September 25, 2011

Painting day 5: Refinement

Taking a good long look at the painting at this point...  
Is it telling a story yet?  
Is it hard for me to take my eyes away from it because I like looking at it so much?  

These are hard questions to answer honestly to yourself.  It is both an intellectual answer and intuitive answer.  In other words does the composition flow, are the shapes working together, and does the composition and color order of the painting transport me to an emotional place that is without words?

Examining the organization of color and shape on right side of the painting...

Adding a yellow line to bring balance and changing the color of the diagonal shape at the bottom right...

 These changes were not the answer!  Instead, I extended the line of the 
large dark shape down to the bottom of the painting and lightened the value, 
making it more substantial to hold the top strength of the painting. 

More refinement.  
Something does not feel right about the junctures on the right, though there is strength in it's new compositional simplicity. So after more looking, and getting another trusted pair of eyes to look, I extend the blue vertical line beyond the shape with the darkest value in the middle of the painting. The line is more diagonal, creating stronger tension within the composition, stretching your eye to look at both sides of the painting.  
It "works" in a way now that "feels" right.  

Reflection time.  
Is it "there" yet?
I will know in a while...

September 16, 2011

Painting day 4: balancing act

There are subtle differences in these versions of the painting. I am in the midst of 
balancing colors and shapes to achieve something in the painting I have yet to see.  
I will know what that "something" is when I see it...

The colors on the top and bottom are too separate...

Adding red into the dark value horizontal shape is just not quite right...

Experimenting with lessening the yellow horizontal and toning down the red/brown area in the middle...

Bringing back the yellow a bit and warming up the dark area...

Still not "there"! It's a twisty path I'm on...
It is interesting for me to look at the progress of the painting in photographs as I go. 
A practice I have initiated for this blog.  The colors and values are quite different in photo form. 
So the question is: do I paint according to what my eye sees in person or in image? 

It is an image world we live in and the blend of virtual and tangible 
has broadened the spectrum of reality.

My goal is to hit the mark in the middle here...

September 13, 2011

Painting Day 3: Immersed in the Journey

This is the "heart" of making the painting.  It is an alternating process of constructing 
and destructing paint surfaces and shapes, moving towards a whole that is complete.

Building a composition foundation...

Adding a light value...

Glazing all over with a white glaze to lighten the values...

Applying clear color glazes on top of the white glaze...

Adjusting light, color, value, shape...

Time for the question: "what do I want this painting to be about?"  
It now has a life of its own, separate from the initial thoughts driving the color choices and 
composition.  My stool is placed squarely in front of the painting, waiting for me to sit and think...

You'll see the results of today's work tomorrow!

September 11, 2011

Painting Day 2: going beyond reckless abandonment

The temptation is to stay in the "pretty color" realm...
but the texture of many layers of paint creates luminous color that is far more satisfying 
when I push beyond the first few seductive layers...

So the painting goes into its adolescent growing pain stage...

color is less important at this stage than creating a composition...

I had a break through with the composition at the end of my last work day.
At least that's what I thought... when I left the studio.  

You'll get to see it in the next blog post.

stay tuned!

September 8, 2011

Painting Day 1: Reckless abandonment

Unfolding the unknown.... 

random marks of yellow, pink, blue to start...

adding purple and prussian blue, then pulling away these colors to reveal what's underneath... 

turned upside down, light blue and orange came next...

turned around again with a glaze of quinocrodone red on top of the whole piece...

continuing the journey...

September 6, 2011

The Blank Canvas

So today is "the first day back to school"!  

The memories of starting a new school year whether it was in grade school or high school, or taking my daughter to her first day of kindergarten or her first year of college, bring a mixed feeling of excitement and angst for the unknown to unfold and become known.  

So in honor of new starts this time of year, I am starting a new painting today.  It is a 40" x 60" wood panel.  I am staring at the BLANK WHITE waiting for me... 

It's like standing at the edge of a swimming pool. Some people check the temperature first and sit on the edge for a while dipping their toes, letting the water surround them little by little. 

I like to just jump in...
What do you usually do?

I invite you to check back and see what happens after I jump in!

August 8, 2011

Color Drop: The Sun Drop

The best teacher for color is the sunset...
And this is one of the most magical places to witness such gorgeousness.
These pictures capture perfect days of painting in the workshop I hosted during the last week
of July, 2011 on Monhegan Island, Maine.

Join me next year!

May 4, 2011

TEDx Talk . Saturday May 21, 2011

You are invited to come hear some fabulous presentations about all kinds of issues!  

I will be talking about my journey as an abstract artist and how it led me to teaching abstract art to medical students as a way to promote integrative thinking in their practice as doctors.

Integrative Thinking, you say?! 

Integrative Thinking is when intuitive and logical thinking are in balance... your right and left brain "talk" to each other simultaneously whether you are creating a painting, reaching a diagnosis, or making a decision in art, medicine, and in business.

Perplexed?! Come to the TEDx talk! 

If flying across the country to attend the event is out of the question, you will be able to go to the TED archives to learn how making abstract art is one of life's valuable tools to have in your back pocket!

March 6, 2011

Color Drop: Reckless Abandonment to Resolution

intuition: starting in reckless abandonment

logic: building composition

progression: balancing intuition and logic

exploration: extending the scope

finalization: refining detail

completion: reaching resolution 

Marianne Mitchell, Finding Spring Diptych, Acrylic on Panel, 20 " x 32" each, 2010

February 25, 2011

Color Drop: Ways of Seeing

 sometimes we catch a view of something and see it changing in minutes...

... and then sometimes we catch dramatic changes in our daily view depending on weather, time of day, and how our emotions dictate what we choose to see...


... this happens in personal expression as well.  Below on the left is a painting made in 2009 when subdued color and uncertainty guided my voice.  The painting on the right is 2011's "re-do" of the same painting through a completely different emotional lens.


February 15, 2011

Color Drop: Light Catching

Catching light and sharing it with others is a mission for me. 
I like to bring the elemental draw to warm color complimented by cool color into the foreground of people's lives. 

Finding light in the dark... comes in handy when life's circumstances yield little light

February 3, 2011

Color Drop: Chronicling a View

The daily changes in one scene are fascinating to me!

We are so affected by the weather... we always talk about the weather first in conversations that ride on the surface as we move through our day.

The light of the day sets the tone...

Sharp Crisp, Cold, Light

Etherial Fog

Iced Quiet

Pale Glow in the Snow

Changing weather brings surprise to our daily routines.  Limitless versions of light cast on everyday scenes makes the everyday scene... not!

January 24, 2011

Color Drop: The work of Art

"Prelude to Lemon Fog"

Art can teach you to let go of what you love for the sake of the greater good

 It is clear to me that ART, is an enormous agent of change.  It is visual sustenance for our souls.  Someone once told me if they were in the market for condo living they would want to live here to see this painting everyday.  That was a powerful thing for me to hear!  The practice of making art is energy that brings balance to our world.  Intuitive, emotional thinking integrated with logical, linear thought... as opposed to logical, linear thought ruling the world.  Nature teaches us about attaining harmony in the balance of opposites.  We need ART to help balance this world now more than ever as ours is a global society, unless we annex the moon as our new suburb!

"Lemon Fog", gracing the wall of Wellington Place, a residential development by the Hankin Group

January 18, 2011

Color Drop: Appreciation

January  15  2011

 A friend mentioned to me that my "take" on winter light through these photographs made dreaming of sun-kissed lands only an occasional occurrence!  Observing the winter light balances the desire to hide 
inside for 3 months... 

January   12   2011