Saturday, July 18, 2009

Inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright's Liberty Magazine Covers

About 12 years ago, I took a class through UNKearney with professor Ray Schultz. This was a tour of art museums, sculpture, and architecture in and around Chicago. One day we toured the Oak Park Home/Studio of Frank Lloyd Wright, as well as homes he designed in the area and the Unitarian Church he built. I wrote a research paper relating his religion with his artwork, and came to love his work. The series of covers he did for Liberty Magazine are some of my favorites. I had found some stationary with prints from one of these covers and recently pulled it out to use for invitations to a party. As I worked with this print, I felt compelled to dig out my graph paper and colored pencils to try similar geometric designs.

This week I am playing nurse for my daughter's recovery from wisdom teeth extraction. Between making mashed potatoes and jello and watching lots of movies and extreme makeover shows, I haven't been able to paint in the "studio." But, I have been able to sit on the couch and play with this FLW's a bit like coloring graph paper designs in grade school. I've tried to use only three colors, which adds to the challenge. It's been a joy trying to vary the design elements, create balance, and centers of interest(and spend time with my daughter!) But, it's making me want to get out the old stashes of fabric and make some quilts...Try it yourself!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sunflower Painting Process

Sometimes the creative process is flowing so well that it's hard to remember to take photos of the progression of a painting. But, I often look at a finished product and am amazed at how it changed from where it started. So, a concerted effort was made to capture the process with this painting...although I wish there were a few more shots of different stages! Here are four of the most distinctive stages, occurring over three and a half months...I have a lot of distractions!

This actually started with a "pour" of acrylic over gessoed masonite. The pour was not great, so the board sat around for at least 3 years. When we were in Reno for the Safari Club convention last January, I made a sketch of images around me at an auction. It included the silk daisy centerpiece with an American flag, giraffe and zebra prints, geometric ceiling tile, cowboy hats, and candles. That sketch was inspiration for this new addition to my sunflower series. It may be titled "Savannah Sunrise."
What do you think?

Plaster was used for texture, applied with a palette knife to form some background and the basic shapes of the animal skin spots and flower. Then, several layers of acrylic stain were put on and wiped off. The stripes popped out at me from the pour peaking through the background, so I painted them in more definitely. Metallic highlights happened after a friend viewed it and said she missed the metallic that is in a lot of my other paintings. I love the copper wire mesh, suggesting the seed placement in the flower. Both the mesh and the small petals (taken from a waxy, acrylic covered silk flower) were applied with 527 bond glue. A lot of shading and the white outlining was done with oil pastel. The painting is larger than usual for me at 24" x 36". Now my challenge is how to frame it!