Return of the 4 hour sale!

Hello ladies and gents! I decided to celebrate hot weather with a hot discount- announcing the brief return of the 4 Hour sale! Get 40% off of your entire order in my etsy shop until 12:30 pm PST TODAY with this coupon code: 4HOUR40.  With nearly 70 items already priced under $100, there’s sure to be art that fits into any budget with this discount. Head on over and take a peek! http://www.etsy.com/shop/trucdart

Under Water

"Under Water", acrylic on 16" x 20" canvas

I had the good fortune of spending a rain-speckled evening in Redwood City with my mom a couple of months ago. We had a delightful dinner and walk, in which I snapped some color-saturated images I’ll be using for my next slew of nightscapes. I sneak-previewed this piece to you guys a little while ago, and just finished it- there are dabs of at least 5 different colors on my fingertips as I type.

Detail shot

I love the rainbow colors reflecting on the dark asphalt, of course, but since this shot was taken from inside of a car, you can see the dots of diffused light in the upper part of the windshield. I could have edited them out for the painting, of course, but I decided to keep them in. I wear glasses and I suppose I have always felt like I’m viewing the world from behind multiple layers; in this case, behind glasses, a camera lens and a windshield.

Hint of a windshield

The subtitle on this sign says “climate best by government test” which I find hilarious for some reason. I chose the title “Under Water” as a twofold reference to the literal translation of a rainy evening and the figurative use of this term for the real estate crisis, as nearly 30% of homeowners in the bay area are currently underwater. But who wants to think about that on a lovely rainbow-colored night?

Another (kinda blurry) detail shot

If you get my newsletter, you know I just changed policies on my original artwork- all cityscapes for sale at less than $500 will no longer have prints offered and will be sold as one-of-a-kind original paintings only, like Under Water! Available for $400 now on Etsy.

Accidental joy

"Mapland", sewn paper and gesso, 12"x 16"

Hello darlings! Please excuse my belated announcement of the winner for “the name game”. I know I said I’d post it yesterday on Tuesday, but I hate to publish a blog post without art, so I lollygagged until I had something new to show you.

Thick gesso imprint forms tons of texture

First thing’s first- after careful consideration of the many wonderful suggestions, I’ve decided to go with “Golden Lantern”, a suggestion from Priya- a fellow artist and blogger- who wins the first print [a limited edition giclee] of this painting! Yay! This was fun. I think we’ll do it again sometime. Thank you to everyone who participated!

Map details are partially visible behind the translucent overlay

Today I’m sharing a new piece I cobbled together this afternoon. It started when I found my sweet vintage atlas (under a pile of stuff in the studio as suspected). Nearby were two sheets of translucent paper I’d used to imprint yarn into thick wet gesso for the landscapes I completed recently that I’ve been aching to Frankenstein into something grander. So I decided to combine them with atlas and map guide pages as an additional layer of subtle color beneath the white landscape.

Then a funny thing happened on the way to the studio. The last of the daylight slipped away as I finished stitching, allowing the glow of my trusty sewing machine to illuminate my paper ‘painting’. Instantly I felt a little ball of happy form in my chest.

Oh, joy! Damn, I love this.

The warm yellow light brought the map pages to life. Diffused under the frosted layer, they introduced soft color and lines less visible in daylight; like water transforms dusty pebbles into beautiful bits of color. There’s just something about illuminated sculpture that grabs me in my gut and won’t let go.

That pushpin fell out a half second after this photo. Yeah... paper lanterns don't make great bulletin boards, just FYI.

Alphabetastic

"J is for...", mixed media abstract painting on 8" x 10" canvas

As my fellow artists/occasional procrastinators know, nothing motivates like a deadline. I met with a volunteer at Roseville Library last week to check out the space, and she agreed that my mixed media abstracts- colorful and upcycled from old book materials, after all- would be a good fit.

