A Patchwork Fall

A Patchwork Fall
"A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art." ~Paul Cezanne~

June 2, 2014


I recently attended the Utah Watercolor Society (UWS) Spring Exhibition Opening Reception in Provo, UT with my husband and children. It was a wonderful collection of paintings in which I was lucky to be included.  

My painting, "Stargazer," was also selected by the Utah Division of Arts and Museums to be part of their Utah Watercolor Society Travelling Exhibit that will be on display in various venues throughout the state over the coming year.

While visiting with some of the other artists and spouses at the opening reception, I overheard part of my husband's conversation with another man - the husband of one of the artists. They were discussing the wives' being artists, coming to receptions, etc. The other gentleman said "So, your official title is HOA...Husband Of Artist."  Made me giggle. Yup! That is his new official title. I think I'll print business cards for him. :)

So next time you hear the acronym HOA, don't think of Homeowners Association...think "Husband Of Artist." 

May 23, 2014

Kokopelli Weave

The Utah Watercolor Society (UWS) Small Works Exhibition is fast approaching and entries are due this week. My entry was actually due today because I am sending it with a delegate from UWS who will drive several paintings to Logan, UT - where the exhibition will take place.

I have not participated in the Small Works Exhibition for a number of years. The last few years, the exhibition has been held in conjunction with the Logan Summerfest Art Faire and hosted by the Cache Valley Chapter of UWS. Logan is about a two-hour drive from where I live, so I am grateful we have a Salt Lake-based UWS member who is willing to drive paintings up for those of us who can't be there for the delivery date/times.

The next step was to create a small painting. The requirement for the small works show is that the painting (including framing) cannot be larger than 144 square inches (ie: 12" x 12").

I had a 10" x 10" frame with a 5" x 5" precut mat ready to use, so I decided now would be a great time to try out a new woven painting, this time utilizing a semi-abstract vignette image and weaving it.

In order to create the piece, I first cut some 140lb Arches watercolor paper into two 5.5" square pieces. Then I did a sketch of my kokopelli.

I transferred my image to my two pieces of watercolor paper, doing my best to get it in approximately the same spot on the paper. Then I painted both paintings at the same time with the same color palette.

I liked how both of these little paintings turned out. Now comes the brave part...cutting them up! I cut one painting into vertical strips and the other into horizontal strips and then weave them together, starting with the middle pieces to try to match the image up as best as I can.

Here is the end result, "Kokopelli Weave."

I tried to scan the matted painting, but it's a bit larger than my scanner, so it's a little blurry...

I really enjoyed this process. It gives me an abstracted look, but still a fairly recognizable image as the focus of the painting. What do you think?

Now...the next question is this: do you think that a woven painting such as this looks consistent enough to be recognizable as being done by the same artist who painted my regular vignette paintings (such as these below). 

Recently I have been trying to focus on creating a consistent body of work - one that is easily recognizable as mine at a glance. I happened to stumble upon the woven painting technique just as I was travelling down that consistency path, and now I am wondering if creating woven paintings out of my "regular" style will be easily identifiable as mine.  I would love to hear your feedback. Do you think my woven Kokopelli painting is recognizable alongside the other semi-abstract vignette paintings? Which do you like better? 

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog! See you soon. :)

May 9, 2014

Utah Watercolor Society Spring Show

It's the time of year for the Utah Watercolor Society Spring Show (UWS). I was fortunate enough to be juried into the show this year, with one of my woven abstract paintings, "Stargazer," which also showed up on the event postcard! :) 

The show was juried by John T. Salminen, who also presented at the UWS member meeting this past Tuesday evening. Wow! What an incredible artist and an entertaining speaker as well.

The opening reception is tonight in Provo, UT. Here is the postcard.

Here is my painting, "Stargazer." 
"Stargazer"  Acrylic on 140lb watercolor paper

This show is another important step in achieving Signature Member status in the UWS. I am already a Two Star Member (achieved after acceptance into two Spring Shows). Signature membership requires acceptance to eight shows (UWS Spring or Fall shows, or the Western Federation annual show). It is also required that your painting win an award at one of the shows. So far, I have been accepted to six shows. No awards yet, but hopefully one of these days. :) What does Signature Member mean? It means I can put the letters UWS next to my signature on my paintings. Seems like a small thing? Perhaps, but now you know the amount of work required to achieve Signature Member status. Those three little letters lend a certain amount of prestige and credibility to your art.

"Stargazer" is one of only three abstract woven paintings that I have created in the past two years. Interestingly, each of the three were selected for UWS juried exhibitions (all juried by different nationally and internationally known artitsts). This has been insightful for me, since I am not normally a pure abstract painter. But, I do enjoy the process of the woven paintings, and I feel that the weaving gives some added interest and texture to the composition. My next step will be testing the weaving process with paintings done in my usual style. I am hoping this combination might help give a unique and recognizable voice to my work. I will post pictures of the process as I test it to see if it will work out! :)

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog!

April 9, 2014

Composing Abstract Paintings ~ Joyce Baron workshop presented by UWS

I signed up for a mini workshop through the Utah Watercolor Society (UWS) this past Feb/March. Joyce Baron, past president of the UWS, was the instructor for this workshop that focused on planning, design, and creation of abstract paintings.

Joyce is a fabulous abstract painter with vibrant colors and excellent movement and design in her work. She also creates beautiful fused glass jewelry.

While I am not a full-on abstract painter by nature or intent, I do like to incorporate abstract elements for visual interest and texture in my own paintings, so I was excited to take this workshop to see what I could learn. My abstract paintings are usually the side product of test brush strokes I make while painting something else, or the occasional woven painting. 

I find that taking workshops from other artists who work in a variety of different ways really helps to unlock the creative side of my brain. I try to take elements of what I have learned in a workshop (technique, style, or anything useful to me) and incorporate them into my own work. In some workshops, the instructor has everyone in the class paint the same composition and he/she will walk you through the process that they use to make their own paintings. This is a great way to learn technique and/or a skill. In other workshops, you are encouraged to work on your own compositions, but incorporate the things you are learning in the class into your work. This was the approach that Joyce took in teaching our class. 

We were instructed in the different types of composition that can be used in making an abstract painting (or any painting for that matter). We also discussed color theory and ideas for color combinations, and Joyce favored us with wonderful demonstration of her approach (making it look so easy - of course). Then we each practiced creating some of the different types of composition and color combinations (NOT so easy!), ending each exercise with a "show and tell" feedback session. 

Joyce demonstrating:

I created four paintings during the course of the two-day workshop, the first two of which I was less pleased with, but I learned good things from the creative process. But, I was very pleased the final two paintings, wherein I incorporated some of the things learned in the workshop into paintings that were more "me." These two paintings were Kokopelli Three and An Orange Pair

For Kokopelli Three I incorporated the use of complementary color combinations as well as abstract shapes for texture and visual interest in a repeating pattern design. 

For An Orange Pair I used the complementary color combination - this painting was done using only two colors: Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Orange. The background is the neutral brown/gray color you get when mixing the orange and blue. I also used opposing forces in the composition for visual interest. 

Both paintings can be found for sale on my Xanadu Studios artist page by clicking here. :)

Kokopelli Three

An Orange Pair

I love the artistic jolt that I get from taking workshops. But, even better than that is just having one or two full, uninterrupted days of painting and art!  I am looking forward to another workshop at the end of April with Lester Lee and will write another blog post with follow up. :)

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog!