Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Never Settling Down to an Artistic Identity

Why should an artist stick to one style or genre?

Here's one of my recent abstracts, it's (as usual) about a journey, and heaven, and striving) . I love nothing more than painting this type of abstract, but do feel conflicted when I remember that an artist needs to "have
a consistent body of work". I'm beginning to think that for me, that's not going to happen. This pile of abstracts in my corner stands next to piles of realism and, unbelievably, cartoon sketches. I can't make myself stay with one style or genre. They are all a particular voice or instrument, if you will, for what is on my mind on any given day.

Yes, I can understand why galleries and collectors might care. They don't want a loose cannon artist in their stable which will go off half-cocked and decide to become a cartoonist.

But honestly, I can't otherwise understand why I should choose. The more I mull it over, the more I become convinced that, for me, different styles are simply differing media, in the literary sense. I feel, now, that when I get back into the realism, (and I love it!) I'm reporting on the world like a journalist or a scientist who loves his or her field of study. When I loosen up and paint in a sloppier way - call it impressionism - I'm interpreting reality, in the way a commentator or philosopher would.

But when I paint an abstract, I believe now that I'm expressing myself. I'm not reporting, I'm not interpreting, I'm emoting and singing, as it were.

To me, that's a different and more personal level for art. And it's funny, when others see an abstract work you've done, they'll report back that they see this or that in the painting; often it's something you didn't intend. Which points out the personal and emotional space which this type of painting occupies.

Does that mean I'm going to stop "reporting" on the beautiful light of a sunrise, or "commenting" on still life objects on my table? Of course not.

But I do think I'm going to stop worrying about which style is mine, and will own them all.

My two cents.

Have an arty and wonderful day!

Check out my Etsy Art Store

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Good Grief, Tiny Tiny Wearable Art

I think I'm losing my mind.
I'm going nuts with miniature art, this happens periodically. My mind is always thrashing around, looking for a new twist on painting, crocheting, drawing...and making my tiny tiny miniatures into wearable art pendants is the latest iteration. For those who have restless hands and arty minds like mine, you can adhere a tiny watercolor or acrylic to the back of a glass round which then fits in to a bezel like the one on the left. 

I'm using Diamond Glaze to adhere the miniature to the glass (after sealing the painting), and would love any input about a better way to do this. The manufacturer says that the Diamond Glaze is acid free, but that it could conceivably yellow. Yikes! 

The pendant on the right is just a mixed media painting which has been sealed and glued into the bezel with Crafter's Pick "The Ultimate" glass and metal glue. 

I'm sure I'll be learning a lot about making wearable art pendants, but thought I'd show you my effort and tell you to give this a try! The materials are easy to find on Amazon or at a hobby shop, (glass, bezels, bails, painting supplies, Diamond Glaze and "The Ultimate" crafters glue). 

Check out my art at www.susankennedy.etsy.com

Monday, September 17, 2012

Going nuts with Tiny Art!

I love art cards; you might not know it, but I do indeed keep coming back again and again to the tiny format.
This one's on my etsy store, you can see it here.

Anyway, back to the mini format: try it!! It's so therapeautic, it's almost like putting your head inside a box and getting lost in a tiny world. I find that it focuses my impulses and enforces a thoughtfulness as well as a daring willingness to take risk. I guess it's that there's little to lose, but I swear there's also something about zooming in that sharpens one's senses! It makes it so much easier to get "in the zone," and is a refuge in my artistic life. 

All the more when the subject matter is abstract landscape or fantasy art! This one has an inscription on the back: "Dance Dream Soar" which expresses my state of mind when a fantasy subject and a lighthearted palette of colors is chosen. 

If you enjoy this, come back later to see a post about tiny fantasy art made into pendants, another obsession from the last week!


Friday, August 31, 2012

Paper Mache Cow Head

I don't know why why why working on this cow head has been inspiring, but it has been.
A drama friend got a dried, bleached skull to me, and I gooped it up and started layering paper mache on top...mesmerizing! The cardboard and chopsticks won't stay in Milky White's ears, but they are keeping the ears from curling inward. As you might guess, this is for a "Milky White" puppet for Into the Woods, which is what our local troupe is doing. : )

But seriously, falling in love with the paper as a medium, and thinking all kinds of strange thoughts like maybe I should sculpt. And it's funny, building a cow head on the real skull makes me feel so much sympathy for the gentle animal that was using that skull! It does make me happy that she has another life on the stage now.

