Sunday, July 25, 2010

"Neptune's Horses", oil, 8" x 10"

There is nothing more magical than white horses running together on the beach!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fury, oil, 8" x 10"

When I'm feeling ancy, I pick up my paintbrush and create works of art, living my dream to the fullest. I'm still drawing inspiration from the wonderful compositions of Equine photographer, Gabrielle Boiselle.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Peace", oil, 6" x 8"

As a lover of horses, I have a hard time choosing my favorite breed. I love wild horses and the Camargue figures highly on my list. But, when it comes to pure Grace, I have to go with the Spanish Andalusian Horse. In my painting "Peace", I capture this Spirit of the Horse, after the photography by Gabrielle Boiselle.

"The Last Run", oil, 6" x 8"

Ever since I was a kid, I cringed when I read stories of how the mustang, America's wild horse brought to America by the Spanish in the 1500's, was used for pet food and glue. Now, through the mustang, I have found the vehicle to express my concern for conservation and preservation of our natural resources. In the National Geographic article, "Spirit of the West", Melissa Farlow captures the plight of the mustang, through carefully placed "underground" cameras. I am now painting "surreal" images of mustangs, and preparing my first large-scale canvas, with a larger version of my painting, "The Last Run".

"The Last Run"

Ever since I was a kid, I cringed when I read stories of how the mustang, America's wild horse brought to America by the Spanish in the 1500's, was used for pet food and glue. Now, through the mustang, I have found the vehicle to express my concern for conservation and preservation of our natural resources. In the National Geographic article, "Spirit of the West", Melissa Farlow captures the plight of the mustang, through carefully placed "underground" cameras. I am now painting "surreal" images of mustangs, and preparing my first large-scale canvas, with a larger version of my painting, "The Last Run".

"Falling From Heaven" well-recieved

I sent my painting, "Falling From Heaven", to my cousin Sharon for her birthday. She received it in time and loves it. Now, she would like another one to go with it. I asked her if she wants a diptych, but she didn't know what I was talking about. She also wasn't sure what the horse in the painting was doing, but when I told her he was rolling on his back, she agreed that it looks like that.

Monday, July 19, 2010

"Falling From Heaven", oil, 11" x 14"

Painting with Acrylics has been an opportunity to explore horses in all of their configurations. In my painting, "Falling From Heaven", this horse can be viewed as rolling on his back, or falling from Heaven. I prefer to see it the latter.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Personal Creativity Workshop inspired by drawings by Duffy Huppler

Cayen layed out old pictures of drawings by Duffy Huppler printed in 1947 on the table in front of us. We were shown artworks by Rauschenberg, then told to create an artwork using more than one medium. We had a lot of fun painting, drawing and sculpting with various media including pastels, paints, ink, pencil and went to town with scissors, glue and whatever else caught our fancy. I woke up in the morning with chickens on my mind, after researching biotech art and finding a connection to the egg's use as a vessel for creating vaccines, plus a whole lot more. Phrases like, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket" and "You've gotta break some eggs to make an omelet", were sizzling in my mind when I saw the picture of Duffy Huppler's "clucking" to me. What makes Huppler's work so interesting is the surreal twist he gives to his art. In his chicken drawing, he placed an egg above the chicken's head and made me think of the proverbial lightbulb that we connect to our thoughts or perhaps the thought bubble cartoonists use.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Personal Creativity Workshop

Saturday has rolled around again, in time for Cayen Robertson's Personal Creativity Workshop at OHCA. I wonder what she has in store for us? Stay tuned for pictures of artworks created in the canyons of Mill Valley. We would love to have you join us for discovering and making art in the Spirit of Anne O'Hanlon. Free parking and only $30 for non-members of OHCA.

Art in the Making - Plein Air painting - Day 2

Today, my friend Karin and I had a blast making art together. Karin is a sculptor and is working on her piece, "Midgard Serpent", while I took my paintbrush in hand and painted outdoors with oils for the first time. When I got home, I pulled out my Adobe Photoshop program and made a composite of the pictures we took today with one of the City I took in late May. Karin lives on a boat in Sausalito and I thought a picture of the City with it's gorgeous Bay was just the ticket for this Photoshop fun.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

N for "Neo Megilp"

When I was talking to Karin about my "Every 2 Week Word Project", I told her I needed a new word. I told her I was playing with "new", but I wanted something a little jazzier that had to do with art. She asked, "What about something neo?" in fact, I was thinking of Neo Megilp, as I take an interest in oil painting. Neo Megilp is a Gamblin medium for reducing viscosity of oil paint and giving that "Turner-like" atmosphere to a painting. As it turns out, Chester was very generous and gave me a small bottle of it to try out this summer. My first exploration with it happens tomorrow on Karin's boat in Sausalito. I'll be deep in thought, considering the plight of the creatures in the Gulf as I attempt to capture the wonders of my second day Plein Air painting.

