Inspiration for Making Art

Junk, Castoffs, and Redemption

Painting is a passion for me. So many ideas present themselves, begging to be rendered on canvas. Really, there’s not enough time, canvas, or paint to get them all down. Even so, a break every now and then is a healthy thing. I’m doing that by taking on some personal work and experimenting with some new-to-me media in the process. I’ve set aside works on canvas for a bit and turned my attention to junk. Oh, excuse me. I mean “found objects.” You know. Junk.

The catalyst for delving into this new territory was the recent transformation of what had been a storage space and is now a workshop—my “she-shop.” During the clearing-out process, I discovered a treasure trove of materials. Many of them would be familiar to woodworkers, but I saw art supplies.

biscuits-lodowelplugs-lo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some items I rediscovered, like rusty metal parts that may have originated from the farm where I spent my childhood. Corrosion, strange shapes, and mysterious tools! What’s not to love! The battered wooden box that held them is waiting for its turn in the spotlight. Its lid, broken and mellowed by time, is already taking on a new life.

rustyjunk-loassemblageinprogress-lo

 

There’s been a quite positive side effect to this recess from painting, by the way. I’ve scavenged the closets, kitchen drawers, and hidden crannies for all the doodads that have little purpose anymore except to be tossed–or turned into art. But I think there’s something deeper here. Something spiritual and redemptive happens when castoffs take on new purpose—or live out a purpose that might have been missed.They just need the opportunity to be what they will be.

Making art is good for the soul. So is cleaning out your junk. Making art from junk? I can’t help but think of Pablo Picasso’s quote: “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

Standard
About the Painting

Looking Westward

16371 LookingWestward-lores

The visual effects of corrosion fascinate me. The textures of rusty metal, peeling paint and weathered wood are delicious to my eyes. I’ve tried to bring this concept into a number of my paintings, experimenting with different ways to achieve it. (You can see it in Crosswise, for example.)

With Looking Westward, the dominant colors of rust red and turquoise emit a southwestern vibe. I keep the palette limited and the composition simple. To create the random tactile quality of the surface, I use a putty knife and plastic food wrap, two items I keep handy in my studio. A layer of red oxide goes on over the texture first, followed by a complete covering of lightened turquoise.

When the turquoise layer is dry to the touch, I use blue painter’s tape to mask off the areas I want to remain untouched in the next step. I’m about to do some damage here, but remember what I said about corrosion? The exposed areas get a wet sandpaper treatment, leaving a wonderful random pattern that is influenced by the texture. When I remove the tape, I’m pleased to see that the ridges and bumps keep the edges rough and imperfect, achieving a natural, worn effect. To unify the overall painting and to bump up the surface interest, I fling splatters of pale turquoise and dark brown paint on the canvas and call it done.

Looking Westward evokes the feeling in me of looking through what is near toward what is far away. I hope you enjoy looking at it too.

This painting is 12”x12” acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas. If you need help visualizing how it might look in your home or office, you can see it in context here. Contact me if you’d like to give it or any of my other paintings a good home.

Join me on Facebook and Instagram for behind-the-scenes peeks and first postings of new work.

All art is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without express written permission. Copyright 2016 Laura Hunt
Standard
About the Painting

A Penny’s Worth of Sparrows

17387 APenny'sWorthOfSparrows-lo

I’ve long been a fan of embossing, a process I used in my graphic design days to raise a logo from the paper’s background on business cards and letterheads. It’s a classy look with a tactile element, one I enjoyed creating for my clients. But how could I achieve a similar effect with paint and canvas?

About a dozen paintings ago, I stumbled onto hot glue as a means to create a raised line or shape. I applied it in My Jupiter, Heartstrings, Prevailing Winds, and a few others. Okay, there was my beloved embossed look! So as I plan this new painting, hot glue raises its sticky hand, volunteering as the go-to medium for rendering the stylized tree that almost fills the large canvas. I plug in the glue gun and start drawing with it. No turning back now!

With the tree complete, I divide the canvas into three unequal sections. At first, each section is well defined, but I don’t want them to stay that way. I blend layers and layers of paint, and with each application, I come closer to the blurry transitions I want. Quinacridone red violet, turquoise, and Pacific blue play well with each other, their coolness contrasting well with the warm ecrus and oranges above the horizon. Metallics play a strong supporting role in this painting, adding not just a silvery surface sheen, but a depth as well.

17387 APenny'sWorthOfSparrows-lo-detail-1

My image transfer birds cooperate nicely as I bond them to the canvas. The painting feels almost finished, but a little, well, naked. Splatters in compatible colors do the job and clothe the canvas with its final layer.

17387 APenny'sWorthOfSparrows-lo-detail-2

Titles can be challenging, but with a little searching, I found this passage from Matthew 10:19: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.” A comforting message.

A Penny’s Worth of Sparrows was created using acrylic paint, hot glue, and image transfer on a 40” x 40” gallery-wrapped canvas. You can see it in context here, along with the two other paintings in the series thus far.

Contact me if you’d like to give this or any of my other paintings a good home. I can also produce museum-quality gicleé prints of some of my larger pieces. They come at a lower price than the original, and are available in sizes 36” x 36”, 30” x 30”, and 24” x 24”.

Join me on Facebook and Instagram for behind-the-scenes peeks and first postings of new work.

