PS. GUESS WHAT?!!! You can't buy Mister Black with Red Pear @ Etsy ! because when I woke up this morning he had already sold!

Blue Pear & Windmills






















Blue Pear
7 x 6"
oil on wood


I went to my Alexander Lesson this morning. Karen thinks I am being gooey when I rave over how she helps me. So far I hold to my stance that I mean every single wingle drop of gooful praise I lavish upon her. Seriously, I don't think I would be painting or blogging so happily & freely without what she has done for me. Today walking out of her "office" I felt like waving Tibetian prayer flags in celebration of the mind-trans-body learning that took place on her table. I have been unable to put into words something that has been concerning me for quite awhile. It has been concerning me on such a deep level that it has not even been formulated into words yet. And so foggy I almost didn't even realize it was a concern. Somehow Karen pulled it out and put words to it.

Again, you ask, "What is the crazy red-headed artsiest talking about now?!!" I tend to be like a windmill. I have this knowledge that large body movements express something significant. And being a person who frequently feels large about things, I tend to wave my arms around a lot to make people understand. Well I realized that sometimes less is more. And that the windmilling my arms can be less expressive than getting in touch with what I really feel and allowing my extremities and my middleties and my innerties to express automatically as they are well-equipt to do. It occurs to me that it is kind of like the difference between your talking voice and a falsetto singing voice. I think I have made the assumption that windmilling my arms around will express a deep feeling better than just trusting that my body knows how to express what is going thru my mind.

Maybe my error in communication comes from thinking that nobody was paying attention to me growing up. So I talk louder, move more, dress louder, etc. to make sure everyone hears me as an adult.

What does this have to do with the Blue Pear painting? Umm well. I can't say directly but I feel like my paintings are beginning to open up. Or maybe that they are beginning to express what I mean to say in paint. They are at the same time getting looser and more on target, closer to my point. They are getting closer to being what I mean while helping me discover something never possessable or finite.

Enough blogg & goo! Go buy this awesome painting @ Etsy!

Wednesday, May 21

Sallie's Kitchen #2


Sallie's Kitchen #2
7 x 6"
oil on wood

So anyway Sallie and I talked a long time, long enough to do this second painting. And I thought of something else I wanted to talk about. Brushes. I like to use a bigger brush than I probably should. It forces me to be more sensitive in finding the gestures of things. It also creates accidents and messes, that when you fix them, something magical happens. Akk bad grammar, well you fix it, I am busy cleaning my brushes. Oh and bigger brushes make things fatter, like Mister Black's rumpus, or the hips of a pear

Buy @ !

Sallie's Kitchen #1


Sallie's Kitchen #1
7 x 6"
oil on wood

I missed Sallie so much I called her this morning. As we talked I painted and this is what I painted. Thing is, I painted the blue swimmies more like they really are on her wall. I hope it's ok, Sallie, cause I promised you I would not ever paint the swimmies for anyone else like I did for you. Well these are a little diff, does that make it ok? I think Sallie reads my blog. She told me she did.
Anway the art talk. You interested in hearing the art talk? OK, but it's not really artsy. I am just getting closer to being true to myself. Funny thing about being true to yourself, you have to learn how to tune in and listen. I'm not a good listener to anyone especially quiet people. And my true self is very quiet and shy from being ignored for so long. So I am learning to listen and this is what I am beginning to hear: "paint... paint swooshing sassily & tenderly around the edges of everything... juicy fruit dripping with paint... you can almost smell the red... patterns... patterns with messed up perfectness... messed up with smooshy paint on purpose... fat paint and fat pears... squiggles that pin everything down... flatness dancing with fatness... edges and middles... circles and spirals.

When you figure it out let me know. And tell me. Thanx, -s

PS. Join Twitter!

Buy Sallie's Kitchen #1 from @ Etsy
!

Tuesday, May 20

Red Pear



Red Pear
5 x 6"
oil on wood

Missing my friend, Sallie. Several years ago I painted her kitchen in a pattern of swimming blue biomorphic shapes. Sallie loves blue and red and she still loves her blue kitchen. However she is selling the house because she is building a new house in the country. The realtor wants her to paint over the blue biomorphism but Sallie refuses. She says if the peeps who buy the house don't like the walls, they can repaint themselves. Every artist needs a dedicated fan friend like Sallie. I wish I could paint blue swimmies in her new kitchen but now I live too far away. Anyway I kept thinking of Sallie the whole time I was painting this. Maybe cause of the little blue swirlies and the bright red that always is Sallie in the middle of everything fun.

Buy this lovely red pear @ Etsy

Painting a Days for May 17 thru 19...




Charlie's Lime, Charlie's Orange, & Charlie's Red Pear
6 x 7" each
oil on wood

A special wedding gift for my friends Charlie and Christina. I hope they enjoy the trio.

