Monday, February 27, 2012

The Liberation of Errors! or, Oops, messed up that painting I liked!

Winter Solstice 1, MHornbuckle c 2012
A week or so ago, when I had finished Winter Solstice, I was happy with it, liking the textural elements, the impact of the red and gold sun sinking below the horizon, with light catching the edges of the light molding paste I had used in the last stages of the piece. Think I even blogged about it. Too I liked the contrast of the deep blue with red accents in the upper 2/3s contrasting to the siennas in the lower 1/3 of the painting.  My patineer saw it, and thought he might like to trade for some of the cost of the sculpture mold he had just delivered.  The isolation coats I applied afterward though, were streaky, even after multiple applications, although they did not disturb the textural quality I had liked.. Wanting to eliminate the streaks, I decided to try a poured finish of GAC800 (I had seen a wonderful demo by Nancy Reyner, our local Golden rep, about ways to pour acrylics a few weeks earlier). Check out her work on her website - she is a master!
Ignoring common sense, I proceeded to experiment on Winter Solstice, which is 16x16, not a particularly difficult size for a poured finish coat.  The next morning with the haze cleared away from the drying acrylic, I had beautiful, glassy, level surface, but the glossy texture I had so liked about the piece was gone and it really looked completely different, and was very reflective.  My call to Golden Technical support did nothing to relieve my dismay - GAC800 is, according to them, not removable, even though I had several isolation coats of Soft Gel Gloss under the pour.  I could modify the high shine of  the coating with a final UVS semi-gloss varnish, but could not retrieve the texture I had so liked.
Winter Solstice 2 -  MHornbuckle c 2012
After a few days of mulling, should I paint the whole thing again on top of the GAC, or ignore the tech's advice and try to strip off the coating with ammonia, I trekked into town, purchased another Ampersand 16x16 panel for full price (Gasp!!!) and started to make another painting using the same palette and approach used with the first painting.  Having never actually tried to make a painting a second time before, especially not an abstraction, it was a new, and great experience. First of all, I sort of already knew what I was doing, never true the first time around. I could make different painting choices as each came up, knowing what the earlier choices had resulted in.It was faster too - no retreating to think things over.  How fun it was to paint with less deliberateness, more freedom and more certainty! I won't be using GAC800 again until it is a deliberate choice as it doesn't suit my style, defeats it even, but I will be making second and maybe even third versions of paintings I am happy with - may our errors continue to liberate us!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A few good Friends...

What a terrific week we had - and unusual, in that our normal isolation out here north of Santa Fe was totally turned upside down - it was truly a very social week!  I thought it might be fun to introduce you to some of our dinner guests, because they are very interesting themselves.
Daydreamer, Bronze by M Hornbuckle

SS Crocus by Cheryl Anne Lorance
      A week ago tonight, our guest, who's become our friend and is a link to the generation now in their forties, the emerging artists.  She is  an exceptional sculptor, both in glass and bronze. A great model too- I've done three sculptures of  her in my body of  work (to the right).. . You'll love Cheryl's very sensuous and organic forms. The one pictured is one of many new pieces on her website. We enjoyed delicious vegetarian enchiladas (butternut squash and spinach) and salad.
       Tuesday was Valentine's Day, and Bill and I were each others' guests for a home-cooked a  rack of lamb dinner.
       Thursday night brought the opportunity to share tapas at El Meson with a new (as of this fall)collector from Seattle, who came this weekend to Santa Fe for a conference called Creativity and Madness. She's a psychotherapist, and had purchased one of my early pieces, called Introspection. (How perfect and what a wonderful evening it was too)! I am so happy to get to know the special people who enjoy my sculpture.
Garment by Sharon Townshend
Covered Box by Paul Heroux
      Friday evening brought two ceramicists to our house, one an old friend, Sharon, from Maine, whom  we hadn't seen for at least 12 years (as long as we've had our 14-year-old Border Collie), and her friend Paul, whom she came to visit, in Santa Fe for a few months on a sabbatical, .  They both teach at University of Southern Maine and draw regularly from the model as I do. I was really impressed by both their work. His concerns surface decoration; hers,  nature and organic forms. Tacos and jicama, radish, orange and avocado salad were on the menu.
Today a dear and lovely friend from Santa Fe arrived after lunch. She has an incredible library of Oriental painting and Buddhist literature, which she freely shares with us, along with mixed Greek olives, special Trader Joe's bleu cheese, and Water Crackers. She's a published poet and editor savant, but no website, alas.
Tomorrow, President's Day,  will bring a new person, new to Santa Fe, a former attorney and now a calligrapher, from California, wanting to find a community of a kindred spirit, to visit Bill after discovering him nearby on the Internet. (Sorry, too many commas!) Guess we'll share thawed frozen Christmas cookies and tea.
All the conversation on these occasions revolved around art, the art life, faith and persistence - but that's for another post. Friends, and good food, (even your husband of 30 years), what more can one wish for!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Powerful new Sumi-e!
Clear Day -  Sumi-e 15x18