Have to finish her up with some toilet paper cellulose clay and figure out in puppet terms how to make her jaw OPEN only when a mechanism is triggered. I think I have noodled it out, but it still seems like an awkward solution, so any puppeteers out there, help!

BTW like me on facebook if you'd like: www.facebook.com/susankennedyart

New Classes and what I've been working on!

I've got two new classes starting next week (Sept 2012), Tuesdays and Thursdays! Can't wait!

Tuesday at Old Atlanta park, we've got watercolor, and we're going to branch out to some floral and still life elements as well as landscape, this time. It's only $80 for four classes, once a week for two hours, so call 770 781-2215 to sign up. Oil class starting on Thursday from 1-3 is a similar setup, but it will be at Fowler Park, not Old Atlanta.

Stand by for a cool photo of what I've been working on this week, it's paper mache! Can't put it down, I'm flippin obsessed!

I'm finding that paper mache is so flexible! So easy to mold and sculpt, so forgiving. And cheap! I'm thrashing about experimenting with new media like ahem, cartoons, and well, paper mache, but I must say, it's thrilling. Send your comments and have a super arty day! 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Amicalola Painting, Tiny reminder of a Sweet Day

Here's my latest, I finally finished it after redoing it about 5 times. I love water scenes, and haven't been doing realism a lot lately, but this one called out to me.

That turquoisey sky almost looks like a postcard from 1955, I didn't mean for that to happen, but kindof like the wistful look.

I love painting water in very thin layers, it seems like I get in trouble every time I try to use thick brushstrokes with a watery scene.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Collaborating on an Abstract Painting

I'm so excited about collaborations!! Erin, if you read this, I need to trade paintings back and forth in the mail with you!

My other daughter and I did this abstract together as a collaborative work. She started it, with the idea being a conflict of opinions and ideas. I don't know that it really ended up looking full of conflict, but it's certainly full of contrasting colors and details.

If you're into painting, try collaborating! The older I get, the more interesting abstracts become, and I had no idea how inspiring collaborative work could be. Shannon and I paint for 10 minutes or so, then trade places. It is like bringing another muse into your head! The other artist does things to the piece which you never would have done, and all sorts of rabbit trails form which take on a life of their own. I love it!

I'm not sure we've figured out a title for this one, but it will be on Shannon's etsy store soon.
In the meantime, you can check out susankennedy.etsy.com (my store) or ShannonsArtWorkshop.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Shannon's Cat Greeting Card

I had to show you Shannon's new greeting card! A printable digital file on etsy...she's a super photographer, and it's one very photogenic cat...
Her etsy item is right here ...very cool idea. You buy the digital file and print it up however many times you like, it whatever way you like. 

Ah...technology. Making it easier to do more cat related things, RIDICULOUS! But they're so pretty!

Friday, May 11, 2012

More Juicy Abstracts!

I love painting these expressionist abstracts, they mean so much to me! You can see it here on my Etsy store; it's tiny and a blast to paint like this with a tiny painting knife. Thanks, Shannon, for the inspiration with all those knifey materials.

I guess if you look at the etsy listing you'll see some more of the explanation behind this little one, but it's one of dozens of similar landscapes that keep coming out of my head! They're always about journey, and bravery, and acceptance, and God. Not even sure in what way, but that is what makes me look at them and think, even though I'm the one who painted them!

A landscape is best, to me, when it implies a traveler, and the cool thing about abstracted landscapes is that there is no detail to shout for attention. No reference photo to look for, no map to look at. Only the impressions of motion, change, and the humanness of our trek through these colorful places. I hope you feel the sense of joy, acceptance, love of God, and love of beauty that I mean for these to convey!

You can see all of my current work at susankennedy.etsy.com

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Late Spring Florals

Delightful to get back into florals, and this little study is based upon Mom's rhodies. She's my source for these delightful blooms, and many more besides. Thanks, Mom!

You can get lost in these huge clusters of blooms, as you can with a huge handful of hydrangea...intoxicating and time-stopping. My favorite quote about flowers that comes in to mind is by the poet Theodore Roethke: "Deep in their roots all flowers keep the light." What a beautiful, poetic, mystical depiction of the idea that the ethereal and the celestial can hide inside of us. (Since, in my book, we're all flowers.)More on that later.

