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   Welcome to my blog! I'll be posting thoughts about art, photos, happenings, and other things that strike me--and hopefully my readers--as interesting. And please visit my website by clicking the link to the right--thanks!

   Also please check out my second blog, The Painting Archives to see older (pre-2004) paintings for sale.


Monday, April 26, 2010
  new painting

This is one of many paintings in my studio, either finished or underway. Titled Arroyo (24"x22", oil and wax on panel) it combines a few of the newer techniques and approaches I've been working with lately. Rather than relying completely on divisions that are created by placing panels together, I've been playing around a lot with adding divisions within the separate panels. This evolved naturally in my single panel paintings, and now is spreading to the multiple panel pieces. I've also been experimenting with various ways to make lines and shapes with solvent, evident here across the middle of the painting, and pushing the scratched and etched lines that I have been making on the surface with skewers or old ballpoint pens. I'm happy with the way these various changes are working here...increasing the amount of surface texture, depth and complexity of composition, while keeping a clarity of structure and color relationships.

Once when I was still in grad school one of my instructors said that all the changes he had seen in my work followed a logical progression. (Looking back, it hardly seems like I'd been painting long enough to receive this comment!) I don't recall the full explanation, if there was one--only that I found this very perplexing--how could it be true, when I had not planned anything out? Yet it gave me confidence to think that somehow I was building my work in an intelligent way, however intuitively. That was probably my first lesson in "trust the process."

Many years down the road, I'm still a bit in awe of how this works. Authentic change evolves intuitively, and for me at least, rather slowly. I may envision something I want to add or move away from in my work, but if it happens at all it will be in fits and starts, and most likely in a different form than I imagined. But inevitably, more satisfying aesthetically, and more connected to what came before.

Arroyo
was delivered today to the Regional Arts Center in Eau Claire, WI--the nearest sizable town to where I live, for the Last Minute Exhibit. Which is just what it sounds like--a spontaneous group show to fill in for another exhibit that was canceled. It's only up for two weeks--easy and fun, and if you live in the area, the opening will be this Thursday night from 6-7:30.
 
Comments:
love to read about your process. i love texture and don't use it enough. looking at your work reminds me of how much I love it. your work appeals to that inner sense, something unexplainable, so not surprising to hear you work from an intuitive sense.

you use the phrase "trust the process". there is a book by art therapist, Shaun McNiff by the same name. I think you might like it.
 
thanks for your comments! Texture is to me not only a beautiful thing, but also has symbolic meaning--i always want my surfaces to look rich and complex.

Re: the book--yes I have it, although I have heard the phrase for many years, from student days on. I think it is a helpful mantra for a lot of people.
 
hi Rebecca, it is good to read your blog and thoughts on process. i've been trying to create more light and dark within the panel as well and not use the multiple panels. i am painting again in Santa Fe and it feels great. well not quite yet, as i am feeling very unsure of myself lately.
I saw some paintings at the museum here that were using mica. it gave them a nice feel. i found mica at the paint store Bioshield. now i just have to figure out how i want to incorporate into my work.
 
Hey Jenifer, I hope to connect with you when I am in Santa Fe next--probably at the end of July. I would love to see your work. It's really good that you are settled enough from the move to dive in again.

I tried mica once when a workshop student gave me a little--I mixed it in with wax and paint. The flakes were kind of big and did not work too well for me. But it also seemed to hold potential--beautiful reflective stuff.
 
beautiful colour, texture and balance Rebecca - I would say "Arroyo" is complete.
 
Rebecca, I love reading your reflections on your process. I don't think we recognize continuity and progression in our own work as much as others do.

I smiled when you said you are exploring divisions within an individual panel. Lately I've been thinking that maybe I should try separate panels rather than sectioning as I've been doing!
 
This is a great one! Love the title too, it really fits.
 
thanks everybody! and Martha I smiled to at how things like this play out. So often what is new and exciting to another artist is something you are ready to move away from, or the other way around...we each in our own way explore many similar ideas.
 
Dear Rebecca, I have been exploring your blog and find your work to be beautiful, so rich with layers and glazing, they call out memories of the graceful lines of landscapes of our earth. thank you. roxanne
 
Roxanne, greetings and thanks for your words. I will look at your blog too....
 
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