Slow growth! Here are four works I made in the last quarter of 2020. It’s a cloudy day and I just love having paintings side by side on display for photos. It really helps me view my own work in a constructive way. The largest one here is 18×24” and the smallest is 9×12” so it is a bit of a chore to get a photo like this! We made it to the nadir of darkness – midwinter – solstice solace! It is easy to take our own progress for granted. These are all trees on Powhatan / Algonquian / Doeg lands. The top right is acrylic, the rest are oil.
This content has been copied from my old Wix website from 2019, but I would like to have it archived here. You may view my original Wix site at: https://marellemyers.wixsite.com/website
I have added a large number of the paintings to a gallery at the bottom of this page, which may take a great deal of time to load. Take a few deep, calming breaths while you wait. 🙂
Forty Flowers: A Project in Progress
In the autumn of 2018, I embarked on a straightforward winter time challenge within my studio: to paint forty flower still life works before the New Year. I figured, I worked near a florist, and every grocery store has cheap flowers for sale. It was interesting enough, practical, and perfectly doable.
I naturally gravitate toward the “metrics” of realism, where accuracy in representing objects as accurately as possible. Observational work requires rigorous practice, and it implies a sort of “measurable” artistic skill that – at the time – I thought would lead me to feel more safe, confident, and reasonable inside my head and inside the studio.
I started from a very elementary background in oil painting, having one or two formal classes in the medium, with notoriously bad attendance.
Thus began a labor of experimentation with the media that surrounds the medium of oil painting —
In the project I painted on canvas panels, CanvaPaper, unstretched canvas, wooden boards, reclaimed canvas, and of course, the traditional stretched canvas.
I experimented with primer, or not,
Base layers in color or grisaille, or not
Always enriching the tools in my artistic toolbox – metaphorically, developing the “know-how”
Discovering what were favorites, listing what new materials I wanted to buy when I could afford it,
Mediums, varinishes, always yes or no-
How the hell to paint white petals-
And finally learning to sign my work, and developing a suitable signature. To my surprise, that was a deeply humbling challenge.
I also have a lot of ambition toward working outdoors, en plein air. The project taught me to work more efficiently than ever before, set up faster, see the composition faster, mix colors faster, and clean up faster. These routines developed slowly and organically but are so integral to doing the work.
In sum, my goal with the forty flowers project was to improve – in every way. And after all, it was Manet who said, “A painter can say all he wants to with fruit, or flowers.” And now, at the conclusion of my floral study, I would say, for the most part, he is right. Paint talks. We listen to the color and the texture. But I also found the need to add a few knives, mirrors, and shiny things, too.
An Aside: The most invested of my friends may count fewer than forty flowers have been listed for sale here, and some floral works that date back to even before this project was hatched in my brain. At the time of this website update – a feat in itself – some had already sold, some were rubbish, and some have not yet been made. I have plans for a grand finale for this project, works 38, 39, and 40. Your support will get me there, and beyond.”
For those reading at the time of posting this, the aforementioned “grand finale” and result of this work became the “Femme Flag” of 2020.