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.
Just finished hanging my In Their Studios exhibit in the new art space at the airport, "Art at the Gate"
Now while you wait to board your plane, you can enjoy art in the newly created art space at Elmira-Corning Regional Airport.
Once you pass through security, my images line the wall of the west wing, across from gates 1-3.
I am thrilled with the space and honored to be the first exhibit. The light coming from the big windows is fantastic for art.
People waiting to board their flights at the gates have plenty of time to examine each piece, up close. The airport manager, Ann Crook, and her staff have done a great job creating the art space.
Ann Crook, Elmira Corning Regional Airport Manager
The airport manager, Ann Crook, and I collaborated over the last year or so. When I asked if she was interested in showing In Their Studios, she said that she had been thinking about doing an art space as well, so let's do it!
She wanted ceiling rods for hanging public art, like the ones in her previous airport, so I helped her research suppliers. Ann had the walls repainted and removed the bank of old phones, then had the rod system installed.
I had to learn how to do many new things for hanging a public art exhibit, including make a poster --- I used my old Publisher program to format it and Staples to print and mount it. And labels for each image. I used excerpts from my book.
Steve, from the airport operations crew, did the hard work of helping me put up over 35 images. The ceilings are very high and the rods very long. They swing every time you touch them ---until you get the weight of the picture on the monkey hook for counterbalance. Each frame has to be adjusted and leveled. "Up a little higher, no, a little more to the left, okay, now a little to the right." Can you imagine?
If you would like to see some of the images from this show and book, please click here: In Their Studios Book.
Today, I donated a copy of COTTAGE QUIET, the small version, and an 11x14 framed print for the West High Band fundraiser. They are raising money for a trip to London. Happy to do it. Sarah ('97) and David ('00) were members.
Still working on the larger version of the book and hope to get it published soon. But if you want a copy of the smaller version, you can order a copy, directly via Blurb, by clicking above. The cost is $22.95. fyi -That's my cost. Not sure, yet, how much the larger version is going to cost.
Yesterday I played around with adding lots of color to this sunflowers study, so that I can add it to the grid in the guest room at the cottage where I put the tulips study. The photograph flattens the range of yellows ---I still need to figure out a better way to photography my paintings-in-progress, hrrumph. The painting looks a little out of control, but one of my goals was to use lots of paint, instead of being skimpy like I usually am. Just to see what happens.
I had started a couple of summers ago, outside on the deck at the lake. Too bright outside, too confusing a subject.
I stopped when it looked like this. The flower in the top right hand corner had some character, but that was the painting's only strength.
A few weeks ago, I edited the background --removed the distracting stalks and leaves --- and tried to think like a sunflower, but I didn't have a reference to work from.
Then I ran across this photo I had taken of these flowers in different conditions, but used it anyway. This summer I might paint a new painting, including the pitcher, once sunflowers are in season again.
So, here is where I ended up. Okay, not great, but it was fun to practice. I can always go back an fix the shadow side of the flower in the front. But for now, I am going to put it in the grid when we go up to the lake this week.
Painted this study of tulips because I wanted to see if I could get more accurate, vibrant colors for flowers by starting out with a white surface (versus the mid-tone brown I have been using.) They answer is yes. And I wanted to see if I could get a sense of motion in a floral painting (versus a static still-life.) Not sure.
This is the photo reference. I took the image in Ithaca, last year, in front of the DeWitt building. It was a beautiful, sunny day, but windy. I moved things a bit around in my painting but tried to keep the rhythm and brightness. I am not sure if I like the scale of the tulips in the painting. They are life size, but they still seem a little too "in your face." At any rate, I learned a lot about the form of tulips and how transparent their petals are. I loved all of the colors I got to mix. It was fun.
It's a very loose study, on an 8x10 masonite panel. I used oil alkyds- which dry fast --- and completed it as quickly as I could. I had fun. When I got home from painting with Lin, I asked Tom what he thought. He said that it looked like it should be "crisper," which is what he says when my paintings look unfinished. So, I took it to the lake and put it on the "study" wall for now. I can noodle it later. I was satisfied for now.
This is the grid on the wall in our guest room at the cottage that I want to fill with paintings this summer. Right now it has two old plein air paintings in it, and the more recent Kueka Lake vineyards landscape, and now the tulips. I have them tacked into the frame using map pins. It's a mullion frame from a french door turned on its side. It will be a good place to let my paintings dry and to critique them.
I am excited about filling the grid. There are 15 slots. It's a simple goal, with the only restrictions being the 8 x10 size and a horizontal format. If the grid gets full, I will start giving away the paintings to guests. :)
Today I spent some time cleaning out my files, both paper and on the computer. It is part of my need to get rid of mental clutter as well as closure.
I found this photo that I had saved as a draft for my blog. I considered posting it as what I thought fear might look like. It's one of the stairwells from the DeWitt building that I was photographing last year when I went to Ithaca for my allergy treatments. I messed around with Lightroom's brush feature, which was new at the time, to create the preceived fear energy. I was thinking it might be interesting to try to create a series of images solely based on expressing emotions. Then, it seemed a little wacky, a little too dramatic, or cinematic, so I abandoned the idea.
Anyway, looking back on the DeWitt building series, I am so glad I did them. I particularly like B&W images of looking up and down the same staircase, "Stairs" and "Looking Up." And, I also like the color image, "Leaning Towards the Light."
I am missing having a photography project in the works. So, I think I am ready to pick up my camera again.
I actually think I am nearing the end of "the list", i.e, the projects that have been emotionally keeping me from moving forward. I just have the "durn" oil cans painting to finish. "Durn" is a word that my mother-in-law uses when she is particularly frustrated with something. So, it has become the "durn" oil cans painting for me. I can't tell you how many times I have re-worked that thing. But, now that the frame has arrived, I am going to give it one more effort, a last hurrah, and then frame it and post it.
The frame arrived for this painting, so I touched it up yesterday and signed it. Glad I decided to paint the filigree on the door knob. (See previous post on this painting.) It was challenging, yet rewarding.
Repainted this landscape this week to soften the colors and make it look more like morning fog so that it would be more moody. Not sure I got there completely, but it is better than it was before.
This is an awful photo of the "before" --- I hesitate to show it, but it's the only version I have to show myself what changes I made this week. It was too harsh, even if you factor in the color correction.
I took the photo reference one morning on the way to the lake last year when there was a morning moon and the haystacks were sitting in the morning fog that we often get around here.