Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Artwork to Express Appreciation and Love

June is the most popular month for making the commitment of marriage. As it turns out, June was also a month in which several people decided to buy a painting from me as a gift for a loved one. I am always grateful when my artwork touches someone to the point that they want to have it. Even more thrilled when they purchase a painting to express their love. Here are examples of a few of the pieces that found great homes this past month. Many thanks to those who fell in love (again) in June:

"Stormy Skies," Pastel, © Lynn Goldstein

To see photographs of the progress of this piece check it out here.

"Silent Spring #2," Acrylic, © Lynn Goldstein

"Unexpected #2," Pastel, © Lynn Goldstein

To see the inspiration for this piece, check it out here. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Commit to People NOT Photographs

As a studio painter, I use tools to make my paintings. One tool that I use is photography. Yes, I do occasionally work outdoors. However, working outdoors does not allow me the time that it takes to be experimental in my art, an approach that I hold dear. When I use photographs, I make alterations. I make commitments to people NOT photos.

Something interesting happened during the course of this painting, that illustrates my firmly held belief regarding the use of photographs. So, I am sharing it here.

The start of the painting, blocking in forms. Notice the silhouetted tree shapes in the lower area.

More work done

Painting starting to take shape. I love trees, but these tree forms are annoying to me.

Although the trees are in the foreground of the photographic resource, I recognize that the painting "wants" to be a seascape.

Still more to do— trees gone—seascape it is! When completed, I will have the finished image on my website at www.lynngoldstein.com

Monday, June 8, 2015

Inspiration from Roman Frescoes

Since returning from Italy, people have asked if I was inspired to make art as a result of the trip. You would think that the answer would be simple, but it isn't. Although I took a sketchbook, our visit was spent seeing as much as we could see in the limited time that we had. So, my answer is this: I was awed by the artwork that I was able to see. The sculptures and paintings were magnificent. However, what inspired me as an artist were the frescoes. There were frescoes to be seen all over Italy, but I was particularly thrilled with the Roman era examples.

Perhaps the most inspiring fresco to me was in the National Roman Museum. In fact, I was surprised how much I enjoyed our time there. The museum is off the beaten track, air conditioned, and not mobbed with people; a trifecta that is rare in crowded Rome. The inspiring fresco that we enjoyed is the oldest example of a continuous garden painting. The work is dated from 30-32 BC.  Being in the room with these wall paintings, I could imagine the sounds of birds and running water. Artistically, the textures present in the preserved work moved me beyond words. Who knows whether something so ancient will find a way visually into my present-day work? Here are some images:

Frescoes of Villa of Livia which span an entire room 

Close up detail of the fresco shows that magnificent texture

Fresco showing the Acanthus plant which was the inspiration for corinthian columns




Thursday, June 4, 2015

Small World—A Digression from "All About Art"

Recently returned from a trip to Italy which was amazing. I get immense pleasure exploring locations that are unfamiliar. Funny thing is that so often familiarity will find you. Want proof? Take a look at this:
Look closely. We felt close to home when we spotted this. 

We saw signs like this all over Rome

Except for the menu, the inside of the McDonalds didn't look like home. One menu addition: several Caesar salads, amusing since it's reported that Caesar salad was first made in the United States!

For some more familiarity, I will share a funny story. Traffic is particularly hideous in and around Rome. The rules of the road are clearly only suggestions. We had a driver taking us from our hotel to the airport in advance of our flight home. My hat is off to anyone who makes a living driving on the treacherous highways and clogged thoroughfares in that city. I shut my eyes more than once while the driver navigated around utterly nutty drivers. When we arrived at the airport, cars were coming from every direction, and no one was giving our driver space to navigate to the entrance of the terminal. This driver had remained restrained for the entire drive, but now, with hands gesticulating, he spewed what must have been swear words in Italian. What made me really chuckle was after the barrage of Italian, he punctuated his ire with, "SUNDAY DRIVER!" I laughed, and thought, I'm not even close to being done with Italy.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Why Paint the Subject You Choose

During reception at Crossroads Gallery
Recently, I was asked to give an artist talk to accompany the showing of my work at Crossroads Gallery in Falls Church, Virginia. The gallery is a stunning space, and I am grateful to have my work displayed there. Although I have spoken about art, my own and generally, the conversations tend to be snippets regarding my technique and perhaps the specific inspiration for an individual piece. This time I wanted to share something different. What I wanted to cover was why I chose the subjects that I chose. Here is an excerpt of the artist talk:

People often ask me when I started making artwork. My answer is that I can’t remember when I started making artwork because I have been making art since I was a child. I studied art in college and worked as a graphic designer for 17 years, during which time, I continued taking classes and drawing and painting. But why did I choose to concentrate on the landscape as a subject? Well, I have given that a lot of thought. As a result of being a people person, and an extrovert, I had originally thought about making portraits. I studied with well-known portrait painters and worked from the live model as well—and I enjoyed it— but that path wasn’t feeding my soul. So, I decided to try something else, but what?