"F is for...", mixed media abstract painting on 8" x 10" canvas

We settled on the alphabet pieces and a few others that are currently on display in Sacramento, but I realized it would look a lot better if I grew the group. So I made 5 more alphabet paintings between yesterday and today, which I’m now posting for your viewing pleasure before I scuttle them off to be displayed.

"Y is for...", mixed media abstract painting on 8" x 10" canvas

It may seem like a last minute thing, but I’ve got a whole day to make labels and wire these babies. That ain’t bad! The edges are even painted. Woohoo! It’s the little things.

"A is for...", mixed media abstract painting on 8" x 10" canvas

It was an interesting experience working on these as my brain reached back into my maker memories from last year. I began to remember more about what worked and what didn’t with the first group as I got into them. I couldn’t find my vintage atlas (odds are it’s buried under a pile of other crap/potential art supplies somewhere in my studio), but I used my vintage sewing patterns and bits from dictionaries, a thesaurus, a children’s book and my trusty old physics book for the neat little diagrams like before.

"P is for...", mixed media abstract painting on 8" x 10" canvas

I am pleased with the color combinations, but I can’t decide if these are cheery and kids’ room-appropriate or if they have a creepy feel because of the black lettering. *Shrug* I think that bit reading “peanuts are not nuts and other surprising facts” is my favorite, because it’s just kind of odd. [The book says they’re beans, by the way, but I call shenanigans on that one. I can accept “legume” but are all legumes also beans? Any agriculturists in the audience?]

If I remember to bring my camera, I’ll update this post with a photo of the display from Roseville Library on Saturday. And if you’re local, swing by the library at 225 Taylor St. between June 4th and July 30th to check these out in person!

Environmental Hazards

"Redline", 12" x 12" acrylic on canvas

Although we don’t have children, it sometimes feels like we’re living with them- based on the state of our lawn, that is. We live across from an elementary school, and are smack in the prime parking zone, which means all assortment of sundries make it on to our struggling grass. From candy wrappers to book reports and diapers to empty cigarette packs, it’s obvious that both parents and munchkins find our home to be an irresistible trash lot. So I’ll admit that I snickered gleefully from my studio today when these minions of mess were trapped in torrential downpours- which mother nature perfectly timed just for my viewing enjoyment at both drop-off and pick-up slots.

Detail shot; texture achieved by pressing yarn into thick wet gesso, which I later sanded and applied watercolor and paint to.

At the same time, with the wacky weather pummeling the entire country, I can’t help but be concerned about the unseen environmental hazards mixed in with the tornado warnings. Who knows how much radiation is present in our rainwater or is making its way over in the Pacific Ocean, thanks to the convenient shutdown of EPA testing. Of course, actual testing of the rainwater, soil or our own blood would reveal unnaturally high levels of heavy metals like aluminum, strontium and barium thanks to chemtrail spraying.

"Roil", 12" x 12" acrylic on canvas

Meanwhile, the oil companies are broadcasting touchy-feely commercials about how great they are making our lives by harvesting natural gas (of course, little emphasis is put on the pollution of groundwater and soil from the fracking process). Monsanto continues to hide GMO failures and contaminate organic farming plots while pushing their aluminum-resistant seeds (see a trend here?), and it makes me imagine our lands as future barren dust fields. It was these apocalyptic contemplations that inspired these landscapes.

Detail shot; hard to see, but there's a glowy green yellow color on the horizon

The good news is that more and more people are informing themselves, and you can too. If you think these risks are worth doing something about, take action! There are oodles of terrific documentaries available through Netflix and the internet on all of these issues. Want to get started? Check out this documentary on fracking (Gasland by Josh Fox), these websites about Chemtrails (this one focuses on how to take action in Northern California), sign this petition to reinstate EPA testing of Fukushima radiation or add The World According to Monsanto to your Netflix queue.

Please note that I don’t aim to push an agenda on to anyone, and respect everyone’s right to their own opinion about the state of things. From time to time, I do like to share how I feel and what I’m researching as both context for my artmaking at that time and for the sake of communicating things I think are important. Thank you for reading!