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Monday, March 28, 2011

Waiting For the Sun

Katherine Kean, contemporary landscape painting,  light fall, gold, vertical
Amber Lightfall©2011 Katherine Keanoil on linen  15 x 40  inches
After days and days of rain, the sun has come out at last. It's still chilly, but promises to warm up. I grabbed the opportunity while it rained to get inside work finished. During my document updating I re-discovered the "read aloud" feature of Acrobat PDF files. I found that if I used it to read back to me that I could see how text such as my artist statement did or did not flow. In the past I've asked a friend to read it to me, or recorded my own voice on my message service. The digital voice gives a new variation.I also found it a useful tool to use in proof reading. An error read alound seems to stand out more to me than what I might catch when visually skimming over text.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Welcoming Spring With Buckets of Rain

Most of the weekend and on into the first day of spring brought lots of rain to Los Angeles - very fitting as this is World Water Day. All the downpour filled my rain barrels to the brim and the time indoors gave me a chance to finish my taxes and update my website with a few small changes.



This week I sent out my quarterly newsletter, wishing everyone a happy spring. You can view my newsletter here, or sign up for it to be sent to your inbox by clicking on the link below.

 
Enjoy your fresh water and happy spring!
 
 
 

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Very Busy Ring of Fire

Coastal Pines Overlook II    ©2011 Katherine Kean
oil on linen 6 x 6"
 The weather here has warmed up allowing for improved drying time. Together with the longer days, that's good news for painters. I've been able to make progress on new paintings and finish this pair. These are imaginary scenes reminiscent of the California Coast near Big Sur. Although they weren't intended as such, they can work together as a diptych, yet I prefer them to be separate.

If there's a competition for our attention, it seems to me that Nature continues to win. It hasn't been a month since an earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. As I was updating webcam information to post about the newest eruptions of Kilauea in Hawaii, the 8.9 earthquake hit Japan, followed by the massive tsunami. Just before the quake activity Japan's Shinmoedake volcano also began erupting again.

In Hawaii, the world's youngest and maybe most active volcano, which has been erupting continuously since 1983, has developed a new fissure developed between the Pu'u 'O'o and Napau craters on Kilauea. Here is a temporary camera set up to record the new fissure eruption which started on the afternoon of March 5, 2011 about 2 km WSW of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater. This panorama is a composite of eight images from a research camera positioned on the north rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō's crater.

Coastal Pines Overlook I    ©2011 Katherine Kean
oil on linen 6 x 6"
 Just as it is difficult to comprehend the magnitude of destruction that parts of the world have been experiencing, the images broadcast over the Internet and the airwaves have been unbelievable as well, including the most recent coming from Japan.

In the midst of it I was grateful to find this list of charities on Charity Navigator that are organizing relief efforts. The opportunity to contribute something to help out aids me in feeling a little less powerless.


Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Rain, and Cold, and... Snow?

The sun has returned after the past week's winter weather of rain, cold, and snow. When I mention local snow I usually refer to the snow that is visible on the mountains close by, seen, but not felt. This past weekend it snowed right here, on me, on my house, on my budding fruit trees and yard. It didn't stick for long, but it's proximity made it feel appropriate to be working on this pair of rainy day paintings.

These have three or four layers now with plenty more to come. There is still lots of under painting color showing through on each, which I plan to retain. I like the surprise of tiny specks of vivid gold or red poking through the more sober greys.


Raindrops 2 Underpainting work in progress
©2011 Katherine Kean


Raindrops 3 Underpainting work in progress
©2011 Katherine Kean

 I've been happily observing the days getting longer. Having more daylight to paint by has been great. Yet, it's still cold, so even though the days are longer there isn't enough sunlight to make up for the heat lost during the winter. The cold has made for slo-o-o-w drying time. Under paintings that I started last week are still tacky. Paintings, still sticky, that need final glazes continue hanging in limbo. Since I must wait for paintings to dry in order to work on, I continue to start on fresh ones. So for now, the studio is getting quite full!
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