Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010

An Act to Draw

called eb instead
thought to draw, tear the paper first
thought to get paper
walked barefoot through wet grass
to a garden bed
the false marshmallow has spread here
move the nimbres brothers there
to this right
thought to draw
to get the paper
to tear
to draw
open the jumbo sharbie
industrial strength chisel point
note to self: get a case of sharpies
think to draw
tear paper first
do i need my camera

delayed thought to draw
to draw
to tear paper with wet feet

thought to draw
find masonite support
get paper
tear paper

thought to draw

just f*!ng tear the paper and draw.


note to self: draw.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My feejit Geoblogosphere Rankings right now!

You Rank #91 in:Walla Walla, United States
You Rank #110 in:Gloucester, United States
You Rank #121 in:Greenville, United States
You Rank #123 in:Boston, United States
You Rank #126 in:Lynn, United States
You Rank #263 in:New Bedford, United States
You Rank #420 in:Pine Plains, United States
You Rank #575 in:Zaragoza, Spain
You Rank #672 in:Pālghāt, India

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

every weather hiccup

drawing the cove, with fog

drawing the cove with fog on canvas

this morning drawing the cove, clear and dry, for now.

Artist John Kelly

A friend and reader of this nest John Kelly joined us at Cripple Cove for an early morning painting class a few weeks ago.  John juggles a lot of responsibilities and joys: he  runs a business, is raising a young family, an avid gardener and artist.  He recently sent me some pics of his oil studies.  his current interests are eggs near water and domestic commentary (my interpretation).  I've always admired his drawing/painting skills and am pleased to see he continues look at the world with a brush in his hand.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

the wip (work-in-progress): self criticism/self doubt

it is still on the easel, right outside our front door, on the deck.  the oil paints, brushes, still in place.  it is setting up.  it won't leave me alone, sitting one step beyond my comfort zone.  potential, possibilities.  i think of my artist friend howard kline in Cambria Califonia building and painting/drawing lobster boats endlessly, joyfully, exhuberantly!  hello howard!  these boats don't come easy. 

i'm interested in the underlying structure of this painting.  perhaps that is why i decided to leave it until today.  this morning david said 'don't throw it away.  leave it.'  so, i look again.  i see a small square 'painting-within-a-painting' in the upper left hand corner that has some possibility.  when i see the whole painting based on this design, i think of jaser johns' flag series with a question:  can the rest of the picture plane be organized into 'strips' of the landscape, with an underlying reference to a flag.  the answer is yes.  ok, other options:

scrape the acid green, get further or closer away from the boats.

or i can try to 'kill the painting'.  paintings do not die easily, and i have already made that one step into beyond known boundaries.  pink.  that is what i keep feeling needs to happen.  how to do it without making the painting 'sweet', and how to make the work unto itself and whole.

for now, i will draw.

ps:  i have had many responses with preferences for the varied states of this painting.  the dry state getting a nod twice for like, one for not.  three yes on the way it is.  and i just started to scrape it.  i worry about the panel being poorly constructed.  i have already gouged into the masonite support.

Monday, May 24, 2010

moving on

for a brief moment i thought to throw this painting away. and i begin the sharpie series. documentation of drawings to appear on a new tab "Sharpie Drawings"

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The wip (work-in-progress): the in-between state

got a bit carried away with the tubes.  i'm not sure about the yellow green in the center.  will look again tomorrow.  now i gotta get cleaned up so i can go and listen to some music.  remind me to look at the tangents and straights, just in case i forget. ;P

best, deb.

ps:  the yellow boat is the 'dog and i' and that's 'trapper john' on the right.

and tomorrow we paint in St. Peter's Square 7-9am.  arrive by 6:30 to set up.

The wip (work-in-progress): the foiled state

and today's efforts.  scraped and applied aluminum leaf to the entire panel.  some progress and possibilities.  

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The wip (work-in-progress): the dry state

I scraped off the paper, washed the panel with fresh 1:1:1 and started again.  maybe i will try again tomorrow.  the tide keeps changing, tomorrow i should have at least 2 horus before it has changed too much.  then, i will have to start another painting.  i need to just look at the painting as painting and realize i will never replicate the beauty and complexity of my source material.  the pic of the view follows.  and no, i don't paint from photographs, although a pic can simplify the masses and bring understanding.  it's the color experience that is wanting in my work today.  tomorrow may be better, or not.  and this panel may need to be trashed.  will see.

The wip (work-in-progress): the greasy state

major medium malfunction, too much oil/damar.  mistakenly added stand oil and damar to a refined linseed oil medium mixed 1:1:1 a few months ago.  did not realize my mistake until the surface started sinking and swimming.  started this view towards the state fish pier on tuesday.  ugh.  the paper towel was supposed to absorb the oil, not stick to the painting.  scraper needed.  and get that yellow out of there.  and get the pthalo out. and maybe i will draw instead.

Monday, May 17, 2010

art/not art.

landscape palette Sunday 5/16/10 6:30 am, St. Peter's Square. no skimping on my paint here. i was going to use the palette today, but discovered the truth of the way with that wee twig appropriately placed by nature. how did the seagulls miss the wet palette? they hit all of the windows on the truck and left the bed alone.

i will sign it and attach a hanger.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday Morning 6:30 am

"St Peter's Square, 6:30 am" oil on canvas. colors: grumbacher titanium white (original formula), grumbacher cad yellow pale,  grumbacher yellow ochre, grumbacher red, winsor newton cobalt blue.

