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This oil painting on burlap was completed in March 2004. As in most of my work, it's about exploring connections to nature. This painting is about providing survival, though shelter and nourishment. These 'simple' needs can be dissected in so many ways.

Burlap was a great textural ground to paint on. There are actual small holes in this painting that contributes to the meaning. Writing this, reminds me how enjoyable it was to experiment on this unusual ground. It's one my goals to do a series on burlap.

Topic(s): oil painting burlap 2004
By Heather on January 22, 2008 at 9:40am EST Add/View Comments (6)

Fingerprint Portraits
Contemporary American painter Chuck Close is one of my favorite artists. He created amazing massive portraits using a grid in unconventional ways. I saw his work at the Albright Knox in Buffalo, NY (Fall of 2006). The Show was a "Survey of Self-Portraits" and was amazing to experience with my family. If you have never seen his work, you better go Google some now! What's even more remarkable is that he was suddenly paralyzed half way through his career and he continued to work.

I was inspired by his art to create a lesson for my 8th graders. He made these very fun portraits using his fingerprints rather than a brush. I presented his work and taught them how to use the grid to blow up their photograph. Painting with fingerprints is not easy. Since we used only black acrylic, you have to rely on pressure for lights and darks. Flaws are a natural part of this process and learning how to accept them and work with them is one reason I like this project.

I loved creating my class example, my Self-Portrait. I loved it so much, that I created another for Pale as a goofy gift (above). My first portrait of Pale! What's wrong with me! He's great and I'll have to pay tribute to him again, maybe in oil paint next time. :P

Below are students' pieces.

Topic(s): acrylic painting portrait self-portraits middle school lessons student art work 2007
By Heather on January 17, 2008 at 12:25pm EST Add/View Comments (5)

Summer Still Life
This Oil painting was completed in August 2007. I love to experiment with color and texture. These elements are always constant in my work. It's what I find appealing, so I keep exploring it in unusual ways.

This canvas is actually a recycled painting that my lovely Grandma picked up for me. It had an awful, somewhat abstract painting of flowers as the subject. Therefore, I had no anguish painting over it. I loved the existing texture similar to plaster, so I toned the background with a muted aqua and painted this still life. I like that this piece has had a previous life and is now reincarnated (hopefully its last). I think the texture lends itself well to the texture of the vegetables, especially the avocado halves. I also did this painting quite quickly relative to others. I wanted it to have a spontaneous feel, which is something I always need practice doing.

Please click on the picture to see the whole thing. :)
Topic(s): oil painting painting still life 2007
By Heather on January 15, 2008 at 10:17am EST Add/View Comments (2)

A Garden to Tend
I started this series in fall 2004 and finished, finally, during the summer of 2007. Nature is a big inspiration to me and the subject of "A Garden to Tend" started with planting, watching, weeding, watering, and photographing, different plants. Gardening is full of successes and heartache and the 'gardening' continued with this series for quite some time.

I also think of this piece as an evolution of art. It started with transforming my digital photos of my garden to a Photoshop rendered collage, then creating a painting from that, followed by scanning the painting to manipulate into the third panel, and finally painted on top of the third for a combo of computer-generated art/painting to make the last. Sounds complicated, but essentially I just kept transforming the same image with slight variations using either the computer or oil paint. Located in my dinning room, it's a wonderful way to enjoy my garden during the winter months, especially since it no longer taunts me unfinished in my studio. I'm enjoying it because it still feels like a harvest from a long gone garden.
Topic(s): 2007 gardens oil painting painting computer art photoshop
By Heather on January 14, 2008 at 1:19pm EST Add/View Comments (4)
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