Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Moving to Wordpress

I'm moving my blog and website to one convenient location:  for now it's www.sarahfburns.wordpress.com
and soon www.sarahfburns.com will point there as well.  I hope you come and join me there!  It was a tough decision - I've built up a lot of history with this blog - but it's going to be smarter to have both in one location - and it will likely mean I will actually update my website occasionally - which is what one is supposed to do.  So fare well Blogspot - I'll keep this up to have the archives....

Friday, December 31, 2010

Success in Art

Just watched two films on the uneasy connection between art and money: Art of the Steal, about Barnes Foundation move and Exit Through the Gift Shop, about the rise and exploitation(?) of Street Art.
I should say these movies are about greed and art, so as to avoid the error of demonizing money, because of course it's greed that causes problems. 

That lure of a large audience is pretty powerful and since I've never had the opportunity to make millions - let alone billions at the expense of my integrity, I can't say for sure that I'd have made better choices.  (I'd like to think so, of course.)   I think most artists really crave attention badly.  The sobering message to me from these movies though is this:  better a smaller audience who respects you than a huge audience who turns you into what they want you to be.  We all know this, right, but it's like wearing your seatbelt - you do it, you know it's the right thing to do, but if you come across a car crash where someone wasn't wearing one, you have even deeper reasons to remember to buckle up.  So let's buckle up and not sell out. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Phoenix Countryside Landscapes

 Calhoun Road
Phoenix, Oregon

North Phoenix Road
Between Phoenix and Medford, Oregon

Both these subjects do not satisfy me composition wise.  I've been thinking about composition more consciously lately and it seems like I was doing better when I was more instinctual about it.  But I think that's just the learning curve when you're working out something new.  You have to deconstruct to change and grow sometimes. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pensive and Expansive



Vanessa, Pensive and Expansive

This sketch is from a few months ago, I ran into it while loading it onto my Etsy shop.  It was a happy accident, I think I drew the view on the left first, and then the next pose was the one on the right.  It's a good contrast.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Plein Air in Medford


New Parking Garage, Medford

It took a lot of time with the drawing elements, proportion, perspective.  Painted from behind Larsons.  Maybe not a sentimental location, chosen for the interesting elements, the mountains in the distance. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Stanley Lewis and Lennart Anderson

I was reading the latest issue of Art in America magazine, when an ad for paintings by Stanley Lewis caught my eye.  His landscapes kind of feel similar to what I'm going for these days, and they remind me a smidge of Fairfield Porter, and even a wee bit Isaac Levitan - both artists I love love love.



In the process of googling him, I ran into a new artist to admire:  Lennart Anderson.







I've been enjoying Edwin Dickinson's work lately, and his work reminded me of his, and it should because they were both Art Student's League folks, Anderson took classes from Dickinson - and got to know him a bit, as this piece shows.
The next video is an interesting piece discussing what to go for when painting a person. 

  More of Lennart's work can be found here.  (Hopefully the videos posted okay - I seldom post videos, and get easily confused.)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Then I went to this amazing workshop

given by Michael Grimaldi at BACAA near San Francisco.  It was truly inspirational.  We worked on the figure in grisaille and had a bonus anatomy study lecture - which was brilliant.  Michael started the first gross anatomy class for artists in the US for over 100 years.  He's awesome.  I hated to leave. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Coast Paintings


Whales Head Beach, Brookings, Oregon

     In August my sisters, my mom, husband, daughter, brother in law and nephew spent a weekend on the Beach.  Great time.  I still have sand in my easel. My sister's and I are pictured. 

 Rocks at Whales Head Beach

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tasty Zinnia's

     Zinnia's are truly a candy shop rainbow wonderland  of the flower world. I kept very busy during the first 2 - 3 weeks in August working on this Plein Air painting commission.  It was a total pleasure, despite the intense summer heat and the chalky sunscreen I wore to keep from burning.  It was fun for a million reasons.  The family who commissioned it is happy, which makes me happy.  And it looks really great in their space, I love seeing my artwork in the context of someone else's life. 

     It was a challenge too, I painted pretty much every afternoon for 2 weeks, and flowers just don't hold still and stop growing for you.  Also, the light changes, this painting doesn't represent one split second, but kind of a rainbow of time within a short range.  To meet the challenge I started in the center and worked out to the sides so all the flowers and leaves connected realistically.  The painting is definitely on the graphic side, with it's saturated colors, which is interesting.  Funny enough, my personal favorite parts are the leaves, they kind of rustle if you stare at them for a while.  Anyway, it was good for me to be challenged as well, growth happens that way.