Dark Sun - Sumi-e  15x18

The new year feels energetic and hopeful, and William Preston is inspired and working hard! Seven powerful new paintings are posted on his website.  If you have always wanted an exceptional work of Preston's, this is a wonderful opportunity.  He will be framing these (and those to follow) to exhibit at the Santa Fe Jin's 6th Matsuri on March 31 at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, and at the New Mexico Art League's Year of the Dragon Exhibition in April in Albuquerque. Until mid-March, you can purchase them for less unframed, and he will include shipping! Work and prices are posted. Work done after this will be posted as it's completed so check back frequently to see what's new and make your choice before the annual Matsuri.
 As some of you know, the Dragon represents vibrant yang energy, and big growth -join William and celebrate the Chinese Year of the Dragon!
AND, Happy Valentine's Day too!!
And from me, too
Marianne

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Really Good Day in one artist's life

The Four Elements: Earth, Wind, Fire & Water
30x10 ea, MHornbuckle c 2012


    On awakening this morning, I thought immediately what an excellent day it had been yesterday - my kind of day! Finishing the last two paintings of a small series I conceived of as abstract representations of the "Four Elements",that is Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, had been a struggle up to then, especially Air and Water. I had applied heavy molding paste to specific areas of Air and Water, as I had a preconceived idea of what each would look like in the end, and working with those areas resulted in the biggest painting mess I have recently dealt with.  Fighting "fire" with fire, I used more of the paste to modify the areas and continued to paint, with. pretty satisfying results! My process involves intermittent drying time, so while waiting I blew off the portal and a bit of the front yard with the nifty blower/leaf shredder I bought in honor of soon turning 70 and tiring of dragging tarps of leaves to the back.  It was too windy really, so I came inside, and made room to hang the things I had been working on the past few weeks - I work in one half of our large living room, so often can't see groups of paintings together in the same place at the same time (and we're having dinner guests tonight and next Friday - a chance for show and tell.... and cleaning the front portal).  Above are the four.
    With a break for lunch and a dog-walk (cut short by wind and cold and blowing dirt - bad for a mostly blind and really deaf Border Collie), I finished clean-up and put-away of five weeks worth of painting mess, while watching a tape of a new "House". To my great good luck, the phone rang - it was Brian (my much valued sculpture guy) calling to arrange delivery of the mold of "Expectation", timing perfect. I'll be out of the house studio tomorrow and in the sculpture studio "pulling a wax".
   An evening e-mail check found a query about watercolor portrait prices which led to the accessment  that the site badly needed an up-date/clean-up (consistency in presentation is a shortcoming of mine and this was an early Frontpage site, now in Dreamweaver) so the evening of my perfect day was spent taking care of it, the result a satisfyingly fresh look for a few hours of work. All was made possible by Bill's fixing dinner, bless him!!
This is my kind of Very Good Day!
Marianne

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A seasonal theme offered yearly...

Autumn Equinox - 16x16"
Indian Summer - 16x16"
Winter Solstice - 16x16"
Even after 29 years here in northern New Mexico, I find much enjoyment in the changing of the seasons, each bringing its own special  qualities, chores, and sometimes challenges.  I like to think my childhood experience of the climate of southeast Texas with  its alternating damp cold and humid heat makes me especially appreciative of our four seasonal shifts.  These paintings, each completed  in its turn over three months, compound my yearly pleasure in these particular months. I am pleased that new approaches gained through the works on paper of this summer, i.e. loose, more random application of bold color, and textural passages, have taken hold in my psyche and are very evident in all of them.  Having spent most of  October working on the wax of  Awakening, November getting ready for our duo exhibit at Back Street Bistro, and December finishing the clay of Expectation, with two breaks to visit with my adult children and young grandchildren (first Tucson, then Seattle), I was happy to return to painting and complete (among other pieces) the final piece of the trio, Winter Solstice. My website is newly updated, with Awakening on her proper sculpture page and new works up on the 2012 page. As an expression of my gratitude to my collectors, past, present and future, I recently created a Special Collectors Event.  For details, click the link, which takes you to a special page on my website and a special offer!
Marianne

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