the picture unfolding

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The large flower wall has been thoroughly blocked in, and now I have to bring the individual parts into greater clarity.  At the same time I don’t want to spoil the element of abstraction, the aspect of the painting that suggests forms.  I want to suggest more than to describe, though my natural way of thinking is descriptive.

I learning to look at the painting itself more to gain a sense of how to go forward.  I waver between the pull of the motif and the needs of the picture to stand on its own.

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around the corner

yellow still life of flowers (2)

After landscapes, still life and flowers.  I have some pictures that I need to finish including the one above which measures 48 x 36 inches.  I began it a while back.  I’m eager to return to it.

Painting the landscape has given me lots of ideas that apply to this. So, soon — very soon I’ll return to my flowers.

on the wall: Pickle Jar of Flowers

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I just learned that my pastel “Pickle Jar of Flowers” has been selected for inclusion in the upcoming “Mark” exhibit at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia.

Here’s how the gallery describes the exhibit:

Pencil marks, painting strokes, woodcuts, or a dynamic editorial eye are all marks artists use to create their works. Mark-making has been associated with conventional pen, pencil, and paper, but artists make marks on ceramics, plates, fabric, and film, with tools ranging from sticks to scrapers to pixels. Artists can also be marked with memories, conditions, or experiences that shape how their artwork is made. Specific tools, techniques, and the artist’s physicality are embedded in every work of art. This exhibit will show the viewer how the artist’s mark can be the most important element in transforming the ‘blank canvas’ into an image. Artists are also encouraged to provide a brief statement about their ‘mark’.  The curator is Charles Jean-Pierre.

The exhibit will be on view from September 5th through October 1st with a reception taking place on Thursday September 14th from 6:30-9:30 pm.

A print of the painting is available for purchase here:

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/pickle-jar-of-flowers-aletha-kuschan.html

the flowers are resting

yellow still life last week aug

I put flowers into the bouquet last week.  I think it has enough flowers now.  I put flowers into the decoration behind the bouquet too.  I worked some on every inch of the painting making little alterations in this and that.

Now everything is in the painting, but everything still needs tweaking.  This large still life — it measures 48 x 36 inches, is “resting” while the paint dries.  And I’m working on something else in the interim.  Then it will get its tweaking.  And then …

when I need flowers

flowers drawing 1a

The last time I bought flowers I decided to draw them with oil pastel.  It’s the easiest medium for me to use — very direct — just grab a sheet of paper, open the box, begin.

I made this drawing and the next on Strathmore 400 series 18 x 24 inch notebook sheets.  That makes the flowers approximately life size.  Drawing same size provides an interesting sensation as well — you can feel very connected to the thing when you draw it life size.

flowers drawing 2

Now I find these drawings become helpful when I need flowers for a flower painting.  More and more I find myself doing some of the flower pictures from composites.  And when I need individual flowers to put into a painting, I can turn to these drawings.

That fact, in turn, makes me want to draw more flowers — definitely a virtuous circle ….

bouquet of flowers in a green vase

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I put all the flower bouquets into simple settings at the time.  Now I put them into complicated settings, with lots of color and patterned cloths.  But I like these simpler works, and I did do something like this one when I was painting flowers with pastel last autumn.

The one on the right was painted sometime in the early 1990s, while the one on the left was painted last autumn. They are not so far apart in design — though they are decades apart in years.  Thus it goes to show that my youthful self is still residing inside my head.  That’s how I’m interpreting the similarity — that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Obviously I am young at heart.  Here is the proof.

the curve

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For some reason I posed these flowers on a round table.  The blue cloth seems to have been the only still life cloth I owned!  Here it is again.  But I like it.  I must also have liked it a lot then to have used it so frequently.  It reminds me of the blue of the sky.

This time the profusion of flowers was crazy. I was again worried about being able to paint all of them, but evidently I managed.  And I also found a way of becoming mesmerized by the visual activity of the glass’s interior where the stems bunch together.

This was my favorite of the still lifes I painted in that era, and it’s still the favorite I suppose.

lilacs, lemons, chrysanthemums & carnation

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I was already someone who sought to find the motif through several variations of a subject.  Another bouquet is accompanied by four lemons.  (Other pictures had two lemons.)  The yellow lemons offer a visual foil to the violet lilacs.

This bouquet has other flowers besides lilacs — chrysanthemums (symbolic of long life) with also a single carnation, and possibly also a tea rose. The whole bouquet sits once again on the pale blue cloth now in front of the white wall.

I was learning from looking at Van Gogh’s paintings so the blue cloth has swirls of brushstrokes in waves creating shadows.  All the forms are delineated, as in a drawing that has been colored.