Thursday, February 26, 2009

Painting to Music

We had a visitor to my Intuitive Painting class last night. His name is Adam Marks and he is the pianist for The Fifth House Ensemble here in Chicago. They reach out to other artists and programs in the area and incorporate the resulting collaboration in their concerts. Adam brought recordings of the pieces they will be performing this Saturday at the Merit School of Music and played them for my class. I was really blown away by the work that came out of my students and it will be projected during the concert. I could not resist the siren call of paint and music and made my own work along with my students:

I don't know why I don't do that more often- it taps into a different place in my brain to do quick automatic paintings to music. I'm hoping my students enjoyed it as much as I did, and I look forward to looking at all the work and having a chance to talk about it next week.  It's so important to step back from the usual painting routine and just play.  It felt really good.

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Stomach Bug Go Away

Wow. The past 10 days have been an experience. I thought painting with a one year old in your studio was difficult, but I had never had the delight of a stomach flu hitting both parents and child at once. I had the special treat of having it twice! Sickness does make for vivid dreaming. Most of mine involved some sort of escape, either from a place or from my body with a lot of floating, spinning, and flipping through space.

Happily, I'm back on the ground now and hoping to get back into the studio this weekend to stretch another couple canvasses and get to work. I do think I'm finished now with my first acrylic piece on canvas. Phin had helped me with part of it (which was planned) and put a few purple crayon marks on part of it (unplanned). But I'm leaving the crayon marks in because: #1. Phin was there and is a huge part of my life, and #2. The marks integrate just fine with that portion of the painting, so why would I change it?

Here are the "Phin marks":

And here is the finished piece:

I also was able to get a small painting on panel completed the day before the illness came to stay. I think having to work quickly because Phin is there with me actually helps me in the studio. I do a lot more active thinking with a brush and knife in my hand rather than agonizing over each step while sipping coffee.

I'm still working with bird imagery, but am starting to think about what may come next or start mixing with the birds. I may begin to take some of Phin's obsessions as fodder. He cannot get enough of the moon and planets. I am updating this blog at 4:30 saturday morning so I don't have to keep telling him, "No moon, mommy is working" when he wants to look at images of the moon on the screen. "The Moon" is a pretty huge subject and one of the most common poetry inducing items. But I'm thinking of it more as a quality of light and a way to play with the space of the painting. A week and a half ago there was a full moon and Mike called to have me take Phin outside to see it (now every time we put on coats to go outside Phin both signs and says "moon" in anticipation) It was impressive. Here is a page from my journal:

City living. You just don't get an unobstructed view of the low, full moon.

As it is Saturday at 4:45 a.m., I'm going to slip back into bed now and hopefully dream. I will leave you with this sketch from my journal of my sleeping Phineas.

Take care,