6th Annual Fall Juried Art Show at MOCA

Just got an email from Karin about the MOCA Show, "Speaking in Solitude", which is accepting CAFE until July 31. This the same deadline for the OHCA Show, "Bay Area Women's Artists", and The LAB's show, "Art:Tech", featuring Biotech. So, I'll be pretty busy making art for the next 2 weeks and meeting these deadlines. Timing is an interesting concept. I've been working on my knitted and crocheted cassette tape for a year and three months now. It's initial appeal as an interesting linear material lead to my recognition of how much it looks like "oil", right down to the sheen of multiple colors in the very drab pallet of browns and black tape. Today, while at AWD painting with the girls, I saw an article in the Economist about the BP oil spill in the Gulf. The article had several pictures of the animals effected - turtles, pelicans, dolphins - slathered with the mucky reddish brown oil from an oil source more than 4 miles from the surface of the ocean. The magnamity of the problem is daunting to me. When I think of the title, "Speaking of Solitude", I wonder what they are saying. The turtles are 461 less than they were before the explosion in April. Today they reported in the Chronicle that the primary food of sea turtles, a soft pinkish colored "worm" has been severely affected by the oil. My conceptual brain is on a fast track to giving them a voice, through the permanently silenced audiotape. So stay tuned as the parts come together and tell the story of America's worst oil spill in history.

As for the "Bay Area Women's Artist's Show", stay tuned for more eggshelled vinyl and Velcro.

Then, the Art:Tech show, featuring Biotech, will be my best sculptural success of all, with a white "cleanroom" suit stenciled with the bright orange biohazard symbol, called "The Empty Rite", as a play on satanic worship and the ethereal nature of the dangers of infectious agents.

Plein Air Painting

AAH, Life is good. My friend CiCi called and invited me to paint with her at the Marin Headlands, near the Marine Mammal Center. I had so much fun painting with acrylics, but they dried so fast that it was really a challenge to "go with the flow". CiCi was using the Gorilla Painter system, including the wooden box/easel and tripod with her oil paints. When I showed interest in buying one myself, she quipped, "Why don't you go over to Utrecht in Berkeley and see if they have a 30% coupon." I put it in my mind, thinking I would first check on line with Gorilla Painter Company. After 3 or so hours, we packed up the cars and drove home, passing by the Presidio Riding Club, where I had CiCi take some pictures of me standing in front of the "Horse Crossing" sign that was hard to pass up, for my website. Now, the picture of me is posted along with a new page, "Comments", for you to leave your feedback, etc... Imagine what I was thinking when I got home and found a catalogue from Utrecht, which I did not sign up for, announcing their Summer Sale and offering a 30% off coupon! I opened the catalogue and sure enough, the Gorilla Painter system was on sale! So, this morning, I headed over to Berkeley first thing, where I picked up my very own Plein Air system, which I'll be using a lot in the coming days, since another dream of mine is to paint horses "live"!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Website

Well, I did it. I developed my own website, and it looks great! I learned how to add all the bells and whistles, including expandable photos, etc... I've gotten good feedback from many of you on how to improve it even more and I really appreciate that.

Now, I'm off to the races, readying myself for the new show at O'Hanlon Art Center, "Bay Area Women's Artists", juried by Donna Seagar. See you there!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Abstraction of a Photograph

Free Reelin', mixed media, 12" x 36"

At the Roundtable last night, for the show called "You, Me, Us and Them: Contemporary Art Portraits", Juror, Irene Belknap, was present and talked about what she looks for in artwork. Her first and foremost interest is in how an artist comes from the gut and grabs the viewer emotionally. She also values a quote from a forgotten source who says that art is best when it comes from that place that says, "It's not me. It's not me. It comes from the wind that blows through me." I was delighted to meet a "kindred spirit" who thinks about art the way I do. Further, I thought about this quote and how a photograph is transformed into an abstract rendition of a 3D representation, as seen in my first "assemblage" art work called "Free Reelin'".

Last Friday morning, when I woke up and "saw" the audio cassette tapes I've been collecting for a year as potential material for a self portrait, I had no idea what the final piece would look like. Other than painting a "realistic" pallet of colors on the cassette tape housing and breaking it up into pieces, I had no idea how all of the tiny internal parts that make up a cassette tape would fit together. But, the magic of how structure and form of materials influences the final project is the joy of assemblage. From the beginning of breaking the tapes with the hammer, I noticed that the shapes resulting from the "random" breaks lent themselves to looking like the lines and curves of a face. The various plastic shards and some Elmer's glue emerged into a "necklace" and joined a pair of "ear rings", made from the colorful tape leader, and the wheel that holds the tape. After the main "face" was laid out onto the acrylic painted board, I realized that the scale of the various crocheted and knitted audio cassette tape was perfect for fashioning a "summer dress" and "hat". The "seahorse" piece I sculpted as part of the opera project, "A Sea Odyssey: 2012", is the kindred spirit that forms a "hat" and now lives in the upper right hand corner of the piece. As "Free Reelin'" continued to leap from the board, bits of metal inside the audio cassette tape became the perfect "eye lashes" and highlights in my self portrait's "eyes". Finally, the tape itself served as "hair" and "seaweed", and was attached under the hat.

