This past February I was surprised and honored when I received an invitation to participate in a special exhibition at the Bennington Art Center in Bennington Vermont. The exhibition, Artists for the New Century, takes place every five years and the artists invited are nominated by the editors of American Art Collector, Art of the West, Fine Art Connoisseur, Plein Air Magazine, and Southwest Art.
In 2012, my husband helped me narrow down my art philosophy into this distinct and simple statement. Five years later it still holds true today. It is my goal to celebrate and live with intention, and to bring this sense of life to my creative process of painting.
In the last year so much has changed, but still this underlying principle holds, and I still come to art with the deep desire to share my love of simple things and elevate these experiences into fine art. 2017 has been a year of transition and growth, and today marks an important anniversary for my own path as an artist.
I am not sure where I first came across this quote, however I had it posted in my studio for several years to remind me daily of this idea. To me the idea that “expression implies emphasis and selection” is what the creative process is all about.
In order to synthesize my experience into a work of art, I need to investigate it and then choose how I will express my interpretation of the scene.
When I first started painting with oil in late 2006, I struggled to understand and apply everything about the medium all at once, but when I switched my mindset from having to focus on everything all together to narrowing my attention to mastering one fundamental of painting at a time, things really began to take off for me.
Before that time, each painting experience had the potential of becoming emotionally discouraging and also a disaster in outcome, you know, making a bunch of mud. And in the beginning, the time I had to devote to learning to paint was precious, because I was still working as a full-time architect.
It is always exciting when flowers I dreamed about and ordered in the spring begin blooming. This year I ordered 23 different dahlia tubers, and the variety "Sisa" is the first to really take off and bloom for me.
When I began this painting, I first completed a scaled color-study of the composition.Because I was working from a photo reference, I wanted to explore a few ideas and experiment on how I was going to simplify the busy and information filled background.
Something you may know about me, is that I am SUPER fascinated with detail, lots of texture, and complex shapes. However, detail and texture must be incorporated thoughtfully into a painting or else it will overwhelm the composition.
Last year in early June, my old garden was blooming well. Sweet Williams had taken over a corner of my flowerbeds, the chives I had separated and planted in a row, trying to create a bordering edge the year before were a riot of blooms, and everything else was green and lush. The garden was getting ready for the height of late June.
In my quest to always paint the flowers that I grow in my garden, about three years ago, I began reading more about gardening. The magazine that has had the most influence on me in the last few years is the British periodical, "Gardens Illustrated" and as a result of religiously reading this magazine from cover to cover, I have begun to realize how helpful it is to use the correct names for the different plants and flowers I grow.
This is a painting I began on my own in the studio, and then demonstrated to my Saturday morning students how I finish a piece. Sometimes this final phase where I am tying up loose ends and trying to unify a piece can take extra time to resolve. So after the 3-hour class was over, I continued on a bit more adding the finishing touches.