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!

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.

Day 10 of 30 - Reflections - January 10

Reflections Artist Kathy Elliott  #mixedmedia # abstractart
12" x 12"
Mixed Media on Canvas
Today's post is one I have been working on for a long time. It started out as as intaglio print collaged onto a gallery wrapped canvas. Next I added acrylic paints in brown and neutrals. Then came the lines. This has been hanging out on my wall until it came to me to work more on value and increase the lines, which add to the texture. There is a quite a bit of texture on this from mat medium used to adhere the papers. Layering medium allowed me to continue adding lines and paint without disturbing the layers beneath. So for now, I will let it hang out a while on my wall and see if it is truly complete!

Day 24 of 30 - Sept 24

Coral is a living organism in our oceans in danger of being depleted because of environmental changes and human abuse. It is a highly controversial topic and agencies that could regulate and protect the coral reefs have failed to make this happen yet. The role of the coral itself extends far beyond its use in jewelry and design as the coral reef is so important to the ecology, protection for the coastline and the marine life to the use in drugs used to fight HIV and cancer, and more. It is also believed to have innate healing properties.
Red coral is considered a stone of passion. Creativity and optimism are also qualities that coral brings out. Emotionally, coral brings inner peace, strength, and understanding of purpose. I love coral and all it represents. And, of course I love the exaggeration of the reds juxtaposed with the blues of the sea. Today, I salute Red Coral! 

Red Coral
8" x 8"
Oil and Wax on Panel

Day 23 of 30 Sept 23

The painting is not on a surface, but on a plane which is imagined. It moves in a mind. It is not there physically at all. It is an illusion, a piece of magic, so that what you see is not what you see. (Philip Guston)

Smoke and Mirrors is a phrase used in may ways but the original reference relates to magician's illusions. Deception, imagination, interpretation. I have trouble  focusing on one meaning for this one, so I leave it to the viewer!

Smoke and Mirrors
Oil and Wax on Panel

Day 22 of 30 - Sept 22

Although I moan about living in a big city with a lot of concrete, I am still enamored with the skyline, whether it be day or night. Again playing with the luscious oil and wax mixture, I played back and forth with layers of color, scraping, making marks and adding more color.

Today I attended an art reception for Southwest Watercolor Society. I felt honored to have a work in the show, especially when I saw the show and the competition. It is humbling for sure!
Have a good day1
Downtown Blues
Oil and Wax on Panel

Day 20 of 30 - Sept 20

Although I do like color, I really love neutrals. I went for a walk yesterday and was mesmerized looking at the variations and striations in the concrete and asphalt. We have a lot of that in Dallas, no pine trees, rambling streams, or majestic mountains to look at like other places I love to visit, so I tend to look more at my feet! But even the stains and marks combined with textures and other minutia are intriguing. Old crumbly buildings and deteriorating surfaces have the same appeal. When I started painting, I did not know what to paint. I sometimes used other peoples photos because I was so used to looking but not seeing. I am working on this! Seeing and feeling the place! 
There is so much that can be read into things that are falling apart. There is still an innate beauty. If you see a crumbly, scraggly looking place, please send me a photo!!! Have a good day!

Peeking Through
Oil and Wax on Panel

Day 19 of 30 - Sept 19

I have fallen in love with cold wax as a medium. The mixture of oil and wax has an empowering air to it. It can be spread thin or thick, scraped back when wet or dry, carved into, stamped on, and pushed around. A little solvent brushed, wiped or dribbled on it changes it's properties and as I am learning, it can have a mind of its own! Using oil and cold wax is like a new experiment every time.
It's refreshing! Have a good Friday!

