Friday, May 27, 2011

509 Urban Sketchers and Painters

The local group of 509 Urban Sketchers and Painters, meets 2 times a month and they go all over our region sketching and painting what they see. I'm a sporadic member of this loosely knit group. Also, a couple times a year they come together with like-minded souls all over the country to do Worldwide Sketch Crawls. In mid-April, our group participated in this worldwide event...starting out in Howard Amon Park in Richland. We drew a variety of subjects while clustered around a picnic table, sheltering each other from the wind. It was brisk! I chose to draw Jim, the artist sitting across from me. He was a great subject even if he was wearing an OU hat. (His team has had strong rivalries with my home team, Nebraska, for many years.) He is a fine sketch artist and painter, undaunted by working in highly public places. He's had art published in local and regional magazines, and was even on TV last night, supporting an effort to save the old Naval tower. Check out his blog here:
The group will have a showing at the Phatty Caddy Coffee Lounge for this upcoming Artwalk June 2nd and throughout the month. Please visit this coffee shop on 4th and Washington St just south of downtown Kennewick.

My sketch of friend Jim B at the sketch crawl,   ©Laura Gable 2012

Two Sided Artwork

I rescued an old watercolor painting of a sunflower the other day. The yellow was heavily saturated, so I lifted a large amount of it and added detail to bring the sunflower trio to life. I was quite happy with the results. I love the movement in the background area.

©Laura Gable 2012

So when I was going about inventorying it yesterday, I flipped it over to write the title on the backside ... and by golly if there wasn't another nearly finished painting on that side. An abstracted leaf montage, which I'm not really sure why I didn't frame. Perhaps it was from that time that I wasn't taking these abstracted works very seriously. They were fun for demo's while teaching, as I could show a variety of paint application techniques. So now I have a conundrum—which side shall I frame, or do I devise a clever way sandwiching them between 2 pieces of glass to create a reversible painting. Which painting is your preference? Comments are welcomed.

©Laura Gable 2012

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Messy Pallette

See even a messy palette that hasn't been cleaned since Carter was President, can have an appealing quality.  Afterall, it's created from the colors that go into all the paintings I make. . . and they are colorful in an appealing way, right? Since all the paint had hardened and cleaning it seemed a lost cause, I bought a new one, and without ceremony dropped this in the trash. Yet several friends saw it's redeeming qualities, after I'd posted it on the studio's Facebook page. I've rescued it from it's demise, and have it displayed in the studio (at least for a while).


I'm feeling the need to explore a bit more and try out new directions with my art and my paintings. This colored pencil on black paper, was born quickly today as I tried to settle into the studio. I've been sketching all manner of 5 pointed things, and this is reminiscent of the starfish pose we do in yoga. At the yoga retreat this weekend, hosted by Melanie Farmer, we did a pranayama breathing series while splayed out on the floor on our backs on a blanket. A sharp intake into the belly region, then relax totally into the floor while arms and legs are splayed about...practically melding with the floor as we totally relaxed into the pose. This pose evolved from there as we went from the starfish position lying prone on the in breath, to a tight ball rolled onto one side on the out breath... and then back to the prone position. So this is my homage to "starfish."

©Laura Gable 2012

Where has the artist run off too.

I hate to admit it, but when I get busy and into the work zone, it seems much easier to post onto Facebook rather than my own blog (I've got an app on my iphone, so I can do that posting while at the studio). But the Art-Biz Coach suggests not doing that...and to instead keep your personal blog updated and constantly evolving. In order to create a personalized artistic identity for oneself, I suspect. Perhaps I will take a few posts here to catch us all up on activity in the studio since February.

Here are the most recent things that I've worked on ... a few figure studies of Kaileigh who was our model from the ballet company. She was at the 509Art Space last Saturday. She was a delight to draw... beautiful face, graceful long limbs, poise, lovely statuesque frame. Hope to get to draw her again soon.
Kayleigh   ©Laura Gable 2012

©Laura Gable 2012

These sketches are done on a slate grey charcoal paper, using blue and white china "marker" (similar to a grease pencil). Comments are welcomed.

Trip to Portland (last Monday, the 16th)

I had the ultimate pleasure of joining several of my book-artist friends for a recent trip on Amtrak to Portland. It's a mere 4.5 hours over and 4.5 hours back. For the interim 6 hours, my book artist friend, Deborah Watkins was a beautiful hostess. She made us a fritatta brunch and then led us around her home block in the Pearl district for a visit to her favorite paper store and tea shop. Yummy! Shortly thereafter we traveled by taxi to 23Sandy Gallery, a gallery devoted to book artists (see the above link). The owner, Laura Russell is a book artist herself, and Deborah works there part time. We were totally enthralled with the artwork available to view, touch, and turn the pages. She also had a few 2d painters displayed, and I fell in love with Shu-Ju Wang's delightful gouache renditions of her life experiences.

So here are a sampling of photos of Portland. I'll post a few more from the train ride in the next post.
a cozy corner in the loft in the Pearl District of Portland...

Bringing the garden to the city, balcony above the city streets.

View from above, looking down from the balcony.

Window display at a nearby gallery - hand dyed linen.

Train ride on Amtrak

Amtrak is a fun ride, even the idea of getting up quite early before climbing aboard the 5:30am train. The train comes in from Chicago, so many travelers are sprawled across the wide seats, wearing pj's under blankets. We chose to sit in the viewing car—the windows extend onto the roof. Traveling along the Washington side of the Columbia river gorge, provided spectacular views. The river meanders towards Portland then to the Pacific ocean. Here are a few shots along the way, of the Oregon side.

Reflections as another train passes so closely.

Reflected majesty near the Multnomah Falls area.

White cumulus reflects in the watery surface.