Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Studio Clip: Behind The Scenes From After The Rain

Hello!  It's been a while!  I hope this finds everyone well and I want to thank those of you who have found me on Instagram and Facebook.  That is where I post regularly now, and it has been a joy to stay connected with blog friends in those places.

I found that writing blog posts used to be a joy for me, but now feels like a lot of work.  I would much rather be painting...and making videos!

Which brings me to why I am posting today in the first place.  I have finally completed another studio clip and this one is all behind the scenes of the last project After The Rain in my Finding Faith series.

I am in the midst of making plans for the next one! However, we have "lost our Faith" as she is now married and living away. But who knows! She might show up again! 
I have decided to continue with the title "Finding Faith" for this series, even if the true Faith cannot be featured. As the projects have progressed in the series, it has also become about finding faith in myself as an artist as I explore this idea of combining videography, photography and painting.
Thank you as always for following this series!  I enjoy sharing it with you as it grows.  I am painting a lot of other art as well.  I hope you come find me on Facebook or Instagram if you haven't already so we can stay connected more often.  Links are above.
Bye for now!
Studio Clip

Next costume for the 4th project in Finding Faith

Friday, July 22, 2016

Finding Faith: After The Rain


After The Rain
oil on canvas
30 x 24 inch

detail


After The Rain
video (click to play)







After The Rain


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About the Creation of After The Rain

This is the third completed project in my Finding Faith series of works that include video, photography and painting.  The idea for this one has been stirring in me since Spring,  It began when I came upon a tee pee constructed of large fallen tree branches in a wooded area I often visit during my daily walks.  It stood about 15 feet tall and I wanted to incorporate it into the work somehow.  However, it was difficult to find the time for the shoot.  Faith works full time and was very busy with her upcoming wedding (which takes place next weekend!) and preparations to move to another city.  The shoot would have to wait until her schedule opened up.

In June Faith was able to commit to a date, which would take place on a Saturday morning, early enough to avoid the Kansas heat.  In the meantime I walked the area several times to check out the condition of the tee pee, worried that someone would come along and tear it down before we could get there.  Actually, it did start to fall little by little, but that was not my biggest problem.  To my horror one day, I realized that the path leading to the tee pee along with other paths that were going to be in the shoot were covered with poison ivy!  There was NO WAY I was going to risk it with Faith's wedding around the corner.  Another problem I had was coming up with a story that made any sense.  All I knew was I wanted to use that tee pee.  I dreamt up everything from a bird doctor of some sort living in the woods, to a lost girl finding her way, to some sort of mother nature being who pranced about making the wind blow, the birds sing, and the bees buzz.  (Oh brother...rolls eyes).  What I am saying, is that the story did not come easily and all my ideas seemed ridiculous.  But I really wanted to photograph and paint Faith in those woods! 

Well, the idea came suddenly and it all started with going grocery shopping of all things.  What happened was, it was pouring rain that day and I was obsessed with my project, deeply disappointed because of the poison ivy situation.  I had already invested hours in testing the area out, breaking it down to where we would shoot, taking practice shots of it.  I had also already shopped for and hand-stained and painted Faith's clothing.  I made a practice crown out of leaves too.  I just had to find a way to make it all work.  I knew the tee pee was definitely out, but I could not let go of wanting to do something using the woods as the backdrop.  I could have waited until another day, but I am not a patient person sometimes.  Especially when it comes to a vision.  I didn't have a solid story, but my vision of how Faith would look in an earthy tattered white dress among all that lush green was clear as crystal in my mind.  

As I drove near the woods on the way to the grocery store, my obsession made me pull over.  I grabbed an umbrella and my camera to look for a Plan B.  Maybe there were areas without poison ivy.  When I approached the pond (seen in the video) it looked so peaceful in the rain.  I watched it for a while thinking, and then started to take video.  I decided to scope out the area some more to look at other places that were supposed to be part of the shoot.  I was so excited to see that one of the paths I had chosen originally, was not covered in poison ivy! It was the path with the large tree seen in the photos and video.  I have always loved the look of it on the edge of the path, woods beyond it so deep and dark green.  Lucky luck!  It was surrounded with a lovely ground cover type of ivy.  Not poison ivy!  I took multiple video shots and decided I should leave since it was lightening.

