Thursday, July 19, 2012

Before ColorWorkStudio, Part II...or How I Found Myself In France...sort of :)

And so, my story continues.....

Art school, drawing, painting, sketching was a very big part of my daily life.....for a time.  But then, life got hectic, and I didn't have quite as much time to spend on it as I had in the past!

During those years, I started taking of family, friends, but mainly flowers and places I had been. I kept telling myself, "Someday, when I have more time, I am going to paint that." So, I would take my best shot. With no formal training in photography, my love for nature and the elements I had learned in Art may have helped; color, composition, balance, positive/negative space, etc. I was just doing it for fun, but I also wanted to capture all those special moments in a way that spoke to me as an artist. My eye was especially on the composition, as I tried to frame everything just as I would want to paint it later!

Along the coast of Maine......

In the background photo above, you see these rocks that looked golden when the sun hit them. If you found a piece broken off, they would often have sparkling quartz or some other mineral in them. Beautiful! These photos were taken years ago in early winter. The beach was deserted, and I was told the water was cold even during the summer. Seashells were seldom found here! (Don't know if I could live here! :)

For this photo, I was climbing over these massive rocks with a heavy camera (a refurbished Panasonic), and trying not to bounce the camera off them as I crawled over them. I was also trying not to ditch myself into the freezing sea beneath me!

My collection grew and grew......  I didn't know at the time, that I was actually finding another side of myself that would emerge more fully later. I wish I could tell you that I went back later and painted them all! LOL. But, no I didn't. Most of them just became fond memories of adventures once taken.

One of my favorite subjects even in the beginning was, (probably no surprise here :) yes, the Jersey shore!
I still remember the first time I stood in the sand and looked out at the ocean, its vastness that just stretched as far as I could see, the sounds of the waves, the smell of the sea, and the gulls crying all around me. I was in Ocean City, New Jersey.  It could have been anywhere. One look, and all my senses just came alive in a different way than ever before. So awe-inspiring! But I didn't paint it yet. Once again, I took photo after photo. For a long time.

And then, I had a little more time on my hands. My original love for art started to re-surface again. This time, I decided to study what other artists had done in the past. I had never really appreciated art history....(or any kind of history), until I studied art history on my own.  Not dates & blah....blah....blah history, but I grabbed every art book I could find about various artists and studied their paintings & techniques.

Why??? Okay, movie note here :) Remember Julia Roberts in "Runaway Bride" with Richard Gere? Remember the part where he told her she didn't even know what kind of eggs she liked, so she went and cooked up eggs benedict, scrambled eggs, eggs with hollandaise sauce, etc. and tasted them all so she could figure it out?  Well, I didn't really know yet what kind of art I really loved or wanted to do. There were so many subjects to paint and so many ways to paint a picture. I had experimented, but nothing really clicked. Nothing fit just right. Until, I started studying the French Impressionists!

 Monet's beautiful waterlilies!

 Degas's ballerinas, "Two Ballerinas"

No, unlike Julia Ormond, in "Sabrina", I did not "find" myself in Paris......but you might say I did "find" myself in France, at least artistically speaking! :) I studied Monet (my all time fav!), Degas (oh, those ballerinas!), Van Gogh (Starry Night!), Renoir (such tiny swirling brush strokes!), Sisley (loved his cloudy but pretty landscapes), Berthe Morisot ("The Housekeeper" with that cute little cat in the dining room :), Pisarro, the list goes on and many more! (And many great impressionists on this side of the "pond" as well.)

Yes, I finally knew what I loved and what I wanted to do! My fascination with light, texture, all fit. I loved Impressionism! Not the "what in the world is that" kind, but the "this is my impression/feeling I have about (whatever the subject may be)........painted LOOSELY, HAPPILY, with glorious COLOR, LIGHT, TEXTURE, and PASSION!

Next step......Part to New York City!

See you there :)


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Before ColorWorkStudio.......Part I

I have been busy editing and shooting new photos for the season, in between missing the beach & NYC desperately! (Especially the beach at this time of the year!) But sadly, there is no time right now for either :( Hopefully, next month will find me at the shore & in the city! :) Can't wait, but must!

Until then, as promised, I am going to tell (& show) you a little bit about what I did "before ColorWorkStudio"!

Hmmm. Let's see. As mentioned before, it all started with Art. My dad was an artist, and like so many artists, I started off at a VERY early age with drawing. I guess I "inherited" the artistic tendency from my dad, but later I also studied and took some oil painting classes at a local museum for a time. (The smell of the oils gave me headaches! :)

I continued drawing in pencil & ink. I especially loved doing fashion illustration and did a bit of that for some businesses in my area for a time.
I explored various mediums & loved pastels! I did a bit of watercolor, & loved the soft, fluid effects, as well as the wonderful special effects that could be done with them! Then I eventually discovered acrylics, which I loved, because I found a way to use them like soft watercolors, but they could also be used for an "impasto" which is a term for a thick effect if desired. (Think Van Gogh or Monet!) They also dried so much faster than oils. (For me, that was a good thing!)

Okay, so hopefully, I haven't already bored you to tears!

My next post will tell you, what happened next, and how I "found" myself! (No, it wasn't in Paris, wish it was!) Just watched "Sabrina" the other night. She "found" herself in Paris.....soooo jealous! :)

Until then....see you very soon for Part II :)


Friday, July 6, 2012

When the Sun Shines..... Painting Outdoors!

As you may already know, although most of my work on Etsy is photography, a good portion of it also consists of my impressionistic seascapes, as well as a fashion illustration or two. (I do have to dig a few more of those out one of these days!) So, I thought I would share something with you today that is a favorite activity of mine, especially in the summer :)

When the sun shines, there is a gentle breeze, and the humidity does not feel like 400% .........I love to paint "en plein air." This is a french expression meaning to paint "in the open air", as in painting outdoors.

My studio does get "bathed" in sunlight late afternoon till evening, as it is doing right now, which I love! It draws me like a moth to the flame! LOL. But I actually do not get to paint as often as I would like. Although I do love photography, my first love has always been art, because there is where I began. My next blog post will take you back with me to my humble beginnings :) ....."Before ColorWorkStudio"

My absolute favorite way to paint outdoors is on the beach with the surf going in & out, seagulls crying softly in the distance, the sun shining (but not totally melting me down!), & a nice little sea breeze to make it even better!

But for now, here's a peek at what I do when I can't be there, & what surrounds me while I am doing it :)
The following photos were just taken a few days ago. Here I have set up seashells, paints, palette, favorite Cape May water cup, brushes, & painting rag on a side porch.....

 surrounded by pretty flowers all around.....


This is the seashell that I was working on....not quite finished yet....:may need a final touch up :), needs varnish, a coat of pretty pearlescent white paint on the other side, and a mini photo "session' in good light for Etsy! 

Here is another one that I had done in my "outdoor" studio in the past. (Sold on Etsy, but the photo is still available)

This one went to the same happy hand painted seashell collector! (Hated to part with this one!)

This one I am happy to tell you that I still have! (Couldn't part with it! LOL :)

This one below should be available on Etsy this week, if all goes according to plan, but when does that ever happen! :) No, really! should be ready....its not going to a museum, right? Its just a seashell! I'll try to keep that in mind! I might be a bit too fussy! :)

Thank you for joining me, & I hope this has been fun for you too! :)

Till my next post......"Before ColorWorkStudio"....!