Saturday, November 17, 2012

November

November
By: Alice Cary

The leaves are fading and falling;
The winds are rough and wild;
The birds have ceased their calling--
But let me tell you, my child,

Though day by day, as it closes,
Doth darker and colder grow,
The roots of the bright red roses
Will keep alive in the snow.

And when the winter is over,
The boughs will get new leaves,
The quail come back to the clover,
And the swallow back to the eaves.

The robin will wear on his bosom
A vest that is bright and new,
And the loveliest wayside blossom
Will shine with the sun and dew.

The leaves today are whirling;
The brooks are all dry and dumb--
But let me tell you, my darling,
The spring will be sure to come.

There must be rough, cold weather,
And winds and rains so wild;
Not all good things together
Come to us here, my child.

So, when some dear joy loses
Its beauteous summer glow,
Think how the roots of the roses
Are kept alive in the snow.

"After the Harvest" oil on canvas, ©Laura Gable (SOLD)

This was my grandmother's favorite poem, and seems fitting for a chilly day in November.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A bit weary but contented

We entertained a lot of visitors in the studio this weekend for our annual Open Studio Tour. The tour has such a nice flavor, with many guests finding themselves interacting more, and lingering a bit longer. One guest commented that she felt our tour was very "civilized" like she was in the big city. I had an opportunity for some quick demos, showing my supplies and workspace, offering tips, and acting as "tour guide" for my 100 day challenge. These paintings all had sequence numbers on the little tags underneath so you could tell in which order each was painted. They were arranged by color, size and content to make it more pleasing on the eye. At one point a large group of 14 people stood in a line, at a respectable distance looking at the art. As a result, I felt a bit out of body--like I had created a "museum" or "art gallery" wall in my own studio. There was even "whispering" at one point.
In my studio space, with iPad and Square ready for sales:
"Stalwart Elm" and two plain air landscapes "McNary Vista" and "Afternoon Respite", ©Laura Gable
So to reiterate and wrap up the challenge, I will summarize some of the earlier posts and musings here.

What was the 100 in 100 Challenge?
It was a self-challenge I adopted on August 2nd to create 100 paintings in 100 days. Most of the painting was done on 8x8 or 12x12 Ampersand gessoboards, or smaller supports (using mostly oil paints and some watercolor). The purpose of this challenge was to create a more definite habit of creating art, pay attention to the process, and to see my evolution as an artist, with a larger goal of joining the online daily painting movements in the near future. The challenge just ended Friday Nov. 9th - the day before our tour.

Lessons Learned:

- the process became a little bit easier each day as it integrated into my daily life
- vision and daily goals help, though often the daily painting informs the next day's piece.
- some days are better suited for doing loose rather than studied paintings (a good fit for the goal-less days)
- daily painting creates it's own momentum
- I do need occasional breaks
- there were days that it was a struggle to create --usually when I made it a task or job like doing the dishes. To alleviate this, I started scheduling "joy moments."
- the studies from life require more concentration and focus, and can be hard work. But like any task when one can see the fruits of the labor, I came away feeling refreshed afterwards. As long as something was learned, the expectation of the quality of the end result could be relaxed a bit.

This all added to the exploration and kept it interesting. Mini goals were established - not only subject matter based, but technique based as well. For instance, I strive to express lost and found edges and not feel so compelled to express every aspect of every object (an ongoing effort).


Shelf display in the studio: newly framed "Sequential" finds a new home;
"Red Mountain" and "Vineyard Revelry" display nicely below; © Laura Gable
Thanks for reading my blog. I hope you are equally inspired to do something similar. A potter friend is now on her 4th day of a 100 day challenge. And another inspirational friend is doing something "different" every day -- not necessarily art based, just a unique exploration (like journal writing with the non-dominant hand.) Please share what inspiration you have come away with.


Friday, November 9, 2012

100 "Visionary"

#100 "Visionary" painting, 24"x48" oil on canvas, ©Laura Gable
 I'm pleased to say that my challenge has come to a close. This last few weeks have been equally challenging with getting the messy and cluttered studio in order for the Open Studio Tour. It is in the greater Tri-City, WA area this weekend. Coupled with that was the compassion felt and emotion spent towards the knee replacement surgery of a family member (all is well, and she is healing nicely). So a big sigh of relief "Whew!" for completion. This final painting has been in progress for awhile, so wasn't entirely painted on this final day (though it was finished today). As you can see, I wanted to go out with a flourish. Friends, please meet painting #100.

