Tuesday, May 24, 2011

5.25.2011 ~ i return to the river where once...

i return to the river where once...
— 24 x 24 inches — mixed media on panel

— copyright Dawn Chandler 2011

Yesterday I applied the last couple coats of varnish to this, my most recent mixed media painting: I Return to the RIver Where Once.... I've created this piece for Mining the Unconscious: An Exhibit of Art Inspired by Carl Jung's Red Book — a summer exhibition hosted by the Santa Fe Community Gallery. I'm thrilled to have been invited to participate. I'll deliver the painting today; the exhibit will be installed late next week.

This exhibit has provided me the perfect excuse to pull out my collage materials and acrylic paints this spring and get busy with mixed media. To create my painting I started with a previously abandoned painting on panel, one of an abstracted landscape with a river cutting through it. That former painting was never satisfying to me, so a few years ago I started reworking it, taking it through any number of metamorphoses. I'd leave it alone for awhile, and then a few months later pick it up again. When I was invited to participate in this special exhibition, I knew immediately that I would use this recycled panel as the base for my new painting. A stretch of the river from the original painting is still visible in the bottom right quadrant of this newly finished piece. That river kept disappearing and reemerging as I reworked the old painting.

Recycled collages — pieces that were complete works in their own right, but which I decided would be put to better use as part of a larger story — make up the left-hand side of this piece. Composed of old wine bottle labels, dried and emptied tea bag papers, stamped images, fragments of cloth and paint rags, they provide visual texture and 'detail' to the larger composition. Fragments of photographs of statuary tease, suggesting — begging — a narrative that remains ultimately enigmatic.
Mining the Unconscious: An Exhibit of Art Inspired by Carl Jung's Red Book will open on Friday evening, June 17th at the Santa Fe Community Gallery at 201 West Marcy Street (at the intersection of Marcy and Sheridan), Santa Fe. The show will be on display through the summer.

Below, details of my painting:

Monday, May 16, 2011

05.15.2011 ~ dixon spring

dixon spring, i
— oil on panel — 6 x 6 inches
— copyright dawn chandler 2011

Up in Dixon for a spring afternoon. I love the undulating, flesh-toned hills in Dixon....[Note to Self: Need to spend more time up there...]

Again, the sun hardly showed itself, so there's little contrast of shadows and light in this piece.

Below are a couple images of the early stages of this painting — a good example of how I go about 'carving' a tree trunk with paint (see earlier post for more details).

Friday, May 06, 2011

05.06.2011 ~ in view of mother's day....

— ink on paper — 8.5 x 4 inches

— copyright dawn chandler 2011 —

A study of a photograph I discovered this spring, of my beautiful mother, c. 1954 ~ mere weeks after my parents were married.
They were living in New York City, and had gone to The Cloisters for the day. My father's romantic spirit comes to life in the beautiful photographs he took of my mother throughout their 53 years of marriage, and in these early photographs especially. He clearly liked the photo I've copied here, for he placed it alone on the album page. His black and white photo though is over-exposed, such that my mother's image is very bright. Indeed, she looks angelic.
Which, in fact, she is.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

05.05.2011 ~ santa fe dog days

santa fe dog days 01 — santa fe baldy
—16 x 16 inches —oil on linen
— copyright Dawn Chandler 2011 —

The finest dog in the universe, pausing for a moment to take in the view on the descent from the summit of Santa Fe Baldy.

Been wanting to paint this ever since I took the photo a couple of summers ago when we made our first (and so far only) ascent of Baldy. Finally got around to it this week!

Really, when you get right down to it, the picture isn't all that interesting. There are few colors, and what colors there are are washed out pretty well thanks to the bright midday sky. But still, it's a picture that conjures tremendous joy, and the spirit of adventure — let alone fine memories of a fine day. These, alone, make it a paint-worthy image in my book.

Below is a detail of my pup. Not surprisingly, she was the most difficult part of the painting. Much like the forsythia in my previous post, I carved her out of a large swatch of black paint, pulling in the sky around her.
Which direction is she looking? Out to the sky, or off toward the lower right?
It's kind of an optical illusion... In truth, in the photo, she's looking off to the lower-right, taking kind of a regal stance while awaiting our arrival up the trail. In the painting though, to me she looks as though she's looking away from us, out toward the sky.

The trail we took to the top of Santa Fe Baldy was 14 miles round-trip. This dog ran the whole way, and then some. We were hiking all day, and at trail's end, she finally stopped moving, collapsing in the car and snoozed for two hours.
That evening? While the rest of us were nearly in a coma of exhaustion, she was ready to go at it again. "Let's PLAY! Let's HIKE! Let's PLAY! COME ON!!!"

Crazy, good-for-nothing dog.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

05.01.2011 ~ liquid sunshine

Recently I received the loveliest gift: A condolence card from a dear artist friend. Though she didn't know my father, she sent such nice thoughts. But along with the card was a tube of oil paint — "liquid sunshine," as she calls it. Gamblin's "Indian Yellow."

Pictured here in the left, that ooze of orange paint at the top is what the color looks like right out of the tube. Below with the palette knife is what it looks like with a bit of titanium white added to it. Liquid sunshine, indeed!

On this First of May, when the sky is a scourge of grey blustery clouds and spitting snow, I can think of no better activity than to push a little "liquid sunshine" about with my paint brush.
Thank you, Friend!