Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Remembering La Napoule

As the weather starts to get bitter I am remembering La Napoule where light and warmth are abundant!
link   Remembering La Napoule

Here is an essay response I wrote shortly after I returned to Wisconsin.

My experience: La Napoule Artist Residency

The riches of this residency are not easy to express, nor will I completely understand the fullness of its impact immediately. But to wake each day with only the language of paint and painting in my mind, allowed me to be immersed in a language that is not spoken, but observed and envisioned.

The light in La Napoule bounces from the cliff-face, to the underbelly of the waves, to the air. It is a crisp light, one that saturates color and lets you see into the distance. The light bounced off my painting too and for that matter off of me. I have realized that in the Midwestern United States shadows are cohesive, nearly flat and grounding. But in La Napoule, forms seem to almost levitate with shadows inflected with reflected light. The air shimmers with color. It is a marvel to observe these unique conditions and as importantly, to understand by way of contrast, the conditions of my home. Like the light, the people presented a contrast as well. People on the streets and in the markets ate peaches, let juice run down their chin, and stole a moment to nuzzle their spouses neck. The children were in harmony, as leaves on a tree are in harmony with the whole tree; jostling and blowing, doing just what they are want to do. Bread delivered daily, just enough. Topless bathers of nearly all ages were not sexualized but sensual and natural: at ease. Now home, I see, as if for the first time, the solidity of shadows, the people taking-in nature, but who are not as seamlessly “natural” and the introspective light, singular and soft, filtered through clouds.

I found myself making a portrait of the light and air of La Napoule; the geography, the architecture and the people. Each day, as the sun rose I was out painting. I noticed the rhythm of the beach and the bathers; first the-early-morning-man and his dog, then the older women visiting; their white hair golden in the morning light, the tri-athletes swimming the buoy lines and finally the young ones and mothers splashing and building on the shores a small city of colorful umbrellas. The slowly elongating reflection of the Chateau, the beach and Sempe were unified but changing on the water. After the morning study I moved to a view of a solitary cliff or distant vista. Then a swim and dinner, and finally in the evening more cliffs, rocks, more water; so blue, green violet and grey, more sky. 

The 27 plus paintings I made in the course of 10 days are not just a record or a vignette (although they certainly are just that), they are additionally a relationship with a subject, slowly uncovered through the act of careful observation and mixing of paint.

My memory of the residency is also mingled with the memory of other artists Senga and Savannah, their ideas, methods, and passions. We crossed paths, painted along-side each other, shared poetry and meals. Namely we worked parallel to each other,  primarily immersed in our own quiet preoccupations with moments together to eat, share and celebrate each other’s observations.

Plato wrote: “The power of the Good has taken refuge in the nature of the Beautiful”. The Residency LNAF provides is an extraordinary ‘good’. At a time when the world is rife with turbulence and unrest, the residency brings artists together to contemplate, to work and make manifest the beauty that is a constant, if overlooked, joy of our world.

Finally, I wish for all my artist friends what St. John Paul in his letter to artists said so poignantly; “Artists of the world, may your many different paths all lead to that infinite ocean of beauty where wonder becomes awe, exhilaration, unspeakable joy.” 

A photo of me wearing my #Coolture headband while painting! Thanks Luanne!

yes I brought a bit of UWW with me...

Next two images are nearly all my studies drying in the sun before I depart the next day:

Maybe someday I will be able to go back!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

‘The Country of Sunlight, The Village of Milkweed’

‘The Country of Sunlight, The Village of Milkweed” someone asked if there was any Milkweed....so here is the Milkweed.  Still not done...but I can finish when the semester is over.  The last layer will have to come from my minds eye.... really still challenging to invent the girl…
Here is my latest version of her face and a few more…teaching an overload - messy studio....can't wait to get in there and do some winter studies!

I wanted to make her face express both peace and sober awareness.  I know it’s not done yet… it is difficult to invent her face without anything but what is in my minds eye.

Couple of alla prima portraits

In response to a recent request...here are a couple of portraits...each one is about a two hour study.  It was great to sit down with these fabulous young women and visit while I painted them...so much hope!

In class demo

 In class demo of our model Joseph ... practicing abstraction through broken stroke and expressive color while maintaining structure and likeness.    Joseph like the painting so much I gave it to him

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Black Point Estate and Gardens

Thank you to David and Alice for inviting me to paint at Black Point as part of the evening of fundraising...I forgot my tripod mount which had me painting in the grass but all the same it was a wonderful event, beautiful eve. and my work will be made into a print that will be sold in the gift shop!   The home and estate are marvelous!  Cheers!


Best in Show!

In progress: I made one more pass before I finished up!  Thank you and best wishes to my new collectors who bought this painting even before I had finished!   

Friday, September 1, 2017

Painting at Black Point Historic Home in Lake Geneva!

I am happy to be invited to paint today at beautiful Black Point Estate and Gardens.  I am looking forward to finding a wonderful spot to paint the home or maybe a view from the porch.  Looks like we'll have great weather!   This event is a fund raiser to help maintain this beautiful historic site.  If you go, please come find me on the grounds and say hi!  Here is a link to the Historical Society of Wisconsin and to Black Point Estate and Gardens

I will bring a few small paintings to sell and I will donate 20% of my total earnings to the estate preservation fund...come on by!   Included will be paintings I did at two other great historical sites....the yellow peony paintings I did at the Hoard Museum in Fort Atkinson and studies I did at The Aldo Leopold Foundation Center in Baraboo, Leopold's shack....
 In progress

In progress

Thanks to Alice for the invitation !

Monday, May 8, 2017

student work

It is a great pleasure to see a student continue to succeed!  Harrison Halaska (first year MFA candidate at LCAD) is part of an exhibit at Laguna Art Museum.  His large scale work was selected for the poster...and I can see why! Congrats Harrison.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Aldo Leopold 2017 Building a Land Ethic Conference

I am very happy to be presenting at the Aldo Leopold Building a Land Ethic Conference this summer.  It is so inspiring to be around so many bright minds who are learning about and promoting harmony between people and the natural world.  If you are thinking about attending, here is the link to the Workshop and Conference (if you scroll down you can see the one I am offering).

Two Hour Workshops (2:00 – 4:00)
Mode of Inquiry: Drawing from Direct Observation ($5)
Led by Bethann Moran-Handzlik, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater

Using a reed pen and walnut ink, participants will be guided in a drawing exercise, from direct observation. We will draw natural organisms both life scale and microscopic. While drawing, ideas regarding “ideation through observation,” “wonder as a catalyst for action” and “embodied intelligence” will be introduced. The session will conclude with a group discussion of the drawings and how through drawing the natural world, one can glean scientific information, poetic expression, increase curiosity and inspire innovations. At a time when our culture is immersed in mediated experiences and knowledge based approaches, this exercise rekindles an intimate discovery of the complexity and order of the natural world that is often taken for granted. Each participant will leave with a drawing driven by discovery, personal fascination and will potentially open new modes of inquiry. No skill in drawing is required. Limit 25.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A friend sent this to me today!

A friend sent me this photo of my study!  How fun to see it and remember being part of the Hudson River Fellowship!  I wasn't finished with the study but ...Jackson Falls NH.  I remember liking the tender green plants poking up from the cracks in the pinkish rocks...might have to zoom into my study to see them!