Painting Giveaway Winner!

There was a great response to the pet portrait giveaway on facebook!  A winner was chosen through www.miniwebtool.com.  All entrant's names were logged into the system and the random name picker tool generated the lucky winner!

And the winner is.....Kristen Blizard!  Congratulations Kristen & thank you to everyone who entered and shared the contest details on their pages.

Follow my studio on instagram & like it on facebook for future contests & sales!


Hill Country Inspiration & Studio Progress

Here are a handful of snapshots from our Sunday evening in Hill Country.  Steven's coworker was married at the Paniolo Ranch and it was picturesque.  The gardens were incredible, full of cactus, flowers and fruit trees loaded with pears.  At the guest table were jars of pom-poms, glitter & sequins, which made me want to go home and put all my craft supplies on display.  
At our seats were tiny potted succulents with stamped flags.  I loved the color combination of the sun setting behind one of the food trucks (and, the polka dots, of course.)  It was also the evening of the year's second super moon, so the night sky was pretty amazing for our drive back to the city.

Read about the content of this painting in my previous post.  Lola, my eleven year old cat, is always nearby in the studio.  She's quite the assistant & critic #studiocat  The birds are a composite of a few different sketches, pulled from the pages of my pet bird books.


Pet Painting Giveaway!

A few days left to enter my pet painting contest!  One person will be randomly chosen to win an 8" x 10" custom acrylic pet painting.  To enter, visit Found Here Studio on Facebook, like my page, comment & share the contest post for your chance to win.  The winner will be announced on August 15th!

Life in Color at the San Antonio Museum of Art

Purple Robe and Anemones, 1937
The San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) is hosting a special exhibition of Henri Matisse through September 7.  Life in Color is a collection on loan from the Baltimore Museum of Art.  There are nearly fifty paintings and sculptures, shown alongside thirty prints and drawings.  All of the artwork is a part of the Cone Collection, created by sisters Dr. Claribel and Etta Cone.  SAMA has a huge special exhibition space & the walls were painted to accent the artwork, defining the space. The colors and patterns in the paintings were incredible, from the still life arrangements to the figurative works.  I've never seen so much of the Matisse's art in one place!  It was inspiring.

Steven and I went to see the show last Friday during the museum's 'art pARTy'.  The monthly art and music party was in the sculpture garden.  On the menu were asian pear mojitos, vegetarian eggrolls, chicken skewers & fortune cookies.  It was about a hundred degrees outside, so after a little live music and food, we went to see the art.

 Ballet Dancer Seated on a Stool, 1927,  my favorite from the exhibition.  

In the 70's, the Lone Star Brewery Complex was purchased and converted to house the museum's collection.  From ancient Egypt to contemporary art, the museum's holdings are incredible.  Frank Stella's Double Scramble, 1968, was steps from an Abraham Van Beyeren, painted in the 1660's.  Some other highlights for me was seeing the work of Kara Walker, Faith Ringgold, Wayne Thiebaud, Diego Rivera, and a hyperrealistic painting by Claudio Bravo.  I'm looking forward to going back and spending time in the Ancient Mediterranean section; SAMA has one of the largest collections of ancient Egyptian, Near Eastern, Greek and Roman art in the U.S.

Frank Stella, Double Scramble, 1968
Detail, Abraham Van Beyeren, A Banquet Still Life with Roses, c. 1665


Matisse, Picasso & Beauty Reigns at the McNay

Steven, Mom and I headed to the McNay last night to see the special exhibition 'Matisse and Picasso, A Friendly Rivalry', closing August 10th.  CPS Energy was sponsoring the night, so admission was free!  Matisse's Jazz series from 1947 was displayed against the back wall, and I was surprised to see the cover art from my art appreciation book was one of the pochoir prints!  I wish the show was up through September so I could send my students to see it.  The show featured mostly paintings, linocuts, lithographs of the two artists, curated from the museum's extensive collection.   Our previous visit to the McNay was for Robert Indiana's show.  One of his iconic Love pieces now sits in the sculpture garden.  In the basement of the museum is another special collection of Paul Strand's photogravures, accompanied by a video documenting the process.

In the foyer is the large installation 'Burst' by artist Paul Villinski.  The birds are made of vinyl records from the artist's own collection.  He has been making these sculptures for a few years, first created with records he salvaged from the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans after Hurrican Katrina. 

The special exhibition room contains the large contemporary show 'Beauty Reigns: A Baroque Sensibility in Recent Painting.'  It will be on display through August 17th.  The rooms are filled with the art of thirteen painters whose enormous canvases are covered in complex patterns and saturated colors.  Pictured above is the work of Rex Ray.  The repetition & intense palette grabbed my attention; the hard edges  contrast nicely against the flat backgrounds, reminding me of vintage Christmas ornaments.  These paintings by the German born artist (now based in San Francisco) are collages overlaid with acrylic.  A large sculpture (left) by Susan Chrysler White titled Medusa looks like feathers from far away.  Upon closer inspection, it is acrylic paint on plexiglass.

