Thursday, April 14, 2011

Retreat: Day 5

I spent the morning at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem, Oregon.  A gorgeous museum and I highly recommend it should you be in the neighborhood.  I went to see the new exhibits but also to study the Pacific Northwest art collection on permanent display.  The new exhibits include the senior art show from Willamette University and there were some really interesting pieces (I'm shy about taking photos in a place like this but you can see some over on my friend Bonnie's blog).  I was also impressed how many had already sold.  Way to go seniors!  When I went to Willamette, the Hallie Ford Museum was but a dream.  I am so envious that the art majors have this amazing venue now. 

My goal, though, was to study the permanent collection of Northwest art.  Whenever I was particularly drawn to a piece, I stopped to take notes so I would remember what I liked and why.  Then before I left I sat and tried to bring together my thoughts.  Some of my favorites for this exercise?  I will tell you but I'm afraid I can't find the actual pieces I saw but just some examples of their work:  Constance Fowler (I found the painting I studied here, go through the slide show to "Low Tide"), Louis Bunce, Carl Morris, and my previously mentioned friend Bonnie Hull who's explanation of her work was my favorite (this quote might not be perfect), "Hull is interested in artistic process involving the transformation of materials." I noticed a trend with the paintings I was drawn to: abstract.  Or at least expressionist.  Interesting.  I might do another post on another day about my conclusions, perhaps after I've thought about it for awhile.

In the afternoon I painted.  I worked on the Lord and Schryver series.  I was a bit nervous to get started on these as they were through stage one and stage two meant painting over some of what I had already done.  A bit daunting.  What if I regretted the changes?  Keeping in mind what I've learned about my intentions from the retreat, I forged ahead and I must say I had a blast.  I haven't been that freed up in painting for a long time.  By the end I was quite pleased with my progress:



Stage two needs some more work, obviously, but I'll be moving over to the other three paintings in the series today and let these dry a bit.


I worked on another sculpture but it didn't go well.  Instead I'll share this oil pastel sketch:



Today is day 6 of the retreat and my final day.  Hard to believe, it went so fast!  I'll be back tomorrow with today's events and a round up of the retreat.  One other thing I am going to try later today is monoprinting with liquid acrylics.  The previous attempts were using Golden Open Acrylics and they tend to be slower drying and transparent.  I'm curious to see how the liquid acrylics work out.

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