Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Listen

Listen
acrylic on cradled panel
16 x 20 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

This painting is the largest in my Mountains Abstracted series. There is a challenge in moving up in scale. With this painting it was the realization that I could actually have too many small shapes, which I resolved by combining shapes to create a few larger areas that were more in keepeing with the overall size of the piece. Now, 16 x 20 inches really isn't all that big and I would like to do even larger paintings. Just as soon as I work out how to do that in my small work space.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Riverside

Riverside
acrylic on panel
12 x 16 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

Here is the next painting in my mountains abstracted series. It is one of my favorites yet proved to be the most difficult to get a good photographic image of, for some reason. This one was as close as I could manage. I have been really enjoying painting this series, exploring my limited color palette, and playing with shapes in these compositions. I had forgotten how much fun painting with acrylic can be. And yes, I still adore painting on these cradled wood panels.
High Road
acrylic on panel
12 x 16 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

And here I am reposting this painting because this image is a much more accurate representation of its color than the one I posted last time.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

High Road

High Road
acrylic on wood panel
12 x 16 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

I am starting this new year by contuining the theme of abstracted mountain imagery that I began towards the end of 2016 with acrylic paint on paint paper. Out of curiousity I purchased a couple of cradled wood panels and am over the moon with painting on this surface. They are available unfinished or already gessoed and I got the unfunished ones because we always have gesso at our house (doesn't everyone?) so I just gessoed them myself.

I am keeping to my limited palette, mostly, as I continue with this series. That palette is yellow ochre, purple, teal, and white. I am enjoying the wide range of mixes possible with just these hues including the rich grays and muted greens. These paintings have become as much about the interaction of color as they are a subject to be explored. I have a goal to complete 12 altogether. I don't know why 12 exactly, but with 6 on paper it sounded good to me to also have 6 on canvas or panels. I am already up to the 11th painting but getting good photos is proving more difficult that I anticipated. I am hoping for a sunny day to come along soon so I can get these paintings properly photographed. I'd love to hear if anyone has any tips on successfully photographing paintings.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

12 in 16

As this year comes to a close I have put together a review of my creative journey for 2016. From the over 60 works that I catalogued this year I selected 12 that seem to best represent the scope of my artwork over this past year. I have made some changes in my approach to making art and am overflowing with ideas and plans for continuing on this journey of creativity.
Landscape Study VIII
watercolor
6 x 6 inches
sold

I began 2016 with a continuation of my landscape theme in watercolor in this series of small studies. They were very satisifying to paint and the small format meant that I could move from one idea to the next fairly quickly.

Pink Joy
watercolor
8 x 10 inches
available from the artist

I also painted a series of flowers in watercolor. I loved painting these delightful tulips!

Oceanides
watercolor
11 x 14 inches
available from the artist

I also continued exploring my love of painting the ocean surf and slightly increased my format with a few of them.

Behind Pompano
watercolor
6 x 8 inches

This small painting was significant to me in that it was a scene I had attempted to paint many times and scrapped over and over again, until I got it right with this one.

Water Sky V
watercolor
11 x 14 inches
available from the artist

I completed a small series exploring the ocean and sky.

Earth Sky III
watercolor
11 x 14 inches
available at Hands Gallery

And then went on to do a related series about earth and sky.

Simple Hours
watercolor
10 x 14 inches
available at Hands Gallery

With my love of landscape I spent some time pushing the interpretation of an image in watercolor, the beginning of a desire for greater abstraction.

The View From Here
watercolor
11 x 14 inches

In a series based on the Raven Rocks overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway I relied more heavily on developing compositions in my sketchbook, and began working with color in a more interpretative way rather than relying on local color for my color palette.

All The Quiet Places
mixed water media
10.5 x 14 inches

And when Hurricane Matthew struck my beloved Edisto Island last October, I created a series of Edisto paintings, using some of the mixed media I had been experimenting with and my own interpretative color palette.

untitled (Mountain mixed I)
mixed water media
8 x 11
available from the artist

With a desire to futher explore abstraction I experimented with mixed water media on paper. Encouraged by the results I wanted to see where I could take this with acrylic paint.

