Rocko at the studio door on his rug…patiently waiting on that call from the Louvre…good dog…
Hot days and warm nights, harvest machinery whirring in the distance, dreams of Fall loom close by, but not here yet. Fall is a magical time it brings the year to a close and is the last chance to dance with nature before the cold winter chases us indoors for shelter. Studio business as usual this month but next month life will be filled with the camaraderie of fellow artists. First on the agenda is a workshop with Judi Coffey( http://www.judiart.com) , the artist that will juror the Mississippi Watercolor Society Grand National Exhibition at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson, Mississippi ( http://www.msmuseumart.org). I don’t take workshops very often any more, but this is one I wanted to take because I have admired this lady’s work for years. She paints the most phenomenal abstract collage pieces, and since I do not work in collage much, it will be a welcome diversion for me to be amongst those that work in layers of paper and paint. Next on the agenda, at the end of the month, is Mississippi Art Colony (www.msartcolony.org) and the guest artist will be Dennis Masback (www.dennismasback.com), and the whole gang of 40 or so artists that congregate and paint together for a week. It is always a refreshing and mentally invigorating to get together and see what everyone is creating in their minds and on canvas. This is not a workshop but a convention of artists that work in various medias, that very simply put, come and work for a week. The bonus is that at all times you can break and have coffee, tea, or whatever you choose with a fellow artist and just talk art, no distractions or diversions, just an art immersion of sorts. I am working still in the Medusa Series and it is really stretching the boundaries of the mind. I am incorporating symbolism in the pieces and for most it is in the form of animals and shapes. Color is symbolic as well but I am not dwelling on that at this point, I may divert to that later as well. I am working on integrating the figure shape and the animal shape as one shape to emphasize their connection in the physical sense as well as the mental. I feel we all have a power animal that we relate to or feel a kindred bond to and in this series I am touching on some of my own. This is a refraction of the earlier but continuing Guardian Series. The Medusa series is turning out to be a large body of my inner fears and dreams. I am feeling the desire to move from the reality to the deeper more abstracted workings of the mind, so the work later on will most likely reflect the corner I am turning, and I may not end up on Main Street but possibly a fun and interesting side avenue, but for now the series is still flowing in the same direction. Who knows where this will go from here since I have until November to produce it.
acrylic on canvas
My thoughts go back often to paintings that seemed important to me and one is called Peace Talks II(click on the photo to enlarge it and see the details of the painting), it sold a month or so ago, and with mixed emotions. I loved this painting and had a hard time putting it in the gallery but I often feel this way and I knew I just needed to put it out in the world. It was a painting of despair over all the bad in the world, the economy, war, immigration, hate crimes, and just the general unrest and how caught up in it I found myself. I often wonder if the world tilted this far out of control when I was growing up, maybe I could not feel it then or maybe it felt right as a child to be tilting and whirling out of control, I don’t know but for me right now, it feels odd and strangely like a trap that has ensnared me. The most odd part is that I find snippets of peace and joy daily and when I do I for the most part feel rather childlike but often the heaviness creeps in and I feel the suffocating weight of it’s presence. I am working on some interesting experiments in the studio. Drawing for me is pure joy, especially when no one is looking. I have searched for most of my art life to find ways to interject my drawing into my work more purely and still making it feel as if it were an integrated part of a painting and not an unfinished work with the drawing exposed. I think somehow along the way in art, drawing has become something of an under dressed lady at the art dance. It seems it never garners the rapt attention that the painted surface seems to enjoy. I have tried to amalgamate it in my process in various ways. I have found just recently that I am able to do it with powdered charcoal and india ink in most medias. You can mix powdered charcoal with almost any binder and render it effective. I am working with adding it to varying mixtures of liquin, cold wax and in acrylic with gels, liquid mediums etc. When I am working in encaustic art, I begin by working on raw wood in charcoal and then layering encaustic medium and then the colors of wax on top and finding ways to scrape back down to the original drawing and marks and it seems to give me a close proximity to what I am after but the rabbit is till running and I am still chasing it!
Medusa Complexities: Bird in Hand
oil on canvas
30 x 30
I find I like to experiment on paintings that are lurking in my studio, crying out for my attention, there are times I feel like a plastic surgeon, as I am constantly looking at imperfection and trying to bring out the beauty in the surface. This is the hook in art, the little hope of the masterpiece that keeps us all tethered to our art. We know it is here somewhere but we have to find it ourselves. Above in the painting, Medusa Complexities: Bird in Hand, the drawing was done on canvas with vine charcoal and redrawn with a mixture of powdered charcoal, india ink and a small amount of cold wax with enough liquin added to make it the consistency of a very thick ink. I allow this time to dry and then work back into the drawing with layers of oil paint, cold wax and liquin. The layering gives me the edges I love and the luminosity that I get with watercolor. Uh oh.. I think I am really falling in love with oil all over again…. I will post on the workshop and Art Colony next month so get ready!
*I always hate to sound like I am boasting; for I am not, if you knew the times of work,rejection, pain and sacrifices along the way you would know how astonished and proud I am that I finally made a couple of goals in my art career. I had good news this year, I was awarded signature membership status in the American Watercolor Society and the International Society of Acrylic Painters. I am honored to be included in the ranks with the other signature members of these two distinguished art societies. Thank you for allowing me to share with you.
Till then take care!
Cathy Hegman AWS,NWS,MSWS,MOWS, SAA,SW, ISAP
*All artwork and text included in this blog is copyright protected by Cathy Hegman and should not be reproduced in any form or fashion or used without the written permission of Cathy Hegman. All text and artwork included in this blog are solely the thoughts and original art of the artist, Cathy Hegman, unless otherwise noted, and are meant only to be guidelines and thoughts for others to read.my blog.
*All photography is copyright protected by Thomas Hegman and should not be reproduced in any form or fashion or used without the written permission of Thomas Hegman.
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