Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Day 71... Last day in Pisa

Pisa was only suppose to be a day trip which turned into 15 days! Ha!  Everything happens for a reason, and this experience is no exception. I found myself by myself.  I had ZERO distractions and that really allowed for some solid painting time. That is an awesome opportunity that you don't always get.  I know I have stated that before, but sometimes when you are all alone you find yourself an old friend.  You. I have had more conversations with myself (more than usual I should say) than ever before.  I had no no one to say, "Look at this painting, what do you think?"  For the first time I just knew they were what I wanted them to be, with no approval but my own.  So thank you Pisa, for giving me the opportunity to be by myself, to find myself.  Now that I've been alone for so long, I'm ready to talk to everyone!!!!! Tomorrow I leave for Campagnatico, the last leg of my journey in Europe.  Happily I say I am ready for that to happen:).  An absolutely incredible experience thus far, but way more incredible people that I have missed!  

Day 70...MORE ROCKS!!!!!!

A few more Rocks paintings to add to the collection:). These are on a Pisa newspaper.  It's been super fun to be able to use the newsprint as an additional dimension to the work.  I am running out of red paint so things shifted to black with red backgrounds.  You use what you gotta use to get the job done!  My marble floor of my studio has been a wonderful place to photograph these paintings. Truly Italian:)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Day 69...polishing my rock collection

In Monterosso the beach was of small pebbles, not sand.  It was so surreal, all these tiny bright colored rocks amongst the amazing blues of the sea and the sky.  Obviously my eye was drawn to the red rocks (since I am  now constantly aware of all red, all the time) but the magical green stones.  I couldn't help myself, I was like a child sitting on the beach going through fistful of rocks.  I kept a few, after I put myself on a limit, but recently just took them out of my backpack and polished them up.  The vibrancy that these rocks exude, is another wonder of the natural color system!

Day 68...high-light(er)s of my trip

Drawing was never my strong suit in the art world.  I actually hated it.  I didn't understand why you would render something to such realism, when you could just take a picture.  I would "sketch" out compositional lines for pieces, but never would I have sat down to draw what I see, until Riomaggiore.  I perched myself on the rocks and was immediately drawing.  I find that my own personal qualifications for drawing were unattainable, because that is not me.  I look for pattern, negative space and texture relationships, and I am now OK with that.  Now I draw everyday, from life, from a photograph what have you, but I use it to decipher the code of what I see, not to duplicate it.  The option that I had at the time for color, was high-lighters.  It turned out to be the partner-in-crime I needed:)

Day 67...making pigments!

Part of my research and practice for the study of red, is to find my own source for pigments.  In Italy, I was stumped, yes there are lots of red sights, but what can I use to grind down and make a pigment out of?!  When at dinner in Pisa, the owner/waiter gave us a rose.  I pressed it in a book and as I was ready to dry it out, I saw the process this sweet rose going through.  The brilliancy that it has as it dries was magical. It will be a beautiful pigment, but it is right now a beautiful process to watch.  I also have been finalizing the pigments from Greece.  Todays was terra cotta found from the mountain in which I lived.  It's fun to have these intriguing stories to accompany the color!

Day 66...more of the Rock Series

After this amazing break through I find myself non-stop painting rocks!!!  I have plenty of imagery, due to the fact that I have taken over 3000 pictures on this journey:)  And who ever wants to see them all, I would love to show!  ha! I started going through pictures of all of my travels this year, and low and behold ROCKS!  Cliffs, waterside rocks, etc.  My relationship with this subject matter has been here the entire time.  Sometimes when you think you are wide open to possibilities, you realize that you aren't!  Open up to it all and you use your heart and intuition to filter!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Day 65...AH-HA moment!!!!!

From the very beginning of being an artist, I knew that I loved color, even before that really.  In fashion, in my environment and how it came out of my head, filling substrates with crazy thoughts.  When I applied to Transart my proposal was based off the history of pigments, the primaries to be specific.  As I got accepted, went to Berlin and discussed this proposal over and over again, I decided to tweak it and simplify it.  To just focus on red, my favorite color in the spectrum.  With the traveling that I was doing, it seemed perfect!  Immerse myself into the cultural red and still draw the parallel to myself at the end of the day.  But I still didn't know, exactly how this would all play out, what it would physically look like in art.  In theory it's there and snowballing into a wonderful text of relationship, influence and passion, but physically I was blank.  In Berlin, we did not have a ton of a studio time, and in Greece I forced it, and you can tell.  It wasn't until Riomaggiore, that I found myself drawn to specific pattern and design in water and rock formations.  The Earth.  I drew regularly, which I haven't had the desire to do in over 15 years and found myself, comfortably locked into a subject matter, for the first time ever.  I do not want to say that I have been a poser for the past 10 years as an artist, but for the FIRST TIME EVER I feel genuine and my creative self.

This trip wasn't just for continuing my research but to give myself the opportunity to just create.  I have NEVER had that, always having a full-time job that consumes me, friends and family, social obligation etc.  LIFE. For the past 65 days it has been just me and my art, for the first time ever.  It was an awkward relationship at first, I knew that it would work out, but the "getting to know you" phase was not pretty.  As I have been Pisa (which was the unplanned portion of this journey)  I spent 5 days doing absolutely nothing in a hotel, laying in bed, reading and not creating.  I was worried that all the effort I had put into this artistic relationship had failed already.  Then I moved into an apartment, where it was the reunion of a lifetime!  I have painted non-stop for four days, and in that four days I have found an artistic voice so genuine, that it made me cry.  The style that I have been working with the past several years, was based on a intuitive collaboration with the influences of other artist.  Always giving kudos to those before me, this time I feel like my voice, my inner being is being reflected whole-heartedly.  Authentic for the first time.  With this series of work I have been doing, not only am I a truer artist, but a truer human being.  That is a huge relief that I didn't realize I needed. Things will always evolve into something different, that is my favorite part of life, it always changes, but for now I can honestly say that I am more happier in this moment than I have ever been:)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Day 64...Rock series

In Riomaggiore, I found myself drawn to the rocks/cliffs and water!  I started drawing constantly the pattern these natural forms made.   Today I finished the series that is on newspaper (ironically German newspaper) and brown paper from my focaccia bread:)  I used the different reds that surfaced in my time there.  I love the negative space that these images create.  They were fun to work on, and that is all that really matters:)

Day 63...RED daily paintings

Each day I paint a small painting of two reds; one that I choose for myself and one for my experience of red during that day. It has been interesting to see how each pair evolves through my adventure.   I am currently creating a video of all of these.  It's going to be fun to see them altogether!

Day 62...RED in Pisa

Last night there was an Italian wedding at the hotel I am staying at.  The next day as I looked down from my balcony, the after party was still there, just no people.  It created a great design with the red and gray checkered patio and the silver chairs, the random wine bottles and wine glasses.  It was a beautiful day so I went for a walk around town.  I found some wonderful examples of red in Pisa.  It is part of my documentation process to photograph as much red as I can where I am.  This set of images seemed more urban and contemporary compared to others.  I also am working on finding pigments to work with that are red in the area.  I have finally got a beautiful magenta color and found some pine cone fragments that will make a beautiful red ochre color.  EXCITING!!!!