Thursday, April 9, 2009

I used to paint

Maybe you knew that. When I was cleaning out the attic last week I came across some photos of my old paintings. Works I had forgotten about. I thought it might be fun to share them here.

This first is from around 1988, but I didn't keep very detailed records back then so I can only guess at the date. I was fresh out of grad school and the professor and I were living in an apartment in the heart of Cincinnati. I was into using stencils back then. I would cut out stencil shapes and repeat them on the canvas, building up layers of painted shapes. This painting was done in oil and stencils were used for the flowers and leaves. It was about 24 x 36 inches. Again, I'm going on memory because of my poor record keeping.

In 1989 we moved to North Carolina. During the summer of 1992 we took a three week train trip all around the US, stopping at various points of interest. I was in awe over the landscape of the southwest and did a series of paintings during the following year or so based on the images I had gathered from our travels. This one is in oil, 36x36 inches, inspired by the landscape of the Grand Canyon.

While on that trip we drove a rented car all around Santa Fe, New Mexico, looking for Georgia O'Keeffe's Ghost Ranch. This next painting is from O'Keeffe inspired country, also in oil. It is actually the center panel of a five panel piece, each panel is 20 x 24 inches. I still have these paintings stored in our basement. The early nineties was not a great time to be doing landscapes in the academic circles I traveled in. Of course, the internet had not arrived so networking with other artists was limited by geography. And I was living in a small southern college town.

So my methods changed a bit. I brought back the stencils and combined them with landscape, making the landscape image a view through the picture plane like a view out a window. The symbols suggested some kind of added meaning, (for the sake of the 'academics') and reminded the viewer that this indeed was a painting.

These were acrylic and oil on canvas, from around 1995 - 97. The first is 20 x 18 inches and the one below is 30 x 30 inches. I would do an underpainting in acrylic, often in complementary colors, and then go back into it with oil. I also made stamps of various textures that I would use to add textured impressions on the surface. I had more success with this series. Got a few into regional and national competitions and even had local gallery representation for a while. Some sold. Some are in our basement, some I still don't want to let go.

In 1998 I stopped painting because I didn't want to be exposed to the fumes of oil paint and solvents while I was pregnant with kiddo. It wasn't until around 2006 that I even began making art again. But this time things had changed in the art world. I had a computer, and the internet. There were now communities of artists to network with from all around the world. And learning opportunities at my fingertips. I discovered that I really liked to draw. And well, you know the rest.


Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

What a delight to see your earlier works and read your journey, Ann! Thank you for sharing...they're really quite beautiful.

Rose Welty said...

Thanks for sharing this Ann. How fun to read...

Rose Welty said...

Hey, I just had a poke through your website...just beautiful Ann. Your work is so inspiring!

Nicely laid out website as well...:D

Anonymous said...

I so enjoyed this post - an interesting story and some lovely work.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the trip down memory lane Ann!! It's sooooo amazing to see your journey and transitions!
cheers! deni.....;)

Jennifer Rose said...

ooh very nice! :D I love the lighting you have in the bottom 2 :D

Always nice to see art from a person's past. thank you for sharing :D

Mary Timme said...

I think you've left one thing to do another. Both are good. I like drawing too. Now maybe this weekend I'll get a bit of it done.

Teresa said...

So interesting to see your art in other media... it's all beautiful!


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