Tuesday, December 31, 2013

buh-bye 2013

At some point earlier this month, another artist started posting her Top 13 of '13 artworks. I thought this was a great idea. And then, I did nothing about it. I'm really good at identifying good ideas. I'm just not always good at the follow through. In my defense, I've been sick most of December, so a whole lot of things haven't quite happened to the extent that I've wanted them to. But I don't know that I could narrow it down to 13 works. I've been very prolific this year. I just added it up, and I completed 216 pieces this year. 216! Most of that was #art365 landscapes, and most of my sales this year were #art365 landscapes, which I suppose makes sense. I don't know if I'll get to 13 pieces, but here are some that stood out for different reasons. In no particular order:

Miller Mountain, acrylic on canvas, 30" x 40"
1. Miller Mountain was a commission which I reluctantly accepted. Started in 2012, but not completed to 2013. I wasn't sure I could do this. It was so far outside my comfort zone. I'm still amazed at myself every time I see it. This is probably one of those you can do anything you set your mind to lessons.

winter morning forest, acrylic and graphite on paper, 5.25" x 5.25"
2. winter morning forest was the first of the #art365 landscapes. Created for a mixed media challenge on google+ to use acrylic and graphite together. This is the only #art365 that is mixed media. I had no idea when I did this piece that I was beginning a new series exploring the changing light. I could have easily picked 13 just from this series. See the entire series here.

love wins,acrylic and ink on canvas, 32" x 32"
3. love wins was made right after the Supreme Court rulings on Prop. 8 and DOMA. I was so overjoyed for so many people. Your love might not look my love and that is okay. Love is still love and we need to support loves. We gain nothing by tearing love down.

kindness, acrylic and ink on canvas, 48" x 96"
4. kindness was the first of the large scale paintings I made for the Alternate Realites show funded by the grant from the IAC. I had never painted so large. (except for that mural ) This was what I set out to do. Full disclosure: it's on the chopping block, so to speak. I will likely get reworked/remade/recreated in 2014.

and this is how it felt that day, acrylic and ink on canvas, 48" x 96"
5. and this is how it felt that day was the second grant-work painting. I learned a lot on this piece. I was trying to not control every little thing that happened in the paint. This was really hard to do for me. I drew all over this piece part way through, trying to save it, trying to figure out what I was doing. And suddenly it started to work. And there were darks! I struggled so much getting light/dark contrast in my work. (Notice its absence above?)

seneca, acrylic and ink on canvas, 40" x 90"
6. seneca was an almost last minute addition to the Artistic License show. I only budgeted for 4 large scale paintings but I had lots of older canvases sitting around, so I reclaimed 3 of them and latched them together. This was genius because the other grant-work pieces required a van rental to get them anywhere, but this piece just gets unstrapped and the 3 canvases fit into my car easily and just get reattached when I get to where ever I'm heading. More importantly (maybe?) than that is I really gave myself permission to be messy on this piece. What freedom.

love wins was painted after this. Maybe I should have done this in chronological order? Oh, well.

untitled, encaustic, 2.5" x 3.75"
7. encaustics was on my art bucket list and I was lucky enough to try them out twice this year. This was my favorite piece. I was originally trying to recreate the #art365 landscapes in wax, but there is so much more that can be done with encaustic that I really need to explore. Earlier in the year, I had thought to write a grant proposal exploring encaustics further but then....

pulp painting
8. papermaking happened. Also on my bucket list, and I still have a papermaking post to write... I took a workshop at Hook Pottery Paper this fall and it was mind blowing. I had a very basic idea about papermaking, but I had never heard of pulp painting. The idea of layering in writing is not new in my work, but the idea that that writing could be done with pulp, so that the end result piece of artwork could be made of paper only... wow.

untitled monotype, 4" x 6"
9. printmaking returned. I was a printmaking major in college and hadn't done any printmaking since I graduated. Twitter made me get back to it. #printoctober was a challenge to print everyday and I simply incorporated it into my #art365 challenge. I began with monotypes and it took a while to get what I was trying to get. This piece made made me gasp when I pulled it. It won an award in Studio 659's Artistic License show.

untitled, linocut, 4" x 5", edition of 8
10. linocut edition I never cared about editions when I was printmaking. I would make them if I had to, but I just liked the process of printmaking. I never felt the need to actually have multiples. But with this one, I felt it was edition worthy.

I am still looking for you, relief print, 6" x 4"
11. I am still looking for you. I created a series of styrofoam relief prints and I ended up using these in later paintings. (see number 13.) The important thing that came out of this was the peeling paint look of old sign paintings. This informed the Post No Bills series which I'm currently working on.

live prairie IX, collagraph 
12. live priaire was a series of collagraphs I made at SLAC's Anniversary Show opening. There are 9 prints all are up for silent auction. (ending soon!) 50% of the sales from my work will be donated to the NWI-NAA. I previously donated to the NAA for April's 10% for Autism. There 
are lots of other artists participating in the silent auction. The artwork can be seen at Paul Henry's Art Gallery or online here. Look for some sort of Autism Awareness promotion next April.

the inevitable, acrylic on canvas, 22" x 28"
13. the inevitable was the beginning of the graffiti series which was later renamed Post No Bills. After #printoctober was finished, I was still very interested in printmaking. The graphic nature of it was quite a contrast to the way I paint. It forced me to focus on mark making in a new way. I was already trying to show my hand and I began to wonder if I could create paintings with printmaking tools. (I can.) This piece began as an experiment in technique but I wanted to finish it, and it launched a new series. 

Well, I made it to 13 pieces. It has been a good year.  The #art365 project has been a success. It created in me the habit of making art everyday, whether I much felt like it or not. It had to be done. 216 pieces of artwork - that doesn't count little sketches or unfinished work - that is a huge accomplishment. I've certainly never made that much work in other years. I am looking forward to 2014 and hope to make it even better than 2013. Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year!

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