New Figurative Pieces

These two pieces are also featured in my Sept APU show.

Beth, graphite drawing by Sarah F Burns
Beth, graphite drawing by Sarah F Burns
Drew's Back Graphite Drawing by Sarah F Burns
Drew, Graphite Drawing by Sarah F Burns

Carnations and Green Acorns

Carnations and Green Acorns, oil painting by Sarah F Burns
Carnations and Green Acorns, oil painting by Sarah F Burns

This floral still life is featured in my show this month at the Ashland Painters Union.  The flowers come from Fry Family Farm – carnations and green zinnias.  The acorns and sticks from my neighborhood and you might recognize the painting in the back ground.

Preview Piece Two

I promised a preview of my show that opens Friday and here is part two.

Whaleshead Beach, Brookings, OR
Whaleshead Beach II

  We had some brutal smoke from wildfires this year (we get it every summer but this year was the worst since 1987 apparently) and many of us cut out and head for the coast when it gets bad. The valley I live in is surrounded by amazing wild lands, when they burn, the smoke gets trapped and we choke til the wind changes or it rains – which can take weeks.  Anyway, this lovely day at the beach was made especially blissful because it was an escape.  Sunny, breezy, warm and cool at the same time.  ahhh.  So nice.  Painted on site en plein air, the breeze blew bits of sand that are stuck in the paint.  I love this.  It could never be faked and I’d never want to take it out.  It’s an important part of the painting.  Part of the experience. This piece measures 16″ x 20″.

New Works – Show Opening September First Friday

Come one, come all – I’m showing new work at the Ashland Painters Union  (27 1/2 N. Main St, Ashland – on the Plaza – Up the stairs between Gold and Gems and Cracker Jax) during September.  The show opens First Friday Sept from 5 – 8 pm (or later if the party is super fun).

These pieces are all made within the last few months with the exception of one drawing, which was made last year.  It’s a survey of what I like to paint and reflects my head space in the last 9 or so months.  I quit my day job and have just mellowed out, enjoyed the slow lane a little more this year and the results can actually be seen in my artwork.

I’ll post a piece or two from the show each day or so as a preview leading up to the opening.

 Fantin Latour Roses, Oil Painting by Sarah F Burns
Fantin Latour Roses, Oil Painting by Sarah F Burns

These roses grow in my back yard.  Their name is Fantin Latour and all you art nerds know Fantin Latour is the best painter of flowers ever – French 19th Century guy, friends with Manet and that crew.  I drool and cry over his paintings and I think you can see a nod to him in this piece.

The actual rose bush has a bit of a good back story – it blooms ONE time a year, but those blooms are lovely and smell wonderful.  Rogue Valley rose nerds will guess where this bush came from – the amazing Rogue Valley Roses has hundreds if not thousands of roses on their own root stock in fantastical varieties.  This great business is the labor of love of my old English teacher, Janet Inada.

If It’s So Much Fun, Why Are Artists So Crazy, Depressed, Moody and Weird?

TC Auto Sales, Medford, OR Oil Painting by Sarah F Burns
TC Auto Sales, Medford, OR

I read an interesting article about discovering the current stereotype of a city by typing “why is ————- so” and letting Google’s auto complete fill in the common searches. That led me to wonder what the stereotype for artists is these days.  So I keyed “why are artists” and then “why are artists so”  and guess what — people think artists are weird, poor, liberal, sensitive, emotional, depressed, moody, messy and important.  Crazy also came into play.  (At least some people think we’re important – but they didn’t know why, because they wanted Google to tell them. )