Now, assemblage has grabbed me in a powerful way and will be the basis of three more pieces, created for the upcoming Faces of the Wild art auction and benefit.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Paintings on View at 2nd Fridays ArtWalk in San Rafael

Spirit in the Clouds, acrylic, 11" x 14"

Rearing Dapple Grey, acrylic, 12" x 12"

Spirit, acrylic, 11" x 14"

Acrylic and oil paintings will be on view at Artworks Downtown in San Rafael, this Friday, July 9 from 6 to 8 PM.

Monday, July 5, 2010

My life as an Equine portrait painter..,

Today, I woke up and was guided by Spirit to return to the Fair a third time to see the horses and mules once more. After I had a lovely conversation with Matt and Hanna, at the Farm Fresh Foods booth, about RAW food and how I healed myself of hyperthyroidism in 2 1/2 weeks, I sauntered over to the paddock, where I was very fortunate to witness the Draft Pull, by two magnificent clydesdales, "Willie" and "Leo". I learned that they were originally bred by the Scots as war horses, and that all of their individual traits of large size, white markings and "feathers" on their legs were intended to be intimidating. Then, after the wars subsided, they were used for field work, and pulling ploughs and carts. Now, with their beautiful white feathers and sleek dark umber colored bodies glistening in the mid-day sun, they are truly something beautiful to see. Their owner, Neil, from the Jack London Ranch, was very nice to talk to and very receptive to my eager interest in his animals. He invited me to the ranch to paint his animals. In addition, I met Anne, a horsewoman and owner of 11 Roses Ranch, who owns two incredibly gorgeous white mules with black skin, named "Belle" and "Blue", who are half sisters who share the same donkey father and different mothers. As a child, my uncle told me that mules are the best horses because they are sure-footed, agile, and very smart. I guess it is because they don't have to contend with the hormones, since they are unable to reproduce. With camera in hand, I shot some beautiful videos and offered them to Neil, who was delightful and looks forward to seeing preliminary paintings of my first Equine Portraits, fashioned from my own pictures. I love how I can capture stills from the videos I shot and will be able to to paint them with their prancing hooves standing in mid air. Their harnesses alone will be a huge challenge for me, with all of the straps and fittings, but I am willing to give it my best shot. So, look for my portraits coming soon...

"Free Reelin'", Self Portrait on View at OHCA through July

I was sitting in chair number 7, my lucky number, on one of the rides at Marin County Fair today, when I felt the buzz in my pocket, alerting me that an email was coming in. When I saw the good news that OHCA chose my artwork for their upcoming show, "You, Me, Us and Them: Contemporary Art Portraiture", I was ecstatic. I really hoped that "Free Reelin'" would be picked and it was, along with my first eggshell mosaic, "Georg". The Opening Roundtable is tomorrow at OHCA, from 4 to 6 PM, then the formal Reception for public viewing will be from 6 to 8 PM. You can get more information for parking, etc... at See you soon. Pictures to follow.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Portraiture, Contemporary Art Style

A whirlwind of activity grabbed me yesterday, after I broke my new eggshelled glass portrait of Georg and Koko. I simply had to have an entry for the O'Hanlon show, so when I woke up I was thinking a lot about what to work on. Then, a flash of insight - a self portrait made with the audiocassette tapes I've collected for a year for my Sea Odyssey: 2012 project would be just the ticket. I just love how the tape looks like hair or seaweed. Plus, all of the little pieces that make up a cassette tape, including the little piece of flat copper with a small square of felt which functions beautifully as "eye lashes" and the silver plate works great as the glint in the eye. Now, "Free Reelin'" has manifested, complete with all of the crocheted audiocassette tape that I made over the past year, which is the perfect size on a 12" x 24" board painted with acrylic. Imagine my joy when the little happenstance of the red leader appeared as I unwound the tape, and it became the perfect dangly "earring" when left attached to the cassette wheel. The little inner wheels serve well as "teeth" and "pupils". I'll know on Monday if my piece gets into the show. See you at OHCA on Tues for Roundtable and Opening Reception.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

"M" for Mercy and Mark-Making

My every two week word project is clicking along nicely. Now, I'm up to "M" for mercy, as spiritual words find their way into my vocabulary these days. In keeping with my art theme, I'm making my "mark on the world", painting up a storm.

"Honorable Mention" for "Walkin' on Eggshells" in Marin County Fair

"Return to Oz", various media

Walkin' on Eggshells, eggshells on vinyl, 6' x 2' x 2'

Tonight, I received phone calls from friends letting me know that my wearable art, "Walkin' on Eggshells", created with eggshelled vinyl and held together with velcro has won a green ribbon for Honorable Mention. I'll be going to the Fair tomorrow with camera in hand to see for myself. Pictures will be posted tomorrow for your viewing enjoyment.