Posts Tagged ‘studio’

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.

In the Studio

October 28, 2010

I’m not really sure why, but lately I have been including clumps of animals in my paintings.  They are mostly in unsaturated hues, and silhouetted.  Different animals have different symbolic meanings…some more blatant than others.  I have been experimenting with silhouettes for some time now (especially after being introduced to Kara Walker‘s work), and I find it an interesting way of exploring the essence of a specific shape like a figure or an animal.  The challenge is making sure that you can actually tell what the shape represents!

Sometimes when I have tried to force figures in silhouette they make no sense, but animals are sometimes more recognizeable.  Animals have a rich symbolic history in the canon of Western art and beyond.  I suppose what I am trying to do is to reference the past, but reinterpret it in a contemporary way.  Here are a few detail shots of recent paintings with animal silhouettes.

Above is a clump of quail!  Quail are mentioned a lot in the Old Testament, and have specific ties to God’s provision.  When the Israelites were wandering in the desert with no food, God provided manna and quail for them to eat.  However, one was only allowed to gather enough for one day at a time…otherwise the food would spoil – a lesson in faith!  Here is a neat blog I found that explains this pretty well – Manna and Quail.

Here is a (bad) detail shot of a painting I did with clumps of lamb.  A lamb is a pretty loaded image in Christianity (symbolizing Christ, and even his death – innocent blood shed so that we may live)…so I had to be careful in my use of them!

I haven’t finished the above painting yet, but it has little clumps of flying bees, which are oftentimes a symbol of industry and order, but also of messengers between worlds.  I think I’ll claim all of the above!

For better images of my paintings (except for the unfinished one above), please visit my website – www.robinvenable.com Thanks!

In the studio

September 30, 2010

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last painted, and boy does it feel good to get back into it.  I find that I am a much happier person if I can just work with my hands for a few hours – even if I am crocheting.  There is just something about taking a raw material and working it into an idea  – or even just seeing where the raw material takes you just by the nature of the material.  Also, my introverted half (when I took that Myers-Briggs test I was an I/ENFP – half introvert and half extrovert, plus the “NFP”.  It makes perfect sense if you know me.) really enjoys the solitude and refueling that working alone brings.

This is a detail shot of a new painting I’m working on – which is, of course, on a circular canvas – 30 inches in diameter.  I really like to go ahead and get the figure established with the unfinished background so that I can now start working on both at the same time.  I have no idea where all the green is going.  Some of it will probably be glazed over and pushed more to yellow or blue.  I did, however, LOVE what the greens were doing in this painting by William Holman Hunt called “The Light of the World” (oil on canvas over panel, 49 x 23, 1851-53):

This is in a book I own called “The Pre-Raphaelite Dream”, which was the name of an excellent exhibit at the Frist Center in Nashville several years ago.  Love those Pre-Raphaelites.

I am also working on something a little more sculptural.  In case you didn’t know, I love medieval art (and NO, I do not frequent the Renaissance fairs) – the manuscripts, the pattern, the gold leaf, and yes, even the jewelry – which tended to have circles within circles within circles – as well as other shapes and patterns.  I decided to make a larger and simpler  version of a medieval brooch that I saw, with the intent of painting some of my typical imagery on it after the construction.

Sooooo… several months ago I went to a place where they make stereos for your car, and asked them if I could have their scrap circles that they cut out for stereos.  They were happy to oblige.  The image below is a result of me gluing together several of these cutouts and then priming them.  I am not sure what to do with it yet…we shall see…

That’s all from the studio as of late!

On another note, I think I have found my first artist to interview.  Stay tuned!

Allow me to introduce myself…

September 15, 2010

Blind Series: A Certain Place, acrylic on canvas, 30''

I am an artist.  I am also a curious investigator, image collector,  coffee snob, chocoholic, and follower of Jesus.

I hope this blog will be interesting and informative for you!  As an artist myself, I will occasionally show some nifty things that are happening in the studio, but I also want to connect with other artists and build a grand network of ideas, events, and resources.

I enjoy a good intellectual discussion on art theory (thanks, grad school), but the whimsical, intuitive, and just plain crazy aspects of art-making are just as important.

Think of it like this… “You give a little, I’ll give a little!  Let’s get together!”

But seriously:

Are you an emerging artist that would like to be INTERVIEWED for more exposure?

Would you like to share resources and ideas?

If you know my artwork already, would you like to see some “behind the scenes” as well as finished work?

Would you like to know where to get a great cup of coffee in Nashville?

And, finally, do you seek Truth and humor in life?

Stay tuned.  It’s going to be a great journey.  Tell your friends.  Even the ones who don’t care about art.