My favorite part of the show was the room containing Paul Henry Ramirez's work.  The walls are painted bubblegum pink, peach & matte black with his paintings hung unconventionally at varying heights.  I liked that the paintings interacted with the space & the walls became a part o the art.  The installation of his work was incredibly thoughtful, interesting and definitely contemporary.


Weathervane Painting in Progress

 Painting in progress- 24" x 36" acrylic on canvas.  Last weekend I carted my easel and canvas outside to draw while Steven built our dining table in the garage.  It was nice to work side by side for a bit, but it got too hot and I retreated back to the AC in my studio.  I sketched most of the composition outside and then began blocking in the background, using colors pulled from an old photograph of my grandma's house.  There was considerably more orange in the wallpaper, but I muted it.

Some background on the subject matter for this painting....I drew my first weathervane about 5 or 6 years ago on a linoleum block.  It was surrounded by a tornado and tiny bird getting whisked around.  At that point in time I had moved from apartment to house to apartment in Clemson approximately six times.  It was a crazy whirlwind of school, graduation, boxes, packing and unpacking.  So much was happening that the block never got carved & it still sits on a stack of woodblocks in the corner of my studio.

Finally, I settled into my final & favorite place for four years until relocating to Texas.  Finding somewhere that felt like home was (and is) very important to me.  The weathervane is a symbol of that, pointing in every direction the wind blows, guiding the way home.  After settling down in San Antonio, the weathervane once again made its way into a small mixed media piece in 2012, now hanging in the nursery of a sweet friend.  For my current painting, I wanted it to appear more realistic so it took a bit of sketching to get it right.  Below are a few shots of the work in progress.

In other news, you can now follow Found (Here) Studio on Instagram & Facebook!  
Check it out & spread the word.


Dream Garden: Idea to Image

Dream Garden, 24" x 24" x 1.5", acrylic on canvas.   I finished this on the last day of July, obsessed with the color palette (any time I can incorporate a purple/orange Clemson color pairing, I'm happy) and excited about how it turned out.   Here's why: the composition was derived from a failed attempt at a large silkscreen.  Technical problems held back the printing in the beginning of July and so the prints are partially finished, to eventually be completed as mixed media.  It was nice to realize this image in another medium and have it not be a disaster.

My palette has grown brighter and brighter with each painting this summer, a result of hot weather and a blooming garden.

Above, the unfinished silkscreens lay under an edition printed at Frogman's Workshop.  After a recent trip home in June, I passed through my favorite airport in Pittsburgh.  It's become tradition to stop and take a picture of Andy's cows.  The color and repetition is always an inspiration.

The goldfish were living in my sketchbook, just waiting around for the right painting.  I enlarged the fish for the space and drew in the cactus freehand, veering away from my practice of laying everything out first on tracing paper.  My surroundings in South Texas served as the inspiration for their environment.  Below are some photos of Dream Garden in progress.

Details of the finished painting; the background pattern was painted using a transparent glaze.  The gel medium is wonderful for adding in shadows, too.

His & Hers: Idea to Image

The second half of the diptych Paper Roses (His & Hers) went through quite a few changes after I originally 'finished' it.  In my sketchbook and first version of the painting, I intended for the chairs to match, as part of a set.  The painting I finished last (tufted chair) was the canvas I started first.  After completing the paintings, it was back to my sketchbook & original visual resource, a tufted green chair in my parents' living room... 

Original version, with matching fabric
The final version of the diptych, Paper Roses  (His & Hers), each 24" x 36" X 1.5", acrylic on canvas
After a long day in my studio, I gessoed over the sideways striped chair, redrew it, painted it and repainted it again.  Even for a printmaker, there was just too much repetition in the matching fabric.  I thought the tilted pose would offset this, but it seemed awkward.  My final pieces are usually pretty close to the sketch-all the compositional changes happen in the layout phase, while I layer images on tracing paper before transferring to canvas.  The great thing about acrylic is that it is quick to dry and forgiving-for an impatient painter like myself, the ability to make changes and see the results quickly is a major advantage.
To photograph the large paintings in natural light without a glare, they had to be laid flat on my studio floor.  Lola, #studiocat, took this as an open invitation to make herself at home on the surface of the painting.  Every time.  Read about the inspiration & content here.


Drawing Workshop at the Commander's House

    July 30th concluded my second art workshop for the Commander's House.  The three day course was an introduction to observational drawing techniques and the still life using graphite.  On first day of class, I introduced my students to the history of drawing and they began blind contour exercises using seashells and beets.  Next, students practiced how to measure & compare proportions, to improve their accuracy in describing spatial relationships on paper.  During the final day of the workshop, they blended values, layered pencils and learned how to use the eraser as a drawing tool.

A big thank you to the Commander's House staff & members for having me as the guest instructor this month, I truly enjoyed working with you!
Maggie, 92, draws on the veranda during my workshop at the Commander's House in San Antonio

Below, Alex and Amada show off their works in progress.  
Teofilo, a student from my earlier portrait workshop, brought his painting by for some feedback.