NFS on Etsy but you can custom order your own set of fruit for a giftie! Just email me suzanne@harryally.com

Saturday, May 17

Indy Philo


Indy Philo
5 x 6"
oil on wood

I painted this yesterday. Beginning to feel cramped on the small canvas. Making bigger ones & moving out to Hare's studio. Getting too messy in here!

Buy this one on Ebay!

A SALE already?!?!

Woohoo! A Sale!
I just marked down some paintings on Etsy!
Take advantage of my generosity quick before I change my mind!

xo
-s

Thursday, May 15

Cats with Red Dots





















Cats with Red Dots
6 x 8"
aqua oil on wood

I put a painting for sale on Ebay last night and I have been checking every hour since to see if I have any bids. I was not having fun painting this morning and I realized I gave myself a case of the sells. As in, focusing on hoping my art sells rather than focusing on doing what I enjoy. I told myself I would not allow myself to continue painting with the sells, or with the shoulds, or with the wonder-whats. The wonder-what is similar to the sells, except you are wondering what EVERYBODY might like and trying to paint for everyone but yourself!

So I "inhibited". That is an Alexander Technique word. It has very much to do with art and creativity. In fact I hear that the Alexander technique is at the very core of the Juilliard School program! It certainly has become the very core of my personal program. My Alexander teacher is Karen DeHart. I train with her once a week. This week's session not only did she help me release the tension in my neck from painting, [a whole month in GA without my Alex gave me a pain in the neck!] but she helped me connect with my inner motives in a way that is freeing my painting. Yeah, I know it sounds weird. Well so now you know I'm weird. Read on.

I realized that although I understand the concept of getting into your alpha zone and freeing your mind of the shoulds when you paint, I rarely am able to do it either in painting or in just life. I tend to look for a secure plan and try to fit myself into it. I want to know what is going to happen. I want to know what to expect, and get myself in control and ready for it. I want to make sure I am following the program. But in painting and in real life, you aren't really living unless you really don't know what is going to happen next and you are willing to let whatever happens, happen.

What am I talking about? Well my brother in law had sent me some photos of his cats after he saw the ones I had on my blog. Flattered that he took interest in my blog, I wanted to impress him by painting a picture of his cats. So I took a photo he sent me and began painting. But it wasn't fun. I was feeling bummed. Suddenly I realized why. My inspiration for painting was about something other than the painting. It wasn't about the shape of the cats, or some color I saw, or negative space. The cats are adorable and chocked full of personality, but an element I wanted to paint about was not there. Sorry, Rick... keep sending photos!!!

So back on track, I finished up a painting I began yesterday of my cats sitting on a patterned pillow looking out the window. I was happy again because I was doing what I like to do - putting together the puzzle pieces of two cats side by side, both of them mostly black, at one glance seeming like a silhouette against the bright light in the background, and sometimes catching a glint of light and taking on volume. When you stand farther away from this painting it looks kind of real, which is really strange to me because the cats are so flat.

I haven't talked about the dots yet because I am not sure what to say. So far I just like them and what they do when I put them there.

SOLD @ Etsy!

Wednesday, May 14



Mister Black with Red Dots
6 x 8"
aqua oil on wood

Another cat painting. The thing is, something in me feels bad for painting a cute painting. The other thing in me says, "but I WANTED TO!" and so I listen to the second one. What in the world am I talking about? If you went to art school in the '60s-'70s you know. It was not cool to make cute art. It was not cool to make any art that was not in some way ugly. I am not sure what is happening to me, except that I am beginning not to care what happens to me and to care more about what I happen to. Not that Mister Black paintings are my life mission or anything, but I have to do them right now. I know, I still sound like I am apologizing, well ok yeah, maybe, but I ain't deleting this painting, either! Something about it has to stay. Man I LOVE those red dots. They are crazy. I love Mister Black, too.

SOLD @ Etsy!

Tuesday, May 13




















Mister Black's Back Side

7 x 6"
aqua oil on wood

Mister Black again. I think he likes this posing stuff. The edges are really fun in contrasting oranges. But the painting has lost its sheen because it has already begun to dry - the sheen will be back when I glaze it.

SOLD @ Etsy !
Woohoo! My first Painting a Day Sale!

Monday, May 12






















Mister Black's Back

6 x 7.5"
aqua oil on wood

I like Mister Black because no matter where the lighting source is, he appears to be a flat silhouette. And if you didn't guess, I am fascinated with silhouettes. To get some kind of cross contours in all that black, you really have to move & squint around. I also love how his color black changes from warm to cool black - from brown to dark blue-purple. When I took this photo and put it on the computer monitor, at times it got really abstract and the warm to cool areas made puddles of flat colors. You will probably be seeing more of Mister Black because all this stuff is really fun. Plus it is so very plain, it is a real challenge to make an interesting painting.

