While getting the house into a functional state, I've also been plugging away in the studio.
I finished all of the work for my next show before we'd moved. When you paint with oil paints, you've got to really push your deadlines for exhibitions back because the works need time to dry and in my case be varnished with an initial varnish so the surface appears nice and uniform.
I'd started this little cardinal before we'd moved, and just had to put one more thin layer of paint over the whole thing to really solidify the colors. The red I used for this painting was cadmium red which is very slow drying. I had to transport this guy half-dry from SD to WI, and I'm glad he survived the transit without getting distorted!
Last week I sent out the pieces for my next exhibition titled Conscious Objects which opens the 7th of November in Minneapolis, MN at the Soo Visual Arts Center. It is always a big job to pack and ship work, as you have to be prepared for it to be dropped off the side of a truck or stepped on - hah. Here's a sneak peak of this happy squirrel before he was cased in many layers of plastic, foam, and cardboard. If you are in Minneapolis, please check out the work - it will be up for the next month + - here is the press release: Conscious Objects at Soo VAC
Otherwise, I've been able to put in some good hours in the studio - both painting, and organizing/photographing/doing paperwork. I'm starting to get back into the groove, and kick out some work.
This one has been especially fun with the complexity of the hair to go along with the reflective surface. Plus, how can you resist this guy's face?
I've also been really trying to refine how I prepare my surfaces - especially for my works on panel. I'd been gessoing them with a roller and light sanding between layers, but I wasn't really 100% happy with the slight surface texture. It worked great for blending paint, but it was driving me nuts when it came to fine details. So I switched up my method of application and my sanding process, and made a batch of ultra smooth panels for some of my next paintings.
These are underpaintings on those panels - a continuation of the series 'faux landscapes' that I've been working on the last few years. I'm pushing these to be a little bit more abstract than the some of the others I've done in the past. I'm not sure if that is the direction I'll keep pushing them, but in the meantime I'm having fun.
I'm loving the surfaces so far though - they are divinely smooth, and the paint is gliding like a dream. It is nice when you get to the point where you don't have to fight the materials to get them to do what you want.