The rain started to slow down.  I decided to visit the river and see if there were some possibilities there to help create some sort of tangible story.  It was when I saw the geese gently floating on the water, that the story hit me.  I wasn't going to need the tee pee after all.   I had plenty to work with.  The story would simply be about nature...loving nature, being in nature, and wanting to be one with it at times.  It would be about the peace that is present in it, and how it makes us ponder and think and remember. It would be about how nature soothes and calms our spirits when we are troubled.  A simplistic idea, but with different and complex meanings to everyone.  Who doesn't feel something when they are in it?

My next thought was that I could use the rainy video clips I had just taken if  by chance Faith could do the shoot that evening.  This way there would be continuity in the colors of the photo and video takes.  I sent her a text asking her to call me when she got off work. I was worried she would think I was crazy to twitch gears so suddenly, but she said she could do it!

 There were more storms out there, but as luck would have it again, the storms moved north.  The clouds remained, giving us perfect conditions for our shoot.  Faith got ready and was at my house in a blink. We had already discussed how she needed to do her makeup earlier in the week, and her hair is naturally curly, so no work required there.  I made her a fresh crown with cuttings from a bush in our front yard.  We grabbed some props to use and dashed away knowing our daylight was limited.  

Faith looked stunning and the surroundings were magical after the rain.  I always joke about the "art gods" looking after us, because on all three projects we've completed so far, it amazes us how things come together so smoothly.  There was no one around for the most part which makes things easier, especially for Faith.  We were also blessed with a sunset and the Canadian geese were cooperative.  Well mostly...they tried to go after Faith to take her basket of crumbs.  She looked quite graceful trying to run away from them.  :)

It took a very long time to choose only a few photos out of the nearly 200 taken!! There were so many good ones.  

When it came to the painting, all the green that would be required was intimidating.  I suspected it would take a long time and it did.  I took the advice of my friend Julie Ford Oliver.  She said to start with a thin transparent red oxide in order to tone down the harshness of the greens.  I did that and it did make the painting seem warm from start to finish.  I also stayed away from sap green and other ready-made greens until the end, even then using them sparingly.  I used ultramarine blue, ultramarine violet, Indian yellow and cadmium yellow light to make the greens.  The palette knife came in really handy too.

I did freeze up a few times on the painting.  I just get so afraid to move forward, afraid to botch it.  In the end, it came together just as the photo shoot did.  Happy Lisa.

I might post a making-of video and some photos soon.  Would you be interested in that?  I plan to continue with the Finding Faith projects, however don't be surprised if you see some new faces in the future since Faith is moving away.  People have asked if the paintings are for sale.  They are not as of yet.  Many have suggested I do a show with these works, and that is exactly what I hope to do some day when I have enough of them completed.  It would be a dream to have a exhibit including video, photos, paintings and the props used in each one.  Who knows!  It may be 2020 before I get around to it, but it is something to work for.  :)

Thank you so much for all your comments and visits here and on my Facebook and Instagram sites.  It is SO meaningful to know that people look forward to these.  

♥ Lisa

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Transportation Comes in Various Forms

Transportation Comes in Various Forms
oil on canvas
9 x 12 inch
SOLD

This painting was inspired by a strange combination of ideas from my own sketchbook, the painting "A Virgin" by Abbott Handerson Thayer (google it, you will love it), and also my wild imagination and thoughts on the endangerment of bees. Not that placing the bees in helium balloons would help the situation, but in my mind it works for a painting.  :)
Painted in a warm yellow palette representing the beautiful yellows found in the various species. 

It is not summer yet, but it sure feels like it here.  90's-100 here in Wichita, Kansas!  Yuck.  I don't like the heat.  Never have.  I am from the east coast and I suppose I never got used to it!

Happy rest of the week to all my blog friends and readers.





Friday, June 3, 2016

The Baby Walker and the Story Behind it.