"Visionary" 24x48 oil on canvas, ©Laura Gable

Here the painting is a little bit closer. She is a lovely brilliant painting and I am quite pleased (above).

David is keeping an eye on things in the studio, especially "Honey Crisp"
 And my studio is nice and organized, finally (thanks to the help of some faithful friends). There's a lot involved with making sure each piece is labeled, tagged, priced, photographed, signed, varnished and hung. I ended up with a few extra pieces beyond my 100, which all fit so nicely on these custom built shelves. I realized today that 2 didn't make the wall, and a few others didn't make the blog. So I actually came out ahead. Here's a nice angled shot of the 100 painting wall (below). At my sister's request, I also made a video of the paintings so I hope to figure out how to get that up on the blog soon.
100 paintings all hung up in a tidy series of rows in my studio.
Another shot of some of my larger paintings on display at the studio is below. These were completed at various times over the past year or two. I'd sure love to see you come by the studio this weekend for my Open Studio Tour. I'm open both Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 4pm. You might even find me there an hour before or after.
Close view of some of my bigger paintings. A collector  is purchasing all three of these paintings.
What a wonderful reward at the end of this 100 day journey
Please share your musings about this blog in person. On Facebook, a potter just shared that she's inspired to do a personal 100 day challenge in clay. I can't wait to see how she does with a similar challenge. I'll post a link. For my other viewers, I'd love to hear your feedback. It's been a bit lonely here on the blog as I wasn't sure how to get viewers to post comments. C'est La Vie ... and so such is life!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

99 Anemone

99 "Anemone" 6x8 oil on boxed panel, ©Laura Gable
Today's effort had a direction and a definite plan, yet once it got underway I found it wasn't quite coming together. So this one got scrubbed out! We love scrubbing, right?? The resulting swirly colorful "mess" of color still had a nice brightness and flow, so I embellished it with my rubber-tipped painting tool that actually lifts paint in a fine line like drawing, and added a few staccato touches of color to give it more definition. I'm enjoying the playful sea anemone feel of this one.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

98 Swirly Sun also called SUNSPOT (SOLD)

98 "Swirly Sun" 6x6 oil on board, ©Laura Gable
My 100 day challenge is winding down, and I'm aching to complete the challenge. I know I'll keep painting, though my regularity may not be quite as demanding since I also discovered I need a little bit of down time here and there. I read once that to create a new habit, do something repeatedly for 21 days and there you have a new habit - good or bad. I've discovered that sliding into the painting mindset takes less time now. In fact, yesterday's piece was completed on the kitchen table while still in my pjs (I was wearing my surgical gloves though - safe painting practices).

With doing smaller paintings I've let my larger brushes stay clean for awhile. So here's to creating and finishing those larger paintings, getting all the brushes dirty at the same time, and bringing some swirly arm movements into the act. And trust the process first and foremost. Some days call for a light hearted expression of color and movement (like today's); while other days a deeper study is needed when realism becomes so very fascinating.

Que sera, sera, whatever will be will be.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

97 Cannon Beach at Low Tide (SOLD)

97 "Cannon Beach at Low Tide" 2x3 inches oil on canvas, © Laura Gable (SOLD)
Recently a group of my friends were discussing where we like to stay along the Oregon coast. Most preferred the Cannon beach area. The unmistakable "haystack rock" is surprisingly about 23 stories high. A bit deceiving until you start the trek towards it, taking much longer than it seems it should. And at low tide, the tide pools are a joy to experience with the star fish, anemones, and other abundant life. I always enjoy the way the sea and all it's breezes seem to wash my cares away. And so filled with these memories, I recall the myriad colors in the sea, the wet and drying sand and on the rock itself. Do you have beach experiences to share?

I hope you are enjoying this election day, and that you got an opportunity to vote. I always think of those suffrage women and how hard they suffered to gain the vote for women, and so I feel it is an honor to have this privilege. Can we even begin to imagine the strife they went through being denied this right?

