Friday, January 7, 2011

About Structure

I am totally engrossed in the project I am working on now in my studio. While I like writing this blog, it is hard for me today. To stay focused where my interest is, I will write about it.

This project is the one I spoke of in the blog post About Yaddo; I am finishing some pieces started more than twenty years ago. I spent several days making a working studio of what had become a kind of exhibition space for my December open studio event. I then sorted these twenty-seven 26” x 20” promising beginnings into cohesive groups and hung them to look carefully at what I had.  In the week just past I added collage elements to all of the originally painted pieces. What comes next is some illumination which is about brightening the lights and deepening the dark areas. And then, and this is most important, providing these pieces with some structure; I don’t like “floaty” elements in my work. 

That leads me to contemplate the need for structure in my life. Putting it into a painting, which I do by means of lines which anchor the separate elements into a two-dimensional asymmetrical network, leads to an image in which the separate elements are connected and supported. The structure of my days, my beloved routine, brings a sense of calm. If my quest for inner and outer peace is always a challenge, I can make it  happen in my work. A significant blessing.

The image above is a partial view of these works in progress. I have coated them with a transparent medium which is receptive to pencil and pastel and these will be the final materials used on what will have to be called “mixed media” works. They started with acrylic paint, were given some collage components and now will be polished with line and light. Julia Childs, before she entered into health consciousness, often gave her recipes a final embellishment of heavy cream or butter. I will do something similar here.


  1. I love all your work. I wish I could afford to buy two or three paintings. The colors would match my complete decor.
    I've been reading your blog for nearly 8 months, and I am amazed at your talent.

  2. Joan,
    This is wonderful to hear about your process. I hope that you will post the same picture after applying the "structure".

  3. What you're working on looks so exciting! How fun to see it in progress, as part of the studio, and hear what you have to say about that process.

  4. Hello Terry. I would be happy to sell two or three paintings to you. In the meantime your loyal readership and welcome praise wii be reward for a long time.

  5. Thank you, Rebecca. I will post a photo of these works again when they are further developed. I am always a little unsure about what might be of interest to my readers. I guess, in the long run, that won't matter much as I can't seem to write write about anything but the current obsession.

  6. Hi Regina, There's something to be gained by writing about works in progress. It helps me to look at them in a more rational way than is my studio mode. I wonder if the additional scrutiny of the process will lead to a more orderly working style. We'll see.
    Hmm. That might make something interesting to write about. An orderly working style. Sounds unlikely.

  7. God forbid that you should change your style at this point. Don't get "orderly" on us. We like you as is.