SOLD @ Etsy !

Sunday, May 11

Doodle


Doodle
6 x 6.75"
aqua oil on wood

I love my cats but up to a few days ago I only appreciated the negative spaces around their outside edges. It is especially paintable when the two of them are together snuggling. But they are rarely doing that when I have time to paint.

A couple days ago Doodle was licking herself and I caught her on camera. I realized the white and black parts of her fur do some really puzzling negative space things. This one is so close to being abstract it is sometimes hard to tell what it is at first.

I will probably continue on with the cats for a few days here until I buy some more philos.

Buy this painting @ Etsy !

Whoa Hoya!






















Whoa Hoya
7 x 6"
aqua oil on wood

Whoa! who let the paint out of the tube?!! But can you tell it was fun painting with reckless abandon? If you like it please buy it as I am going to have to buy more paint soon!

Buy this painting @ Etsy !

Still Unfin Philo



Still Unfin Philo
6 x 7"
aqua oil on wood

Now this one is TOO overworked! But I like showing its progress. Maybe you will see it again or maybe you won't.

Saturday, May 10

Philosophizing



Unfinished Philo
6 x 7"
aqua oil on wood

So this next painting I did yesterday, well last night. I found an old photo of a philodendron plant that I have owned for over twenty years. I have done many photos, drawings, and paintings of this particular plant and none of them have ever been successful. Funny that I love the plant so much, I mean not only for its value as a house plant but I still have an appetite to paint it! It is one of the most personality-ful philos I have ever known, and its negative shapes thrill me to pieces! Maybe if I keep trying, one of these days I will complete a painting of it that I like.

Compare this painting to the previous one, the hoya painting I don't like. This one has hope for me because I DO have passion for the plant and crave to paint its negative spaces. There is a problem set-up here with the colors - I just don't like the greens, and I am not sure if the blues in the background react with the philo like I want. I do like what is starting to happen between the edges of the plant and its negative spaces. I like the upside down "v" scratch that I left embedded in the surface of the wooden "canvas". But something about the painting is boring and needs something, maybe just something else or something more. You may see this painting finished tomorrow, or we may have ourselves another lesson learned. Haha!

Enjoy life! Tune into your passions and if they aren't harmful... go for it!

To Buy this painting @ Etsy !
NFS yet

I Don't Like This Hoya Painting






















I Don't Like This Hoya
7 x 6"
aqua oil on wood
NFS

I actually painted this one two days ago. I didn't like it and still don't. But I decided to post it because I learned more from this one than the ones I did like and wanted to share about that. A spiritual friend of mine says that a mistake usually gives you more opportunity to learn than a success, or something like that. Sometimes I will set up a problem at the beginning of a painting to give myself something to fix. The struggle of fixing seems to produce a more expressive and interesting piece that an easy success.

It was late at night when I began this painting and I was tired. Again the light in the studio was unpleasant and although I had an almost animalistic involuntary urge to paint, the urge was polluted with the guilt of the shoulds. As in, "I should do my painting-a-day." This is when the painting-a-day may be a bad thing.

OK so anyway, I tried to get the cats to pose for me but they were not in the mood to create any interesting negative space shapes so I hung a hoya plant and began to paint. I realized that although I really like hoya plants themselves, I do not enjoy painting them. The particular negative shapes they provide are just not my personal bag. So I was violating one of my painting values, which is "paint what you are passionate about." I am passionate about having hoya plants hanging in my home to look at but NOT passionate about painting the negative space between the hoya plants. What DO I like? I like negative shapes that let me blob and smear my brush around. I DON'T like having to precisely get the tippy-tippest point of the brush to maneuver into pointy spaces and to precisely delineate straight narrow stems. So hmmm, that is another reason I love painting philodendrons so much. Oh I also love their personality, their gestures. Like how they almost seem to be making a speech or waving their arms dramatically emphasizing some point or just exclaiming "AKKK!"

Hold on a minute, I will make another post today...

Thursday, May 8

Playing with Pyre!


Pyro Philo
6 x 7"
aqua oil on board


Last night I was talking to Jordan Hart, another artist friend and we were both exclaiming how powerful painting-a-day is, well for him, drawing-a-day. Makes me wonder if everything-a-day would be awesome. But if I did everything every day, then I might miss out on nap-a-day. Haha. If you take the naps away from a catnapper you have one tired kitty.
Anyway I think I have exhausted philodendrons for awhile. Just for awhile. I have always been fascinated with them. Tomorrow I think the cats will get their chance to pose for my brushes. I hope I can get them to nap entwined together - oh man what great negative space. But that is tomorrow or maybe tonight. Back to last night's painting, Pyro Philo.
It was late and the light in my office seemed dark and weird and I was tired. I thought the painting was awful when I went to bed and I lay there thinking I might have to quit the idea of trying to sell my painting-a-days. But when I woke up this morning I realized it just needed a bit of value stretching so I added just a few lighter & darker colors and now it makes me very happy.
I usually start with an underlying color that is the complimentary to the intended finish color but I liked the red/orange/yellows so much I didn't paint over them. It is kinda fiery though so I named it "Pyro Philo".

