Challenge: Closure on Previous Starts

Starts, to be conquered!

I decided to challenge myself and do the very thing everyone is talking about, clear the clutter. But to clear the clutter, I must finish what chaos I have begun. It is much easier to start more chaos than bring what I have to a solution, a finish, the end.  The difficulty lies in figuring out how to tame the chaos, well somewhat. Too much refinement becomes boring for sure!

So, I am going to post my chaotic starts, staring with my first challenge, the paintings that are figurative underlings, abstract figurative images. I will give myself a deadline of two weeks. Unless I need more time. Nothing is too precious, and nothing is off limits. I hope I can make these more different that they look now. They all appear to be too related to each other! Too many same shapes, too many similar colors, and on and on. What would your challenge be?

Summer Line Challenges

Well, it seems that I am on an 8-month update schedule for blogging, maybe I need to step in up a bit!
"Simplify" still is on my mind, but I'm not there yet!

Our Advanced Studio Seminar with Michael O'Keefe ended in April with an amazing show at a location in the Cedars in Dallas. As a class we all grew and learned from Michael, from other visiting artist critiques, and from each other. Not to mention learning from ourselves, digging deeper, exploring and sometimes surprising ourselves with what we discovered. In the end, we became a closely knit set of comrades and found the experience exhilarating, educational, exhausting, and encouraging!

In July I attended another workshop with one of my all time favorite teachers, Lisa Pressman, and another favorite, Jeff Hirst. We were as a group doing very diverse work, some using encaustic, some oil and cold wax, and still yet, we were introduced to printmaking with encaustic collagraph.

In the end, it seems our marks are so individual to each of us and they pushed us to the next level. Which leads to what I have been doing when life keeps me away from the studio or class

I have been exploring with LINES - mark making in journals and notebooks or any piece of paper that is near! I love playing with black and white, be it ink, charcoal, graphite, wax, or whatever. I love exploring different marks with the way the implement is held, turned, twisted, and if it is in the dominant or non dominant hand, not to mention when one closes their eyes. And then there is the space of the page, how many ways can it be divided?  

Then the rabbit hole appears, what if I play with color.... ahhh... this month, my goal.... color!

So these I share today!
Movement from one side to another of the page. minimal, think about space divisions!

Think about connections, between squares without any real thought!
Is that possible?

Fill each square, vary the inside shapes.

Encaustic monotype, squares taped off then removed.

From one square to another, movement and varied line thickness

Graphite, flow, gestural

Disjointed, slow moves, Non dominant hand

Encaustic Collagraph

Simply Simplify

January is almost gone and as usual I am behind! But what's the hurry, right?
Starting the new year, I like to look back at the previous year and then look ahead and plan somewhat for the new year. I tend to over estimate what I can get done reasonably in any given amount of time! Thus it goes. For the upcoming year, I continue to take classes, drawing and panting, as well as a mentorship. Hopefully, I can make some decisions on what to keep and what to leave behind. I have decided my word for the year is "SIMPLIFY!"

The painting below, Closely Woven, was accepted to the Visual Art Society of Texas, 125-Mile juried show. It received a merchandise award from Richeson Art Supply so I am salivating on what colors I want to order!
Closely Woven
20" x 20"

I taught my first class in Oil and Cold Wax in September at Artist's Showplace Gallery in Dallas, Texas and had the best experience. I will teach again in October. This class is "Finding your Voice using Oils and Cold Wax". I am not sure if we continue to search for our voice in art, but there are many ways to explore what we want to paint. Oil mixed with cold wax as a medium allows us to play and explore, then cover and obliterate, all the while creating scrumptious texture to go back into. It is slightly addictive.

Artist's Showplace invited me to exhibit in the New Beginnings show with two other lovely artists, Jo Moncrief, and Sarah Joseph. the show is up until February 2, 2018. I have 15 paintings in the show, mostly oil with the cold wax and a few with acrylic finished with cold wax. 

