Body of Work, Inspiration for Making Art, sketchbook

30 days, 30 faces

In my last blog post, “Going small: a wee little personal project,” I described a self-imposed challenge of populating a small blank book with faces. I committed to drawing 30 faces in 30 days. By then I had a week’s worth of sketches.

I had 23 faces to go. Twenty-three days in which I had to find just a few minutes to play. (Okay, I’ll admit, there were a couple days when I just plain forgot, so I doubled up the next. Commitment is commitment, you know.) And while drawing a face a day isn’t required to be functional in the world, I did come to see it as a form of self-care–care of my artist’s spirit, care and nurturing of my own imagination.

How will today’s face be different from yesterday’s? Will it be the set of the eyes, the texture of the hair, the turn of the lips, the skin color pale or dark, the tilt of the nose? Nature, nurture and life bestow their imprints on our faces in myriad ways. That uniqueness is the most obvious way we recognize one another, but we make little conscious note of it.

Since I used no reference for the sketches, I don’t consider them to be portraits at all. I’m an abstract and assemblage artist, not a portrait or figurative artist. Any resemblance to real persons is totally accidental and unintended. Except for one, which I’m sure you will notice as you flip through the images. Using colored pencils, a medium I hadn’t worked with in many years, was as enjoyable as I remembered. My colored pencils are ancient! Some colors are down to nubs, so I’ve rewarded myself with a new set. Here is the completed 30-day project.

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A few random conclusions:

  • Humanity abounds with infinite variety.
  • Filling up this little book with cohesive yet playful drawings proved quite satisfying.
  • Imagination is a valuable asset. To keep it alive, it’s essential to give it a workout.
  • I hope to be more intentional in my observation of the faces that touch my life.

After a break, I’ll give myself another 30-day assignment, something different from this one, but one that stimulates my imagination–and helps fill up that book in meaningful ways. I’ll let you know about it when the time comes.

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

All art is copyrighted (except for that one I alluded to in the fourth paragraph) and may not be reproduced without express written permission. Copyright 2018 Laura Hunt

 

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Body of Work, New Art

Memory-Jogs and the Year-End Review

Even though I’m not so much a looking backwards individual as I am a looking forward one, I do find a review of the previous year fundamental to goal-setting for the year to come. So for a start, I’ve assembled this slide show of some of my 2017 work.

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Some of these works are still in my studio, but many of them have found themselves in new homes where I hope they provide lasting pleasure. The memory jog was fun for me. The images of work created months ago remind me of how rewarding it is to create something that never existed before, and to pass it along to someone who will find meaning in it for years to come. I appreciate immensely the connections that art makes possible.

Besides a visual review of 2017, I also did a written one. I won’t bore you with details, but I’ll share a few of the highlights, some of which didn’t seem significant until seen from the vantage point of 2018.

  1. Cleared out, renovated and set up the workshop
  2. Began creating assemblages (made possible by #1)
  3. Created 36 works (22 paintings and 14 assemblages).
  4. Accepted into four juried shows

Now, looking forward to the broad expanse of 2018 (doesn’t the year ahead seem big and forever?), yes, I have goals, like creating 40 works, adding the 3D work to my website and increasing my email list of art lovers. But one of my most daunting goals is to focus on consistency of expression, to better establish my style and unique voice–challenges many artists encounter! I’m envious of those who make it look so easy.

My heartfelt thanks goes out to all of you for your encouragement and moral support this past year. It means the world to me, no matter what form it took, whether you gave a social media thumbs up, volunteered your help, joined my patronage program, attended an exhibit, subscribed to my newsletter, read a blog post, shared an event or purchased a piece of art, be assured that I notice and feel your kindness and friendship.

A happy, healthy, and blessed 2018 to all of you.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About the Painting

Revealing my Crosswise process

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A passion for texture is a major motivator for my work. Laying down texture is my go-to first step. That’s where I consider the composition of the piece, playing with the depth, the character, and tactile qualities that will guide what happens next. I’ve created a number of paintings using layered stripes, sometimes horizontally, sometimes vertically, to produce exciting clashes abutting and layered on top of each other.

In Crosswise, I laid down my texture—well—crosswise, parallel with the shorter side of the canvas. While painting the stripes in the same direction might have been pretty, I wanted a tension at play. So instead, I painted the layers of stripes vertically, in direct opposition to the underlying texture. The result is a rich vibration that you can see in the detail photos here as the brush skips over the ridges.

16379-crosswise-detail-4-loThe painting progresses from the cool greens and blues of fields and streams at the bottom to the warm reds, oranges, and yellows of sunshine and flames at the top. Gold gem-like dots punctuate the painting’s verticality and provide a surprise to be found by the viewer.

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But nothing is perfect! Nature causes decay and corrosion on objects, which this painting expresses with the worn-away passage at the top. Random splatters top off the painting with spontaneous exuberance, a contrast to the relative discipline of the underlying structure.

Crosswise is painted on standard gallery-wrapped 22 x 28 canvas, and is ready to hang. See the painting in context here.

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 permission. Copyright 2016 Laura Hunt

 

 

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About the Painting

Harmony and conflict, high and low

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Mesa Whirlwinds is another in a group of paintings based on the compositional structure of a high horizon line, as if viewed from a low place. There are four textured swirls, with the top two intersected by the horizon line, that speak to the harmony—or conflict—of the high and the low. Whirlwinds are both earth and sky, as dust and dirt are blown about, blurring the distinction and causing me to catch my breath.

Weather and the elements have taken their toll, wearing away the surfaces to reveal the past represented by the pentimento (images, strokes, or forms that have been painted over) present both above and below the horizon. (By the way, “pentimento” is one of my very favorite arty words!) Turquoise and earth-tinged colors are evocative of tribal lands, with jeweled “buttons” providing surprise anchors that, somehow, keep everything from blowing away. Random paint splatters provide animation to an otherwise very stable, peaceful image.

Mesa Whirlwinds is a 20” x 20” mixed media painting on gallery-wrapped canvas. Visit Gallery: Middle Works to see Mesa Whirlwinds as it might look in a home or office. (Scroll down a bit.) See my FAQs page to learn about the easy purchasing process.

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 permission. Copyright 2016 Laura Hunt
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