YEAR LONG CANVAS, mid-January, 2015

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YLC, untitled, copyright 2015, Jo Ann Brown-Scott

Holy cow we are nearing the end of January. Did you notice that?

Just this morning in a fit of panic I did some stuff to the YLC. Some stark white, the enhancement of a couple areas, the extension of the vertical cadmium orange line up behind and beyond the swath of black, couple turquoise dots – but the white has been the thing with the biggest zing.

If you zoom into this image you will find nuance and texture, shades upon shades, and lots of emphasis upon line. That’s what I like.

If you divide the canvas into 4 equal rectangles, with a vertical line down the center and a horizontal line from left to right, each quadrant tells a story and is a painting unto itself. But they all work together as well, geling into one large rhythmic piece. In my opinion, that is a good thing. The painting has movement, focal areas, lights and darks, brights and dims, strong color and a powerful composition. It is a joyful painting; nothing grim or menacing about it. The YLC is a happy canvas. You can see how she began in this blog’s Archives, and there are still a few hints of her left in the painting from when she was much younger. (Kind of true of us all.) My son wants me to title her “Rio” – one of his favorite places. He sees a distant skyline in it, a hot sun and a carnival atmosphere. But then if you knew him you’d already know that he sees a potential party in every situation…smile. Wonder where he gets that.

But isn’t that what art is all about? Seeing images through your own distinctive perspective? Depends on the day and the time and what you are going through in the moment. You are more than entitled to your own vibe. I welcome your vibes as well as mine. Just try not to get all gloomy on me because I never paint gloomy. I have to express the joyful colors of life! I must! Don’t try to stifle me! I’m recently back to myself after a rotten decade and life is just so damn good again.

Thanks to Homare Ikeda of the Denver Art Student’s League for this remarkable assignment – and I am not officially finished yet, but I must say that he opened me up and allowed me to pour it all out. I needed a strong nudge, a weird idea, a new awakening and a place to go that had a purpose. Hope you are still listening, Homare. I will see you again soon…

http://www.homareikeda.com

 

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Being Creative

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Paintings #1 and #2, not yet titled, copyright 2015 Jo Ann Brown Scott

There is something about a snowy, extra icy day that fires up my creativity. The sidewalks are a sheet of ice, the temps have plummeted from yesterday, there is thick, cotton gauze fog and no one who has a choice would be outside. And so we paint, me and my creativity. The light is perfect – bright with the outdoor whiteness, but no sun glare, no reflections in my north facing window. I always say that my most ideal conditions in which to paint, or write, are simply a good night’s sleep and a day when I don’t have to go anywhere or do anything.

I rolled out of bed about 8 am, a little late for me, went directly to the kitchen and made my famous chicken broccoli soup, eliminating any distractions about what I am going to eat today. It’s on the stove simmering, crusty Asiago bread nearby. This must be heaven.

As any artist is bound to do from time to time, I sometimes wish that I could paint a different way. It happens to the best of us; it is born not of boredom with what we are used to doing but a challenge to ourselves to accomplish a whole new look and make it sing, as if we had been doing it forever, just to prove we can. Every once in a while I give it a try. I usually paint with a confetti riot of color, and so my reaction against that tendency is to paint with a greatly subdued palette and far less action. That does not truly represent my normal joyful state of mind, (happy!) but I do have more subdued reflective moments of silence (yawn…) when I become rather meditative (almost asleep). If I can tap into that while I am standing upright painting, occasionally I get some fine results. If I try to do it twice,  I can, but I don’t necessarily like to, and I fall back into the fun stuff of going bananas with color; it seems to be the authentic me.

The second painting is subdued, for me. My version of restraint. (perhaps you are laughing now, at my version of restraint) but I kept it simple, the colors are there but not so plentiful and/or not so in your face. I wanted to do more, but I decided to eat lunch instead and let it go for a while and see if I can live with it the way it is.

With this blog I have two photos, the first abstract painting is a new one displaying my customary  expressionistic (controlled color pattern texture chaos) type of composition, and the next a much more toned down piece where as I worked I kept a lid on it. Over the holidays when I had some fun relatives over for lunch, my six year old niece, Finley, (with whom I  sometimes paint, and who calls me Great Jo because I am her great aunt) walked into my studio, saw the toned down painting on my work table and said to me, “Great Jo, this one is not finished – can I finish it for you?” Believe me, it was tempting to see what might have happened. I will file that idea away; and another time I will start something and let her finish it. It has to be a cut above elephants who paint, right?

By the way, yes it is a new year and I have not forgotten about the YEAR LONG CANVAS – she is looking longingly in my direction as we speak, jealous of my other work. She needs a fix, another session, and I will get to her soon. She reaches her one year “time up” about March 1st, and here we are in mid-January already. I have plans for the entire month of February, so my time is becoming scarce leading into her birthday. My next post will be for her, as she nears completion.