Friday, July 31, 2009

The First Tale of "Finding Time"

I regret that I have not had time to add to my blog. I have a larger graphite drawing that I am working on that has a deadline of August 3rd. The work was coming along great, no problems, and looking good. Then we had a heat wave and without air conditioning in the house, my studio on the second floor was very uncomfortable, to say the least. It has been difficult to sleep and think. By Wednesday it was 89 degrees downstairs, I can only imagine what it was in my studio. It felt like a sauna! Fortunately, we had a reservation at a hotel* for that night. We packed up and on the way there, the temperature outside was 103! I took my work with me, and was able to work a bit there. Not as much as I would have liked though, lighting in a hotel room is not the best.

Thankfully it has gotten back to normal with a high today predicted to be around 80! Relief! So I've been back busy working again and hoping I will have it finished and ready to submit by the deadline of Monday!!!

Ironically, the title of my work is, "Finding Time"! More to come on this new graphite drawing after I make my deadline!

This is the exhibit I will be submitting to: The Arts Council of Snohomish County is seeking artwork with a clock and/or crow theme for the exhibit: Of Clocks and Crows. The exhibit opens with a reception on September 3 and runs through October 20, 2009. All mediums are invited to participate.

*The hotel stay was one of many gift certificates that were in an awards basket that I won last year from the Lynnwood Arts Commission for the Mellow Yellow Exhibition at the Lynnwood Library Gallery. The piece that won was Seen Better Days

Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Miniature, "Rhodie" With Bee

Sometimes you find surprising beauty in places you forget to look. I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned it before, but we don't particularly like the neighborhood we live in. It's near a commercial area, littered and noisy! I walk for exercise when I can and chanced to take my camera with me one day, (not something I normally do!). The flowers were blooming in a neighbor's yard and I thought the light on them was striking. Just when I was ready to click the camera, a bee buzzed inside one of the flowers. I am a bit leery of bees, one of my cousins died a few years ago by a bee sting. However, I was able to get several shots of the bee in the flower. When I downloaded the photo to my album, I saw how beautiful the bee was close-up. The wings were such an iridescent color! Another interesting thing I came across when doing a search to make sure I had my flower correctly identified, was that this flower is the Washington State Flower: Coast Rhododendron!

So because I happened to take my camera with me on a walk I normally find distasteful, I took a look closer at a flower, and observed a bee close up. From this I was able to create a thing of beauty that captured a moment in time.

"Rhodie" With Bee, Colored Pencil and Iridescent Acrylics on Acid-free Film, 2 3/4" x 3 3/4"

Monday, July 20, 2009

"A Meditation on the Pacific Northwest", Third Buddha Painting

This small work is the last in my series of Buddha paintings. Because I wanted to make this a meditation work, I used a border to draw the viewer inward to make Buddha the focal point.

Even though I used the same Buddha figure and Pacific Northwest landscape as in the previous Buddha paintings, I could never paint them exactly the same. Nor would I want to!

The knot border is done with gold over a transparent red oxide. I used the crow symbol to break up the border. The crow is outlined in an iridescent violet. The Buddha is once again holding the tulip and apple, symbols of the Pacific Northwest. The tree he is sitting in front of has that beautiful green moss you find covering many of the trees here. What doesn't show in the photo or scan is the luminous quality of this piece.

Gessobord has a slight texture, so when I started to paint the features on the figure, the texture kept getting in the way. To correct that, I painted several layers of gesso on the figure, sanding each time between the dry layers using very fine sandpaper. When the figure was finished, I added the iridescent and metallic gold glazes on Buddha and around his form. When you see this work in person, the figure in certain light looks as though it is floating.

I'm not sure if I will do more Buddha pieces, but I really enjoyed doing these three. I hope you enjoy seeing them and hearing a bit about their background. As always, thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and look at my work. I hope you will come back soon.

This work, A Meditation on the Pacific Northwest is available on my secure website for purchase. Just click on "add to my collection".

I notice that this image is showing up in google images. I do hope that viewers will take note that this is an original painting done by me and is available for purchase on my website at I also hope they will respect the copyright of this work. Thank you for looking and please, I'd love to hear from you, leave me a comment.