Every Road Home
acrylic, graphite and Inkense on paper
8 x 11 inches
available from the artist

So with a handful of acrylic tubes I did more exploration on paper. My intent was to paint non-objectively, but mountain landscapes still showed up.

Passing Days
acrylic and graphite on paper
8 x 11 inches
available from the artist

Since doing these abstracted landscapes on paper I am in the process of continuing this series on larger cradled panels as well as having a few canvases on standby. There are other themes I plan to explore in acrylic and with this intuitive painting approach. I am eager to continue with these works in the new year to see where all of this takes me. I do plan on working with watercolor again too, and I would like to increase the scale of my watercolor paintings. Of course my sketchbook will continue to be an important part of my creative process.

As for the other parts of my creative life, I plan to continue to add designs to my Spoonflower collection. That is a process and product I find deeply satisifying. And crochet. I was busy with holiday gifts and am now making something for me, but once that is complete there will be more crocheting happening too. All of these are important parts to my creative life. And who knows? There just may be new creative adventures to take in 2017! What are your creative plans for the new year? Trying a new media or method? Wherever your creativity takes you I wish you all a very happy and art-filled new year!




Wednesday, December 14, 2016

completing a series

Golden Spell
acrylic and graphite on paper
8 x 11 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

These are the remaining two paintings on paper that I have completed with this abstracted mountain landscape theme. They are with my chosen color palette of teal, ochre, purple and white and are probably my favorite of the six paintings on paper. For the painting above it is probably because it asks more questions than it answers that I prefer it over the others.
Passing Days
acrylic and graphite on paper
8 x 11 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

And as for this painting, I am happy with the lighter values and more controlled intensity of color.

However I have yet to get this series out of my system. I purchased some wood painting panels in sizes larger than the 9 x 12 painting paper and am happily continuing on abstracting mountain landscapes. When is a series complete? With this one I will just have to wait and see.

Friday, December 9, 2016

landscape abstracted

Misty Morning Song
acrylic and graphite on paper
8 x 11 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

In continuing with my abstracted mountain landscape theme, this painting may be the most abstracted in the series so far, or the most nearly non-objective painting depending upon how you look at it. I used my same limited palette of teal, purple, ochre, and white but also introduced ultramarine blue. I like the tension created with the ultramarine and teal in the composition.

When It Rains In November
acrylic, Inktense, and graphite on paper
8 x 11 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

This painting was made on the first rainy day we had experienced here in months. After weeks and weeks of drought and wild fires too close by for comfort, the rain was such a relief and wonderful to listen to all day long. I think it was that sound of rain that influenced the abundance of little shapes and patterns in this composition. Here I also used a little magenta Intense to liven up the teal, ochre, and purple palette. I am enjoying the challenge of keeping my palette limited with this series, as you probably know by now that if left unchecked I do have a tendency to use ALL the crayons in the box, I like color that much. So by keeping my hues limited I am more conscious of how I am using value and intensity, adding to the challenge, and ultimately the fun, of painting abstractly.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

acrylic - that other water media

untitled
acrylic on canvas
9 x 12 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

If you follow me on Instagram you may already know that I have begun a new journey with acrylic painting. My explorations in mixed water media have led to the desire to really push paint around on canvas or whatever surface I can get my hands on. I see the approaching winter solstice is a time to draw inward, as a good time of year to step out of my routine and take an inward retreat. A time to try something new, without pressure, and just for me. I have a new crochet pattern to try with some wonderful new yarn and I may even attempt a macrame wall hanging for that piece of drift wood I brought back from the beach last spring. And I painted two acrylic landscapes on canvas. The one above was the more successful of the two. At this point I felt more exploration was in order so I went back to the acrylic painting paper. I like this paper in that it is sturdy, acid free, and not all that costly so I don't worry so much about wasting good art supplies.

Every Road Home
acrylic, graphite and Inktense on paper
8 x 11 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

I began this series with the intent to paint non-objectively. I wanted to explore compositions that were about color and shape, texture and line, but without the constraints of subject. Except what happened was that mountain landscapes kept showing up. So I just went with that.

