SALE!

November 15, 2014

20off

That’s right!  20% off ALL my artwork.  The squares, the circles, the patterns, the light, the…well, you get it.  ALL OF IT.

I am only doing this for a limited time.  The sale starts TODAY, November 15, 2014 and runs through the Saturday after Thanksgiving (day after Black Friday).

Please email me if you are interested – robinvkenny@gmail.com OR Facebook me if we are Facebook buds.🙂

There are links on the sidebar to the different categories: Spiritual and Biblical Narrative and Personal Narrative.  You will see the prices in the caption under each piece – the full price and the sale price.

I have already sold one (Thanks, Brad!), which is encouraging! Help me buy more art supplies!

Thank you thank you!

Revivals and Sales

November 13, 2014

In an attempt to revive my dormant art-making habits, I am blogging again to get my mind in the right direction.  I have been absent far too long from consistently making art, and it is time for a change.

Alter, acrylic on canvas, 24'' in diameter

Alter, acrylic on canvas, 24” in diameter

Child-rearing and housework and blowing through various TV series on Netflix (I’m not proud of that one…well, except for finishing all seasons of Cheers AND Frasier…WHEW, lots of work.) currently occupy the forefront of my daily goings-on, but I have been feeling that art ache lately…

However, that art ache perplexes me.  I know I should be creating, and I WANT to be creating, but my life has so radically shifted since having a child, I am not sure where to begin…AND art supplies be ‘spensive, y’all!

ANYWAYS, I am running out of excuses.

How would y’all feel about a sale?  I need to clear some inventory…stay tuned.

Forced Creativity

January 14, 2013

I realized pretty soon after college and especially my first year of graduate school that I could not WAIT for inspiration to hit me before I started painting.  I have to get in the studio DAILY and MAKE myself create, even if, sometimes, I have no ideas – and then hopefully (9 times out of 10) be inspired as I am experimenting with new techniques or priming canvases.

Here’s an oldie but a goodie of my grad school studio about 5 years ago.  In Florida. With no air conditioning. Fun times.

gradstudio

It is hard lately to find this motivation with so many other distractions – MOVING (this one’s a biggie!), Patrick gearing up for school and his new position at work, birthday parties, planning meals, etc…  but it is more important now more than ever to keep working and keep pursuing my art.

Something that helps me when I am in a rut with a piece is to make a bold and challenging change.  In one of the pieces I am currently working on, I decided to create this section of pattern that sort of runs/drips/cuts through one of the main areas of the composition.  It was completely scary, but I am pleased with the result so far.

Here is a detail of the unfinished piece (probably about 5/6 of the way done):

detail

These patterns came from some really cool pattern books that I received for Christmas – this one and this one.  This new painting is also a SQUARE and not a circle, which is also a new direction for me.  I have been doing the circles for awhile, and will still continue to do them, but I find myself not as interested in them as I once was.

Making big changes are hard for me – in life and in artwork…just ask my husband.🙂  I am good with sticking to a plan and getting it done efficiently and effectively , but I get frustrated if it changes.  I am learning in life and in artwork that sometimes deliberate changes are good – and can lead me down an exciting new path that I never would have followed had I stuck to Plan A.

Reflections and Hope

January 2, 2013

“We need the valleys and the hills. The hills collect the rain for hundreds of fruitful valleys. And so it is with us! It is the difficulty encountered on the hills that drives us to the throne of grace and brings the showers of blessing. Yes, it is the hills, the cold and seemingly barren hills of life that we question and complain about, that bring down the showers.” (From L.B. Cowman’s Streams In The Desert – January 1)

Let me begin by saying I am not going through anything particularly tasking at this point in life, but I’m sure this year, just like most years, will bring its share of strenuous “hills”.  I am thankful and hopeful that these hills will produce blessings.  This is my hope for the new year.

As I reflect back on my art and life this past year I am amazed at how much one’s life can change from one year to the next.

This time last year I was excitedly making wedding plans:

planner

And then the “big day” finally arrived:

planner2

It was so fun to plan (stressful at times, yes), but the most fun has been the sweet days that followed being a newlywed.

I am thankful this transition has resulted in positive changes in my artwork as well as my personal life.  The mixed media pieces have taken a new direction that speaks to the innermost workings of my daily physical, emotional, and spiritual life.

"Remember", mixed media on canvas, 20 x 20 inches

“Remember”, mixed media on canvas, 20 x 20 inches

My paintings have taken on some characteristics of the mixed media pieces, as well as becoming more fluid, transparent, and organic.

"Remember the Rock From Which You Were Hewn (Isaiah 51:1)", acrylic on canvas, 36'' diameter

“Remember the Rock From Which You Were Hewn (Isaiah 51:1)”, acrylic on canvas, 36” diameter

Simply because I don’t like calling them “resolutions”, I have here a small list of goals for this year:

1. Don’t be afraid of the “hills” in life – embrace them and strive towards them and through them.  I tend to err on the side of caution most of the time, so this will be a paradigm shift for me.

