I'm currently exploring mixed media abstract work inspired by the Sonoran Desert. I have a particular interest in expressionist or intuitive painting where I can meld the impressions of my surroundings with the expressions of my inner world.

receive my studio notes:

Deconstructing the Landscape

 I'm on a journey in deconstructing the landscape.  Over the past year, exploring non-objective abstract vs abstract realism has had me in a quandary. I struggle with being more literal than I'd like. 

The cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland wisely pointed out that if you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there. I have trouble with accurate descriptions of the level of abstraction I want to achieve, but I know it when I see it. So sketching of all kinds takes me down the path I want to explore, and concrete thought about my results help me understand what I'm most interested in including in my work. 

I've found blind contour drawings, pattern making, and value studies to be especially valuable. Blind contours loosen me up and create a skeleton to react to, value studies highlight interesting shapes and pattern making pushes me to simplify marks so they work well in a group. 

Foam craft sheets work so great for creating patterns! (these thin sheets of foam are usually found in the childrens craft section). I draw firmly on them with ballpoint pen to create the design, then use a brayer to apply paint for stamping onto surfaces. Some even have adhesive backs so you can apply them to cardboard to make a rigid surface for your homemade stamp.

Another way to simplify marks and shapes is with mono-printing and I've begun experimenting with that as well, using plexiglass.

These various techniques are used to help me discover the level of abstraction that's right for me. I want a sense of place, but no horizon lines. Loose expressive marks, but representational enough to be recognized.  The more ways I work, the more information I have to go on. My sketchbook holds all the possibilities! 

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