Paintings - Color Studies

While I was in grad­u­ate school I often thought of what I would do after I fin­ished. Oh yes, I def­i­nitely was going to con­tinue work­ing full-time, but the time spent study­ing, for me, had to be replaced. Never one to sit quiet, I’m used to keep­ing myself busy. For the past 3 years or so, I looked for­ward to paint­ing. I’d never painted before and had no idea if I would like it — or even be good at it (still don’t know if I am). But it didn’t mat­ter. The thought of swirling col­ors on a palette, see­ing the vari­ance in hues and tones, and slather­ing wet paint on a white untouched can­vas seemed…well, liberating.

“bulles d’air” — acrylic with mul­ti­ple com­pounds, 2013

“bulles d’air” — acrylic with mul­ti­ple com­pounds, 2013

Promptly after grad­u­at­ing I reg­is­tered for an acrylic paint­ing class at a local fine arts cen­ter. After pur­chas­ing the sup­plies — 3 brushes, 4 tubes of paint (is that all?), a can­vas and a roll of paper towel, I excit­edly waited for the first night of class. The instruc­tor has a MFA in paint­ing and is a kind and patient teacher. At our ini­tial class we painted our color palette with pri­mary col­ors (red, blue, yel­low) and then sec­ondary col­ors (green, orange, pur­ple). Oh I how loved twirling the col­ors together to form dif­fer­ent variations…and with only 3 tubes of pri­mary col­ors and a tube of white I was able to cre­ate almost every color I desired. Black, gray, brown and pur­ple became chal­leng­ing for me, but I fig­ured it out.

ast for­ward three years and I now belong to an artist coöper­a­tive, have had eight exhi­bi­tions (two were solo) and paint about twice a week (not enough!). Paint­ing has eas­ily replaced ‘study­ing’ and for me is a form of ther­apy. When I paint I let my mind go free, never know­ing what I will paint until the brush hits the canvas.

I guess I may be a bit uncon­ven­tional as I don’t paint from a still life or pho­to­graph. I have painted some pieces from my mem­o­ries of the beau­ti­ful Black Hills in the win­ter — snow­capped pine trees, softly lit pink skies. I admire the work of Cy Twombly, so have tried to paint my own type of flow­ers. And I’m try­ing my hand at abstract (the paint­ings below). Using pumice, mod­el­ing com­pounds, dif­fer­ent paint­ing imple­ments, and water has allowed the paint to express itself on the can­vas rather than me con­trol­ling the paint. Where it goes and where it stops is up to the paint, not the artist.

“Groovy” — acrylic with mul­ti­ple com­pounds, 2013 (SOLD)

“Groovy” — acrylic with mul­ti­ple com­pounds, 2013 (SOLD)

No, I don’t plan on ‘quit­ting my day job’ and becom­ing a full-time painter but I’m both thank­ful and for­tu­nate to por­tray my many inspi­ra­tions thru paint. There is so much more I want to paint — the sen­su­al­ity of a nude woman’s sil­hou­ette, the autumn evening sky…ideas churn around and inspire me for my next project.

“The world today doesn’t make sense, so why should I paint pic­tures that do?” ~  Pablo Picasso

 Writ­ten by Ms. Renee Vevea. Paint­ings by Renee Vevea.