I am lucky to have so many opportunities to study with amazing teachers, both locally and away. Michael O'Keefe and Ellen Soderquist offer life drawing classes,  both amazing teachers. Jay Bailey offers sessions as well and I try to go when I can, he is awesome. For my painting classes, I am studying design with Jane Jones through March. Jerry McLaughlin, Oil and Cold Wax book co-author will be here in May, and I look forward to that also. Lisa Pressman is also on my list! (Teacher extraordinaire!) And this past year, I have found an artist I can't wait to study with, Dawn Emerson. Check out her book and videos! 

I also turned my garage into my studio this past year and it has been so great to be outside of the house, both for the mess and for the lack of distraction of working at home. Even if it is just across the driveway! Pictures at another time!

So, back to SIMLIFY. I hope to simplify my work, simplify my processes, clean out unused art supplies and slow down and enjoy each new piece I work on. I need to focus on what I know and not feel like I need to continue to know everything that is new and exciting out there! That is a tough one, there is so much to learn! My list of what to simplify, needs to be simplified! 

Thank you for taking the time to check in with me! Hope you are having a great new year!




Figurative Drawing and Honoring the Models

About 7 years ago, 3 years into my art journey, I decided to attempt life drawing classes. With the guidance of excellent teachers, I know how much there is yet to learn and be able to apply as well as how difficult it is to see all the nuances of the human body. The models continue to be an inspiration to me, they have the patience, calmness and self control to be still in the moment, often very long moments, actually. Each one is different, and each is amazing and beautiful. I am attempting to have more stillness and calm in my life, without letting my mind race when I go there. Today, I honor those models who exude that meditative calmness than leaves me grateful that I have this opportunity to see into their kind souls.... past the anatomy and into the spirit of the soul, the humanity in each of us.

My natural style is not classical, nor photo realistic. Perhaps it could be called expressive drawing.
It comes from within and it changes over time. Today I am sharing some playful drawings using encaustic monotype process. These were not done with the model in from of me, but I would love to do that! The process involves drawing on a large heated metal plate with bars of pigmented wax. The bar melts as it hits the heated plate. The next step is to lay paper on top of the wax drawing and it transfers creating a monotype. This method takes your hand out of the drawing, what translates to the paper is always a bit of a surprise. My intent is to draw more into them during class, but I kind of like what happened just as they are!

These are printed on 30" x 22"Arnhem paper.


Encaustic monotype 1


  Figurative encaustic monotype 2
 Figurative encaustic monotype 3

Challenge 30 in 30 - #3

Coral Forest
14 x 11
Oil and Cold Wax on Paper
This is the third of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I am a little behind all ready because I am!
Holiday Monday. Housekeeping, art wise and housekeeping, house wise, and drawing class. I think that could also count as 30 in 30 so I will post a snippet of what I liked about last nights drawing below! Feet, always a challenge. I love the feel of the charcoal and what it does on paper!

Eunisa
portion of life drawing


Challenge 30 in 30 days - #2

Beyond the Damage
12" x 12"
Oil and Cold Wax on Panel

Day 2 of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. 
This panel was damaged while traveling to a workshop. Packed in my suitcase, it had several places as if a knife had pictured it. SO I decided to paint on it anyway. And I pictured it a bit more, I don't know if you can see where it is broken, because the damage has been camouflaged with the wonderful cold wax medium. I love painting with this, it is like frosting, and who doesn't like frosting!

30 Paintings in 30 Days

Oilily 1
12" x 12"
Oil and Cold Wax
30 Paintings in 30 Days

Painting on a schedule holds me to practice and working towards a deadline. That said, I have had quite a few deadlines lately and have not been very good about keeping them, not because I haven't had the motivation, but life just sometimes creates other side winks or opportunities!

One of the great things that is going on is my new studio in the extra garage. It should be done by the end of September for sure and I will post a photo before I move in and clutter it! Ha! All my creative friends totally know what I am saying!