Pass along your thoughts on flowers and art, and let me know if you're interested in commissioning one! Here's my etsy store where you can see my latest paintings for sale, including this one.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Smokey and the Sun

Ha! Love it, caught Smokey in the Sun next to a small stack of paintings. I mean a stack of small paintings. I know, the paintings should neither be a) in the sun nor b) near a fuzzy cat. They won't be in the sun long, and the cat needs good art.

I'm dying to start a new series on florals. Flowers seem to be such perfect metaphors for people, I find the idea fascinating!

Here's hoping you have a painting to paint and a cat to pet. May God bless you with a sunny day and love to fill it!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New Classes in Oil and Watercolor This Spring...Get the Painting Bug!

You guys, check out my upcoming Watercolor and Oil classes
in the new Fowler Park and Old Atlanta Rec Centers. (This is Forsyth County in the North Atlanta area) I'm
loving the new classrooms, they are the big Multi Purpose Rooms on the right
wing of those huge new Recreation Buildings. Yay!

I've got a watercolor class (Tree focus; 4 weeks once a week for $80) coming
up beginning March 29 at Fowler Park Rec Center. This will be Thursdays from
1 pm to 3 pm. Another watercolor 4 week session will start April 24 on
Tuesdays 1-3 pm at the Rec Center at Old Atlanta. (directly across from
Lamber High School on Nichols Road). You don't HAVE to paint trees, we'll
definitely have the flexibility to work on more than one type of subject, so
give me a call if you have any questions.

A second four-week Thursday session at Fowler Park will be the last for the
summer, starting June 14.

And Oils: there are May and June sessions coming up!

Another cool thing are some Saturday Open Studio Watercolor workshops
running from 9 AM to 2 PM, $65.00 for just the one day. One is this Saturday
at Fowler Park and another will be June 23, also at Fowler Park. I'll work
with you on materials and technique for whatever project you have been dying
to start on, so bring a sketch and reference materials, or work on the
scenes that I bring to jump start your creative juices!

These classes are great for inspiration and feedback, so join me and have a
great time! You do need to call the Parks and Rec department to sign up, 770
781-2215. But do let me know if you're coming, so I can plan for materials.

I'll also be collecting names for waiting lists for Watercolor and Oil if
these dates and times don't work for you, so just let me know what days and
times you're really wanting and I'll contact you when I have enough people
to line up that time slot.

And speaking of materials, email me if you have any questions about what you
should bring! Thanks for being my friends, fellow painters, and students,
and thanks for all of your inspiration! Have a wonderful spring!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Doodles in Crayon and Marker

I thought I'd have fun finishing and posting some of my doodles, they are near and dear to my heart! I feel young and happy when I draw in crayon! Can't help it!! These little drawings on card stock actually start as scribbles, and the marker sometimes follows the lines of the scribbles. I like it when they end up looking like illustrations of a mythical story, or landscapes from another planet. This one ended up that way, and the scene seemed like thunderclouds and vistas in some extraterrestrial place. So much fun, and so expressive an exercise; you should try it!

I'm still teaching at Parks and Rec (but not drawing). However, there will be an experimental art class for teens coming up this spring, and more watercolor and oil classes. Go to www.susankennedy.etsy.com and convo me if you have any questions about classes or other things! Have a loopy day and pick up a crayon!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

First Day of Oil Class coming Up!

This is the tree we will be working on in class on Wednesday January 18 from 10:00 AM to Noon, the first day of the January oil session! It's a beautiful Tamarack tree, someone inquiring about a commission inspired me and it looks like the perfect simple study for class.

We'll spend the first half hour talking about painting in oils and sharing supplies (feel free to borrow my materials for the first class, just bring an 11 x 14 or 16 x 20 canvas or canvas panel!)

The second painting is a simple and colorful still life you can do if you wish to branch out and depart from the landscape theme of the session. I'll be bringing a floral or still life idea to copy every week for those of my students who want to come to landscape class and learn from the landscape demo, but work on a different project. I'll help those of you who choose the "different" painting project as I make my rounds around the room, but the demo I'll be working on will be the landscape element.

If you want to see more about Oil Class, go to www.susankennedy.com after Jan 5, I'll have new brochures and materials lists posted. As it is, you can print out the old materials lists and syllabi, the updates and tweaks just won't be there till the 5th. Which means that the demos from last year (tree, mountain, sky, water scene, etc)won't be the slightly different scenes we'll be working on this year.

Come and join me! It'll be a blast! You can call 77- 781-2215 to inquire or sign up, or just email me at kennedyartstudio@ bellsouth.net (you'll have to take out the space!) Thanks for looking and have a wonderful arty New Year!