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Winter Oak; oil on panel; 15.5" x 9.5"; 2006
Roots; oil on panel; 15.5" x 9.5"; 2005
Here you can see some of my older work in oils.  They were both done 'on the spot' or 'en plein aire'.  Winter Oak was done while I took a silent retreat in a hermitage in Northern Wisconsin - it was warmer than it looks.  Roots was done nearby at one of my favorite painting spots.  I'm looking forward to painting there again this summer with my casein paints.  When I do, I hope to have a system in place to record my thoughts, feelings and environmental details as related to my painting.

After attending a lecture yesterday at The Atelier in Minneapolis, I'm inspired to keep better records.  It was called 'Creating Your Own Story' and was inspired by the recent passing of a great local artist, Jon Arfstrom.  The curator who is working on his estate and his daughter presented compelling reasons to carefully document, every day, anything significant related to your art making.  Examples of Arftstrom's sketchbooks, work and scrapbooks helped to reinforce the importance of owning your story for posterity. 

Winter Oak and Roots framed and
hung in a sitting area. The paintings
are attached to the linen liner
backing with neodymium magnets.
Winter Oak and Roots framed and hung
for you to see how they might look
in your home.
A blog would seem ideal for this - and I do use it for documenting paintings - their sizes, media and titles. It's a great resource and I often use it to jog my memory as to what I titled a painting, when I did it or even what size it is (when I'm too lazy to go find it and measure it again).  But there are a lot of things I don't put in my blog - personal things like my constant struggle to keep going.  It didn't seem appropriate somehow - I wanted the viewer to feel free to 'own' the painting too and project their personal experiences onto the work.


Jan said...

As much as I like your casein paintings, I really, really like the oils.

Yes, I feel it's important to record details of each painting also (along with sales or gallery information) and have wanted to set up a spread-sheet for doing just that for some time. I need to get off my duff and do it as sometimes I have to refer back to my blog or some other internet forum to remember what medium a painting was done in!

There was an artist online who was giving away her spreadsheet form and I had it on a computer who bit the dust last year! I guess I need to see if I can find it again. Of course, there are also some commercial programs but for me, the simpler the better! A scrapbook or journal would also be good so you could have a photo of the finished work along with the details. Let us know what you do to record the details about your paintings.

Mary Klein said...

Thank you, Jan! I loved painting in oils too. There's part of me that thinks if I had a studio separate from my home, I would go back to the oils. For now though, I'm loving the casein and all the simplicity inherent with painting in a water medium.

Artists Archive is a program that so many artists recommend. There's a monthly charge for it and your work is stored on their cloud - if I'm understanding it correctly. It's tempting but the cost is a consideration and I really do prefer something analog.

Personally, I've really gotten into Bullet Journaling as a way to organize so much of my life. I don't go in for the heavily ornate Bujo-ing - keeping mine very bare-bones as my creativity gets poured into my painting. My hope is that I can come up with a good system that combines the best of Artists Archive and Bullet Journaling. I'll keep you posted.

D Gilbert said...

'A silent retreat in a hermitage' sounds like heaven. Your oil an casein colors are so true.

Mary Klein said...

Thank you, David!

The silent retreat *was* heavenly. I did it at the Christine Center in Willard, Wisconsin. One of the wonderful things about it was the bell they rang for each mealtime. It allowed me to become totally immersed in my painting and not have to worry about the time. And the meals were *fantastic*! We ate communally but everyone knew who the silent retreatants were and we felt very comfortable eating quietly by ourselves. The rest of the time I was alone - in the woods or in my hermitage. Some day I'd love to go back and do it again.

D Gilbert said...

Interesting concept to 'go back and do it again', somewhat akin to your ' things on stings' work. Thought provoking.