Abstract Beginnings

abstract beginnings

Abstract Beginnings

Abstract Beginnings Notes

All paintings have abstract beginnings in my view. From the abstract expressionism so popular again now to the very refined of realism, it is all starts with the abstract. Some are starts, which I enjoy and some are block ins that all painters begin with. I’ve been studying this process for a long time. I am a mass painter in that I see objects in large masses of value and shapes. I tend away for linear form except for fine tree limbs and final details of a painting. It is that gradual transition from the abstract to the refinement that separates a lot of styles. That is the intrigue for me. I’ve never really had any interest in being a true abstract painter. I like the natural world too much to abandon it for vague shapes and colors, though I completely respect those who paint that way.

Monthly Painting Offer

Abstract Beginnings

My study method is a beginning in abstract shapes values and colors, moving along in that vein until the end is near. I like to add refinement where I want the attention of the viewer to rest for a moment. My goal is a transition around the painting between abstraction to semi-abstraction and to fine detail where it is warranted. I like clean paint and mud where it is intentional, not by poor brushwork. Perhaps that is why my love affair with alla prima has faded. I don’t like sloppy brushwork whether it is refined or of a loose quality.

Abstract beginnings

It is more of a mindset in the process than any major process changes. In other words, my mental approach to the method is different. I start with the idea of doing a painting, using spare information. Just enough to tell the story and make it viable for my studies. The larger painting is approached in the same way, but varying amounts of detail or refinement are added as needed to produce a finished work. Using this method is making me more accountable for my detail additions. I have to think about what is really necessary, rather than moving forward with detail in an unmeasured way.  I like this process very much. Further study is needed of course, this is just a different method of painting. Shaking up the old dog with some new ideas is always a good idea. I would never want to be a rote or complacent painter. I never want to learn everything. I want the quest for excellence to go on as long as I can hold a brush.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

Abstract beginnings

It is important that painters understand that they may never be a master painter. I never will but it does not deter  or depress me.There will always be painters who can out paint me all day long. I think painters spend too much time thinking about their pecking order or who is better, or who they are better than. The art world has become too much about contests and position. Really! Who cares who is better? No one paints like me and I can live with that. I don’t have to be the best or even good. As long as I have a desire to learn my craft and as long as folks like my work and buy it, I am successful. I am doing what I adore with my life, meeting splendid people who believe in me and my work. I don’t think prestige is all that important. I have a big resume but I haven’t been asked for it in years. Our work is our name. Standing in front of that easel and working at it every day is what counts. As long as I am improving and working hard, I am a success!

These experiments with abstract beginnings are sometimes successful and sometimes not. I have a burn pile on my land a few steps from the studio. Lots of canvases go on it as I progress through various experiments and techniques. Some turn out good, luckily. There is a lot about our world that is from abstract to refined, and all in between. I’ll keep working at it.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Today’s Recipe


2 large avocado s, chopped
1-1/2 cups cooked fresh corn kernel s
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion s
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup  Italian Dressing
Combine gently and serve with chips

Computer Madness


Notes From My Town Studio

I have been caught up by computer madness! I took it upon myself to improve my SEO on the web site this week, and have made a mess of it. I checked out my site on someone else’s computer a few minutes ago and it looks fine, but everyone needs to clear their cookies on their own computer to see the new version. What a mess! So much for me knowing what I am doing on WordPress. In some ways I love WP, but it is not for dummies like me. I learn a little bit, then I jump in, sure I know what to do and then Bam! It blows up in my face and I get emails from collectors who say my web site has disappeared.

Painters should paint. Webmasters should webmaster.



Sky Studies


Notes From My Town Studio

The sky studies continue. I’ve been painting skies on and off since May when I had a week to study them on the Crystal River marshes. I must say I have learned quite a bit since May. My studies there were fairly primitive. After 4 months, I’ve improved quite a bit.

I’ve learned quite a few interesting color combinations and quite a bit about giving them depth. I believe the oils are easier with clouds than are the acrylics. I have to be more skillful with brushwork with the acrylics and better at color mixing with acrylics because acrylics dry quickly, have less body and the color is more intense with acrylics.

Of course, the oils offer their own challenges with building up paint too quickly and poor brushwork issues if I am not thoughtful in my process. Though the end result can look similar between mediums, the process is quite different.

Tomorrow I am off to my favorite studio at Fair Oaks to start a couple of new paintings.

Working on My Classes for 2015


Notes From My Office

After a long day at the town studio, I’m in my office working on my classes for 2015. I have put together a two page sheet of my offerings and a questionnaire to give out to interested people who come to the studio. It describes the class plan and gives potential students an idea of my teaching style and what to expect by studying with me.  I like to be very upfront about my style of teaching. Some people love it and others don’t. I am not a gentle hand holder. I make my students stretch and work hard and  I tease them a bit to lighten the mood. I am a very dedicated and serious painter and I expect the same from my students, depending on the level they have reached.  This flyer will help them decide whether to study with me.

Now I must put together the supply list for my students and I think I will add several web sites so that they know where to find their supplies. Our local art supply store closed so now I must order supplies online.  I’ll get busy on Monday putting the supply list together and getting it printed out and also on the artists resources page, here on the web site. I’m getting excited about having my classes again. One of my former students dropped by today and she wants to join my open studio class. Two others have committed to my big three class, so I think it will work out fine next year and be great fun for all of us.


Art Schedule gone Awry!


Notes From My Office

My art schedule has gone awry this week. My sister is ill again with bronchitis. She has fairly poor health so I have taken over her household chores as well as my own for the week. I must admit that I am tired from the stress of the long evening at the hospital yesterday and the extra chores. Tomorrow will be a long day of baking, grocery shopping, errand running, etc. Today I finished all of the household chores but I must do laundry as well. I hope by Wednesday to get back to my big canvas for the next stage in the process.  I am a person who loves a quiet, routine filled life. I like to do the things I usually do and I don’t particularly like to change things around.  I know that is childish.  You don’t have to tell me.  I think it is due to the fact that I had to live such a chaotic life in my  younger years, raising two kids by myself with a lot of bad jobs, broken down cars, and never quite  enough to get by with any real success. Now that the kids are grown, I want my quiet life of routine. When that gets interrupted, I get anxious. Things will be back to normal shortly.