Another great opportunity coming up is my opportunity to teach one of my favorite mediums, Oil and Cold Wax, at Artist Showplace September 20-23, 2017. Please take a look if you are interested! There are a few spots left to fill! We will be starting with the basics of working with cold wax medium mixed with oil paint. The possibilities are endless, but we will start with abstraction in a way that brings out each person's narrative voice! What does that mean? It is like handwriting, each person's handwriting is totally individual and personal. When you let go of some of the rules that boggle your mind, play enters and the inner child comes out. Experimentation and not worrying about the end result allows each of us to find what makes us sing. Is it color, texture, lines? For me, I think it is definitely lines! We will take the paintings to the next level, learning the techniques that create textures, depth, and finishing. We will mostly work with abstraction but the methods can also be applied to realistic work as well.
If you have any questions, please let me know! I love sharing this process with others.

I decided last minute to take this 30 day challenge. I have completed the challenge 3 times previously and each time I was surprised at how much I learned. 
The panels in my 30 day challenge will be ones that I am working on to prepare for the class.

Encaustic Monotype and Carbon Workshop - Paula Roland

Last week I was fortunate to study encaustic monotypes and carbon mark making with Paula Roland.
It was a challenging and mind boggling week of many new ideas and moving with the flow of your intuition. We used mops and large brushes on many types or paper of black and white marks. Each day was filled with many new to me techniques and ideas. I am recharged and ready to create!
Mark Making with graphite pigmented waxing he hotbox.
The one on the lower left also had some colored pigments added.

Art2Life Nicholas Wilton

I just completed the 12 week on-line course with Nicholas Wilton, quite the forever giving and sharing instructor. So much information and so much to look at, now I must debrief and re-visit many of the ideas and topics. As with any information you learn from other artists and master teachers, it is prudent to actually say, OK, what works for me???? As I grow as an artist, I learn something from each of the classes I have taken, from the teacher and the other students as well. At the end of the day, it is important to spend time examining the things I love about art and what makes it mine. I admire artists who make the bright energetic paintings, but then when I work like this, I end up subduing so much. So, is the hidden me really that energetic wild and crazy person I long to come out? The one wearing the high-heeled bright red, crazy shoes? Of course not, I laugh.... I am the quiet one in the comfortable, red canvas loafers! Close enough to exciting is moving from neutral to red loafers! I am experimenting with how to make that quiet more interesting! These are 9 paintings that are close to finished from the course, 12" x 12" panels. I was surprised that they seem so much alike when they all started out in different ways!



Also here are my shoes! Who knows, that actually is white paint on those heels, and I will try it again! Life is good. It is so awesome being able to spend time with paint or charcoal, in life drawing class with the most motivating instructor, with other artist friends and just friends who never seemingly tire and so patiently and kindly listen to me ramble! And then there all the amazing teachers and mentors that have taken me in. Thanks to all!

What about you? Is the art that is in you the same art that you love?

Walking With Friends

Walking with Friends won one of four Jurors Awards in the Society of Watercolor Artist's 2016 International Exhibition. The juror was Frank Eber, well know watercolor artist and teacher. The show includes work by artists I admire and have followed for a long time. Of course I am humbled and excited just to be included in the show. The exhibition will run until through May 28. 

The painting is watercolor and acrylic on paper. I enjoy painting layers of color, texture and line and then trying to make something come out of the shadows. 
Exhibit Location: Atrium Gallery, Central Library of Fort Worth, 500 W. Third Street, Fort Worth TX 76102 (corner of Lamar & West Third)
The on-line catalog is available here: SWA 2016 International Exhibition


Walking with Friends
22" x 15"
Acrylic on Paper



MB's Circus

MB's Circus
60" x 20"
Mixed Media on Canvas
This painting was for my sister, MB. The layers are many and it is one of a kind. I had members of the family write, draw, scribble, fingerprint and add something to the canvas, at various stages at of the work. Many of the marks are partially buried or reoccurring. Some of the family members wouldn't even let me know where they marked and it is truly hidden. Some were far away and I took something they did and did a rubbing or collaged it in here. This was truly a fun project of love and has taken much longer than it should have, but now I share it with you as it is being shipped to her! The title comes from one of my favorite phrases, "Not my circus, not my monkeys"! But hey, these are her monkeys and thus MB's Circus!

