Usually I don’t show a painting in progress to my artist friends. I wait until it is more finished before I invite constructive comments. But yesterday, I showed this painting to an art buddy who commented that it is finished. That took me by surprise because I have many ideas of how to continue working on what I merely considered an ‘underpainting’ of a girl diving to the bottom of Lake Michigan.
Earlier, during our lunch, some of the artists had discussed the difficulty to know when a work is finished. The danger being that one could overdo it, thereby destroying it. With that in mind, rather than continuing working on my painting, I decided to do the same motif over but then experiment with further ideas.
Do you know when your work is finished – painting, writing, sculpting, designing your garden, inventing a new cooking recipe…?
My first four ceramic figures were done in the a workshop at the Oliver Art Center in Frankfurt, MI, led by Steve Kline. New to this art form, I am indebted to the guidance of Steve – sensitive to when I needed help or was capable of proceeding on my own.
The Etruscan boy was copied from a photo of a votive bronze statuette, third century B.C. in the Museo Etrusco Guarnacci in Volterra. Wondering what this lumbering little guy was up to.
The female Chinese dancer, earthen ware, stems from the Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – A.D. 9). The statue was excavated in 1989-1990 in the tomb of the prince of Chu, Tuolanshan, Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province. My copy was done from a postcard bought at the MET, NYC. I am intrigued but the dancer’s wide swaying stance.
Saint Anthony was modeled using a photo of a wood statue in the Museum of International Folk Art, New Mexico. From en.wikipedia: He is especially invoked and venerated all over the world as the patron saint for the recovery of lost items and is credited with many miracles involving lost people, lost things and even lost spiritual goods. I view my little statue as finding lost souls.
My ceramic copy of a Pre Columbian acrobat figure dating around 600AD – an inspiration for striving for agility.
My copy of a Pre Columbian Warrior Amulet
My copy of the Etruscan boy was thinly glazed with Amaco Celadon Rainforest.
My copy of the Female Dancer was glazed first with Amaco Celadon Tangelo followed by Amaco Celadon Green to highlight the shadows of her robe,
My copy of Saint Anthony was first painted with Amaco Celadon Cobalt Blue which then was brushed off the face and hands. Face and hands were subsequently painted with Amaco Celadon Tangelo and folds of the robe were overpainted with Amaco Celadon Rainforest. The latter glazes were mostly obscured by the more powerful Celadon Cobalt – fortuitous as the shape of the figure is better seen with a coherent glaze.
My copy of the Meso-American Acrobat was glazed with three Amaco Celadon glazes: Mulberry, Snow and Sky. My artist friend Dewey Blocksma mounted the acrobat on a walnut base.
My copy of a Pre Columbian Warrior Amulet was glazed with Amaco Celadon Snapdragon and Obsidian.
I am not just a regional painter but also a seasonal painter, that is, I paint wintry motif during the cold months and summery motifs during the warm months. #1 and #2 were painted in the winters of 2020 and 2021, respectively.
The motifs for the two paintings come from a video that Karl took at the Empire village beach. We extracted six frames for a potential six-painting-series. I may paint more next winter. Initially, I was not sure that I liked the subdued winter colors since I usually paint with brighter colors. But now we love looking at these two paintings on our wall.
My paintings are captured by Vada Color. The high resolution files are used to make giclee prints on either paper or canvas of paintings that are not for sale. Maybe, some day, I will publish my paintings as book .
Below is an old seascape painting of Lake Michigan with a view of South Manitou that I had been wondering what to do with.
The solution came to me when my friend Cindy took a snapshot of me at another beach of Lake Michigan. I extracted the figure from Cindy’s snapshot and ‘overlaid’ it with a photo of my old seascape painting using an adobe photoshop algorithm.
Surrealistically rising out of water with my taupe pants making less of a statement than my orange jacket.
Frozen winter shore —-Snowy waves rolling inland—-Sunshine in ice crystals
A single crow flew alongside a rim of ice hills on the shore of Lake Michigan, Sleeping Bear Dunes, February 2022. Finally it settled down on one of the ice hills. Photos of successive patterns of its flight were assembled in adobe photoshop and freely painted on a wood panel, 84 x 22 in, oil
Acknowledging my friends: Dewey Blocksma crafted the panel and Jenny Munten helped arranging the flight pattern.