This past Fall, I fell in love all over again with the NW. The fall colors on the trails, heck even in the city, the smell of pine in a 2 foot deep carpet of needles, the moist air after a long hot, dry summer. I know from my green building background that human health and productivity improves when we have a view of the outdoors, particularly greenery, while we work inside. The new/renewed concept of “forest bathing” goes further – suggesting we need not just a view but immersion, to capture some serious physical and psychological benefits. I’m not fully versed in the science but will do some digging. But my recent forest frolics certainly brought me a lot of joy and a sense of relief after the west coast was up in flames in July and August. The impression has been made. I created several new pieces for the Building C Open Studios on December 1, and it opened up a flood gate. I’ve got a host of studies spread out in the studio, and can’t wait until my schedules opens up again early in the new year!
Well, ok not actually IN the rain… but while it’s raining. Summer is always busy. Sunshine often lures one away from the studio… Rainy weather is much more conducive to creation for me. Armed with photos, sketches, and small studies, I re-enter my newly re-organized studio ready to dive in. So bring on the rain!
Work in progress right now…
I love daffodils! They are one of the first flowers to pop up in the Spring and their bright yellow petals just make me smile! I was in Mt. Vernon last week, and did some sketches in the daffodil fields. A gray and breezy day, but the rolling rows of yellow blooms more than compensated. I also spotted the FIRST Mt. Vernon tulips of 2017 peeking out of a muddy field. Pops of magenta, my favorite color too!
The lovely yellow petals of the daffies create a time challenge though, as yellow oil paints take longer to dry than just about any other color. The flowers on the other hand, come and go in a month or so, so painting from local blooms (my preference for daffodils and tulips since they are such a local icon) has but a brief season. On my first two daffodils works, I used a lot of layers and it took a week or more for each layer with yellow in it to dry… I’d like to create a larger set this spring, so I’m experimenting with my layering and taking time to really get the base right before diving in with thick paint. Practicing patience is really what it amounts to, which is hard when studio time is in short supply.
Spring is here, well sort of, it you like wet, cold, windy Springs… But the flowers are in bloom like crazy! And I have art out into the world, with my “blooms” from coast to coast! Two of my tulips pieces (Mod Tulips and Tulips on Blue) are in the 3rd National Art and Flowers Exhibition at the Ellington-White Contemporary Gallery in Fayetteville, NC.
The first large daffodils piece I created, which started this journey into florals, aptly titled Daffodils I, is off for framing before heading to its new home in Mesa, AZ.
And, later in April, three works (Sunnies & Shadow, Dear Trio, and Daffodils II) will be featured in the Spring Arts Festival in Anacortes, WA. The show runs April 14-22, 2017, so if you’re up that way for the tulips check out the show! The Tulip Festival starts March 31st and is always a work of art right out of the ground!
2017 is off to a great start. I just completed a move into a new studio, upstairs at Building C. At last I have a window! Ode to fresh air and natural light! I’m very happy.
The studio open house last December was a ton of fun. I received a lot of positive feedback on my latest floral series. I also exhibited some abstracts at the Ballard Starbucks last Fall. I will start updating the website soon to upload new works from the fall and January, but I’ll post an image here of one of my favorites to get something current up fast.
I also created an Instagram account, trying to get into the social media habit like it’s the 21st Century… Find me there as teresasternarts. Just getting started there too, and will try to get in the habit of posting more often.
I’ve been working on a series of abstract paintings exploring the concept of finding balance. Now that I have the first set back from their time out in the world at the PARC building in Belltown, I’m continuing to refine the language and try new shapes. Is it a person, place or thing? Yes, no, maybe so!
Ok, it’s the first “work day” of 2016, so it’s a good time to just jump in! In fact, I was in the studio over the Christmas to New Years Day “break” but it was fun, no-pressure studio experimentation time plus some drywall finishing. Somehow there’s nothing like a little construction work to make me really excited to get back to fine art creation… Maybe it’s the sore muscles and maybe it’s a bit meditative to make something in a different way.
So I started the art part of the day with an artist’s career development webinar. That inspired me to create an online sales platform, as I’d been meaning to do most of last year… Welcome to my new Etsy shop greenTart. I posted three of my Leverage series oil paintings as a start and will add more as I get time and photos… It’s a start!
Wow, I started a draft post last December, in 2014! I’d moved to a new, larger space in the Building C wharehouse in the industrial area of Ballard. Now a year later, I’m finally getting that update out… The good news is that I love my new space. It took some time to get everything set up, or mostly set up, and dive into painting, in between other work, family, life, etc. But I’ve finally settled into a routine and starting to see significant momentum. 2015 has definitely been a transition year.
I’m hosting an open house at the December 12th Ballard Art Walk so looking forward to seeing folks and sharing a sneak peek at the new abstract paintings. I also have seven paintings at the PARC high-rise condo in Belltown. Feels good to get creations out of the studio into the wide wide world!
Here’s an image of one of the paintings on exhibit, from my Leverage series.
Sky Feeder got a new name from a passerby who called it a “sky garden”. She was more on the mark than she realized, as I would swear those dowels took root! Thank goodness for the recent fall rains which definitely softened the soil. Even so, I had to dig out about 120 of the dowels with a shovel – after all the hard work pounding them into the ground originally they just didn’t want to pull loose easily. The good news is that the design of the piece proved quite stable! Four wet soggy hours spread across Tuesday and Thursday of last week, not including a break to dodge a brief thunderstorm, left a leaf strewn lawn and some small patches of mud. It gave me a sense of great satisfaction to document the deconstruction as ring by ring the pieces came out, and to see the site return to its natural state.
Last Sunday, Aaron, Eva and I stopped by the Upper Meadow to revisit the upper meadow and see the sculptures we missed the last time we were there. Seeing art with a 2 years old can be fun, but is dictated by a toddler’s attention span… I’m so glad we made it back! The colorful knit flowers in Suzanne Tidwell’s Meadows Aloft were one of my favorites, and based on time spent actually looking at them, were Eva’s favorite as well. Several have slumped over, which meant Eva could ring the bells in the flower centers. Maybe this was intentional, maybe not, but was a nice art evolution.
For another work, nature’s evolution impacted the art. The tree that DNA Planta Genetica, by Mary Coss, was installed on fell over. I didn’t see the piece before this transformation, but I really liked it when I did see it. It was almost like an archaeological remnant, an unexpected discovery of something that had been there for years and years.
The textured concrete forms of Spriral Set (Kristin Shimick) managed to create a soft organic feeling. The braille engravings in Elements of Life (Lucy Mae Martin) provided another tactile aspect and a reminder that there are many ways to experience the world.