Linda Halcomb's Blog

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March 24, 2017 March 24, 2017

After I completed my post yesterday I realized that I had never posted the completion of my third “Zone” painting. I completed Green Zone earlier in the week and it was sitting on my mantle undergoing continual scrutiny. This painting went through only one round of revision while the Red and Blue paintings went through many more as I continued to learn. This painting was completed entirely with a palette knife and I like the effect created by the broad swipes. This painting completes the series of “Zone” paintings inspired by the three abstracts in Penny’s apartment on the TV show Big Bang Theory (see more here). I like the spontaneous approach and have now started a new watercolor abstract that uses what I have always called my splash-splash technique (because I paint REALLY wet).  This process is also spontaneous and responds continually to the way the watercolor is behaving…not always predictable!

 

Green Zone 03202017

 

 

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May 22, 2017 March 23, 2017

I have mentioned before that I put my paintings through a lengthy “living with it” period. I have my three acrylic abstracts propped up in my family room so I can scrutinize them. I thought you might want to see them together.

 

Green, Blue and Red Zone Paintings 03202017

 

This final evaluation is very tricky. It is easy to ruin a painting at this stage. I don’t think that I will risk further changes. Your thoughts?

The painting behind my abstract is an original watercolor done by an Indiana artist named Jimmy Faulkner. My husband fell in love with it at a fundraiser. Paintings were awarded by lottery and – happy surprise! – my husband’s name was drawn. The painting could not have found a happier home. You can learn more about Jimmy Faulkner here. Be sure you check out the online gallery.

 

 

March 13, 2017 March 13, 2017

Filed under: Abstract,Acrylics,Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 1:36 pm
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When artists have a painting that doesn’t feel right they will frequently turn their painting upside down and that will help them find the problem. With my abstracts I frequently try sitting them on each of the four sides to be sure the composition is balanced.

When I saw the photograph of Red Zone (posted a few days ago) I did not like what I saw. In the photo the areas around the outside of the painting looked bare, flat and uninteresting. Face to face the actual painting didn’t look quite so bad but it did have a problem. I decided to “tweak” the painting to increase the texture and color variety around the edges. To do that I actually worked my way around the painting always painting on the bottom side. I would rotate it 90 degrees as I moved from side to side. I do think it is a better painting now. In the future I will think of my photographs as a way to see my paintings through the eyes of an unbiased observer. Showing the good, the bad and the ugly!

 

Red Zone Update 03132017

Red Zone, 12″ X 12″ Acrylic on Canvas, 2017

 

March 10, 2017 March 11, 2017

Filed under: Abstract,Acrylics,Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:55 pm
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Have you ever heard the expression “in the zone”? The Urban Dictionary defines “in the zone” as “Being completely unaware of what’s going on around you as you are so extremely into what’s going on right in front of your face”. In other words you are totally unaware of time or activities going on around you. When I draw or paint I am usually in the zone.

So why do I bring this up? Well, the path I followed to get to my latest painting is rather disconnected and a little weird but I wound up in the zone. I bought three 12 inch square canvases when my daughter closed her shop and I was trying to decide what to do with them. I love color and normally like to work with clear, crisp colors – like the primary colors.  Thinking about the primary colors led me to remember that I had often noticed three abstract paintings in Penny’s apartment on the Big Bang Theory television show. They attracted me and I thought they were lively and interesting.

I have never been able to see the paintings clearly but the idea of doing a lively square abstract in red sounded like fun. I would be able to work in acrylics which would be a good learning experience and I could use a process that was spontaneous to create texture. This led to the creation of The Red Zone. This is a play on words since I am usually “in the zone” or totally focused when I paint. As you can probably see, I built up the paint in three layers. Acrylics dry really quickly so I had to stop painting when the paint became tacky. When the paint was completely dry I would paint another layer building up different layers of color.

 

Red Zone 03092017

 

Here is Penny’s apartment with the blue, red and green abstracts on the wall at the right side of the photograph. What an explosion of color!