2. Be more intentional about my relationships with friends and family (hard for this introvert).

3. Keep praying that the Lord would make me generous and humble.

4. Read one book a month.

5. Expand my artistic territory – always be looking for a new way to present myself and my artwork.

Happy 2013!!

“Remember the Rock…” Details

December 10, 2012

The more art I make the more I can see subtle transitions happening stylistically.  As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am experimenting with creating figures that are not fully formed and that have more translucent qualities.

"Remember the Rock From Which You Were Hewn (Isaiah 51:1)", acrylic on canvas, 36'' diameter

“Remember the Rock From Which You Were Hewn (Isaiah 51:1)”, acrylic on canvas, 36” diameter

In the past I have fully developed the figure as far as skin tone and opacity, but would often have it begin to fade out into the background pattern (like THIS one).

Now I am enjoying taking human fragility one step further and creating more translucent skin – just to suggest even more that our time on earth is limited, AND that humans are not just flesh and blood – they have spiritual souls.

Remember_the_Rock_detail2

The title of this piece is almost a direct quote from Isaiah 51:1.  The context is the LORD giving comfort to the Israelites – giving them hope in a time of great turmoil.  You will see that there are actual rocks floating around at the bottom.  Why floating?  Because I love to see things float in paintings.  I just do.

There are also butterflies encircling the figure.  At first I painted them in because they are often a symbol of metamorphosis and change, but the more I examined the final piece, the more I realized this piece was also a reference not only to the Rock from which I was formed (God), but my earthly rock – literally where I came from.  My mother.  Let me explain.

Remember_the_Rock_detail3

My mom is a butterfly expert.  She is currently writing a book – Butterflies of Tennessee.  The butterflies in the painting are purposefully Zebra Swallowtails – which are the state butterfly of Tennessee.  By the way – here is HER blog! 

I have always felt a strong connection to family, and as I was reflecting on where I came from spiritually (God – THE Rock!), I suppose it was only natural to subconsciously try to depict where I came from in earthly ways.

Happy pondering.🙂

Motivation, honestly.

December 5, 2012

Being a full-time artist is a daily struggle of self-motivation and forced creativity.  The overall experience is very fulfilling, of course, but that doesn’t mean it is fun all the time.  Or even most of the time.

Because this is my “work”, it definitely feels like that most of the time.  There are days where I would rather clean the bathroom than start a new painting.  Honestly.

However, there is no feeling that can match the joy of a sudden moment of inspiration – brought on by forcing myself to get in the studio.  Most of the time I have music playing to help the time pass, but sometimes I turn everything completely off…where all I can hear is the scrape, scrape, scrape of my paintbrush on the canvas.  Small moments like this also bring me joy.

Sometimes creative ruts can be another cause of lack of motivation.  Currently I am trying to see how I can blend my mixed media and painting styles, and this was my first painting that resulted from this train of thought.

"Moving", acrylic on canvas, 18'' diameter

“Moving”, acrylic on canvas, 18” diameter

You’ll see I tried to paint some items that I would usually cut out and paste on the canvas to create a mixed media piece.  I’m not sure how successful this painting really is, but there are some elements that I like, and will continue to develop.  *By the way – that house that is floating in the middle of the piece is the house that Patrick and I will be renting when we move back to Nashville.🙂  I looked it up on Google Earth.  Yup.  House stalker.

The uncertainty of a new direction can sometimes be paralyzing for me.  However, I have to keep reminding myself that nothing is precious (meaning just because I spent a lot of time on a painting doesn’t mean that I can’t change it completely or paint over it if it’s simply a bad painting or not working), and in order to get to those “good” paintings, you have to do some not so good ones on the way.

Then there is the “what is going to sell” motivational dilemma…maybe that is for another post.

Welllllll…time to start that second cup of coffee and head into the studio.  “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power,  love, and SELF-DISCIPLINE.” (2 Timothy 1:7 – emphasis mine)  Claiming that today.

We’re In This Together (Thankfully)

November 20, 2012

I ALMOST added “All” in this title, a la High School Musical (no, I will not provide a link.  I would like to retain a little dignity.), but then didn’t.  But then typed the previous sentence.  Ha!  Sigh.

ANYWAYS, there are some exciting things happening in the Kenny household… Patrick was accepted into the Executive MBA program at Vanderbilt (What? Crazy! So proud!), which he will start next fall…which means we are moving back to Nashville!

This change brings many emotions for both of us.  We are anxious to be near close friends and family again, but we have truly treasured these sweet months living in Chattanooga.  It’s where we fell in love and where we had our first home together.

Subsequently, my artwork has taken on a somewhat documentary element as of late.  I find myself wanting to incorporate images of the exterior and interior of the house – especially in my mixed media pieces.

