Right above the large metal cabinets that I have been painting on this last month, there is a majestic pine tree. And one branch gracefully swoops down to touch the top surface.
I noticed after working at the site for a while, that little things were making me itch, and noticed that these teeny baby spiders were dropping on me from the branches above. It makes me think about
keeping my hand steady when doing those critical strokes on small leaves, or decorating the “cake” in my image.
Other critters around include: the occasional grasshoppers that leap up from the surrounding dry grass, the odd yellow jackets trying to get inside the cabinet, and squirrels scampering along the fence nearby. There is a brown and black mottled kitty who gave me the idea to include a couple of cats in the scene, and behind the fence, a family of urban chickens, although they are quite mellow, and I don’t often hear them.
So, even when there are no humans passing by and chatting, it seems I have lots of company. Often, while working, the iPod has come in very handy, and those New Yorker Fiction podcasts I was saving up have really kept my mind occupied while brushing on the acrylic paint. In my life as a studio painter, I only use oil, and solvents, so have never quite adjusted to the uber speedy drying time, and the color change that happens when working with this stuff. Particularly frustrating when what you see mixed up is not what you get when it dries. Oils behave in a more predictable way for me, and since color is a huge part of what I do, I have gnashed my teeth a couple times here when re-mixing and trying again. But who doesn’t love a good challenge?
About the ArtistNanci has a BFA from the University of Oregon, and an MA/MFA from University of Iowa. In addition to being a practicing artist since 1988, she has taught at colleges in Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland, and Colorado. When not in the studio, you can find her in the garden, or volunteering around town.
About the ArtI love the challenge of creating contradictory impulses - approaching and withdrawing -overlapping and pulling apart - density and ethereality - beauty and menace. All images are copyright the artist. No reproduction or use without permission.
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