PS. I paint the edges of all these paintings. I have always messed with the edges of my paintings and they really look great unfram
ed or shadow-box framed. The edges are hard to get into photos. I will work on that and how to photo up close & get the detail, but not have the fish-eye lens affect which makes the paintings look bowed out on the four sides, which they are not.

Buy this painting @ Etsy !

Wednesday, May 7

TALKING about someone else's art vs DOING my own

Anorexic Philo
6 x 6.75"

aqua oil on board

May 6 went to Harry's opening at Edison. So many friends there, it was heart-warming all the support!
It is hard to stand around and talk about art already done, especially someone ELSE's art. [haha!]
I couldn't wait to get home and paint. I did two again.


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And...

Psy Philo
6 x 6.75"
aqua oil on board

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Tuesday, May 6

Coming Home to Dead Plants

080505 Expiring Philo
6 x 7"
aqua oil on board

Some of my plants died while I was gone so I guess I made a bit of lemonade.
It was dark by the time I began this one so I brought the philodendron inside and hung it quickly where I could see it. There happened to be lighting behind part of the leaf which made it appear glowing in its near-dead state.

Buy this painting @ Etsy
!

A Jazzed Philodendron

080505 Phthalo Philo
6 x 7.75"
aqua oil on board

I am so jazzed! I painted two paintings-a-day yesterday. I am embarrassed to show them but hopefully later on I can look back at these and see some improvement.
After a day of unpacking and settling in, I couldn't wait to do my painting-a-day. I wanted to paint outside but the sun was setting fast and there were no live philodendrons to paint from so in my frenzied state I painted the feeling of a jazzed philo.

SOLD @ Etsy
!

The Old Mother Seed Painting

080430 Philodendron Night
22 x 28"
aqua oil on board

This is the painting I did in Georgia. Some things I like about it and want to continue to play with like the silhouette flatness and negative space. But it is utterly constipated & boring.

Friday, May 2

In Anticipation of Summer...


In anticipation of summer I begin my blogsite. I just finished a mural commission for a client in south Georgia. It was fifteen feet long and five feet high. I spell out the numbers to emphasize the size. It took three and a half years from start to finish. Now it is done! Here is the link if you want to see it finished: http://suzanne.harryally.com

While I was working on the mural I had to devote all painting thoughts and energies towards the mission of the mural. My client wanted a Charles Wysocki-ish 4th of July scene, lots of children celebrating with sparklers, a couple in a boat on the lake, cows and sheep and town homes and shops, barns, flowers, trees and birds! It was like doing a puzzle, making everything fit together, the requested items, the specific colors, balancing everything with design and color, & preserving the celebratory but quaint atmosphere.

As I would paint, unrelated ideas would spring up in my mind. I kept wishing I could explore the nature of the water-mixable oil paints I was using, but I had to keep a uniform texture or the painting would be over-the-top! I loved the way colors would build on each other and develop a history quickly, but again I had to control my urge to detour into experimental mode. I have always been attracted to negative space and edges, the lines that are formed between two overlapping objects. Although it is clear I waltzed around the edges of everything with sometimes complimentary and sometimes analogous colors, I did suppress the urge to go totally nuts with a samba; I had a lot of items themselves to compose and orchestrate.

Now that the painting is done I am like a racehorse chomping at the bit, inspired to begin new paintings and explore newly discovered curiousities. I began a small painting of a philodendron - all those edges to dance around! All that negative space! Woohoo! But a small problem: I am in Georgia with Harry. I have to put the painting on hold & let it dry before we pack up to head back to Ohio for the summer. Ah... but the summer ahead... painting! Exploring negative space and edges and colors to my heart's content!!! Maybe I can sell a few paintings, too. Wouldn't that be great?!

A friend emailed me some info about artist Carol Marine's success with her "Painting-a-Day" blog & Ebay site. I really like Carol's work. I googled and found lots of artists doing the painting-a-day thing. So, hmmm, I think I will give it a try. What a great deal for both art buyers and art-makers! For a hundred bucks you can buy a very nice little painting! And the artists can paint to their heart's content and buy groceries, too!

So for now, I am setting up this Blog, my Etsy, and my Ebay. Soon I will be home in Ohio and begin painting. I am so eggg-cited! Come back soon and see how it's going!