All art is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without express written permission. Copyright 2017 Laura Hunt
Standard
About the Painting

Dove in Mourning

17385 DoveInMourning-lo

Second in a series of paintings featuring birds, Dove in Mourning includes a silhouette of, yes, a mourning dove, a bird common to Texas. If I pay attention, I can hear their sweet cooing all day long, but they are especially vocal in the morning. They seem to love the tall bur oak trees next to my house, and sometimes set up residence in the rose arbor sheltering my front gate.

The title of this canvas came when a friend said it looked like the bird was shedding happy tears. True, mourning is not a joyful process, but the tears are a necessary part of grieving, and a step in the journey toward healing and joy.

As with most of my paintings, texture is my starting point. Here I chose to develop tension between the direction of the texture and the direction of the paint. The texture has a horizontal thrust, but as I applied color, the paint took a mostly vertical character. I like how it skips over the grooves, creating a vibrant, unrehearsed surface.

17385 DoveInMourning-WP-Detail-2

This painting, like others in the series, has a high horizon line with the bird placed comfortably on that line. Above the horizon, textures disappear, smooth out, and give some respite from the thicket below. Red orange streaks and dots move the eye around the canvas and provide warmth against the cool grays. Splatters in red orange, white, and Payne’s gray animate the surface.

17385 DoveInMourning-WP-detail-1

Dove in Mourning was created using acrylic paint and image transfer on a 40” x 40” deep gallery-wrapped canvas. You can see it in context here, along with the two other paintings in the series thus far.

Contact me if you’re interested in making this or any of my paintings your own. I can also produce museum-quality gicleé prints, available at a lower cost than the original. Prints are available in sizes 36” x 36”, 30” x 30”, and 24” x 24”.

Join me on Facebook and Instagram for behind-the-scenes peeks and first postings of new work.

All art is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without express written permission. Copyright 2017 Laura Hunt


 

Standard
About the Painting

Moon Over Canyon

16342 MoonOverCanyon-lores

Canyons are imposing, mysterious, sometimes intimidating spaces that leave me in awe of the power and wonder of nature. Moon Over Canyon is my attempt to express the experience of being deep in the gorge, looking up to see a silvery blue full moon.

I expressed the tactile character of the canyon wall by playing with a variety of textures– smooth against rough, vertical and crisscross against horizontal and curved, strands of twine near raised circles. The red, orange, ocher, and rust hues of the ravine sing next to a hazy orb of a moon hanging in an arc of midnight sky. I finish off the painting with animating splatters, bringing to mind the life that pulses deep in the canyon.

Moon Over Canyon is 48” x 30” on gallery-wrapped canvas. You can see it in a contextual photo here. Check out the FAQ page to learn how you may purchase this or any of my paintings.

Join me on Facebook and Instagram for behind-the-scenes peeks and first postings of new work.

All art is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without express written permission. Copyright 2016 Laura Hunt

Standard
About the Painting

Elements of Time

16369-elementsoftime-lo

If you’ve read some of my earlier posts, you’ll know that the high horizon line is a favorite compositional approach for me. I used it again in Elements of Time. As the title suggest, I was drawn to the visual effect of time, weather, and age on surfaces. Texture, of course, is always an element in my paintings, and a close-up examination rewards you with a worn lusciousness that begs to be touched.

16369-elementsoftime-detail-3-lo

Elements of Time is composed of many layers of earthy colors and glazes that enhance the painting’s depth. Above the horizon are layers of paler tones built on one of my favorite materials, gauze (detail below), anchored underneath with an irregular row of gold vertical raised “rods” that march across the division between dark and light. Splatters in red orange, blue, and ecru complete the composition. I used my favorite square format, which creates a sense of stability.

16369-elementsoftime-detail-2-lo

Elements of Time is painted on a 20 x 20 gallery-wrapped deep canvas.You can see it in a contextual photo here. Check out the FAQ page to learn how you may purchase this or any of my paintings.

Join me on Facebook and Instagram for behind-the-scenes peeks and first postings of new work.

All art is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without express written permission. Copyright 2016 Laura Hunt

Standard
About the Painting

Hey, what time is it?

This post will focus on a series of small paintings I call the Time of Day. Small and intimate, these four paintings are my expression of the range of atmosphere and emotion I have felt as the day moves through its various moods.

16351-midnight-lo

Midnight: dark and mysterious with the Milky Way reigning over the night sky, evoking a sense of wonder.

16353-morning-lo

Morning: full of hope, dewy, lush and green, pale sunshine casting an optimistic glow as I rise, sip a cup of coffee, and start my day.

16354-midday-lo

Midday: hot summer sun climbing into the sky, swirling solar storms washing out the barely blue dome, sending me to the fridge for something cool.

16352-sundown-lo

Sundown: Riotous colors over a serene landscape, memories of the grassy rolling plains of Central Texas and an end to my chores for the day before heading inside for supper and homework.

Each painting was created using acrylic paint on a 12” x 12” standard canvas, and is wired ready to hang. They can be arranged as shown in context here, in a square configuration, but other arrangements are equally effective. You decide! Learn how to purchase this series or any painting of your choice on the FAQ page.

Join me on Facebook and Instagram for behind-the-scenes peeks and first postings of new work.

All art is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without express written permission. Copyright 2016 Laura Hunt

 

 

Standard