Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The wild world of passion.... in art.

Silk Scarf 44" x 44" Hand-Painted on 100% imported fine silk.
Silk painting must the most sensuous thing I have experienced - well next to chocolate, and of course sex... but it's been a few years since that...
The feel of silk almost like flesh as it glides through your fingers, wraps around your body. Because of its organic make-up silk adjusts to your body temperature instantly and warms you on cool days and wicks off the heat on hot ones.
Painting on silk is challenging primarily because the techniques required for several different layers of the work. The most often seen is simple Tie-dye (remember the hippie clothes of the 60s?) the fabric is knotted and tied and wrapped and then dipped into the dyes. Color combinations are created by setting the dye (If it is French dye either by steaming it or by chemicals, the new fabric paints don't require as much work but they leave the silk stiff and not natural feeling.) and then re tie-ing. Layers of color are added that way for patterns and variety.
Similar to that is the Shibori Silk method. Traditionally these complex colors are created by folding and wrapping the silk tightly against and around a bamboo pole or other prop and then painting the colors to give depth and variety of color and texture to the silk.
These are both time consuming and simplistic in many ways considering that there is no "painting" but a gifted silk painter can create incredibly rich textures and colors when they know their craft. and the garments created by a gifted dyer are in high demand.
I tend to work more in the French tradition of silk painting. In this way you use what is called a "resist" to block out the part of the fabric you wish to keep white (very similar to watercolor painting) and then layer colors. you can under dye then use the resist to have more complex colors and it is very much like working in watercolors or in acrylic paints where transparency allows you to create color and depth by layering.
The thing that makes my silk wearable art so different is that I paint Virginia Landscapes - paintings that become simply color when worn but also are recognizable paintings when hung. For me the challenge of course is I don't plan things out ahead. I let my instincts guide me. I have a somewhat photo-graphic memory so I paint what I see and recall in my head. That gives me the freedom to re-arrange the landscape to suit me. But in working for transparency and brightness of colors one has to be careful not to layer too much or like pastels or water colors one can end up with muddy colors. Once they are there the silk is ruined and you have to begin again.
My silk painting is a great joy to me, even more so when someone buys one of my scarves and tells me how incredibly beautiful they feel in them and how sensuous they are. Life is a feast.
Back to work!
Until next time
Create Beauty and fill the world with Love

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Beauty and the Beast....

Appalachian Trail No 2

5" x 7" Acrylic on Masonite Panel $150.00


I chose this stormy painting today because that is how my life feels right now. I feel as if I am in the midst of a terrible storm and the wind, rain, and life in general are buffeting me every which way.

My beast is often the emotional roller coaster I ride trying to find balance in my life.There have really only been a few things I wanted in life: to create beauty that inspires others to enjoy life to the fullest and appreciate the world we live in (whether it is in the music I sing or the various art forms I produce) AND to love and be loved by one person.

Making art is easy. Singing is easy. Making a living - now that is harder, but with persistence, perseverance, dedication, and discipline I truly believe anyone can be successful in the arts. Dream BIG and push the envelope. Expect more. Expect success. Expect people to want to help you along the way. Trust that what you do is right for you and don't let others push you into being different just for difference's sake. You don't have to be "edgy" to be an artist... You only have to be good. I seem to do OK with the art world. I have my differences at times with the gallery system (which is becoming obsolete because of artists marketing themselves on the Internet) and I recognize that I will never be a part of the edgy mainstream of trendy "ART". But I do well at my work and I attract buyers who recognize my talent, and my passion, and who want to be surrounded by beauty, not gore.

Love how-ever seems to be a different animal. I know people who have casual relationships and date the same people or persons for years and they are content with that. I also know people who build a marriage and settle for the safety of one person and the longevity of security.

I am not good at dating. Dating requires too much energy. And I believe in committing to a person the same as I do committing to my art. I've pretty much spent my whole life being an artist and not had much experience with being a partner in life. I don't believe in long term casual dating however. For me, if I really love someone and I believe in in spending a life together - then I mean TOGETHER. I am really struggling these days with the isolation of being an artist and also being someone who needs to give and get love on a daily basis. Being an artist often means working in the home environment. It means that every one around me deals with the fact that what I do is messy at times. And that I don't work on a regular 9-5 basis. (For instance I am writing this blog at 3 am around a project I am working on.) I have realized though that I want to live with the man of my dreams. I want a home life. I want to fall asleep with him every night and wake up with him every morning. I want to share his work, his passions, his fears, his successes, his failures, his LIFE. I also need to share my life with him - my messiness, my passion for a life lived now.... a life lived fully. Why is that so much to ask if you love someone?