The Baby Walker
mixed media on cradled board
8 x 10 inch

There is a gentleman who I see frequently in my neighborhood who is always with his grandbaby.  I am assuming he is a grandpa, but perhaps he is a dad or an uncle or just a friend to the sweet baby.  He is either carrying her, or pushing her in a stroller and often I hear him singing to her.  

My art studio windows face the front of our house and on a day not too long ago he passed by strolling the baby and singing to her.  His voice was so lovely.  One of these days, I will say hello and tell him that a painting inspired by him and that sweet baby girl is now hanging at Tessera Gallery.  :)

Happy weekend to you all.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hide

Hide
mixed media on cedar board
11 x 22 inch

As I was finishing the details of this young girl, the white lace, which is actually a cupcake wrapper, was initially intended for the neckline of her dress.  I had placed it over her face as I was searching for the gel medium to glue it down and the way her eyes peered through the lace caught my attention.  I liked it, so there it stayed.

I took this piece to Tessera Gallery for Final Friday tomorrow night, so hopefully she finds a home.

Friday, May 20, 2016

New Chair Paintings

Fancy Chair in Brown
oil on paper
4 x 6 inch
available here

Many have said that chairs are like people...they have personality.  I agree and that is a reason I love to paint them!

Plain Chair in Brown
oil on paper
4 x 6 inch
available here

I made both of these by smearing oil paint on gessoed 140 lb watercolor paper.  The chair drawing is then scratched into the paint and allowed to dry.  The nice thing about working in oil is that you can smear over your mistakes and redraw.  And it's also easier to remain loose in the work.  

Have a blessed weekend. 


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

On a Lazy Day in Matfield Green: The Second Finding Faith Project Complete

After the incredible response that our first Finding Faith project received, I was really eager to get to work on the second, and we nearly pulled it off in record time. The video and photo shoot went perfectly.  So perfect in fact, that it seemed the "art gods" were with us once again...a funny saying that Faith and I have started to say whenever things are going very well. But then life happened...not in a bad way, but in a busy way...and the painting came forth like a slug.  I never thought I would get it done and was tempted so many times to just "call it good enough", but the perfectionist in me won't allow such an ending and I HAD to keep going until it was right.  Even though I am not striving to be a realistic painter on this project, it is important to me to capture certain details and moods and emotions in the painting that are present in the short videos that we create as well as the photographs.  For those of you that paint, you KNOW this does not usually come easily.  We have to work for it.

A little bit about our setting...it was shot in a very teeny tiny town called Matfield Green, which is a little over an hour away from Wichita.  This little place is nestled in the beautiful Flint Hills of Kansas and its population is 50.  That's right...50.  I did not forget any zeros!  It would be easy to miss it, except for the hilarious signs they have along Highway 177 reading "Matifield Green Next 3 Exits".   But they are not exits, they are just streets.  The 50 people in Matfield Green have a great sense of humor.  :)

We filmed at a place called Pioneer Bluffs which is a gorgeous public property with many uses.  It consists of lots of tall trees, a creek, an old cabin from 1859, which you will see in the project, and many other interesting buildings and barns.  We were lucky on the day of the shoot because there was not a soul there.  It was early Spring and Pioneer Bluffs was operating  on their Winter schedule, which means it was basically closed (thank you, art gods).  

Modeling for this project are my beautiful niece Faith and her handsome fiancé Sam.  They did such a fantastic job at the shoot.  It is not always easy because there is a little bit of acting necessary for this, and they have to put up with me constantly saying things like "turn your head this way...walk that way...no, other way...look at me, now look away", etc.  Their patience was extraordinary the entire time.  They moved with grace and their expressions were brilliant as you will see in the video and photos.  I could not have asked for an easier pair to work with!  Thank you again Faith and Sam!

So here we go with a simple story told in film, photos and painting...



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On a Lazy Day in Matfield Green







On a Lazy Day in Matfield Green
oil on canvas
24 x 30 inch

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Thank you all so much for your incredible enthusiasm for our project!  It has been a joy to create these and the fact that they bring joy to others encourages me to do more.  Thank you again!

♥ Lisa