Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Get Out!


And that could mean outdoors - which we know soothes the soul.
Or outside your comfort zone, which does the opposite.

Both are worthwhile, and for me plein air painting encompasses both. Taking in spectacular views and breathing in the fresh air relaxes...and then trying to paint what I see before the light changes totally stresses me out!

Last year I had an awesome indoctrination into the world of plein air painting at Julian Merro-Smith's workshop in Provence. Apparently, it takes the promise of French wine and living in a converted 5thC Priory to entice me out of my comfort zone! (you can read about it here)

Within 36 hours of being home, and with the energy imbued on that trip, I joined a group of intrepid plein air painters at Olana (artist Frederic Church's home). I thought I was on a roll!

View from Olana, ©2013 Dorothy Lorenze
Not so much. But that's OK. I got a taste for outdoor painting. I got my feet wet. Literally. I will get back to it again someday (as it no longer terrifies me). Scoping outdoor sites for good painting compositions has added a new dimension to how I appreciate nature and that's a good thing.

In the comfort (zone) of my studio, I have occasionally accessed the spirit of plein air painting working from a photo. This is a painting of birches from a photo take in Kent. CT. Along with the Olana painting, it was sold at a "paintout" auction benefitting Kent Art Association. (It's very cool to stand in the back of the room and see hands going up for bids on your work!)

Bog Hollow Road Birches ©2013 Dorothy Lorenze
Hiking to the perfect spot with easel and other gear makes painting outdoors a tough sport. But, like all athletic challenges, when it finally goes well the rewards are all the better for having overcome trials and tribulations. Mother Nature can be a bitch.

Happy Earth Day! Be good to your Mother.

Thanks for stopping by to see my artwork and read my stories.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Rejection, by any other name, Still Stinks

Well, since none of us hesitate to post exciting news, I suppose it's only fair to come clean about negative events.

So here it is: I submitted paintings to two respected, national arts organizations - and got rejected by both. Needless to say, I was bummed.

I have been known to over-analyse and may have obsessed a bit with self-doubts and criticism: were they too small, too boring, too brown!? Wrong subject matter, bad photographs? Just plain bad?!!!!

But, life is short ...and busy ...and often crazy, so no time to wallow.
Facebook friends, and others closer by, cheered me. One pointed out that Courbet, Manet and Pisarro were famously rejected by the Paris Salon, creating the infamous Salon Des Refusés. Not that I'm comparing, but it did make me smile.

While it was majorly disappointing, it was not totally discouraging or debilitating. Attitude isn't quite everything. Sh*t happens. Work matters. So I paint nearly every day, working to refine skills. And on a good day, to define my vision. It's not easy, but that's the challenge.

It took a day or two to settle comfortably at the easel after being "rejected", but, I'm back to work on some pieces that present new challenges of their own. That's always rewarding - typically passing through frustrating along the way! It's just the way it works. The trick is sticking with it long enough to get to the other side. So "stay tuned" for some new paintings of interior spaces. And thanks to everyone who talked me off the ledge (so to speak ;)

Meanwhile, here's my personal Salon des Refusés.
Polished and Read ©2014 Dorothy Lorenze, 12x16"
Polished and Read is in the home of a dear collector in San Francisco.

Grey Roseville ©2014 Dorothy Lorenze

Roseville with Plums© 2013 Dorothy Lorenze, 9x12"

The Roseville paintings are currently available by email but will likely be going to Greene Gallery next month.

Thanks so much for stopping by to see my artwork. 
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