We met at St. Peter's Square this morning to paint and discovered there is a lot of color in this busy downtown crossing in Gloucester.  Not too many peeps around, plenty of parking.  I was set-up and painting by the time the students arrived.  We packed up at 9.  This is the painting that I did of Intershells' new seafood store.  The building used to be green.   Now it is ochre with a blue float moored along side. Perhaps the float will appear in the Fiesta Parade or the Horribles?  not too far away, and then, well, summer will seem to be over.    Below is my source material.

I think I saw more color than the camera.  Liz wnated to know what else I would do to my painting.  I wasn't sure, so I asked her what she would do.  She thought I should work into some of my color shapes.  So I did and I added some foreground interest.  

Here is Liz working on her painting.  Interesting how the Intershell sign intersects with Liz's easel.  almost looks like part of the painting.  and below is the shot over Tom towards Liz's area of interest, followed by Tom's second color study of the morning.  

What impressed me about this morning is that each painting had its own 'color', unique to each artist.  Two weeks ago I introduced pthalo blue into each student's palette and the resulting work looked as if we all used the same color recipe.   

My friend Charles drew with us for a while.  He is concentrating on perspective and started a delightful drawing of the Blackburn Tavern Building and the wacky architecure surrounding the Washington/Main Street intersection.  I suggested he go to the library and look at the watercolor drawings of Raoul Dufy.

Please join us if you would like to paint or draw with us for a few hours.  Classes are $25, bring your paints and/or drawing materials. we will meet next sunday morning, weather permitting at 6:30 in St. Peter's Square parking lot to set-up to start painting by 7.  The sun was four fingers above the horizon when I got there this morning.  Next sunday I might arrive by 6.  There is a lot of visual stuff down there.  Could keep an artist busy for a life time.  and if I keep doing this, I just might become a landscape painter, or at least a colorist.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Straight out of Camera: SOOC

Bananas' widow on Main Street.  May 13, 2010

In front of the glass, behind the glass. no edit

copyright debbie clarke 2010

gloucester ma

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My Good Friends at help out!

by posting this!  awesome. I am taking the space June 1st with a schedule of workshops and classes to follow:  drawing, figure drawing, portrait drawing, painting, verre eglomise (reverse glass).  stay tuned.

and this is my first project using the word template.  okay.  it's a learning curve.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hans Hofmann

still learning from this great teacher. maybe my students will too. his focus was on the picture plane and i like this. i often tell my students to kick other painters 'out of their heads', and then this painter/teacher says look, look, look...and one day they will kick me out of their head, and find they are painting as themselves.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Turn your volume off, i think the music gets in the way of the visual survey of Joan Mitchell's paintings.

I received a folio of Joan Mitchell's "Sunflowers" when I was in art school. My painting studies were moored on observational painting. Why these abstract flowers? The paint was dense, clunky, with a sloppy brush, somehow they seemed related to Hoffmann, and I resisted understanding. My discomfort with her work continued until I decided to copy one of her paintings. and then I copied another. and another. and then I was pregnant and went to The Albany State Mall. and there I walked in one of her "Landscapes" the painting bigger than my 8 month belly. There was so much joy and light coming out of the made me dance!

I painted on and on with her work always on my studio wall until I closed my studio in Magnolia. Today I look at my gesture painting of Sunday morning and I say "Hello Joan"! you are not a dead hero, you are my live companion! I see you right there in the green of my picture plane, the speed of my brush.

best always,

Monday, May 3, 2010

Henry Miller - To Paint Is To Love Again

My friend Chan shared this with me and I share this and dedicate it to my Sunday morning students.

I never knew Henry Miller painted.  How did this escape me?

Cripple Cove, Sunday morning painting class

a reader of this magpie's nest inquired about the plaque attached to the buoy that is moored high and dry at the Cripple Cove Landing (which is where we meet on Sunday mornings ((6:30am!)) to paint.  There are 4 plaques!  This is the seaward side of the buoy. 

and these are the paintings we did.  left 1,2,3:  Paul Frontiero.  center on clipboard:  Liz Bish.  next:  Debbie Clarke demo of a gesture painting reflecting my response to the color and feel of the morning. on right:  Tom Amend.  Last week painter Jeff Weaver stopped by and noted everyone was painting a different view.  This past Sunday we all faced the backlit hill with sun rising behind.  3/4 of the way through the class I introduced pthalo green into each of the students' palette, showing them the cool/warm possibilities.  

Liz wanted to know what I would do next to my painting.  Nothing.  maybe I will sign it.  The gesture is a completely different 'scene' than the one I started with.  When I started to paint I did not know what was interesting about what I was observing.  I made one spot of color against another.  between conversations with students I painted and then 'wham' the dark shape pressing down on the center of the picture plane against the house caught my eye.

"Cripple Cove gesture"
copyright:  debbie clarke
oil on canvas 

PS:  Thank you Joan Mitchell for painting your landscapes.

best, deb.