Music inspires me and I always listen to it when I’m working in my studio. I like all different kinds, depending on my mood: Classical, New Age, Broadway show tunes. The music helps the paint flow. Here are a couple of new pieces I finished recently to show you what I mean.
Sonata, mixed media, 30 x 30 and Scherzo, mixed media, 24 x 24
That is the question. Most of my paintings are done on gallery-wrapped canvas (1 1/2 inches thick), so framing is optional. They’re large enough to have a presence all on their own. My smaller paintings, the 10 x 10’s or the 12 x 12’s, are on 3/4 inch canvas and need frames to really set them off properly. Therein lies a dilemma. Do I want to spend the money and put in the work needed to frame the pieces, or should I just leave it to my customers to recognize that the paintings look good as is but will look fantastic in frames?
Since I’m planning to participate in an art fair in July, I decided to invest the time and money. Here’s an example – framed vs. unframed. What do you think?
I think the simple black frame sets off the image nicely and helps the completed painting make a nice statement.
My paintings have been leaning more and more towards the abstract in recent years but now I’ve finally leaped over the edge. It’s amazing what paint can do when you pile it on with palette knives, move it around with brushes, add fiber for texture, and pour it on to a canvas laying flat. I always work to music and this new technique (new to me, anyway) lets me just go with the flow. Time to order some larger canvases and paint in larger quantities. I’m so looking forward to exploring this next step in my artistic adventure!
There’s a line from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King and I, that goes “… as a teacher you’ll be taught.” I’ve learned that lesson many times as I’ve taught classes in History or various health strategies or painting and drawing. I’m learning it again now that I’m ‘officially’ a writer. I’m in the middle of preparing a PowerPoint presentation for my writing group on how to write a mystery novel, and the process of creating the presentation has forced me to consider all the steps involved withcreating a book.
It’s not that you can follow a recipe and arrive at a novel. No – but there is a structure to a novel. There’s plot and characters and setting and the mysterious connections that mix them all up and result in a story. Hopefully, one that people will want to read! If you understand the elements of a novel you have the tools you need to put it all together, if only you can think of some ideas to set the whole thing in motion.
I hadn’t planned to do anything like this but when the moderator of our writing group asked what sorts of topics we’d like to see presented this year, I raised my hand and said, “How about a discussion on how to write a mystery novel?” He looked at me and said, without missing a beat, “Great. I’ll put you down for May 11th.” That’ll teach me!
I’m very excited to be launching my newly remodeled website today. It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, but I’m turning over a new leaf and I will be keeping everyone updated on my latest creations on a regular basis. I thought about having two websites, one for my paintings and another for my books. But the creative process is pretty much the same no matter which form it takes. You need inspiration, plus composition, structure and attention to detail to make it happen. So I’m looking forward to sharing my work with you as it evolves, and to hearing your comments and ideas, as well.