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Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

Coastal Pines - SOLD - 3 x 3" graphite
© 2010 Katherine Kean

This weekend does feel like the unofficial beginning of summer, having warmed up suddenly. Perhaps I can finally put away the space heater and take the winter comforter off the bed. Have a safe and happy Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Passing Through

Passing Through
4 x 7" graphite © 2010 Katherine Kean


This drawing, of an imaginary migration, is headed for the gallery this week. I suspect I'll end up doing a larger version of this in oil since I've explored this theme more than once in the past and keep returning to it to try and discover a bit more.

On another note, one of my recent paintings has been accepted as a winner in the May Showcase Awards, which is Art Slant's online competition. You can see it on the Art Slant 3rd 2010 Showcase page of their website.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Saving Work Back: Pros and Cons

Foggy PCH work in progress
9 x 12" oil © 2010 Katherine Kean

In my last post I brought up the idea of saving work for any exhibitions on the near horizon. The pros and cons seem to break down like this:

Pros

· Having enough work to make a strong, coherent exhibit in terms of theme, style, and content.

· Not feeling pressured – some people work very well under pressure, in fact some people seem to need pressure to work at all. I’m the opposite, and in addition I need drying time.

· Having the time to promote the work. Some periodicals require 4 months lead time before publication. Publicity is good anytime, but even better if it occurs prior to the exhibtion.


Cons

· The work could get “stale”, considering that, depending on the artist, the first pieces of a series may have been started some time ago.

· Sales opportunities could be missed.

· Sold work could lead to “holes” in the exhibit, or an overall weak exhibit, which has a negative domino effect - a weak exhibit leaves a negative impression, may lead to bad reviews and word of mouth.

The end decision? For me it seems to be to follow up the sales and juried opportunities judiciously, avoiding overextending and to save work back up until a replacement is complete and in place to exhibit.

I’d love to hear from other artists on how you deal with this aspect of working towards an exhibition. Do you save work back?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Saving Work Back For a Show

With an eye on the exhibit coming up in November I’ve been focused on completing a series of paintings. The series is largely finished, although I know I’ll continue to work and make new paintings that may fit in well with my current work and the theme for the exhibit. On the other hand it seems like I am hearing about a lot of interesting exhibit possibilities and getting calls for juried shows that my work might be suitable for. This always presents a query, should an artist hold work back for the upcoming exhibit? It could mean missing a potential sale, but on the other hand I feel that I need to know that I’ll have work available for the exhibit that’s already scheduled. I’m weighing the pros and cons of saving work back and will present what I come up with them in my next post. Thoughts, anyone?

Friday, May 07, 2010

Another Beach, Another Storm


Another Beach, Another Storm sketch 8 x 10" pencil
© 2010 Katherine Kean


I'm just getting started on the painting that this drawing is for. I became so fond of another recently completed painting, I wanted to do something with a similar feel right away. This one is much more complicated than the last, both in the clouds and in the water. There are many subtleties in the greys and the clouds are rolling and curling and carrying out all kinds of interesting manuevers. This drawing serves as a map for values and a guide for the motion and detail. I'm finding it interesting that at the actual location, the sea with the incoming waves felt very dynamic, while the sky, though not exactly calm, felt heavier and more stable compared to the water. In the drawing I feel the reverse - although that may change in the painting of it. Painting this is either going to drive me crazy or it's going to be a lot of fun!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Suburban Renewal

Laze 10 x 8" oil on canvas
© 2010 Katherine Kean

I'm bringing this small painting in to the gallery to hang in the loft area. This painting has been adjusted and then reworked and then readjusted and reworked again bringing it almost full circle back to where it started. I like the colors, the surprise of the blue on yellow, and this got me to exploring the effect of yellow in other work.

Speaking of color, I feel like I'm involved in an ongoing suburban renewal project. It started with a few minor repairs and then blossomed to include car repairs and inevitably having the car repainted. My car is old to begin with and it got sandblasted by the wind storms after the station fire with all the loose dirt and ash blowing off the mountains. It runs too well to trade in though so instead is getting tuned up and renovated. In the meantime I'm carless - except for rentals - for two weeks! It's a good thing I've got plenty to keep me busy in the studio.

My house is due to be painted too and I've been mulling over color choices. I'm leaning towards a deep, earthy green for the body, with dark crimson and warm white accents and trim. Every time I think I've got it all worked out I'll see another variation that I have to check out. There's still time for decisions though, because winter hasn't quite finished with us yet and there may still be rain.