From 1995-2001, I was consumed with creating a body of work that became known as “No Time for Idle Hands.” I painted 26 watercolor pieces (and a few pencil drawings) commemorating the women of the 1800’s. It was a social political statement giving a visual voice to the women who made significant contributions to this country. These women were (and still are) depicted incorrectly – as unwilling partners or Madonnas – though most women knew exactly what they were doing and why.
In my book, “Painting My Passion: An Artist’s Journey with the Women of the West,” I describe how this series changed my life and opened many doors. For example, I began creating commissions of people’s hands, mostly in pencil. I call them “handportraits,” – from musicians to a MLB baseball pitcher to young children. Flute player in pencil (cropped).
Then I crashed and burned. Well, not completely, but I needed a change after “No Time for Idle Hands,” took a traveling tour around the mid- and southwest.
My work continued to evolve:
- I did small pencil drawings of objects I found in nature with a surrealist twist;
- Then began painting in pastel AND painting en plein air;
- My landscapes inspired me to learn how to paint with oils using a palette knife (I did not use a brush for a year);
- Then I jumped over to abstract paintings to explore more textures, try something completely different (my landscapes did not stand out amongst the competition), continued my desire to create depth using abstract shapes, stretched my artistic capabilities and experimented with color chords;
- Immediately after double jaw surgery in 2010, my abstracts started to include landscapes. I created the series, “Celebrating Air!”
- These evolved into my current series “Window Within a Window.”
Because hands were such an integral part of my development as an artist, it was never a matter of “if” I would paint them again, it was a matter of “when.”
In this painting, you can see how I have integrated hands with my current series about bones. It is 24×36 oil on canvas. The title will be determined by a contest on my Facebook timeline. You are welcome to participate. What are your reactions to this painting?
The common threads throughout my artistic evolution, no matter the subject or medium, have been:
- creating a sense of three dimensions on the two dimensional surface. I do this to entice the viewer to look further, either into the painting or into themselves;
- creating mystery and intrigue, as well as a harmonious color palette;
- requesting that you stop, think, feel and imagine.
Do you see any other in common themes in my work?
As an artist, how has your art evolved over the years? Do you think this is important?
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