Author Archive for sharonm

Lyrical Abstract Paintings

Lyrical abstract paintings

Abstract Paintings

Sometimes it is difficult to put one’s paintings into a category.  Although my work can be defined as abstract, it can also be defined as intuitive.  Intuitive,  meaning that there is no plan when I start the painting process.  I just dip my brush and go.  But there is another defining feature about my paintings and that is the free-flowing lines with a palette of happy colors.  These can be termed lyrical abstracts.

Lyrical Abstraction Paintings

Lyrical abstracts share the aspects of being imaginative, emotive, expressive, passionate and subjective.  There is often an underlying emotion that the artist is trying to convey.  In my respect, the paintings can overwhelmingly impart a sense of joy and happiness.  One of the earliest well-known artists to be considered to paint lyrical abstracts is Wassily Kandinsky.  There is almost a romantic feel to many lyrical abstracts.

Even though I am painting in an intuitive manner, it is almost like there is a symphony taking place, as one color takes over the composition from the other.  It is a totally enjoyable process and the results are very rewarding.  I believe my hand is very influenced by the fact that I have always been a very positive and happy person.  I also believe that my style is influenced, somewhat, by the fact that my father was a musician and an orchestra leader.  My paintings often remind me of musical compositions.

Creating Found Object Sculptures

industrial found objects

Found Object Sculptures

If you have been following along with my art career, you have certainly noticed that my path of creating art branches out in many directions.  Although my focus remains on both paintings and sculpture, my sculptures vary according to my choice of materials.

Since I have always had an interest in finding unusual items that might work well when worked into a sculpture, one of my main series of sculptures are made from found objects.  Most of the pieces I am drawn to are old metal, often auto parts or other industrial castoffs.  I’m a known junkyard junkie who will never turn down a trip to a junkyard or other similar place to find castoff items.  You just never know what unique part will be waiting right around the next corner or on the next trip in search of pieces for sculptures.

Creating Found Object Sculptures

It often takes years to find the right, compatible objects to make the sculpture that speaks to me.  I’m not interested in making “cute” critters but real art objects.  Many trips to the outdoor studio and lots of trial with items, along with many days thinking about the design, finally helps a sculpture come to life.  Sometimes some of the found objects just seem meant for each other in a short period of time.  But many times, pieces are partly paired together, waiting on my workbench until the last few pieces are “found’.

It’s a totally different thought process and working process from sculptures made from cement or plaster.  But once a sculpture comes together, it is like a birth of sorts.

Since I am not currently a welder, I often make cement bases with metal/ rebar extending from them to attach the sculpture.  I then, usually, wire and epoxy pieces firmly together.

 

Sandcasting Concrete Sculptures

Concrete sculpture

Concrete sculpture of a woman

 

Making Concrete Sculptures

For the past five years, I have been working with cement to create both large and small sculptures.  Most of these have been built around an armature that I make prior to adding cement.  Some of the smaller, concrete sculptures are cast from forms that I design, occasionally adding colored glass.

Recently I have been casting concrete in a sandpit that we made from a wood form and then filled with lots and lots of sand.  The forms are first designed on paper and then, after may sketches, are then dug out in wet sand.  There are challenges, as the sand is not a firm material to work with.  You must also be able to think well in regard to spatial relationships.  As you dig, you need to think about the positive and negative spaces, and what area is going to get filled with the concrete.

The first sandcast sculpture I attempted was a rather simple shape, just so I could get a feel for the process.  It actually turned out better than I had hoped for.  But there is a lot of pre-planning necessary to making a cement sculpture.  One of the most important things to consider is the weight of your piece and what type of base you will use.

Concrete Sculpture Process

Things that have to be considered when working with cement are: weather, temperature, humidity and when to uncast a piece.  I usually uncast a piece within 24 hours and then do most of the finish work before the sculpture is too hard to work with.  There is a 28 day period to consider, when the cement gets harder by the day until that point.

I have tons of sketches that I want to sandcast, and others that will be cast in forms or hand-formed.  There is something so organic and textural that continues to draw me back to the cement.

Intuitive Abstract Paintings on Canvas

The-Good-Life

One of my newest bodies of art work combines both a playful look with bright colors, black and white.  These are Intuitive Abstract paintings done on canvas and some created on heavy bristol board, a type of archival artist’s paper.  I refer to this type of work as intuitive because I start each painting without any pre-conceived idea of what I will paint.  It is actually fun to watch a painting unfold before you … much to my surprise.  Obviously, decisions to have to be made once you start, deciding what color to put where and what spaces to leave white, etc.

I start by drawing random lines and shapes until I am happy with the overall composition.  Sometimes, I will add extra elements as I go along.

Some of these pieces can be seen and purchased through Saatchi.

Bold Geometric Abstract Paintings

painting on cardboard

A few weeks ago I got it into my head to try painting on cardboard.  It has been such a fun adventure.  I almost can’t stop myself from painting on any piece of cardboard I can find.  I love the texture of the bumps and lines that form when I start painting the cardboard.  Although I know that this is not the most stable surface to paint on for archival purposes, I have been doing a bit of research.  If gel medium is used to coat all surfaces this forms a good barrier prior to painting.  And I am so delighted that the little dimples and bumps still appear.

There are a number of reasons I love painting on cardboard:

  • It’s free.
  • I’m recycling materials.
  • It’s readily available.
  • It’s lightweight.
  • I can experiment more freeely.
  • Love the texture.

I am also recreating the look of painting on cardboard on my large canvases.  Everything is about the same except for the texture.

New Cement Sculptures

cement sculptures

I have been quite busy this summer creating some fun and fantastic new sculptures.  One of my favorites is title “All Dressed Up” which incorporates a large found metal object that I’ve had for over ten years.  This is one of the new sculptures that I am getting ready to show at a Sculpture show in North Carolina. But I think my all time favorite up to this time is a new Horse sculpture named “Blue”.  He was made using a metal armature that I fashioned from hardware cloth, wire, chicken wire, paint, sand and cement.

This past month, however, was filled with lots of time with three groups of grandkids who came to visit back-to-back.  We did lots of craft projects, went swimming, went rock collecting and more.  The last grandson who came to visit even made his very first cement sculpture … one of the Southpark characters, Eric.  So, it’s been a fun and busy few months.

Now I am getting some of the business stuff done for the upcoming show, making new handouts, etc.  Stay tuned and I’ll let you know how it went!