 

 

March 8, 2017 March 10, 2017

Filed under: Abstract,Acrylics,Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 6:52 am
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I live in Indiana and Indiana is a state that has four seasons. Spring is a season of beautiful pastels and vibrant reds and yellows (think daffodils and tulips). I paint Spring often, especially Spring flowers and flowering trees. During Spring the breezes are soft and fresh and the colors speak of rebirth. Fall in Indiana is a vibrant period of fiery reds, yellows and oranges. The maples blaze and lines of visitors roll through the state parks viewing the Fall foliage. It is a final burst of magnificence before Winter descends on the state. The drying leaves rustle and swirl like the long satin skirts of debutantes leaving a ball. Summer and Winter are not my favorite seasons and I rarely paint them. Why Summer? Everything is green! And the greens are basically the same greens. I get saturated with green. Walking at the State Park last year I finally understood why I am not inspired to create summer landscapes. I do love to create Summer still lives that include reds – cherry tomatoes on the vine and sparkling geraniums. But generally I don’t paint landscapes and when I do they aren’t very exciting.

That takes me to Winter. If we have a diamond surfaced blanket of snow and a big blue sky, Winter is beautiful but lately that has not been the norm. It is brown and gray and in March even the browns and grays are muted and faded. Walking at Fort Benjamin Harrison  State Park last Sunday I challenged myself to really look at the colors. To be specific and to find the beauty. I saw shrub stems that were a lovely lavender-red. I saw mosses that were a neon chartreuse green. And, because our Winter has not been a cold one, I saw green grass peeking between the straw colored dead grass. I thought about words that I would use to describe the Indiana Winter and the ones that came to mind were spare and sparse. I wanted to use all of this information to create a tiny painting using my new acrylics. My thinking process led me to “minimalism” and eventually to color field painting … at first simple, spare and plain but paintings that with long looking become meditative and complex with soft edges and textured surfaces. Now color field paintings are usually large paintings. For more info click here . I particularly like the color field paintings created by Kenneth Nolan and Mark Rothko. My challenge to myself was to see if I could create an interesting, exciting color field painting using colors I saw at the Park. I worked with three shades of brown and two shades of green. The background is a color called Champagne that is really lovely. I must say I did not realize it was metallic until after it dried! Oh my, Linda…pay attention!!!! Mistake or happy accident? The viewer decides.

 

Indiana Winter Color Field Acrylic 1

Indiana Winter, 6″ X 8″ Acrylic on Canvas

 

March 3, 2017 March 4, 2017

Filed under: Acrylics,Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 8:10 am
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I have often wondered if I would work better in oil or acrylic instead of watercolor. Since this is a time for exploration, I used a very small 6 inch by 8 inch canvas to paint a scene in acrylic. My husband and I spend six months living in Germany at the end of 2014. I worked in Mannheim and we lived in Heidelberg. One of our favorite explorations was a trip to Amsterdam that allowed us to see remarkable art and to explore the Dutch countryside. We visited late in the year, a time of damp and rainy weather. I decided to use a view of a windmill for my first, tiny acrylic painting. I wanted to see if I could capture the feeling of a damp, misty morning. The actual painting has a more unified surface and my dabs (particularly in the sky) do not stand out like they do in the photo. I’m no photographer but I love my iPhone and it usually does a great job for me.  Oh well, I do my best!

windmill-misty-morning-03032017

Misty Morning, 6 inch by 8 inch acrylic on canvas

 

March 1, 2017 March 2, 2017

Filed under: Abstract,Acrylics,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:41 am
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I often call my abstracts splash-splash paintings. That should tell you a lot about my process! I started this painting with my liquid watercolors and it got too dark very fast. I created a real mess for myself. I looked and looked and decided that there was no way to recover if I used watercolor so I switched to acrylic. I don’t use acrylic often but I have a few dropper bottles of acrylic ink and a few tubes of heavy body acrylic – basically primary colors and a few secondary colors.

I had just finished reading my latest National Geographic magazine and it has an article about the state of our oceans. I began to think about schools of small fish and the way they flash like floating sparks as they move. Light, color, movement – that is what I was going for with this work. Sparks of floating color.

I used my spray bottle like I do with watercolor and was able to soften some areas and to build up some transparent areas. This is on 140# Arches CP paper and is a quarter sheet.

 

floating-0222017