New Work, New Print

Tess Farnham "Ode to a Rose" 12x12, mixed media on cradled birch

Tess Farnham “Ode to a Rose” 12×12, mixed media on cradled birch

Click on the image to see it in my shop on Etsy.¬† ūüôā

Advertisements

Summer Floral Abstract. . .

Tess Farnham, "Transcendence" 10x10 acrylic on cradled birch

Tess Farnham, “Transcendence” 10×10 acrylic on cradled birch

This piece incorporates lace with acrylic paint, opalescent pigment powder and gloss medium to produce its textural and tactile aspects.  Check out other views of it on Etsy:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/96746237/cottage-chic-decor-floral-abstract?ref=shop_home_active

Among Some of the New Works

This original mixed media textured piece was given to a friend as a thank you gift recently, but I’ve made prints of it now!¬†¬† Here is a link to see it on Etsy.¬† ūüôā¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† https://www.etsy.com/listing/153525298/peach-purple-maroon-lavender-floral

"Carnival Glass Abstract" by Tess Farnham

“Carnival Glass Abstract” by Tess Farnham

My Blue Heaven

--Tess Farnham "My Blue Heaven," mixed media on canvas, 20x24

So in the past, I have admitted to being one of those artists who grapples with intense bouts of sadness, bouts that are at times so gripping and intense you can barely hold a brush in your hand, let alone steady the thing for detail or realism.  The curves turn linear and the lines wave and bend with trembling.  You erase and erase until the frustration just leads to tears and the tearing up of preliminary sketches and grids. 

At some point in this process you finally get so exasperated, you just grab the closest implement of application and let the strokes go where they will.

This piece actually began as a much darker work with lots of primary colors for contrast; it was a piece that I cherished mostly because its importance to a friend of mine, nevertheless, a piece that I had more or less made to suit his tastes instead of mine.

As it happens, I store blank canvases in the same corner of the basement where I store finished works.  And the other night as I was flipping through to find the size I wanted, my eyes fell upon that painting. ..and I started to think of how much I wanted to take out those awful strokes of ocher and red. . . 

So instead of starting fresh, I decided to go to work there. 

After I had taken this painting upstairs, I noticed that there was a tiny ding in the wood support where it had been dropped on the basement floor.  At first discouraged by this discovery, I quickly recovered when I realized I could patch it.

With lacy mesh from an old curtain panel, its mate lost in the fog somewhere now.  A slumping and ravaged mishap in a heap on the chair beside the easel like a castoff bridal veil. 

I cut the bandages haphazardly, applying them to the corners of the canvas as reinforcement. Afterwards, I applied some gel medium and paint to anchor them.

Next came coats of color and gel medium mixed with pearlescent powders to address the areas where the piece had fallen short of my vision of a completed work. Blues and maroons, mixed and unmixed with dabs of this and that and at times patched together with leaves shakily extracted from that cast off curtain.

A couple of hours later,¬† I was finished.¬† Happy and satiated that I’d lifted myself out of this sad spell,¬†but also had¬†done sufficient triage to resurrect a work that had gone to a corner of my basement to die.

New Work: Marilyn in Solar Eclipse

So this is how I lifted myself out of the doldrums over the weekend.¬† I just put myself into Marilyn’s dress and went to outer space.¬† If you look closely, you will see the car that jumped over the moon!

Heeere’s the Weirdness: New Work with Lovecraft Today

Marginalia (collection)

Image via Wikipedia

So a couple of weeks back, I told you about my friend in Sweden and our gift exchanges across the miles.¬† And that most of what I send is work he’s inspired in one way or another.

This time I was working to incorporate the various facets of weirdness that make him so endearing, but also to include the one I keep overlooking, one that’s nevertheless an important part of who he is including fascinations with the dark side that I will always try my best to understand.

So here is the work/Christmas and birthday gift¬†I’ve done for him; a mixed media incorporating some 3d¬†feathers, photo collage, random design¬†and glitter. . .¬†and I’ve added/collaged/embellished a found monster¬† head from Lovecraft, just to show I’m a good sport.¬† And you know, by placing him in a nice garden setting with lots of flowers and romance,¬†am reaffirming for us both that¬†there will always be room in my world for weirdness.