These three photos below are closeups of some of the texture and marks. It was hard to photograph and post as it it so tall and narrow.






Entanglement

Entanglement
22" x 30"
Acrylic on Paper

I was honored to be accepted in the  39th International Exhibition 2016 with Watercolor Art Society Houston. This painting is a bit more colorful than most of mine and I had a lot of fun with it. Adding watercolor crayon on top of the many layers gave me my chance to make marks, which I am loving to do anymore. I think it is like hidden messages, those in my head that I can't ever verbalize!

I am taking an on-line course right now with Nicholas Wilton which is really stretching my brain to think about where I want my art to go. If you have a chance, check out his web site and blog. I have been following his blog for many years. He is an excellent artist and teacher and shares his processes with such grace.

Then There Were Five

Then There Were Five
Acrylic on Paper
15" x 22"
I am excited to be included in the Texas and Neighbors Exhibition sponsored by the Irving Art Association for the second year in a row. The reception will be April 17 at the Irving Art Center from 2-5. It's a wonderful reception with amazing floral arrangements individualized to coordinate with paintings on the wall nearby! Come and check it out!
Link to preview the art accepted in this years show: http://irvingartassociation.org/2016/02/2016-texas-and-neighbors-preview-gallery/

Just the Three of Us - Silent Auction February 27, 2016

Just the Three of Us
14" x 11"
Mixed Media on Panel
I am honored to have my painting, "The Three of Us, My Echo, My Shadow, and Me" in the show sponsored by Arts for Rural Texas (ARTS) to create funds to support art. The show is presented by ACT (Artists Changing Tomorrow) in which artists contribute a painting for the silent auction held every other year. This is my second time to have a painting in the auction. The auction will take place February 27, 2016.
http://www.act4art.com


The exhibit and silent auction raise funds for ARTS, a 501(c)(3) foundation which applies their funding to expand art education in an effort to offset cutbacks in art education in the schools.
All art donated for the auction can be viewed here.

This painting started with India ink on paper with lines drawn with a pen, string, and more including a stick from the yard. Adding acrylic made the ink turn a dark blue. Then I just played with the figurative shapes that came out of the mingling of the colors. and added more acrylic paint in muted colors. More lines were added with Caran d'ache, which are lovely water soluble crayons, (so much fun to play with), they can have that mind of their own! When the painting was finished, or so deemed finished by moi, I attached it to a Ampersand panel and sealed it, ready to be framed in a black floater frame by the sponsors at ACT.


Spark of Madness

Spark of Madness
Oil and Cold Wax
12" x 12"
Spark of Madness was accepted the 5th Annual National Juried Encaustic/Wax Exhibition sponsored by The Encaustic Art Institute in Santa Fe, NewMexico.

The show is on display October 3rd through the 31st.

This was a fun piece with brighter colors that my usual palette plus a lot of line work and scraping to top it off. Oil paint mixed with cold wax is such a scrumptious medium to play with. You layer and spread creamy paint mixed the the wax, next you scrape some off and add more in. The paint seems to seep through when you don't expect it from precious layers. It has a history all of its own.

Shadows

Shadows
15" x 22"
Acrylic on Paper
I was honored that Southwest Watercolor Society accepted this painting for the Annual Membership Show juried by Mike Bailey. There were 75 paintings selected and all are either watercolor or acrylic.
I was also excited to receive a Holbein Award for this painting.