Talking with visitors at the reception for Converging, an exhibition of my paintings along with David Barnes' glass art
I am an introspective extrovert, so I think A LOT about what makes others tick and what makes me tick too. It is part of the human condition to experience negative things in our lives. What do we do when that happens? The answer is different for everyone. Some people listen to music, some dance, some sleep or go to the movies or lose themselves in a book. These are all good solutions. What I do, almost literally, is run to the woods or to a body of water. Since I was a child, in the mountains of West Virginia, nature has been a comfort to me in times of stress. Is it any wonder that I gravitated to the landscape as my subject? When people see my work in my studio, they often say that the art makes them feel at peace and that they want to walk into the imagery. That is the best of compliments because that means that they “get it.” Those who want to have my work find peace in it. If at all possible, people can take that peace and bring it out into the world by being a bit stronger and happier.

Grateful for a nice turn-out for the reception
One of my patrons  lives in Northern Virginia and also has a home in West Virginia. One of my paintings reminds him of a specific place that he clearly loves. Here's what he had to say about one of my paintings: 

"When I look at that painting, it brings me back to that field, and I can just imagine spending an afternoon there, reading a book and enjoying the sunshine and sound of birds and the fresh air. And since for a lot of reasons, I don't get to experience that reality on a daily basis as I'd otherwise like to, I find that your paintings are able to breathe a little bit of it into the days where I can't go back to that field in person.”

So, that is what I hope to bring to those who see and purchase my work. The gift of a location that brings them comfort and peace. 

Sending peace and comfort,
Lynn

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Monochromatic, Not Monotonous

Well, I had my students work on a monochromatic painting awhile back. They grumbled heavily!! A monochromatic color scheme is derived from a single base hue (color) with the use of that hue's shades, tones, and tints. If a student wanted to use one other hue, I allowed it if they felt the painting would only work well with the other hue included.

I don't tend to assign my students something that I won't do myself. Oh, okay, I do have them do things that I don't do... sometimes. In this case, however, I was determined make a monochromatic painting to show them. I tend to paint with quite a lot of color, so this painting was a challenge for me. That said, if an artist wants to create a mood, monochromatic work is a great way to go. The painting that I have included has a much more somber mood than what I would usually complete.

The inspiration for this painting was a stormy sky over the Baltic Sea last August. August is a month of warmth. Not so much in the Baltic Sea. The chilly wind was whipping. The storm clouds were ominous. That was the mood that I wanted to evoke. A monochromatic color scheme, with a tiny amount of the complimentary color, seemed the perfect way to go. Because I am inherently a positive person, there is a glimmer of light that conveys hope.

Here are some progression photographs of the painting. I began with a monochromatic watercolor under painting, and then added pastel to complete the piece.

The monochromatic watercolor under painting. You can see the pastels on the tray as I begin adding pastels to the painting.

Notice the orange pastel on the far right of my tray and the addition of orange to the painting.

A bit more pastel added for the clouds

The orange has been toned down, the water rendered, and the painting complete
Stormy Skies, "11.5 x 19 inches, Pastel © Lynn Goldstein



Monday, April 13, 2015

A Little Tease

Haven't posted anything here for entirely too long because of my busy preparations painting away for my upcoming show at Crossroads Gallery in Falls Church, VA. So, to remedy my lackadaisical performance in the blogosphere, I provide a teaser for the show. Here are some photographs documenting the progress of one of the pieces that will be on view. To see the finished painting, come visit the exhibition. You will be surprised at how the piece is finished. Better yet, come to the reception and artist's talk. For information about the event, visit my website.
1st Stage of the painting "Secrets Shared" This painting was started as a mixed media using pastel and watercolor on a textured surface.


A little more paint added

Making compositional changes and additions

Close to completion with a new painting started as well