A Meditation on the Pacific Northwest

Copyright 2009 Barbara A. Freeman

Acrylic on Gessobord, 5 1/2" x 5 1/2"

Framed size, 9 1/4" x 9 1/4"

Friday, July 17, 2009

Second in a series, "Buddha in the Pacific Northwest"

I enjoyed creating the Buddha that I did for my daughter, (see the last post, Buddha in Austin, A Personal Altar) so while it was still fresh in my mind, I decided to do another one. The first one, 8"x 6"x 4", I consider a small work. This second work, however, I did as a miniature painting in acrylic on 4"x 4" claybord. I placed him in a Pacific Northwest landscape, adding a crow, (they are plentiful here) on a pathway. As with the first work, this Buddha is a medicine Buddha so I placed a tulip and an apple in his hands, both being symbols of the area for me.* When finished with the figure, I glazed gold paint on the skin and added metallic iridescent paint as a glowing effect around the body. I was happy with the way the dappled sunlight filtered through the trees. The path could be leading you into or away from the area. You interpret.

This miniature is framed in black and gold and is wired for hanging. The frame itself is 5 1/2" x 5 1/2". The framed image is 3 5/8"x 3 5/8". It is available on my secure website, Buddha in the Pacific Northwest for purchase. Just click on "add to my collection". This piece would enhance any meditation space, and would work well as a traveling altar. Be sure to follow my blog for updates. I always announce when any work is in a show. Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. Your comments are always appreciated.

(Please note, the framed image above is not as clear, nor the colors as brilliant as the actual image due to the shiny varnished finish of the surface and my photo abilities or lack therefo.)

* The first year after we moved here, my husband and I went to the Tulip Festival which is held in the spring in Skagit County, just north of here. Then in the fall we went to the Farm Tour, the same area, where we had a picnic in a beautiful apple orchard. It's such a lovely area to visit.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Buddha in Austin, A Personal Altar

It's almost been a week since my last post and I still don't have images of my new work. Therefore, I thought I'd share three works that I did of Buddha.

The one I'd like to share today is the first one I did as a gift for my daughter. It was done as a personal altar. In it, I have incorporated things that are part of her life and environment. Several years ago, on a visit to Austin she took me to a spot called Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve. Here Hamilton Creek spills out over a limestone cavern where a waterfall creates a beautiful pool at the bottom. Surrounding it was a very rocky trail along the creek where we did a fun hike. It was a beautiful wild spot and a fun day spent together. The trees and creek behind Buddha are from a composite of photos from that area. She also sent me some photos of a tree overhanging some rocks that she thought I'd like. Her little dog Zita was in that photo. I used all these images as inspiration for the background and sides of this work.

It's painted on a 8"x 6" gessobord with 2" sides in acrylic. The top and sides are all a continuation of the same landscape. The little dog is the photo of Zita that I printed out, covered with soft gel medium and then attached with the same medium to the bottom of the work, painting around it to blend it in. The Buddha (from the Medicine Buddha) figure is holding a red jalapeno pepper in one hand and a red tomato in the other. Foods that she uses regularly. Buddha is enclosed in a border to focus the attention for meditation. I did the border using some of the iridescent and gold colors. The black bird is from one of her mosaic works, where she used it as a symbol.

The bottom portion is a 6" x 6" gessobord attached under the 2" bottom, leaving a 4" x 6" base. This I did as a meditation finger labyrinth using tiny painted stones, also attached with gel medium as a glue. I painted the bottom as though it were water extending from the rocks underthe trees into a pond. The stones were were also to represent the mosaic work that she does. I've added a fossil from that area and some roots to bring the piece together.

It's wired to hang or there is also a saw tooth hanger to have it hang flatter. It can also stand on a pedestal as in the photos.

This was a very complex undertaking for me in many ways. I found it very satisfying to do, with thoughts of my daughter floating in and out while working on it. It was very meditative and brought me back to remembering to breathe and let go. I think she was pleased with it. I know it was a big surprise. It was done with love.

Buddha in Austin, A Personal Altar
8" x 6" x 4", Acrylic on Gessobord, (painting continued on deep sides and top), Stones, Fossil and Root Fibers

Please pardon the less than sharp images as I took photos and not scans of the work. This work is copyright of the artist, Barbara A. Freeman, all rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What I've been doing.

I've been busy painting and am almost finished with a new acrylic miniature painted on 4"x4" gessobord. It's an autumn landscape and I'll be posting it as soon as the fine details are in place and I have it varnished and scanned. I do have another colored pencil work that is finished and I want to share soon soon as my "webmaster" gets it sized and the copyright placed.

I'm in a bit of a panic as I have sold a lot of my work in the last several local shows. All the autumn deadlines for miniature art shows are fast approaching and I'm trying to get some new minis done (I'm so slow!). I just got notice of another local show that will be having a miniature category along with it's juried show that I want to submit to at the Arts of Snohomish Gallery. I will continue to post because I think it's important whether I have any work to share or not. Now, back to the studio and Happy Painting Everyone!