Rivets and Blues
Oil and Wax on Panel

Day 17 of 30 - Sept 17

Making Marks. I am learning that the marks I make are my own vocabulary. Sometimes they are soft and swishing, and sometimes they are straight and narrow, or thick, or broken. They change with the music I listen to or what is in my heart or on my mind at that moment in time. I have learned to recognize my marks as one recognizes ones handwriting. All in all, at the end of the day, I love making marks. When I started a life drawing class three years ago, I had fewer marks in my vocabulary. I notice as I learn more about the figure and with practice, the lines in my figures are similar to those in my abstracts. And my vocabulary is growing. It is hard for me to not use marks. It is like some people cannot talk without their hands!
Oil and wax is especially fun to make marks in because you can draw with anything sharp or dull and carve through the buttery layers and you never know what will surface. Even after it dries, the layers yield surprises!
Turning Blue
10" x 10"
Oil and Wax on Cradled Panel

Day 16 of 30 - Sept 16

This painting has in its background four generations of what I thought were really it, done, finis! I hung it at each of its four completed stages, took final photos and stepped away. At the end of the day, I just felt it was wrong. I lost track of its roots but comparing photos I found all four of the paintings little birthmark. About 5 little horizontal dots in the same place. I know the tool I used and it signified the lineage. Sometimes my paintings seem to reveal people in the background and in this one, they have returned. They speak to me and tell me move on, you are done......

I may tweak it a bit. But today, I am done!

Four Generations
Oil and Wax on Cradled Panel

Day 15 of 30 - Sept 15

Today marks the half-way point of the 30 paintings in 30 days. This is a great exercise for me. I learn from doing, from re-doing, and from others.  It makes me plan for the next painting and it makes me keep several going in case I get really stumped, which I do often!

Texture was the start of this painting. I had a strip of the mesh, cheesecloth like fabric left from another painting and embedded it on the bottom strip of the panel. Many layers of oil and wax later, it seemed too much for the size of the painting, so I picked the fabric off, in pieces at this point. This was a pleasant surprise as it left an interesting texture of its own. I often work in a grid like format, not necessarily planned, it just happens. I was a high school math teacher, I loved teaching graphs, I still love grid paper, and I love the feel of not making it perfectly aligned. 

Floppy Grid
Oil and Wax on Panel

Day 12 of 30 - Sept 12

Yesterday, I posted a painting aptly named Sleep Deprivation. Today, I have toned the crazies down and created a place of restful tranquility. The ups and downs of life can definitely affect your creativity and how you tell the story on the canvas. Calm after a storm makes it easier to arrive at a resting point in the painting, just like it does in life.

In painting, I resort to subtle colors, softer shapes and flowing line work. I am less likely to continue adding layers of paint and cold wax and scraping deeper. It is as if the painting is saying, stop, be still, listen. It isn't always that easy in life. But maybe visualizing those same thoughts is a start, combined with lots of love and gratitude. Wishing everyone a calm place today!
A Calm Place
Oil and Wax on Cradled Panel

Day 6 of 30 - Sept 6

I am coming to the conclusion that the stories I tell seem to revolve around a common theme, relationships. I visited a friend once who asked many thought provoking questions including "What is your passion?" I answered, "my family". He scoffed and attempted to convince me that wasn't a passion, it was a love, but not a passion. His passion was medicine. His companion's passion was photography. At that time, I was just becoming passionate about art, but that is not a passion, it is an obsession! I must do art everyday! Read, draw, paint or see art, it's definitely an obsession!

The quote below is by a favorite poet of mine. It reminds me of each of my three children, who seem to share this intention! 

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
X, Y, and Z
12" x 12"
Oil and Wax on Cradled Panel

Challenge Day 1 of 30 - Sept 1

I learned so much from doing the first 30 day challenge with Leslie Saeta last January, I decided to do it again.  I learned to not be so precious with my paint, tools and time. Just do it. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Lucky to have studied with fine mentors, the recurring theme is that it takes thousands and thousands of strokes, maybe even a a gazillion, to become a better painter. So, here I go, working on my first gazillion strokes!

In trying to think of a theme to unify my work, my thoughts turn to: lines, texture, layers,  and openings (windows, doors, between trees, between buildings, between the lines, etc).

That's the thought for today.
Today's painting is done is oils and cold wax. These paintings are like a slow simmer. Layers and layers of paint and scraping. They do not take one day, they take many days. I have been prepping my panels this month with layers. My plan is to bring them to a finish, one a day for 30 days.
Adobe, Turquoise and Rust
12" x 12"
Oil on Panel