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Monday, November 24, 2014

Deck the Walls at Segil Fine Art

Bird in Brush Katherine Kean
oil on linen 8 x 8 inches

I will be taking part in Laura Segil Fine Art's Annual Holiday Small Works, Deck the Walls! Please join us for the opening reception on Saturday, December 6 from 5 -8pm.

Deck the Walls
Holiday Small Works
Saturday, December 6 - Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Opening Reception
Saturday, December 6, 5-8pm

Segil Fine Art Gallery
110 West Lime Avenue
Monrovia, CA 91016

Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 1-6pm

Monday, November 10, 2014

Bird On Branch

Bird On Branch Sketch Katherine Kean
graphite 8 x 8 inches

I had so much fun with the Bird in Brush painting that I wanted to do another. Although I like the mosaic-like busyness of the other painting, I decided this time to let the little guy have some space instead of being overwhelmed with foliage. And besides, this one looked like he was posing.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Sketch: Charge Into the Deep

Charge Into the Deep Sketch Katherine Kean
graphite 5 x 7 inches
I don't often draw my dreams, except for the ones that stand out and have vivid imagery I can't ignore or forget. Some people call this type of dream a numinous dream, a term coined by Rudolf Otto and used by Jung. I recently had one of those types of dreams. 

At the start I was at the birthday party of a famous artist. Also in attendance were George Lucas ( a visionary of the future) and Walter Cronkite (the most trusted man in America) and we were having a very, nice chat when a large wild red horse charged in and grabbed my finger between his teeth - not in a way to cause hurt, but firmly, so I had no choice but to hang on and go along for the ride. The horse eventually let go of my finger as we raced on to the ocean. I was never on the horse, I just hung onto the mane, which was like a living thing, coiling and waving, as we galloped straight into a tunnel formed by the oncoming waves.

This dream was about a month ago and it took several sketches and studies to organize the imagery to this point. It might take a few more before it's ready to become a painting.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Showing Metal

Coastal Pine Katherine Kean
3 x 3 inches silverpoint
Coastal Pine Katherine Kean
3 x 3 inches silverpoint, aged one month
I have been wanting to try drawing with silverpoint for ages. An artist friend suggested it to me years ago. I have a light touch, which serves me well in watercolor and oils, but for which I must compensate by using very soft pencils. With metalpoint drawings it doesn't matter so much how hard one bears down - the mark will be about the same. 

I decided to try it out with a tiny drawing of very familiar subject matter.

All the marks one makes in silverpoint are indelible. There is no erasing. Metalpoint drawings are ethereal at first and darken with age as they oxidize. You can see a slight difference in the early drawing above, compared to the same drawing photographed again about a month later.

A quality I like about metalpoint is that one piece of metal lasts a long time and I don't find myself taking trip after trip to the sharpener. Without a stylus, metal to work with can be found in the silverware drawer or coin pocket. I also like that the finished surface has a silvery sheen when the light hits it. Silverpoint is difficult to photograph - the scans here are blurry from the light bouncing around, and the drawings look better in person, which I think is true for much, if not all artwork.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Small Bird in an Olive Tree

Small Bird in Olive Tree wip Katherine Kean
oil on linen 8 x 8 inches
"A forest bird never wants a cage." Henrik Ibsen

Here is the first day of work on a small bird resting in an olive tree painting. Every part wants refining and loosening up at the same time. As a busy piece I am glad to have all the main elements: leaves, twigs, bird, laid out. Now comes the hard part, and the fun.

Monday, October 06, 2014

A Bird in the Brush

Sparrow Sketch Katherine Kean
graphite 8 x 8 inches
I like to use drawings as a way of exploring ideas for paintings. In the sketch above I'm interested in the way the bird just about disappears into the busyness of all the leaves and branches.

"The Sparrow shown near a window, perched on a ledge, flying in a window, flying outside a window or perched on a branch outside a window, represents the soul of a recently deceased loved one." The Hidden Symbolism of Birds in Western Painting

I'm interested too in symbolism in art, and birds are loaded with cultural and personal meanings. To some, birds represents souls, to some, freedom. To others, birds might bring good or bad luck.

The sparrows I'm drawing like to perch outside my window where a tall cactus grows. When the cactus fruit is ripe the birds appear at dusk in droves, day after day, until nothing remains of the fruits but hollowed out shells. It's plenty of fun to see.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Angeles Forest Storm

Angeles Forest Storm work in progress Katherine Kean
oil 8 x 8 inches

This is the beginning of a little square painting. I started with a tonal underpainting, as I usually do, but rather than wait for it to dry, worked over it wet into wet. It doesn't need many changes, but I will add some glazes to make some areas richer in color and others more atmospheric.