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Playing With Mixed Media

Abstract paintings have been something that I have enjoyed doing, especially in the last few years. I particularly enjoy figurative abstract art. It produces a type of freedom to let go, as well as results in a more exciting piece to view. Having never been one to use mixed media, I have preferred getting the look I was striving for with the paint alone. But the other day, while waiting for something, I pulled up a photo of a painting I had done, and started to play around with the photo editor on my phone. I was pleasantly surprised with the results. So I decided to share them with you here.

This first piece, so far, is my personal favorite. It also happens to be one that I did, after finally deciding that this painting was as finished and refined as it was going to get. (More on that later.)

Isaiah At The Waterfall

Although the painting itself was not as spontaneous as when I incorporate the abstract elements as I paint, I do really like the outcome. And using a computer editor, gave me the chance to add to, or completely change how I wanted it to look, which was kind of fun. Below are other versions of this painting as unfinished, and unrefined, with and without embellishments. When I do a portrait of a specific person, it will go through many changes to get to where I feel it represents the person, and I am satisfied with it, as you can see from the photos of this portrait.

The painting itself went through a lot more changes after this to get to where I was good with it.

Some of these changes may appear very subtle but they make all of the difference in capturing the spirit and personality of the subject. There were a lot more stages, but I thought I’d move on to the fun part, goofing around with my phone!

Some of the tools on the app could be taken pretty far, such as this bit, where I went overboard with pixalating it. But I thought it was kind of interesting.

I threw in just a few pixels on this one, and thought the overall effect was cool. Also this was still not a “finalized version” of the painting itself.

The next three images were manipulated on the final version. And although sometimes never completely satisfied, I have to know when to say, “done.”

I hope you are all well and safe, and join me next time! (PS I know I had mentioned that I might go over some of the tools that I use, in this post. I still hope to do that in the future.)

Further Notes On Juneteenth in OTown

Continuing with the theme of my last post about having been asked to showcase my art at a local Juneteenth event, I managed to get two other paintings done in time to show along with the first, “Beautiful Son”. It’s always gratifying to be acknowledged as an artist, and this is especially so.

The second painting I did, I simply call, “Story Time”. It depicts a young father reading to his baby. Here are some photos of it, and the process of creating this piece. As you can see in the second photo, I drew up a sketch of what I had in mind. In the second, I filled in the background shape of a map of the USA, and began working on the figures. I continued from there, adding color and finishing up the figures to my liking. Once the painting was dry, I gave it a thin coat of acrylic gloss medium. This serves two purposes, it helps to protect the painting, as well as to highlight and maintain the bright colors. This is quite a bit smaller than the first painting, “Beautiful Boy”, for a few reasons, mostly concerning time constraints and having to use what I had on hand. It’s still a good size at 16″x 12″.

“Story Time”

The last piece I call, “Grace Under Pressure”. I didn’t get as many photos of the process of this as I was short on time, but I used basically the same process. I did a few quick sketches, (sorry they’re very light, but you get the idea.) From there, I then drew up an approximate sketch on the canvas, arranging, and changing features as I worked on it.

“Grace Under Pressure”

I hope it doesn’t sound egotistical, or worse, silly ( heheh), but I tend to fall in love with my paintings and these are no exception. I think I have even more so, because I feel that I have gotten to a place with my work where I feel more confident about it, as well as am able to create what I envision at a quicker pace. Not that that is important in and of itself. But for me as an artist, it is, as I feel these representations wanting out of my cranium, and am compelled to create them, to get them on the canvas. And now being at a point where I can do so more readily, makes it more of a joy and less tedious. I’m thinking that, in my next post, I may go over some of the tools I use, and give some pointers on my own process. Let me know if any of you think that you might like that, or not. (I’ll still probably do it. 😉

I wish everyone joy, and to stay safe, and I hope you join me next time!

Juneteenth 2020 In Otown

This is a short post to catch up a bit and let you know what I’ve been working on, and here it is!

I have been asked to showcase a recent painting I have done at a Juneteenth celebration event in my town. I awoke with the idea for this painting, and felt almost compelled to do it. To have someone feel that it should be included in such an important event, is exciting and flattering. I am very happy with how it came out. There are times when I paint that I get lost in the process, and it almost feels as if I am being guided, and this is how working on this piece felt. It’s an incredible experience.

Below I have included some of the steps to the completion of this piece.

It is my objective to show my process whenever I can, but sometimes getting caught up in actually creating a piece, I don’t always get a chance to take photos. I did manage to get these few taken. I’ll try to get a few more for the next one!

Care for one another, and stay safe. I hope you join me next time!

Invited to Show

Hi all, I’m happy to say that I was invited to have one of my pieces showcased on TFE -The Finest Example. Check it out on their site, TFE on WP. My thanks to TFE and Matt Snyder!

Today’s pOp or Public Opinion Poll

I say ‘Today’s pOp’ even though I’m pretty sure this won’t be a daily thing, but it sounds good, heheh. It will probably more of a weekly or by-weekly thing. OK, in my quest to figure out where my art, and therefore this blog is heading, I have decided that one thing I’d like to do is to expand this blog into making it interactive. So I give you the “pOp”.

Ready here we go: In your opinion, which of my blog posts here on oMordah, the Art of Susan M.L.Moore, have you found to be the most enjoyable, interesting, or meaningful?