Cthulhu Angel Embracing the Muse

http://www.etsy.com/listing/90510932/lovecraft-inspired-cthulu-angel-embraces

Process Diary and Some CreativeTips from Charles Bukowski via Tom Waits

Tess Farnham, acrylic on artist's panel: Lily of the Valley

Last night as I was poring through my collection of gardening catalogs, tearing¬†at pages with white flowers mostly: roses,¬† irises, magnolia. . .I was thinking about the mixed media piece I wanted to finish, but also getting¬†an itch¬†to paint again.¬† So now I’ve taped more photos over¬†the drafting board and small easel, assembled my brushes and paints. . .the prints from Chagall and Degas are permanent fixtures. Sometimes I add or subtract things, but the photo(s)¬†in the¬†bottom right corner is/are always changing from project to project.¬† Mother Nature has¬†a way with the arrangement of color¬†and line and I like to follow her suggestions for abstract.

This is almost a spiritual activity for me. I am particular and superstitious about these two things; the same way a little kid can be vigilant about avoiding cracks in the sidewalk, I am persistent about avoiding a naked workspace. After I finish one project and clear the easel or table, I go to the basement and take out a new canvas or wood panel. . .depending on the project, a sheet of Arches, Canson Mixed Media¬†or¬†Mei Teints¬†paper. I may not touch that blank slate for days; nevertheless, I find its placement necessary. It’s my dreaming time, a time for walking past the table or easel and imagining the possibilities.

Chagall Museum Paintings, Nice, France

Image by Jon Himoff via Flickr

In the same way, I also like to have drafts of poetry or blog posts accessible. . .folded fabric and patterns. . .the spices set out for a dish I plan to cook.

Last night, I also spent some downtime reading Sylvia Plath, Rumi, and Robert Bly.

I need to rest in between projects as well. I have to crash. . .to sleep for hours and hours, I guess to incubate and charge my batteries. I think perhaps it’s part of what we do as artists, these periods of intense creating followed by quiet time. Perhaps it’s just mania followed by depression. ..I’m not sure. . ..the scariest feeling being the one when I fear the sleepiness won’t go away. ..I won’t ever write or paint again. ..or be able to stay awake.

And on this final note, I will end with an amazing clip of Tom Waits reading Charles Bukowski, two of my favorite artists, guys who are quite familiar with the reality of the outsider stance and the very real feelings that lead to it.  I hope it inspires you.  . . .

Flying Saucers, Evolution of an Abstract, and Losing My Ruby: A Couple of Unrelated Stories that Turn Out Totally OK in the End.

So in spite of everything that has happened in my life lately, including a rather embarrassing extreme close encounter with some rather unyielding asphalt last night, an experience that left this blogger somewhat bruised and disoriented if only momentarily, followed by this crazy headache left over, skinned knees and sore palms. ..sigh. ..

Grainy B&W image of supposed UFO, Passoria, Ne...

Image via Wikipedia

all of these atrocities giving way to a small revelation which, I should also own up to having posted on the installment plan in my Facebook status, admittedly a very lame attempt at garnering some single girl sympathy. . .AGAIN. . .after a very long string of episodes involving some very weird luck. . .

enclosed please find installment number 1:

Note to my Dansko clogs: Dear shoes with soles that squeak like the wheels on a trojan rabbit. ..and take me from home to work and vice versa going on four years. ..I love and adore your loyalty, truly I have no idea what I would do without it. . .but please TRY and remember that superpowers are for comic books. . . and that yours truly will fall on her big fat keyster . . .especially if you let go of the asphalt long enough to make my legs go airborne. . . knees and hands ouch!!!!

Installment 2:

I am thankful I did not break my noggin last night when I fell on the asphalt.¬† And hoping I will be able to find the stone for my ring when I go searching the street for it this morning.¬† ūüôā¬† Wish me luck!

And the ending:

You guys!¬† I found the stone!!! I just¬†combed the corner where I fell, seeing all that dark stuff. ..thinking I’d never find it. ..and there it was in the middle, scratched. . . but found!¬† My neighbor had¬† super-glue too so it’s all fixed.¬† Sticky with glue on our fingers but fixed!¬† ūüôā

And IN SPITE OF ALL THAT STUFF, including the awesomeness about finding my stone. . .which I learned is a ruby, a North American unfaceted ruby. ..

(Note: these are cheap so artists can afford them and have a circulatory healing stone as well. ..)

In spite of all that stuff, I was still able to get some art making accomplished this week. . .and a new listing for my Etsy shop too.