Entering juried shows is a bit intimidating, but I feel as if it is a next step in learning and building a consistent body of work, that is something that looks like the same person did them! Of course that often means that for every 10 paintings I complete, only 1 or 2 are deemed possible show entries. Characteristics an artist develops with each work include humility, perseverance. and a thicker skin. Not everyone is going to like the same thing. We are all different. I am learning this as I get older and more experienced. And with each painting that is accepted and sometimes even receives an award, I become more encouraged to stay with it, furthermore to improve and learn from others. Artists are so generous with their techniques and information. For this I am so grateful, as well as the kind and encouraging comments they share.

This painting started with many layers of acrylic and lines. As it developed, I started seeing shapes that are figurative, so I pushed that to where it is. There is also a lot of line work created with watercolor crayons.

Thank you for looking at my work!

RCAS Award - Second Place Mixed Media

I have been a little lax in posting so I am going to play catch up! I have entered several shows and have been excited to be accepted and receive some awards. The awards are definitely a bonus as just being accepted in a juried show is an honor, especially when I see the competition, quite intimidating.

In June, The Richardson Art Society Regional Show accepted two of my paintings and I received 2nd place in Mixed Media for the The City Beneath the Sea. The second painting accepted was Read Between the Lines. Click here to view!


The City Beneath the Sea
30" x 30"
Mixed Media on Paper

I also received the Prismacolor award in the Visual Arts Society of Texas Membership show.
The painting that won that award is shown here. Among Friends has also been chosen for several other awards which has been exciting!

Southwest Watercolor Society Annual Membership Show

My painting Shadows has been accepted for the juried membership show of Southwest Watercolor Society. The show juror was Mike Bailey. The show is up now and the reception is Sunday, September 20, 6:30-8:30. Come and join us if you can. I was honored last year to be accepted and to have my painting hang next to my teacher and mentor, Jane Jones. Jane proceeded to win Best of Show last year with a beautiful painting. I was excited to see that I am again on the wall next to Jane's painting, again a beautiful one. I am showing a photo of the section with our paintings. The other painting belongs to another talented artist, Lynne Buchanan. I apologize for the quality of the photo. I will post a better picture of my painting tomorrow.
The top left painting belongs to Lynne, the painting on the right is by Jane, and my painting is the one on the lower left.
http://www.swswatercolor.org/xPDFs/2015SWS-52MemShowSelectd.pdf
Lynne Buchanan, Kathy Elliott, Jane Jones Paintings

If you are interested in seeing the catalog of all the work accepted, click here.

Forney Arts Council Top 40

The two paintings below were juried into the Forney Arts Council Top 40 exhibition. The show is running now through October 29 at the Crumbzz in Forney. If you haven't been there and live in the area, it is a delightful bistro open every day from 7:30-2:00.
http://crumbzz.com/forney-tx-european-bistro.html

The first painting below, I posted in process earlier. It seemed to need a few more characters to complete the scene, some are coming and some are going away. Kind of like people in our lives for whatever reasons or for no reason at all. But for each of them, I like to think they are there for a reason!
Abstract Figuration, Kathy Elliott
Going Away
Mixed Media on Paper
15" x 22"
The second painting started as overlapping bottles. It was fun to fracture and combine them into many different shapes.

Kathy Elliott, abstract artist, http://kathyelliottart.blogspot.com
Unbottled
Acrylic on Paper
15" x 22"

ISAP Award - DepartureD

Departure
12" x 12"
Acrylic on Canvas
Departure was accepted into the International Society of Acrylic Painters (ISAP) International Exhibition. The juror is the talented Myrna Wacknov. I was excited to have the piece in the juried show and learned this week it was awarded a Merchandise Award from Jerry's Arterama. Thank you to Myrna for selecting my piece, and thank you to Jerry's for the generous award!
I really enjoyed working on this one, it seemed to evolve on its own!
The show catalog is on line ISAP 18th International Exhibition..