This is an informal poll but in the future, for each pOp, I will send a small piece of my artwork to a random person for providing an email and participating in the pOp. (I have to figure out the logistics on this.) But I think it will be a way to better get to know each other and have some fun.

“Table Rocks Brilliance”
I did a quick pOp on a name for the above abstract painting, I combined two to the choices I received; “Table Rocks Meditation” from Michael D, and “Brilliance” from Mary Ellen S-D. Thanks guys!

I also hope to begin working on some short tutorials in regards to different art styles and an art challenge.

OK, Go!

Moving Forward

As I continue with my plan to basically see where my art takes me, I am finding that it is slowly coalescing into a “thing”. Even though I’m not really admitting it to myself consciously, or at least as loudly in my own mind speak as other topics. I know that, for me to stick with one idea, form, or subject for my art, is nearly impossible. I’m too easily swayed by the bright lights and excitement of a new idea. I tell myself, that’s because I’m an Aries, heheh. Whether true or not, this fact of my nature is absolutely true. It’s a wonder that I’ve actually finished as much work as I have.

So to have given myself permission to simply see where it goes, following each whim, seems to be having the opposite effect. Yes, I am enjoying the process in a more relaxed way than normal. As I usually have a goal, or a deadline. But it does seem to be heading toward something. I do tend to be slightly superstitious so won’t say much more about that lest I stop it in it’s tracks. Just saying that much gives me a feeling like; ‘oh no, will this cause me to falter?’. Is this how other creative types, artists, or craftspeople feel?

Unless you are an artist, or writer, etc., you may not know the hellish amount of pressure we put upon ourselves. Pressure to produce, create, invent. To come up with a new version of something. Then to bring it to life, to be satisfied, no excited about the finished work. It’s exhausting. And the competition to find a following is astronomical. To some who don’t live this lifestyle, and make no mistake that’s what it is, it may seem like it must be all joy and colors. And it can be. But it’s also tedious, frustrating, sometimes disappointing, and often maddening. Why do it then? You may ask. For me, it has been more than an obsession, it has been part of who I am my entire life. And it’s not always easy, not for me, or those I love. At times it could be stressful for everyone if it’s not going well. And there are those who feel you should always be making money with it. Which of course we’d all like, but when not, I will still be painting, or sketching. And those same people do not get it. And at the end of the day, what they get or don’t get, doesn’t matter.

Some may say, “well, do it for yourself, that’s what matters”. And as much as I do agree with this, it is important for me to sell my art. Art needs to be seen, to be loved and shared. It’s not meant for the dark. And there’s nothing more heartening than knowing that someone likes your work enough to buy it. I try very hard not to compare myself to others, but I do remind myself that there were many many (now referred to) as “great artists” who during their lifetime, were never able to sell any of their work. Not that I consider myself at their level in any way, but it is heartening that I have sold many pieces, and for a while had a following of repeat customers. Although recently this has not been the case, due to many factors. I am not exactly at ground zero, yet it does sometimes feel like starting over.

This brings me to what my next post might be, maybe something about my feelings about pieces that I have not sold. Well something to that effect or other. I guess I’ll have to see how it goes. 😉

Thank you for following my blog, I hope you and yours are safe and well. See you next time!

Couldn’t think of an appropriate title for this, sorry.

As I was writing my most recent blog, I read some extremely sad news. My family and I have been following and loving Marc Maron for many years. His style of humor, at once disgruntled with the world, while being so relatebly hilarious, along with his love and appreciation of music, and love for his cats has made him feel like we know him. This despite the fact that in his world we don’t even exist. Not in a true sense, but yes as his fans. It feels like more than that though.

Of late during the “plague” as he refers to it, he has been sheltering with his girlfriend, the director; Lynn Shelton. As someone who has been a long time admirer, it has been very obvious how happy Marc has been. He has been going live online, playing his guitar and even singing, often mentioning Lynn while she waved in the background.

When you let “celebrities” into your life it feels as if they are your friend. This is the case with Marc Maron for us. We relate and can empathize with him. His humor and even grumpiness helped us through some tough times.

Being someone who makes it clear he likes his privacy, (yet often grudgingly is there for his friends), it’s just doubly exciting when someone like this allows you into their life. Marc has been doing this with his somewhat impromptu online music bits. He stops and reads the comments and it feels intimate and friendly. I had what to me was a happy experience just last week during one of these sessions. I had mentioned the name of Chuck Berry to him. He commented on it then started riffing some of Chuck Berry’s music. He was happy and singing and it felt like being there in his living room, Lynn in the background sometimes commenting.

Yesterday on a break from writing I read the devastating news that Lynn who had been sick for about a week, had passed. I am crushed at how unfair this life can be. I am just someone out here in the ether of fans, (oh how I hate that word). Although it was not related to Covid19, her sudden death has somehow hit me harder than so many other horror stories we hear everyday. Possibly because of the nature of this plague, were we are kept apart from the suffering, it is hard to relate to it unless it hits personally. It is more likely because she and Marc welcomed us into their happy life, and we love them in our way. I am grieving for her loss, for her family and friends. What I have read from the many people who loved and worked with her, she was a remarkable person, and will be dearly missed. But I especially grieve for, and find myself worried for Marc Maron. My god this is so horrific and unfair.

To this funny, sweet, man whose comedy, that strips bare the b s and, in an odd way gives us hope, and laughter, so much laughter, I send love and wish him the strength to weather this.