Monday, May 01, 2017

Refreshing Abstract Restarts

My wall of shame.  These are paintings that are in progress, recycled or awaiting their demise.
I have taken all of the paintings that were sitting around singing "You suck so bad!" in chorus line fashion, dancing around my studio, and painted over them with whatever paint I grabbed.  I have some tubes of Titanium White and Ivory black that are ancient, so I squeezed an ample amount of those on my palette and started mixing paint with whatever else was in my bucket.  I scooped it up and smeared it all over those aggravating little buggers.  Now they are singing a new song.
Phase 1
 This is phase 1 of the paint over process
Phase 2
This is phase 2 of the paint over process

I recently discovered two amazing artists that have lit a fire in my belly. Every once in a while, the universe gives me a nudge.  I really love the process these two women use to make their paintings.  It is probably coincidence that I have discovered them both recently, but I like the world to have meaning, so I am calling them signs.  When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

I have been floundering around with what I know.  That isn't really much.  I have been sketching, doing ink drawings and the like without any real direction.  I love doing studies!  It feels like I am getting somewhere with my 100 heads.  This is a "next level" that I could take it.

So while I am smearing, smudging and swearing, check out these two artists.

The first is Vanessa Lemen. There is a mysterious look to her work and I love the way she combines the very abstract with realism. I first discovered Vanessa Lemen on this episode of One Fantastic Week.  If you are not familiar with that YouTube channel, they talk about how to make money with your art.  I love their interviews because they dig into how the artists work and get their ideas for the work they do.  The other huge benefit of browsing through the plethora of interviews is that you can discover artists that you did not know.  Vanessa Lemen is just one such artist for me.  Now, I am a fan girl.

I love her work for a variety of reasons.  The first and foremost is that with very little representational imagery, she invites you to enter her paintings and figure out what is going on with them.  They are both simple and complex.  They are finished and undone.  Depending on your frame of mind, you could see either, or both.  I love that quality!

You can find her -

on Facebook - Instagram -
Blog -

The second artist I love to admire is Stanka Kordic.  I love her work for almost the same reasons.  At first, her work seems soft and gentle, but the more you look at them, the more her paintings are intense and demanding.  I discovered her on the Savvy Painter Podcast.  This is a podcast that also does artist interviews, only with fine art painters.

You can find her -
Website -
Facebook -
on Instagram
YouTube -

This is my favorite video on her YouTube channel.

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