New Paintings

New Paintings. Do creativity and travel change how I paint? As I have been working on the second painting of my Ireland series, I keep thinking about how traveling to places away from home influences my work.

That certainly was the case for me for years in France. Whenever I was there, I not only was affected by the scenery, I was also influenced by the age of the country, the people, the food, the quiet country roads and the lovely village in which I worked. I just wanted to do new paintings.

Painting in a newsletter is shown here.

Inland Island

abstract landscape

Wild Garden in Bloom, acrylic on canvas, Ann Hart Marquis

landscape painting

Before the Jungle, mixed media, 18 x 18x x 1.5 inches. $375

Spending a month in California at an artist residency last year allowed me to experience living in an old farmhouse in the middle of a vineyard and seeing how old, gnarled vines tangled around each other.

I have also painted a short time in Italy and Chicago. So I ask myself, have all of these experiences actually changed the way I paint and the way I see the world?

It is something for me to ponder since I first started painting in the southwest of France. After I came home, I painted what was in my environment or from photos in a painting class. At that time I was just trying to learn to paint.

Neuroscience and New Paintings

Not long ago I read that “In recent years, psychologists and neuroscientists have begun examining more closely what many people have already learned anecdotally: that spending time abroad may have the potential to affect mental change.”

Which brings me back to Ireland. I love France, but it doesn’t seem to have the spiritual punch for me that Ireland does. I am not really sure yet what that means.

I didn’t paint in Ireland, so I am relying on my memories and impressions for subject matter. I haven’t painted from photos. It is a very rural country. It is perfect for painting abstract landscapes. But creating a lovely landscape painting is not how or why I paint.

I paint in order to express the feelings inside me of something that inspires me. This series has a different feeling for me, but I can’t tell you why yet.

Here is a quote that I came across today by Miriam Beard about creativity and travel.

“Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living

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Inland Island

As most of you know, my blog is on hiatus. I now write a monthly newsletter. You can see examples of it under the sign-up section on the left. So join and get involved with the fun.

And you also have access to all of my past posts. I always appreciate feedback.

Tones of Green

I love to paint in tones of green. The painting that I did this past week in my painting class started as one painting and then it decided it wanted to be completely different. Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of the first layer. Fortunately the first layer is just random colors, so it is not a big problem.

I told the class that I had been painting Ireland. My intent was to not paint Ireland in this class. That was not the case, however. It had a lot of red-orange at the top and very bright yellow green at the bottom. It became more and more green until it morphed into what I think is one of my best paintings of Ireland.

painting by Ann Hart Marquis showing tones of green.

The Green, Green Grass of Home, acrylic on canvas, 30 x 30 x 3/4 inches. Ann Hart Marquis

As with most of my paintings I like to create layer over layer what various mark-making lines in each layer. My teacher calls me a builder. I rather like that reference. When she saw the finished painting she commented that there must be 32 different greens in it.

Due to being in this class, this painting and the one I am working on now will be in an upcoming group exhibit at a very lovely restaurant here in Albuquerque. This is a busy time in New Mexico because the weather is quite wonderful—sunny and a little cool. The exhibit will run from October 1 – December 30, 2016.

Also each October the International Hot Air Balloon Show is held here and Albuquerque is packed with tourists for at least a week. It is a good time to be in an art exhibit.

And my current painting which will also be in the exhibit is an abstract in hues of orange and magenta! It is not green. It does not remind me of Ireland. I purposely left all my greens and blues at home the day of the class. I just took reds, yellow and magenta. It seems a bit shocking to me at the moment. We will see how I finish it.

Impasto Paint and My Big Palette Knife

If you read my post from last week, you know that I started taking an abstract painting class. Part of the class includes critique, so students can bring in pieces that they are working on for feedback from the teacher. Also, at the end of the class we all got together and critiqued each other’s work.

It was a very helpful process especially to be able to bring my work and say “what does this need.” Fortunately, the piece that was on my post last week got good feedback from the teacher.

She said it was almost finished and just need two swipes of thicker paint, almost like an impasto. I like to paint thickly especially with my palette knife. I am now trying a very large palette knife about 2 1/2 inches wide and 6 inches long. Needless to say, it can cover a lot of canvas.

She suggested that it be in the same color as what was already on the canvas. That was not too difficult a challenge except mixing paint to the exact color as I did several days previously, always takes patience.

Painting showing impasto paint

The Nature of Water and Air, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30 x 1.5 inches. Ann Hart Marquis

I also started a new painting in class that I almost completely painted over once I got home. I was trying to follow her discussion and suggestions without listening to how I wanted to paint.

Next week, I think that I can incorporate her suggestions and still stay true to myself.

Artist Critique Group

If you read my blog with any kind of regularity, you know that I sometimes think a painting is finished, live with it awhile and then decide that it has some kind of major problem. I have just come to the point on the painting below that it is time to just stop and take a long look at it before proceeding.

Ann Hart Marquis painting for artist critique group

Untitled- Ireland, acrylic on canvas, 24x30x1.5 inches. ©Ann Hart Marquis

Fortunately, next week I start an abstract painting class where I can work on what I want including getting feedback from the teacher Janet Bothne. If I feel stuck or think that I don’t know what to do next, I can get advice. So this class sounds perfect for me.

In addition, this class includes a critique time with the whole class where I can get or give feedback. I have been looking for an artist critique group for several years. I am excited about the idea that other people will be giving me opinions about my work.

I have friends who do not like to have their work critiqued. According to artist and blogger Sharon Hicks,Some artists cringe at the mere thought of having their work critiqued. The very word ‘critique’ is based on the word ‘criticism’, and in our culture that word has taken on a negative connotation, since to criticize something usually means to point out its faults.”

According to the dictionary, however, the word critic derives from the idea of someone who judges, evaluates, or analyzes literary or artistic works, dramatic or musical performances. To me this is a neutral statement. Ideally a critic can give both positive and negative responses. It relates to the idea of useful criticism.

For me, good and useful criticism  serves one purpose: to give the creator of the work more perspective and help them make their next set of choices. I like the idea of having a set of choices.

I am also open to critique right now. If anyone has ideas of where this painting needs to go next, I would be delighted to hear them.