Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Getting Into an Artist's Mind - Reflections on an Oil Painting

© 2010 Karen F Rose
oil on canvas

Have you ever studied a painting and wondered. What's the narrative here? Just WHAT is the artist saying to me? 

In this original oil painting I created for the Art and Apparatus exhibit at the IceHouse Gallery earlier this year, I included a number of seemingly unrelated objects - a hammer, a cryptic handwritten note, a large scholarly leather bound book, and an egg, gently cradled in a hand, (a wooden carved hand) all lit with a somewhat mysterious glow. 
Does each object represent something other than it's physical reality? Is my representation of an egg symbolic of something else?

The title of the painting is "The Discovery Process".

To a writer, a naturalist, a parent, a social worker, a scientist, a lawyer, a teacher, a politician, a doctor, and an artist - there can be different meanings and interpretations. 
What questions does the painting pose? 
What do you see in the painting? Click on comments and tell me your thoughts. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pastels - What's Old and New - Henri Roché Pastels, PastelMat, Pan Pastels

An assortment of new Pan Pastels
Clairefontaine's PastelMat
Something Old: In a previous post, I included photos of my visit to La Maison Du Pastel, 20 Rue Rambuteau, Paris, a small shop that is like a walk back in time, not having changed much since the 1920's. There Isabelle Roché sells hand made Henri Roché Pastels. This line of pastels dates back to the 1720's.


Whether you are an artist or not, you would be fascinated by their luminosity. The history of these pastels, complete with mentions of Whistler and Degas and how Isabelle came to continue the family tradition of making these handmade pastels can be found by clicking on the history of Henri Roché pastels.


Something New: At the big department store BHV in Paris, you'll find just about everything. Want to have a snack while you are shopping, forget to pack that sweater, need a new watch battery, need a laundry basket? No problem!


At BHV a fully stocked art department awaits you. I found packages of PastelMat on the shelves. This acid free and lightfast surface for pastel will be a joy to work on and is available in eight colors.


At home, I have discovered Pan Pastels, which create less dust than stick pastels.  Pan pastels are an exciting new way to apply the pastel medium. Love the pans with lids, the sponges and the varied shapes of Sofft applicators to apply the pastel.


If you are new to the pastel medium, visit the site Artists in Pastel, a blog written by
a gentleman in Cork, Ireland who reviews websites of artists who work in pastel.


I am most honored to have my name mentioned on his blog site.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Artist Lessons Learned From A Cat

Studio Assistant Cat
© 2009 Karen F. Rose
charcoal 
Many artists are blessed to have studio assistants. You know, that special someone who helps stretch canvases, deliver paintings to galleries, assist with PR material, clean brushes and tidy up the studio.
Well my assistant, Mr. Boots, a tabby cat, does help with cleaning the studio and for sure is an art critic. Just look at the expression of approval on that face!
He is working on how to speed dial Fed Ex for painting shipments, but is having a tough time with stretching canvases. 

He does however, teach me valuable lessons.
When a studio painting is giving me challenges, he says to me, "Take a break, step back, come, let's go sit out in the sun, listen to the birds and hear what nature has to tell us." Not bad advice.
And by the way, he asked me if you have read about "our history" on the About the Artist page of this blog. Have you?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tuscan Style - The Art of Handmade Marbleized Paper

Welcome to Il Papiro in Florence.
 Photo © 2010 Karen F Rose
Showing me a sample of marbleized pape
Photo ©  2010 Karen F Rose

"Mr. Boots, my studio assistant cat received excellent care from friends during my recent trip overseas. So great, in fact, I'm not sure he even missed me!


As a thank you, to repay the kindness of his caregivers, I wanted to bring home just a little something from Italy for these friends.
I was  pleased to discover a charming and inviting paper shop, Il Papiro where gift giving ideas abound. 


As their website says, Il Papiro produces hand decorated paper with techniques inspired by the tradition of Tuscany - hand decorated papers on journals, books and photo frames. 
Here's a video link to watch the artisan who demonstrated the steps in this marbleizing process:  video  
If this looks like a creative endeavor you'd like try, here's a link on how to make your own marbleized paper.
Enjoy!