Monday, November 5, 2012

96 Solitary Rose of Autumn

96 "Solitary Rose of Autumn" 4x4 oil on board
Today I marveled at how lovely the roses are out front of my house. It's hard to believe they are still blooming in November--but it's no wonder without a hard freeze yet and many 60+ degree days. These yellow ones just capture and hold the light. It's as though they lassoed the sun on a bright sunny day and held that glow within, projecting a dramatic burst of color on these cloudy rainy days of late.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

95 Strata II

A pleasing layer of colors produced another Strata series painting. It is more peaceful than the last one, representing the inner glow that comes when we recognize that the heart is the center and guiding force of our lives. (the bottom "heart" area is actually an interplay of orange and red, though not represented too well in this photograph).
95 "Strata II" 5x7 oil on board, ©Laura Gable
In my efforts towards consistency, I find that I still vacillate from realism to expressionism in my paintings. Perhaps you've noticed that? I'm sure it has to do with my level of focus and energy levels, or what moves me on that particular day. Do my other readers and frequent painter friends experience the same thing? Perhaps the next challenge I take on will be more theme based. Like a daily portrait, or daily musings on still life, abstract, or landscapes. A popular art book from a few years ago, "Reflections on a Pond," showcased a profound series by master painter Kevin Macpherson. Over the course of 5 years, he produced a vast portfolio of 368 paintings of the pond near his home. He explained its significance in this manner, which I find so relatable of my own personal challenge:

"While the series is about seeing as an artist, it takes its substance from feelings. Interwoven with the artist's eye is his heart. Emotions emerge in the paintings and echoes in his commentary. In reality, it is also a portrait about the artist--his role in life and as a member of the human race. You know this not only by looking at the paintings, but also by reading his journal notes."

What do you think?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

More on our 100 Day Challenge


My friends at the Entertainer Newspaper have published this advertisement for me. They offer the public a free publication, showcasing entertainment and a section devoted to the visual arts. They have been very supportive of our art events - open studio tours, artist classes, art shows and exhibits, and our monthly art walks in downtown Kennewick.

If you've been following this blog, you are well aware of my current challenge. If you're a new visitor here, you can catch up on what it's all about by reading a previous post from August 1st.

And to reiterate, these 100 paintings will be showcased next weekend during our Tri City Artists Open Studio Tour. We'd love to show you this labor of love and light.

94 Strata

94 "Strata" 4x6 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
I have been wanting to do a Strata series for awhile. I love the movement of layers of things, and the tension that can be created with subtly moving lines and color. It also represents the lovely striations and patterns one sees in cross sections of agate stones. Perhaps this is why I also love the agates so much.

This one has a deep meaning, and represents a familiar familial tension that often results when we come back together yet fail to recognize each other's subtle character changes. As though our inner circle of friends and acquaintances are more apt to accept us as we are, yet family often sees us the way we've always been ... and so an adjustment period sometimes seems necessary. This shows the peace that can come after the strife is experienced. Perhaps this seems backwards to how most others' families work. What is your experience?

Friday, November 2, 2012

93 Minature Moon Glow (SOLD)

93 "Moon Glow" 2x2 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
This little minature was painted a few days back. I found it deserving of its own post. Night scenes always bring to mind the masterful series painted by Frederick Remington. I saw his exhibit at the Denver Art Museum many years back. The room was dimly lit and yet somehow his paintings glowed from within. It was a sight to behold. Here is a sampling of his fireside and moonglow paintings on Google Images.

Our Open Studio Tour includes 3 artists in historic downtown Kennewick this year--
- a weaving studio featuring useful hand woven towels, rugs and artful wall hangings;
- a thoughtful, clever book artist who also does assemblage and is a master calligrapher;
- and myself with a plethora of paintings including this showcase of 100 new ones, never exhibited before.
It's certainly worth a visit!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

92 "A small statement of great prominence" (SOLD)

92 "A Small Statement of Great Prominence" various sized miniatures, copyright Laura Gable
This is another of the little miniatures that I had done a few days back during this challenge. Since I've decided to count them as a separate painting, they get their own post. This one will have a small frame, so it all makes sense being connected together like this. I am loving the long title for such a small abstract study.

These little ones are color studies for much larger paintings, on my to do list for a future date. A small format is a great way to work out color and design, without a huge investment of canvas or time. And I love that they are effortless, and have no expectations of grandeur.

Do you ever consider framing your own small sketches or doodles to give them a bit more presence? It really honors the work.