Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Having A Plan Does Help

First Step: the "under painting" for oil on canvas 48 x 36" 
I completed two under paintings today. This approach is relatively new to me. I still like to hang a large blank canvas on the wall and spend time building my paints and colors on the palette and then "have at it." But I am finding that spending a bit of time actually sketching out the composition on paper and then sketching on the canvas followed by painting a tonal study with one color does help keep me focused. Sometimes it changes my mark making as I'm "painting inside the lines" vs working in and around and through the lines while I create them but in both cases I fall into the passion of the subject matter and the colors and get lost in the physicality of the painting itself. Which is truly where the fun can be found.

I probably stick to the composition of the underpainting more often than not but then just as often follow it up with a complete and passionate over painting. I'm not sure which I love more but as someone said to me early in the game, "why would you want to know where you are going before you get there? What fun would that be!?!" We'll see. We'll see. Brush on!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Peaceful Winds in Purple

c.sullivan, "Peaceful Winds" - Oil on Canvas 40 x 30"

After a two week unexpected hiatus I am excited to be back in the studio working on a number of new paintings. But now I must keep a promise of first finishing a number of half-finished pieces before I dive into any more new ones. The above is one such painting. It had wonderful circles in the sky to play off the three wind turbines in the lower right but the composition wasn't working. So yesterday, after staring at if for nearly 45 minutes, I decided to experiment with a new palette using greys, magentas and pink and got out my palette knife and away I went.  At first it was with a more conscious effort and then the yellowfish kicked in and I was lost in the painting for a few hours. When I put my knife down I instantly liked the change and especially the vibrant color. But when I came back to the studio today I wasn't convinced that it is "there" yet and so it sits...again.  

Isn't it funny that as soon as you seem to get to a place where the work has a consistent style and comfort zone we want to move on and try new things? But this is how the journey goes in all disciplines. How else to continue learning but to embrace change!?! Brush on!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

SECCA Tree Studios Grand Opening Was A Blast!

What a wonderful grand opening last night! You could feel the excitement in the air as the crowds steadily grew and spilled into each of the galleries and studios. There were times you literally could not move and getting from one place to another took patience but no one seemed to mind and even the kids enjoyed themselves. I met lots of great people and appreciated all of the support and positive comments I received. Unfortunately, since I was talking most of the night (who, me?), I didn't take many photos but here are a few of my studio before the party and a few during of friends.  While many long and tiring days by many, many people went into pulling everything together it is truly amazing to be a part of the growth of the arts in Palm Coast and especially gratifying to see the long discussed vision of JJ Graham come to fruition and with such success. Please feel free to stop by to say hello while I...brush on! - cs

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

SECCA TREE STUDIOS Grand Opening-Sat 6-10PM

"Ithaca" - c. sullivan Oil on Canvas

Well the paint is dry, the power is on and JJ Graham and various artists/volunteers (yes, including moi) are putting the final touches on the S.E.C.C.A. Tree Studios and Exhibition Space in preparation for this Saturday's OPEN HOUSE / GRAND OPENING. Come help us celebrate and enjoy live music out on the front patio and watch the sunset with a glass of wine while exploring the new artist studios, K.A.R.E. kids art gallery and SECCA Tree's first juried art exhibition. Then wander into Hollingsworth Gallery next door to see the Beaux Arts of Volusia 2011 Themed Exhibition, "Inspired by Chagall" and you'll soon feel like you're witnessing the birth of a New York City artist colony...only without the snow and cold and with the Southern hospitality. 

And if that's not enough to inspire you then just come to help me celebrate my NEW STUDIO space - mine is towards the back behind the main SECCA Tree Exhibition space in 207B. I'll leave a candle burning in the window for you. Hope to see you there!