From my sketchbook to canvas, here is a look at the process behind my latest painting titled Housewarming, 24" x 30" x 1.5" acrylic on canvas. I began sketching grackles back in February-those birds are EVERYWHERE in San Antonio. They have such personality, constantly talking and puffing up their feathers and flapping their wings when you near them. Like seagulls to Youngstown, these grackles immediately bring to mind the city I now call home. They are not the most attractive or beloved of avian wildlife, but I really love to watch them. I chose to paint them in shades of blue, as a reference to a little 'bluebird of happiness' pin that belonged to my Grandma. There are origami birds flying above the scene, one for each place I've called home. The succulents from our wedding and roses from our backyard served as visual resources for the garden. The birds and garden drawings from my sketchbook were transferred to canary paper, arranged and overlapped within the picture plane. Once everything was in its place, the sketches were taped down and transferred to the canvas using carbon paper. Next, I blocked in the background and painted in sections over the following few weeks. The painting came to life, layer by layer. The flatness and repeating patterns in this painting, like my drawings, are obvious constructions, an allusion to memory. See below for the progression of idea to image...
Over the years I've inherited many things from family and friends that I treasure. My Grandpa's metal chair from the family Pasta Sunday table in Ohio now sits in our Texas kitchen. Before I moved, my 93 year old friend Marge gave me a special Ladderback chair that is now my studio seating. Other items have their place on shelves and the attachment is to their memories. It should come as no surprise that I'm especially sentimental, keeping handwritten grocery lists and scraps of wallpaper from old homes.
These paintings in progress are an exploration of memory, attachment and absence. The subject matter is linked to my past work in graduate school, but the content is different. While my other pieces with furniture were about the process of forgetting, these paintings are about preserving a memory.
This morning was spent sketching rose patterned wallpaper for a diptych painting, 24" x 36" acrylic on canvas. The drawing reminds me of Miss Threadgoode's room in Fried Green Tomatoes. One of my favorite scenes is when Kathy Bates walks into her room to find the nurse taking down all the cutout paper roses from the walls. She took the papers back and began to stick them in place again, telling her these were someone's memories and they couldn't be taken away...
Five new paintings featuring fishing lures are now completed and listed for sale in my online store. Check out the detailed images and snag free shipping now through Father's Day on these 6" square canvases. Three additional paintings are in the works and will be available this weekend. Contact me with questions; I welcome commissions!
Sneak peak of my fishing lure series in acrylic on 6" x 6" x 1 1/2" canvas. There are eight in the works for my shop for Father's Day. My Dad loves to fish & one summer vacation he caught a bunch of catfish to cook for dinner. As the day wore on, I started to feel remorse for the doomed fish swimming in the cooler. I pitched such a fit that my brothers refused to eat them as well and we set them free. This memory reminds me of the scene from E.T. where Elliot convinces his classmates to let their frogs go instead of dissecting them.
Here are a few photos from the community painting class I've been teaching this Spring at the Alicia Trevino Lopez Center. The studio course is part of the Go! Arts program through Bihl Haus Arts to promote community through creativity. Courses are no cost for the enrolled seniors, and provides them with painting and drawing supplies. My students are learning portraiture for their final projects. There's great energy in the class and I've enjoyed getting to know my painters this semester!
shop up and running through my website...lots of works large and small are now available for purchase directly from my studio. The host site is bigcartel, super easy to use and connected directly to www.rachaelmadeline.com. I decided it was also time to update my own site, inspired by the sleeker look of my shop's page. Take a look!
This painting was sidelined the past few months as teaching took over...now it is finals week and summer break is close, which means more time in my studio! This is the largest painting I've made since undergrad, two feet wide and three feet tall. I'm planning a series for the summer, more this size and a handful of 2' square canvases. Housewarming contains a paper crane for each place I've lived set against a patterned background, a loose interpretation of my Grandma's kitchen wallpaper.
All around town you can find knockout roses in varying shades of pink which remind me so much of my Grandma's roses with their thin and papery magenta blooms. My husband and I bought a handful of the rosebushes to plant in our backyard, so it seemed appropriate to add them to my painted garden.
The final sale is still running in my Etsy shop, the code ART10 will save you 10% off original art. I'm letting the listings expire and won't be renewing them, as all sales get moved to my website this summer.
Hello San Antonio! Painting With a Twist-Northwest is sponsoring a fun pet photo contest this month. The studio is accepting pet photo submissions until May 18th, then voting begins on facebook; the photo with the most likes wins a gift certificate to painting class and a personalized 16" x 20" acrylic portrait of their pet, painted by me! If you're looking for artwork to celebrate your four legged friends, visit www.rachaelmadeline.com to place an order with free shipping anywhere in the US.