The perimeters I am using for these works is to keep the format vertical and use a limited palette. My palette as shown above is white, purple, teal and ochre acrylic. I just love those gray-greens that come from these three colors. The crayon is a Lyra water soluble graphite crayon, and I occasionally threw in little bits of magenta Inktense.

Where Mountains Rise
acrylic and graphite on paper
8 x 11 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

Again, the limited palette, while exploring using a variety of shapes and marks, and there are those mountains again. I have lived here so long that the landscape has become a part of my subconscious visual language!

Now one of the biggest road blocks I faced when working with acrylic was how to dispose of the waste water. This was a big issue when I was painting with water soluble oils. I liked painting with them but was worried the plumbing in our house wouldn't. From my previous trials with acrylic I was keeping a bucket for the waste water hoping that the liquid would evaporate and I could throw out the solid acrylic skins. Except that here in these southern mountains nothing ever evaporates and I was stuck with this ever filling bucket of paint water. But I kept looking for a solution and eventually found this delightful artist who had found the answer to this problem. Kitty litter! It's simple and brilliant. The only issue with the kitty litter is the sickening synthetic "air freshener" smell. So if any of you cat owners know of a brand of kitty litter that clumps but has no perfumey odor please let me know!

Friday, December 2, 2016

departure

I seem to work in cycles. After playing with abstracted images in my Edisto series, I have returned to my familiar mountain landscapes with the aim to take them beyond the literal. This is something I have attempted in the past with watercolor but this time I am exploring other water media as well.

So these two pieces are the first in this exploration. I began with a scene in mind and a few sketches where I focused on what is most interesting to me about the landscape- the movement of the undulating hills receding into the distance, defined by the lighted and shadowed areas.
Both of these works are approximately 8 x 11 inches on acrylic paper. I used water soluble graphite, Inktense blocks, Neocolor II watercolor crayons, Lyra Aquacolor crayons, gesso, and some acrylic paint. Pretty much anything I could think of to throw at it just to see what would happen! This is a departure from what I have been doing with watercolor for the past several years and I find the novelty of working in an unfamiliar way energizing as break from routine and the predictable.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

sketchbook :: food for the feast

We had a wonderfully relaxing Thanksgiving holiday which was spent cooking, eating, sketching, and catching up with a dear friend. I managed a couple of watercolor sketches in my 9 x 12 Kilimanjaro watercolor sketchbook. The clementines above and the sweet potatoes below were both done with watercolor only, no preliminary sketching, just straight in with paint.
That is my preferred way to sketch in watercolor, although sometimes I find myself committed to a composition that could have been better planned.
However, there were no do-overs. The clementines were needed for zest in the cranberry sauce and the sweet potatoes ended up mashed under that blanket of marshmallows. And when we put away our art supplies to finally eat dinner everything was so very tasty.

And now it's suddenly time to begin preparing for the next holiday! In between I am resolved to keep up with my studio practice as I have so many ideas percolating at the moment. I know it's nearly impossible to do everything, but I can certainly try!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Edisto Series

All The Quiet Places
mixed water media on paper
10.5 x 14 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

My Edisto series is now completed and available for purchase in my Etsy shop. You can see the entire collection in my shop by clicking here.

Ending Where It Began
mixed water media on paper
10 x 10 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

I loved this exercise of sticking with the theme of the beauty of Edisto all the while keeping my color palette and method of painting and mark making consistent.

That Alone Will Do
mixed water media on paper
10 x 10 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

There is so much beauty to be found on this island, a beauty that requires our strict attention in order to protect and preserve this coastal environment.

To Lose One's Self
mixed water media on paper
10.5 x 14 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

And it is a home and a second home to many who find comfort in being by the sea in a small, strong community, away from the commercial trappings found in most coastal areas.

Beckon
mixed water media on paper
6.5 x 10 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

I also enjoyed the challenge of abstracting this theme just a bit. 

Haven
mixed water media on paper
6.5 x 10 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

I used my feeling for the place as a starting point and allowed the paintings to develop through the common thread of beach, water, palms, and the light.

Return
mixed water media on paper
6.5 x 10 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

This is a method that I plan to explore more deeply in future works.

Rhythm
mixed water media on paper
6.5 x 10 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),
It's always our self we find in the sea.
~e.e. cummings~



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