“Soon But Not Yet”, mixed media on canvas, 20 x 20 inches

I think there is a part of me that wants to make sure that I always remember this precious time – being newlyweds, exploring a new city together, starting our foundation, living in our first home together.

Below is the latest piece, titled “Remember”.

“Remember”, mixed media on canvas, 20 x 20 inches

I want to remember my wedding day.

I want to remember our first house.

I want to remember cleaning our first house.

I want to remember our covenant with each other and what that means in our everyday living.

I want to remember what it was like before kids. (No, we are not expecting!)

I want to remember everything.

I am so thankful for so many things this Thanksgiving, but especially now in this time of transition…and seeing how God has gone before us and prepared a place for us – in Nashville, and, ultimately, with Him eternally.

Flexible plans

November 7, 2012

Sometimes the original plans get scrapped.  This applies to many things, but right now it applies to this painting that I started.

About 1/5 of the way through…beginning stages…

About a week ago I had grand ideas inspired directly from scripture for this painting…but the more I started thinking about how to execute the imagery, I realized my points weren’t going to come across as clearly as I wanted to, which would result in a very weird, confusing painting.

This is one reason why I don’t do preliminary sketches.  I have ideas in my mind, but if I do sketches beforehand I feel obligated to strictly adhere to them – even if the painting takes me in another direction.  This is not the case with all artists, but it is definitely the case with me.  My strongest pieces have been ones in which I have surrendered control of the original plans and worked intuitively.

My husband and I, in our own lives, are also learning how to live more in faith – with our finances, our giving, our life plans and career goals, and family plans.  We are learning, slowly, that our best life is the one we give up control and trust God to lead us.

I have a vague idea of where this painting might lead me, but I am trusting my intuition and God’s leading to show me the rest.  It’s a great way to work.🙂

In other news, I have started an Etsy sight!  Fabric rosette pins, hair clips, necklaces (and maybe bracelets) – most of which have an image of my paintings on them – co-mingle with notecards and prints of my original paintings.  Check it out HERE!

A Closer Look

October 26, 2012

“Deserving”

Recently I finished my latest painting called “Deserving”.  It is 36″ in diameter, which is a little larger than I am used to working, but I really enjoyed the challenge.  One challenge in particular for making larger works is increasing your amount of density.  In other words I can’t just assume that I can take design concepts from a smaller painting and blow them up on a larger scale… my RANGE of detail has to become greater.

detail of “Deserving”

In a previous post I mentioned that I would be exploring themes from the book of Isaiah.  This painting is the first in this particular series.  I would like to go into a little more depth, but not TOO much because over-explained artworks can lose their magic.

This painting comes from two different passages in Isaiah – 2:19-21 and 4:5-6.  The first passage describes when God comes to judge Israel because they have turned away from Him.  People will hide in caves from His terror.  I chose to clothe the figures in purple because it is a color of royalty.

When we make ourselves royalty instead of the One who made us, there are always consequences.

In chapter four, after the Babylonian exile, Isaiah describes a canopy that will shelter the “remnant” (those that have remained faithful and ALIVE) even after the judgement and exile – as well as a pillar of fire and smoke at night and a cloud by day that will shelter and guide them.

I am showing these two passages happening in the same painting for two reasons:

1. Because God is not bound by chronological time.

2. Because I wanted to show hope in the midst of darkness.

The figures are reaching out to receive God’s judgement (“consuming fire”) but also His guidance .

I hope the exploration into this painting has made the viewing experience richer for you.  As always, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment if you have any further questions.

Uh-oh…she’s crafting…

September 29, 2012

36” diameter round canvas I just stretched and primed…currently drying on the front porch.

At the risk of this post not being at all relevant to my “serious” artworks…I have included a picture of a round canvas I JUST primed…because I have more serious plans for it…anyways…

I keep seeing all kinds of really cute fabric rosette tutorials on Pinterest, so I decided to make some this week while I was waiting on my new stretchers to come in.

Start with a knot, then hot glue, twist, hot glue, twist, etc…

In grad school I went through a phase where I was painting directly on all types of fabric.  I picked fabrics with interesting prints that I would incorporate into my final imagery.  Soooooooo…being the art packrat that I am (just with art stuff, though…I hate clutter in my own house.  Ask my husband.), I have collected all types of fabric over the years.

Fabric! (Included toile, natch)

I had a professor in grad school who had little buttons made with close-ups of her paintings on them, and then attached them to some hair clips.  I figured that idea would work here, too.  I ordered 25 buttons of two of my paintings on them…

Buttons! 1” wide.

…and I will glue some of them in the center of these rosettes that I made.🙂

Top half are pins, bottom half are hair barrettes – some will eventually have the little buttons glued into the center.

I plan on building an Etsy site soon with the finished products on them.

Also, sidenote… I just sent out my first newsletter!  Whee!  If you would like to be added to the list (will probably only send out every 3 months or so), please send me an email – robinvkenny@gmail.com

K thanks.🙂