Since I last wrote my studio has become a laboratory of experimentation.
My treasure trove of collage pieces has found its way to new canvas and wood panels. Maps, wrapping paper, ticket stubs, tissue dress patterns, string, architecture text books, all torn and carefully glued.
Extra house paint, latex, is painted and rubbed on top of the texture.
Change the music.
Look some more.
Acrylics, pastels, charcoal over it all.
These new pieces can all be see at High Country Art Gallery in Blue Ridge, GA. More experiments are stirring in the studio with subject matter such as whales, turtles, horses, and insect life. Stay tuned.
I wonder who has domesticated who. Did we train these pets that we house and feed and love; or did they have the upper hand and train us to be their loyal keepers.
This has been a focus of my art.
Dear Ming Dogg has his “master” wrapped around his little paw as they amble out for a morning walk before the work day begins.
A little exercise for Ming Dogg with his favorite Frisbee. The work day is complete but “the dog” should have some time out of doors. Regardless of the heat, the cold, the rain, sounds like the postal service, our pets must stick to their routine.
Our four legged children, the fur children, have trained us well. I love love our cat and adored our plethora of pets over the years. A chicken named J.J. I rescued at the farm, a duck named Waddles I caught at the Easter Egg Hunt, cats a many, unwanted dogs from the pound, and those poor gerbils that our Dalmatian was always able to find. That is a story for a psychologist’s couch, how traumatized was I by Ping Pong’s ability to rescue his family from rodents.
Several years ago I painted this piece. When I finished it I laughed out loud.
This drowsy gal wakes from a sun induced nap to find her children are gone. Where in the heck are they? My solution to the mystery is what really made me laugh. Sound effect: evil cackle. We all need a little laugh now and then. Do you know where they are?
If you follow my Facebook page at Beth Rommel Studio you are well aware that I have welcomed spring with several new paintings.
I am thoroughly enjoying using latex paint, acrylics, pastels and charcoal for my new creations. These are large canvases that can add “oomph” to any room.
Good dog Joe and his person get their morning walk before a busy day. The brush strokes remind me of Bargello needlework. The strokes runs in a zig zag pattern as do Bargello stitches. Wild flowers including my dear Texas bluebonnets grow on the path where Joe gets his daily constitutional.
Joe takes himself for a walk in the wooded park area. This technique of light over dark paint has created the luminous quality of pastels. I have enhanced that even more by using pastels and charcoal throughout.
I began developing this technique with still life paintings.
I now have a page on the Xanadu Gallery website in Scottsdale, Arizona. The new March catalog is now on-line and in print. My work can be see on page 14. Some of you have expressed your joy in the Big Cat painting. I chose to share it in this issue.
Last summer, after the passing of Rock Star Prince, a conversation began.
When Prince was to perform at the Super Bowl in Miami the skies opened up with pouring rain. He was asked what should be done about his show.
He said, ”Can you make it rain more?”
This was an illustration of his work ethic, his understanding of “the show must go on” and the meaning of being a professional.
A man in Orlando heard I was interested in illustrating this event for his art collection. He also wanted a print made of it to present to an employee who was willing to go the “extra mile”.
Our communication was through email and phone calls. I began with a series of rough ideas on lined notebook paper.
I worked on more finished sketches for him. Pastels and watercolors.
We talked about what resonated with him.
The posture of the figure.
The shadow behind the figure.
The difficult road to be traveled through the mountains.
Is it possible to include the phrase, “Can you make it rain more?”
Is it necessary?
A decision was made. We agreed wholeheartedly on which image felt right. #7. So the process of putting oil on a 30″ x 30″ canvas began.
More depth, more color and the addition of cold wax in the oil paint.
A few details.
Both my client and I were looking at similar challenges in our futures. Some we didn’t even know were ahead. Discussing the meaning of the Prince quotation was heartfelt. We both were sharing our beliefs. The beliefs we have are strong and reinforced daily by our life experiences.
The painting is on its way to a life in New York City and the print is living with an employee who was awarded it for special care and effort.
It was an honor for me to be part of this exchange of ideas.
As many of you know I have written several manuscripts for children’s picture books. Illustrating is also one of my passions so they go hand in hand.
Having ridden horses for a large part of my life I have learned about the benefits they offer people with disabilities. As a young rider I watched a friend with Cerebral Palsy become the state champion. She and her big red horse were a perfect team with lots of blue ribbons and trophies.
More recently I volunteered at an equine therapy facility in Decatur, GA. I watched many people delight in the movement and connection with these big hairy beasts.
I have been working for several years on a picture book about the experience.
You may remember this illustration that won a first place in our local SCBWI competition.
This is exactly the way I would feel going into the field to catch a horse on the weekend mornings. A little love, a little treat, and a whole of lot of equine energy running around me. It was pure delight and a little terror.
My manuscript is mixing those feelings and some extra sensations to share the experience of being with these big hairy things.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been taking a class from Carla Sonheim. This is with a cadre of international students and an enthusiastic, multi talented instructor. I am as happy as can be…and learning so much.
This year’s curriculum is about creating in a series.
Any serious artist can tell you that coming up with a meaningful subject and thoughtful series is difficult.
What am I trying to communicate?
This is a step forward from learning technique and developing a style.
It reminds me of learning French. You know the vocabulary and the verb tenses but can you have a conversation?
My second series is based on the outdoors, the freedom, the colors, and freshness of the idealized farm life. I used latex paint and acrylics with charcoal and ink for materials.
…and the chickens that look as though they are plucked and ready for the frying pan….
The colors of the outdoors and the imagined cutting garden of magazine photographs are so inviting.
Master of all He Surveys. Acrylic and mixed media, 16″ x 20″, $295.
Options for the third series are on my mind. Am I ready to have a conversation?