Painting, patterns, progress and admiring Gerhard Richter

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I have been painting!!! I mean really painting. It feels great. I haven’t painted like this in about 3 years. I have done small stuff like my “Hiding in Plain Site” series and the Avatars and I have also done Mixed media work, but this is different. This is on canvas. I know, it shouldn’t make a difference but it does.

I am so excited about this new direction. I am diverging from my usual color palette into something a bit more subdued. While I say that, I look at the paintings and they are anything but subdued in composition, texture and pattern. I am really loving  these.

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My process of painting goes something like this. I have an idea, I want to paint in all “white” tones. I want to play with the different variation of tone and hue, texture and depth. Like Hans Hoffman, I want to see the push/pull of all of these elements and how they interact with each other. Especially how the eyes pull apart each element and puts them back together again. While I am thinking about all of this, I am also considering my love of the Baroque and Rococo. As an art historian, I wasn’t partial to the Rococo era in art. I taught it, but it was the period that was short and sweet. As the years have gone by, I have fallen in love with the design, the sumptuousness, the luscious exuberance of the period. Especially after watching Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette and going to Versailles personally. I love the damask and the silky, velvety stunning wallpaper from that era. I use the various designs and textures in my mixed media work.

Art Seen

It’s funny, I am not a flowery person by nature. My clothes are normally solid and darker colors, but I just adore anything with these wonderful patterns and designs.

One of my greatest influences as a painter is Gerhard Richter. There is a piece at LACMA that I used to sit in front of and meditate on for hours. The depth, layers, luscious paint application and colors were my art porn. Recently, Richter has been working on something new. I had no idea and accidentally came across a new book of his work called, if you will, “Patterns.” I was blown away. This artist who I have long  admired for his skill with paint has been working on… one of my favorite things.

Tell me if this isn’t amazingly beautiful…

It’s funny when you get this epiphany. My art gesture, my own signature style has been about circles, drips and these cool curving, snakelike patterns in my work. While consciously admiring beautiful pattern and design, I have unconsciously been creating my own patterns. I love art!!!

Most of  my work, builds on work from the past. I mean both literally and metaphorically. I am actually using old paintings and starting fresh by painting on top of them. They have  been sitting in storage, unsold for years now. I look at them and think, they are old, outdated and I need to move on. Out of necessity and lack of money, I had to do what I had to do. I have done this through the years and  realized, this is the basis for some of my greatest work. Building on the textures, patterns and colors from the past, has been an ongoing story in my painting career. I hardly know what to do with a blank  canvas, so to speak.

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My new “White” series really isn’t white at all. The closer you look, I believe there are more colors to see. Of course photos don’t do them justice. You totally have to come for a studio visit and see my new work.

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I am currently working on 4 new pieces. 2 are completed. Each piece will have 20-30-40 layers before it is finished. Whenever that is. If ever, right?

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The photo below was taken this morning. I just put a couple more layers down and now to let it dry. It normally takes 2-4 hours depending on what medium I mix the paints with. Right now, I am setting my schedule to paint drying. Did I say, I love art? When I work, normally noon to midnight, I put a layer or two on when I wake up, then right before I leave for work, and again when I get home at midnight. Perfect drying times. This is my life.

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