Journal of My Work-in-Progress: Painting and Photography
Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. It's a journal of sorts. It gives me a place to show my work-in-progress for my painting and photography. Comments are welcome --- add one at the end of an entry or email me at BarbBlumer@gmail.com.
We are fortunate to live in an area filled with herons, mostly great blue herons. Their wing span is about 5 feet. I watched this one fishing, i.e., waiting stock still, for a long time, until he/she decided to move on.
This is an image from the ancient site of Knowth (c. 3200 B.C.) in Ireland, an hour northwest of Dublin. We were able to go into a part of the underground tomb here and at nearby Newgrange. The purpose of the tombs under the very large mounds are not known, but they are fascinating. The passageways are aligned with the sun, so that they are illuminated briefly during the equinoxes. (In my image, it was artificial lighting.)
This is a misprint of an image I have been working on. I put the paper in upside down, and the image was printed on the wrong side.
I liked the way it looked --- a little spooky --- so I baked it in the oven to cure it.
It attracted lint at some stage, and there are roller marks from the printer, but these things add to its accidental-ness, making it all the more attractive to me.
I am also showing you here, how the original image looks. It is of a passageway in Somerset House in London, where we were visiting the Museum of Water, a special exhibit which was being held down there in the lower regions.
Apparently, in these very large old buildings, there are lower passageways to connect the wings, and the outside ones are called lightwells, so that natural light can reach the underground areas. You can click here to see the Deadhouse and Lightwells at Somerset house.
The frames I ordered arrived yesterday, so I am starting to frame my new work.
This first one is from our trip to Northern Ireland in September, from Belfast, where we learned about the conflict between the unionists (mostly British or Protestant) and the nationalists (mostly Catholics).
There are large-scale murals throughout the city, on busy streets, with people walking past them, and becoming part of the story.
Just posting a photo of the Quiet River II in its new frame, for those of you who asked. The painting is 18 x 24 inches. Add 2.5 inches all around for the frame, which is a wood, in a warm silver finish.
This is my newest little world, entitled "Moonlight." And it is the last of the original batch of 9 black frames and companion collages of origami/international currency. Click here to see all nine.
Well, this "end" created a dilemma for me. Do I stop making Little Worlds now that I am out of materials?
I have lots more ideas for Little Worlds, and it was making me sad to think about stopping, so I started to track down the materials I would need.
The frame is discontinued. The wooden rounds are discontinued. The fiber washers I bought from CBC and painted gold are discontinued.
But I was able to find more international currency, from our travels in the past: Italy, Austria, Singapore, Mexico, Bermuda, China, Taiwan, ---even a note from Cambodia when I went to see Angkor Wat --- and from Argentina which was from a business trip over 25 years ago.
Finding the money and thinking about all of those experiences made me even more motivated to keep going.
So, I persevered and have now found everything I need but the frame. And I will keep on working on a source, or evolve to a new frame.
I have two "drafts" of paintings on my easel now. one for "Armchair Traveler" and another for a "Drive-In" movie theater.
These will be the beginning of the next generation of Little Worlds.
I recently re-worked this painting. Last year I was using saturated (vivid) colors. And this year I am working on being more subtle, but still using lots of color.
I also corrected some of the drawing issues, and prioritized what the painting was really about, i.e., the sky reflections and the quietness of the river as the sun goes down. I gave up the drama of the sunset.
This is an experiment where I utilized a raw sienna (yellow) ground as a jumping off point, and created an imaginary landscape. The yellow brush marks of the yellow ground reminded me of fields of grain, which became the foreground. I created a path leading to distant farm fields in the hills beyond, past a pond on the left.
Summer is just around the corner here. So, I felt like painting something summery. Saw these cows last June when visiting the peony farm up north of Penn Yan, here in the Finger Lakes.
I painted it over the top of an old painting, so there is a lot of texture in the surface. And I wanted to try this unusual composition (trees in the middle) and a high key (i.e., very light) color palette to see if it would work, especially with a black cow smack dab in the middle.
The three cows are very different from each other but clearly spend time a lot of time together. Doing whatever cows do.
We took a week of vacation and when we returned one of our onions had sprouted. It reminded me of the late Tom Buechner and how he would paint still lifes of onions and potatoes in various stages of sprouting.
So I decided to set up a still life in my studio and paint our onion as an "Ode to Buechner." It is hard for me to believe that he has been gone now for almost 7 years.
It is was fun to paint the onion and think about what Tom would say about it. He wasn't one to mince words.
I put it in the studio window yesterday when I finished it. Then a painter-friend came by with a box of frames he was giving away because he is moving to sunny New Mexico. Luckily, one was the right size.
Here it is sitting on top of the frame because the painting is still wet. I think it makes it look even more like an ode to Buechner in this style of frame.
We walked the streets of Brooklyn in October a year ago in search of my husband's ancestral homes. They moved here from Germany in the 1870's -- as the Brooklyn bridge was being built to connect Brooklyn to Manhattan --- and became successful costumers, called Wustl and Sons.
We also went to see the Brooklyn Museum(one of the oldest and largest art museums in the US) where the late Tom Buechner, one of our most popular local Corning painters, was once director before coming here to Corning, to start the Corning Museum of Glass.
This is really an ode to Peigi. She was the one who got me to print it two years ago as a gift to her husband for his birthday. And this Spring she has helped me edit and prioritize my "inbox" of art projects. She has been one of my art "consultants" over the years, and I really appreciate her perspective/input.
A new image. To remind us that art is an experience. In this case, the architecture, the light and the people are all intertwined at the Guggenheim. Not to mention the great art we were viewing as we spiraled our way to the top and back down again. Great people watching. Looking closer at this image, there are people-vignettes on every level.