Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ready to Work

Yesterday I felt as if I were running to catch a train all day. I was a little bit behind on every project. I realized at last that I was not going to be able to catch up and instead relaxed and accomplished what I could. Today I feel refreshed and ready to get to work.

This week I want to finish the underpainting on a second large (40 x 60") painting. The sketch of it is here. By the end of next month I'd like to have the two large paintings that I began this month complete, along with a third one that will be 45 x 60". There is also another 30 x 40" that is so close to being finished, but needs just a little more work to complete too.

The photo above is Bear in his usual spot in the studio - right in front of the door. Bear is always ready for action and wouldn't miss a day in the studio, even if what he does the most there is sleep.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Warm Underpainting

Lava Field under painting ©2012 Katherine Kean

I've finished the rough underpainting for the Lava Field painting. It looks very strange to me in warm colors, the deep red on the ground especially so. Besides looking stormy and cloudy I'll want this painting to have a slightly sulfurous and "recently molten" quality and I think the red will help with that. I'm going to let it dry thoroughly before making any value adjustments.
Related Posts:
Ash Plume and Lava Field Sketches

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Why I Like E-Prime

Slow Release of the Day 18 x 36" oil on linen
© 2007 Katherine Kean

One of my favorite topics is English Prime. E-Prime is a modification of the English language that abolishes all forms of the verb to be: is, am, are, was, were, etc. A few reasons why I am such a big fan follow:

The elimination of the passive voice creates less confusion distinguishing statements of opinion from statements of fact. “I feel cold” instead of “It is cold.”

As well as providing clarity using E-Prime lessens conflict. “I feel I have finished” instead of “It is done.”

This type of communication alleviates a bit the hypnotic power of metaphor used so effectively by advertisers and politicians. “It appears to me that we should take action.” instead of “It is clear that we should take action.”

A change in language brings a change in perception, including how a person thinks of himself or herself. Instead of “I am sad”, I feel sad.” The sadness still exists, but seems like less of a permanent condition.

Although I find it difficult to remember to write and speak in E-Prime in most situations, I do find it an effective tool to have when listening to others.

Related Links:

Friday, July 17, 2009

Illuminations Exhibit at OCMA

I took the afternoon yesterday and drove with a friend to Orange County to see the Illumination exhibit, showing the work of Georgia O’Keeffe, Agnes Pelton, Agnes Martin, and Florence Miller Pierce. Part of the premise of the exhibit is showing parallels in the lives and careers of O’Keeffe and Pelton, and Martin and Pierce, which was interesting in a slightly eerie way.

I confess my main purpose in going was just to see Agnes Pelton’s paintings. I remember only seeing two in person before, one at a gallery on Melrose and the other at an Art Fair. Most of my exposure to her work has been through the book, Agnes Pelton: Poet of Nature by Michael Zakian. Zakian, who is the director of the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art in Malibu also happens to be the juror of this years’ California Open exhibit at TAG Gallery. When I first encountered Agnes Pelton’s imagery I felt like she had somehow translated visions and sensations that I’ve experienced in meditation into an easily accessible form. I was thrilled to see so many of these paintings in person, including many of my favorites: The Voice, Wells of Jade, Illumination, Incarnation, Sand Storm, Orbits, Even Song, and many others.

There were quite a few O’Keeffe painting in the exhibit, although it wasn’t necessarily her strongest work, or perhaps I’ve been spoiled having seen her retrospective at LACMA as well as her work in the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Having seen this exhibit I think what I’d really like to see now is an exhibit of Agnes Pelton and Sharon Ellis together.

Los Angeles Times Art review: 'Illumination' at the Orange County Museum of Art

Examiner Review: Orange County Museum of Art Illumination exhibit

Related Post:

Top Eleven Artists I Have Found to be a Large Influence

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What do you wear when you’re working?

This question might be aimed more at oil and acrylic painters rather than watercolor painters. Do you have specific clothes set aside that you don’t mind getting paint on?

In years past when I tended to get paint on everything, I had specific old clothes set aside just for painting in. These old clothes would get covered with drips, spots, and splashes, which became stiff with dried paint – not so much fun to wear. I’m not as messy or drippy as I used to be. These days I tend to wear regular clothing that’s comfortable, although not anything new or expensive just in case something spills or drips. Sometimes I remember to put an oversized old shirt on top Certainly I don’t look as dapper as Monet or Picasso do in these old photographs.

What do you wear when you’re working? Do you wear old clothes? Do you wear a protective layer like a smock or coveralls?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ash Plume and Lava Field sketches

Ash Plume Sketch
© 2009 Katherine Kean
It has been a busy week. I've been finishing up on some older pieces and starting new ones both. These are the beginnings of two new works. I've already started the underpainting on the second one. You can see some of the grid lines on the drawing as well as a smudge where I dripped some paint.

I ran out of gloves in the middle of the week. I usually order several boxes when I'm ordering paint, but the paint orders seem to take a long time to arrive. It all of a sudden occurred to me that I might find gloves on Amazon.com and that they'd arrive more quickly. Sure enough they had several selections to choose from and they are a lot cheaper to boot. Now, where is the paint?

Lava Field Sketch© 2009 Katherine Kean 

Monday, July 06, 2009

How to Put a Text Link in a Blogger Comment So That It Opens in a New Window

Now we're getting fancy. Here's an update to Friday's post about putting a link in a Blogger comment. As Marianne Post pointed out the code I demonstrated opens the link in the same window - thereby losing the page we're on, and we don't want that. In order to have it open in a new window this must be added at the end of the url, after the quotation mark and before the less than sign that starts the text:

All together that gives us this to start:

then the url within the quotation marks:



and last the text with the closing tags:

And the end result is the clickable text link that opens in a new window:

How to Add a Text Link to a Blogger Comment

Friday, July 03, 2009

How to Add a Text Link to Blogger Comments

Some blogging platforms make it simple to add a link. If one types http:// at the beginning of an address it automatically becomes a live link.

Blogger does not have this function but you can still put links in your comments. To do so requires adding just a few more characters:

Let’s say for example that I wanted to put a link to this post about a hike up to Mount Hollywood in a comment. The url of the link is http://katherinekean.blogspot.com/2006/07/mount-hollywood-on-4th-of-july.html  I would then add this in front of the url:

And this after the url:

And it will come out as a clickable text link:

Mount Hollywood on the 4th of July

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


It’s a new month and I’m looking at what I want to accomplish in July. Out of the eleven paintings that I’ve had in progress all but two are nearly complete. One of them, a large one, is taking longer than I had anticipated, which is okay since it looks like it’ll be worth the extra effort. I suspect that I’ll be abandoning the other one altogether. It doesn’t have any major flaws, but when I look at it, or think about working on it, I just get a blah feeling and I just have too much to work on that I’m excited about to continue to spend time on one that feels so lackluster to me right now. I’ll keep it around for awhile in case it seems like it might come back to life later on.

I have canvas ready for three new ones and have started sketches of the compositions, which I’ll post as they progress.

Thumbnails of six that are all part of the same series are shown below:

works in progress
© 2009 Katherine Kean

Bolton Hall Museum Gift Shop

The Bolton Hall Museum Gift Shop   is a great place to do your holiday shopping! Carrying a wide range of unique items, all are created l...