Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Playing With Space

Illinois Colorscape #91, Watercolor on cold press paper by Harold Gregor

The flatscape is a term coined by artist Hearld Gregor who has invented new perspectives to painting American landscapes. 
Surrounded by flat prairie land of central Illinois, this landscape painter invented new ways to apply perspective as seen from the air. Gregor structures a series of overlapping fields of color to create these vivid paintings of colored space.

This abstracted form of playing with space remind one both of Van gogh and needle embroidery with yarn known as crewel. 

With these works the color and texture is as important to the work as the form created by the colored marks.  What draws me in, is the both the fresh view of looking at landscape in a new way, and the colorful marks which create somewhat believable yet charming paintings. 

My own playful experiments with space follow traditional perspective traditions, but play with space using color and texture as the experimental vocabulary.

 Have you played with space?  Share links to your work below.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Where Do Ideas Come From?

First Gisha, watercolor and gouache

My students have been creating index card 5 minute art journals to help them generate thinking and personal ideas in painting.  In reality, a lot of ideas from a lot of art comes from both internal and external sources.  I started creating feminine forms by accident one day when I first saw a geisha in an abstract painting and was intrigued by the painting which resulted.  I then saw the female form in every abstract that I looked at.  After I attended Drama and Desire Japanese Paintings from the Floating World at the Kimbell Art Museum, my female forms took over my work.  Here is where art influences art, the external source further influencing my art making.

Recently I saw a work by Dan Krall  that so reminded me of Paul Klee’s work. "Paul Klee paintings have been classified within several different related movements including expressionism, cubism, and surrealism.”   Perhaps it is because both artists are influenced by a similar source, the child artist.   Dan Krall is a production artist for the movies as well as a freelance illustrator.  Visit his blog at  where he writes about his influences for art making.  Where do your ideas come from?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Telling Stories With Watercolor

Flying Fantasy, Acrylic and Enamels
Recently, I read an email discussion written by fellow art educators that made references to the inferiority of water-media as a topic of study for young artists.  Many of you may agree or disagree to this idea. 
We create art in a system that promotes the elitism of superstars in the fine arts.  However, take a tour of fine art throughout the centuries and see if you won’t agree with me that there is enough room in art to include everyone.  I can’t help it, from the beginning I want to embrace and inclusive philosophy rather than exclusive.  While I wonder at the divine imagery of Michelangelo, I also enjoy the story telling of Grandma Moses.
While water-media may not be a favorite in New York art galleries, certainly great watercolorists like William Turner and Winslow Homer cannot be ignored, as well should future generations of artists have the opportunity to express themselves with this media.  Just a few thoughts…What do you think?