Sunday, September 30, 2007

Little Paintings for Lallybroch Gallery

So, how did I end up painting such small paintings? Well, it all started with a gallery located in Algiers Point called Lallybroch Gallery. The artist organization ARTinA (Art in Algiers), which I belong to, was invited to have a show at the gallery. Because the gallery was small, the artists were asked to bring small artwork for the show.

When I went to the art supply store, I zeroed in on the 6” x 6” size. Similar to the eight pieces I created, I painted dots over a triangle pattern. The paintings below are the first four I painted. In May of 2002 I saw the film “Enigma” which concerns a group of British young people who cracked the Nazi code during World War II. Seeing the film inspired me further in the direction begun with the first eight paintings. I was simply intrigued with patterns as a visual expression, not as a hidden message.

Then I had to find titles for these paintings. I settled on the names of the letters from the Greek Alphabet. They often turn up in our pop culture and I thought they would be appropriate for my new paintings. Thus I named the four: Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta.

The reception was in early July of 2002. In New Orleans that is a hot and humid time of year. Unfortunately for everyone who attended the opening, the gallery was hot. As I wandered around, my fellow artists and my family were excited about these small pieces. They told me I should do more of them.

When the show came down, none of the works had sold. That didn’t discourage me from painting more canvases that size. Besides the ARTinA Festival was coming up in October and I figured small pieces would be an ideal item to sell . . .

Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta, 6" x 6"'s, acrylic on canvas

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Code Series: The Second Four

In July of 2002 I finished these four paintings that complete the set of eight. Unfortunately the space, where I was hoping to display the work, is no longer available. Another organization now shows there instead.

There have not had the opportunity to show all eight together. In the spring of 2005, Ele invited me to hang three of the paintings. I have entered the other ones in competitions and other exhibitions. At this time, I have no future plans to paint any more at this size

Code Pink

This won first place in an art show competition.

acrylic on canvas, 22" x 28"

Code Lime

acrylic on canvas, 22" x 28"

Code Yellow

acrylic on canvas, 22" x 28"

Code Green

acrylic on canvas, 22" x 28"

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Code Series: The First Four

Picking up where I left on September 14, here are the first four paintings where I settled in on painting formula. After changing my mind several times, I decided to keep my rendering of the triangles flat. I then put dots over the triangles to soften the imagery.

In applying the paint I kept the dots a bit sloppy. I wanted the pieces to have a primitive the feel. But as I continued painting, I wasn’t totally satisfied. When I went on to paint the next four, the dots were much more controlled.

My plan for these four and the following four was to show them as a group in a downtown space. An organization I belonged to was already hanging there – one artist each month. Around the time I was completing these, the terror alert color code was introduced. The different levels inspired my titles.

Also around the same time my mother was facing her cancer. My family endured many alerts as health grew worse. It was like waiting for the other shoe to drop, except was more than one pair of shoes.

At the beginning of 2002, I became interested in the colors that I used in the "Code Orange" painting. My plan was to repeat the same colors when I painted the other canvases in the series. Along the way I had to make adjustments because of color shifting. Sometimes adjacent colors affect the perception of a color. One color was always a dominant color.

Here are the first four.

Code Blue

acrylic on canvas, 22" x 28"

Code Purple

acrylic on canvas, 22" x 28"

Code Orange

acrylic on canvas, 22" x 28"

Code Red

This won second place in an art show competition.

acrylic on canvas, 22" x 28"

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Marathon Painting

Yesterday around 11:30 a.m. I went over to the Westwego Art Center to paint. I set up on a round table and started in on these three pieces. As the afternoon and evening came I kept going until 6:30 p.m. As long as I had paint mixed I didn't see any reason to waste it. Sure I took breaks. I always have to look at my work from distance to see what is happening.


acrylic on canvas, 5" x 5"


acrylic on canvas, 5" x 5"


acrylic on canvas, 5" x 5"

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Dot Art Hands On Workshop

This past Thursday I conducted a “hands on” workshop with my fellow artists of ARTinA (Art in Algiers). First I discussed the artists that influenced my dot art and then showed some examples of my completed works. Next I demonstrated how to use wood dowels with cotton to paint different patterns. After that, all of us painted on small canvases that were provided for the workshop.

Tropical Storm Humberto brought rain Thursday, but the sky cleared up by early evening. I shot some pictures just before the meeting. An overcast sky gave way to a beautiful sunset.

Friday, September 14, 2007

How My Current Art Began

In the fall of 2001 I was a talent visual art teacher responsible for a caseload of elementary talent art students at four schools. I was filling in for a talent art teacher who was on sabbatical. When I tried to explain the art term “value” to my students all I saw were blank confused looks.

So I came up with a grid of triangles. I handed each of them a grid to draw patterns in each triangle – lines and dots. Before having them start, I held up a sample grid I had drawn. When they finished drawing patterns, I held up each page so they could view the results from a distance.

And what does this have to do with my dot art? Well, this is where my current art began. I created this patterned grid. After that I played with color in a similar grid. These were rough ideas leading up to my dot paintings. Below are the first three stages of this process.

Except for a few spots on the ink page, there are no dots on the other pages. Well, the dots were not involved yet. I was having difficulty completing four acrylic grid paintings. The dots came about later. Along the way I had changed my mind several times.

ink on paper, 8.5" x 11"

colored pencil on paper, 5.5" x 8.5"

ink on paper, 8.5" x 11"

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


"Stop/Go" was inspired by the movie "The Mexican" from 2001. Brad Pitt's character is at a stop light which becomes a pivotal moment for him. It captured my indecision at the time.

In this piece I wanted to play with variations of the complementary colors "red" and "green". This piece reflects my fascination with Victor Vasareley artwork. However, in rendering the drawing I wanted to keep it more expressive and soft edged.

colored pencil on paper, 15.25" x 24"

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Half Mark

Now, I have reached the half mark for this batch. It won't be long before I post more. I'm trying to use up mixed paint before it all dries out.

In the meantime I've begun roughing out thumbnails for the next batch - the other half of the "a" series. Before long I'll paint the first coats of paint on those canvases.


acrylic on canvas, 5" x 5"


Well hear is the the problem painting resolved. The title is "not applicable" anymore.

acrylic on canvas, 5" x 5"


acrylic on canvas, 5" x 5"

Monday, September 03, 2007

Green Dreaming

This is one three paintings from 1995; however I never completed the other two. They remain only partially done. For some reason those paintings never really clicked.

I worked on this one during a Fine Arts day at a girl's Catholic school. Every year the school invites artists to demonstrate or have hands on materials for the girls to try. The girls visit each artist table. I had several pieces I painted on that day.

It would be three more years before I'd come back to dots in my artwork. And even then, I failed to get a picture of the piece before it sold. It was a long narrow horizontal color pencil drawing. The background was a transition of color behind scattered dots. I barely had a chance to exhibit the piece before it suddenly sold at a show.

acrylic on canvas, 12" x 16"

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Wednesday Paint In

Wednesday I joined the West Bank Art Guild artists for a “paint-in” at the Westwego Art Center. We each chose a table and spread out our supplies. I made a little progress on two new dot paintings. To see more photos from the session, see my blog, pic journal.