15 January 2017

the kitchen and the studio

What happens in the kitchen is not so different from what happens in the studio. Sometimes in fact, it is pretty much exactly the same thing.

lines and shapes made with my eyes closed
lines and shapes made with my eyes closed
In the kitchen:

This morning I made a few "blind" drawings in a new 6x8" hardbound sketchbook.

It was a nice morning mediation kind of exercise, which I did while sitting at the kitchen table enjoying a cup of hot black tea.

lines and shapes made with my eyes closed

Because I haven't done these in awhile, they feel different again.  I used more colour, and spent more time working on them, than in the previous sketchbook.

lines and shapes made with my eyes closed - oil on panel

In the studio:

During the last few weeks, I've been taking the idea of the blind drawings...

lines and shapes made with my eyes closed - oil on wood panel

(which in this case means making the lines and shapes entirely with my eyes closed, and then working them up a little bit more with eyes open)

lines and shapes made with my eyes closed - oil on wood panel

...and exploring how I might translate them into paintings.

These four studies are still in progress.  Oil on wood panels, 12x16 inches each.
lines and shapes made with my eyes closed - oil on wood panel

The feeling of a brush laden with oil paint and moving over a wood panel is quite different from the feeling of a pen or marker moving over the surface of paper.

In between all this, I made a large oil painting.  It's about 72 inches wide, and I think it's finished... though it'll have to sit for a bit before I'm sure.

lines and shapes made with my eyes closed - oil on canvas, 25x62 inches

I've heard that the studies are supposed to come before the large work, but in this case they are all happening together.

It's so good to be working with oils again, in a studio that is really separate from the house.  A couple of weeks ago my husband helped to install an exhaust fan, and together with the air exchange and wearing a mask and gloves, I am confident to use the various oil mediums again without compromising my health.

One corner of the garage studio, showing a few of the "Sound" paintings and shelving with books and printmaking tools and materials.  Also the Creative Brain, my studio mascot.

And there is one corner of my still-new garage studio, showing a few of the "Sound" paintings and my bookshelf which also contains plastic storage tubs filled with printmaking tools and supplies, including the various parts of an almost-finished installation project which I've been working on for almost 7 months now.

Also on the bookshelf, lit-up, is my Creative Brain, my much-loved studio mascot.



Barbara Muir said...

Wow! As always you are amazing. Blind drawings! I am so afraid of losing
what sight I have left that this would terrify me, but I am so taken with
what you've done. The huge painting is stunning and your works in progress
are too.

Is there really a "supposed to" in art. We hear this all the time, and then I
stand in front of a Pollock and think -- Really?

Love your glorious rebellion. The truth is you can't get away from artists.
Even when they have beautiful studios they still end up in the kitchen! "Laughs!"


Verna Vogel said...

Hi Barbara, thank you for your compliments.

Ah, the kitchen - it's really one of the best places to be, isn't it. Especially with a sketchbook on the table! *laughs*

And: "the rules is, there is no rules!" as my husband is fond of saying. What a gem.

And: Glorious rebellion. I like that, and I like your glorious rebellion too!

P.D. Crumbaker said...

Love this work, as usual. An adult daughter contemplated moving back home temporarily so she could finish school. I had downsized to a small house after all the kiddos were gone. She looked at the printing paper and gel plate in the fridge, the scissors and brushes and needles and threads on the island and said, quietly, "I might could do this, but one rule would have to be that the kitchen is for kitchen things." Luckily, we preserved our relationship by foregoing the temporary homesharing.

Congrats on the new studio setup!

P.D. Crumbaker said...

How long would a multi-layered oil painting such as one you have here need to "dry" or "cure" - or whatever the term is - before it would be released to the world? Would love to be able to see that large piece "in person"

Verna Vogel said...

Hi P.D.

You kitchen sounds wonderful!!! Sustenance for body and soul, all rolled up together :) Glad you preserved your relationship with your daughter though *laughs*

As for drying/curing time on an oil painting: depends what type of process the artist uses! This one, made in thin layers but with slow-drying mediums, took about 2 weeks to surface dry. The curing of all the layers will take longer... I'm giving it another two months before I varnish.

Any chance you are heading up to Western Canada? Or maybe, I should try to get a gallery in Florida. However it unwinds, I do hope that one day you will indeed see this painting in person!


Wayne said...

Super.......with my eyes open.....I try not to LšŸ‘€K at what I paint......"blindly"šŸ˜²

Verna Vogel said...

Thank you Wayne for your comment. I think that not allowing the control freak of the conscious gaze, so to speak, to gain the upper hand is really the essence of creativity. I've been taking it to the top by actually closing my eyes while I draw, and finding that it's super fun and very meditative.