Sometimes it feels like we have learned to put off our joy forever... always planning on "some-day, one-day" of retirement, of safety , of "one day" making the time for us instead of doing it today!

My roots are in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia. Virginia Landscapes are what I do. A Virginia Landscape Painter is who I am. Because of that I need desperately to move out of the town I live in and get back to a place where people seem more real. A place where everyday I am surrounded by the air that fills my heart, the mountains that are my heritage, the beauty that is really the soul of the person I have become in this lifetime. But I can't do it alone. A life lived in isolation is not a life worth living for me. I am rapidly reaching the point where I realize that this life perhaps is not worth living. The Storm clouds are gathering.

Until next time,

Create Beauty and fill the world with love.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Art as life... life as art?

Assorted 4" x 4" Blocks Each hand painted acrylic on stretched Gallery style wrap canvas. $15.00 each (3 or more $10.00 each) Designer Decorator Block 2007 4" x 4" Acrylic on Gallery Wrapped Canvas $15.00 each Today is about trying to get back into the saddle and move forward. I have a lot of painting to do. I have committed to doing several of the Sugarloaf Art-n-Craft Festivals. Besides having to produce the vast number of 2-d and silk products that I need for that kind of (rather expensive) multiple exposure show, I am also creating the table covers, wall unit covers, set decoration, and displays for the booth. At this point I figure I have to finish painting and framing about 150 new works, plus some 200 pieces of hand-painted and constructed silk garments. My partner and I spent the last year narrowing down my focus and fine tuning my techniques to produce the lines that I am creating in painting, art, and wearable art (such as the small affordable Designer Decorator Blocks pictured above). While I have a good idea of my abilities and my limitations, I also know that each piece of art I work on is furthering my sense of self, my exploration of art for expression of my vision of the world and my dream for a happy life. I am also working on my techniques for different art media, and creating my livelihood. Like most artists I struggle daily with schedule, with finding faith in myself, with the "sell out" or quit mentality of "is it art if it is not in a museum". Lately though I find the struggle becomes more and more about the fact that I didn't build a business at being an artist because I wanted to be rich and famous. (Although as everyone does I need money to survive and for art to at least pay for itself.) But I have a business because it is how I share my life with the man I love. We work together to promote my art, to focus on the coming year and what our priorities are. At times I wonder if my relationship were to end, would I still pursue a career in this world of art? The answer is, yes! Art is how I share my vision of the world with the man who is my soul and my inspiration. Ultimately it is a reflection to me of how I see myself. It helps me to examine my own vision of the world, my priorities in life, and my principles. "Create Beauty and fill the world with love is not just a by-line motto for a blog... It is how I try to live my life, have a relationship, and yes, run a business too! Back to the art work! Til Next time Create Beauty and fill the world with Love! Wynn

Monday, January 14, 2008

Well... back, to work! 2008

Mixed Decorator Blocks each 4"x4" Hand-painted acrylic on canvas $15.00 each @ I have taken a few weeks off from writing to organize my life and plan out the New Year. I have found that for me to keep focused and to move forward in my creative and business life I require time to plan, to set goals, and to strategize meeting those goals, in order for me to achieve anything. I have been working for the last few years on building my art business based on the work of my fine art paintings in oil and oil pastels. I love to paint so very much and I have had good response to my Virginia Landscapes. I have managed 11 solo9 and group shows in 2007 and feel very proud of the work I have done. In the coming year I intend to return to those media and keep expanding my use of color and form to express nature as she draws me to her. I have also been exploring the whole sale world as a means of supporting myself 100% with my art. I have found that the market for 2-d work is very undependable in both the gallery world and in wholesale art markets. But I have gotten a wonderful response for my hand-painted silk wearable art landscapes. This year I plan to continue to develop shawls, jackets, dresses, and pants for upscale clothing, as well as throws and pillows for interior design. I am booked for several Fine Art and Crafts shows this year, including the Sugarloaf Craft shows in Timonium Md, and in Chantilly VA. The Spring Show in Richmond Va and other to be announced soon. There I will be selling my silk-work and some small 2-d works including decorative wall blocks and my Twilight series and Appalachian Trail series paintings, as well as hand painted cards. I look forward to meeting many more people and the fun of craft fairs. It means a lot more time working in my studio... which I love! Part of my planning for 2008 is to work harder at maintaining my web sites and my online sales at and as well as my site. Time to get back to work! Until next time Create Beauty and fill the world with love! Wynn