Posts Tagged ‘mixed media’

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!

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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!!

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.

Fluidity

September 2, 2012

Chandelier diptych (each canvas 8 x 8”)

Several months ago after talking with my husband (still so fun saying that!) about my artwork (which is he is so supportive of, by the way!), I was saying how I wanted my work to go in a more fluid direction.  I still love pattern, and will always use it, but I find myself wanting to create more fluidity in my work and create more transparent washes of color – almost disturbing the pattern a little bit.

This has been an interesting challenge with doing mixed media, as the very nature of it lends itself to hard edges and difficult transitions.  One solution to this is creating more drawing elements.  This diptych, shown above, will eventually include a drawing of this chandelier that I will leave the pencil lines and bring out the highlights with white acrylic.

Here is another one I am working on – with architectural drawing elements and collage.

Detail of “Making It Our Own” – about 3/4 of the way done

I also just completed a new circular painting called “Alter” with these same principles in mind.  I wanted the figure to BECOME the background – as if to fade away.  The intact part that remains is the “alter” of the heart.

Another challenge with this piece was the pose.  I didn’t want it to look seductive, but rather vulnerable.  Hopefully I succeeded.  There is a vulnerability that is happening in my own life with being a newlywed, but I am also still CONSTANTLY learning to be vulnerable spiritually and not let my heart become hardened.

This piece is all paint – no drawing or collage.  As “old school” as this sounds – I still love painting the figure.  It is challenging (especially using acrylic!!) and time-consuming, but the end result is worth it.

“Alter”, acrylic on canvas, 24” diameter

New Last Name and New Beginnings

August 17, 2012

Our wedding at Covenant Presbyterian – photo by Cali Ashton Photography

As promised, things got busy, things got wonderful, and now we are married (with GREAT photos by Cali Ashton Photography!)  I can’t imagine spending my life with anyone else.  He is my best friend.  He makes me laugh til I cry.  He is a spiritual leader.  He is my love. 🙂  BUT, I digress…

I have been a busy little bee in the studio – with the help of my new studio buddy, Murphy… 🙂

Here is Murphy doing what he does best – laying down, looking cute, and most likely thinking about food.

As I mentioned in earlier posts, I have been experimenting with some new forms and cranking out some new mixed media pieces, which have been really fun and challenging.  I have been phasing out self-portraiture in my work, and the mixed media pieces have offered a nice transition into new ideas and figures.

First piece with a chandelier…which I liked a lot.

I am also getting ready for the Art in Autumn show in Weaverville, NC, which will be my first outdoor show!  This means I (well, WE) had to buy a new white 10’x 10′ tent, and mesh wall panels on which to hang my work.  This was not cheap, so we are praying for good sales!

Spode Blue Italian

I am also expecting, as I have mentioned before, to use this “nesting” time as inspiration as well – which includes but is not limited to – our new everyday china, “Blue Italian” by Spode, birdcages, candles, furniture, and so on…

Birdcages on the mantle

Also, I went to a used bookstore here in Chattanooga (that I can’t remember the name of…oops) where I bought a book on fish and another about the Rococo period – both of which I plan on using as collage elements in the mixed media pieces.  The idea of a school of fish aimlessly being tossed to and fro by the current appeals to me for some reason.

Pictures of fish I cut out

I am also about halfway through a circular painting, too, which I will post about later.  I plan on always returning to this form in some way or another.  It’s too much a part of me.  Until then…

Gallery news

June 19, 2012

Exciting news!  I am officially represented by River Gallery in Chattanooga, TN!

new mixed media pieces hanging at River Gallery

Also, there are some exciting things happening at White Stone Gallery in Philadelphia.  Stay tuned…

In progress…

June 6, 2012

Wedding planning has taken its toll on my painting time lately.  Today I FINALLY was able to squeeze in some (much) needed painting time.

A few weeks ago I ordered some 8 x 8” canvases.  I made several of these for my show at The Arts Company a few years ago and sold almost all of them.  I figured it was time to revisit these little guys.

I started on a couple of new squares, and now I am making them a diptych.  I don’t know if I will do this for all 10 that I ordered, but I will definitely do a few more.

a new unnamed diptych!

I am also working on another larger mixed media piece – 20 x 20”.  I want to eventually incorporate some architectural “ghost” structures – like I mentioned in my last post.  I have used this yellow girl in several past paintings.  There is something sad yet beautiful about her.  She originated from William Blake – who is one of my all-time favorite olddeadguy artists.

unfinished – about halfway done

Here is my pallete I have been working with lately – light purples, dark earthy greens, muted yellows and pinks, and rich blues.

messy messy 🙂

Chairs and Other Obsessions

May 25, 2012

Lately I have been STRONGLY drawn to a few different types of imagery lately – chairs, ghost images of houses, and flowers.  Well, ok – I have always been drawn to flowers…but the attraction is a lot stronger lately.

My notebook of cutout collections

It is always fascinating to me how the subconscious works itself out – if I let it.  When I am in an art-making frenzy for a show (or just in general) I always love seeing how similar motifs appear over a series.

For instance, I just recently discovered that a couple of years ago (while I was still single) I kept painting myself.  Alone.  In pretty dresses.  Not just any pretty dresses though – old BRIDESMAID’S dresses – which, at the time, were the fanciest dresses I owned – which was the original reason I chose them.

However, I was also fighting the loneliness, self-doubt, and spiritual struggles that came with me wanting to already be married, but still being single.  Looking back, I can see the struggles and triumphs that I faced as a single woman wanting to be in a different life situation, and it came out through my art.

“A Certain Place”, acrylic on canvas, 30” in diameter, 2009

I see it in the poses of the figures.  I see it in the dresses that I chose.  I see it in the color palette.  I see it in the highly patterned backgrounds juxtaposed with the realistic figure.

I am excited to see what these new obsessions – chairs, flowers, mixed media instead of straight painting, ghost images of houses – coupled with so many life changes – moving to a new city, being engaged, being married – will manifest in the coming months leading up to the wedding and beyond.

MORE CHAIRS!

I have always loved cutting things out and arranging them together.  I used to do it as more of a way to sketch out ideas for paintings, but these are starting to take me in a new direction.

I cut these out of an old botanical illustration book.

Some of these cutouts have been in my notebook for years, and I am just now using them.  I am quite the packrat when it comes to art materials, which is serving me well right now in this new phase of life and art.  Some of these images that I cut out years ago have a completely different meaning to me now.

Love the Bleeding Heart – will have to use that flower carefully.

AVA Show

May 11, 2012

Last Friday night the Association for the Visual Arts (AVA) opened their new show called “Micro-Analysis: A Small Works Exhibition”.

It was a juried show, and since I had several small pieces (the size restriction was no larger than 12 inches), I decided to submit three images.

This is the one that got in!

Loss of Self, mixed media on canvas, 12 x 12”

The show will be up until June 16th, so if you are in the Chattanooga area, please stop by and take a look!

The title, Loss of Self refers to those moments of spiritual rapture when your human identity is lost and your spiritual identity is found.