Oh hi! The past month has been so busy, and I've been painting overtime in order to produce as much new work as I can for my one-person show coming up in about five weeks, including the above painting. I'll talk about it in a minute.
Earlier in June Jeff and I traveled to west-central Illinois for the Quincy Art Center's Quad-State Biennial, where two paintings of mine--The Graduates and Abandoned Knowledge--are currently on display. This is a tough show to get into--my work was rejected in 2011, so I had zero confidence when I entered this year. But I was accepted and even won a couple of prizes! Abandoned Knowledge received the Merit Award (which is fourth place out of something like 240 entries) and The Graduates won the People's Choice Award (which was decided by popuar vote during the opening reception). The Biennial was loaded with amazing artwork in a wide variety of media, not just watercolor. You can watch some local news reports about the Biennial here!
I also reconnected with former Western Illinois University drawing professor Don Crouch. He taught me drawing fundamentals that I use constantly and gave me confidence as an artist from my first day of college. (That day he had us draw a charcoal still life with plants. I had never used compressed charcoal in my life, but he hung my drawing up that day and said that I could "see well." I took drawing classes with Don for two years.)
Also at the show: Patti Hutinger, another WIU art department fixture who sat in on Don's classes and created beautiful pastel drawings. Both Patti and Don had work in the show. They were surprised and delighted to see me and admired my paintings, so that was a thrill.
Best of all, my parents, Jeff, Emily, Tyler, and my brother Ryan were there with me. We had a GREAT time together with lots of laughs. Please check out the show if you're in the area! It will be at the Quincy Art Center until August.
Back to this new painting of mine!
Before You is a close-up of a small selection of my jewelry. I painted this on an 18"x24" piece of paper, which is kind of medium-sized for me, and this time I wanted to show fewer items but make them a lot larger than usual. This is the beginning of a floral charm on a necklace. The stones are kind of dusky-green, and I liked their shapes and the way they reflected lots of muted colors.
I spent day two painting the glass bead in the center. I've painted beads from this necklace before, but the way they take on neighboring colors means they're always different. I painted it in the morning and worked on the dark purple beads in the afternoon. I left them unfinished and softened the hard white edges inside them later on. I also added the pink bead near the top and some soft background colors.
Next I painted the big pink bead on the right. It's about 8 inches in diameter, and I really got into its facets. Then I took care of some odds and ends stuff, including a small greenish bead near the center and part of a crystal in the top left corner.
for the giant leap between the last photo and this one. My studio gets hot in the afternoon, and when I finished painting for the day, the last thing on my mind was documentation.
I was more like I need a cold drink. Anyway, here is the rest of the jewelry. I kind of like the diagonal
movement that separates the cool side from the warm side. New
developments include a sparkly black and blue pendant at the bottom. My
favorite parts of this painting are the fancy golden spheres that connect
the orange glass beads. You can only see one of those whole (next to the
giant pink bead); the rest are cropped along the left side and top edge.
And here's why I decided to title this painting Before You. I wore all of this jewelry before I met Jeff. I purchased most of it during my mid-to-late thirties when I was very lonely and required frivolous costume jewelry pick-me-ups every once in a while. You ladies know how that is. And the fact that all of these things are in a chaotic jumble definitely reflects that time in my life as well. While I don't particularly enjoy thinking about those years, I'm a stronger person for having endured them, and they make me value my happiness all the more now.
Prints of "Before You" are available at Imagekind! Please click here to investigate!
And I've put Before You on all kinds of affordable, fun products at my little merchandise store! Please go here to see them. Note: just click on the category of whatever it is you'd like (drinkware, women's t-shirts, bags, etc.), and you'll find these items (and more) along with dozens of things with my other paintings on them.
Thanks as always for your kind support. It allows me to continue to do what I love!