Friday, June 30, 2006

new tree painting; early stage

It often takes a while to get back 'into it' after all the commotion of open studios, but I'm diving into a big new tree painting. The orang-ish areas are the ground, or under painting, which will end up mostly buried, but Tony likes it now, with that added zing of color-contrast. (Don't get used to it) All the areas are just being 'blocked in' with their appoximate colors...
4 x 5 feet. click to enlarge.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

also from a yellow period

more, earlier paintings. (these, 4 x 5 feet each)

...and together, for when you must have a wall of yellow.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Too many paintings, volume 3: Trees

Once again, stuff that didn't fit on the walls those recent weekends: tree division. 1) 8 x 4 feet, 2) 3 x 5 feet. (click to enlarge)

Too many paintings, volume 2: 'Quilt' related

Paintings from the 'racks'. (see previous post)
There was a period of time-- let's say, predominately 1998-2001? or there-abouts, when for a variety of converging reasons, I was quite interested in quilts, quilt-patterns, & unfinished quilts of days-gone-by. This manifested itself in several ways, leading ultimately to collaging vintage quilt blocks into paintings: (such as 1, 2, & 3). The following 3 include various bits of collage material: linen napkins, tea towels, vintage handkerchiefs, sheet music, old photos, etc. And the final two just combine a sort of abstract patchwork-influenced aesthetic (a la Hans Hofmann, Paul Klee etc) with elements I've used in other work.
I swear, I did *sell* some work from this time as well, these are just the ones I still have...

Friday, June 16, 2006

Too many paintings: Volume 1: Abstract

Older, more abstract paintings.
In preparing for our recent Open Studios, one of the things made quite apparent to me (as if I hadn't known!) was that I had far more paintings available than I could ever display on the walls in my studio, so I began pulling things out of the storage racks, shooting them down & dirty with our (now) primitive little digital camera, and I put together a rotating slideshow on the computer in the studio. And since I now have these shots, here is a sampling from the 'archive'. Part one.
As always, click to enlarge.
5 x 8 feet total, 2 canvases

2: 5 x 4 feet, this is just half of a diptych (other half currently off-site), like the first painting. 3 & 4: 'Loopy' paintings, 2 x 4 feet each. Often these would start as 'singles', and then seem to want a partner...

What I remember about the motivations for this piece: I was trying to break out of my own color habits. Red & Lavendar?!!
Also, I was inspired by dramatic after-storm skies, seen crossing the Richmond-San Rafael bridge; and by a positive/negative design project one of my classes was doing at the time.
Most of these paintings are 5-6 or 7--who really knows? years old.
I still like all of these, and many of them have never have a truly proper 'showing'...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

citrus delight

Hi Mike!
Here are slightly better shots of paintings involving citrus fruits! The top one is oil on canvas 24 x 30" (chairs & vase sold separately!) The other is acrylic, 20 inches square. It was good to talk to you!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Fifteen Minutes of Fame Dept:

Gretchen Giles, editor of the North Bay Bohemian (similar to the East Bay Express of Berkeley) visited our studio in the week approaching our Art at the Source event, and wrote this article, which I just found online.I can't seem to create a link directly to the page, so I'm copying it here.) Thanks again, Gretchen!

Almost Eden

By Gretchen Giles

With roses heavy and languorous on the bough, vegetables just bolting from their prim starts and heirloom sweet peas amid their twining climb, last Wednesday was a beautiful day in painter Lisa Beerntsen's garden. Given the garden itself, a mini-Eden behind the modest Graton home she shares with her husband, the painter Tony Spiers, it's a likely bet that, regardless of the season, every day is a beautiful day in Beerntsen's garden.

The sense of color, shape and play that informs a well-tended plot imbues the couple's adjacent studio, a standalone structure that they share--one only slightly removed from the other by a work table and half-wall--and which they'll open to the public as part of the Art at the Source tour beginning this Saturday, June 3.

An instructor at the Santa Rosa Junior College for the past decade, Beerntsen has gradually moved from the abstract leaf paintings of her early career to collage-driven canvases that feature fruit, flowers, and birds. Across the room, Spiers' large cheerful-seeming work is informed by the Japanese pop of mange and animÈ, the fruit labels and iconography of the 1930s and '40s, old-fashioned American cartoons and advertising, exploding firecrackers, lurid circus posters, Chinese candy wrappers, and Indian Sanskrit. In addition to a warm palette of oranges, pinks, roses and lemony yellows, the couple share a sensibility that results in gorgeous paintings with an edge.

Beerntsen assents that "it will have to be" OK to call her work "pretty," and pretty it is, built up with pieces of old linen napkins, bits of wall paper, unfinished quilt squares culled from antique shops, scientific diagrams and oversized, stylized lino prints she's carved of patterns from islamic tiles that hit the canvas with the assured signature of a Japanese chop mark. "I'm always looking for different ways to get pattern into my paintings," she says.

Trained as a graphic designer with former stints as a sign painter, Spiers tends toward imaginary advertising posters in his acrylic paintings, though an image of Woody Woodpecker seated in a hand basket and assuredly headed for hell as he points a handgun at his head won't perhaps sell too many guns, baskets or cartoon reels. Spiers explains that he's "interested in narrative," adding that his search for story used to be more personal but has shifted gradually to the global because "we live in such a bizarre, surreal, time. I'm attracted to using popular, happy-seeming nostalgic iconography to address political material."

Having settled in Graton from the East Bay just over three years ago, the two successfully exhibit at Healdsburg's Arches Gallery. Spiers, 47, and Beerntsen, 45, knew each other in high school in Pleasanton, their paths occasionally crossing through friends or when working together at an art-supply store, but it wasn't until the retirement party of Mel Friedman, their favorite high school art teacher, that they fell in love. Spiers was doing pastels; Beerntsen, abstracts. As their love affair deepened, their work has come closer, too.

With the garden's vibrancy beating against the studio's glass doors and the cat headed authoritatively across the floor for its favorite chair, Spiers uses the radio they share when working as an analogy. "I'm more rock 'n' roll," he explains with a laugh. "Lisa's more NPR."

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

photos from the final day...

of Art at the Source (Sunday), and the busiest one yet, both in terms of attendance, and (for me) sales! Thanks again to everyone who came out to visit. Now it's trying to get back to 'normal', and making a few deliveries, and so on...

1) my 'side'
2) Tony's 'side'
3) in the yard
4) Leslie with Sarah!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

another full day at the 'art farm'

Lots o' enthusiastic art and garden admirers. Here are some of our youngest art viewers (and cookie lovers). One day to go!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Wednesday Night

There was a mid-week event so that other Art at the Source artists could get out & visit each other. Here I am visiting with Saller Baker, watercolorist extraordinaire, in a nicely framed shot by Tony.

Monday, June 05, 2006

from Tony's 'side': Open Studio part 3

Pati is doing...what?

Tony, gummi bears, bear painting...need I say more?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Inside the Studio: Day 2

Here's what was on the walls, Art at the Source weekend:

Thanks to all who came out!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

scenes from Open Studios, day 1

Okay, tomorrow I'll remember to shoot the *inside* of the studio...

1 & 2) My 2 tree paintings on red buildings...

Tony explains 'HeadGames', our painting from last year's Burning Man, to interested onlookers.

Friend Wendy with Patrick Scott.

Me & Margot show off our blue dresses.
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