And the story is, I began staring at a beautiful (and yes professional. . . yay inspiration, man!) photo of white flowers against stems and a dark sky. . .and then loading up my palette with paints. ..moving the brush around a little bit and getting down with the greens and red maroons

then mixing up some yellow white and ecru, ivory. ..

Oddly enough and much to my own surprise, I somehow ended up with a mass of lavender scribbles at the pause point:

Tess Farnham, work in progress, 8x8 Mixed media on canvas

But sadly, when I took this piece outside to see how it behaved in the daylight, I was rather disappointed at the washing out of much of this color. So after going back inside, I¬†got to work, sort of getting¬†lost in the memory of this beautiful shiny work of jewelry I’d seen at a fair-trade place, one incorporating pearls, amethyst¬†and amber. I ended up collaging more lace into this and adding a few of the flowers from the photograph. And here it is now listed and ready to be adopted into a kind and loving environment:

Tess Farnham, untitled mixed media on artist's panel, 8x8.

and alas, artists gotta eat too: http://www.etsy.com/listing/86093373/original-floral-abstract-painting

Scantily Clad Insanity, Provocative Tagging and Poetry!!! Testing One, Two, Three

(this post is dedicated to my church-going friend, Nicole)

So a couple of weeks ago, I was facebook wall chatting with a friend whose initial status was questioning the¬†integrity of¬†people will go to great lengths of craziness. . .to gain a readership online.¬†I can’t remember the actual conversation per se, only that I wanted to write a blog about it so here I am. . . with this experiment.

OK, I confess this is post is inspired in part by a very needy desire to increase readership  (a very large part so go ahead and shoot me already, I deserve it. . .)

but also (to continue with¬†what¬†I was saying¬†before that last parenthetical). . .¬†also a furious¬†curiosity to¬†see what will happen after I’ve attached¬†the following tags/links and/or language¬†to this artist’s blog:

nudes,

reclining nudes,

naked ladies,

burlesque

erotic poetry.

bipolar illness

You could call¬†¬†it a hypothetical¬†experiment, or some other kinda sciencey¬†thing that indicates¬†scholarly¬†involvement, experiment¬†in which¬†a¬†part of me finds itself feelin¬†kinda jazzed about making waves in these otherwise calm¬†waters (so far the¬†seventh¬†biggest day I’ve had around here was¬†an artist interview¬†that included a couple of nude paintings. . . accompanied by a buxomy shot of the budding and lovely young artist ūüėȬ† )

and the other part finds itself feelin kinda nervous. . .about what to expect in the aftermath of such a blatant attempt to draw attention to oneself.

http://grumpygardener.southernliving.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/10/13/tree2.jpg

Introductions first perhaps and check out this sclera¬†slash aqueous matter in the baby blues up here. . .”hi, i’m¬†tess; part-time artist/ part-time community college instructor¬†. . .

And truth be told, I¬†kind of had to draw the line at¬†actual¬†pornography as¬†mostly I find the¬†stuff to be¬†boring and exploitive. . .and so as not to¬†throw my¬†unsaved¬†soul completely¬†overboard.. . .and end up getting devoured by a drunken boat at the corner of Scylla and Charybdis, I’ve decided¬†to limit my¬†tagging vocabulary to¬†“art” and insanity¬†words.

So here I am at any rate, having tied myself to the mast. .. seasick with sirens blaring loud in cyberspace. All kinds of things to worry about now and fodder for serious neurosis.

Anyway, here goes nothing.

Exhibit A, some original art with an erotic theme followed by exhibit B, a poem on the topic of a semi clad exboyfriend, one having sold himself out to find work as a model for phone-sex.

"Orchestral" 9x12 mixed media on paper, piece inspired by the poetry of Mary McCrary Ladd, --Tess Farnham, 8/2011

http://www.etsy.com/listing/80849466/mixed-media-fantasy-lavender-glitter

At any rate, I have just discovered what would happen to my experiment by posting this title in the WordPress promotional forum. 

And that is a swift reprimand about the misuse of tags. . .which is kind of embarrassing even when you are just kidding around. 

So I won’t actually be attaching any of the tags I said I would use.¬† And truth be told, I never did.¬† Even from the beginning.

In some future post, I guess maybe I will write about about PRETENDING I attached too many provocative tags, and then admit I totally chickened out in the end. 

 

exhibit b: to be continued at a later date