This experiment came on the heels of a day out painting plein air in downtown Medford.  I thought I’d found a quiet street but there were lots of people who came by and if they said anything they mostly said something like, “Looks like you’re having fun!”  Fun.  Okay.  It’s kind of true, but it’s pretty revealing about what people generally think artists are doing.   Art is fun when things are going well.  When you’re in a groove, when you’re so engrossed that you don’t need to eat, won’t answer the phone etc, BUT people don’t get that if we’re supposed to be anything but Sunday painters having a nice hobby in retirement that it takes consistent, persistent WORK.  And struggle.  In the moments when the best work is created there is a zone that is awesome, but to get into the zone you have had experiences that are to the right or left of the zone, where you over correct and have some painful crashes.  For me, to achieve the work I want to create, I’ve had to study and keep at it, and even now I have goals I want to achieve that I have to study and work at a whole lot more.  Not only that, the very best artists make art every day, which I almost do, but not quite.  The fact is, I couldn’t make anything that anyone would care to see without having put in in tons of time and thought and preparation over many years.  Fun, on the other hand, is  a nice dinner with friends and family.  Fun is playing at the beach.  Fun is relaxation. Painting is sublime, but it’s work.  It’s exhilarating and heart breaking.  It’s more fun than fun and it’s not fun at all.

Being misunderstood may just be why we’re so crazy, depressed, weird and moody all the time.   😉

Fixed

A belated post with my efforts for the Fixed Show at Ashland Painters Union April 2013.

Fixed was the theme and show title, a conceptual show thought up by – suprise, suprise – a college student member. When I thought of an idea that worked with what I like to do, I got less sarcastic about it and made four paintings from the exact same location, just looking different directions.

Looking South-ish in Phoenix, OR at the RR tracks on First St.
Looking South-ish in Phoenix, OR at the RR tracks on First St.
Phoenix, Oregon, First Street Looking North-ish
Phoenix, Oregon, First Street Looking North-ish
Phoenix, Oregon, First St Railroad Tracks, Looking North North East (ish)
Phoenix, Oregon, First St Railroad Tracks, Looking North North East
Phoenix, Oregon, First Street at the Railroad Tracks, Looking East
Phoenix, Oregon, First Street at the Railroad Tracks, Looking East

The show was pretty awesome, lots of interesting work, and so the idea turned out to be a good one.  I actually have lots of ideas similar to this concept for landscape painting that for the most part I’m too lazy to do.  So Anyway.  Thanks Q.

Plein Air Medford

Garfield and 99 Medford web
Oil on panel 12″ x 20″

Garfield and Hwy 99, near the new Rogue Federal Credit Union and the new Super Walmart. You can see the new Harry and David building to the right in green. New New NEW!

Inspirations

I just got back from a visit to San Francisco where I went to the De Young museum to see the  Girl with a Pearl Earring show, along with Etching from Rembrandt and his contemporaries.  I found it very inspiring, especially all the etchings, they are so intricate and invite you to spend several minutes with each piece, I was surprised to find them even more engaging than many paintings.  The etching pieces varied in technical ability, some being astonishing in their technical prowess and some (the Rembrandts) were stunning in their communication of humanity and emotion.  There were goofy ones, ones that glorified the state, religious scenes that were moving (Rembrandt), religious scenes that were like crazy pageants, simple home scenes, landscapes and on and on.  Then came the paintings – wonderful banquet tables with meats and lemons and cloth, the flowers that I so love and the stunning Vermeer.  That Vermeer is absolutely wonderful.  (Side note:  Like the Mona Lisa, she has no eyebrows.!? Curious.)

Johannes_Vermeer_(1632-1675)_-_The_Girl_With_The_Pearl_Earring_(1665)

Rembrandt_van_Rijn_Etching_1-1

cornelis visscher the large cat

Dutch Fools Etching

Distractions

I know so many new babies and babies that will soon be here and the last few months I’ve been going nuts making baby dresses.  Not the kind of creating I usually do, a great obsession for the evenings.  Here are just a few things for my new niece who will be born in about a month!

Green Bee Iris Dress
Green Bee Iris Dress
Green Bee Iris Tank with Oliver + S  Puppet Show Shorts
Green Bee Iris Tank with Oliver + S Puppet Show Shorts
Oliver + S Apple Picking Dress
Oliver + S Apple Picking Dress
Oliver + S - Apple Picking Dress
Oliver + S – Apple Picking Dress
Oliver + S Family Reunion Dress
Oliver + S Family Reunion Dress